Thursday Open Thread

|

Please feel free to write comments on this post on whatever topic you like! (As usual, please avoid personal insults of each other, vulgarities aimed at each other or at third parties, or other things that are likely to poison the discussion.)

NEXT: Biden Partly Clarifies Position on Court-Packing - And Perhaps Opens Door to Possible Deal

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.

  1. Leaving aside any politics, I thought ACB comported herself with grace and poise during the hearings. She will serve our country with honor and distinction.

    1. I agree. This, unfortunately, can’t be said of most of the Democratic members of the committee. It was difficult to watch.

      1. ThePublius…To be completely fair, we should note that Senator Graham thanked the Team D members of the Judiciary Committee for not converting the hearings into a circus. And truthfully, they did not. Yeah, they took their shots. But no circus. As an American, I am glad it turned out that way = no circus; there has been too much of that.

        1. I don’t agree, see my comments below.

          But even if true, that sets the bar really low. The world’s greatest deliberative body is to be complimented because, at least they did not descend to the level of ten clowns crowding into a used Toyota, an elephant in a tutu balancing on his hind legs, and the bearded lady in a tent? Count me as unimpressed.

          1. BL….You have to start somewhere = The world’s greatest deliberative body is to be complimented because, at least they did not descend to the level of ten clowns crowding into a used Toyota, an elephant in a tutu balancing on his hind legs, and the bearded lady in a tent? You know, when they get things mostly right [e.g. not a total ####show], we should say so.

            I watched snippets of the hearings on and off. I thought her answer to Senator Hawley on her thought process when adjudicating cases was pretty informative. At least as a citizen, it was a window into how she thinks about cases, and how she works very methodically to adjudicate them.

          2. No deliberative body can lay claim to being the world’s greatest if it includes intellectually challenged nitwits like Hazy Mazy.

            Talk about being a few fries short of a happy meal.

          3. “world’s greatest deliberative body”

            I don’t believe for a minute that’s true. I know the trope, and it probably was true at some point. But now? No way. The Federal Class is filled with trash with only a few exceptions.

            1. “it probably was true at some point”

              Maybe in the era of Webster, Clay and Calhoun. Not since.

        2. I understand your view on this, but I thought it was a bit of a circus, for a couple of reasons; I guess we are operating with different definitions of “circus.”

          First, the Dem committee members weren’t sincere, at all, in learning from ACB what they could to inform a decision on a vote. They have already decided they are voting “no,” because of their hatred for Trump, and their win-at-all-costs approach to governing (and I use the term loosely). They were using this opportunity to a). disparage ABC and Trump; b). to paint this nominee as an attack on the ACA and Roe v. Wade.

          Didn’t you think the pictures of the sick kids was a circus stunt? And Hirono’s pearl-clutching over “sexual preferences?” On the latter, this is a classic progressive technique, to redefine a term or to declare it offensive in order to attack an opponent who uses the term in all sincerity and with good intentions. When did “sexual preference” become offensive? I didn’t get the email, and I’m sure ACB didn’t either. Certainly since RBG used the term. Now Websters has fallen in step and added “offensive” to their definition.

          The other thing that was done a lot was to try to lead ACB down a chain of hypotheticals to a gotcha moment. Circus.

          1. Barrett after Garland and you bring up sincerity. Pretty brazen, that.

          2. The Kavenaugh & Bork hearings were a circus.

          3. ” When did “sexual preference” become offensive? I didn’t get the email, and I’m sure ACB didn’t either. Certainly since RBG used the term. Now Websters has fallen in step and added ‘offensive’ to their definition. ”

            Meh. I wouldn’t have labeled the term “offensive”, since it doesn’t offend me or anyone that I know of, but if I’m informed that such a group does, in fact, exist, I’m generally willing to take their word for it. It’s not a term that comes up that often in my personal communications, so avoiding it doesn’t burden me. Fortunately, nobody’s scrutinizing my lifetime body of work looking for excuses to take offense. (at least, nobody whose opinion matters is doing this.) The reason(s) I’m not appointable to the US Supreme Court remain, but this isn’t one of them.

            1. The issue is whether she (1) purposefully used it to signal her fans that she isn’t going to do any favors for gays, (2) used it because she only discusses such issues with bigots, or (3) made a mistake in a context in which she seemed to be striving to avoid mistakes.

              Who cares? Her supporters have the will and likely have the votes. Her opponents likely will have the votes and the will next year. Much of this has been written.

              1. Or she used the term because that’s the term that has been used for many years. And you whiners keep changing words to make them mean new (totes offensive) things. Instead of being grown ups.

                Regardless of who wins the election, you’re still the stinkiest turd in the port-a-potty.

                1. “Regardless of who wins the election, you’re still the stinkiest turd in the port-a-potty.”

                  tough sounding words from the punchbowl.

                2. I do not seek or expect your approval or adulation.

                  I expect your compliance. Nothing more, nothing less.

              2. “The issue is whether she (1) purposefully used it to signal her fans that she isn’t going to do any favors for gays, (2) used it because she only discusses such issues with bigots..”

                Is that why Biden used it a few months ago?

          4. “Now Websters has fallen in step and added “offensive” to their definition.”

            It’s certainly not good when dictionaries appear to take sides in partisan political spats.

            1. It’s especially not good when people start treating dictionaries as taking sides in partisan politics.

              When they add this, maybe they’re turning partisan.
              trump: noun,
              1. a particularly odoriferous fart
              verb
              2 the act of emitting one.

              Usage example.
              Man, on the way up here someone let out a trump in the elevator, and everybody had to get off and walk up the stairs.

        3. My definition of circus: a company of acrobats, clowns, and other entertainers which gives performances, typically in a large arena.

          1. Under a “big tent”, perhaps?

        4. It’s impossible to convert the public hearings on a presidential nomination into a circus. Political circus is all they have ever been since the very first such hearing was held in the early 1900s.

    2. She refused to answer questions that wouldn’t have been asked in the days before the Supreme Court began setting social policy. The Supreme Court has to either stop setting policy or nominees have to first disclose their policy preferences, same as for every other position that sets social policy.

  2. Is the censorship of the Hunter Biden email story by Twitter and Facebook legal? It certainly seems “not right” to me, but I have no idea if it’s legal or not; I think it’s probably legal.

    FYI: https://nypost.com/2020/10/15/emails-reveal-how-hunter-biden-tried-to-cash-in-big-with-chinese-firm/

    1. Justice Thomas’ comments in denial of certiorari and his discussion of the fuzziness between publisher and distributor earlier this week were prescient.

      1. Emails appear to be in image form, no metadata. They only come from the supposed Ukrainian exec. So their existence can’t be clearly confirmed or disconfirmed by looking at Biden’s actual emails.

        Adding in some revenge porn doesn’t change that.

        Until there is independent confirmation, It’s a foreign op.

        1. Oh boy, you are actually repeating the panic’d talking points as if they were true.

          Is the laptop and receipt a foreign op too? What about the hardware was turned over to the FBI? Foreign disinfo?

          1. Lol at you thinking people are “panic’d” about this. The whole thing is just transparently stupid gutter politics brought forth by a clown who is also in the news for being a racist moron.

            1. You would describe Twitter and Facebook’s reaction to this was reasoned and deliberative?

              1. I honestly do not care.

                1. Weird, you seen to care enough to try dismiss it.

                  Strange take.

                  1. It’s not strange because even if the Post story is all true, it is still transparently stupid to care about it in anyway.

                    I am not basing my vote on the activities of a candidate’s children. If I was, I would still vote for Biden because Trump’s kids are morons with conflicts all over the place who steal from cancer charities and spread health misinformation because they don’t know how vaccines work. And that’s just Eric. Trump literally put his fashion exec daughter and ne’er-do-well son-in-law in charge of wide swaths of U.S. policy. Biden isn’t putting Hunter in charge of anything.

                    And if you say, “well it’s about Biden’s conduct too,” it still changes nothing because I’ve seen how Trump has actually run the federal government for the last 4 years and its been terrible. Biden won’t be as terrible.

                    1. Joe Biden was on the CCP’s payroll.

                      LTG: Meh, Orange Man Bad

                    2. He is in fact orange and he is in fact bad. He is a bad person with bad morals who is bad at running the federal government, bad at leading the country, and has a knack for bringing out the bad aspects of his followers. Nothing can and ever will change that.

                    3. TDS is a hellavu drug

                    4. TDS=having a brain and a moral compass.

                    5. “TDS is a hellavu drug”

                      Indeed, it’s got you believing that Trump is good at his job.

                2. I honestly

                  *snort*

        2. Would be nice to have some “independent confirmation” on Trump’s tax returns, but hey the NYT wouldn’t even show them to Trump.

          1. Easy enough for Trump to show that they are not correct.

            Real easy. Just a phone call to his accountant.

            Instead, he yelps about “fake news.”

            1. So we can put you down as being in the “guilty until proven innocent” camp.

              1. No. You can put me down as saying if you have an easy way to rebut evidence of wrongdoing and don’t do it it’s reasonable, even logical, for others to assume the evidence is accurate.

                It’s not as if the NYT just published a piece saying Trump is a tax cheat with any documentation. They have the paper. You can’t just yell, “fake news!” and say it’s wrong. By your standard nothing that is published about Trump’s taxes can be believed so long as he doesn’t actually confirm.

                Works for cultists like you, I guess, but not for rational people.

                1. “They have the paper. ”

                  Who says?

                  They haven’t produced proof, neither copies nor even the source. Even then, the copies they claim they have could be forgeries.

                  1. If they’re working from forgeries, someone who has the proper originals could readily rebut. This hasn’t happened. From this, one can reasonably assume any one of several possibilities.
                    A) the journalists actually have accurate copies.
                    B) the journalists don’t have accurate copies, but the reals ones are even more damaging that the story the journalists are telling now.
                    C) the journalists don’t have accurate copies, but neither does anyone who supports Trump’s Presidency.
                    D) The notion of just telling the truth, and backing it up with proof, simply never occurred to Trump.

