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The Reason Roundtable
61 minutes | 7 days ago
What Does Trump's Post-Election Behavior Tell Us About American Politics?
It's been a bad few days for Donald Trump's lawyers, court cases, and political party. But has it been bad for the rest of us as well? That's the question dominating the second half of this week's Reason Roundtable. The first 30 minutes are all about this year's COVID-tainted Thanksgiving—recipes, serving strategies, tips for sidestepping political conversations, and grisly family traditions (including a "Cranberry Man" you cannot unhear). We also describe what we're thankful for, in a very on-brand way. Speaking of which: Got questions for Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward? Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org before December 1, and we will tackle them during our annual Webathon, which begins at the end of this month. You'll be glad you did! Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music "Pizzi Waltz" by Kadir Demir. Relevant links from the show: "A Scathing Ruling Against the Trump Campaign Highlights the Gap Between Rudy Giuliani's 'Massive Fraud' Claim and His Legal Arguments," by Jacob Sullum "Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) Statement on Court Ruling in Trump v. Boockvar Is Worth Reading," by Jonathan H. Adler "Sidney Powell Now Claims Election Conspiracy Involved Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders," by Robby Soave "Perils of Trump's Conspiracy-Mongering About the Election," by Ilya Somin "Can We Please Be Done with This Already?" by Sasha Volokh "'This Election Is a Joke,' Insists Libertarian-Leaning Congressman Andy Biggs," by Matt Welch "As Trump's Election Conspiracy Theories Get Crazier, Some Republicans Are Finally Backing Away," by Eric Boehm "Voters Wisely Chose Divided Federal Government," by Steven Greenhut "The Voters Eschewed Extremism on Election Day," by Veronique de Rugy "New York's COVID-19 Microcluster Whac-A-Mole Game," by Josh Blackman "Andrew Cuomo's Emmy Award for His COVID-19 Briefings Is a Disgusting Prioritization of Style Over Substance," by Christian Britschgi "More Cops Say They Won't Enforce Coronavirus Curfews," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Why the Hell Don't We Have Enough Damned COVID-19 Tests After 8 Months of the Pandemic?" by Ronald Bailey "Gavin Newsom's French Laundry Outing Crystallizes the Arrogance of COVID-19 Dictators," by Jacob Sullum "Another Wave of Business Closures Devastates the Suffering Restaurant Industry," by Christian Britschgi "Coronavirus Curfews Are Trending Again, Despite Total Lack of Evidence They Help," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Why Libertarians Should Want More Trust in Government," by Nick Gillespie
60 minutes | 14 days ago
Is There Hope for Libertarianism Within a Post-Election GOP?
So voters repudiate President Donald Trump yet refuse to embrace the Democratic Party, while also passing some freedom-friendly ballot initiatives. Meanwhile, the noisy center of American politics these past five years characteristically refuses to concede, and concocts increasingly implausible conspiracy theories attempting to explain away his loss. Where does that leave the modern GOP, and whatever vaguely libertarian muscle memory it may have buried somewhere? That discussion takes up the second half of this week's Reason Roundtable. The front end is devoted to exploring the difference between Trump's and Joe Biden's COVID-19 policies, the wonderful news of another vaccine, and the less salutary news of widespread infection and hospitalization increases all around the country. The phrase "Gadsden Flag mankini" is invoked. Speaking of which: Got questions for Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward? Please email them to email@example.com before December 1, and we will try to get to each and every one of them during our annual Webathon, which begins at the end of this month. You'll be glad you did! Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Day Bird" by Broke for Free Relevant links from the show: "Moderna's Preliminary Results Indicate That Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective," by Ronald Bailey "Masks Are a Tool, Not a Panacea," by Ronald Bailey "Trump Touts Operation Warp Speed's COVID-19 Successes," by Ronald Bailey "Biden Has a Plan for a New National 'Supply Commander,'" by Max Gulker "New York, Shamefully, on the Verge of Shuttering Public Schools," by Matt Welch "Joe Biden's COVID-19 Death Forecast Looks Less Plausible Every Day," by Jacob Sullum "Here Come the New Lockdowns," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Gov. Andrew Cuomo's New COVID-19 Restrictions on Private Home Gatherings Violate Personal Liberty," by Robby Soave "Will Biden Use the Broad Pandemic-Fighting Powers Originally Claimed by Trump?" by Christian Britschgi "Don't Buy the Debunked Dominion Voting Machine Conspiracy Theory," by Eric Boehm "The Supreme Court Won't Save Trump," by Damon Root "'I Won the Election,' Tweets Trump as Legal Losses Stack Up," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "No, Trump Did Not Concede the Election (Even Briefly)," by Jacob Sullum "California Voters Rebuked Their Governor, Legislators at the Ballot Box," by Steven Greenhut "Trump Lost in Part Because 2016 Third-Party Voters Heavily Preferred Biden," by Matt Welch "Mike Pompeo Jokes, Hopefully, About 'a Smooth Transition To a Second Trump Administration,'" by Christian Britschgi "Would a Less-Nativist Republican Have Won in 2020?" by Shikha Dalmia "Before Drug Prohibition, There Was the War on Calico," by Virginia Postrel
54 minutes | 21 days ago
Maybe the Election Results Were Kinda Good for Libertarians?
