MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

'Bias Response Team' Not Necessarily a Threat to Student Speech Rights, Says Judge: Reason Roundup

Plus: NYC says no to $100 million from Uber and Lyft, and Amnesty International warns about WhatsApp-borne surveillance software.

Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye/NewscomRafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye/Newscom"Bias Response Team" doesn't implicilty violate student rights, federal judge says.* Although no ruling has been issued yet, U.S. District Court Judge Linda V. Parker said during a hearing this week that the University of Michigan's "Bias Response Team" (BRT) isn't "an implicit threat" to student free speech rights.

"There's not a lot of teeth here," she said of the lawsuit seeking to undermine the program, which relies on student reports of "biased" speech on campus and contacts the alleged speaker to offer guidance on speaking in a school-approved way. Students who are contacted are not required to respond.

The issue may seem relatively minor, but it was big enough for the U.S. Department of Justice to get involved in May, issuing a statement of interest that accused the University of Michigan of imposing "a system of arbitrary censorship of, and punishment for, constitutionally protected speech."

Under the school's bias response program, "a student who voices a controversial or unpopular opinion—or who seeks to use humor, parody, or satire when discussing sensitive topics—could face severe punishment," argued Speech First, a D.C.-based advocacy group that filed the lawsuit in May.

But the school countered that the team isn't a disciplinary body and student participation is dependent on their consent. So long as administrators at the state school are only offering helpful hints on how students can make their speech and opinions more "inclusive," no one's First Amendment Rights have been threatened the school argued—and Judge Parker seemed to agree, though she has yet to rule on the group's motion to a preliminary injunction against the BRT.

Last year, Liz Wolfe wrote here about college bias response teams and a self-congratulatory study from academics finding that they "created a safer, more welcoming campus community." Robby Soave has covered the topic many times, noting how these bodies fail to distinguish between speech that could actually be considered harassing and—at the University of Michigan, for instance—speech that is merely "bothersome to an individual."

In June, the University of Michigan did change its speech codes slightly, narrowing the definitions of bullying and harassing. This was already in the works and not in response to DOJ's intervention, the school told Michigan Radio.

"When the Speech First lawsuit called out some of the things we were already working on, we were well-prepared to update and simplify these definitions," said University President Mark Schlissel. But he also contended that the group's lawsuit had mischaracterized the school's Bias Response Team, offering as support the fact that similar situations were in place at "many schools."

FREE MINDS

Powerful Pegasus spy software targets Amnesty International. The human rights group Amnesty International said that spying software linked to the Israeli company NSO Group was sent to an Amnesty staffer and to a Saudi Arabian rights activist via WhatsApp in June.

"NSO Group is known to only sell its spyware to governments," said Joshua Franco, Amnesty International's head of technology and human rights, in a Wednesday statement.

The potent state hacking tools manufactured by NSO Group allow for an extraordinarily invasive form of surveillance. A smartphone infected with Pegasus is essentially controlled by the attacker – it can relay phone calls, photos, messages and more directly to the operator. This chilling attack on Amnesty International highlights the grave risk posed to activists around the world by this kind of surveillance technology. ... Amnesty International is concerned that these could be used to bait and spy on activists in countries including Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Hungary, in addition to the Gulf.

An Amnesty International investigation connected the link in the Pegasus-spreading message to hundreds of other "suspicious websites which had been previously connected to NSO Group," it said. In addition:

Last year Toronto-based research group Citizen Lab uncovered NSO Group's involvement in a similar spyware scheme in Mexico. Activists, journalists and opposition party leaders were targeted by false messages containing Pegasus software in an attempt to silence government opposition. Pegasus was also used to target the Emirati award-winning human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, who has been in prison in the United Arab Emirates since March 2017.

FREE MARKETS

NYC says no thanks to $100 million from ride-sharing companies. Uber and Lyft offered to bail out struggling New York City taxi drivers in exchange for city regulators backing off plans to require a minimum wage for drivers and cap the number of new Uber and Lyft vehicles permitted in the city.

The $100 million "hardship fund" would "support individual taxi medallion owners," reports The Verge. But it was "summarily rejected" by Mayor Bill de Blasio and city leaders. "It's a little bit astonishing to us," Lyft's vice president of public policy Joe Okpaku told the publication.

Uber and Lyft claim a cap on vehicle licenses would send wait times soaring and driver earnings plummeting. They also say a cap would disproportionately affect outer borough residents, including low-income communities and people of color. "The cap bill would set things back to a time when service levels were horrible in the outer boroughs," Okpaku said.

QUICK HITS

* CORRECTION: This post initially stated that a federal judge ruled the Bias Response Team was not implicitly a violation of student speech rights, when the judge merely suggested that during a July 31 court hearing. This post has been updated to reflect that.

Photo Credit: Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye/Newscom

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.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Bias Response Team" doesn't violate student rights, federal court rules.

    Just their dignity.

  • ||

    Hello.

    Trump calls him Rocket Man people freak. He says nice things they freak.

    Both will lead to a nuclear holocaust they freak!

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Little Rocket Man
    Burning out in Pyongyang all alone
    There been people starving there a long long time

  • Slocum||

    Right. Because a summons totally voluntary invitation to stop by for tea and cookies from the Bias Response Team would be in no way intimidating to a naive 18-year-old who would obviously have no reason whatsoever to fear that something like this might somehow end up on their student record.

  • Rhywun||

    Most kids are probably used to this kind of thing already. We've been buttering them up for totalitarianism for a couple decades now.

  • kinghiram91||

    I see it playing out like the "at-will employment policy" of any American workplace. Sure the 'Bias Response team' isn't a disciplinary committee on paper, so when a student is suspended, 'biased speech' won't be the reason listed. It'll be something that looks good on paper that the school can't be sued for.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Ron Wyden: "I just want to be clear, as the author of section 230, the days when these [platforms] are considered neutral are over." cc: all of Silicon Valley

    you hear that, silicon valley? install a mail client, remember the password to the last email account you used, and then check the latest email you were CC'd on: Ron Wyden has put you on notice.

  • Just Say'n||

    "libertarian leaning Senator Ron Wyden"

  • Bee Tagger||

    Charles Koch of Koch Brothers, who claims to be giving away millions of dollars to politicians even though I know very few who have seen this (?)

    i like to think the question mark is an inner Trump crying out for help: "i dont know what i'm saying, but this body won't stop typing these things"

  • Overt||

    I was on a plane home the other day, and was talking with someone and the fact I am libertarian came up. And she said, "but the Koch brothers put Trump into office!"

    It is amazing how much damage that stupid Rolling Stones Koch Boogeyman article did.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    I've despised them since they Jim Morrison'd the Boston Marathon Bomber.

