Is Alcohol the New Soda?

New government research appears likely to help activists impose more restrictions on alcohol.

Last week a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that American adults drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.

Calories from alcohol, the study concludes, make up 5 percent of the total calories consumed by American adults. What's more, few Americans consume alcohol on a daily basis.

“On any given day, almost one-third of men and 18% of women aged 20 and over consume alcoholic beverages,” the report concludes. That means just one in four Americans consume alcohol on any given day.

And the group the report indicates as ingesting the largest amount of calories from alcohol—men aged 20-39—consume only 174 calories per day (8 percent of total average calories) from alcohol beverages. That’s fewer calories than two average light beers.

In spite of these modest totals, the study authors appear to be positioning their work as an important warning against alcohol consumption.

“I think sometimes people forget completely that alcoholic beverages have calories,” lead study author and public-health theologist Samara Joy Nielsen told The New York Times.

The study authors are also explicit in linking alcohol to soda—that other scourge of public-health activists—at least in terms of the calories it contributes to Americans’ diets.

“We've been focusing on sugar-sweetened beverages,” said Cynthia Ogden, one of the study’s authors who, like Nielsen, has been doing just that. “This is something new.”

But if the focus of these particular researchers is new, little in their research contributes any new knowledge.

The CDC alcohol study, "Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007–2010," uses data from the agency’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which “combines interviews and physical examinations.”

The most comprehensive source I’ve come across (and referred to recently here) for uncovering what Americans are eating and drinking—including alcohol—is the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, last updated in 2010. And if this CDC alcohol study doesn’t appear so new, perhaps it’s because the “new” study cites the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in nearly half (43 percent) of its footnotes.

Not surprisingly, the two studies’ conclusions about how many calories Americans consume from alcohol are also nearly identical. USDA data put the number at 106 calories from alcohol (see Table 2-2 on page 12). The CDC study’s total is similar but slightly lower—99 calories.

While the USDA study concludes that “alcoholic beverages are a major calorie source for adults,” the CDC calls them “a top contributor to caloric intake.”

One place where the studies diverge—and where the CDC authors don't address what I see as a key issue—is the fact that the average alcohol consumption patterns their research reveal actually mirror longstanding USDA recommendations.

“If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age,” reports the USDA in the same Dietary Guidelines for Americans that the CDC researchers know so well. “Moderate evidence suggests that moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages is not associated with weight gain.”

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  • ||

    The CDC is forgetting an important fact.

  • Ted S.||

    What's with the George Burns glasses?

  • yonemoto||

    let's be honest, you would not buy into the credibility of science cat's pronouncements if she were not bespecktacled.

  • Disgusted Dem||

    This will probably mean people pushing for higher sin taxes on alcohol. But there is an opportunity to use such efforts to get people to realize what higher taxes mean in general. During the Thanksgiving meal, my college aged 2nd cousin was talking proudly about the strong turnout in young Californian voters to get the Prop. 30 tax increase passed. I pointed out to him that the tax could actually lead to a tax revenue decrease and suppress economic activity. He didn't understand this until I pointed out that sin taxes are always being used to decrease specific economic activities. Then he finally understood the issue and was no longer proud and happy about his accomplishment.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Ah the small joys that come from destroying youthful enthusiasm with the cold steel of reality.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "I'm proud that I increased taxes on myself and other poor people to guarantee the bloated pensions for the people that miseducated me."

    Sounds like a real genius.

  • Mike M.||

    Young people in general are kind of stupid; they think they know everything and usually know next to nothing. That's why most of them voted for Block Yomomma.

  • Virginian||

    Young people in general are kind of stupid; they think they know everything and usually know next to nothing. That's why most of them voted for Block Yomomma.

    Fixed it for you.

  • PapayaSF||

    Excellent way to make a good point. How often do liberals want to suppress something with taxes, but don't realize that contradicts their faith that taxing businesses and investment won't result in less of those things, too?