Which weekend op-ed headline team are you on? "Libertarians Spoil the Election: Jo Jorgensen exceeds Biden's margin in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia," by Walter Block? Or "One Group Is Unreservedly Happy About the Election Results: Libertarians are pleased to have likely dodged the bullet of one-party government control," by Liz Mair? (As you know, there can only be two choices in American politics…) The Reason Roundtable podcast, featuring as it does four small-l libertarians (Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward), has a range of views on the subject. On today's episode we discuss the promise and pitfalls of divided government, the worrying and soon-to-be-goosed trend toward pen-and-phone governance, the glass-half-full vs. glass-should-be-thrown-against-the wall interpretation of the Libertarian Party's Tuesday, and also the marvelous late-breaking news that a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be incoming. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "CGI Snake" by Chris Zabriskie. Relevant links from the show: "Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Is 90% Effective," by Ronald Bailey "Joe Biden's Presidency Is Coming. It Will Be Bad In Predictable Ways," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "According to Trump, Nearly Everyone Is Conspiring To Deny Him His Rightful Victory," by Jacob Sullum "Joe Biden Declared Winner of Presidential Race," by Billy Binion "Feeling Good About the Future After an Ugly Election," by Nick Gillespie "Georgia Will Determine the Nation's Political Fate," by Billy Binion "Joe Biden's Endless River of Debt and Regulation," by Nick Gillespie "The 2020 Election Results Look Like a Massive Rebuke of Socialism," by Robby Soave "Twitter's Flagging of Trump's Post-Election Tweets Is Haphazard, Irrational, and Ineffectual," by Jacob Sullum "Democrats' Crumbling Hopes of a Blue Wave Make Divided Government More Likely," by Billy Binion "Brian Riedl: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and $6 Trillion Budgets," by Nick Gillespie "America's Disastrous Drug War Is Finally Unravelling," by Regan Taylor "Yesterday's Clean Sweep for Drug Policy Reform Suggests That Prohibition May Collapse Sooner Than Expected," by Jacob Sullum "On Election Night, the Real Winner Was Drugs," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "What's Next for the Libertarian Party After Jo Jorgensen Got 1%?" by Zach Weissmueller "Where Do Libertarians Go From Here?" by Steven Greenhut "Meet Marshall Burt, Who's About To Become the Libertarian Party's Only Sitting State Legislator," by Brian Doherty "Think Jo Jorgensen Is a Spoiler? Run These Numbers First," by Matt Welch "You Are Not Entitled to Libertarian Votes," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Jo Jorgensen Heading Toward Second-Best Result in Libertarian Party History," by Matt Welch "Maybe Jo Jorgensen Finishing With 1% Would Actually Be Pretty Good?" by Matt Welch "Who Should Libertarians Vote For in 2020? A Soho Forum Debate," by John Osterhoudt "What Is the Ideal Strategy for the Libertarian Party? A Soho Forum Debate," by John Osterhoudt "Video: Nick Gillespie and Walter Block Debate Whether Libertarians Should Vote for Trump," by Nick Gillespie
62 minutes | a month ago
What Are the Best and Worst Things About Donald Trump and Joe Biden?
Though 100 million of you have already cast your ballots, and there never really were many undecided voters to begin with this time around, let us not look this gift horse('s ass) of an election in the mouth. Today's Reason Roundtable podcast provides some last-minute shopping analysis of the two main candidates in our national elderly man contest. On this episode, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward try our level best to say something nice about the existing presidency of Donald Trump and prospective presidency of Joe Biden, while of course perhaps spending a wee bit more time talking about the worst aspects of both. Along the way we discuss pre-election window-plywooding, post-election scenarios for weirdness, and our colleague Damon Root's excellent new book, A Glorious Liberty: Frederick Douglass and the Fight for an Antislavery Constitution. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Bring to Light" by Max H. https://artlist.io/song/9547/bring-to-light Relevant links from the show: "The Case Against Trump: Donald Trump Is an Enemy of Freedom," by Matt Welch "The Case Against Biden: Joe Biden's Politics of Panic," by Jacob Sullum "Why Biden is a Lesser Evil than Trump," by Ilya Somin "11 Trillion Reasons To Fear Joe Biden's Presidency," by Nick Gillespie "How Will Reason Staffers Vote in 2020?" by Reason Staff "Major Cities Spend Weekend Prepping for Possible Election Night Riots," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Republicans Are Trying To Cancel More Than 100,000 Votes in a Deep Blue Part of Texas," by Eric Boehm "Supreme Court Ruling Means We Probably Won't Know Who Won Pennsylvania Until Days After Election," by Eric Boehm "Make Elections Not Matter So Much Again," by J.D. Tuccille "Don't Freak Out About the Election," by John Stossel "Shrooms Are on the D.C. Ballot," by Max Dunat "Why Electing Biden (or Trump) Won't Settle Anything for Long," by Nick Gillespie
51 minutes | a month ago
What Will President Biden Do to Us?