  • Rhywun||

    *swoon*

  • General_Tso||

    He's so dreamy!!1!

    Unlike his brother, speedbump.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    U.S. activists say they're being targeted by Facebook's crackdown on alleged Russian bots.

    Save it for the Kremlin, comrades.

  • Bee Tagger||

    President Trump is doing is unfair to "foreign workers." He is correct, AMERICA FIRST!

    Trump applying liberal economic strategies but stripping away all of the pretty rhetoric is fascinating to watch.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Most Americans say they don't pay attention to nutrition labels, according to a new Gallup poll.

    Are also fat, according to a poll of the nation's bathroom scales.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    But amazing in bed, according to a poll of Fist of Etiquette's wife.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    More like pole, am I right?

  • Bee Tagger||

    Most Americans say they don't pay attention to nutrition labels, according to a new Gallup poll.

    A law that we have to read the labels and pass a test before the food packaging is unlocked. boom. done. whats next.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Hiring the hordes of compliance officers, their team managers, district managers, division managers, support staff, bidding out the software and hardware required, hiring IT staff, installation engineers, their managers, support staff, etc.
    Every law is a jobs program for government staff.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Ooh, ooh. And then after that ball is rolling, we can look for things the agency can get involved in that are beyond the original mission statement.

  • CE||

    Can't they just mandate a pop-up hologram Church Lady or C Everett Koop giving you a stern look and telling you it's bad for you?

  • Restoras||

    Most Americans say they don't pay attention to nutrition labels, according to a new Gallup poll.

    Not surprising, also not surprising that there is also an obesity problem. There's no incentive for people to pay attention to what they're eating.

  • Bee Tagger||

    There's no incentive for people to pay attention to what they're eating.

    what?

  • Restoras||

    I don't see any incentives for people to pay attention to what they're eating, just going by the amount of obesity I see. It looks to me that more and more people just eat what and as much as they want without thought of consequences, but I could be wrong.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Yeah, fair point. I wonder if it also might mean we are overstating the consequences of obesity or if there is an aspect to this that is brain chemistry related and overrides what we might see as natural incentives.

  • Rhywun||

    Not being fat is not an incentive?

  • Restoras||

    Given the amount of obesity I see, I have to assume that 'not being fat' isn't sufficient incentive.

  • Rhywun||

    Fair enough. But it IS an incentive. What would you suggest instead, on top of the already myriad disincentives such as perfectly-acceptable "fat shaming", higher insurance premiums, and such?

  • Restoras||

    Strictly speaking it is an incentive - but at the moment a very weak one. Aside from higher health insurance premiums for people eating themselves into bad health, I honestly don't know what else to suggest. If they're ok with it then that's their business.

  • Rhywun||

    Agreed. Frankly I think the "obesity problem" is a bit overblown, at least compared to how often I hear about it. If that's their choice and it isn't impacting me, WTF am I supposed to care about it? Yet I see numerous commercials, for example, nagging me to eat better, don't drink milk (?!), don't eat sugar, don't do this, don't do that. STFU already.

  • CE||

    Shorter life span?

  • lafe.long||

    such as perfectly-acceptable "fat shaming"

    ??? I thought this was banned as a microaggression.

  • Microaggressor||

    I only fat shame my dogs.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I taught my dogs to fame shame other people.

    I give them a bag of treats every time they do well.

  • CE||

    At the margin, no. One more donut or one more bag of chips or one more can of pop won't make me noticeably fatter. But it will taste good.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter - l look forward to seeing you soon!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018

    APPARENTLY ENB WOULD RATHER WE BE AT A STATE OF NUCLEAR WAR WITH THE NORKS.

  • Restoras||

    Not just ENB and the Norks. They were apparently happier when us and the Russians had 20,000 nukes pointed at each other as well.

  • John||

    According to them, we are supposed to be aggressive and insulting to two hostile nuclear powers but we can't kiss Iran's ass enough.

  • ||

    Seriously. It's retarded the inconsistency.

  • Just Say'n||

    How is anyone surprised by this inconsistency?

  • ||

    Some degree of contradiction and inconsistency I get. It's part of human nature. The really skillful ones can rationalize a perceived inconsistency or contradiction but we're past this now I reckon.

    It's full on sloppy sophistry.

    There has to be some line where we can meet but they're moving the goal post so much now in an effort to find a way out smug each other about Trump, it's impossible to do so.

    Fuck 'em. Damn the torpedoes.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Bitch have you seen that booty? I mean, have you seen it?

    You can never kiss that booty enough. It's too bootyful.

  • Just Say'n||

    That androgynous dictator does have a lot of junk in his trunk

  • John||

    So, the NYT has a new member of its editorial board, a woman named Sarah Jeong. She is quite a charmer.

    http://tpo.nl/2018/08/02/this-.....ial-board/

    I can't figure out if she is a complete racist monster or just Autistic. Her tweets are so irrational and stupid, they sound more like bad jokes to me. They all read like a joke that if you said aloud would produce stunned awkward silence in the room. They are just so bad, they have to be her trying to be funny. If not, Jeong is deeply disturbed and strange, which is probably true in either case.

  • Rhywun||

    Perfect fit.

  • John||

    I am always amazed, though I should not be, just how unpleasant SJWs are. Even some of the worst monsters in history were charming and interesting people. Not so with SJWs. Can you imagine having to spend an evening with her? Send me to the Gulag instead.

  • Rhywun||

    There are one or two like that in my circle. They turn every conversation into something about their pet issue until eventually no one will talk to them at all.

  • John||

    I really think those types suffer from some form of Autism or narcissistic personality disorder. They either don't understand how tiresome and inappropriate their actions are or they do understand but are so narcissistic they don't care. Whatever it is, they are not normal or well adjusted in any sense of the word. Their politics becomes an enabling mechanism for all of their worst neurosis.

  • ||

    Now you have the sort of people who just have to inject some kind of dimwitted snide remark about Trump into ever conversation.

    I'm not kidding. Last night we were talking about estate freezes and creating a corporate account for tax sheltering purposes and someone chimes in with a, 'just like Donald Trump.'

    One of the most basic things in investing done by millions of people forever and apparently only Trump does these things. I guess he'd prefer the government take 50% and demand the money HE DOESN'T have up front.

    I'm still trying to figure out how people have completely lost any sense of balance over ONE guy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Jesus, Rufus, I thought I was the only person having that happen to.

    You will be talking about something that has zero to do with politics and some gets a snarky comment about Trump in there. Its like they are testing the water to see if you are with them politically.

    Some of these people are so ill-prepared for life that they cannot discuss business or anything unless they know you're on their side politically.