                    Which of these possible choices offends you the least?

        3. Emails appear to be in image form, no metadata.

          Though it’s certainly not typical in situations like this for the media source to publish email metadata, let’s say they did that here. Would you believe it then?

          They only come from the supposed Ukrainian exec. So their existence can’t be clearly confirmed or disconfirmed by looking at Biden’s actual emails.

          Wut?

          1. This makes perfect sense. Actual emails contain more information than just the message. They also carry information about the route they took through various email systems. This information can be back-checked through the servers the messages claim to have been routed through.
            It shouldn’t be news to any experienced Internet user that forgery of emails is possible, making it look like email came from a place that it did not. The engineering of fighting spam is only a slight degree behind the engineering of creating spam.

        4. “Emails appear to be in image form, no metadata. ”

          Where are you sourcing this claim?

          “They only come from the supposed Ukrainian exec.”

          Explain the Chinese emails released today.

          “Until there is independent confirmation, It’s a foreign op.”

          What facts support your ‘foreign op’ claim?

          1. Where are you sourcing this claim?

            The same intracranial voices he gets most of his assertions from.

          2. ““Until there is independent confirmation, It’s a foreign op.”

            What facts support your ‘foreign op’ claim?”

            This is a perfectly valid default assumption. When something seems too good to be true, like it’s just what you wanted to hear, it’s probably a scam. Much like when you receive an email from the former Nigerian oil minister’s widow asking if you’d accept $20,000,000 for your help to smuggle $200,000,000 out of Nigeria through your bank account.

          3. “Explain the Chinese emails released today.”

            scam.

        5. “Emails appear to be in image form, no metadata.”

          Are you claiming that the Post only has the emails in image form, or that they only published them in image form. If the former, what are you basing this appearance on?

          “Until there is independent confirmation, It’s a foreign op.”

          That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

          Choose reason! Every time!

          1. “Are you claiming that the Post only has the emails in image form, or that they only published them in image form. If the former, what are you basing this appearance on?”

            Either the routing history is part of the message(s), or it isn’t. If it isn’t, that’s sufficient evidence that it isn’t included.

            “Choose reason! Every time!”

            I will if you will.

            1. ?? The routing history is part of the header. It’s not a trick question. Is the claim that the post didn’t have the metadata and only possessed the email in image form, or that it only published the email in image form.

              1. “The routing history is part of the header. It’s not a trick question.”

                Don’t recall claiming it was.

                Either the headers were in the images or they were not. Most email clients routinely suppress display of the headers, because they are not generally useful to humans (except the ones tasked with troubleshooting email distribution). But anyone who knows how can use information in the headers to verify the legitimacy of the message. Which is why they wouldn’t be included if it were a scam.

      2. Clinging to a lone wingnut’s dissent is professional-grade clinging.

    2. You could consider tech companies to be akin to a vital utility or oligopoly and regulate them under such logic. We’ve done the same for much less reason.

      1. Then pass that law. Until then it’s all private action.

        1. I’m not sure the 1A will tolerate any such law. If it were so, all constitutional rights would be subject to a “vital” business exception.

          The bases for regulating radio waves is that one person’s use of the waves can interfere with another. Any platform (like RedState) choosing what to highlight or not, is their 1A right. And those decisions have no effect on other platforms.

          1. I mean, I wanna see the GOP try and nationalize twitter. Is that so wrong?

            1. Then they’ll turn around and re-privatize it, by selling at a steep discount to cronies.

      2. Yeah, if Facebook shutdown today it would be exactly like a nationwide electrical blackout. Being a vital utility and all.

    3. It’s legal as companies are not bound by the 1st, only government. But if they are fearful of section 230 changes, breakups, or other legislation to hurt them (thank you, Ms. Harris) then is it really a free choice?

      Politicians: You need to ban harrassment, or we will hurt you via 230 changes.

      Companies: Ok, we will hide harrassing posts per your demands, “of our own free will.”

      Politicians: Ok. The first harrassment you need to hide are those from certain political opponents of ours.

      For some reason, this strikes few people as unacceptable.

      Their posts are harrassment. Or violence. Or not just wrong, but dangerously wrong. But whatever, HIDE THE POSTS OF OUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS!

      1. Terry Jones and Michael Palin as Sicilian mafia: “Or section 230 might…get broken. Things break you know.”

    4. The FBI apparently has the computer. Wonder why this information wasn’t either confirmed or shown to be false by them?

      1. You know, that is one part I really don’t get = FBI. I am pretty sure that if the FBI got ahold of John Q Citizen’s laptop, and saw pictures of drug taking, you can bet your bippy they’d have gotten a search warrant, or they would have turned it over to local LEO. We’d get busted in a NYC minute. Neither of those were done here in the ~10 months the FBI had the laptop in their possession. I find that….peculiar.

        1. John Q. Citizen isn’t Hunter Biden. Power hath its priviledges.

          1. Or it’s simply is years old photos of drug use don’t establish PC for a search warrant, much less one that the FBI would seek in any circumstances whatsoever.

            1. The FBI got a subpoena for the computer and seized it pretty fast….

              If they weren’t worried about years old photos, why do that?

              1. Because they weren’t interested in the photos, they would have been interested in the communications.

                If you think the FBI actually cares about going after someone, anyone, for simple possession where the penalty is “a term of imprisonment of not more than 1 year, and shall be fined a minimum of $1,000” based on some old photos that were found in an investigation related to something completely different, that would be something.

                And back to the original point: there is no PC for a search warrant. Years old photos, taken at a place that is not necessarily even his home, do not in any way establish a fair probability that a search will result in evidence of a crime being discovered at the place to be searched. You would actually need PC that he has drugs at this very moment in the place to be searched. These photos ain’t it.

                1. I agree…The FBI would be interested in those communications. They did nothing for months, despite having them. Very…..peculiar.

                  1. Is it? Federal investigations typically take a very long time.

                    1. I dunno…Mr. Comey did an investigation in October 2016 of a laptops contents in mere days.

                      Like I said….when it comes to the FBI, their actions here were mighty peculiar.

                2. The President of the United States having a crackhead son is a national security risk.

                  1. the President of the United States being a functional idiot is ALSO a national security risk, but fortunately, not a fatal one, yet, (except for the 200,000+ dead of COVID)

                3. “And back to the original point: there is no PC for a search warrant. Years old photos, taken at a place that is not necessarily even his home, do not in any way establish a fair probability that a search will result in evidence of a crime being discovered at the place to be searched. You would actually need PC that he has drugs at this very moment in the place to be searched.”

                  And THAT’S why we need more conservative judges… so this kind of thing can’t tie the hands of law enforcement when we just KNOW there’s criminal activity afoot!

          2. I always wanted to live in a banana republic…

          3. “John Q. Citizen isn’t Hunter Biden. Power hath its priviledges.”

            Hunter Biden isn’t powerful. Try again.

            1. No, but his father is quite powerful. And that power extends certain benefits to immediate family.

              1. Hunter Biden’s father is currently an unemployed politician. Such enormous power!

                1. That’s the argument you’re going with? Joe Biden has no power?

                  1. I’m going to stick with it, just because it’s true.

        2. Okay counselor, draft a search warrant affidavit that establishes there is probable cause for a home search warrant based on years old photos indicating drug use. What’s your theory?

          1. What I want is any theory explaining why Hunter Biden puts humiliating pictures of himself breaking the law / smoking crack on his own laptop – pictures that had to be taken by a third party – and then hand off that laptop to a charitable foundation.

            Question : Who could believe something that implausible?
            Answer : Trump supporters. Believing obvious lies is a point of pride for them.

            1. People using drugs routinely do incredibly stupid things.

              1. “People using drugs routinely do incredibly stupid things.”

                OK, THAT explains why Trump gets nearly 50% approval ratings.

            2. He didn’t hand off his laptop to a charitable foundation.

              Maybe that’s why you are confused. You’re mixed up on the facts.

              1. “The shop owner couldn’t positively identify the customer as Hunter Biden, but said the laptop bore a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, named after Hunter’s late brother and former Delaware attorney general.”

                Ah come on, Sammie! What are the odds someone like you can correct me on the facts of this or anything…..

                1. My daughter had a sticker from her high school on her laptop but the school didn’t own it. Lots of people put stickers of various sorts on laptops.

                  He didn’t say id number.

                  1. So somebody shows up with three laptops, each wearing a Beau Biden Foundation sticker. The shop owner says it was Biden, but also says an “illness” prevented him from seeing clearly enough to tell. Apparently this child-grade scam hasn’t yet produced anything so mundane as a signed work order or receipt. Imagine that.

                    Yet you claim these laptops weren’t from the Wilmington-based Beau Biden Foundation, but the California-residing Hunter. Why? Because otherwise makes this phony farce yet more pathetic. Fair enough, but have you really thought this one out, Bob?

                    1. For the sake of argument, lets say there are people gullible enough to believe this drivel – and they aren’t Trump voters already.

                    2. Let’s say these form numbers large enough so this lie swings the election.

                    So what then happens when this bullshit falls to pieces, as it will? Answer : We’re right back to Impeachment – The Sequel. If you remember, most of the GOP’s defense was Trump’s attempted extortion for personal gain had no effect. How effective will that play a second time, with a lame duck president who won by fraud despite losing the popular vote a second time? In short, even if Trump wins by this scam, he’ll still lose long-term. Of course Trump was never good at long-term analysis; his entire business career attests to that. But shouldn’t you see a bit more clearly than your orange-idol, Bob?

                    1. “California-residing”

                      Now. Was he California-residing when he knocked up that stripper in Arkansas?

                      Calm down. Go find that pee tape of Trump and watch it. Speaking of bullshit.

