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Taxypayers Off the Hook for Sex Harassment Settlements in Congress: Reason Roundup

Plus: A congressman would "love" to regulate speech, and there's good news for hemp but not for much else in the new Farm Bill.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomTom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomTime's up for lawmakers who count on taxpayers to pay for their bad behavior. Members of Congress will have to start covering the costs of sexual harassment and retaliation settlements themselves. An agreement yesterday paved the way for this new policy—the first major change to congressional sexual harassment rules for more than two decades.

Right now, harassment and retaliation settlements "are paid through taxpayer-funded accounts members use to pay for office salaries and expenses," explains NPR.

Yesterday's agreement worked out differences between House and Senate versions of the update. The Senate version would have capped how much lawmakers themselves had to pay, while the House version would have set no limits. The compromise version does not set limits in sexual harassment lawsuits but does in cases of court-ordered damages (at $300,000).

"The deal comes after nearly a yearlong standoff between the House and the Senate over member liability and other issues in the bill," reports NPR. But now "Senate rules committee Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the chief GOP negotiator in the Senate, says he expects the bill will pass the Senate this week."

The legislation also edits other aspects of how harassment and retaliation claims against lawmakers will be handled, with an aim to make the process less complicated and more transparent:

The deal provides legal counsel for House staff who file complaints and legal assistance to Senate staff. It would also eliminate a mandatory 30-day "cooling-off period" before someone can file a complaint.

All settlements and awards involving members would be made public at the time of the settlement, and an annual review would be released to the public.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) is vowing to pass additional reforms next year.

FREE MINDS

Congressman would "love" to regulate speech. Talk about saying the quiet parts loud: In a TV interview yesterday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D–Calif.) said he "would love to regulate the content of speech," but is prevented from doing so by the First Amendment.

Lieu was being questioned about and criticizing complaints from House Republicans about alleged anti-conservative bias in Google search results.

Facing post-interview criticism, Lieu insisted that his intent had been to defend free speech by explaining that the First Amendment didn't allow for things House Republicans wanted to do. Maybe, but in the process he positioned himself as someone whose censorious impulses are curbed only by the Constitution.

FREE MARKETS

Good news for hemp, not for much else in new Farm Bill. The legislation cleared Congress yesterday and is on its way to President Donald Trump for approval. "Many of the headlines about the farm bill have focused on the inclusion of a provision that will legalize industrial hemp—a form of cannabis that contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana. Industrial hemp has a wide range of uses that includes making clothing, as a substitute for plastics, and as a additive to food and drinks," writes Reason's Eric Boehm.

But aside from that, Boehm says, this iteration of the perennial farm bill "somehow manages to suck even more than most." Why?

Among other things, it widens "an agricultural subsidy program that's already been widely criticized for sending benefits to people who, by most measures, would not count as farmers." More on that from the R Street Institute's Caroline Kitchens here.

It also came, in the House, with a resolution that ends debate on invoking the War Powers Act to stop U.S. funding of Saudi monstrosities in Yemen. That resolution was tucked into a procedural vote, which passed 206–203, with 18 Republicans voting against it and five Democrats for. The procedural vote cleared the way for the House to approve the final farm bill later in the day.

FOLLOWUPS

• Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for tax evasion and facilitating illegal campaign contributions. In related news, National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. admitted to its part in brokering a $150,000 hush payment from Trump and Cohen to model Karen McDougal. The company entered into a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors.

• Yesterday's vote of no confidence in the U.K. Parliament wound up OK for Prime Minister Teresa May, who has been under fire from many sides for bungling Brexit.

QUICK HITS

• Trump's latest immigrant targets are Vietnamese people who came to America as refugees from the Vietnam War and its aftermath:

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) will stop blocking the sentencing reform bill known as the FIRST STEP Act from a Senate floor vote. "Under pressure from the White House and a number of his fellow Republicans," McConnell said he'll bring the bill "for a vote as early as the end of the week," reports Reason's C.J. Ciaramella.