  • ||

    They should appoint her to the 'Diversity and inclusion' division.

  • Rhywun||

    I bet the Austin Equity Office is hiring.

  • ||

    How her hiring doesn't make a micro-cynic of the most fervent NYT reader I'll never know.

    She's bad news.

  • Rhywun||

    She'll go on to be a bog-standard left-liberal Times writer. Nothing will ever be mentioned about her past "efforts" and nobody, certainly not the readership, will ever make an issue of it. I totally expect that all of their recent youth hires have a very similar background.

  • Rhywun||

    She'll go on to be a bog-standard left-liberal Times writer. Nothing will ever be mentioned about her past "efforts" and nobody, certainly not the readership, will ever make an issue of it. I totally expect that all of their recent youth hires have a very similar background.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    I did laugh at the "groveling goblins" one, although I'm not sure why.

    Also, if she enjoys being cruel to old white men (and implicitly, white people in general), how come she hated shows about white people being miserable? I don't quite understand how that's logically consistent.

  • John||

    None of it is logically consistent. That is what makes me wonder if they are all just bad jokes.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The left can't meme. They try, bless'ums hearts, but they can't.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    You know, I hate "the left this/the left that". It's hardly ever a thing reserved to the left, generally seems more like a handy reason to piss about people who are already obnoxiously 'other'. Have you seen their memes though? Stuff like a picture of Rush Limbaugh captioned "We're the only country without universal health care." That shit's not funny. I spelunked through left memes one day, hoping to find some grasp of humor in the culture, and it was all like that.

    I don't get it. Maybe understanding will come with time and age.

  • CE||

    But she said she won't do it again, so she stays.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...people who drink a "light-to-moderate" amount of alcohol—defined as one-to-14 drinks per week, with wine being better than beer or liquor—are less likely to suffer cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease than non-drinkers.

    What with having wrapped their cars around telephone poles before getting the chance to reach that stage in life.

  • Bee Tagger||

    14 is within light-to-moderate? i wish BMI had this kind of eye-winking tolerance of what real-life is like.

  • Palin's Buttplug||


    Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word

    If The Dotard had a son.......

  • Conchfritters||

    He would look like Don Jr.?

  • ||

    So playing nice to ensure peace is....not a good thing?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Buttplugger hates that Trump accomplished something.

    Nevermind that its 50+ MIA United States servicemen remains that have been withheld for political reasons for over 65 years.

  • John||

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....ook_widget

    Black Paster praises Trump at prison reform event as being pro black.

    "This is probably the most pro-active administration regarding urban America and the faith-based community in my lifetime," Scott told the group, adding, "This is probably going be ... the most pro-black president that we've had in our lifetime."

    He compared Trump to his predecessor, Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president, and said: "This president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community and our ethnic community."

    "The last president didn't feel like he had to," he added, saying of Obama: "He got a pass."

    I am sure there is some rich, white Progressive who is willing to set this Pastor straight about who the real racist is.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Is this a request for Kirkland fanfic?

  • Just Say'n||

    Sally Cummings of the New World Bible Institute was in DC to protest Judge Kavanaugh's appointment to the court when she heard about Reverend Scott's statement with regards to the president. "White supremacists have no business calling themselves faith leaders" Cummings said while holding a sign that read "Jesus Loves Abortions". "What Reverend Scott said was a dog whistle that is unwelcome in my parish." Cummings went on to add that her Portland, OR parish had long opposed the Trump administration's attack on diversity and were appalled to hear that Reverend Scott was not echoing their sentiments. "Black white supremacists are the worst kind!" Cummings raged.

  • ||

    Clayton Bigsby lives!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Clarence Thomas is a race traitor to lunatics like this lady.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Yep. #WhiteSavior

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Democratic Party is in deep trouble and they senior leadership know it.

    This is more evidence that the black folks will not be blindly voting Democrat from now on.

    The black community will remember that their unemployment numbers are super low under Trump.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This has to be a trick, right? "TSA considering eliminating screening at smaller airports."

    Where have you gone, John Murtha?

  • Bee Tagger||

    Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter - l look forward to seeing you soon!

    the template for getting Trump to what you want has clearly been established. it is most likely possible for Dems to take advantage of this for legislative outcomes they like but it would mean not scoring cheap political points anymore.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You had them then you lost them.

  • Just Say'n||

    Oh, I don't know. I think smart Democrats like Schumer realize this. The only thing standing in the way of new gun control regulation and Medicare for all once Democrats take the House is going to be a Republican led Senate (assuming that they hold it, which still seems more likely than not)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They are literally arguing that dairy farmers are going to disappear if the Almond Milk scourge is allowed to spread. https://t.co/nFt4gcztlQ
    — Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) August 1, 2018

    Have you seen the size of the pens almonds are kept in?

  • Bee Tagger||

    two anti-vaccination activists are suing their state senator, California Democrat Richard Pan, because he blocked them from viewing his Twitter account.

    @jack ban those trolls who are bullying right-thinking politicians

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "It's a little bit astonishing to us," Lyft's vice president of public policy Joe Okpaku told the publication.

    It shouldn't be.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Excellent piece from Salon about the dangerous times we're living in:

    Trump's desperate attempts to escape legal and political trouble could lead America to catastrophe

    We must be prepared in the event Drumpf declares martial law, or cancels elections. If that happens, the alliance between progressives, libertarians, and even respectable conservatives like David Frum will be more important than ever.

    #Resist

  • Rhywun||

    respectable conservatives like David Frum

    LOL good one

  • Just Say'n||

    Neocons are back, baby! And now their best friends are progressives and beltway libertarians

  • Ben of Houston||

    If Trump does do anything foolish like that, then we will stop him. However, has there been any indication that Trump would do these things? You are shadowboxing against a foe that just doesn't exist.

    Trump hasn't done anything of note to avoid legal consequences. He said mean things about people on twitter and fired a man that he had full authority to fire and several other reasons to do so. Even those things in his official scope of power, such as an official pardon for Manafort, just haven't happened.

    Why are you thinking that he would take over the country by force? Why do you think anyone would follow him if he tried?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    I live in Texas, but haven't been paying that much attention to the election stuff. Ted Cruz is close to insufferable, and I imagine that his opponent is just another woke darling of the fringe left in the manner of, say, Wendy Davis.

    But, damn, as names go Beto O'Roarke is pretty damn sweet.

  • KevinP||

    He's actually a white guy - Beto is his nickname.

    He's a gun grabber. He wants to ban "assault weapons".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Every candidate with an "R" after his name is a proxy for rage at Trump.

    The midterm is a referendum on Trump. It's the only issue that matters.