                    2. You do know there was a tape, right Bob?

                      From Mueller’s report :

                      “Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know” (10/30/16 Text Message). Rtskhiladze & Cohen testified the “tapes” referred to compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia. (Rtskhiladze 4/4/18 302, at 12) Cohen said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze. (Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 13) Rtskhiladze said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen. (Rtskhiladze 5/10/18 302, at 7)

                      The “pee” part was apparently spice added in the telling by the time the story reached Steele’s ear as gossip. Now, I’m willing to accept that tape was bogus, though it was still a cause of concern and damage control during the secret business negotiations between Trump & the Kremlin (held during the ’16 campaign and hidden from the public)

                      Why not return the favor here, Bob? You’ll feel better if you do. You can find the Muller Report quote above on pages 239-240

                      https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

                2. Can you explain how that quote supports your statement that Hunter Biden dropped his laptop off at a charity and not a repair shop?

                  1. Geez. I really didn’t think you were that dumb. The assumption you’re peddling is these three laptops magically contain every single Trump campaign talking point imaginable, including (1) pictures of HB doing crack, (2) Ukrainian confessions, and (3) China confessions (a new development hot off the presses)

                    But the laptops supposedly dropped off to our wacko Trump-fanatic computer repairman all had Beau Biden Foundation stickers. That’s the only way our conspiracy freak computer repairman connected them to Hunter – since he says he can’t see well enough to identify someone handing a computer across the counter to him – and receipts/work orders are apparently not used by patsies of obvious scams.

                    Let’s assume Hunter didn’t put his embarrassing crack photos and top-secret Trump campaign talking-point emails on a Beau Biden Foundation laptop. That would mean the laptop had to transition from private use to foundation use at some point. Granted, that’s absurd – but everything about this two-bit con is absurd. Someone with average self-respect wouldn’t pretend to find it credible. Guess that leaves you out…..

                    1. Did you see the receipt signed by Hunter?

                      I’m pretty sure I did.

                      P.S. you base your theory on an absurd assumption that people don’t use their work laptops for personal stuff.

                      Thats absurd.

                    2. “I’m pretty sure I did.”

                      Unlikely.

                      ” you base your theory on an absurd assumption that people don’t use their work laptops for personal stuff.”

                      Usually, the people who leave evidence of criminal activity on their work laptops are FORMER employees.

            3. Because if there’s one thing that drug addicts are known for, it’s consistently good decision making.

              1. Is that your excuse?

    5. Depends. May be a violation of campaign finance law.

      If Twitter and Facebook are selectively transmitting pro-Biden stories while suppressing anti-Biden stories, that looks a lot like a contribution-in-kind.

      1. FIFY : If Twitter and Facebook are selectively transmitting pro-Biden stories while suppressing crude & obvious Russian propaganda, that looks a lot like a contribution-in-kind.

        I’m surprised Rudy and his handlers couldn’t do better than this farce. Then again, Trump as obvious liar is only surpassed by Trump as frequent liar. He doesn’t seem to care whether any given lie is believable as long as there’s a cumulative effect by numbers. He probably understands his supporters don’t care either.

        Question : Is this nonsense more-or-less ludicrous than the Biden Dementia shtick that Trump supporters put so much faith in pre-debate?

        1. I think the whole Hunter thing is transparently stupid, but I will say it is less ludicrous than the dementia thing. Talk about setting yourself up for failure.

          1. Try this as a working theory. Everything the Trump campaign tries to smear Biden with, is something that Trump himself is actually guilty of. (this makes the lies easier to keep track of.)

            The Biden dementia thing that Trump supporters licked up so assiduously… well, we know Trump actually passed his cognitive test. Which means somebody thought he needed a cognitive test.
            The Biden’s kid is corrupt shtick is just what happens when you watch Don Jr. in action.
            Just wait; if Trump starts accusing Biden of trying to get with Ivanka, that’ll show this theory is accurate and not just coincidence.

    6. “Is the censorship of the Hunter Biden email story by Twitter and Facebook legal?”

      Start at the other end. By what mechanism would it be ILlegal?

    7. It appears legal, but in the way they did it (suspending accounts for linking to the story or the Post and then openly saying so in their own post), Twitter seems to have created a new variant of the Streisand Effect.

      To top it off, they’ve suspended Kayleigh McEnany’s account until she deletes a tweet she refuses to delete. This might well be the event that sends President Trump off Twitter onto Gab, and all his fans with him. I would love to see this happen.

      1. “I would love to see this happen.”

        Sure, because a candidate trailing by double digits is always looking to limit his exposure to his true believers.

  3. I’d love to hear your analysis of the Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn(?) censorship of the NY post article on VP Biden’s connections to Barisma.

    1. The take would be quite boring I think. They are allowed to restrict content on their platform as they see fit.

      Regarding the emails themselves, the stated origin of the material strains credulity. The idea is roughly that Hunter Biden, who lives in LA, dropped 3 laptops with incriminating data off with a random shop in Delaware, then didn’t pick them up, then the shop went snooping around in those systems, which for somereason lacked the default disk encryption Macbooks would normally have, found the stuff, and gave it to Steve Bannon.

      1. I’m thinking that’s why the photo’s were released. They up the credibility of a story that would otherwise be very uncredible. If no one else can source the photos, then that means the emails came from somewhere others don’t have access to.

        1. Photos of the emails prevent people from verifying when the emails were created and/or edited, yet you think they lend credibility? Cool story, bro.

          1. The photo’s of hunter. Try read my comment instead of keyword searching next time.

            1. In fact, I’m going to try to avoid reading your dumbass comments going forward.

      2. That’s a nice, progressive, liberal, apologist narrative you’ve crafted there.

        I find nothing incredulous about the origin of the material. Would a Biden find themselves in Delaware? Would a cocaine-huffing playboy forget where he dropped off computers to be repaired, or just never get back to picking them up? Would he have given the repair person his credentials so they could be worked-on? (Yes, because the alternative is to wipe the disk.)

        1. ThePublius : I find nothing incredulous about the origin of the material.

          Uh huh. Imagine Trump was the object of this obvious scam. How would your credulity act then?

        2. Being skeptical about a story with irregularities doesn’t make me a “progressive liberal apologist”

          Also, simply having the account password is not sufficient to decrypt a drive. The password is used during startup to access the encryption key to then decrypt the drive. A water damaged system would not be able to boot to access the encryption key, so the password would be useless.

          1. Untrue. There are methods of accessing data on drive without a password, or on damaged drives.

            1. It depends on the type of hard disk (solid state vs. spinning disk), and whether the disk itself is full-disk encrypted or not. In the latter case, it is a trivial exercise in a first-semester cybersecurity class to access the contents without a password.

              1. Correct, but that’s exactly where the story gets sticky. Macs are encrypted by default, so it isn’t really plausible that things went down as claimed. As for the difference between HDD and SSD, you’re correct in theory about recovery from a non spinning drive, but your typical break/fix shop would have the stuff to do that. Macs are ssd anyway.

            2. On an encrypted drive? No, there isn’t.

              1. If you know what you’re talking about, then please support your statements. Otherwise, it looks like you’re making things up:

                https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/12/breaking_hard-d.html

                1. If you read your own link, you’d see that it requires a memory dump of a running system. A water damaged pc brought in for data recovery would not be running, or it wouldn’t need data recovery.

                  While my specialty isn’t specifically in data forensics, I’m actively working in a related field (infosec). Of course, online claimed expertise counts for very little, which is why I led with how passwords and disk encryption interact at a technical level.

                  Given an encrypted hard drive and a user password, it is not possible to decrypt the hard drive on a non booting system. (It is possible to recover data given a system that fails post boot, I’ve done so, but that wouldn’t be relevant here.)

                  I don’t know if the emails are legit, but the provenance story is bullshit.

                2. AtR, you should read everything that appears on a URL that you think supports your claim, to make sure there’s no torpedo lurking to blow your claim out of the water. For example, the blog post you cited above contains the words “They warn about sleep/hibernation mode right on the truecrypt website. If your machine is off there’s no way to retrieve anything with FDE, especially with DDR3 memory that is immune to cold boot attacks.”

                  It’s true that everything that is encrypted has to have a way to decrypt it in order to be useful, but it isn’t true that there’s always a known exploit to decrypt something even if you aren’t authorized to decrypt it.

            3. ” you base your theory on an absurd assumption that people don’t use their work laptops for personal stuff.”

              Depends on how strongly encrypted the disks are. You can always try brute-force decryption, if you have a spare 2.1 x 10 to 21 power minutes to spare.

          2. You weren’t just skeptical, you made up details.

        3. ” Would a Biden find themselves in Delaware? Would a cocaine-huffing playboy forget where he dropped off computers to be repaired, or just never get back to picking them up? Would he have given the repair person his credentials so they could be worked-on? (Yes, because the alternative is to wipe the disk.)”

          Would a cocaine-huffing playboy have so much money that losing several computers wouldn’t impact finances? Then, do you understand computer security well enough to assess how easy it is to access data on an “abandoned” computer?

          1. “Then, do you understand computer security well enough to assess how easy it is to access data on an “abandoned” computer?”

            As a matter of fact, I do.

            1. “As a matter of fact, I do.”
              I could take your word for it, but I have my doubts about that.

            2. Then please don’t spare any detail. Breaking AES 256 or apples t2 security chip would be very interesting to me. If a random shopkeep with a break/fix shop had cracked that nut and not published, he’s an idiot.

              1. spoiler alert:
                The scam only works if the mark already wants to believe what you’re selling.

      3. He gave them to the FBI first. After the FBI didn’t do anything, he tried others.

      4. dropped 3 laptops with incriminating data off with a random shop in Delaware, then didn’t pick them up, then the shop went snooping around in those systems

        The “random shop” was a Mac repair facility. The 3 Macbooks were dropped off for attempted data recovery. The “snooping around” was recovering the data. The “didn’t pick [the laptops and recovered data] up” happened after all that.

        Other than that, awesome hot take.

        1. The store is named “the mac shop” but is not affiliated with apple.

          Data recovery does not include viewing the contents of files.

          1. Right. Never happens. And, this is a straw man, the files were accessed by the folks the repair shop knucklehead sent the copied laptop drive to, not by him.

          2. ???? – I don’t think you understand how data recovery works.

            In order to reconstruct the data structures within the drive, it is necessary to look through the contents, looking for remnants of the underlying file structure.