  • Bill||

    This only matters if you care if your ideas don't contradict each other.

  • KPres||

    "...but don't realize that contradicts their faith that taxing businesses and investment won't result in less of those things, too?..."

    What makes you think they don't want less of those things?

  • Tired_Libertarian||

    The sad thing about this is that your cousin's Econ 101 class is most likely taught by a diehard liberal that thinks Paul Krugman is a god.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The gnawing fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It would be nice if the Center for Disease Control and Prevention restricted itself to controlling and preventing disease.

  • ||

    Obesity is a contagious disease, donchaknow?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Yeah, I caught it from the McGovern Commission.

  • Pagan Priestess||

    lol...golf clap

  • Brutus||

    Beautiful [/Taubes]

  • Mensan||

    Outstanding!

  • Mike L Toris||

    Its the USA #1 TOP Export

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I almost, ALMOST mind you, sympathize. They actual mission is to prevent and control outbreaks of contagious disease. The way that the government works, however, means that too many people in positions to cut their funding will tend to look at recent history and conclude that they "aren't doing anything" because there hasn't been a horrible plague stalking the land since Polio got (mostly) knocked on the head. If they don't find busywork to do, they will get pared down until, when there is an outbreak, they can't do their jobs. And then they get it in the neck.

    Now, if I was sure that they weren't getting distracted from their real job by the busywork I could almost wink at this. But, frankly, I suspect that what started out as attempting to look busy has taken over. Which sucks.

  • PapayaSF||

    Well, I would suggest that AIDS is a horrible plague, but it's so wrapped up in gay politics that it's hard to deal with it as an old-fashioned contagious disease. Instead we get 25 years of preaching about "safe sex" which gets forgotten as soon as it is politically convenient to do so (e.g. Sandra Fluke).

  • Humason||

    That's a very, uh, charitable interpretation. The CDC is waaaay bigger now than they'd need to be to do the job "controlling" a disease outbreak, particularly when you take into account all the public health bureaucracy at the state and local levels.

    There may be an element of wanting to avoid funding cuts too, but I doubt their avoidance of such is as altruistic as you conjecture.

  • SIV||

    The CDC's communicable disease mission is long since past. Yeah, they still do it but only as a subset of the public health mission to maximize lifespan no matter what the cost to liberty.If maximizing liberty is your goal there is no better way to achieve it then eliminating the profession of "public health". This is the one instance of eliminating statism where I unequivocally favor "the ends justify the means" solution.

  • np||

    “If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age,”

    Wikitravel

    The drinking age for beer, wine and alcoholic cider is 16 (but not in all cantons, so make sure to ask before buying) while the age for any other alcohol (e.g. spirits, "alcopops", etc) is 18. The public consumption of alcohol in Switzerland is legal, so do not be alarmed if you see a group of teenagers drinking a six-pack on public property; this is by no means out of the ordinary and should not be interpreted as threatening.
  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Worried, why should you be, it's not like they're black...

    Suffice it to say drinking Iis not the problem, recovering drunks are.

  • Disgusted Dem||

    I did compensate my cousin a bit by giving him some ammunition to defend himself from vegans on campus who are trying to pressure him to convert. I pointed out that they often eat organic food even though it must be fertilized by manure from exploited cows even though they forgo dairy products. And they are probably eating fruit which must be pollinated by commercial bee hives even though they eschew honey. That made him happy.

  • Disgusted Dem||

    Oops... posted this in the wrong place. It was meant to be a reply to Lost a few places up.

  • PapayaSF||

  • seguin||

    There's also Stephen Davis, who noted that crop harvesting kills a large amount of animals. http://abcnews.go.com/Technolo.....LFyrYYmmtc

  • sloopyinca||

    Come on...two more snaps and it's 12-0.

    Fuck Michigan!!!!!!!!!!

  • sloopyinca||

    Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fuck the NCAA. Fuck the SEC. And Fuck Michigan.

  • juris imprudent||

    Too bad you can't play Notre Dame.

