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All This Impeachment Talk Is Pure Trump Derangement Syndrome

That man in the White House is vulgar, disrespectful, self-involved, maybe even dangerous. So?

ReasonReasonWell this didn't take long, did it?

Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States, had barely celebrated his first 100 days when calls for his impeachment started flying faster than Anthony Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout. For the good of democracy, don't you see, the Republicans must not only be kicked to the curb in the 2018 midterms, but the president himself must be thrown into the street, just like he once tried to evict that old lady from her house in Atlantic City!

In the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, whose recent testimony on Hillary Clinton's emails was so flawed and incompetent that his underlings immediately issued a clarification to the Senate Judiciary Committee, virtually every non-Republican #NeverTrumper (plus Sen. John McCain, who has some good reasons to hate Trump) has called for The Donald's head on a platter. And this was all before the tantalizing possibility of a "Comey memo" detailing various attempts by Trump to shut down an investigation of possible ties between former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Russian operatives.

But let's get real: At this point in the game, all the explainers about how impeachment works (the 1990s called, they want their sex scandals back!) and adapting the 25th Amendment's ability to remove the president from decision-making during colonoscopies to the current crisis are evidence-free exercises in ideological masturbation. If we are going to survive not just the Trump years but eventually get around to kick-starting the 21st century, we're going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press. "The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo," explains the Paper of Record, "but one of Mr. Comey's associates read parts of it to a Times reporter." As Reason's Scott Shackford has noted, that's what Joe Biden would call a "big fucking deal" if it turns out to exist and to be accurate. It's also a pretty big if at this point.

But even before Comey's possible "paper trail" documenting President Trump's demands (which may or may not actually rise to the level of impeachable offense) came to light, his enemies were out in force. For god's sake, they wanted him impeached even before he was the Republican nominee.

"An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense," huffed Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine last week. "And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing" because "sources close to Comey" said the president-elect asked the FBI director for his "personal loyalty." What unemotional analysis. Remember that a year ago, Sullivan called the possibility of a Trump presidency an "extinction-level threat" to mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Elsewhere in New York, Jonathan Chait, who is as doggedly a Democratic partisan that exists in print, put out an article under the headline, "The Law Can't Stop Trump. Only Impeachment Can." Trump's high crime for Chait was the completely opaque charge that Trump shared classified intel with Russian officials visiting the White House, a charge flatly rebutted by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who said the shared info was "wholly appropriate" and that "the president in no way compromised any sources or methods." For Chait though, and so many more either openly in "the Resistance" or just fellow-traveling, the real problem is that America never anticipated peckerwoods being in the Oval Office. "The system is set up with the unstated presumption that the president is a responsible person who will act in a broadly legitimate, competent fashion," writes Chait. "The system is designed so that the only remedy for a president who cannot faithfully act in the public interest is impeachment."

Forget all that Madisonian mumbo-jumbo about "if men were angels, no government would be necessary." A real-estate developer from Queens with history's worst comb-over is about to bring the Statue of Liberty to her knees like an ISIS captive. Indeed, whether or not James Comey's memos detailing his version of Trump's perfidies against a free-and-independent FBI—you know, that august institution which has one of the very worst records among any law-enforcement agency of abusing powerThe Atlantic's James Fallows has already said that the mere firing of Comey is "worse than Watergate." Think about that for a second. No one disputes the FBI director serves at the pleasure of the president and he can fire him whenever he wants. What "Watergate" revealed was not simply Richard Nixon's willingness to lie and cover up criminal activity committed on his behalf, but an entire apparatus to spy on, pervert, and undermine elected government.

Assuming the worst about Trump at this point, his behavior doesn't come close to rising to that level or the actions undertaken by, say, Ronald Reagan during Iran-Contra. If anything, Trump is such an idiot that he is sealing his own fate by forcing congressional Republicans, most of whom don't particularly care for him anyway, to call for bigger and better investigations about Russian influence in the 2016 election. Short-termers such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz are already subpoenaing whatever memories James Comey jotted down during his generally mediocre-to-awful tenure as head of the FBI. Comey is the guy, we should recall, who tried to strong-arm Apple into undermining its phone encryption even though it was able to crack the San Bernadino's phone just fine, who gave Hillary Clinton aides immunity and allowed them to destroy their laptops, and recently attacked the First Amendment because it gave Wikileaks space to publish authentic-if-purloined documents. The best thing you can say about Comey is that he's no Louis Freeh or J. Edgar Hoover, which is the textbook case of damning with faint approbation.

Needless to say, none of this absolves Donald Trump of any wrongdoing. But impeachment talk this soon and this thick is coming not from a place of seriousness but pure partisanship and ideology masquerading as disinterested belief in the public good. When the Republicans moved to impeach Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, it was the same thing and it didn't exactly work out that well for many of the main conspirators, or for the country at large. Among other things, the impeachment push indirectly led to the ouster of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, which eventuated in an actual child molester being way high up in the presidential line of succession.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton was one of the major mileposts in the long, ongoing shift of America from a high-trust to a low-trust country, one in which faith, trust, and confidence in most of our major public, private, and civic institutions have taken a massive beating for decades now. Maybe it was the Warren Commission Report that got the ball rolling, or Lyndon Johnson's infamous "credibility gap." All the secret wars in Cambodia and Watergate sure didn't help and the mind-boggling revelations of the Church Commission might have the final nail in the coffin of trust. The Pinto disaster sure didn't help, nor did other revelations of private-sector fakery. You throw in freakazoid oddness such as the People's Temple, United Way scandals, and rampant Catholic Church buggery, and, well, what do you expect? Across the board, fewer and fewer of us trust the government, the media, labor, corporations, etc. to do the right thing given the option of doing the wrong thing.

And get this: However unpopular Donald Trump is, Congress is even less trustworthy. Libertarians especially ignore this slide in trust and the rush to partisan-driven calls to undermine elected officials absent actual evidence at our peril. Low-trust countries don't actually shrink the size, scope, and spending of government. Perversely, citizens call for "government regulation, fully recognizing that such regulation leads to corruption." It helps to understand that Donald Trump, for all of his obvious bullshitting, flip-flops, and lies, isn't the cause of anything but the effect. The 21st century in the United States began with an election that was effectively settled by a coin toss, which does little to create faith in institutions (especially as Republicans in Bush v. Gore appealed to the federal government, while Democrats called for state's rights). Then came the 9/11 attacks, an intelligence failure compounded by a massively mendacious disinformation campaign that resulted in a Middle East quagmire, ballooning deficits, and a mind-bending bailout of mega-corporations. President Obama's stimulus plan failed every measure it proposed as success and was capped by passage of a health-care law that ultimately spawned the "Lie of the Year" for 2013. Along the way, we also had a series of national intelligence heads baldly lie about what sorts of information was being collected (illegally, legally, does it matter?) on law-abiding Americans. We've learned that police act poorly in many circumstances, that local and state governments are awful as often as they are outstanding, and that corporations (Volkswagen!) will try to get away with lots of chicanery too.

Of course trust in institutions is mostly at all-time lows! That's why Donald Trump was able to beat Hillary Clinton in one of the weirdest, most-unpredictable elections ever. Trump is the function of our disillusionment and that's one of the reasons why he is ultimately an electoral dead-end. Never a consistent conservative or Republican, he is the sterile end of 20th century politics, the last in a long line of bullies-who-will-tell-us-how-to-live that has no future. Despite some good deregulatory gestures, he is too mired in 1970s nostalgia for a world that ceased to exist even before his first divorce. That was enough to squeak by Hillary Clinton, who also didn't bother to offer a future-oriented vision for America, so secure was she in her historic victory.

For the rest of us, though, especially those of us of a libertarian bent, we need not simply to expect better but to demand better. Regardless of slow economic growth throughout this century, regardless of the endless wars in which America is mired, and regardless of the ever-growing wall of petty and grand regulations and restrictions against new ways of doing business and living life, we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment, one in which more and more of us are more able than ever to live where we want, work where we want, marry whom we want, eat what we want, and travel where we want. As Matt Welch and I wrote in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, politics is a lagging indicator of where America is headed. Outside of the political realm, our lives are mostly getting better. The challenge—a brutal one given current circumstances—is how to drag politics into the 21st century so that we finally leave behind two major political parties that are so awful neither of their candidates could win even 50 percent of the popular vote.

One thing is clear: Cleaving to right/left, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat tribes in a world in which more and more people define themselves as libertarian isn't going to work. Neither will falling for fake-news narratives about Trump's historical badness. We need a new politics that is ultimately based on policy, not personalities; policy, not politics; and policy, not partisanship. We need to demand more of our elected representatives and we need to start yesterday.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • colorblindkid||

    This is perfect, and why I love Reason.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Seconded.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Do we have a quorum?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    +4 makes it so

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Fifthed with a fifth.

  • wearingit||

    It's pretty much why I don't. Reason is Republican-lite/right. Seems like it used to be about something more than that but maybe not.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    "Reason is Republican-lite."

    You may have just inadvertently confirmed that it has hit it stride once again considering how many Republicans around here complain that Reason has become a leftist rag.

    You KNOW you're libertarian when every conservative thinks you're hopelessly left wing and every leftist is convinced you're far right. That's kinda our trademark -- we piss of statists of every stripe.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Where do I send your trophy?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Another Trump-hating piece from that leftist scum Reason!!!!!!!

  • Jahgro||

    Ha, can you act any more hysterical? I know you right wingers have had a bad few weeks, but calm down charlie.

    Perhaps it would be best if you put your blinders on, and only read Reason when they criticize the left (which this article does).

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Reading comprehension's still not your long suit, eh Tulpa?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Tulpa's suit is neither long nor strong.

  • Number 2||

    I suspect that Crusty was, in fact, being sarcastic.

  • colorblindkid||

    Everybody knows libertarians never use sarcasm...

  • ThomasD||

    Nice.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Agreed. Pretty lame.

  • Jahgro||

    It's impossible to tell since so many people act exactly like that (loveconstitution1778 or whatever his username is).

    Poes law in action.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You mean they have a problem with a media/opposition party statist plot to bring down a duly elected president based on lies? Imagine that.

    If Trumo is smart he should start putting your progressive masters in prison. At least half of the previous admin appears to be guilty of a variety of felonies. And that's based on a lot more than 'anonymous sources'.

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • MarkLastname||

    Bully!

  • Michael Hihn||

  • DenverJ||

    God, what a whiny little bitch

  • Michael Hihn||

    That was ridicule, Sparky.

  • Kivlor||

    Ha! Hihn that was precious!

    You linked, as always to some previous post, this time about how you always link to previous posts in some sort of groundhog day loop.

    Normally you're just annoying, but that one actually gave me a laugh. Thanks for that.