• As in so many areas, people's support for mandatory paid-leave policies drops the more they have to pay for it:

• Las Vegas is one of a number of cities where opioid-related harm reduction methods are growing:

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Congressman would "love" to regulate speech.

    They all would.

  • ||

    Hello.

    If campaign contributions get you pinched, then how in the world did the questionable practices of the Clinton Foundation not resulted in arrests?

    Beccaria would be very upset at this confusion.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Laws are for little people. Its the libertarian way.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Little people" being defined as those outside the political classes.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    I'd love an article centered around "If this is a crime, then this is a crime" and line up exactly what one side gets away with while the other side pays the price for their actions.

    Like lying to congress. Like hiding confidential documents. Like meeting and taking money from foreign agents.

    Line it up, and let's get a clear view of who gets away with what.

  • creech||

    All those things are crimes. But crossing into a country illegally is not. That is something to be praised and rewarded, shows you are too clever to wait in line like everyone else.

  • Zeb||

    Huh? Crossing the border illegally is a crime. A victimless crime. The "illegally" part gives it away.

    shows you are too clever to wait in line like everyone else

    Well, except all the other people who decide not to wait in the line that they would have to be extremely lucky to get to the front of.

  • BYODB||

    It's not a victimless crime with the way U.S. law is set up, but it really hinges on how you define victim. And it's U.S. policy that causes it to have victims, so I guess it depends how high up the chain you want to go.

    Would you consider cutting most incomes (especially unskilled labor) in the United States in half, at least, to be a good outcome? If so, unlimited immigration might be your bag.

    American's love their labor and wage policy too much to do away with immigration limits.

  • Ordinary Person||

    Cohen pleading out and AMI getting a deal means Trump will be prosecuted. We need to discuss this idea that Presidents can't be indicted. There's no law or exception under any criminal statute that gives Presidents immunity or forbearance from prosecution for criminal offenses. Reason should bust out the debate on that question.

  • ||

    If they prosecute Trump, the GOP has to fight to the death.

    You can't do that while let go of so many politicians who have done worse over time.

    Take down the system because it's rotten to its partisan core if that happens.

    I'm just looking at it from a larger picture. You don't prosecute over this, when there's plenty of evidence of Hilary doing worse from the emails to the foundation.

  • ||

    The Clintons thing blows me away.

    It's like how we view mobsters. *Everyone* knows who the mobsters are but nothing is or can be done. It's an open secret.

    With Hillary, we see a clearly corrupted individual walking around but has yet to face justice for it.

  • Ordinary Person||

    That argument wouldn't be permitted as a defense in a criminal trial. You're making political arguments. This is a more narrow question. The political question is whether Congress and you the public can stomach an indicted President. Sounds like you can.

  • ||

    If he be truly wrong, then the justice system must be allowed to function.

  • Dillinger||

    "Take down the system because it's rotten to its partisan core" full stop.

  • TLBD||

    There is no law against Trump pardoning himself or firing anyone, either.

    Also, the Constitution sets forth one way to get rid of a president, and it is not putting him in jail, or detaining him on charges, it is impeachment.

    Interfering with the duties of the President could be construed as a whole lot of things, and if done at the state level, an act of war.

  • TLBD||

    Oh, and I guess the 25th amendment.

  • TLBD||

    The only real question is can he be jailed after the presidency for acts committed before or during the presidency. The answer to that is most likely yes (unless he pardons himself?), but he cannot be removed from the presidency by any other means than impeachment or the 25th amendment. It does not matter if some zealous prosecutor in NY indicts him for anything. It doesn't matter if Mueller indicts him. Only Congress can impeach him and only the Senate can conduct the trial. Anything else is and should be considered an act of treason or war.

  • Cyto||

    The President can't pardon someone for a state crime.

    The New York state Attorney General has vowed to prosecute Trump for unspecified crimes that will be discovered after they thoroughly investigate everyone around Trump. Literally, that's what they have publicly promised to do.

    They are going to use their office in order to "get" political enemies. And everyone is OK with this.