            1. It is never necessary to examine the recovered files in order to recover them. Some shops do routinely browse the \pictures directory, hoping to find embarrassing photos, but these are not the well-regarded ones.

            2. As someone who has done data recovery, I assure you it is not necessary to look through files. I’ve dealt with dozens to hundreds of profile recoveries and have never needed to view files. Validating files, if required, is done by hash.

        2. Life of Brian : “The “random shop” was a Mac repair facility”

          Run by a avid Trump supporter and conspiracy freak with the social media history to match. I’m sure that’s a complete coincidence, right? Below are gems collected from many interviews as this man enjoys his fifteen minutes:

          1. Mac Isaac said he had a medical condition that prevented him from actually seeing who dropped off the laptop but that he believed it to be Hunter Biden’s because of a sticker related to the Beau Biden Foundation that was on it.

          2. He says he’s scared for his life and for the lives of those he loved.

          3. He stated repeatedly that giving investigators the hard drive would amount to “following the chain of command,” an idea that he failed to define beyond that vague pronouncement.

          4. Mac Isaac said “whole lot of” players were involved in the story that ended with President Donald Trump circle’s taking possession of a copy of the laptop hard drive, but declined to name most of them.

          5. “I just don’t know what to say, or what I’m allowed to say,” Isaac said. “I know that I saw, I saw stuff. And I was concerned. I was concerned that somebody might want to come looking for this stuff eventually and I wanted it out of my shop.”

          6. “Isaac refused to answer specific questions about whether he had been in contact with Rudy Giuliani before the [alleged Hunter Biden] laptop drop off or at any other time before the Post’s publication.

          7. Mac Isaac referred to the infamous Seth Rich conspiracy theory (which holds that a DNC staffer who police say was murdered in a botched robbery was actually killed off by Clinton allies because he leaked committee emails) as reason for his paranoia.

          8. Mac Isaac said the FBI asked him for technical assistance in viewing the files on the damaged hard drive. Even he admitted the request was suspicious, given that the FBI has its own technical staff.

          9. Pressed on his relationship with Giuliani, he replied: ‘When you’re afraid and you don’t know anything about the depth of the waters that you’re in, you want to find a lifeguard.’ Seeming to realize he’d said too much, he added: ‘Ah shit.’ So, Rudy was your lifeguard, the reporters asked. ‘No comment,’ he replied.” (from the Daily Beast. They posted the audio on that one)

          10. Isaac rejected the possibility that the laptop did not belong to Hunter Biden and was an attempt to set him up.

          As a clueless dupe being used, this gent is quite entertaining

          1. Well that got right to the heart of the matter. Who cares about the stinkin’ emails when we can have ten paragraphs about the computer repair guy?

            1. Who cares this whole story is farcical nonsense? Not Trump supporters to be sure. Desperation means they’re not very choosy, and they’ve been believing obvious lies for over four years now.

              Everything comes down to pluses & minus. Consider the work by Giuliani and his handlers. They found a “witness” who is :

              1. Apparently partially blind.
              2. A rabid Trump supporter, eager to do anything for his idol
              3. Timid, easily frightened & prone to conspiratorial gibberish.

              The perfect dupe for their crude scam, right? Alas, there are always minuses. Their patsy also loves to talk and has problems keeping his story straight from one moment to the next. Thus the most “believable” part of this jokey prefab agitprop is undermined from the start. Unless you’re a Trump supporter, of course. They like lies.

              1. I see you have assembled all the evidence and carefully concluded that the emails are fake. And when they get authenticated you will carefully conclude that they are meaningless, and that Biden didn’t lie about not knowing anything about Hunter’s activities. And when that lie gets exposed you will say Trump is worse.

                Oh and Biden does have dementia. He will be unable to function in any capacity, including feeding himself, within a year.

                1. donojack : And when they get authenticated…. (etc)

                  I wouldn’t advise you hold your breath on that one. Remember : If wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak. Magic authentication ain’t likely to ex machina a dime-store-grade fraud. That’s as unlikely to occur as your “Biden Dementia” finally showing up for the second debate. Though Trump’s been sounding more&more incoherent recently, so maybe you’ll get to see some dementia after all.

                2. “I see you have assembled all the evidence and carefully concluded that the emails are fake. And when they get authenticated you will carefully conclude that they are meaningless, and that Biden didn’t lie about not knowing anything about Hunter’s activities. And when that lie gets exposed you will say Trump is worse. ”

                  Conversely, when the scam falls apart because whoever put it together is incompetent, you’ll cling to despite the fact that it’s obviously false, because it fits a story you’d like very much to believe in.

          2. You do realize, grb, that you are dealing here with fanatics, arguing with devoted cultists?

            This is just one more stupid attempt at a phony October Surprise. It’s right up there with “unmasking,” and the mysteriously suddenly delayed Durham report.

            1. This scam seems to work on stupid people. But they were already in the Trump camp, so… probably no effect.

      5. I agree but if the emails are real, it’s pretty shocking.

        1. If it develops that Burkman and Wohl were not involved in this low-grade clustermuck, that would be shocking.

          Giuliani likely is trying to keep those two yahoos out of it because indictments, but Burkman and Wohl have never been competent at avoiding fingerprints and it has been a long time since Giuliani was competent in any respect.

          But by all means, climb aboard this one, clingers!

        2. “I agree but if the emails are real, it’s pretty shocking.”

          Yes, and if there was actually a vast left-wing conspiracy to conceal Donald Trump’s excellence at running the country, that would ALSO be pretty shocking.

          but in both cases, the fact that they’re lies is not at all shocking.

    2. Twitter just locked out the President’s campaign account.

      1. “Twitter just locked out the President’s campaign account.”

        Bummer. Guess the Prez will have to pay for computer systems to send spam to his followers, instead of using someone else’s.

        1. If Twitter had banned Biden’s campaign you people would be shitting yourselves on the way to the fainting couch.

          1. If “ifs” and “buts” we’re candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.

            Of course, the Biden campaign isn’t likely to violate their Terms of Service — such as promoting foreign propaganda intending to affect the election — so the likelihood his account would be shut down is low.

            1. No, dope. Did Twitter block links to the Steele dossier? Trump’s tax returns? The fake hoax Trump Russia collusion story that was blasted for years on end?

              Twitter, like so many media outlets, is very far left and fully in the tank for Dems. But that is generally their right.

              1. “No, dope. Did Twitter block links to the Steele dossier? Trump’s tax returns?”

                Hellifino. Don’t care much for what, if anything, Twitter does or doesn’t do.

                “The fake hoax Trump Russia collusion story that was blasted for years on end?”
                the hoax that was built out of things that actually happened, or the “hoax” that Trump sold to you?

                “Twitter, like so many media outlets, is very far left and fully in the tank for Dems. But that is generally their right.”

                That’s right, Twitter is so very far to the left that the President has no choice but to use it to reach his fans, who are, of course, all far left, too.

          2. Yes, and we’d be morons.

          3. “If Twitter had banned Biden’s campaign you people would be shitting yourselves on the way to the fainting couch.”

            No the only change would have been to change “Prez” to “former VP” in what I DID say.

    3. I’d like to know more about the prospects of the Mac repair shop in Delaware. It can’t be good for business if it becomes known that the staff keep copies of the hard disks of the machines they’re asked to fix.

      1. Hunter left it there and it became their property.

        1. I’m sure that excuse will set the minds of Delaware Mac owners completely at ease.

          1. How many Trump supporters can afford Apple products (other than the occasional off-brand apple pie at Dollar General)?

            This guy’s store is doomed.

            Good.

          2. Macs are computers that are designed for, and used by, people who don’t understand computers.

        2. “Hunter left it there and it became their property.”

          That justifies wiping the hard drive and selling the device to cover any unsettled bill. It does not excuse circumventing technological methods used to protect copyrighted information, See 17 USC 1201.

  4. John was dead…..

    His head snapped off by a super ninja.
    There were too many super ninjas these days for the local law enforcement to keep track of…..
    It was really getting out of hand.

    “Stevo, John is dead”, Elrond shouted at his partner, Stevo.
    “Shit man, too bad, that sucks.”, Stevo took a sip of his steaming hot coffee.
    “Yep, hard times.”
    “Yep.”
    “Yep.”
    “Yep.”
    “Yep.”
    “……”
    “…..”
    “…..”
    “…..”
    “Yep. For sure”

    Suddenly a super ninja jumped through the window and splattered Elronds head across the wall with a super ninja throwing star bomb. Stevo pulled out his semi-automatic weapon just in time to get cut in half with a light saber. Because these are super ninjas, so they get light sabers too.

    Nobody really knows where these super ninjas are coming from. But some drunken farmers claim to see bright lights falling from the sky late at night,
    they also claim that those lights may or may not be super ninjas coming from their space ship.

    This is their story.

  5. Ok….for a totally whimsical take. What is:

    Your favorite Star Trek episode?
    Your favorite The Next Generation episode?
    Your favorite Star Trek movie?

    1. Both Star Trek and Star Wars suck. Its sad that we got these two mediocre franchises to be the standardbearers of sci fi. There are so many better ones out there. We deserve a better class of futuristic fictional universes.

      1. Neither Star Wars nor Star Trek are science fiction. They are both fantasy fiction.

        1. Nitpicking perhaps that, as they do have science fiction genre elements throughout. I would say they are both. But, I agree with AmosArch, as I don’t much enjoy either. The 1st Star Wars was an interesting homage to The Hidden Fortress, but I will stick with Kurosawa. Or Miike’s weirder films.

          1. The first Star Wars movie is a straight-up fairy tale.

        2. “Neither Star Wars nor Star Trek are science fiction.”

          Faster than light spaceships alone makes them science fiction.

          Teleportation in Star Trek. Interplanatary communications. Robots.

          Again science fiction.

          1. “Faster than light spaceships alone makes them science fiction.”

            Faster-than-light spaceships alone disqualifies them from being science fiction. That pesky science doesn’t allow exceptions to physics.