  • Michael Hihn||

    In only link to other posts as proof of something -- like I was taught in school and as an op-ed writer. I'm not a blowhard.

  • Anthony555||

    It's much more entertaining when you bother to read the article, Crusty Balljuggler.

  • Whahappan?||

    Whoooooosh!!!!

  • seahorsedan||

    Mark Mueller is a highly respected former Director of the FBI and will provide closure for those who need comforting. Any Russian threat from afar pales however compared to the real threat to our United States from International Globalists within.
    President Trump has already saved our sovereign democratic republic in his first 30 days when he rejected Obama's Globalist TPP agreement he preserved our 241 years of self determination. Why do you think the establishment Globalist's MSM is hounding him relentlessly? TPP was their beginning of the end of our 241 year history of self determination. Today the Globalist owned and operated MSM which they have gained control of has been converted from our 4th estate to their disloyal anti U.S. of American sovereignty, insidious 5th column. President Donald J.TRUMP is our only legitimate Commander In Chief.

  • Aloysious||

    ...flying faster than Andrew Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout.

    Get that image out of my head.

  • Finchster||

    Pretty sure Gillespie meant "Anthony" Weiner, though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No, fuck that Andrew Weiner guy too!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I bet he's related to Anthony.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Andrew's internet name is Chuy Danger.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Goddamnit.
    [Helplessly breaks out into Carlos Danger dance]

  • ||

    I hope to God that Mitch Daniels can pull the right strings to squash any impending Girl Scout/Dick Pic investigations of him. Otherwise, I'm fairly certain he'd exercise more tact in letting him go.

  • ||

    Followed that link. Decided not to click on "Pulse shaping: a tutorial review".

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah, but did you get the laser photo?

  • ||

    I got the laser photo just for the articles.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Gillespie's hot blooded italian sass runs too hot and flies too fast for things such as editorial review.

  • Michael Hihn||

    He lost credibility years ago, mostly just another suckup to the right.

    Per the only brand survey (Cato's), there are two separate libertarians. My labels: Nolan and Movement.

    Nolans are 60% of the voters, Cato says 91% of them reject the libertarian label. 45-60,000 are in elected local office, engaged with their communities. An estimated 150-250,000 activist/supporters have various degrees of engagement.

    Movement libertarians are 5,5%, with virtually no community engagement, totally ignore the libertarian majority, often ridicule the any thought of getting elected so have no viable policy solutions. Voters are eager for even radical change, but they have only "libertarian ideas" (slogans). And the clock is ticking.

    The Libertarian Moment sees Movement libertarians reading Reason to track the progress of Nolan libertarians. Yes, politics is a lagging indicator. Nolan libertarians are light years ahead of Movement libertarians, and moving the ball.

    "An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense," huffed Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine last week. "And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing" because "sources close to Comey" said the president-elect asked the FBI director for his "personal loyalty." What unemotional analysis.

    What dishonest reporting. Trump admits firing Comey, in part over the Russian connection. But facts are no longer found in the tribal caves of Reason and Fox.

  • MarkLastname||

    Interacting with you is as close as one can get to being Bill Murray from Groundhog Day.

  • Michael Hihn||

    AGAIN? Marklastname has been stalking me for nine months. Here's why. (lol)

    proof Pasted:

    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Wait for it ...
    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices." Page 6.
    Repeats short-term transition costs" bullshit
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    Your turn, Mark. And provide sources like I do.

    He never did. But I'm still being punished for calling him out.
    Cyber-bully aggression

  • Michael Hihn||

    Corrected links

    Cato survey http://bitly.com/1AGaBU7

    FICA Revenues (page 10) http://bitly.com/1AGaBU7

  • Elias Fakaname||

    A lot of us comment on the same articles and threads. That doesn't necessarily make him obsessed with you, or anyone else in particular.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You sound just like Bill Murray on Groundhog Day.

  • MarkLastname||

    You screwed up the links in your first post and you just posted the same thing twice in your 'correction', which makes no mention of social security.

    And this has little to do with sources. It's a pretty simple question: how exactly do you imagine the government can provide a better rate of return than the market? Because the only way it can sustainable do so is to consistently increase revenue (taxes) faster than the economy is growing; which isn't really sustainable as eventually the state becomes 100% of the economy.

    See, there's another word for private social security: it's called saving the money you for your own retirement. There's no magic mechanism by which the state can turn over an investment with a higher return than the average private securities. But keep fetishizing the perennial fiscal genius of the state, it's totally what real libertarians do.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (posted in defense of repeated aggression)
    Sniveling anti-gubmint goober, when his aggression is called out as BULLSHIT ...
    ... FAILS TO DELIVER

    how exactly do you imagine the government can provide a better rate of return than the market

    PATHETIC
    YOU claim privatizing Social Security is viable.
    YOU say you'll provide how to, when I show they're just manipulating you gullible goobers.
    I jam it up your ass.
    You claim I defended Social Security????? SHAME ON YOU.

    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

    I DELIVERED

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

    See, there's another word for private social security: it's called saving the money you for your own retirement.

    FAIL. HOW DO YOU GET THERE?

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP

    But keep fetishizing the perennial fiscal genius of the state, it's totally what real libertarians do.

    PATHETIC,

    HOW IS IT VIABLE????

    And you just posted the same thing twice in your 'correction', which makes no mention of social security.

    HINT FOR LIARS
    When I say "Corrected Links, " Why would I have to mention Social Security again

    HOW IS IT VIABLE?

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP

    STOP STALKING ME

  • LarryA||

    "Andrew" is what Anthony named it.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And into my car.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Does Trump really have a Bad Comb-over ? Honestly, I haven't been able to tell what he is doing with his hair. Originally I thought it was a bad wig, glued in place. Then, I thought his barber just hated him. Now......I don't know what to think.

  • ||

    My theory is that he has a bald spot on top and that he grows the front really long to comb it back over the bald spot.

    And I hate that I have a theory.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'm actually pretty sure it's his back hair that he stretches over his head with two sided tape.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    It's one of life's great mysteries.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Is that why Robby .... ?

    No, can't be.

  • Whahappan?||

    Well, as Bill Gates, who's worth $87 billion, taught us, a good haircut costs $88 billion.

  • Finchster||

    calls for his impeachment started flying faster than Andrew Weiner dick pics at a Girl Scout cookout.

    Pretty sure you mean "Anthony" Weiner.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Anthony, Schmanthony, same diff...

  • B.P.||

    Who the hell is Andrew Weiner?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Carlos Danger.

  • Jerry on the sea||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And the nearly 99% of the rest of the media blitz is not Trump Derangement Syndrome?

    Its TDS all the way down.

  • Michael Hihn||

    What about MDS. Media Derangement Syndrome? Tribal partisanship has three faces.

  • MarkLastname||

    At least with all these derangement syndromes everyone else can calm down, wake up tomorrow, and be sane; no matter what however tomorrow Mike Hihn will wake up and still have advanced syphilis.

  • Michael Hihn||

    AGAIN? Marklastname has been stalking me for nine months. Two on this page. Here's what triggered the snowflake THEN.. )

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Wait for it ...

    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices."

    http: //reason. com/ blog/2016/08/19/are- attitudes-about-discrimination -and-g#comment_6350073
    (connect spaces)
    Repeats "short-term" nonsense
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    STILL your turn, Mark. Provide sources like I do.


    He never did. But I'm still being punished for ... knowing my stuff.
    Cyber-bully (with childish insult)

  • Michael Hihn||

    AGAIN? Marklastname has been stalking me for nine months. Two on this page. Here's what triggered the snowflake THEN.. )

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Wait for it ...

    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices."

    http: //reason. com/ blog/2016/08/19/are- attitudes-about-discrimination -and-g#comment_6350073
    (connect spaces)
    Repeats "short-term" nonsense
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    STILL your turn, Mark. Provide sources like I do.


    He never did. But I'm still being punished for ... knowing my stuff.
    Cyber-bully (with childish insult)

  • notJoe||

    Why are you commenting here? Don't you have to open your Grand Elected Dumbfuck office for business? How will your constituents get the help they need if you're wasting time stalking people on Reason?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hmm, should I pay attention to anyone who confuses aggression with self-defense?
    As he commits aggression himself?
    With the potty mouth common to most cyber-bullies?
    Nah.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I link to PROOF that Marklastname has been stalking me since last August. (sneer)
    And I forgot that self-defense is not tolerated by the gang.

  • MarkLastname||

    I bet you think the mailman is stalking you too. Ever notice how he walks by your house almost every day? Can't be coincidence.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (posted in response to 8 months of PROVEN aggression)

    I bet you think the mailman is stalking you too. Ever notice how he walks by your house almost every day? Can't be coincidence.

    I proved it ... jammed it up your ass ... 8 months ago

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

    EIGHT MONTHS AGO ....
    i CALLED YOU OUT AS ANOTHER BRAINWASHED ANTI-GUBMINT GOOBER ... PROVED IT.
    AND YOU'RE STILL STALKING AND PUNISHING ME.

    STOP STALKING ME

    NO MORE AGGRESSION

  • Michael Hihn||

    I bet you think the mailman is stalking you too.

    (snort)

    Ever notice how he walks by your house almost every day?

    He doesn't throw grenades at my house for nine months, fuckwad. Or 19 aggression on this page alone.

    Can't be coincidence.

    Keep proving me correct about you.

  • Deven||

    Hey, didn't you defend Canada's single payer healthcare system? Why are you here lecturing actual libertarians?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hey, didn't you defend Canada's single payer healthcare system?

    I attack it MUCH more than Reason does, and frequently. Largely because I know it better, and I don't publish bullshit about "successful" tax cuts up there, which wound up killing Canadians and CAUSING the long lines with people dying on waiting lists of a year or more, in a system that was ruled an unconstitutional. Reason played to the goobers with phony reporting on spending cuts, both here and in Canada

    Why are you here lecturing actual libertarians?

    So you're saying that "actual" libertarians (which you also don't understand) suffer Media Derangement Syndrome? And you defend it?. While claiming to speak for "real" libertarians?

    Back to healthcare. This is a link to my campaign for Washington State Insurance Commissioner for .... the Libertarian Party.... based entirely on ..... free-market healthcare!!! Read my answers to the candidate statements. (I had also been the Executive Director of the state party -- the first paid state Director.

    Then read just the article summaries under Heallth Care, in the web archive of my published political writing. My free-market op-eds were first published in the early 1980s.

    Anything else?

  • notJoe||

    There's some good stuff in your archive. If you could tone down the name-calling, boldface self-quoting and self-aggrandisement (and drop the damn hit list) your posts would probably carry a lot of weight here.