    Nobody at a national level really raised a stink when local prosecutors misused their position to go after Tom Delay for what was obviously partisan political reasons.

    Nobody seemed to make not of the fact that many prominent Democrats promised to impeach Trump in the days after the election, long before he had even taken office.

    The idea that we are going to continue using government power to prosecute political enemies is pretty appalling. This doesn't lead anywhere good.

    I suppose we will need to see some local republicans starting to use criminal investigations to destroy prominent democrats in order to cleanse ourselves of this abomination. I thought we were done with the "unlimited resources to investigate a person rather than a crime" era when the Independent Counsel statute was allowed to expire.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The GOP won't do this. Not because of ethics, but because of cowardice, and a desire to be the Washington Generals to the left's Harlem Globetrotters. Their job is to enable the left by standing between everyone else and the political power necessary to stop them.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is not a statutory issue, it is a constitutional one. Impeachment is the equivalent to an indictment. It is just in a political forum rather than a judicial one. Judicial proceedings can go forth after removal. The process is to prevent the opposition from using the courts to hound the president.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Trump will not be the first sitting president to be hit with campaign finance violations (although he will be the first where the alleged violations are so questionable as to whether or not they even count as campaign contributions).

    Previous cases have resulted only in fines.

  • Jerryskids||

    the alleged violations are so questionable as to whether or not they even count as campaign contributions

    Let's not kid ourselves - they're going after Trump on the idea that the hush money was an undeclared campaign expenditure but if he had declared it as a campaign expense they would right now be going after Trump for illegally declaring a personal expense as a campaign expense. The violations are questionable because as long as the law is vague and subject to interpretation anybody can be charged with anything at any time. The "no reasonable prosecutor" standard Comey pulled out to let Hillary off the hook is utter bullshit, prosecutorial discretion covers a lot of ground.

  • perlchpr||

    I wish he'd just told them to pound sand, and when they blabbed about it, said, "Yeah, that's right, I fuck porn stars. My opponent fucks goats."

  • Rebel Scum||

    @ Ordinary Person Retarded Leftist

    Like it or not, you cannot indict a sitting president. He must first be removed through the impeachment process and then you may indict him for crimes. That ain't happening, especially for a supposed campaign finance violation (which so far it looks like he did not commit...) But feel free to wax-idiotic about it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA): "I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so..." pic.twitter.com/2LYevmIqrT
    — Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 12, 2018

    Maybe he'll get a Christmas miracle and the Bill of Rights will no longer be worth the paper its written on.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    "Congress shall make no law..." is really open for interpretation.

  • Rich||

    "Well, it's not a LAW-law."

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Well it doesn't say that the "President shall make no decree." So there is that.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you've seen some of the laws that already exist then you'd understand how seriously they take that too.

  • Rebel Scum||

    As is "the right of the people...shall not be infringed."

  • Mike Laursen||

    OMG, the guy made a very obviously *rhetorical* statement. One that we have all heard before.

    And people are purposely taking him literally. Or they really are so dense they cannot tell when someone isn speaking rhetorically.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Everyone knows that evil proggies are always dead serious, homie.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for tax evasion and facilitating illegal campaign contributions.

    But mostly for being in Trump's orbit.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Time's up for lawmakers who count on taxpayers to pay for their bad behavior. Members of Congress will have to start covering the costs of sexual harassment and retaliation settlements themselves.

    This is only illegal for Trump to do.

  • Rich||

    What if the congresscreature's settlement influences xir re-election?

  • Rich||

    Note to self: Refresh before commenting.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    It's easy to accept the idea that the reason the congresscreatures where settling in secret is so it would not affect their re-election chances.

  • Longtobefree||

    So all of the members who have used tax dollars to shut up sex victims have also committed campaign violations, and must resign immediately?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Nope, only Trump. He is icky. Nothing more libertarian than having the laws apply only to the lower classes and their representatives.

  • Aloysious||

    No no. They're the right kind of people, and we hold the right kind of people to different standards than the wrong kind of people. Because they're the right kind of people, or something.