    That isn't the way it should be, but that's the way it is.

    The Republicans who are running as Republicans against Trump are spitting into the wind. You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't run against Trump in the Midterms as a Republican and expect to win.

    Bo be-doe be doppa dee dee dee tea tea

    It's sort of like a mass market movie where the hero doesn't kill the bad guy and doesn't get the girl at the end. If the hero doesn't kill the bad guy and doesn't get the girl at the end, half the audience doesn't understand what the story was about. "You're a Republican but you . . . um against Trump on some issue for some reason?! What does that even mean?"

  • Ken Shultz||

  • John||

    You are right Ken. And this is why the Republicans are going to keep Congress and will likely make significant gains in the Senate, though they don't deserve it and historically parties holding Congress and the White House lose seats. The Democrats are making the midterms a rerun of the 2016 election rather than a new election. They are a living example of Einstein's adage about insanity.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is what happens to the president's party in the House in a new president's first midterm--going back to the election of 1910.

    First column is House seats won/lost. The last column is what I see as the dominant issue(s) of that midterm.

    +9 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt Great Depression
    +8 2002 George W. Bush 9/11
    -4 1962 John F. Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis
    -8 1990 George H. W. Bush USSR Falls, Operation Desert Shield
    -9 1926 Calvin Coolidge 1st Midterm in 2nd Term (Death of Harding)
    -12 1970 Richard Nixon Vietnam, Kent State
    -15 1978 Jimmy Carter Energy Crisis, Inflation
    -18 1954 Dwight D Eisenhower McCarthyism
    -22 1918 Woodrow Wilson Broken Promise not to Enter WWI
    -26 1982 Ronald Reagan Recession
    -47 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson Great Society, Civil Rights Act
    -48 1974 Gerald Ford Nixon Pardoned
    -52 1930 Herbert Hoover Smoot–Hawley Tariff, Great Depression
    -54 1946 Harry S Truman Labor Unrest, End of Wartime Price Controls
    -54 1994 Bill Clinton Gun Control, HillaryCare
    -57 1910 William Taft Strife within the Republcian Party (Progressives)
    -63 2010 Barack Obama TARP, ObamaCare
    -77 1922 Warren Harding Strife within the Republcian Party (Progressives)

    The median is -24 House seats lost.

    The average is -31`House seats lost.

  • John||

    Yes Ken. That is the historical precedent I am talking about. The Democrats are making that irrelevant by re running the 2016 campaign. What do you think would have happened in 2010 if the Republicans had, rather than running against Obamacare and TARP, had claimed Obama's election was illegitimate and they planned to impeach him? They would not have won a damned thing. That is what the Democrats are doing this year.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The more divisive a president is, the more seats he loses. The more of a unifier the president is, the less seats he loses.

    If Trump is more a unifier for bringing erstwhile white, blue collar Democrats into the Trump coalition, then he'll probably be like Reagan in his first midterm. Reagan brought Reagan Democrats into the Reagan coalition--the same demographic from the rust belt states, too.

    Reagan lost -26 Republicans in his first midterm--only to turn around and carry 49 of 50 states in his reelection campaign.

    If Trump is more of a divider, we'll see him get results more like what Obama got.

    I wouldn't bet on the Republicans keeping the House.

  • John||

    The more divisive a president is, the more seats he loses. The more of a unifier the president is, the less seats he loses.

    That is not true. George Bush was a very divisive President. The Democrats hated his guts over Florida in 2000. Bush's approval ratings dropped every month after 9-11.

    Also note, that Richard Nixon lost fewer seats in 1970 than Eisenhower did in 1954. Sorry, but Nixon was a more divisive President than Eisenhower. You are misreading the data here. There is more to it than just who the President is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "That is not true. George Bush was a very divisive President."

    Not in November of 2002, he wasn't.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In November of 2002, George W. Bush's approval rating was at about 70%.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • John||

    No it wasn't. His approval rating was 90% on 9-11. It was in the 60s in November.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It was bouncing around 70%. It was, what 68% in November of 2002?

    That was down from 90% a year before. As the midterms approached, hard core Democrats in the electorate found ways to oppose him. Still, if you're carrying 68% of the electorate on an approval basis going into the midterms, you're kicking ass.

    This isn't November of 2002.

    Now, I'm not saying this with 100% certainty. I'm saying that this is the way the dice are loaded. The most likely roll is a seven, and the closer your guess is to seven, the more likely you are to hit that number. In this game, the number with lowest margin of error is -24 Republicans.

    I think the Republicans lose the House if they lose -20 seats.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    You could argue that Americans were unified in the response to 9/11 though. Bush was seen for a year or so as uniting the country against terrorism. I think that helped fuel his first midterm.

  • John||

    +8 2002 George W. Bush 9/11

    That was more than just 9-11. That was another election where the Democrats claimed to have been robbed in the previous election and that the sitting President was illegitimate. 2002 wasn't just about 9-11, it was about Florida and 2000 for the Democrats. And that fell on its face with the rest of the country. Note the contrast between 2002 and 2006, when the Democrats were not obsessed with the last Presidential election and actually ran a new campaign.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That was post 9/11 and before we invaded Iraq.

    That was when every second car in the country had an American flag stuck in the driver's side window.

    That was when the Democratic Party stopped even trying to be the loyal opposition and just did whatever the President wanted.

  • John||

    No they didn't Ken. They gave Bush what he wanted on terrorism but that was it. Bush didn't get jack done on any of his domestic policies other than terrorism.

    Beyond that, opposition parties win elections when they offer an attractive alternative. You have to have a message. And the Demcorats didn't have a message in 2002 beyond 'FLORIDA!!" and they lost. In 2006, they ran against the scandals in Congress and spending and a lot of other things and won.

    It is only about the "President" inso far as the oppositions ability to come up with a compelling alternative to him. The Demcorats are not doing that. You can't run on "impeach" the President" and expect to win, when only your base supports that. That doesn't win anyone over. It just leaves you where you are. And when you have a bunch of Senators running in states that supported the President and still do, you end up losing with that message.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Again, the issues weren't as important--to the number of House seats the president's party won or lost--as the circumstances.

    If Al Gore had been president in November of 2002, his party would done better in the Midterms of November 2002--regardless of where they stood on any particular domestic issue.

    If you look at the numbers from a president's second midterm, they're all over the board. Those midterms are more issue oriented.

    In November of 2002, it didn't matter what you thought about No Child Left Behind. The country was at war with Al Qaeda because of circumstances beyond the president's control.

  • John||

    Again, the issues weren't as important--to the number of House seats the president's party won or lost--as the circumstances.