Did you notice at last week's final presidential debate that the candidates actually talked about concrete coronavirus-related policies for more than a half-minute there? The discussion was not without its head-scratchers, but at least the most pressing issue facing 2020 America got chewed on a bit. Though it didn't quite answer the question: What would a President Joe Biden do, exactly? Such dominates the conversation on today's Reason Roundtable podcast, starring Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward. The gang digs into the former vice president's likeliest actions on COVID, education, health care, state bailouts, economic regulation, cancel culture, and much more. His opponent, ol' whatshisface, also comes up a time or two. Audio production by Ian Keyserand Regan Taylor. Relevant links from the show: "On Obamacare, Biden Repeats Obama's 2013 Lie of the Year," by Peter Suderman "Trump and Biden Are Both Misleading Us About COVID-19," by Jacob Sullum "Joe Biden Has No Realistic Plan To Reopen Schools," by Robby Soave "Trump Is Wrong About Military Distribution of a COVID-19 Vaccine," by Sam Rutzick "Mark Meadows: 'We're Not Going To Control the Pandemic,'" by Eric Boehm "PPParty Time!" by Christian Britschgi "Biden and Trump Offer Competing Tax Proposals, but Both Ignore Economic Reality," by J.D. Tuccille "Joe Biden's Proposal To Double the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour Won't Help Small Businesses," by Christian Britschgi "Joe Biden's Economic Policies Would Cost the Economy 4.9 Million Jobs by 2030, According to a New Study," by Billy Binion "Voting Is Overrated," by Katherine Mangu-Ward
66 minutes | a month ago
Politics and Social Media: Should We Use Exit, Voice, or Loyalty?
"Once social media sites take on the responsibility of policing speech," David Harsanyi wrote at Reason in 2018, "they are transforming themselves into adjudicators of what ideas are tolerable on purportedly open platforms. "That's a precarious position moving forward." Boy howdy is it. On today's Reason Roundtable podcast. Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and special guest star Stephanie Slade debate the appropriate responses both to Twitter's move to suppress a New York Post article about Hunter Biden, and also the reflex by too many politicians to retaliate by rewriting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The gang also talks about how to read the latest polls, what everyone learned from last week's presidential townhalls, and why Slade is even considering a vote for Joe Biden. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: Is That You or Are You You by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/reappear/ Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/ Relevant links from the show: "The Media Do Not Want You To Read, Share, or Discuss The New York Post's Hunter Biden Scoop," by Robby Soave "Twitter Blocking a New York Post Article Was Dumb—but Not Illegal, Censorship, or Election Interference," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "You Can't Always Trust What You Hear Online, and Congress Has Some Ideas About Fixing That," by Jesse Walker "Big Tech Is Just the Beginning: House Dems Seek Major Changes to Antitrust Law," by Andrea O'Sullivan "Afraid of Foreign Election Meddling? Worry More About America's Sick Political Culture," by J.D. Tuccille "Actually, It's Good That Major Networks Are Covering Both Trump's and Biden's Town Halls," by Scott Shackford "Joe Biden Still Doesn't Have a Coherent Answer About Court Packing," by Eric Boehm "No, Joe Biden, Cops Can't Just Shoot People in the Leg," by Robby Soave "If Trump Was Serious About Police Reform, He Would Have Addressed Qualified Immunity," by Billy Binion "Jo Jorgensen: 'Requiring People To Vaccinate Their Children Is One of the Most Egregious Things That the Government Can Do,'" by Matt Welch
68 minutes | 2 months ago
Democrats Have a Massive To-Do List If Joe Biden Wins
Last week featured a surprisingly taciturn Vice Presidential debate that was notable more for what the candidates didn't say than what they did. But make no mistake: Health care, the federal budget, infrastructure and energy are all going to be subjects of intense legislative wrangling over the next four years, no matter who wins in November. Democrats in particular have a far-reaching agenda that they will attempt to enact should they win back control of the White House and the Senate, as election odds-makers now believe is likely. But are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart? On this week's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Eric Boehm discuss what comes next if Democrats take the Senate, and President Donald Trump's plans for a second term. Also before the panel: Last week's debate, the fate of the filibuster, what to expect from the battle over Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, COVID-era baseball, and the decline of Saturday Night Live. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "government funded weed" by Black Ant. Relevant links from the show: "Why Can't They Both Lose?" by Katherine Mangu-Ward "The Case Against Trump: Donald Trump Is an Enemy of Freedom," by Matt Welch "The Pence-Harris Debate Was a Model of Civility, Evasion, and Obfuscation," by Jacob Sullum "The Case Against Biden: Joe Biden's Politics of Panic," by Jacob Sullum "Debt Reckoning," by Peter Suderman "Mike Pence Says Joe Biden Will Repeal Trump's Tariffs. That's a Good Idea!" by Eric Boehm "Both Pence and Harris Dodged the Only Important Question at the Vice Presidential Debate," by Eric Boehm "Coronavirus in Congress Won't Stop Barrett Confirmation Hearings, Which Start Today," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown
58 minutes | 2 months ago
Does Trump's Weird Hospitalization Jeopardize the Peaceful Transfer of Power?