  • Cyto||

    Even better, these are payments that are authorized by law, so totally legal campaign contributions.

  • Ron||

    its only a legal campaign contribution if they listed it with their contributions but they were secret so they didn't making it illegal

  • Brian||

    Pretty much. Apparently, if you're a politician using money to buy someone out, it's to influence an election, making it a campaign contribution.

    And, besides taxpayer dollars being used as campaign donations, it surely must pop the individual cap on campaign contributions.

    Therefore, they are all guilty of felonies and deserve nothing but contempt. I mean, that's worse than sexual harassment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. admitted to its part in brokering a $150,000 hush payment from Trump and Cohen to model Karen McDougal. The company entered into a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors.

    In return they won't reveal prosecutors' secret affair with Batboy.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Please don't reference WWN. It's death still pains me.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    But if they take the $50G and turn around, another country will get all the delicious food trucks.

    SUSPECTED TERRORIST LEADING MIGRANT GROUP DEMANDING ENTRY INTO US
    Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa organized a march of approximately 100 migrants to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico, on Tuesday, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Ulloa delivered a letter to the consulate on behalf of the migrants, asking for either entry into the U.S. or a payment of $50,000 per person.

    "It may seem like a lot of money to you," Ulloa told the Union-Tribune. "But it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras."

    Ulloa has lived in Mexico since 1987 after fleeing Honduras in the wake of a bombing that wounded six soldiers. Ulloa was suspected of planting a bomb in a Chinese restaurant, but received asylum from Mexico, whose government described the suspected terrorist as a "freedom fighter."

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    FOOD. TRUCKS.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    So, all that talk about how the migrants can't go home because something something violent oppression can all be forgotten for $50K apiece. Apparently you can solve every problem by throwing money at it!

  • The Knuckle||

    They also can't go home because if climate change, unless they get 50k, then the climate change doesn't matter

  • The Knuckle||

    *of

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) will stop blocking the sentencing reform bill known as the FIRST STEP Act from a Senate floor vote.

    Who knows what pressing other legislative urgencies he had to back burner to make this happen.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    WOMP WOMP! Matt Yglesias' bright idea of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez running for president so dumb even SHE says no
    Matt Yglesias wants Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.

    Don't make that face, it's not our bright idea, it's his.

    In fact, many writers at Vox were pushing the idea that the age limit of being at least 35 for president should be done away with because it's racist or sexist or something.

    You made that face again.

    We can hardly blame you though considering these are the same people who keep telling us adults are too helpless and useless to pay for their own health insurance until they're 26 so … yeah.

  • Longtobefree||

    One response would be to index the age qualification to medical advances.
    Take the percentage of life span that 35 represented at the founding of the country, and apply that percentage to today's life expectancy.
    To factor out early childhood deaths impacting the average, the life expectancy of a 10 year old in the mid-1800s was around 58 to 60 years old. (I couldn't find much data from 1776 that did not include child deaths - average expectancy using that data was 35 years old)
    So using 58, 35 would be 60% of expected lifespan.
    Today lifespan is around 74 - 80, depending on source. So the 35 in the constitution would be around 49.
    Any body actually care?

  • Zeb||

    Well, we do generally elect Presidents who are around that age or older.

  • The Knuckle||

    What? So I can't go from being a worthless, irresponsible child to leader of the free world on my 27th Birthday!?!?

  • Rebel Scum||

    being at least 35 for president

    It should be raised to at least 40, if not 45.

  • Rich||

    All settlements and awards involving members would be made public at the time of the settlement

    Right. "A congressional sexual-harassment settlement and award was made today."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Members of Congress will have to start covering the costs of sexual harassment and retaliation settlements themselves.

    Now with lobby money.

  • Rich||

    "Hobby" lobby!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Knobby lobby!