    The issues are a product of the circumstances Ken. The circumstances are what give the opposition party its issues. You win on issues and giving a reason for the country to vote for you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If President Al Gore had failed to invade Afghanistan in response to 9/11, things might have gone differently for his party in the House--had he been elected instead of Bush.

    What were the chances of that happening?

    Bad stances on the issues can make a president's party in the House perform worse than it would otherwise, but the shape of the curve they're running is still uphill--no matter where they are on any particular issue. A little bit better, a little bit worse--we're still talking about a median loss of -24 seats.

    Look at that chart. The dominant factor in how well the first midterm goes for a party in the House is which party is in the White House. A Republican being in there is bad news for House Republicans. If other first midterms are generally a referendum on the new president, this one is probably more so than the others.

  • Nardz||

    So what's the issue of the 2018 midterms, Ken?
    Just Trump? Russia? Porn stars?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would say the dominant issues are trade, immigration, and the improving economy.

    Part of the point of showing what the issues was is to show that they aren't as important as you might think. The circumstances tend to be more important than the issues--and they're largely beyond the president's control.

    And the dominant circumstance is that the American people tend to put a leash on the president by voting for the opposing party in his first Midterm.

    If you're a Trump supporter, you should probably get ready to make that argument now. Very few Democrats are voting against Trump because they care so much about free trade with China. There are lots of people who will vote for the Democrats because they think Trump is too big for his britches.

    That's the dominant issue, and I don't think there's anything Trump can do about that. He could easily end up doing better in his reelection campaign than he did the first time--just like Reagan did. Reagan lost -26 House seats in his first Midterm. If that happens to Trump, it isn't because of any particular issue. The Democrats will say it is. They're wrong.

    If you're a Trump supporter, make sure you understand that now, so you don't have to suddenly change your tune after the Midterms. If you're a Democrat, make sure you don't make a fool of yourself by claiming that the US has suddenly gone full SJW retard either. It isn't about that.

  • John||

    Reagan lost -26 House seats in his first Midterm.

    Reagan's first midterms were in the middle of a deep recession. You are reading out entire causal factors. Every election is different.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No, I putting them in there--highlighted the issue, in part, to show that it didn't matter.

    Yeah, despite the fact that there was a recession, Reagan's numbers fell within the expected range.

    If there hadn't been a recession, Reagan might have done a little better. He would have ranked somewhere higher up the list--in the the negative range.

    Maybe think of it this way: Do you think Jimmy Carter would have done better or worse because there was a recession? If the main determinate of how the House races go is whose president is in the White House, then ignoring that to focus on the issues is truly missing the boat.

    If Jimmy Carter had been in the White House in November of 1982, the Democrats would have lost seats rather than the Republicans--because the biggest factor appears to be which party is in the White House rather than the issue.

    If there is a Republican in the White House, that is a major disadvantage for Republicans in the first midterm after a new president is elected. If there's a Democrat in the White House, it's a major disadvantage for Democrats in the first midterm after a new president is elected. It doesn't matter how Trump runs up the hill, the fact is that he's running uphill.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I think you're missing something.

    But I think you sense it.

    You've gone from the losing both stance to losing the house. Your version of the blue wave is a long slow low tide wave now.

    And the DNC is talking about maybe taking congress. Their blue wave is gone. Oh they'll still say it, to keep spirits up, but that gloating #bluewave crap is long gone..

  • CE||

    The economy is booming. The Dems are in for a disappointing Election Day. (As I am every 2 years.)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump will get credit for not having lost Congress during midterms since 2002.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    And this is why the Republicans are going to keep Congress

    Nope. The Democrats will gain control of the House.

    #BlueWave

  • Just Say'n||

    OBL is making a lot more sense than John and Ken. No way Republicans hold the House

  • Just Say'n||

    Misread Ken's point. He's spot on

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just Say'n isn't making any sense at all if he thinks Ken said that the Republicans will hold the House.

  • Just Say'n||

    I never make any sense, Ken. You know that

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Low unemployment will give Republicans a huge gain in election 2018.

  • Rhywun||

    I've said it before but a major reason the Democrats have been so successful at getting everything they want is because they never, ever go off script.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think it matters what their message is, really. I think it hurts them if they keep going all pro-SJW and anti-deplorable, but not enough to make a difference.

    IF IF IF and when they take the House, they'll claim it was because of their message, but it isn't really about that. If the data above shows anything, it's that it isn't the issue that matters.

    George W. Bush would have had to try really, really hard to fuck up in November of 2002. The circumstances he found himself in dictated his win.

    For a lot of the others, it's simply the American people behaving to some extent rationally--like in a market. Presidents claim a mandate from the voters and come in and change things in the their first 100 days or so, and the American people typically react to that by voting for the opposition in the first midterm.

    It doesn't matter what the Democrats do or say in the face of that dynamic. The set of numbers is largely negative. The president's party will probably lose seats in the House--no matter what the other party says or does. What the opposition party says or does might influence how bad of a loss it's going to be, but that's a secondary impact. That's not what's driving the train here.

    If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, we'd be looking at huge gains for the Republicans in this midterm. We'd be having a referendum on Hillary Clinton for the midterms. That's what's driving the train.

  • John||

    I don't think it matters what their message is, really. I think it hurts them if they keep going all pro-SJW and anti-deplorable, but not enough to make a difference.

    To claim that doesn't hurt them is to ignore the demographics of the country. The fact is that that message turns off a majority of the Congressional Districts and states in this country. To the extent that that message works, it is in places that are already overwhelmingly Democrat. The Democrats cannot take the House unless they convince people who didn't vote for them in places that didn't vote for them to do so now. And to do that, you have to give them a reason. And that stuff isn't a reason. Impeachment isn't a reason when the District voted for Trump and largely approves of his actions.

    You are confusing correlation with causation. It wasn't just magic that caused the results you give. There were reasons for those results, namely that the opposing party gave people a reason to vote for them where they hadn't had one before. Opposing parties win in off year elections usually because the country sees the reality of what they voted for and some of them decide they want something different and opposing parties learn from their defeats and offer one. That is not happening this year as far as I can see.

  • Nardz||

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle between John's and Ken's points. I think the tendency of voters to elect opposition to the Prez is a good inclination, but johns right that you have to give them something.
    Actually, I think just showing up can be enough. The problem the Ds might have is that they didn't just show up - they're coming with a batshit crazy message.
    Maybe they can relax the SJW bs, but if they supplant it with "impeach 45!", "Russia!", "Stormy!", "raise taxes!", "socialism, whether you want it or not", "more regulations, especially on the internet", and "open borders to all from shithole countries" - that might not work out so well or go according to historical tendency.
    We'll see

  • John||

    Ken's point is that the Democrats have an easy task in the midterms. And I think he is right about that. Where I disagree with Ken is what it takes to accomplish that task. Ken seems to think it doesn't matter what they do or say, they just have to be on the ballot. I disagree. I think you have to have some kind of reason for people to vote for you or at least not look crazy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think they can do or say things that put them a few more or a few less seats here or there.