            “Teleportation in Star Trek.”
            teleportation is magic. Magic is fantasy, not science fiction.

            Robots are also common in fantasy. See, e.g. the Tin Woodsman in “The Wizard of Oz”.

            “Again science fiction.”

            Still not.

        3. Disagree. Star Trek is totally science fiction.

          1. They tried, and they put in some actual science fiction and hired some science fiction writers to write for them. But they Hollywooded it all up. Fantasy is easier to make than SF, and the fandom for SF is smaller than the fandom for fantasy.

            Most Hollywood “SF” is technically fantasy. Star Trek is fantasy with a thin veneer of SF layered on top.

            1. More specifically, starting with next gen, Star Trek took a turn towards trying to cover up fantasy elements with SF-sounding terminology randomly-seeded into the dialog.

    2. Ooh, good one.

      Favorite TOS Ep: The Corbomite Maneuver
      Favorite TNG Ep: Matter of Honor
      Favorite movie: IV, The Voyage Home

      I’m out and about today, but interested in others’ takes.
      I like my Trek unrealistically sunny/aspirational about human nature – plenty of good SF in darker places, but I like Trek for it’s idiosyncratic optimism as much as for it’s quality. So I tend towards TNG/TOS and don’t much care for DS9.

      BTW, if you want some sunny sci-fi, try the James White Sector General series.

      1. That is what attracted me also = unrealistically sunny/aspirational about human nature. It fired up my imagination as a child and inspired me to pay attention in math and science class. 🙂

        Concur: DS-9 was not so great, and Voyager did not make the grade.

        1. “DS-9 was not so great, and Voyager did not make the grade.”

          DS-9 suffers from the comparison to Babylon 5. By Voyager, it was obvious that the writers were running out of ideas. They all suffered from the fact that all the aliens looked like human actors with bits of foam rubber glued to their faces. Farscape got around that particular problem by using muppets. Even the original Battlestar Galactica had better aliens, before they decided that there weren’t any aliens, just robots.

        2. “That is what attracted me also = unrealistically sunny/aspirational about human nature.”

          Star Trek assumed a third world war in their future history. See, e.g. “The Omega Glory” in TOS, and also “Space Seed”. For more detail, there’s a TNG episode (I think the series premiere, maybe) where the Enterprise crew encounter Q and he summons “historical” settings to argue that humans weren’t worthy of spaceflight/spreading out into the galaxy.

      2. The best TNG episode is easy, “The Inner Light”.
        TAS is also easy, “yesteryear”.
        TOS is harder,but “Let that be your last battlefield” edges out “Arena”

        For the movies, you start by throwing out all the odd-numbered movies, which are all terrible, and pick from the even-numbered ones, which are not good but also aren’t terrible, and you get Wrath of Khan as the best. Then you hire JJ Abrams to burn everything down and piss on the ashes.

        1. I disagree, Wrath of Khan is actually an honestly good movie. It’s not just not terrible.

          If anyone ever wants a crash course in the differences between TNG and DS9 watch The Inner Light followed by Hard Time.

          1. Wrath of Khan is full of plot holes, and there’s a couple of contrivances that get overlooked because there aren’t any truly good Trek movies to compare to.

    3. The Return of the Archons (followed by “A Piece of the Action” 🙂 )

      1. Yeah, A piece of the action was great. Particularly when they learned the term ‘blower’ for machine gun. LOL.

    4. Balance of Terror
      Wrath of Khan

      For Next Gen, that’s a tough one, there are so many to choose from. But, I think I have to hand it to “All Good things…” Just a perfect series finale.

      1. “Balance of Terror” was a submarine story moved into outer space.

        1. “submarine story moved into outer space.”

          So? He can still enjoy it.

          Undersea voyages and space travel are very similar. Humans cannot survive for long outside the “ships”.

          1. Being a submarine story set in outer space is part of what makes it great.

            1. You must have loved original Battlestar Galactica. Most of the plots were recycled, because they spent most of the series budget on the opening episodes and didn’t have much left to produce the rest of the episodes. This is most noticeable in the space battle special effects shots, which are almost all repurposed and re-used. You get an intense sense of deja vu every time you see the same shot used again. The good guys shoot at the bad guys’ space fighter, but miss, so the fighter evades up to the right. Here comes the fighters-launching sequence again. works on 12-year-olds, but not so much for adults.

          2. “So? He can still enjoy it.”

            Did someone claim otherwise?

            “Undersea voyages and space travel are very similar.”

            Especially on the old TV show “UFO” which featured a submarine that had a little rocket plane on the front. The sub would tilt and shoot the little rocket plane off from underwater. The special-effects are quite dated but they were just the thing for 12-year-olds interested in science fiction back in the 70’s. Of course, the show was set in the far-off future of 1980.

      2. Awesome choices!

  6. To go first:

    Favorite Star Trek episode: The Arena, closely followed by The Menagerie
    Favorite TNG episode: Cause and Effect
    Favorite Star Trek Movie: The Wrath of Khan

    1. “Arena” is an adaptation of a previously-published short story.

      1. So what? Lots of tv shows and movies are adapted stories.

        They even have two Oscars for screenplays, original and adaption.

        1. “So what? Lots of tv shows and movies are adapted stories. ”

          Sometimes, the Hollywood version of a story is better. “Arena” is not one of those.
          In fact, the novelizations of the original Star Trek episodes is often better.

    2. TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever
      TNG: None of them.

      1. “TNG: None of them.”

        There is the one with Scotty from TOS.

        Or the one with an alien possessed Troi in a negligee trying to seduce men.

        1. “There is the one with Scotty from TOS. ”

          Technically, there’s two: Relics, part I and Relics, part II.
          Personally, I didn’t care for that one very much.

          “Or the one with an alien possessed Troi in a negligee trying to seduce men.”
          If you say so.

  7. The nomination hearings have devolved into a meaningless, embarassing, circus freak show. What, exactly, was learned from them? Other than the nominee has nearly infiniteness patience and poise when dealing with a bunch of whiny, overtired children acting out, something we might have inferrred from her being a mother of 7.

    We can thank Kamala Harris for inspring the solution. She cited “Honest Abe’s” nomination of Salmon P Chase for a SCOTUS seat in 1864 as a precedent. Well that nomination was sent to the Senate, and voted on, in one day. No hearings, no fuss, just a yes-or-no vote. If it was good enough for Honest Abe, it is good enough for us.

    End these farces. No more nomination hearings. They are nothing more than kabuki theater playing to the base.

    1. Watching clingers switch gears on this issue during the four nomination hearings next spring will be fine entertainment.

    2. “The nomination hearings have devolved into a meaningless, embarassing, circus freak show. What, exactly, was learned from them?”

      Nobody went in expecting to learn anything, why are you surprised that this was the result? I watched about 3 minutes of it, and got to watch Lindsay Graham answering questions for Judge Barrett, and saw Judge Barrett have to explain about 3 different times that there’s a process to reaching a judicial opinion, and until that process happens, you can’t (shouldn’t) know who would win it.

      The R’s wanted Judge Barrett to describe that she’s a super-conservative, because the R’s want to show that they’re delivering on their promise to their partisans to nominate a super-conservative.
      Meanwhile, the D’s wanted Judge Barrett to describe that she’s a super-conservative, because the D’s want to run against a party that would only nominate a super-conservative.
      Surprise! Turns out Judge Barrett is probably a conservative.

  8. Since Volokh presumably lives in California I wonder why he always posts these in the wee hours of the morning. Is he a vampire? Do they let professors sleep in during the day?

    1. It’s when he has his electricity allotment for the day.

      1. Most content-publishing systems for websites allow content to be scheduled, and search-engines crawl in the wee hours and use recency as a criteria in ranking content for indexing. So a lot of content publishers schedule new content to appear in the wee hours.

      2. I always figured EV’s brainpower made his computer work.

  9. Americans like to think one of the things that makes us great is the concept that “nobody is above the law”. It’s well past time to disregard that fantasy and admit it simply isnt true. If a person gets high enough up the political food chain, s/her is untouchable and everyone knows it.

    1. “If a person gets high enough up the political food chain, s/her is untouchable and everyone knows it.”

      That is an understandable sentiment, after Nixon and the torturers were permitted to evade accountability, but we may observe a new chapter in ‘top man’ accountability after January 2021.

      Well, former ‘top man.’

      See you next year, everyone!

      1. We already are. It’s Obama and his entire cabinet.

        1. How’s the search for that birth certificate coming along, jdgalt1? Are you and Trump still hot on the trail?

    2. “Americans like to think one of the things that makes us great is the concept that ‘nobody is above the law’. It’s well past time to disregard that fantasy and admit it simply isnt true. If a person gets high enough up the political food chain, s/her is untouchable and everyone knows it.”

      We have this tradition here, that people who win elections don’t turn around and use the government to persecute the people who lost the elections. That tradition may change in January, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving politician than Donald Trump.

      1. That’s more like a compact among thieves. For instance, Bush-43 didn’t prosecute Clinton era officials because it would make it open season on himself after his two terms.

        I’d much rather see them held accountable, as happens regularly in the rest of the Americas’ banana republics, now that we are one.

      2. Pollock . . . Right, so, they are above the law, just like he said.

        1. How do you do your job without being able to read or reason?

  10. If one can believe the Justice System to be institutionally racist, meaning the people who design, implement and operate it are racist. Why is it too hard to believe those same people couldn’t create a two tiered system of selective application and enforcement to protect the Federal Class insiders and elites while punishing outsiders and plebes?

    1. The big challenge of conspiracy is to keep everyone in it, fully and completely in it. It only takes one or two defectors to bring the whole thing to light. Nixon might have been able to get away with it, if he’d had Mark Felt’s loyalty.

  11. Do facts matter to the Covidian Cult?

    One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is mass conformity to a psychotic official narrative. Not a regular official narrative, like the “Cold War” or the “War on Terror” narratives. A totally delusional official narrative that has little or no connection to reality and that is contradicted by a preponderance of facts.

    https://consentfactory.org/2020/10/13/the-covidian-cult/

    1. Pandemic management pointers from half-educated, disaffected, bigoted clingers are always a treat.

      A Trump fan complaining about a ‘cult’ is a special treat.