  • Ron||

    note though the government still pays all their lawyer fees which is often teh larger part of these complaints

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Barstool Sports writer calls out woke Deadspin writer who deemed him a 'traitorous queer'
    Deadspin's piece, "Conservative Gays Need To Shut The F**k Up," was written by Lauren Theisen, who also took a shot at Barstool Sports writer Pat, who didn't appreciate being called a "traitorous queer" and "a much more boring example of queer identity."

  • Rich||

    "traitorous queer"

    Nice ban name.

  • Rich||

    *banned* ;-)

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This will let them know that it's legal for you to have them!

    Is it ever illegal to own them? Does it require a prescription or something?

  • Eddy||

    It's drug paraphenalia.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I see. So this actually gets at a question I've asked before. Why are clean needles not distributed by charities, or just so cheap that people by them by the ton. Or even, old days needles you could boil to sterilize.

    The latter is still not known, but I suspect there is a law at play there as well.

  • perlchpr||

    The issue with reusing needles isn't solely about them being dirty, it's about them being dull.

    Like knives, needles that are used lose their proper edge. The material that needles are made of is very thin, so it doesn't have much of an edge to start with, despite being triple hollow ground. Once the cutting edge of the needle dulls, it inflicts more damage than necessary on the way in, which leads to increased risk of infection. And junkies generally don't need any further immunocompromising effect.

    [EMT mode off]

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And so olden needles that were boiled were just worse in that way then? That's a fair reading of it. Though what, in your opinion, would be the preference between a dull needle versus sharing dirty needles? Real question by the way.

  • Cyto||

    Dirty needles are also going to be dull.... so double worse.

    Dirty is way, way worse than dull though. When Hepatitis C is the good answer from doing something, it is just something that you should avoid altogether.

  • perlchpr||

    And so olden needles that were boiled were just worse in that way then?

    Yup. I mean... needles can be resharpened, but I'm guessing most junkies don't carry 10,000 grit round profile sharpening stones for that purpose. And frankly, machine sharpened needles are always going to be superior. Once again, it's nice to have modern medical equipment over the shit from the Dark Ages. :D

    Though what, in your opinion, would be the preference between a dull needle versus sharing dirty needles? Real question by the way.

    Well, a needle that's merely dull, but at least clean, would be better than a needle which was both dull and dirty, I suppose. The needle is dulled by going through skin. It's not much resistance, but it's enough to start curling the point and reducing the edge on the sides. So a shared needle will by definition also be dull for the 2nd - Nth users.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Facing post-interview criticism, Lieu insisted that his intent had been to defend free speech by explaining that the First Amendment didn't allow for things House Republicans wanted to do.

    Yeah, it doesn't sound good coming out. That's too sure. Robby called it nothing on Twitter yesterday as well. I must admit, even as his Nemesis, that I was suprised by that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The first time you come in for needles we give you this card- show this to the police if they question you about carrying clean needles. This will let them know that it's legal for you to have them! #KnowYourRights #Vegas pic.twitter.com/JhXhsTLSrW
    — Trac-B Exchange- Las Vegas (@tracbexchange) December 12, 2018

    Do we really want law enforcement to learn the laws they're paid to enforce off of cards given to them by the junkies they're slapping around?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    You're assuming that the junkies can even reach into their pocket to get the card without getting shot first. It looked like a gun!

  • Rich||

    Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA): "I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech."

    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.): "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Exclusive: The Trump administration has decided that Vietnamese migrants who arrived before the establishment of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Vietnam are subject to standard immigration law—meaning they are all eligible for deportation. https://t.co/njUnvAjm8x
    — The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) December 12, 2018

    The president just knows you don't want zips in the wire down here.

  • Ordinary Person||

    What dicks. Just looking to fuck people.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    No shit. If there's any group that a) came here with the blessing of the government and b) busted their asses to work hard once they arrived and c) faces near-certain punishment if forced to go back, it's this group. And Trump wants to fuck them because, well, who knows why.

    Impeach the prick. I don't care.

  • Aloysious||

    ^this.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Campaign promises, my dear person. You wouldn't let him deport the brown, so Trump has to go and kill the yellow man...

    ...'s chance at the American dream.