    I think success for the Republicans is holding the median---24 seats lost. If we're talking +3 seats or -3 seats, the Republicans will still lose the House.

    That's a tough game to win--when doing the statistical median means losing control. And when a president bucks the trend, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the issues at all. It's historical forces beyond their control.

    I don't see anything like that happening between now and November.

    Hope for the best, plan for the worst, I always say. If we keep the socialist Marxist SJWs from controlling the House, I'll be glad. I don't expect that. I think we should be telling our friends and family now that IF IF IF and when the Democrats do well in the midterms, it doesn't have anything to do with their socialist and SJW agenda. It's just a statistical, typical reaction to having a new president in the White House--which isn't about the Democrats pushing socialist SJW issues at all.

    It certainly doesn't presage how well Trump is likely to do in his reelection campaign, and if he's reelected, his party is likely to do much better in his second midterm.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Unemployment and a recovering economy will give Republicans the big gains in Congress.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't think it matters what their message is, really. I think it hurts them if they keep going all pro-SJW and anti-deplorable, but not enough to make a difference.

    I'm talking more about the long game. Individual elections don't even matter to them so much as ratcheting the state ever bigger. You'll notice that even once-moderate Dems like my senator Gillibrand are now indistinguishable from Bernie. They are all on message. They may lose in 2018 or 2020 but as long as they all stay in lockstep they will win in the end and everything they've been pushing in the meantime will come true. Then they will open up their little red books and pivot to whatever the next step is.

  • Nardz||

    Good observation.
    Their goal - and they're closer to it than I'm comfortable with - is to eliminate the need to win elections.
    Elections will persist to keep up appearances - one party states still allow the serfs the illusion of a voice

  • John||

    They thought they would never lose the Presidency. So, they set the Presidency up under Obama to be virtually immune from oversight or restraint. He had a pen and phone you know. Believing this, they stopped caring about winning over large parts of the country. The attitude, especially during the second term of the Obama Administration, was "fuck them, they can elect their reps to the House and have a debating society and we will own the courts and the exectutive and do whatever we want.". Without a 2/3rds majority in Congress, Congress is powerless to stop the exectutive.

    Then they lost in 2016. That is why they were so devistated by the loss. It wasn't about Trump. It could have been to any Republican. When they lost the White House, all of the levers of power they gave to themselves went to the Republicans. Worse, it meant they lost the courts too. So, now they are screwed. They have to figure out a way to win back Congress, which is going to be hard after spending 8 years of telling large sections of the country how much they hated them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    People understand issues that impact their pocketbooks.

    Is global warming a spent issue now?

    They try to make the state bigger and bigger, but things they do that hurt the economy get undone, too.

    ObamaCare has been largely dismantled.

    The double digit premium increases year on year are dropping to averages of single digits--and in some states, insurance companies on the exchanges are cutting the price of their premiums.

    I didn't expect to see gay marriage.

    I didn't expect to see recreational marijuana legalized.

    I didn't expect to see the Soviet Union implode.

    The future always looks bleak. It rarely turns out to be as bad we expect.

    I find it helps to buy a new motorcycle or something.

  • CE||

    Fewer than 3 percent of Americans view global warming as the top problem facing the US, according to a Gallup poll in July. Here are the volunteered responses:

    Immigration 22
    Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership 19
    Race relations/Racism 7
    Unifying the country 6
    Lack of respect for each other 6
    Economy in general 4
    Healthcare 3
    Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline 3

  • Ken Shultz||

    In the news, . . .

    South Africa has a problem with equality of outcome. Most of the country's farm land is still owned by Caucasians, and that's apparently a problem for some people--because they're the wrong race. The government has tried to tackle this problem in the past by using taxpayer money to lease land from whites on the behalf of black farmers. However, because the land is leased, the black farmers can't borrow against it for improvements, machinery, etc., and the program has been more or less a disaster.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/view/.....-apartheid

    So what's the solution?

    Well, it's ingenious really, you see what they're doing is moving forward with legislation that will strip ownership of the land from its white owners--without compensation. The "without compensation" party is very important because paying for things is expensive. Some people might see this as theft, but it's important to remember that the victims of this policy will all be white and the beneficiaries will all be black, so obviously anybody that complains is a racist.

    In reality, you can't violate people's rights without suffering the negative consequences of doing so, and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the negative consequences of violating these farmers' rights will be greater than the benefits.

  • John||

    Free money is more addictive than drugs and has even worse effects. It is all great during the high but then when the money is gone, you are worse off then you were. They will steal this land and it will go from productive land to wasteland and after they have blown through the other money they have stolen and the white farmers have left the country, they will be left with nothing. But it will be the White's fault for not staying on and working as their slaves.

  • Aloysious||

    So what's the solution?

    Kill All The White People!

    Might not be SFW

  • Weygand||

    Then they will blame the ensuing famine on the Boers

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    U.S. intelligence believes North Korea making more nuclear bomb fuel despite talks
    The latest U.S. intelligence assessment appeared to go counter to sentiments expressed by Donald Trump that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."
    Published 6:24 AM ET Sat, 30 June 2018
    Reuters

    TRUMP DON'T NEED NO INTELLIGENCE!

  • John||

    It is a good thing Trump didn't send them a billion dollars in cash or anything. You wouldn't want to do that with a hostile power that is building nukes now would he?

  • John||

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/amp.....ssion=true

    South Africa changes the constitution to allow the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation. Everything that the white South Africans said would happen after the end of Apartheid, has happened. It just took a little longer than they thought. In five years, South Africa will be starving and in chaos.

  • Overt||

    It worked so well in Zimbabwe, what could go wrong?

  • Weygand||

    Exactly

  • Rhywun||

    The Trump administration is considering "doubling proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent."

    "Losers at FAILING New York Times can't do basic math! Barron is smarter than these dopes. Sad!"

  • John||

    Right now there is a 10% tax on $200 billion dollars worth of goods. That means there is a $20 billion dollar tax that is paid by US consumers of these goods. If that is increased to 25%, there will be a $50 billion dollar tax on those goods or a net increase in taxes of $30 billion. Like all tax increases, that is not good. But, it is a bit rich for the very same people who are arguing for trillions of dollars in tax increases to pretend that a $30 billion tax increase is the end of the world.