    And apologies for the dumbfuck stuff. It's just that you argue like a loon on these forums.

    (Going to read more of your stuff over lunch.)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Look back and you'll see that I am responding to aggression. Every time.
    What the fuck is a hit list?
    Might you have everything backwards?
    Glad you liked. 20+ years ago I couldn't sell any of that to conservative or libertarian publications?

  • Whahappan?||

    Liar. You started out on this site with profanity laden insults and smug condescension. You're a thin-skinned hypocrite and a humorless douche.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (yawn)

  • MarkLastname||

    *thin-skinned* just begins to describe our pal Mike. If commenting on his rambling posts is 'aggression' in his febrile mind, I imagine sneezing in his vicinity is something he considers attempted murder. Sticking a bugger under a table at a restaurant must be practically genocide.

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR AGGRESSION?? Marklastname has been stalking me for 9 months. 7 on this pager). THIS triggered the snowflake THEN.

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Here's mine! (lol)..

    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices."

    http: //reason. com/ blog/2016/08/19/are- attitudes-about-discrimination -and-g#comment_6350073 (connect spaces)
    Repeats short-term transition costs bullshit
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    STILL your turn, Mark. Provide sources like I do.

    He never did. But I'm still being punished for calling him out.
    A cyber-bully (with childish insults)

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR AGGRESSION?? Marklastname has been stalking me for 9 months. 7 on this pager). THIS triggered the snowflake THEN.

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Here's mine! (lol)..

    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices."

    http: //reason. com/ blog/2016/08/19/are- attitudes-about-discrimination -and-g#comment_6350073
    (connect spaces)
    Repeats short-term transition costs bullshit
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    STILL your turn, Mark. Provide sources like I do.

    He never did. But I'm still being punished for calling him out.
    A cyber-bully (with childish insults)

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Look, we've got something. We haven't had a decent presidential scandal in 9 years. Let us have our fun.

  • ThomasD||

    My only criticism is rather Tha recusal Sessions should have done this from go.

  • Deven||

    I don't think there is anything actually there. If Sessions and Team Trump thought it would get this far from the beginning, they probably would have taken the political hit of appointing a special prosecutor much earlier.

    My whole problem with the Russia/Trump thing is that if Russia WERE trying to mess with our election, why in the heck would they need Trump? It is not like Clinton didn't provide all the rope. What could Trump possibly have provided the Russians?

  • dantheserene||

    Deven- that's an excellent point, with all the leverage the Russians have on Hillary she would have been a much better plant.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Sessions should give the democrats the finger and say 'nothing to see here'. Then close any remaining investigations. After the initial outcry, he should empanel grand jury's against most of the Obama administration. When the left starts rioting nationally, declare martial law in the right spots and lock those assholes up too.

    Hilarity would ensue.

  • 0x90||

    If he's impeached, then we get Hillary, right?

  • DOOMco||

    That's what some people I know think will happen.

  • Meh.||

    Very well-written, thank you.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    It's too late. Both tribal bands of statist douchebags would sell the country down the river to hold on to their power. C'mon, they gave us Trump and the Hag.

    Now it's just about who can sell their respective free shit menu to the most people. Anyone with half a brain can see where it's going. One can only hope the implosion just takes out DC.

  • ||

    ^ This.

    A year ago today, I harbored hope that the 2016 election would be so absurd that it would shake people out of their dualistic partisanship.

    Instead, basically everyone I know simply doubled down. I guess once you've drunk the "it's all the fault of the other team" Flavor-Aid, the stupider things get, the more convinced you are of your conclusion.

  • NOMAGA||

    Good piece.

    PS This is a test comment.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Hey kid, this lawn *vaguely points at nothing* stay off it!

  • sparkstable||

    I think the historical demand for "more" from our politicians is the problem we face now... Not the solution of tomorrow.

    I want them to spend LESS of my money on welfare and warfare. I want them to spend LESS time coming up with ways to run (or better... ruin) my life. I want them having LESS influence on future generations via state education camps. The LESS they do... The more of a screw up it's OK for them to be. It's fine if the kid pushing a broom can't read, write, or think critically. It's a bit of a problem if the heads of an organization can't.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Then turn all that into specific policy proposals. 90% of what government provides is what people want -- and most of it was provided better in the market. But SAYING that is about as useless as tits on a boar hog.

    Here's Ayn Rand, with all her no-compromise rigidity, on the concept of her time. Pure logic.

    "Voluntary taxation will be the last step, not the first step toward a free society"

    "Any program of voluntary government financing is the last, not the first, step on the road to a free society - the last, not the first, reform to advocate. ... It would work only when the basic principles and institutions of a free society have been established. It would not work today."

    "Any program of voluntary government financing has to be regarded as a goal for a distant future. What the advocates of a fully free society have to know, at present, is only the principle by which that goal can be achieved."

    Virtue of Sewlfishness, Chapter 15. GovernmentFinancing in a free society (1964)

    Even Rand knew that first we must change the culture.
    Except for Tribal Libertarians who think they can run a dick-tatorship with their 2% of Americans!

  • MarkLastname||

    The fact that you systematically ignore the countless specific policy proposals from Reason, Cato, the Indepent Institute, Fraser Institute, Adam Smith Institute, about a dozen novel prize winning economists and many more (go read econlib, or Kohn Cochrane's blog, or Alt-M, or listen to econtalk, or David Beckworth's podcast...) coming out every single day on healthcare, tax, trade, regulatory, and monetary policy and other topics is not anyone else's fault, it's yours.

    Plenty of people much smarter than you write and speak a great deal and in great detail. That you continue to repeat this same pathetic complaint is only evidence of the indefatigable persistence of your own willfull ignorance.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Name one, Sparky.

  • MarkLastname||

    Um, I literally just named a bunch. Go read George Selgin's recommendations for NGDP targeting and reforming how the Fed does open market operations so they're not limited to a small cabal of primary treasury dealers; as well as removing restrictions on private currency, all good ideas for monetary policy. On trade, it's simple; eliminate trade restrictions. Not much nuance is necessary. Unilateral free trade. Read John Goodman's (not the actor, the economist) book on healthcare policy, I'm not going to recount the whole thing (it's only a hundred and some pages anyway, quick read).

    Now, queue Mike's profound ability to selectively ignore words and sentences that contradict his delirium. You're like someone who keeps ordering things off the menu at a restaurant and after each meal comes out declares "I asked for food! not chicken/pizza/fries/etc.! Food! There's no food here!"

  • Michael Hihn||

    Name one, Sparky.

    Um, I literally just named a bunch.

    MORE BULLSHIT You named authors and vague descriptions. More babble

    Go read George Selgin's recommendations for NGDP targeting and reforming how the Fed does open market operations so they're not limited to a small cabal of primary treasury dealers; as well as removing restrictions on private currency, all good ideas for monetary policy.

    PROMISED "SPECIFIC POLICY PROPOSALS (sneer)

    Read John Goodman's (not the actor, the economist) book on healthcare policy, I'm not going to recount the whole thing (it's only a hundred and some pages anyway, quick read).

    The same John Goodman I had to correct you on where he is
    YOU PROMISED SPECIFIC POLICY PROPOSALS ... NINE MONTHS AGO.

    i DELIVERED --- CALLED YOU OUT --- PUT UP OR SHUT UP.

    STOP STALKING ME

  • Michael Hihn||

    MORE BULLSHIT AND FAILS

    These are the specific policy proposals Marklastname said he could provide ... has FAILED for nine months ... and attacks me as a stalker for DEFENDING MYSELF FROM HIS AGGRESSION (NOW PROVEN AS BULLSHIT)

    I want them to spend LESS of my money on welfare and warfare. I want them to spend LESS time coming up with ways to run (or better... ruin) my life. I want them having LESS influence on future generations via state education camps. The LESS they do... The more of a screw up it's OK for them to be. It's fine if the kid pushing a broom can't read, write, or think critically. It's a bit of a problem if the heads of an organization can't.

    LIES, FAILS AND DIVERSIONS.CONTINUE

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/08.....nt_6350073

    To be fair ... MOST cyber-bullies are as wacky as this. ATTACK., ATTACK. ATTACK
    The new McCarthyism

  • Michael Hihn||

    MORE BULLSHIT AND FAILS

    These are the specific policy proposals Marklastname said he could provide ... has FAILED for nine months ... and attacks me as a stalker for DEFENDING MYSELF FROM HIS AGGRESSION (NOW PROVEN AS BULLSHIT)

    I want them to spend LESS of my money on welfare and warfare. I want them to spend LESS time coming up with ways to run (or better... ruin) my life. I want them having LESS influence on future generations via state education camps. The LESS they do... The more of a screw up it's OK for them to be. It's fine if the kid pushing a broom can't read, write, or think critically. It's a bit of a problem if the heads of an organization can't.

    LIES, FAILS AND DIVERSIONS.CONTINUE

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/08.....nt_6350073

    To be fair ... MOST cyber-bullies are as wacky as this. ATTACK., ATTACK. ATTACK
    The new McCarthyism

  • Michael Hihn||

    AGAIN? Marklastname has been stalking me for nine months. Three on this page. Here's what triggered the snowflake THEN.. )

    8:22.16 @ 7.08am
    MarkLastname
    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I'll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.
    Wait for it ...

    Cato's privatization hustle
    Workers would keep/invest their 6.2% FICA share. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but "a one-time event"
    … Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

    "Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year."
    ... Versus $410 billion!

    And how to pay for it is not Cato's job anyhow!
    "There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices."

    http: //reason. com/ blog/2016/08/19/are- attitudes-about-discrimination -and-g#comment_6350073
    (connect spaces)
    Repeats "short-term" nonsense
    $410B loss is 50% FICA revenues Page 10 All revenues budgeted to benefits, losses decline as seniors die off..

    STILL your turn, Mark. Provide sources like I do.


    He never did. But I'm still being punished for ... knowing my stuff.
    Cyber-bully (with childish insult)

  • BYODB||

    I read this in an Alex Jones voice, and it was perfect.


    Well said in most respects Nick, I didn't see much bullshitting in this article.

  • ||

    Well said in most respects Nick, I didn't see much bullshitting in this article.

    While this is an unusually more level-headed piece from Nick...

    When the Republicans moved to impeach Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, it was the same thing

    I don't know what Nick's definition of 'same thing' is but I have trouble pointing to or naming the Russians that Trump victimized the way I can list;

    Gennifer Flowers
    Monica Lewinsky
    Juanita Broadderick
    Paula Jones

    Off the top of my head.

    Not to say that Clinton deserved impeachment, but the literal equivocation is pretty shitty. Trump, Clinton, Cosby, Pistorius... same thing.