By the time you read these words, even more employees at the White House will have tested positive for COVID-19 than detailed in the already-lengthy list this morning from Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown. What, if anything, does that tell us about the patient-in-chief, his coronavirus polices to date, and the post–Election Day future? There are vigorous differences of opinion on these questions in today's Reason Roundtable podcast. Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward debate tail risk, peaceful transfers of power, erratic behavior, media hyperventilation, local corona-bungling, congressional money-printing, endless lockdowns, and more. The gang also previews this week's vice presidential debate, explores the Sherlock Holmes–superhero connection, and talks about South Park's Pandemic Special. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "City Lights," by Audiobinger. Relevant links from the show: "Here's Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19 in Congress and the White House," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Presidential Disability: A Quick Summary," by Eugene Volokh "Will the Senate Have a Quorum to Confirm Judge Barrett?" by Jonathan H. Adler "Public Disclosure of Presidential Illnesses," by Jonathan H. Adler "It's Way Past Time for the Rest of Us To Get the Same Access to COVID-19 Testing That the Trump Family Enjoys," by Ronald Bailey "Conspiracy Theories Abound After Trump Tests Positive for Coronavirus," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "The Post-Pandemic 'New Normal' Looks Awfully Authoritarian," by J.D. Tuccille "Lockdowns Intended To Preserve Our Health Are Making Us Poorer and Angrier," by J.D. Tuccille "Donald Trump Says Joe Biden Is the Candidate of Perpetual COVID-19 Lockdowns," by Robby Soave "As Airlines Begin Layoffs, Nancy Pelosi Promises Bailout," by Eric Boehm "Scott Barry Kaufman on Narcissists and Libertarians," by Nick Gillespie
58 minutes | 2 months ago
The Lessons Americans Refuse To Learn From Trump's Tax Returns
Asked about The New York Times' novella-length article analyzing his last 18 years of federal income tax returns, President Donald Trump said: "It's fake news. It's totally fake news. Made up, fake." That hasn't stopped people from discussing Trump's inventive accounting, to a chorus of sputtered outrage by Trump's legion of critics, the vast majority of whom miss a simple point: The tax code is a big, complicated mess because major-party politicians—including those Republicans who insincerely promise to fit the entire form "on a postcard"—like it just fine that way, and voters do not punish them for perennially exacerbating the exasperating status quo. So argue Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward on this week's Reason Roundtable podcast. The gang also previews tomorrow night's presidential debate (including those unfairly excluded from it), grapples with the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, and makes a number of editorially questionable sound effects. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Sentinel" by Kai Engel. Relevant links from the show: "Trump's Tiny Tax Bill," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Libertarian Party Candidate Jo Jorgensen: Don't Waste Your Vote on Trump or Biden," by Nick Gillespie "Congress Continues to Spend Delusional Amounts of Money," by Veronique de Rugy "On Health Care, the 2020 Presidential Race Pits Bad Ideas Against Bad Faith," by Peter Suderman "Amy Coney Barrett Condemns Purdue University's 'Fundamentally Unfair' Adjudication of Sexual Assault Claims," by Jacob Sullum "It's Official: Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court," by Billy Binion "Amy Coney Barrett and the Problem of Conservative Judicial Deference," by Damon Root "Amy Coney Barrett Thinks the Second Amendment Prohibits Blanket Bans on Gun Possession by People With Felony Records," by Jacob Sullum "Amy Coney Barrett Demolishes the Qualified Immunity Claim of a Detective Accused of Framing a Man for Murder," by Jacob Sullum "Partisan Poppycock Does Not Trump the Constitution on SCOTUS Picks," by Jacob Sullum "Antebellum Is Empty Social Commentary Disguised as a Horror Movie," by Peter Suderman
60 minutes | 2 months ago
Our SCOTUS Wars Were a Long Time Coming
"We have the Senate," President Donald Trump said Monday morning, with we meaning the GOP. And that means, in contrast with Barack Obama's stymied 2016 attempt to fill a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year, Republicans ready to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg "can sort of do what you want." As a description of crude power politics, that's mostly true. (We shall see if more Republican senators pre-announce their intention not to vote on a SCOTUS nomination before Election Day.) But as power politics becomes more crude, is that good for the country on balance? So begins the debate on this week's Reason Roundtable podcast, starring Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward. The gang discusses political hypocrisy, congressional irresponsibility, and the mutual degradation of norms (and Norms), as well as the latest in federal corona spending, Trump's ridiculously interventionist TikTok exertions, and prohibition baseball in quarantined California. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Casual Desire" by Ugonna Onyekwe. Relevant links from the show: "Half of Republicans Say New Justice Should Be Picked by Whoever Wins the Election," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "A Possible Deal on Ginsburg's Replacement That Could Prevent Court-Packing," by Ilya Somin "The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Future of the Supreme Court," by Damon Root "After the Stimulus Binge, Brace for a Crash," by J.D. Tuccille "A Second Round of Airline Bailouts Would be Bad for the Industry and Consumers," by Christian Britschgi "Trump Wants More Stimulus Spending. Biden Wants a National Mask Mandate. Both Are Wrong," by Eric Boehm "Trump Administration Formally Bans TikTok, WeChat Apps from Online Stores in U.S.," by Scott Shackford "Trump's 1776 Commission to 'Promote Patriotic Education' Is Executive Overreach," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Trump May Tank TikTok Deal With Oracle Because Government Doesn't Get a Cut," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Delays School Reopening at the Last Minute, Infuriating Parents," by Robby Soave