    2. Bingo. The public, here and worldwide, never will and never should accept any “normal” but the old. It’s time to revisit all the laws that enable emergency powers, and to make it easier to challenge in court both the existence of an emergency and a leader’s choice of what to do in response to one — including during the emergency. It’s also time to grant business owners a property right in their license, so it’s no longer revocable on a whim.

    3. “One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is […]”

      One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is a leader who claims absolute, unlimited power. We have that. Like King Canute tried to command the tides, our King tried to hold back a virus with the power of positive lying.

  12. Make the case for your preferred Presidential candidate, but under the two following challenge conditions.

    1. You can’t reference the opposition party and/or candidate
    2. If you’re promoting positions of a candidate, it must be backed up by past action (not words, action) the candidate has done

    Go.

    1. When I first read this I thought you were asking us to put anyone up. I was going to go with Kasich. But now I see you probably meant Biden or Trump.

      I prefer Biden. His experience as Vice President under President Obama, along with decades in the Senate, are exactly the type of qualifications you’d want from a presidential candidate. He’s taken centrist positions throughout his career as well. He’s not my first choice, but if your question is limited to the current field, that’s my preference.

      1. Well done.

        I can’t say either of the two major candidates are my preferred choice either, but it is, what it is.

    2. Making the case for Trump.

      Trump is certainly an unorthodox, non-DC, non-politician candidate. And he does things we would rather he didn’t do (IE, Twitter). However, he has 4 year experience as POTUS, which can’t be discounted. His unusual style has had success in promoting peace in the Middle East, which is also important. And he hasn’t started any new wars or new country major military actions in 4 years, which is a positive in my book. He has taken a firm stance on China, and backed that up with action, which is also important in my book. He and his administration have taken a major role in protecting freedom of religion throughout the country, which is also important in my book. Pre-COVID, he had one of the strongest economies in the US, with the lowest unemployment in the last 20 years. And the media is continually, aggressively investigating him, which is a positive in my book. It ensures greater clarity into any miscues. So, to sum it up.

      1. 4 Years experience as POTUS
      2. Peace in the Middle East
      3. No new wars
      4. Very good Pre-COVID economy
      5. Ensuring Freedom of Religion
      6. Firm stance against China

      There it is.

      1. Add on there America First policies and reduction of regulations.

      2. “Trump is certainly an unorthodox, non-DC, non-politician candidate. ”

        The notion that Trump isn’t a politician is popular, if nonsensical. True, before being elected to office he made his living as a con-man, but the skills are the same: Keep the mark(s) befuddled.

      3. ” Pre-COVID, he had one of the strongest economies in the US, with the lowest unemployment in the last 20 years.”

        such a pity that we did not stay “pre-COVID” because what we have now is a hobbled economy and the highest unemployment in the last 20 years, which is an accomplishment because he’s found a way to surpass the Great Recession.

        1. So, currently unemployment is at 7.9%, well below the 2010 numbers of the Great Recession.

          COVID is certainly an unusual economic situation, one that any fair-minded individual can’t really place as part of normal economics. It’s more akin to a natural disaster or terrorist strike. Taking a look at the unemployment rate by year really demonstrates this. The spike in the UE rate (Up more than 10% in a month) is really unprecedented, and an effect of the mandated shutdowns, not really the economic strength. Likewise the very fast recovery (Where the unemployment rate is cut by 6% in 6 months) is also unprecedented. To put this in context, it took more than 2 years for Obama to lower the UE rate just 2% (from 10% to 8%).

          So, in looking at economic policy resulting in economic strength, especially if you’re looking to predict the future with this data, it makes sense to look at things prior to strong external factors like COVID.

          https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate

          1. “COVID is certainly an unusual economic situation, one that any fair-minded individual can’t really place as part of normal economics.”

            And it isn’t like we had any chance to prepare for it before it came here. There was no warning at all.

            “So, in looking at economic policy resulting in economic strength, especially if you’re looking to predict the future with this data, it makes sense to look at things prior to strong external factors like COVID.”

            If, that is, you believe that the President has a significant effect on unemployment rates.

    3. Biden did a pretty good job in the Senate. Naturally, given the length of his career, he held some positions that he would not hold today. He also did a pretty good job as Vice President. In both roles his positions were moderate and tempered. He won the Democratic primary as a old moderate in a field where it seemed like young and old leftists had all the energy.

      Under the circumstances, that’s good enough.

      You happy?

      1. “Happy”?

        -Partially.

        “Biden did a pretty good job in the Senate.”
        Defined as… What laws did he sponsor, support, etc that you would consider advantageous?

        “He also did a pretty good job as Vice President”
        Defined as. What precisely did he do as vice president, in terms of actions that was a “good job?” Accomplishments?

        That’s all I’m asking.

    4. America First.

      mic drop

      1. “… and Mexico will pay for it!”

        America First

        who left his mic on the floor?

    5. I plan to vote for not-Trump. I’m looking forward to the flailing when Don the private-citizen tries to bully people, and they can just laugh directly into his incredulous mug.

  13. The Dems most likely came to the conclusion before the hearings started that they had no real chance to trick ACB into saying something disqualifying and couldn’t stop her confirmation absent some wild card event. So they figured the next best thing was to exploit the attention the hearings generate to campaign for 11/3. Hence the incessant harping on wedge issues (taking away your health care; outlawing gay marriage, etc.). Strikes me as a good strategy under the circumstances.

    I was less impressed with the GOP Senators. They spent a lot of time rebutting the Dems, which increased media coverage of Dem talking points. And I thought all the complaining about how poorly she was being treated was ham-fisted and overdone. I don’t think people are going to buy the idea that a nominee for a life-tenured position of immense power is a victim because she has to answer a lot of questions over two days or a few partisans are mean to her online. If and when this or a future nominee is unfairly ambushed, a la the Kavanaugh hearings, that’s the time to rant about the unfairness of the process. But doing so pre-emptively detracts from their credibility when the real thing happens, like the boy who cried wolf.

    Finally, for those who think the whole thing is a big waste of time because of all the cheap theatrics, I disagree. I think having the public see how inarticulate, pompous and intellectually dishonest their elected officials are is instructive. What better advertisement for the libertarian cause than to see the likes of Whitehouse, Hirono, et. al., in action?

    1. Rand Paul nailed it in his comment: The Dems want to appoint legislators for their side to the bench. We want judges who will do the job of judges.

      1. They also want them to strike down democratic legislation and to substitute their judgement for Congress’s when it comes to enforcing the Fifteenth Amendment.

      2. “The Dems want to appoint legislators for their side to the bench. We want judges who will do the job of judges.”

        This is the type of thing that makes crushing conservative aspirations in the culture war so sweet and so important.

      3. Your sloganeering is convincing mostly to yourself. Conservatives are in the tank for the policies more than any on the left.

        Look at what happened when Gorsuch disagreed with you. Or Roberts.
        The right had a tantrum the likes of which I have not seen about the Court from the left.

      4. “Rand Paul nailed it in his comment: The Dems want to appoint legislators for their side to the bench. We want judges who will do the job of judges.”

        This is not what they say in their campaign promises, where they say they’ll only appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade. (plus hints at overturning Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell) Because no true American wants to see gay people treated like people!

  14. This video sort of implies at the end that the Supreme Court could do something to protect itself against court packing. Is there actually anything the court can do to lessen the effects of actions from the executive and legislative to drastically change it?

    Supreme Court Shenanigans
    https://youtu.be/dDYFiq1l5Dg

    1. I avoid reliance on suggestions from illiterates (59 seconds in).

      1. You should also avoid reliance on yourself, and every source you currently rely on. It has been failing you thus far.

        1. When an expert of this magnitude at self-delusion offers you this advice, you should listen!

  15. Since I’m tired of arguing about all the things we’ve been arguing about for the past ten years, I’m going to go out on a limb and post about something different. I’ve had an idea for a novel that I’ve never had time to write, and probably won’t ever have time to write. Here goes:

    A terrible, vile, nasty disease is killing children by the million. They suffer with horrible pain for days before dying, and nothing can be done to alleviate the symptoms or cure the disease. Until a brilliant scientist discovers a cure, and overnight the disease is wiped out.

    So, he of course is given every honor and accolade known to man, until it comes out that in order to develop his cure, he needed live humans to experiment on. So he kidnapped, experimented on, and then murdered about a hundred homeless people, on the reasonable theory that nobody would miss most of them if they started to disappear.

    Millions of children have been saved a terrible fate by his murder of about a hundred homeless people. Is he a hero, a villain, or some combination of both?

    1. “Millions of children have been saved a terrible fate by his murder of about a hundred homeless people. Is he a hero, a villain, or some combination of both?”

      Your novel idea (pun intended) is to be the 1,000,000th person to offer an “exciting new take” on the trolley problem?

    2. He is a villain. The ends don’t justify the means.

    3. The reason this is unethical is that there is no way to know in advance whether the “cure” will work. Researchers need to test something on the order of 10,000 products to find one that works. How many of Joseph Mengele’s experiments yielded viable medicine?

    4. Hero because it worked. Villain if it had failed.

    5. I don’t know how you stretch this out into a novel. Maybe the doctor and the murderer are presented as different characters, then two-thirds of the way through the novel you learn they are the same person?

      And I think you should write it for the young adult market.

    6. Someone beat you to this plot idea. It’s a wonderful little short story called “The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas”.

  16. Is there systemic bias in presidential polling? As of now FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 87% chance of winning. RealClearPolitics puts Biden ahead by +9 percentage points, with a blowout on the electoral map.

    However, the betting odds at RCP gives Biden only a 65% chance, and I agree.

    Why are polls so often skewed in favor of the Democrats?

    1. Maybe because there are more Democrats than Republicans?

      1. I should say, why are poll so often wrong in favor of Democrats.

          1. If there really isn’t a systemic problem, then why don’t they increase the sample size to get better results?

            1. Polling errors are caused by not properly modeling who shows up to vote, which can’t be corrected by increasing the sample size.