  • Cyto||

    i'm not sure how he's going to be able to spin this into N-Dimensional chess, but he keeps doing it.

    This is pretty indefensible on the face of it, so it will be interesting to see where he takes it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    As in so many areas, people's support for mandatory paid-leave policies drops the more they have to pay for it...

    Free lunches are very popular on one end of the equation.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I assume that rubber has more nutritional content than a Bolivar?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I presume you could get a fair amount of meat off of Simón.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's got to be pretty rancid by now though.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Rather ironic, because it was not a good year in Venezuela to say the least!

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Then it's the opposite of ironic.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I'll let Alanis Morissette be the judge of what is and isn't ironic, thank you.

  • Dillinger||

    not ironic just what happened. ~~Bender

  • Ron||

    tires are useful during revolutions. Like lining a street and setting them on fire or as in some places you put your enemies in a stack of tires and set it on fire. tires a revolutionist friend

  • Sevo||

    "Goodyear Shuts Down in Venezuela and Gives Tires as Severance"

    Bloomberg never hints at the cause of the mess in Venezuela; for all you get from the article, it might be an asteroid strike.

  • Mock-star||

    Its just one of those things, apparently. Bad luck.

  • ||

    "Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA): "I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech."

    The yeller man acting yeller.

    /waves burning newspaper pushing back angry mob.

  • Rich||

    Russian robot hailed as hi-tech on state TV has been unmasked as a man in a suit

    And wait until the truth comes out about "sex robots"!

  • Eddy||

    Good thing that misunderstanding was cleared up, they were about to melt him down for scrap.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

  • Eddy||

    "The compromise version does not set limits in sexual harassment lawsuits but does in cases of court-ordered damages (at $300,000)."

    Wait, if a plebe is found liable for sexual harassment, does (s)he get damages capped too?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    We can count on bipartisanship breaking out whenever some gov funded horror like Yemen's proxy war is threatened. Purple is the color of our spilled blood and treasure.

  • Jerryskids||

    Congressman would "love" to regulate speech.

    Outrage!

    Oh, wait, no, Fake News.

    The guy didn't stop with saying that the First prevents him from doing so, he also added that he thought that was a good thing that the government was not allowed to regulate the content of speech.

    Plenty of people would love to regulate speech, through ignorance or duplicity claim the First doesn't apply to "hate speech", and think it's a terrible thing that government won't ban speech they don't think anybody should be allowed to hear. It should go without saying that anybody who thinks themselves fit to wield such power is the very last person you should trust to wield such power. Lieu is not one of them.

  • speedylee||

  • Eddy||

    They mistook that Beatles song for a tax-policy white paper.

  • Ron||

    it includes a fire year retroactive tax which is illegal I'm sure but then it is California. I will throw my phone away if they try to charge me a retroactive tax F&&^% those assholes.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) is vowing to pass additional reforms next year"

    If she imposes terms limits and keeps cracking penis jokes I might just have to root for her

  • Sevo||

    "Health insurance sign-ups lag as open enrollment deadline looms"
    [...]
    "The Trump administration didn't set sign-up targets for the health overhaul, according to a report this summer from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. Such targets are a standard management tool for government agencies.
    [...]
    Congress repealed the fine for being uninsured, effective this Jan. 1. The tax penalty was the most unpopular part of Obama's law."
    http://www.witf.org/news/2018/12/health-
    insurance-sign-ups-lag-as-open-
    enrollment-deadline-looms.php

    Darn that Trump for not setting targets!

  • Longtobefree||

    Targets are associated with guns; therefore evil.
    QED

  • Cynical Asshole||

    That picture up at the top: talk about a murderer's row of fugly. I'm betting they're just pissed that no one ever wanted to sexually harass them. They all look like they fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Woof.

  • Sevo||

    CA's housing "crises" is gonna be fixed!