64 minutes | 3 months ago
Donald Trump, Bob Woodward, and the Noble Lie
What did Donald Trump know, and when did he know it? According to Bob Woodward's new book, Rage, and the interview tapes the veteran reporter released last week, the president acknowledged the seriousness of the coronavirus in private interviews much earlier than he did public. Are there times when presidents should tell what they perceive as noble lies to forestall panic? Or, as Woodward suggests, do those obfuscations simply prevent Americans from rallying around and solving serious problems together? Regular Reason Roundtable podcasters Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward are joined by special guests Eric Boehm and Zach Weissmueller for a 20th-century-flashback episode to discuss whether epidemiology is politics, whether movies are politics, whether sports are politics, and whether all of those things have always been politics. Plus Gillespie gets ratioed, Mangu-Ward gets literary, Weissmueller gets serious, and Boehm gets emo in their pop culture recommendations. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Drizzle to Downpour" by Silent Partner and "Hide the Horror" by Asthmatic Astronaut. Relevant links from the show: Bob Woodward on 60 Minutes "Review: Coup 53," by Eric Boehm "How China Corrupted the World Health Organization's Response to COVID-19," by Zach Weissmueller "The NFL Is Back. So Is the National Anthem Controversy. And Now There Are Two Anthems," by Eric Boehm
63 minutes | 3 months ago
Trump's Struggle To Win the Gary Johnson Vote
President Donald Trump has been making some libertarian noises lately, and also some noises about libertarians. In the latter category, POTUS declared himself in an interview last week to be "somewhat libertarian," and a likely recipient of ex-Libertarian votes. "Jill Stein took, what? Half a percent?" Trumped mused innumerately to Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham. "Well, I have a Libertarian—I'm somewhat libertarian; I have to be honest with you; Rand Paul will tell you that—I have a Libertarian candidate on last time that got, what? Four and a half or so percent? Those are all Republican voters. They're wasting their vote, because—they have to vote for us." Well, no, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about some of Trump's most libertarian noises, such as calling out military brass and their enablers for backing "endless wars." On today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward discuss the president's actual record on policies dear to libertarian hearts; critique Joe Biden on same, and also spend time on school reopening, teachers unions, Christopher Nolan's filmography, and the true meaning of Labor Day. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Noisey" by ELPHNT. Relevant links from the show: "Bridget Phetasy Is Politically Homeless. You Probably Are Too." By Nick Gillespie "Will-to-Power Conservatism and the Great Liberalism Schism," by Stephanie Slade "You Have Libertarian Alternatives to Biden and Trump This November," by John Stossel "This Labor Day, Police and Teachers Unions Are Making a Bad Year Worse," by J.D. Tuccille "Teachers Unions Push Families Out of Public Schools," by J.D. Tuccille "Hispanic Parents Want More Choices for School," by Daniel Raisbeck "California's Job-Killing A.B. 5 Scaled Back, but Only for Some Professions," by Scott Shackford "California Police Unions Once Again Side With Bad Cops To Kill a Good Bill," by Scott Shackford "School Calls Cops on 12-Year-Old Boy Who Held Toy Gun During Zoom Class," by Robby Soave "Be Skeptical of Stories About TikTok 'Benadryl Challenge' Overdoses," by Scott Shackford "Disney Thanks Chinese Labor Camp Authorities in Mulan Credits," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Time May Not Exist Anymore, but Tenet Does, and It's in Theaters Now," by Peter Suderman
56 minutes | 3 months ago
Everybody Is Losing Their Damn Fool Minds
The next two months are going to be dark, people. Good luck finding a corner of American life that won't be co-opted into the great national binary of Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden, a struggle (we'll be told) where civilization itself hangs in the balance. People you once found sane will show up in your driveway, eyes bulging like Marty Feldman's, ranting about the dark forces on the verge of unleashing a thousand-year reign of terror. It's guns and guillotines all the way down. Or maybe not? Today's Reason Roundtable podcast, featuring Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward, ping-pongs between pessimism and psychotic breaks, as the gang discusses Portland, Kenosha, Minneapolis, Trump, Biden, the RNC, the DNC, federalism, media, coronavirus, basketball, and modern love, more or less in that order. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Night Driver" by The Whole Other. Relevant links from the show: "How Portland's Protests Drifted into 'Dangerous Territory,'" by Nick Gillespie "When You Say Yes to Hate: Dispatch From Portland," by Nancy Rommelmann "Protesters Tell Rand Paul, Who Wrote the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, To Say Breonna Taylor's Name," by Robby Soave "Trump Authorizes Deployment of 2,000 National Guard Troops to Kenosha," by Christian Britschgi "Kenosha Doesn't Have To Be a Vision of America's Future," by J.D. Tuccille "Qualified Immunity Is a Disgrace, No Matter Where You Live," by Billy Binion "Bourgeois Libertarianism Can Save America," by Brian Doherty "Nixon May Be Trump's 'Law and Order' Model, but He Was Smarter on Crime," by Jacob Sullum "Trump Warns America: 'Biden's America' Will Look Like Trump's America," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "In Convention Speech, Pence Warns: 'You Won't Be Safe In Joe Biden's America,'" by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "The Shaky Foundation of Trump's Pose As a Criminal Justice Reformer," by Jacob Sullum "Remember When a Democratic Polling Firm Fired the Guy Who Thought Violent Protests Could Backfire Politically?" by Robby Soave "NBA, MLB Games Postponed as Players Protest Jacob Blake Shooting," by Eric Boehm "Trump Promotes the Outlandish Claim That COVID-19 Has Killed a 'Minuscule' Number of Americans," by Jacob Sullum "Could the COVID-19 Epidemic Fade This Fall Without New Lockdowns?" by Ronald Bailey "CDC Issues New Guidelines That Discourage COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing," by Ronald Bailey "A Summer Without Summer Movies," by Peter Suderman "Prepare Yourselves Now for a Miserable Fall Television Rollout," by Glenn Garvin