  • ||

    Yeah - "same thing" is strong, but I can see what he's getting at. The 90s Republicans were hell-bent on impeaching Clinton for something, because (in fairness) they knew he was shameless crook and sincerely thought it was only a matter of time before he stumbled and they could get him.

    Over the course of the 90s you could feel them getting more and more obsessed with cornering him on anything they could turn impeachable, and they eventually did.

    But it's important to note that Clinton actually did commit perjury and actually did harm the people you point to.

    Democrats have been calling for Trump's impeachment since before inauguration, and they don't seem to feel like they even need a crime to accuse him of. He's impeachable because he's icky.

  • Bubba Jones||

    And he was disbarred

    But honestly I think it is pretty vile that he was banging an employee. Especially in light of the accusations from Arkansas. There is no reason to think that was truly consensual.

    Didn't JFK have women brought to him?

  • MarkLastname||

    i don't think it's fair to assume he raped them; it's just as hypocritical to go all #listenandbelieve the moment a democrat is accused the same way feminist rediscover health skepticism the moment it's convenient for them.

    Sure it was unethical, but there's scant evidence he, or Donald Trump, assaulted anyone.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I think Bill Clinton is a serial date rapist. Going back to at least his undergrad days in college.

  • Microaggressor||

    #ClintonLiedNobodyDied

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Vince Foster would like to have a word with you.

  • Bubba Jones||

    They misspelled Rape on those bumper stickers.

  • ||

    The problem is actually the opposite and is the main reason why I disliked Gillespie's use of the word. He's using the word same when, in lots of different senses, he knows and means 'similar' or 'not the same'.

    H. W. Bush lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. (Read my lips..., etc.) -> Not Rape.
    Clinton lying to influence women and staffers to have sex with him. -> (I did not have sexual relations..., etc.) -> Not Rape.
    W. Bush lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. -> (US should not nation build, etc.) -> Not Rape.
    Obama lying to influence the electorate to vote for him. -> (Day 1, close Gitmo..., etc.) -> Not Rape.
    Trussians (Am I doing this right?) lying to influence to influence the electorate to vote for him. (Take your pick..., etc.) -> Not Rape*.

    *Except in this case, despite full acknowledgement that it doesn't rise to Watergate or even Iran-Contra levels, when I say it I mean it's a crime worth at least investigating.

    Maybe Nick has framed things such that when/if Trump actually does bungle something to the point of prima facia conviction, Reason will be able to actually sound reasonable on the matter. I don't think they're there yet and Clinton Lies = Trump Lies isn't a move in the right direction.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Except a bunch of Serbs.

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah, but they were Christians and we were helping the mooslims, so that doesn't count.

  • Fancylad||

    The employees at Al-Shifa may disagree with you. Funny how the bombing coincided with a stained dress appearing in the press.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Do you know what else is best read in an Alex Jones voice?

  • Michael Hihn||

    The Martians imprisoned in Roswell New Mexico?

  • gclancy51||

    Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"?

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    I kept waiting for the "libertarian moment" paragraph, and was not disappointed

    The rest was excellent though

  • ||

    Pretty much my only takeaway was that Gillespie thinks we're living the Libertarian Moment by delaying the kickstarting of the 21st Century.

  • MarkLastname||

    I think his point was that technological and economic progress have rendered us practically freer despite political stagnation or regression. I guess the question is who's freer: someone who can fly anywhere in the world in a few hours for a few hundred bucks but needs a license to braid hair, or someone from a different time who could perform a lobotomy without a license but couldn't afford with 5 years wages to travel to the next country over over 6 weeks and with a high likelihood of dying along the way.

  • MarkLastname||

    I think his point was that technological and economic progress have rendered us practically freer despite political stagnation or regression. I guess the question is who's freer: someone who can fly anywhere in the world in a few hours for a few hundred bucks but needs a license to braid hair, or someone from a different time who could perform a lobotomy without a license but couldn't afford with 5 years wages to travel to the next country over over 6 weeks and with a high likelihood of dying along the way.

  • Michael Hihn||

    C'mon get real. Don't be such a negative Nellie.
    If the sun comes up tomorrow, THAT will also PROVE a libertarian moment.

  • Sigivald||

    "An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense," huffed Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine last week. "And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing" because "sources close to Comey" said the president-elect asked the FBI director for his "personal loyalty."

    Let us assume, arguendo, that those "sources" are completely accurate in this.

    Unless Sullivan can be bothered to quote the actual statute he thinks applies, he's talking BS.

    The likely bets are in Title 18 of the US Code, sections 1505 and 1510 ... and neither of them seems to apply (the rest of Chapter 73 doesn't seem remotely applicable to any accusations at hand).

    A broad demand for "personal loyalty" cannot possibly be "obstruction of justice" under either of those sections of Title 18, if only because it doesn't specifically demand any action.

    It may be unsavory, but it simply isn't remotely illegal.

  • ||

    It may be unsavory, but it simply isn't remotely illegal.

    Arguably abrogates his 1A rights as a person.

    If the tables were turned and the FBI or intelligence community were believed to be beholden to Russian (or other) influences, the ability of the President to at least ask people if they were personally on his side (without instruction, demand, or request for action) would be unquestionably legal.

    You may suggest that he was demanding that Comey kiss the ring, but without an explicit attempt to make him do so it's all assumption of guilt.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Kinda like whipping out your penis and asking Monica if she is your friend?

  • Michael Hihn||

    t may be unsavory, but it simply isn't remotely illegal.

    It may be difficult, but TRY to wean yourself from Reason, Fox, Breitbart and Infowars.

    The source for what Trump really admitted was his own mouth. (Who tells Nick?)
    1) He admitted firing Comey because of the Russian Investigation -- which means the general gist of Comey's notes were confirmed by Trump. Technically, Trump could have fired him for that WITHOUT first asking him to drop that investigation, but for a known bully, what are the odds?

    2) His betrayal of an ally (apparently Israel) by giving their secrets to a Russian spy was, in order
    * Trump's staff dened it even happened, including his National Security Adviser, who said he was in the room.
    * Trump threw everyone under the bus, saying he DID share secrets (that weren't ours) with Russia, that he had every right to and that he wanted to, (Funnier than who's idea it was to fire Comey?)
    * In the laugh riot of the century, Putin calls Trump a liar!! Guarantees there was nothing exchanged and he has a transcript ... written, not tape. (OMG)

    The US media was not allowed to see a meeting that included a Russian spy. but the Russian media was invited. So Trump's media event was solely for the Russians.

    Did I mention Trump admitted it? Now tell us how many allies will be willing to share their Intel with us now?
    And I thought Obama screwed our standing in the world. :-(

  • ||

    And I thought Obama screwed our standing in the world. :-(

    Get your narrative straight, it was Boooosh. Obumbles was supposed to fix it and didn't. As near as I can tell, of the three, Trump is the only one behaving *precisely* according to *everyones'* expectations.

    None of us have/had any idea which exact pieces of china were going to get smashed to bits but the bull is pretty definitively resolving previous debates over whether we put the china by the door and the impulse items by the register or vice versa.

    While doubtful, ideally, everyone learns that the government shouldn't have nice things.

  • Michael Hihn||

  • Michael Hihn||

    You missed the smiley.

    Trump is the only one behaving *precisely* according to *everyones'* expectations.

    Yep. An authoritarian and serial liar, who thought running a small family business would qualify him to run America, which he confessed is a lot harder than he thought.

    And since the topic is our standing in the world, Trump is a catastrophe there too.

  • damikesc||

    2) His betrayal of an ally (apparently Israel) by giving their secrets to a Russian spy was, in order

    His predecessor gave Russia the serial numbers and locations of Trident missiles we sold to the UK.

    The UK was not amused.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Here's a more accurate source. England's nuclear force is far too small to be a deterrent to Russia.. But the strategic comparison is a lot more complex, at that link. And Obama did it in the open, part of negotiating a new START Treaty.

  • Constitutioniscool||

    Damn right, these Trump deranged pushers should be eating crow.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You must still be butthurt over Ted Cruz losing the primaries.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (spits coffee onto keyboard from outburst of laughing)

  • Constitutioniscool||

    First, they came for the authoritarian. I said nothing and we all lived happily ever after.

  • chemjeff||

    Now now Gillespie. You are supposed to take your marching orders from your pals at the Georgetown cocktail parties. Why aren't you on the IMPEACH TRUMPHITLER train??? You're risking an invite to next weekend's mega-cocktail-party extravaganza! I hear Lena Dunham will be there.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I hear Lena Dunham will be there.

    Man, last time you said that it just turned out to be Crusty without his wig on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This piece is fantastic. I love seeing this from Reason. More Gillespie is better.

    "If we are going to survive not just the Trump years but eventually get around to kick-starting the 21st century, we're going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press."

    I would love to read some perspective from journalists here at Reason who have earned my trust over the years--like Gillespie and Welch, et. al about why the media's response to consumers has been so lame in recent years.

    I've linked to that Galllup poll showing that the average American's opinion of the news media and its credibility had fallen to 32% support as of a month before the last election when Trump won--an 8% drop just over the course of the the campaign alone. It was at an all time low since Gallup had started polling on that question about the media. That number was once as high as 76% of the people who said they trusted the news media to tell them the truth.

    You couldn't stay in business as a restaurant with that kind of drop from your customers, and it's even worse these days, what with people able to tailor their news sources to their tastes. You can watch MSNBC if you're a progressive or a liberal or you can watch whatever is passing for conservatives over at Fox News if that's your inclination. So the media isn't just losing credibility with the people who disagree with them--they're losing it with the people who agree with them!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just for the record, . . .

    "WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' trust and confidence in the mass media "to report the news fully, accurately and fairly" has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year."

    ----Gallup

    http://tinyurl.com/hda5s4u

    Who the hell can take that kind of customer satisfaction and keep going like it isn't really happening?

    Over at ESPN, I hear they've made a conscious decision to skew more progressive now. Do they just not care about ratings anymore?

  • chemjeff||

    "Over at ESPN, I hear they've made a conscious decision to skew more progressive now. Do they just not care about ratings anymore?"

    Of course they care about ratings. But they don't care about the ratings of people who won't watch them anyway. ESPN, *like all the others*, is transforming into a niche media outlet. They are going to be the "Progressive Place for Sports" (evidently). Maybe Fox Sports can become the "Real Murican Place for Real Murican Sports" or something.

  • damikesc||

    Of course they care about ratings. But they don't care about the ratings of people who won't watch them anyway.

    Because when you think "sports programming viewer", SJW snowflake is what you think.

    Just like SJW snowflakes certainly helped Marvel out when they decided to cock up their comics for their benefit.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Is it caused by the media degenerating? Or by the rejection of partisan tribalism by a growing majority of the electorate. The more independent we become, the harder it is to stomach the swill from Fox opinion shows. Likewise MSNBC.