    "Bay Area leaders propose aggressive housing fix, and new agency to get it done"
    [...]
    "A panel of mayors, developers and transit officials has an aggressive plan to stanch the Bay Area's housing crisis by combining a regional rent cap, new property taxes, laws against arbitrary evictions and loose zoning near transit centers."
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article
    /Bay-Area-leaders-propose-aggressive-housing
    -fix-13461969.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Well, one out of four....

  • Jerryskids||

    As we say in the trades, I've cut this board 4 times and it's still not long enough.

  • perlchpr||

    Yeah, wow. A rent cap will definitely increase the amount of available housing...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The "near transit centers" thing is really annoying though. It's like admitting that relaxing regulations might help, but they're still only going to do it in a way that supports their overarching agenda.

  • ||

    The "near transit centers" thing is really annoying though

    No, you misinterpreted it, the 'Loose' zoning near transfer centers is actually just a new designation allowing more bathhouses.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Talk about saying the quiet parts loud: In a TV interview yesterday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D–Calif.) said he "would love to regulate the content of speech," but is prevented from doing so by the First Amendment.

    Call it a hunch, but something tells me he's not alone, he's just the first one stupid enough to say it out loud. Of course, he's a Democrat from California, so it's not like he has to worry about being out of office for saying idiotic horseshit like that.

  • Sevo||

    Believe me, many of his constituents would be happy to have him do so.

  • Jerryskids||

    As in so many areas, people's support for mandatory paid-leave policies drops the more they have to pay for it:

    You're going to help me out here - in which area do people demand more of something the more it costs? I've heard so much about the law of supply and demand but I don't recall hearing of exceptions to it, which I would think at some point I would have heard of such a thing.

  • creech||

    Niche luxury goods in limited supply. e.g. some designer handbag shows up on Hoda; wannabes flock to store to buy it, store keeps rising prices until the demand abates.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Boy Scouts are going bankrupt for two reasons:

    1) Their intolerance for gay scout leaders.

    2) Their refusal to accept the growing number of transgender scouts.

    The combination has made them a toxic mix of homophobia and general non-inclusiveness, and that's, in turn, made them unappealing to both kids and their parents these days.

    Actually, they probably are going into bankruptcy court, but it's not for those reasons.

    1) A string of lawsuits over the sexual abuse of boys going back years and years.

    2) The Mormon church, which was a major donor, has completely withdrawn their financial support because . . . well, you know why.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/bo.....544649657?

  • Eddy||

    Because they can't marry two Girl Scouts at a time?

  • Eddy||

    Seriously, I haven't subscribed to the WSJ and their articles are paywalled, so I'll have to rely on my best guess.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Mormon Church is starting their own club, rather than contributing to the Boy Scouts, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb assuming that it probably has something to do with the Boy Scouts' new policies on scoutmasters and LGBT.

    Is it wrong to assume that the Mormon Church frowns on that sort of thing?

    I don't think so.

    Did it never occur to you that the Mormon Church might have withdrawn their support for that reason?

    You can put two and two together, right?

  • perlchpr||

    Nope. Former LDS here, and still have LDS family. The LDS church was actually OK with the "gay scoutmaster" thing, but letting girls participate was a bridge too far for them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Adventists have a Boy Scouts organization that's probably almost as old as the Boy Scouts. It's coed--like the youth group at church.

    Lenore S. might chastise me for it, but I'd be reluctant to let my kid go off into the woods with strangers there days.

  • perlchpr||

    Well, I think the theory is that the Scoutmaster and other people from your church aren't supposed to be "strangers".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Anybody who isn't me is a stranger when it comes to taking my kids out into the woods.

  • perlchpr||

    Well, OK, then.

  • perlchpr||

    And pretty much everyone in the family I talked to about it was pissed at the plan. Getting your Eagle Scout means something, (or at least until it gets watered down to being a participation trophy), but getting your "Mormon Scout" badge probably won't net you much on a resume.

  • $park¥ The Misanthrope||

    Serious Sam is immune to humor.

  • ||

    The Mormon Church is starting their own club, rather than contributing to the Boy Scouts, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb assuming that it probably has something to do with the Boy Scouts' new policies on scoutmasters and LGBT.