71 minutes | 3 months ago
Political Conventions Should Be NC-17
It's the first day of the Republican National Convention, which means that things are already getting pear-shaped. In other words, it's a fitting follow-up to what the Democrats did (and didn't) do last week. On today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward break down the lowlights and strain for some highlights from last week, while previewing the American carnage and straining for upcoming attractions in this week's. The gang also talks about Portland protests, New York City backsliding, school reopenings (and lack thereof), and (of course!) superhero movies. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: 'Come Get With Us' by TrackTribe. Relevant links from the show: "The 2020 Republican Convention Doesn't Have a Platform—It Has Trump's Pet Peeves," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Americans Dislike Both Biden and Trump," by J.D. Tuccille "GOP Hawks Are Turning Out for Biden," by Eric Boehm "Democratic Convention Recap: Biden and Harris Vow To Make Government Even Bigger," by Justin Monticello "The Democratic Convention Was a Brief for Biden's Character. Policy Got Left Behind," by Peter Suderman "What if Joe Biden Were a Libertarian? We Fixed His Acceptance Speech," by Paul Detrick "A Vote for Joe Biden Is a Vote for a National Mask Mandate, Says Biden," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Did Joe Biden and the Democratic National Convention Forget About Trump's Tariffs?" by Eric Boehm "Tulsi Gabbard Says the DNC Didn't Even Ask Her To Speak," by Robby Soave "Are the Democrats Right That We Are Seeing an 'Epidemic of Gun Violence'?" by Jacob Sullum "Americans Rightly Tune Out the Democratic National Convention," by Nick Gillespie "Kamala Night at the DNC: The Party Anoints Harris and Brags About Biden's Crime Bill," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Democratic Convention: Dems Want to Stop Gun Violence, but They Can't Say How," by Brian Doherty "The Democrats Should Not Be Presenting Houston's Police Chief As an Avatar of Reform," by Jacob Sullum "Democratic Party Platform Calls for End to Drug War, But Not Really," by Scott Shackford "Big-Spending Biden," by John Stossel "Michelle Obama Hates Politics and Third Parties, Loves Schmaltz and Unity," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Bernie Sanders Just Gave Joe Biden a Very Expensive Wish List," by Eric Boehm "When You Say Yes to Hate: Dispatch From Portland," by Nancy Rommelmann "A Night of Aimlessness, Surrounded by Flames: Dispatch From Portland," by Nancy Rommelmann "School Reopenings Linked to Union Influence and Politics, Not Safety," by Corey A. DeAngelis "California Blackouts: It's Not Just the Heat, It's Also the Anti-Nuclear Power Stupidity," by Ronald Bailey
63 minutes | 3 months ago
Conventions and Conspiracy Theories
On the latest episode of the Reason Roundtable: conventions and conspiracy theories. Less than a week after announcing that Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) would be Joe Biden's running mate, Democrats are about to hold their first fully virtual political convention—a party-run Zoom conference direct from their living rooms to yours. No one knows exactly what to expect, but it's definitely going to be weird. Speaking of weird: Republicans in Georgia just nominated a Q-curious candidate for Congress, and she's likely to win her race. So just how strange are things going to get in this already deeply weird year? Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and special guest Jesse Walker discuss the strangeness of an all-online political convention, what the selection of Harris says about the future of Democratic Party politics, and the many misunderstandings about QAnon and its place in American politics. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Odd News" by Twin Musicom. Relevant links: "Kamala Harris Is a Cop Who Wants To Be (Vice) President," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "From Antifa to UFOs, One Joke Can Spawn a Thousand Conspiracies." by Jesse Walker "QAnon and Its Precursors," by Jesse Walker "When an Epidemic Spreads, So Do Rumors," by Jesse Walker "Joe Biden's Career Is One Long Lesson About the Dangers of Bipartisan Consensus Politics," by Eric Boehm "The Extremely Online Are Less Informed About Political News, More Informed About Conspiracy Theories," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "America Is Going To Vote by Mail. We're Not Ready," by Eric Boehm "Joe Biden Is No Moderate," by Peter Suderman "The Election Could Be Chaotic. Why Is Trump Trying To Make It Worse?" by Eric Boehm
64 minutes | 4 months ago
Trump's Executive Disorder