    Fox published a hysterical attack on the "partisan cowards" and fake media. So Trump threw them under a bus too (like his own staff) when he bragged about sharing the Intel, that he wanted to and that he had every power to do so,

    And, of course, Putin said he could probe Trump is a liar. Last I saw, Foxtards were reporting it as vindication and proof that Trump never did ,.. what Trump said he did! Do their readers/viewers even know Trump is now proud that he did it????

    Is all this a skit on Monty Python, by writers who were high on cocaine?

    Left minus Right still equals Zero.

  • Robert||

    Actually Mr. Gillespie spent the past ~6 yrs. losing my trust & esteem in him, which used to be high, but everybody else suddenly shot past him on the way down over the past yr., like maybe they have less wind resistance. I was all like, is the Jacket strangling one of my favorite HyR bloggers? Let the real Nick loose! Until I got used to it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Amen. Remember, among other rightwing propaganda, he says that huge postwar spending cuts were the "stimulus" for the postwar boom .. which can only be said from deep inside a partisan cave..

    Hysterically, Keynesian guru, Paul Krugman, says the postwar boom is proof that 91% tax rates don't damage the economy, and huge deficit spending during the war "primed the pump" for the boom.

    So, WTF? The large tax cuts are a fact. So were the 91% tax rates. Now back to the hacks.
    Gillespie says we had a boom, when tax rates were 91%, likely triggered by wartime deficit spending
    And Krugman says we had a boom after massive SPENDING cuts.
    Only one can be correct. Is it Gillespie or Krugman?

    Welcome to Orwell's Newspeak .... There was no postwar boom! Instead we suffered five back-to-back recession in only 16 years ...and Kennedy's 1961 SOTU details how we had fallen from the only industrial base after the war, to "among the slowest" in economic growth.

    On our side, the "boom" is "proven" by bullshit GDP data from Mercatus
    Orwell was off a bit on the year. This is1984. And there's more than one party doing mind control.

  • tomoehler||

    Nice job on this one Nick.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, why isn't the media changing to reflect consumer tastes?

    Is it because Fox and MSNBC and CNN, etc. are basically glamor projects these days--where the money doesn't really matter? Sort of like having a huge house, a trophy wife, or the world's biggest yacht--who cares if it doesn't make money?

    Is it because you can draw a tiny share on cable news and still make a profit because of the way cable can charge fees for channels most people never watch?

    Is there another industry besides news where customer satisfaction numbers matter less?

    If 68% of your customers don't believe anything you tell them, how do you stay in business? Why don't they change and just pile on more and more TDS instead?

  • chemjeff||

    IMO that's not it.

    The media HAS changed to reflect consumer tastes. Everyone has their own niche media source now. The market responded to liberals who didn't want to read good things about conservatives, and to conservatives who didn't want to read good things about liberals, and each segregated away from each other.

    I think the opinion polls about the media are kinda like the opinion polls about Congress. People consistently give Congress low ratings but then they also consistently re-elect the same shitbags over and over. So what they probably mean is, Congress overall sucks, but THEIR representative is fine. It's everybody else's Congresscritters which are the problem. So when people give the media low ratings, what they might mean is, the reporting overall sucks, but THEIR particular niche media source is fine. It's all of the other media outlets that are the problem.

  • ||

    ^ I think this is basically right.

    It's like the way people pretty much universally agree that they themselves pay too much in taxes, but that people richer than themselves should pay more. The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is often simply which of these two notions is closer to your heart.

    My congress critter has his priorities in line. Yours keeps trying to steal my money.

  • Microaggressor||

    Indeed. Consumers don't want objective reporting. They want Team Good SLAMS Team Evil over their proposal to throw babies out of windows.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So it's not my news that's the problem--it's everybody else?

    I can see that.

    I used to feel that way about Reason until it started feeling like the TDS was so bad . . . like Gillespie effectively defending Trump. Gillespie doesn't want to defend Trump. Gillespie would much rather be skewering him. Trump sucks in all sorts of anti-libertarian ways. But when everybody starts piling on him for absurd things, . . .

    It's like when the torture/Abu Ghraib story broke. I don't want to defend terrorists! I didn't think it was possible to make me--effectively--defend terrorists. Then the Bush administration starts torturing them, denying American citizens their Fifth Amendment rights, etc., etc.

    No, Trump isn't a terrorist, but the principle is the same. There are so many legitimate things they could go after Trump for. Why not pick one of them?

    The answer is TDS.

  • chemjeff||

    "There are so many legitimate things they could go after Trump for. Why not pick one of them?

    The answer is TDS."

    IMO that is too simplistic an answer.

    Not everyone agrees on what constitutes "legitimate". To a lot of people, apparent "Russian collusion to throw the election" is a legitimate topic of concern. Personally I think the evidence is thin for this line of inquiry. BUT, since everyone has their own niche media sources now, they all have their own bubbles of information. If your particular media bubble had daily/hourly breathless stories about RUSSIAN COLLUSION, you might be forgiven if you conclude that there must be something to this story - because you see it all over the place in your little bubble. It's the same thing on the right. Before the election, there were a lot of people on the right who were CONVINCED that Hillary had some serious health problem. Why? Because they saw it EVERYWHERE in their media bubbles. A great many of the right-wing sites had daily "Hillary health issues" stories, even before her fainting spell on 9/11. So to them, talking about Hillary's health is "legitimate".

  • ThomasD||

    It also ignores the reality that Russia/the USSR has been influencing elections for decades.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Dems convinced their audience that Russians literally hacked the voting machines

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The nature of the Russian "collusion" is no different than the nature of the Access Hollywood collusion.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Understand what I'm talking about when I'mtalking about TDS.

    Whether or not we should coordinate with Putin on ISIS in Syria like we coordinated with Stalin on the Japanese in China is a legitimate policy question. If somebody wants to argue against it, do so. Don't bury it all under allegations of corruption with the Russians--that latter bit is TDS.

    If you want to go after Trump for wanting to build the wall or doing security checks on refugees, there are all sorts of legitimate ways to go after him on these issues. Don't compare deportation to the fugitive slave act or tell me about how Trump is racist--that's all TDS. Don't cite Trump's campaign rhetoric as justification for a stay on an executive order--that's TDS.

    I could go on and on--getting rid of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion is not the same as doing nothing at all, just because Trump endorses the plan? That's TDS. Don't tell me that Congress setting immigration policy is unconstitutional (despite it being an enumerated power of Congress) because Trump is suddenly involved.

    On and on and on and on . . .

    There are legitimate takes on these issues--that are never articulated under a mountain of TDS that only serves to make Trup seem credible by comparison.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Good point. In short "Trump sucks and is a big meanie!" Is not a policy position.

  • MarkLastname||

    What is also forgotten is that 'appealing to the audience' doesn't necessarily mean adopting the views of the audience. People love to hate their enemies. Plenty of conservatives watch/read more lefty news than righty news, and vice versa. Just read through a political story in the WaPo and see how many conservatives (and maybe some libertarians) there are who read it just to jump in and yell at the screen over it.

    Subscriptions are moribund as a means of revenue; it's all about views and clicks now, and to get those, inciting hatred as annoyance is as effective as inviting agreement.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Just read through a political story in the WaPo and see how many conservatives (and maybe some libertarians) there are who read it just to jump in and yell at the screen over it.

    You assume WaPo news is lefty! (OMG)
    Tribal bigots are actually a minority -- left and right combined.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...the last in a long line of bullies-who-will-tell-us-how-to-live that has no future.

    Gillespie, you're my favorite Pollyanna.

  • Gospace||

    Donald Trump, the least-liked president in the history of the United States?

    I do recall that after Lincoln was elected, he was so disliked that a number of states tried to leave the United States. Despite the current after the fact reverence we have for President Lincoln, I think Trump is at best a distant second.

    And I can point you out to some blogs where Trump is the most admired president and Lincoln is seen as evil personified....

  • Microaggressor||

    California wants to secede, and who are we to say no to that?

  • Ken Shultz||

    A third of Californians voted for Trump or Johnson.

    That's an awful lot of average working people you want to throw to the SJW wolves.

  • Nuwanda||

    California doesn't want to secede, only some citizens of California.

    You do understand the difference, right?

    And if CA seceded, what then if NorCal wanted to secede from that? Then Fresno from that? Lots of nice borders and duplication of government then, right?

    Or would we end up in state of anarchist bliss where all such entities magically disappeared as everyone seceded from everyone else?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Progressives are welcome to leave, but they get nothing. Not one fucking square inch of US soil.

  • ||

    Yeah - usually people modify that with "modern history" - i.e. since Teddy Roosevelt.

    Whenever people go in for the "worst" or "least-well-liked" President in history, I can't help but think

    "James Buchanan at the end of his term?"

    "Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore or James Tyler, whose own parties wouldn't even nominate them for re-election?"

    "Chester Arthur, who was so hated by his own cabinet that they all quit when Garfield died and he became president?"

    And these are just the uncontroversially bad ones. Is Trump even nearly the dangerously hot-headed tyrant that Andrew Jackson was?

  • ||

    John Tyler, that is. Our most memorable president.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    That first paragraph 10/10 XD

  • Laura T||

    I agree with Nick in the main. But this article could have used a good proofing before publication.

    I'd hate for some innocent man's dick pics to be at any Girl Scouts event. That's just wrong.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Listen, where I come from a jamboree is code for, "show everyone pictures of your penis."

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    This is why there are no libertarian women, Crusty.

  • paranoid android||

    So, uh, this seems significant:

    Special counsel appointed in Russia probe

    DOJ has appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate administration in a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Word on the street is Rosenstein is going rogue and basically gave the White House no heads up he was doing this.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Can you imagine how many heads will explode when Mueller tells the world that there is no collusion between Putin and Trump ?

  • MarkLastname||

    Actually I expect they will go apeshit and actually try for impeachment once they find out Trump and Putin exchanged potato salad recipes.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Can you imagine how many heads will explode when Mueller tells the world that there is no collusion between Putin and Trump ?

    Umm, doesn't have to be Putin.
    I thought only progtards, libtards, and whatever other zany names, were the only ones stating judgments from zero evidence, based on pure tribalism..

    Trump has already confessed to obstruction of justice -- the ego maniac -- firing Comey BECAUSE of the investigation. That could well mean his bullshit that Rosenstein advised the firing -- then his even crazier statement that he was gonna fire Comey anyhow - makes the original lie a coverup of the crime.