              1. If the reports on early-voting volume is accurate, it seems that Donald has mobilized the Democrats’ voters into action this year.

        1. “I should say, why are poll so often wrong in favor of Democrats.”

          DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN

      2. Because the Trump voters are having fun telling telemarketers that they re definitely, totally voting for Biden.

        I almost replied to an “are you voting for Biden” robo-text with an affirmative, but I decided to just delete it exactly the same as with the Trump robo-texts. I’m still voting for JoJo, the lesser of 3 evils by several orders of magnitude. Winning be damned.

    2. I think the bias has increased with Trump. I believe many people who will vote for Trump won’t tell a pollster that, because of the incredible amount of public hostility to Trump.

      1. I’m sure it’s that, not that associating with
        Trump makes people more likely to lie.

    3. Its takes 10000 calls to get 700 to answer. Pollsters have to guess the characteristics of who failed to answer. People who fail to answer might skew white and republicans (as an example) and pollsters have to (try to) correct for that. Then pollsters have to model who will genuinely vote. Polls are 90% modeling bullshit.

      According to the polls, Biden is up 0.4 in Georgia. I find this very unlikely. In some states the polls also contradict the fact that i many more Republicans have been registered than Dems.

      As wrong as the polls are during normal times, I think that they are worse during the pandemic.

      Neither of the campaigns are behaving as if Biden has an 87% chance. Bidens own campaign manager called the election “very very close” today. My assessment is that right now its 50-50.

      1. Then you should bet on it, because the betting markets do not have it at 50-50.

      2. ” My assessment is that right now its 50-50.”

        If Donnie T and the R’s can figure out a way to steal it, it’ll get stolen. Will the combination of pandemic plus vote suppression keep enough Democratic-supporting voters away from the polls? We won’t know until November 5th or 6th.

    4. Bustard, if your claim is the 538 prediction must be wrong because it disagrees with the consensus betting line, then I wonder if you understand how those odds are arrived at. They aren’t the work of politically savvy oddsmakers, instead they typically match up the amounts offered on the different outcomes, so that 65% number means that almost twice as much money is on offer for a Biden win as a Trump win. In other words, they reflect the wisdom or lack of it of the betting public.
      To get an idea how reliable the odds are in predicting outcomes, note that in mid-October four years ago the RCP presidential election betting odds had Clinton an 85% favorite.

      1. “To get an idea how reliable the odds are in predicting outcomes, note that in mid-October four years ago the RCP presidential election betting odds had Clinton an 85% favorite.”

        And it turned out that it was 100% likely that more Americans would vote for her.

    5. They didn’t used to be. They are now.
      There are a few issues.

      1. Failure to adjust for non-college versus college white vote.
      These two groups didn’t used to vote so differently. So if you oversampled the college-educated white vote (and undersampled the non-college educated white vote) it wasn’t a problem. They do vote significantly different now. Failure to account for it will lead to polling bias.

      2. “Cancel” culture and retaliation. Put frankly, “Trump” voters face retaliation and “cancelling” including the loss of their job from Democratic voters. (The opposite isn’t really true). So, they don’t speak up. And don’t answer ballots.

      1. “2. “Cancel” culture and retaliation. Put frankly, “Trump” voters face retaliation and “cancelling” including the loss of their job from Democratic voters. (The opposite isn’t really true). So, they don’t speak up. And don’t answer ballots.”

        this claim is just silly. One of the natural constituencies for the Republican party is businessmen. Businessmen run businesses, and businesses have employees. So, if employees are fearing loss of job, it isn’t reasonable to be coming from suggesting that you might vote Republican.
        Note also that the political left are relative newcomers to so-called “cancel culture”. The political right, on the other hand, has used it effectively for decades, both inside of and outside of official government. Nixon tried to have John Lennon deported. The religious right wanted Lennon punished for suggesting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, and then throw on top of that the fact that Lennon said it might be nice to give peace a chance, and he just had to go.

    6. “Why are polls so often skewed in favor of the Democrats?”

      They report what people tell them?

      The Democrats have a fundamental problem. Their policies appeal to more people, but they appeal to people who don’t reliably show up on election day. The Republicans appeal to fewer people, but the R voters always show up to vote. so the D’s have to keep haranguing their supporters to actually show up and be counted, and when they do it successfully, they elect Obama. but when they don’t, Trump squeaks out a win in the electoral college. This is why vote suppression is a key policy element for the R’s, if they can keep enough potential D voters from having votes that count, they can keep winning elections despite having less appealing government management policies and choices.

      1. According to news coverage I saw last night, early-voting in North Carolina is up over 100% over 2016. If that trend holds up all the way through early voting, it doesn’t look good for Republicans. Allegedly, NC is a battleground state, with nearly equal numbers of R and D voters. If the vote count IS higher than normal, this suggests that the D’s have succeeded in getting the occasional voters to show up, and, historically, the occasional voters are more likely to favor the D brand politicians over the R brand.

  17. ArchLinux (pure, EndeavourOS, and Manjaro), and Solus. Still. I think my ‘distrohopping’ days are over. On ARM machines, to include phone, RaspberryPi, EndeavourOS, Manjaro.

    Working through the seventh book in The Expanse series, is entertaining space opera. Concurrently, Egan’s Permutation City, which is a bit harder science fiction. Am due for a re-read of both Infinite Jest and Gravity’s Rainbow, but have been muddling along with lighter stuff. With winter approaching, I will soon have the road bicycle on the trainer for the season, and read while cycling.

  18. Could it be true that some slaves in the American south preferred being slaves to being free?

    1. There were thousands of slaves in the American south so you can no doubt find one somewhere who preferred just about anything. Not sure what that has to do with anything, though.

      1. So then slavery was not completely evil?

        1. Not all dead, just mostly dead?

          1. Who is to say giving up one’s freedom to a master because of religious duty is not a sound moral position?

          2. That is also to say, one might maintain the belief that other people should likewise submit themselves to a master, as a moral duty.

        2. Bustard, many years ago I was in a biker bar in Los Angeles and struck up a conversation with someone who had a sexual fantasy involving humans sacrifice. Ten minutes into the conversation, I realized he was serious: He was actually looking for someone to kill him.

          I did not go home with him, but suppose I had. Would the fact that he wanted me to do something immoral have changed the fact that it was something immoral?

          1. Taking ones own life would normally be a selfish act and immoral. Having someone else take your life would not be any less selfish and immoral. Slavery is different because it is an act of selfless devotion. For example, Pharaoh, Caesar, Jesus, all were worshiped and masters over many people. Do I think the ancient Egypt was an immoral society? Not necessarily.

        3. “So then slavery was not completely evil?”

          No, it’s evil all right. 100%, through and through.

    2. Didn’t Sally Hemmings choose to be a slave?

      1. “Didn’t Sally Hemmings choose to be a slave?”

        Most American-born slaves, including Sally Hemings, were born into slavery. Newborn infants can’t make meaningtul choices.

  19. What a week so far.

    Interesting that there seems to be more interest in the Twitter censorship aspect of the NY Post / Hunter emails story.

    I thought it was pretty old news that social media companies are very far left politically, and that their content moderation choices strongly reflect that political alignment, and there has never been any credibility to their claims of applying some kind of neutral policy. Really old news. And yet, they are not government actors, so their blatant censorship is not restricted by the First Amendment in anyway, and indeed is protected by the First Amendment in some sense. Of course, there are other debated legal issues, such as those involving Section 230, in-kind political campaign contributions, and probably UDAP and other consumer protection-type issues. All of that is interesting but still old news.

    The Hunter email story itself is new. I find the story difficult to believe, particularly the origin story of the documents. I think it’s possible the emails could be fake, forged. But while the Biden campaign has denied that any such meeting actually took place around that specific time, the hedging about basing this claim on a review of “official schedules” is extremely weird. And moreover, this doesn’t necessarily contradict the story, so the Biden campaign hasn’t directly disputed the story or the authenticity of the emails.

    The media propaganda outlets are really putting in their work to distract from the allegations and emails themselves, with all of the focus on extraneous questions which, to be sure, are also legitimate inquiries. Imagine if the the media had downplayed and questioned the Trump-Russia allegations as an improbable and discredited conspiracy theory from the start, as they should have, instead of three breathless years of innuendo and anonymous leaks. But when you get down to it, the argument in WaPo and the like is that even if the emails are authentic, they’re a nothingburger. That doesn’t seem right to me. The emails, if real, seem quite damning and pertinent to the heart of all these messy scandals of the last 4 years including collusion, Burisma, impeachment, etc.

    1. You comment blasting Hunter Biden with bombshell accusations is unparalleled in recent memory. Slamming twitter and facebook for pushback of critics allegations is a desperate attempt to distract attention away from the unprecedented sandal of Trump’s revealing tax returns.

      1. Sorry, I don’t speak moronese. What is your claim? That Trump violated tax laws? I’m all ears.

        1. My claim is the “media propaganda outlets” are driven by consumer demand. The sensationalist reporting you criticize is the same reporting with which you are scorekeeping. You are driving the propaganda machine. The moronese is satire.

          1. K, I agree that the media on all sides is sensationalist and driven by both profit and political agenda. That is what propaganda is, read Jacques Ellul to understand the nuanced topic of propaganda.

            Setting all of that aside, the main point of my comment is to assess the merits and this alleged documentary evidence of Biden’s malfeasance. This goes straight to the heart of not only impeachment, collusion etc, but of Biden’s fitness for office and the election to be held this Nov 3rd. The context of media & propaganda is just the environment we live in and the filter through which tidbits of factual information are obtained in a sea of noise.

            1. Instead of Biden, what if the story was about your neighbor you knew for 30 years, who was also running for school board president? Would the story cause the same media circus in the local newspaper?

        2. “Sorry, I don’t speak moronese.”

          But you lie with absolute fluency.

    2. You obviously have either no Facebook account or no friends. I suspect it’s the latter but am open to contrary arguments.