What do you call a 21st century president who uses executive orders to work around a stalled Congress and wants to suspend payroll taxes in the face of an economic calamity? A 21st century president, that's who. Like, all of them. On today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and a returning Katherine Mangu-Ward try to elevate policy over media gotchas, principle over opportunism, and plusses over minuses. But it's hard, Manny, it's real hard. The gang talks about Joe Biden's vice presidential shortlist, ponders just how much larger the coronavirus-related changes to life are than our ability to process them, and spends probably too much time talking about Gerald Ford and dystopian train movies. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Back and Forth" by Silent Partner. Relevant links from the show: "Trump's Latest Executive Actions Are Likely Ineffective and Possibly Unconstitutional," by Christian Britschgi "Trump's Naked Megalomania Continues a Bipartisan Trend," by Jacob Sullum "Obama's Executive Order Tyranny," by Andrew Napolitano "Watergate Blowback," by Matt Welch "The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Crushing State Budgets. A Federal Bailout Is Still a Bad Idea," by Eric Boehm "Kamala Harris Is a Cop Who Wants To Be President," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Benghazi Hall of Shame," by Matt Welch "A Milestone for Women in Politics," by Austin Bragg "Joe Biden Is No Moderate," by Peter Suderman "Perry Mason Gets Its Mandatory Gritty Reboot," by Glenn Garvin
60 minutes | 4 months ago
Ted Cruz Isn't the Only Politician Talking Nonsense About Tech Companies and Election Integrity
Today's Reason Roundtable podcast begins with this gem of hyperbolic WTFery, from a politician people used to routinely characterize as both libertarian-leaning and smart, Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas): #BigTech's power over our free speech is profoundly dangerous. @Google, @Facebook, and @Twitter are the single greatest threats to our democracy & free and fair elections. Solving their totalitarianism will be an enormous challenge going forward. pic.twitter.com/KgA2EN1pP1 — Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 2, 2020 Rountablists Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and special guest star Eric Boehm bounce from there to last week's godawful congressional grilling of Big Tech execs, President Donald Trump's election-delay trial balloon, the logistic headaches of counting mail-in ballots, the great TikTok wars, competing proposals for the next federal corona-package, and the deeply weird return of professional sports. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Wicked Things" by Quincas Moreira Relevant links from the show: "What Should Have Happened at the Big Tech Antitrust Hearing," by Austin Bragg and Andrew Heaton "Microsoft May Save TikTok From Trump's Clutches, After President Proposes Ban on Chinese Video App," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "The Return of Sports Is Great. It's Also Deeply Weird," by Eric Boehm "Congress Wants To Regulate Big Tech. They Still Don't Understand It," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Don't Expand Coronavirus Unemployment Insurance," by Veronique de Rugy "Congress Used the Antitrust Hearing To Peddle Petty Grievances Against Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google," by Eric Boehm "A Congressman Asked Mark Zuckerberg Why Facebook Censored Donald Trump Jr., but That Was Twitter," by Robby Soave "Senate Republicans' $1 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes Billions for New Fighter Jets, Attack Helicopters, and Missiles," by Christian Britschgi "The Next Coronavirus Stimulus Plan: More Spending, Smaller Unemployment Benefits, and Tax Breaks for Going Out To Eat," by Eric Boehm
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Coronavirus, Protests, and Policing Expose Government Failure at Every Level
Garrett Foster, an AK-47-carrying libertarian who joined Black Lives Matter protesters against police abuse, was shot and killed in Austin, Texas, Saturday night after an altercation with a motorist. The facts of the case are murky and disputed, but one overall snapshot of America is clear: Just past the midpoint of this annus horribilis, summer in too many cities is devolving into riots, police crackdowns, and the politics of violence. All of these trace their origins to local, state, national government failures. The local police and city halls have given up on protecting property; the federal government has given up on law-enforcement federalism; officials have failed to accomplish such basics as enabling speedy test results for a deadly virus. So argues today's Reason Roundtable podcast, featuring Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and special guest stars Stephanie Slade and Zach Weissmueller. The gang discusses teachers unions that want to keep schools closed and competition stifled, politicians and partisans who want to keep conflicts escalating, polls that show Joe Biden stomping Donald Trump, and whether Iron Man 2 is the most libertarian movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Relevant links from the show: "The Feds Are Still the Jackbooted Thugs We Were Warned About," by J.D. Tuccille "'CARES' Package Part Two Is Coming, to the Tune of at Least $1 Trillion," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Dispatch From Portland: The Morning Crew," by Nancy Rommelmann "The Media Wants To Guilt-Trip Parents Over School 'Pods,'" by Matt Welch "Portland Protesters Get the Immigrant Treatment," by Shikha Dalmia "Where's Republican Federalism During Trump's Urban Invasions?" by J.D. Tuccille "Dispatch From Portland: The Fire Next Time," by Nancy Rommelmann "What It's Like To Work in the Portland Jail During the George Floyd Protests," by Nancy Rommelmann "Trump's Political Opportunism Has Shredded Federalism," by Shikha Dalmia "Trump Administration Justifies Federal Police Surge With Fake News," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "The Majority of Americans Oppose Qualified Immunity. Where Is Congress?" By Billy Binion "Rand Paul on Republican Plans for Another Coronavirus Stimulus Bill: 'They Simply Don't Care About the Debt,'" by Eric Boehm "Trump Deploys Lawlessness Against Lawlessness," by Jacob Sullum "Dispatch From Portland: A Distinct Lack of Crowbars and Cops," by Nancy Rommelmann "Rand Paul: It's Time To Demilitarize the Police," by Rand Paul "Trump Is Wrong: Spreading Epidemic Is Responsible for Most of the Rise in COVID-19 Cases," by Ronald Bailey "Iron Man 2: Monsters of Metal," by Peter Suderman
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Sending Secret Police To Do Protester Snatch-n-Grabs Is Bad, Mmmkay?