    Since all he's ever done is run a family business, he never developed any strategic or tactical chops ... which is why he keeps shooting himself in the foot.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Other word on the street is that Trump was fine with Mueller taking over, so I'd hold off on believing any "going rogue" stories for the time being.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The White House had an hour notice.
    Prolly not reported by Fox, Breitbart, Alex Jones and all the others fomenting rogue hysteria,

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The House has appointed a special counsel:

    Decision to appoint special counsel casts doubt on congressional plans for probes

    Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

  • khm001||

    Thanks for the reminder of what a worthless rag this magazine is. It's too tough for the wannabe teenager to write a straight piece on this important topic. Instead, he opts for strained attempts at snark, sarcasm, and humor, making the article unreadable.

  • eyeroller||

    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment
    we are living in a fundamentally Libertarian Moment

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This moment seems to never come, and it seems to never leave.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It will be interesting to see if the impeachment fever breaks. What a boring time we would be living in.

  • Jerryskids||

    Just remember Trump is first and foremost a troll. He'll always have some new inflammatory outrage to plop on your doorstep.

  • ThomasD||

    Trump is all stray voltage all the time.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's what's really weird about this. I'm utterly bored with politics and with the media. I suppose it would be a libertarian moment if the government would, well, stop.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You'll miss it when it's gone. Like Patton after WW2, when the libertarian moment arrives, you'll wish we kept marching into ancapland or whatever the relevant metaphor for the USSR would be.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Did Nick just tell to me to endeavor to persevere?

  • ThomasD||

    The time is always right for a Josey Wales reference.

  • Dunehunter||

    Can I hear an "amen"?

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Gave ya a nice piece of rockcandy, too.

  • creech||

    A week ago, many were outraged that Trump may have taped his conversations with Comey. By next week, the same people will be demanding that all presidential conversations be taped.

  • Number 2||

    Jeez, I forgot about the tapes. Are we headed for Trump's Tapes versus Comey's Memo?

  • Ron||

    I'm actually surprised that they don't tape everything already but then that would rule out plausible deniability

  • EscherEnigma||

    If Trump had an obvious camera in his office and told everyone that walked in "this conversation is being recorded" then it wouldn't be a problem. But secretly recording people without their consent? Best case, it's dishonest but necessary. Worst case, is a needless violation of rights.

    And in either case, thinking there's a chance of being recorded in what appears to be a private conversation will make most people hesitate to say things that need to be said.

  • MarkLastname||

    Is DC one party consent? And/or are there special rules about this for public officials.

    In any case, it's a game everyone can play. Other officials would probably follow suit and start recording (or threatening to record) conversations with each other, with Trump's aides, etc. I guess with everyone in the executive branch taking on the mentality of East German civilian living in fear of the Stasi, if nothing else everyone will be a lot more cautious with their words. Or they won't and it will be a lot of blackmail material floating around.

  • Michael Hihn||

    thinking there's a chance of being recorded in what appears to be a private conversation will make most people hesitate to say things that need to be said.

    Is DC one party consent? And/or are there special rules about this for public officials.

    Relevance???

  • Michael Ejercito||

    "The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo," explains the Paper of Record, "but one of Mr. Comey's associates read parts of it to a Times reporter."


    and yet, they did not ask for the copy, or better yet, ask Mr. Comey himself about the memo in question.

    Anyone wonder why they decided to go ahead with the story.

  • KBeckman||

    Because journalism is dead?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I suspect so.

  • wareagle||

    and that, in a nutshell, sums up perfectly why people have no faith in the media.

  • ||

    The hysterical herd of independent minds, who are crying the sky is falling, ought to read up on recent American history. I'm a retired baby boomer and Vietnam veteran. I know how bad things can really get. I served as a medical corpsman and the casualties just during the Tet Offensive of 1968 were more that those during the Iraq War. OK, Trump's presidency looks like a remake of "Mr Simth Goes to Washington" directed by David Lynch on an acid trip. I will grant you that. But nothing that has happened yet starts to come close to the chaos and civil unrest of the mid-sixties and early seventies. The times during which I grew up was a tragedy. This current era is more like history repeating itself as a farce. The theme music for this era could be R.E.M.'s classic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Baby boomer! Get him!!

  • chipper me timbers||

    Great comment Hoffman. Someone gets it.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Did you guys hear the reports that Trump is losing his shit and is throwing f-bombs left and right? That's the tape I would love to hear.

  • josh||

    The left thinking you're one of them is sometimes the price you pay, I guess, for thinking bad things about Trump.

  • DavidS-T||

    If the 2020 presidential race is between, say, David Duke and Zombie Gus Hall, Gillespie will say it's *still* the libertarian moment, and that 2020 (not 2016 after all!) is just the last election of the 20th century.

    He doesnt' even seem to get that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost was precisely because her speeches to Wall Street revealed her to be in sympathy with free trade and open borders--in other words, she lost very largely because of the issues on which she *agreed* with Gillespie (even if she had to play down these stances in public--which backfired because it added to her reputation as untrustworthy, but was prompted by a recognition that her real stances on those issues *were* in fact unpopular).

    But I am afraid that no evidence will ever be enough to disabuse Gillespie of the "libertarian moment" fantasy.

  • DavidS-T||

    If the 2020 presidential race is between, say, David Duke and Zombie Gus Hall, Gillespie will say it's *still* the libertarian moment, and that 2020 (not 2016 after all!) is just the last election of the 20th century.

    He doesnt' even seem to get that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost was precisely because her speeches to Wall Street revealed her to be in sympathy with free trade and open borders--in other words, she lost very largely because of the issues on which she *agreed* with Gillespie (even if she had to play down these stances in public--which backfired because it added to her reputation as untrustworthy, but was prompted by a recognition that her real stances on those issues *were* in fact unpopular).

    But I am afraid that no evidence will ever be enough to disabuse Gillespie of the "libertarian moment" fantasy.

  • DavidS-T||

    Sorry for accidentally posting this twice.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nick fails to take into account that the truth of the charges are irrelevant in our gaslighting politics.

    Comey made up an entirely new legal standard of intent to absolve Clinton. Besides not getting caught, just what did Hillary supposedly "not intend" when she set up a private server for all her State Department communications?

    The IRS targets over 1000 political opponents of the Obama Regime, and there's "not a smidgen of corruption".

    Bake me a fucking cake. It's been required in the constitution for 150 years, but people just missed it.

    Hey look, it's a penaltax! Government takeover of last vestiges of free market health care, *totally* constitutional.

    The Left started this a century ago with the Living Constitution (I speak for the Constitution, for the Constitution has no tongue!), and has gone full PoMo post truth propaganda.

    All that they need to impeach Trump is for enough GOPe and Never Trumpers to play along with a Kabuki Impeachment, they all vote that Trump is reincarnated Hitler, and they impeach him.

    Deep State, Media, entertainment, schools will all play along. Do you doubt it?

    Constitutions mean nothing without a commitment to honestly following them. They've been talking impeachment since the moment it was clear Trump won. With the Republicans split, there is a good chance it works.

    What they're not counting on, is for Trump to fight back *in kind*, and most of the people with guns supporting him.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    How did I know byebyeDavid would eventually get around to talking about his guns.
    Fucking nut-con. Go back to the Federalist and fap to your ammo pile with the other nut-cons.

  • Pi Guy||

    You know how some high-rise buildings skip the 13th floor and pretend there isn't a 13th floor? Apparently your copy of the Constitution does the same thing with #2.

    You can't just pretend that the right keep and bear arms doesn't exist because you think guns are icky.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, but no rights are absolute. Do they still teach that in high school?
    Even Scalia wrote that (in effect) in a SCOTUS ruling. (defended bans on "assault weapons" as an originalist - militia members grabbed their normal home rifle, say a hunting rifle. Scalia).

    Unalienable rights cannot be denied or disparaged for any reason. Thus, none can be superior to any others, Life, Liberty Pursuit of Happiness and all the others -- precisely equal.
    -
    "There is no free speech right to yell fire in a crowded theater" - ruling
    "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." - example

  • Lawn Darts||

    "Even Scalia wrote that (in effect) in a SCOTUS ruling. (defended bans on "assault weapons" as an originalist - militia members grabbed their normal home rifle, say a hunting rifle. Scalia)."

    I beg to differ with Justice Scalia then. They grabbed their "rifle in common use at the time." When I bought my "assault weapon" in the 1980s, the manual maintained that it was called the "Colt Sporter." It may be a dull green in color, and look shorter than many rifles, but it functions in precisely the same way as every other semi auto firearm on planet earth. Nothing could be more common. Renaming something is a newspeak trick. Pure marketing.

    Just to clear than up.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The main point, of course, was that gun rights are not absolute, because no fundamental rights can be absolute.

    I have no idea what you're saying. You seem to have equated the 1980s with the late 1700s.
    So you never said anything about what Scalia ruled, but you disagree with it.

    Do you believe that the citizens militia was comprised of people who kept military-style weapons in their homes, in the late 1700s?

  • damikesc||

    "There is no free speech right to yell fire in a crowded theater" - ruling

    So, if a theater is on fire, I could be arrested for pointing that out?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Of course not. But you weren't exercising a Free Speech right, were you?

  • Cyto||

    One correction: Calls for impeachment didn't begin this week. Or last week. Or even shortly after inauguration.

    Many high level Democrats were openly claiming they would impeach Trump shortly after he took office as soon as the election results were official.

    Obama administration officials bragged in the New York Times that they had placed classified information in position to be leaked after the election with the hopes of undermining the incoming president and leading to impeachment.

    How many times do we have to live through the feigned surprise of the media as they help the DNC carry their water? When Clinton bragged that he was going to shut down the government and blame it on the Republicans, the same reporters who told me about the strategy breathlessly reported that Newt Gingrich shut down the government two weeks later. When Obama ran the same gambit a couple of decades later, the same thing occurred. The whole "press colluding with the Clinton campaign" thing from 2016 just died on the vine without anyone even pretending to get to the bottom of it. They just transitioned to "the resistance".

    And now we have an openly declared plot to sabotage the next administration - and nobody is bothering to report it as such as the plot comes to fruition.

    How many times are the American people going to let them run the same playbook?

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Good post, Cyto

  • Michael Hihn||

    Obama administration officials bragged in the New York Times that they had placed classified information in position to be leaked after the election with the hopes of undermining the incoming president and leading to impeachment.

    I ASSUME you got that story from Alex Jones.
    I KNOW you never read the link you posted.
    I SUGGEST you find anyone above the age of 12 to read and explain it for you,

    There isn't even any Obama officials bragging about anything. And the entire intelligence community reported efforts by Russia to interfere with our election, and many others. Even the RNC said they blocked an attempted hack. Does the name John Podesta ring a bell?

  • Trigger Warning||

    Toking and posting, Nick?

  • Dunehunter||

    Geez, Nick, that was a surprisingly good piece. Way to go.