  • Mike M.||

    That game yesterday was some of the worst football I've seen from what are allegedly very good college teams in years.

    Watching these Big Ten teams play is like going back 25 years in a time warp. It's slow, unimaginative, and boring as all hell.

  • Belgian||

    Yay, you OSU fucks fans get to avoid the humiliation of getting blown out the first time you play an actual decent team this year!

  • Humason||

    “I think sometimes people forget completely that alcoholic beverages have calories,” lead study author and public-health theologist Samara Joy Nielsen told The New York Times.

    As always, anyone who disagrees with a health nanny must be stupid and/or forgetful.

    Despite the fact that the menus at McDonalds are bordering on impossible to decipher with all the calorie totals all over the place, the place is still packed with people ordering greasewiches that constitute 60% of their total daily calorie intake. No doubt the nannies will think people are just too stupid to compare the calorie totals to what they should be eating, and require McDs to station a nutritionist at the entrance to lecture customers on how many calories they should order.

  • iggy||

    Given that light beer exists specifically because it has fewer calories than normal beer, I don't know how in the hell they can claim that people 'forget' that alcohol has calories. If that were true, no one would drink light beer.

  • SKR||

    Or that some people consciously forego sweets and sugary drinks so that they can consume beer without weight gain. Yeah that never happens. C.c

  • Humason||

    I thought the purpose of light beer was that it was less filling so you could get more drunk faster.

  • iggy||

    Yeah, but you see all those commercials that say 'Our beer only has 80 calories!' or something similar. That would be a pretty pointless ad campaign if no one thought booze had any calories in it.

  • ||

    If that was the reason, people would drink hard liquor instead. It appears that the typical beer-drinker is weight conscious and *shudder* enjoys the taste of light beers.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I cut down on calories by drinking tequila shooters with large slices of lemon. Health liquor!

  • Belgian||

    Just don't drink unless you're gonna drink enough to vomit. Voila! Weight loss!

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    the place is still packed with people ordering greasewiches that constitute 60% of their total daily calorie intake.

    Everything in the human body is controlled by hormones. Fat storage is caused by insulin and no other hormone can override it. (That's why Type I diabetics are usually so thin, and why Type II diabetics are usually so fat.) Fats don't cause insulin release. "Grease" cannot be the cause of our widespread obesity.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Thank you thank you thank you, PHOD

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Thank you thank you thank you, PHOD

    PHOD is half the man he used to be. (Please pardon the 3rd person.)

    Nine years ago I was barely managing to stay under 365 pounds on 1,500 Calories per day. Same at 1,200. Same at 1,000.
    Then on 50 grams of carbohydrate per day, unlimited fat and Calories (and I was averaging over 3,000 Calories), I lost better than a half a pound per day for eight months.

    Nothing like having your friends warn you about gaining weight from eating too many "dense calories," and in the next breath worry that you're losing weight "too fast to be healthy."

  • hotsy totsy||

    50 grams of carbs sounds about right. I try to stay in the 60-100 range when I'm at a good weight. If I diet it's about 30 grams and it always works. It's kind of a modified Atkins.

    I hope my boyfriend tries it. He likes meat and cheese enough, but also, being Italian, loves his pasta. And I'm NOT gonna nag.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    It's kind of a modified Atkins.

    After the initial success of following what my coworkers said, I read the book. I still kept one "cheat meal" per week and only rough-guessed my carbs. Now I just try to take the better choice between alternatives, which keeps me pretty steady.

    He likes meat and cheese

    Don't forget that most veggies are low carb. A pound and a half of string beans has fewer grams of carbs than two slices of bread.

  • Lord at War||

    Around here, 50 grams of "carbs" is known as "breakfast".

    (48 yr old male- 6 ft/170 lbs- down from 220 lbs 3 yrs ago)

  • Xenocles||

    But if it doesn't make you fat then why is it called "fat?"

    /average person

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Yeah... Does eating chicken make you chicken?