    3. “I thought it was pretty old news that social media companies are very far left politically, and that their content moderation choices strongly reflect that political alignment, and there has never been any credibility to their claims of applying some kind of neutral policy.”

      That’s very likely the story you were told, and chose to believe.

  20. By attempting to censor the NY Post story on hunter Biden, Twitter and Facebook have made the NY Post story bigger than it would have been. Google “Streisand Effect.”**

    The story will soon shift to how the media is protecting Biden. This of course begs the question, why does he need to be protected? The (future) President cannot fight his own battles? How weak is that?

    Instead of sending a subpoena, Republicans should send a big gift basket. Facebook and Twitter have now guaranteed this will be a story for at least a week or two and will grow some legs.

    **For the record, I have my deep doubts about the story. Laptops that turn up in Oct are deeply suspicious. But, its all irrelevant now

    1. **For the record, I have my deep doubts about the story.

      In my perfect world where I sit on the couch watch idiots and munch popcorn for my own amusement, this was a plot with fake data to discredit Giuliani that just went horribly wrong when Facebook and Twitter got involved.

      1. A double false-flag? That is conspiracy theorizing of the highest order.

    2. “The story will soon shift to how the media is protecting Biden. This of course begs the question, why does he need to be protected? The (future) President cannot fight his own battles? How weak is that?”

      the media is protecting Americans from disinformation. Some of them object, because the disinformation is exactly what they wanted to hear, instead of actual facts. That is, indeed, pretty weak.

  21. Also, I think its amusing that Twitter and Facebook think so highly of themselves that censoring will make a difference. Trump is just going back to what worked in 2016: dialing into every show on television to get free media, and then holding rallies. So, all we see are Trump in his own words, and negative stories about Biden and how the media is protecting him. I dont like Trump. But he is a master at manipulating the media. It makes me wonder if the opposition will ever learn.

      1. Trump’s RCP average deficit in swing sates is currently +0.5% compared to 2016. Very roughly, the polls are looking the same as 2016, but otherwise a lot has changed and a lot is different. Trump is an incumbent. Whatever it was that caused inaccurate swing state polls in 2016, has either been fixed, remained the same, or gotten worse. My non-expert guess is it’s the same. Efforts by pollsters to improve probably balances out underlying factors worsening. There’s probably a skosh of truth to the “suppression poll” accusation too.

        1. Yes, the battleground state polls are roughly the same at this point in 2020 as they were in 2016. But, they moved between 3.5% and 4%-points towards Trump (tracking with the national polls) at the end, mostly after the Comey letter came out. If the 2020 polls dn;t similarly move, it would take a Truman/Dewey-like error for Trump to win.

          1. Ah, good point, I didn’t see that. I guess we’ll see what happens then.

            I don’t think the Comey letter had anything to do with it. Believe it or not, that’s inside baseball to the “undecideds.” Non-Biden, non-Trump respondents range from 6-13 points in the most recent national polls on RCP.

            1. The polls I see — Republican and Democratic — indicate undecided voters in the 4-6 percent range. For the most part, these are the polls on which the campaigns rely.

      2. see my post above about polls. Whatever you think about polling accuracy during normal times, its much worse during the pandemic. People who think Biden is up 0.4 in Georgia, for example, are fooling themselves. Bidens own campaign manager thinks that the race is much closer than the polls indicate. He called it very very close.

        1. I believe Fivethirtyeight has assumed more uncertainty in the polls because of COVID-19, but I see no evidence that uncertainty is biased one way or the other (I take Biden’s campaign manager’s statement with a large grain of salt intended to push his base into voting and contributing).

          1. Georgia is not +0.4 for Biden while Purdue (R) is +2.3 in the Senate race. Texas is not +4.4 for Trump while Cornyn is +7.6 in the Senate race.

            These is about 3-4 points of a shy Trump vote, as is evidenced by these contradictory indicators. Pollsters think that they have corrected for it, but its fairly obvious that they have not.

            1. I think it is entirely possible that Trump will not do as well as Perdue or Cornyn. For example in 2016, Trump won Georgia by 5.1%-points while Isakson won by 13.7%-points.

              What makes you convinced otherwise?

            2. Do you think President Trump will outperform his 2016 lead (9.2%)? Or do you think he’s actually at 7.6%? How low do you think the 4.4% is?

        2. Biden having any chance at all in Georgia would be a major upset.

      3. Josh R…Polling assumes they are accurately capturing the voting electorate. It is not at all clear to me that they are.

        I personally think we will see a tightening over the next 14 days. It happens every time. That last debate on 10/29 is going to be pretty high stakes.

        1. Of course the polls don’t accurately capture the voting electorate, for if they did they would never be wrong. What is needed to make them useful predictors, and what history suggests they are, is decently close and with errors that unbiased between the parties.

          Trump needs a closing, or else he will need a Truman-Dewey-like upset.

          1. “Of course the polls don’t accurately capture the voting electorate, for if they did they would never be wrong. ”

            Because people never change their minds?

  22. Politico: “Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory.”

  23. Biden campaign: Fact that Twitter censored NY Post story shows it’s false.

    L O L !

    1. ML: Trump is great and anyone who stands in his way must be obliterated! This is true no matter what facts happen to be true.

  24. I was wondering whether to choose superstition or choose reason, and whether to choose it all the time or just some of the time.

    Does anyone have any views on that?

    1. “I was wondering whether to choose superstition or choose reason, and whether to choose it all the time or just some of the time.”

      If you lack skill at reasoning, the two turn out to be pretty much the same thing.

  25. While everyone here is focused on Hunter Biden, I hope it doesn’t escape people’s notice that the current actual President of the country is yet again endorsing extrajudicial killing at a rally.

    “They knew who he was, they didn’t want to arrest him and 15 minutes that ended.”

    I am fairly certain that “did not want to arrest” is not a legal justification for using lethal force against a suspect. So, this is essentially praising a purposeful killing without justification or excuse, otherwise known as murder.

    1. “So, this is essentially praising a purposeful killing without justification or excuse, otherwise known as murder.”

      Terrible. What kind of sicko would do that?

      “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

      “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.”

      “The reporter asked if Qaddafi’s death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.

      “No,” she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying “I’m sure it did” with a chuckle.”

  26. This just in: Steve Scully of C-Span admits he lied about his twitter account being hacked. So this is your unbiased debate moderator that the Commission on Presidential Debates selected.

    Sarcastr0, I recall last week you called me out for calling out the biased Scully. What say you now?

    1. Yup. False hacking claims only serve to cast doubt on the experience of legitimate hacking victims like Joy Reid.

    2. As the FBI was investigating, what are the odds he lied to them?

      And if he did, why isn’t he getting the Flynn treatment?

    3. You still haven’t proven bias, TP. Rooting for a team doesn’t mean you’ll be biased.

      You may be an unprofessional sod, but not everyone is.

      1. It was proven, you just deny it. Why do you flagellate yourself here?

      2. Lol. Then why did he lie?

        1. Because it looks bad.

          Alleging professional bias where there has been no evidence *for decades* is hard, and a tweet won’t get you there.

          The right was looking at his record for anything they could use and this is the best they came up with. They spooked him, but not much more.

          Pathetic attempts to pre-blame the ref because your side cannot fail, only be sabotaged.

          1. What do you mean: Because it looks bad? Please explain that.

            I mean, the easy out here, and probably what actually happened…Scully asked Scaramucci if he should respond to POTUS Trump. Why not just come out and say that? Something along the lines of, ‘POTUS Trump had a number of public comments about the debate and I reached out privately to Scaramucci to get guidance on how I can best respond to POTUS Trump, and assure the American public we would have an honest debate’.

            He didn’t do that. Instead, he flat out lied….ala Joy Reid. That act right there, the lying (and it was just stupid because it is easy to disprove hacking), calls everything into question.

            So yeah, the onus is on you to make the Scully is unbiased case, in light of his actions Sarcastr0.

            1. Having employees snarking on twitter about their job looks bad for the employer.
              And CSPAN is fine to act based on perception. And even more fine to act based on his lying to them and the public.

              But it is not proof of bias in the job that he does. In fact, it’s weak enough that if this is the evidence the right is running with in their perpetual blaming of the refs for having a secret agenda to sabotage Trump, it’s a pretty good sign he’s been scrupulous on the job.

              1. Let’s look at this realistically, Sarcastr0, please. Scully hasn’t just been a supporter, he’s a true Biden fan, and a true Never-Trumper, as evidenced by his own public communications. This, in my opinion, disqualifies him to moderate a debate, period, never mind one between the guy he interned for and as recently as 2016, posed in support of; and “No, Not Trump, Not Ever” Trump. Get it now?

                About complaining about the referees: Chris Wallace teamed up with Biden in debate 1, and in last night’s town hall, Savannah Guthrie debated Trump! She was supposed to be a moderator, she acted like a prosecuting attorney, an accuser.

                Give me one – ONE – instance of a neutral or pro-Republican, or conservative debate moderator in the last 12 years, please.

                1. “Give me one – ONE – instance of a neutral or pro-Republican, or conservative debate moderator in the last 12 years, please.”

                  Did you not see the last debate?

                  Ideally, they’d have a debate where someone had the power to cut off the mic of anyone who insisted on interrupting when it wasn’t their turn to speak, but there’s no way Trump appears at an event where someone has the power to shut him up.
                  Fine, let’s make him a private citizen again, so that nobody has to pay him any attention unless they affirmatively want to.

        2. This is coming from Sarcastr0. These people think that all of the Strzok and Page texts, Weismann, 31 phones miraculously destroyed simultaneously, and so much more also didn’t “prove bias.”

          There is no point in pretending they are engaging in good faith, so might as well respond in kind.

  27. President Trump was investigated for three years for something Hillary did and he was impeached for something Biden did.

    h/t some rando on twatter

    1. President Trump was investigated for three years because he said he would have worked with the Russians if they’d let him, and he was impeached for trying to get a foreign government to try to help him get re-elected.

Please to post comments