  • drw72||

    "One thing is clear: Cleaving to right/left, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat tribes in a world in which more and more people define themselves as libertarian isn't going to work. Neither will falling for fake-news narratives about Trump's historical badness. We need a new politics that is ultimately based on policy, not personalities; policy, not politics; and policy, not partisanship. We need to demand more of our elected representatives and we need to start yesterday."

    AMEN!!

  • Michael Hihn||

    You forgot the libertarian tribe, which is just as bad.
    And if it's your tribe ... that's how tribes work,

  • Michael Hihn||

    Sorry, missed this

    more and more people define themselves as libertarian

    Nobody claims that. Or if, so not true. Reason cites Gallup a lot, but Gallup never measures the brand ,.., never claims to measure libertarian values, and never tests for it.

    The definitive survey was commissioned by Caro and conducted by a top pollster, Zogby, It was a formal Brand Preference survey which compares the product and brand identities. Does the brand name enhance or detract from the "product?"

    For the "product" 59% would self-describe as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."
    Then THEY were asked if they'd label themselves as "libertarian"

    Only 9% of voters with libertarian views would identify themselves as 'libertarian." -David Boaz

    That's a 91% rejection rate for the libertarian brand ... which is "toxic" to the product in Marketing Terms.

    (scroll down 2/3 to "How Libertarians see Themselves.")

  • Blue Star||

    59% are lying.

    Very few libertarians are for either of those. Most are just Republicans who care not about social liberties and are indifferent to fiscal issues unless they get to take potshots at the black guy.

    They are basically Republicans who yell lefty or libtard.

    Remember the debt? Still rising.

  • Michael Hihn||

    That's been the definition of of libertarian for 50 years. You probably never heard of the World's Smallest Political Quiz either.

    Republicans HERE, yes, because Reason sucks up to them, but this comments section is filled with bullies and thugs, based on a market principle. Reason is the ONLY major political site that has NO monitoring at all, not even .a way to report totally abusive messages, so-- over time, the bullies wind up here, when they've been thrown out of every where else. It's like if only one state had no regulation of extra loud motorcycles, they eventually get all or most of the extra-loud hogs,

    And Republicans can be high with bullies, especially the extreme socons,

    Now I must wrestle with a tough decision. Who do I believe, Cato, David Nolan, The Advocates, the Washington State LP where I was a PAID executive director, my own 50 years experience as a libertarian .... or you, who thinks the rising debt has anything to do with the topic? That was mild sarcasm.

  • MarkLastname||

    "unless they get to take potshots at the black guy."
    It's like you're trying to live up the stereotype of the leftist who greets any opposition to any policy of the Obama administration at all by shouting 'Racist!!!' Now libertarians criticizing a failed trillion dollar stimulus is just covert racism? That's about as dumb as arguing that Paul Krugman opposed the Iraq War because he hates gentiles.

  • Michael Hihn||

    ANOTHER fuckup attack by the raging stalker. *Marklastname"
    This time he LIES about what Blue Star wrote ... so he could launch another bullshit aggession.

    This from Mark's rant, quoting Blue Star

    "unless they get to take potshots at the black guy."

    It's like you're trying to live up the stereotype of the leftist who greets any opposition to any policy of the Obama administration at all by shouting 'Racist!!!'

    Mark INTENTIONALLY lied, This is what Blue Start really said. (smirk)

    Most are just Republicans who care not about social liberties and are indifferent to fiscal issues unless they get to take potshots at the black guy.

    Why would Mark commit such a BLATANT slander?
    How many REPUBLICANS are "trying to live up to the stereotype of the leftist?" (lol)

    Blue Star was ridiculing the FAUX libertarians who are extreme conservatives (both fiscally and socially) ... so Mark winds up proving him right!

    INTENTIONALLY lie about what somebody said, so you can attack them on (your own bullshit).

    If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
    And if you're a raging cyber-bully ....

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yep. But there is good news on the horizon. Econazi Germany's Green Party is suddenly as popular as drinking battery acid there and in Austria. They watched the Dems adopt the toxic Gaian Arbeiterpartei platform while objective data showed temperatures, storms, etc. all FALLING since the Y2k election. Seeing the clueless luddites LOSE to a belligerent, blowhard, conservative prohibitionist was a lesson they appear to have understood.

  • simplybe||

    Nick I really think you are one of the great minds in media but please explain why you think John McCain has a right to hate Trump. McCain is senile, he has dragged this country into more wars than I care to think about. He certainly wasn't a hero unless you consider Hanoi Jane a hero. He is probably one of the last Progressive Republicans. Trump never said anything about him that the majority of the public doesn't already know. Trump doesn't want to attack Russia or Iran, and in the process killing about 80% of the population. For some reason that really pisses McCain off. No I didn't vote for Trump and I never would. Actually Trump/Clinton actually made me lose my remaining faith in our political system, but John McCain should have been aborted at birth

  • Blue Star||

    Nick is Ajit Pai's cock holster

    You just want to be Drumpf's

  • Michael Hihn||

    Nick is Ajit Pai's cock holster

    Not just Ron Paul's?

  • Blue Star||

    That man in the White House is vulgar, disrespectful, self-involved, maybe even dangerous. So?
    Sheesh! He maybe was, not is. And definitely Clinton was impeached for something, he just had Monica Lewinsky as a cock holster.

    Just like Ajit Pai has Nick Gillespie as his.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States"

    Oh, please. He maybe, probably is, the one most disliked by the Liberal Progressive Left. And they are trumpeting their displeasure from the rooftops (and making ostentatious fools of themselves in the process). That doesn't make them the whole of the country, though they probably think they are.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Just like Ajit Pai has Nick Gillespie as his.

    Presumably you disagree on Nick's approach to Ajit Pai. So. of course, it's natural to possess a raging hatred of Nick.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Ooops. Placed it wrong.

    THIS is for here.

    Oh, please. He maybe, probably is, the one most disliked by the Liberal Progressive Left.

    Oh, please. His approval/disapproval ratings are the worst since Jimmy Carter.

    That doesn't make them the whole of the country, though they probably think they are.

    That's innate to political fanatics. They BELEEB the world is anxiously awaiting them. We see the same in the extreme social conservatives, but they're a splinter group too. The fanatical left and right share 40% total, which is less than one-quarter for each but, combined with their authoritarian instincts, they each want to impose their fanatical worldview on everyone, through government.

    That drives more people to independents, leaving Team Red and Team Blue even more fanatical. Which drives still more to be independents, leaving both Teams even harsher, which ....
    It's a death spiral.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Given the total failure of the polling organizations to force a Trump victory, or even anything but a Hillary walkover, AND the complete derangement of the entire Political Left (with special emphasis on the Trad. Media), why should we believe those numbers?

    I'm not saying that there's hard proof that they are lying to us about Trump's popularity, nor that we can assume that their samples are as screwed as the ones that predicted a Hillary landslide. But the polling people have a LOT of lost credibility to make up for.

    Do we even have evidence that they know how to arrange a sample representative of the population that voted Trump into office?

    It's kind of like the numbers I see on teen drug use or smoking. How do they get this information? Because if they get it by asking teens "Do you engage in illegal activity, and this is completely confidential" I think there's no reason to take the results seriously.

    Similarly, the folks who voted for Trump probably don't like the media or the pollsters, and likely won't talk to them. And why should they?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do you have anything relevant? NOTHING I said had anything to do with Trump.
    Does he pay you to troll for him?

  • Michael Hihn||

    I'm not saying that there's hard proof that they are lying to us about Trump's popularity,

    THEY aren't.
    YOU are.

    Nearly 10 million voted against him. 18 million of his votes were against Hillary, NOT for Trump.

  • The Metonymy||

    Man, Alyssa Milano's advice column is harsh today.

  • styopa||

    "...Donald Trump, the most-unlikely and least-liked president in the history of the United States, had barely celebrated his first 100 days when calls for his impeachment started flying ..."

    I'm pretty sure that's in error. I'm not bothering to dig it up, but I seem to recall Maxine Waters talking about impeachment well before he even took office.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I seem to recall Maxine Waters talking about impeachment well before he even took office.

    What you probably recall is Alex Jones snarling that.
    And "flying" means widely mentioned.

  • Nuwanda||

    I do get a strong whiff of, "maybe we've pushed this silliness a little too hard, a little too quickly".

    Reason has been one of the Left's useful idiots in this whole debacle. Do so-called libertarians think they're getting anything out of this? Who's the real winner here? The American people? Liberty? Trump goes, and we all win?

    What Reason seems to have missed in their relentless demonisation of Trump, is that impeachment talk, etc., has nothing to do with reality or principles, it has to do with the Deep State fighting back from its dark, dank holes. Or do these idiots think legions of bureaucrats and rent-seekers are guided by higher principles like the defence of liberty? That when the Left assumes its rightful place again, taxes will drop to 15% and the EPA will be defunded?

    You don't have to like Trump to recognise that the Deep State has never been so frightened for its own existence. Much the same way as average folks feel when the IRS turns up at the door. But no, instead of rejoicing at this phenomena, Reason et al. have piled on as willing accomplices to the very enemies they claim to be against.

    Just like single payer is on the way in health care thanks to the complicity of congressional conservatives, the Deep State will continue thanks to the assistance of the likes of Reason.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Does Alex Jones pay you well for posting crazy shit like that?
    Trump -- ever the idiot -- confessed to obstruction of justice. And if that is a crime than his bullshit that he did it because Rosenstein advised him to, would be an attempted coverup of his crime.

  • Nuwanda||

    Obstruction of justice? Not according to Comey himself who two months after he was allegedly asked by Trump to curtail the investigation, and under oath before a congressional panel, denied that any such pressure had ever been exerted on him and that it would be a big deal if it had:

    http://cs.pn/2rBruyT

    Comey: "It's not happened in my experience."

    So, was he lying under oath more than two months after the meeting with Trump, or was he lying when he wrote the alleged memo? You lose either way.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (boldface to highlight a shameful lie)

    You lose either way.

    Guess again, chump.
    What Trump confessed to was .................firing Comey because he was being investigated.

    Mindlessly cutting and pasting from Infowars is okay ... if you know where to paste it..
    But you lied. YOUR link shows Comey was asked if Department of Justice --- not Trump -- had tried to curtail an investigation for political purposes. Shameful

  • Nuwanda||

    Comey, the sworn high official, thorough professional and meticulous note taker, is sitting there thinking to himself, "No, Justice never pressured me, but the president recently has..." and he stays mum about it?

    This on top of the two months he's already had to do the required thing and report it?

    Hair-splitting is what you're indulging in, and nobody's falling for it.