    Even without/outside the LDS, the numbers are down massively with no obvious way to make it up.

    IMO, the root cause is victim of their own success. I had near zero interaction with scouting 5 yrs. ago and since then it seems like every year I turn around and there's an incomplete district project that's been abandoned for lack of funds and/or an entire tier of bureaucracy that has nothing to do with providing programming or service to boys/kids being merged into another tier that doesn't. Funding bridges to nowhere and keeping your cronies on staff is not a problem when you have 2-3% growth in membership year over year (just ask Facebook), but as soon as the growth stops, you'd better have a plan. And, despite supposedly being prepared, it doesn't seem like scouting did.

    The 'war on boys' and 'maker communities' have been things for over two decades, and scouting didn't seem to pick up on the fact that they were in trouble and/or continued to think their main troubles were the 'three vapors' (gasoline, perfume, and ganja) pulling drawing boys out of scouting.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • Dillinger||

    hilarious guess.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Fundy churches have been running their own scout knockoffs for decades. More "Christ centered" donchano. Don't know if they have the same pedophile problem as BSA. Time will tell.

  • ||

    They do. Pedophiles will always go where the boys are, and lying about belief in Christ is not much of a stretch for someone already plotting to molest children.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The interesting aspect is that the Boy Scouts seem to have sacrificed themselves on the altar of inclusiveness.

    People in positions of leadership imagine that the world has changed more than it really has. The same old rules still apply. For instance, you cannot alienate a crucial chunk of your support--and not lose a crucial chunk of your support.

    When Brexit wins, Trump gets elected, Merkel gets kicked out of office by a xenophobic anti-immigration party, and Yellow Jackets descend on Paris by the hundreds of the thousands, the people in charge look at each other in amazement--where did all these people come from?

    I dunno . . . maybe actively alienating your key support . . . um . . . alienates them?

    Maybe we're more tuned into media and the internet these days, and it makes it seem like what people say on the internet is more important than anything else. I know the Boy Scouts were under a tremendous amount of media pressure on inclusiveness--sort of like the Redskins. Maybe once you've survived whatever losses you were going to suffer under the criticism of non-inclusiveness, the crucial support you have left is lost when you finally decide to give in to the pressure. About the only thing the Redskins could do to kill what support they have left (much of it lost because of bad management of the team), would be to change the name. That's basically what the Boy Scouts did.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's like a hardcore band that sold out to metal in the early eighties, and now the only music people want to hear is what you were doing before you sold out.

  • DajjaI||

    Taxypayers Off the Hook for Sex Harassment Settlements in Congress

    So why even run?

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Members of Congress will have to start covering the costs of sexual harassment and retaliation settlements themselves.

    "themselves" please homie, how'd they earn *that* money?

  • Dillinger||

    >>>to deport Vietnam War Refugees

    wtf? pissed@Nixon? bad pho?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I know, right?

    If there is any nation for which the claim that America totally broke the nation and therefore owes a debt to help fix it, has any validity at all, that nation is Vietnam.

  • ||

    You really have no understanding of actual history.

    Keep to porn websites. It will keep your fingers busy and prevent you from revealing how utterly ignorant you are.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    An agreement yesterday paved the way for this new policy—the first major change to congressional sexual harassment rules for more than two decades.

    Good news, now if the whole body can be flooded with #MeToo accusations, perhaps we can gum up the entire works-- something I'd like to see.

  • Eddy||

    "He reached into my pants, and the next thing I knew my wallet was missing!"

  • Gateway Drug||

    Did you listen to the whole clip? Yes, he says he would "love to regulate the content of speech" but is prevented from doing so by the first amendment. Then he says, in the long run, that's for the best, and that regulating speech is simply not something the gov't should be doing. This is the second time in as many days I've seen Reason completely mischaracterize a statement for clicks. Shame.

  • jdgalt1||

    So, when is Reason going to file an FOIA request and publish the names of all the Congresscritters who paid off complainants from the slush fund? The taxpayers want a full accounting and our money back!

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