"It's nice," Elizabeth Nolan Brown wrote this morning in a long piece about the federal police crackdown in Portland, Oregon, "to see some lawmakers actually attempting to use their power to stop this, instead of simply trying to score Twitter points with spurious allegations that libertarians aren't freaking out enough." That hyperlink takes you to this tweet, from Sen. Brian Schatz (D–Hawaii). Libertarians should be freaking out about Portland. — Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) July 18, 2020 The senator's legislative track record on the relevant issues certainly contains some schatz of its own, but on today's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch do their level best to unpack the legality and propriety of local and federal government action (and sometimes inaction) regarding street scuffles and property destruction, and how the White House is reportedly poised to roll out Portland-style intervention across several American cities. The team also breaks down the latest breakdowns of how federal coronavirus responses broke down, tiptoes into the mask-policy wars, and builds extended metaphors out of the movie Brazil. Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor. Music: "Fog Mist" by TrackTribe Relevant links from the show: "Feds Send Outside Agitators To Escalate Conflict in Portland," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "What's Happening in Portland?" by Jonathan H. Adler "ACLU Sues Federal Agents Deployed in Portland," by C.J. Ciaramella "Disturbing Reports from Portland," by Keith E. Whittington "Homeland Security Acting Like 'An Occupying Army' Says Sen. Wyden, After Federal Agents Shoot Peaceful Portland Protester," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown "Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Is Suing Atlanta's Mayor Over the City's Mask Mandate. Good," by Christian Britschgi "Andrew Cuomo's Coronavirus Response Has Been a Failure," by Billy Binion "What State and Local Governments Can Learn From the Coronavirus Crisis," by Veronique de Rugy
73 minutes | 5 months ago
Should Schools Be Fully Reopened in the Fall?
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made the chat-show circuit on Sunday to argue that the federal government should withhold money from public K–12 schools that don't fully reopen in the fall. "There's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous," DeVos told Fox News host Chris Wallace. "We know that children contract and have the virus at far lower incidence than any other part of the population, and we know that other countries around the world have reopened their schools and have done so successfully and safely, and kids there are going back to school every day. And so that has got to be the posture here. Parents are expecting that this fall, their kids are going to have a full-time experience with their learning and we need to follow through on that promise." Is the Trump administration right on the science? The policy? The federal government's role thereof? These are among the questions bandied about on today's Reason Roundtable podcast. Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch also debate President Donald Trump's commutation of Roger Stone's sentence, Charlize Theron's action-star chops, and, of course…The Letter. Audio production by Ian Keyser Regan Taylor. Music: "The Great Unknown" by Audionautix. Relevant links from the show: "Don't Force Schools to Reopen, but Don't Force Families To Pay for Closed Schools Either," by Corey A. DeAngelis "Families Turn to Homeschooling as the Education Establishment Fumbles Its Pandemic Response," by J.D. Tuccille "Mr. de Blasio: Open Up Those Elementary Schools!" by Matt Welch "Reopen the Schools!" by Robby Soave "Trump Commutes Ally Roger Stone's Prison Sentence," by C.J. Ciaramella "President Trump's Use of the Pardon Power," by Jonathan H. Adler "Would a Presidential Pardon for Roger Stone Be Unconstitutional?" by Jacob Sullum "Stone Cold Justice," by Jacob Sullum "Trump's Continuing Commentary on Criminal Cases Reflects His Disdain for the Rule of Law," by Jacob Sullum "Roger Stone Deserves a Lighter Sentence, but Not Because He Is Trump's Buddy," by Jacob Sullum "Lefties Hate on Liberal Open Letter on Free Speech," by Matt Welch "The Reaction to the Harper's Letter on Cancel Culture Proves Why It Was Necessary," by Jesse Singal "Are We Living in Crazytown?" by David Bernstein
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