    Trump hasn't confessed to any such thing. You lie. Show me the confession. Quote me the confession. Inform us of the source? How was this confession come by? Or will it be a cut and paste job from the Times based on an oral reading of an alleged document? If this is the case, why has said document not been tabled before the appropriate congressional committee? This would lead to impeachment proceedings forthwith. All you prayers would be answered. Why do these sources not reveal the information so that justice can be done? Or do they hold back for the same reasons Comey did?

  • Michael Hihn||

    (boldface to highlight MORE CRAZY LIES)
    What a loser. Anyone who clicks your link will see you as a massive liar. Then you go psycho -- saying it's Fake News that Trump confessed to firing Comey because of the investigation! Now, I'll humiliate you ...again .

    Trump hasn't confessed to any such thing. You lie. Show me the confession. Quote me the confession. Inform us of the source? How was this confession come by?

    (snort) Here's a VIDEO of Trump confessing that he fired Comey because of the investigation. No, Sparky, it's NOT a computer simulation financed by George Soros.

    Or will it be a cut and paste job from the Times based on an oral reading of an alleged document?

    It's a video. (smirk)
    Now you have TWO videos to lie about!

  • Nuwanda||

    That's not a video of Trump confessing to anything. It's a video featuring a quote from a secret NYT source who read an alleged document over the phone to one of its reporters.

    Either you're a fifth grader or you think I am. Either way, it seems to be informing your debate technique. You're presenting an allegation as an actual Trump quote-cum-confession. Wouldn't stand up in court. Won't stand up here. You need actual proof and an anonymous source reading an alleged document over the phone does not constitute proof. Nor do your neo-liberal fantasies.

    Try stepping out of your echo chamber for a second, clear your head, and try again. This time with an actual Trump quote, not a second-hand, unsupported allegation.

    You said Trump has confessed. Show me his confession.

    But you can earn bonus points by constructing your reply entirely in bold text. You missed a bit last time.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (boldface to highlight continuing psycho lies)

    That's not a video of Trump confessing to anything. It's a video featuring a quote from a secret NYT source who read an alleged document over the phone to one of its reporters.

    LIAR. It's Trump in the Lester Holt interview. The exact confession starts at 0:40.

    You also lied about your own link!

    Obstruction of justice? Not according to Comey himself who two months after he was allegedly asked by Trump to curtail the investigation, and under oath before a congressional panel, denied that any such pressure had ever been exerted on him and that it would be a big deal if it had:

    http://cs.pn/2rBruyT

    Comey: "It's not happened in my experience."

    Pathetic. He was asked if Department of Justice --- NOT TRUMP -- asked him to curtail the investigation, SECOND TIME I've called out your shameful bullshit.

    Either you're a fifth grader or you think I am

    Doesn't matter if you're a PhD. You're a raving psycho, lying about TWO videos that anyone can click to confirm you're bat-shit crazy.

    Typical Trumpster.

  • Nuwanda||

    There's no confession by Trump in that interview. He speaks for a few seconds and confesses to nothing. He says, in full, "When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia, is a made-up story."

    No confession of wrong-doing. Yet you maintain there is one.

    You are deluded.

    But I tried. I should have realised debating with someone who confuses allegations with evidence and who has a bold-text fetish was never going to result in anything but ad hominem attacks.

    I'm afraid you've lost my interest.

  • J Neil Schulman||

    Nick,

    Donald Trump is unlikely to be "least-liked president in the history of the United States." Ask Daniel Shays about George Washington. Ask the Cherokee about Andrew Jackson. Ask John Wilkes Booth about Lincoln. Ask Murray Rothbard about FDR.

    I will substitute the thought that Donald J. Trump is the most suited to be President in the Age of Comedy. Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers should kiss Trump's ring.

    Neil

  • Headache||

    "we're going to have become smarter media consumers and demand more from both our politicians and the press"
    Do as I say, not as I do.

    Nick G

  • seahorsedan||

    It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( "Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee's campaign", according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

  • Devastator||

    Calm down Dan, I don't think you even read the article. This is about Trump's downfall, not Clinton's. Stop it with the straw man attacks, we're a bit too clever for those around here. The Russians should know that by now.

  • seahorsedan||

    It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( "Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee's campaign", according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

  • seahorsedan||

    It appears to me that both our last two Democrat U.S. Presidential nominees, the unqualified one senate term token black man and the unqualified one senate term token white female were selected and financed by establishment Globalists for their lack of core values and vulnerability to manipulation by their sponsors. Both would surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty for a * hat pin, let alone a new hat. It took the Globalists 8 years to stack the State, Justice and Security departments under the Obama administration with totally bias establishment Globalist pandering sycophant partisans ( "Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee's campaign", according to an analysis by The Hill, 10/26/16 ) and they are beside themselves with anxiety and frustration because their plans to surrender our nations 241 years of sovereignty with TPP have been foiled by Trump rejecting TPP. That should alarm every American patriot. Viva President Trump. Ironically it is the right of self determination that President Trump was elected to preserve that allows the MSM to continue to publish this yellow journalism as news.
    *(to paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion plays) The lessons learned become much more far reaching.

  • Anthony555||

    This is all based on hearsay "evidence" that won't stand up in court, let alone journalism 101 class.

    The smokescreen keeps thickening. The man behind the curtain - John Podesta - is really interested in deflecting attention from the 800 pound gorilla - Hillary Clinton. Clinton's PAC for election in 2020 was initiated to little fanfare this week. I have a bet running that she will announce her run during the mid term elections.

    Seth Rich will have his justice.

  • Devastator||

    LOL this is entirely Trump's doing and we'll see in the coming months who is right. Clinton ain't going to run again.

  • freeewill||

    cod thats a good one, faster than anthonys weiners dic-pics at a girl scout cook out, haha

  • m.EK||

    Nick;
    A lot of verbage but finally found the point in the last sentence.
    The Founders were trying to do away with the "Better Management Theory of Government" and the reliance on "good" people. This is the reason for the 3 branches with "enumerated powers". This was the reason Madison and Henry brought forth what would eventually be the first 10 Amendments. (remember, these Amendments don't really define or protect our "rights"! What they do is clearly state what the Federal Government, their employees, and contractors can't {CAN NOT!!} legislate on, decree on, or "rule" on). The first 10 Amendments are the LIMITATIONS on the authority and autonomy of the Federal Government! "the chains that bind them",,, Jefferson.
    The linch-pin to this concept is the Oath of Office. It is a legal and binding contract to abide by the Oath. To violate the Oath of Office is a crime.
    The problem is the belief in politics over LAW! Government, religion, corporations, businesses, groups, clubs, and the Individual must all live within Law or be Out-Law.
    This begs the question, What is LAW?
    I say it is something akin to Maybury's two rules for civilization, ie: "Do all you have agreed to and do not encroach on other persons or their property".
    Politics is Institutionalized Corruption. It is inherent in the concept and application.
    Codify Law
    Hold our "elected" officials to being Oath keepers
    Stop the Statist Jury Tampering

  • mchughjj||

    This article is all over the place, but I want to lock in on one point...the Iran-Contra reference in relation to impeachability.

    In my opinion, facts don't dictate that Trump has done anything that would currently warrant impeachment. However, if he hasn't already, he probably will...because he's narcissistic. Getting back to Iran-Contra, are you kidding me? How many times over have administrations stomped over the Constitution in more recent years way more egregiously than that scandal? The degree of knowledge that Reagan had personally about the logistics will never be known. But, I believe that was a noble enterprise. Nobody in the administration profited from it at the time (sending arms to Iran was not a positive thing, but Iran's enemy was Iraq). Congress was an impediment to containing communism in the Western Hemisphere. The Reagan administration got something done, and no Americans died.

    There is no comparison to having a President who not only can't accept having policy initiatives challenged, but can't accept criticism itself.

  • Principal Spittle||

    "Comey is the guy, we should recall, who tried to strong-arm Apple into undermining its phone encryption even though it was able to crack the San Bernadino's phone just fine, who gave Hillary Clinton aides immunity and allowed them to destroy their laptops, and recently attacked the First Amendment because it gave Wikileaks space to publish authentic-if-purloined documents."

    Don't forget perhaps the FBI's gratest success during his tenure. Becoming the largest distributor of child pornography in history, while simultaneously increasing membership, collection size and download speeds! But prosecution is secondary to protecting the super secret methods and tools, so they will just call this a trial run of mass entrapment and save what they've learned for a future with fewer pesky "due process" rights and hopefully get the real bad guys that actually READ wikileaks.

  • Dirt McGirt||

    So...Nick is uncritically linking Jacobin now.

    Huh.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Voters must understand that they could have voted for legalization of electrical power plants and against race-war prohibitionism by choosing the LIBertarian option on the ballot. Trump was electorally elected because the Democratic Platform Committee lacked the sense to copy the libertarian repeal plank (as in the 1932 precedent). Instead they fished the Soviet policy of quixotic tilting against the enemy's energy infrastructure out of the dustbin of history. So... those illiterate intelligentsia are in an authoritative position to tell the rest of us that the winners have stupid written all over their faces?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Trump was elected because he was the ONLY candidate proposing actual change.
    JohnsonWeld were crippled by the libertarian establishment ... with NO solutions for ANYTHING. Just the notion of babbling about "libertarian ideas." Like a cult.

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    I have been a registered Libertarian for quite a few years but am growing somewhat disenchanted with (what appears to me) to be a creeping liberal slant to articles in Reason. The Democrat person of today seems increasingly to lack perception that the party, the media and its consumers show an abnormal blind eye to any facts but what they wish (and seem to believe) wholeheartedly whether real or desired. Republicans are hardly any better in their perception of humanities foibles, and from the articles in Reason, Libertarians are becoming mired in generalities and false statements also.

  • Devastator||

    Goodbye, the door is over there. The free mints are meant for paying customers.

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Now is the moment for libertarians to loudly turn against Trump, or you/we will go down with him. Libertarians have nothing to win by defending Trump. Dump the Trump mess on the heads of the authoritarian big government nationalists. The only viable future for the GOP is as a libertarian party.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Trump boasted that he could murder somebody in broad daylight, with witnesses, and not lose a single cult follower. So, they're even willing to be called totally mindless by their hero. When he asks them to drink the Kool-Aid .... they'll gulp it down.

  • Wholly Expat||

    A country gets the government it deserves. If it is "We the People", where are WE now? It is not Trump's fault, it is all of ours.

  • Devastator||

    It's good to see the democrats doing something productive for once. The sooner Trump is gone the better. Cheeto Musolini shouldn't be in charge of the nuclear codes, he is unbalanced. Pence will be a way better President.

  • عيون||

    Great post , thanks for sharing

    areghost.com

  • tfsyrala7lam||

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