  • Happy Chandler||

    It's a bit rich to compare the 10 year estimates of vague proposals to the 1 year cost of actual actions.

  • John||

    Name one tax proposal that would add up to less than $50 billion a year. Moreover, the cost of a tariff is not the cost of the tariff. It is the difference in price between the cost of producing it domestically versus importing it. That is usually not the full cost of the tariff. And the market adjusts to the cost as time goes on.

    You don't understand any of these issues. You should do yourself a favor and stop commenting on them and embarrassing yourself.

  • Juice||

    And the market adjusts to the cost as time goes on.

    Just like increases in the personal income tax, corporate income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, or the minimum wage, so really we should never complain about any of these things.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The cost of domestic product adjusts up to take advantage of the tariff. That means that the true cost of the tariff is more than the headline number. It's the take of the tariffs plus the government provided excess profits of the chosen winners. The domestic price of steel has gone up just as imported steel has, so every steel consumer has paid double the tariff.

    So, yeah, you're wrong again. But boy do your insults hurt. I'm crying inside.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The sentence in the article is "more than doubling". ENB committed a journalistic misdemeanor, leaving out words that change the meaning of the quote.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Treasury Plans to Boost Borrowing as Trillion-Dollar Deficits Loom
    Move could boost the cost of credit, rippling through the economy
    By Josh Zumbrun and Daniel Kruger
    Updated Aug. 1, 2018 2:51 p.m. ET
    WASHINGTON—Rising federal budget deficits are boosting the U.S. Treasury's borrowing and could restrain a fast-growing economy as the cost of credit rises, too.

    WSJ

    Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit, cut it in half, now The Dotard is running it back up while tax collections should be rising in the flush economy he inherited.

    GOP = Big Deficit Party

  • Restoras||

    The national debt doubled under Obama - or did you forget?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sure it did. Because he inherited a $1.2 trillion annual deficit from the Bushpigs.

    8 X 1.2 = nearly a double

  • Restoras||

    So, he did nothing about the debt, he added to it by 100%, but that's ok because he's Obama?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Don't be an idiot. The Bushpigs blew up the economy, deficit, and budget with their big spending and Iraq war. The CAUSE of that debt was all on the GOP because Clinton left a small annual budget surplus.

  • Restoras||

    The national debt increased while Clinton was president as well. There wasn't an actual surplus - just a government accounting one - and even if there was Clinton didn't use it to reduce the national debt. So, as you can plainly see, the Democrats are just as responsible as the Republicans for our $21 trillion debt. Why make yourself look so stupid when it's plainly obvious?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Because the GOP creates huge programs that aren't paid for - then they cut taxes with voodoo economics claiming tax cuts reduce the deficit.

    What did the Bushpigs create? NCLB, Homeland Security, Iraq War nation building, Medicare Welfare Part D, ADDA, and more.

    None paid for.

    Obamacare, as bad as it is, was fully funded.

  • Restoras||

    Ok, got it, ONLY the Republicans create spending problems in Congress, whereas the Democrats are the champions of lower spending and fiscal conservatism. And no Democrats voted in favor of every spending bill with a Y/Y increase - ever. Right? I think I've got it now - thanks for helping me sort it out!

  • Nardz||

    Obama averaged a $1.125 trillion deficit per year.
    Don't see how that cuts a $1.2 "inherited" deficit in half

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Don't see how that cuts a $1.2 "inherited" deficit in half

    Because he inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit and left in 2017 with a $500 billion deficit for that FY.

  • Restoras||

    Because he inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit and left in 2017 with a $500 billion deficit for that FY.

    And in each year, the smaller deficit was added to the national debt.

  • Sevo||

    "The Bushpigs blew up the economy, deficit, and budget with their big spending and Iraq war. The CAUSE of that debt was all on the GOP because Clinton left a small annual budget surplus."

    Reality begs to differ, you slimy pile of shit:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_
    federal_budget#/media/File:
    CBO_Infographic_2017.png

  • Juice||

    The Bushpigs blew up the economy, deficit, and budget with their big spending and Iraq war.

    Right? All the Democrats were fully opposed from the beginning and voted against it. We all remember that.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's so cute watching people argue over which party is worse on debt.

  • Juice||

    8 X 1.2

    Wait, did he half the deficit or what?

  • Shirley Knott||

    BFD, it tripled under Reagan.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dont Democrats control Congress most of the times the national debt goes way up?

    President can veto the budgets but Congress gets to skate on creating these unbalanced budgets.

  • Happy Chandler||

    68%. Compared to 101% under Bush.

    By dollar amount, Trump is on tap to match Obama's two terms in his only term.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    That's some pretty fuzzy bullshit math. The national debt has gone up $1.4 trillion in a year and a half of Trump, which is absolutely horrible, but nowhere close to the $9.3 trillion it went up under Block Yomomma.

  • Happy Chandler||

    That's going off of the 2019 budget request, it seems. Not quite sure how the figures work.

    2017 budget was Obama's.

  • Rich||

    Internal documents from a TSA working group say the proposal to cut screening at small and some medium-sized airports serving aircraft with 60 seats or fewer could bring a "small (non-zero) undesirable increase in risk related to additional adversary opportunity."

    (Gotta love the government-speak.) If it *could* bring a "non-zero undesirable increase in risk" better quash this idea toot sweet.

    Also, "additional adversary opportunity" is a nice album name.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The only places that arguably benefit from TSA screening are the big hubs--LA, SF, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, DC, and NY--because they're moving massive numbers of people on a given day, they're more diverse, and there's more opportunities for terrorist acts to take place.

    For small airports like Albuquerque, Billings, Montgomery, etc., it's a waste of time and money. Most of these airports don't have more than 10 gates.

  • Sevo||

    Dog-bites-man, but TRUMP!

    "Trump's short-term health plans are cheaper but cover less"
    [...]
    "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumers will have more options to buy cheaper, short-term health insurance under a new Trump administration rule, but there's no guarantee the plans will cover pre-existing conditions or provide benefits like coverage of prescription drugs."
    https://www.cleveland.com/nation/
    index.ssf/2018/08/trumps_
    short-term_health_plans.html

    Why, it's almost like you have some choices and you might get what you chose to buy!

  • John||

    Sevo, do you mean paying less for something means that I will get less in return? Big if true.

  • Sevo||

    John, I was shocked to hear that suggested, but this is AP, so it might be true.

  • Just Say'n||

    www.twitter.com/ggreenwald/sta.....7861184512

    Known Russia bot Glenn Greenwald posts comments made by known alt-right figure, Noam Chomsky.

    The disconnect between the anti-war Left and progressives with regards to Russia Fever Dreams and Russian reproachment is stark.

  • John||

    It is similar to what is happening between the left and Alan Dershowitz, who seems to be the only civil libertarian left in the movement. You would think that people like Dershowitz and Greenwald and Chomsky basically telling them that their position is nuts would give them pause. But nothing seems to give them pause these days.

  • Just Say'n||

    Dershowitz is a Jewish Nazi

  • Nardz||

    (((Nazi)))

  • ||

    Stark yes. But with a tinge of unhinge.

    30 years I've been observing politics and reading history.

    THIS level of stupidity I have not seen. Same with the level of corruption and full on breaking of norms (which is extremely troubling).

    This shit with the FBI/Mueller etc. That's Grade A Chiquita banana republic tin pot shit hole stuff.

    Worse, the idiots spin these a-holes into fricken patriots!

  • John||

    I think part of what is going on is that Trump is forcing people to live the counterfactual. The reason why people cling to failing policies is that they tell themselves "it would have been worse had we not done X". Trump is forcing the establishment to live the counterfactual on a lot of issues like immigration, trade, taxes, and regulation that are core to their beliefs and self-esteem. Also, none of them thought he would win. So they never worried if anything they were saying about him was true. The crazier and more outlandish things they said about Trump, the more harm to the country they figured they could later claim to have saved it from after Trump lost. So, the run-up to the 2016 election became an orgy of hyperbole among the media and the Democrats. To their shock, Trump won. So now they are having to live the counter factual. And their choices are either admit he has a point about some things, and basically admit they were complete lunatics during 2016 and take responsibility for the damage their policies have done to the country, or go into complete denial and pretend all the things they said in 2016 were true. They have chosen the latter. And the more time goes, the crazier they have to act to keep that illusion alive.

  • CE||

    It was there all along, but Twitter wasn't.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    One thing with the FBI corruption is that we always assumed the FBI was corrupt with few exceptions. Now there are various evidence source of the FBI corruption.

  • Sevo||

    "Facebook page's removal angers Washington protest organizers"
    [...]
    "SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Facebook stunned and angered organizers of a protest against white supremacists when it disabled their Washington event's page this week, saying it and others had been created by "bad actors" misusing the social media platform."
    https://auburnpub.com/news/national/facebook
    -page-s-removal-angers-washington-protest-
    organizers/article_daae842b-315a-
    5d78-8579-382cbcd5c441.html

    But:
    "The company said the page — one of 32 pages or accounts it removed Tuesday from Facebook and Instagram — violated its ban on "coordinated inauthentic behavior" and may be linked to an account created by Russia's Internet Research Agency, a so-called troll farm that has sown discord in the U.S."

    OH NO! "SOWN DISCORD"!!!!
    Maybe we've finally found the smoking gun proving that the Russkis "canoodled"!

  • Rich||

    OH NO! "SOWN DISCORD"!!!!

    Indeed. It should be "sown dischord".

  • Rhywun||

    "Ve're not Russians, da? Please put back up page!"

    FB and the rest are soooo stupid for going along with this selective censorship crap. They're doing it for the optics but in the end it will bite them in the ass and if we're lucky bankrupt them.

  • Sevo||

    "Ve're not Russians, da? Please put back up page!"

    Moose and squirrel angry!
    But, yeah, that net is bound to catch a lot of dolphins along with the tuna.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Dude, Rocky (squirrel) and Bullwinkle (moose) were the Americans. You're thinking of Boris and Natasha–they were the ones from Pottsylvania.

  • Weygand||

    How is it not "sewn" dischord?

  • Weygand||

    How is it not "sewn" dischord?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    But the school countered that the team isn't a disciplinary body and student participation is dependent on their consent.

    So what happens if a student doesn't consent? No disciplinary repercussions, right?

  • Bearded Spock||

    "The end of Sen. Ted Cruz?"

    Well , now we know ENB doesn't bother to read the article if she likes the headline. The poll is based on a biased sample.

    I get why the Media are desperately trying to drag O'Rourke across the finish line -- Democrat, telegenic, relatively young, Ivy League education -- but their obvious cheerleading is getting to be ridiculous.

  • Just Say'n||

    It's Wendy Davis all over again

  • Sevo||

    It worked so well with the hag!

  • Bearded Spock||

    "In the wake of a federal court ruling that President Trump can't block critics on Twitter, two anti-vaccination activists are suing their state senator, California Democrat Richard Pan, because he blocked them from viewing his Twitter account."

    Something something unintended consequences something something own petard

  • Kristian H.||

    RE: "Bias Response Team" doesn't violate student rights, federal court rules. The University of Michigan's "Bias Response Team"

    This is during the summer of Permit Patty, Pool Watch Paula, Starbuck Starr, and so on. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I'm torn on that Permit Patty stuff. On the one hand, it's ever so pleasant to see pushback against this urge by petty control freaks to use the state as a weapon. Aaaand then the media and socials decide it's just the racisms at work, and my freedom boner goes away.

  • Happy Chandler||

  • Sevo||

    "The complex has no car parking, but 22 bicycle parking spots. It has no elevator, and no interior common rooms except hallways, but has a shared outdoor patio/BBQ area. ADA accessible units are on the ground floor."

    Each unit has a room where you can center your chakras!

  • markm23||

    No parking and 4th floor walkup _might_ be acceptable for student housing - most students are strong and healthy, and can't use a car on campus. But at $2180/month for a single-occupancy studio I'd expect some amenities. That's over 50% more than developers around here plan to charge for a conventionally built apartment of that size with elevators, a laundry room and other common areas, and car parking. If you could sell apartments without those amenities in this town, I expect the rents would be under $1200. Either this developer is expecting a huge profit margin, or Beserkley regulations are doubling the cost.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    This new 22-unit project from local developer Patrick Kennedy (Panoramic Interests) is the first in the nation to be constructed of prefabricated all-steel modular units made in China. Each module, which looks a little like sleekly designed shipping containers with picture windows on one end, is stacked on another like giant Legos.

    Anthill housing from an anthill country for anthill people.

  • Cory Crockett||

    As a staunch-critic of Jeff Sessions: "I am thoroughly-speechless. "

  • Cory Crockett||

    C'mon, Jeffy; let's see a curveball on the War On Drugs.

    P.S: https://goo.gl/w5v2Eo

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Powerful Pegasus spy software targets Amnesty International. The human rights group Amnesty International said that spying software linked to the Israeli company NSO Group was sent to an Amnesty staffer and to a Saudi Arabian rights activist via WhatsApp in June.

    So now we can say there is a small Jewish mafia without being haters?

  • Home Care Agency||

    Yes, he had a pen and phone you know. Believing this, they stopped caring about winning over large parts of the country.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online