  • Robert||

    Yeah! And eating ham makes you....

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Need a biscuit? Move to Smithfield?

  • Mensan||

    Yeah! And eating ham makes you...

    ... a cop?

  • Tired_Libertarian||

    The funny thing is that here in California McD and other fast food joints that EBT cards (California's version of Food Stamps). I would love to see what happen if The State were to take away their greasy, overpriced cheeseburger and force the Wards of the State to eat a wilted, overpriced salad instead.

    Of course the bigger questions is: Why are fast food places allowed to take EBT payment anyway!?!

  • Jake W||

    People are too dumb to drink alcohol when and how they please. Release the taxes!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    do not be alarmed if you see a group of teenagers drinking a six-pack on public property; this is by no means out of the ordinary and should not be interpreted as threatening.

    OMG teh HOODLUMS

  • hotsy totsy||

    No, if they were hoodlums, their skin would have to be a lot darker.

  • Humason||

    Holy moley, is ANYTHING Obama says not a lie?

    Peace, turkey pardoned by President Obama last Thanksgiving, euthanized -- Officials insist timing of death not suspicious

    Mount Vernon anticipates receiving more turkeys following this year's pardoning ceremony. "We were very prepared to have all four birds live here," Aloisi said.

    At the Nov. 23, 2011, pardoning, President Obama said Peace was "going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon - the same place where George Washington spent his golden years."

    But now Peace is dead.
  • Skyhawk||

    "US Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on several Saturday morning news programs, explaining that Peace's death appeared to be a suicide."

  • PapayaSF||

    +1

  • ||

    WHO CARES?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But now Peace is dead.

    Yup, just another day in Obama World.

  • Zeb||

    That turkey pardoning thing is fucking stupid. When did that start, anyway?

  • PapayaSF||

    Apparently in 1989 with Bush 41.

  • RBS||

    Yes it is. Someone mentioned the other day that is also a mockery of the Pardon Power.

  • Humason||

    "I swear on my life, I thought turkeys could fly"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    No rest for the meddler.

    "As pediatricians who are trying to help children behave in ways that keep them healthy and safe, we have to pay a lot of attention to what's happening in social media," said Dr. David Hill, chairman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on communications and media.

    The council led a panel called "Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," at the group's annual conference last month in New Orleans. The goal of the presentation: getting pediatricians current on issues to discuss with young patients during regular wellness checkups.

    Pediatrics isn't a job, it's a mental condition.

  • ||

    I'm so glad that I'm no longer included in these generational scare pieces.

  • hotsy totsy||

    And good thing those regular wellness checkups are FREE!

  • waaminn||

    Soimetimes you jsut gotta throw your hands up on the air dude.

    www.Anony-Max.tk

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't know what that means, bot, but it sounds good.

    Count me in.

    Fuck you air.

  • Lewisite||

    ^ Spam sympathizer ^

  • Lord Rae||

    People don't forget... they just don't care.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I have found this site for you Bushnecks in the GOP anti-reality bubble:

    http://conservativefactcheck.c.....rticles/50

    So now you can "prove" the "facts" you just heard on Fox News or Fat Rush's "news" talk programs!

    Thank me anytime.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Can you actually cite some examples of pro-Bush remarks on H&R? Some specific examples?

  • General Butt Naked||

    GW Bush is a goddamn saint and an American Hero of the highest degree.

    There, now ignore it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Every time its mentioned by myself or a Reason contributor that Bush left a $1.2 trillion deficit and spending shot up to $3.5 trillion (from nearly half that) the Bush apologists come running.

    RC Dean, John, Red Rocks, Restoras, wareagle, and numerous others can't let a fact like that go unpunished for its honesty.

    Really, you don't read many posts here, do you?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Thanks for confirming that you exist in a completely different reality than the rest of us. That would explain your shear, idiotic lunacy.

    So, tell me, is the sky still blue in Bizarro Universe?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You should let the GOP go - its like herpes.

    Try the liberal/libertarian side.

    I don't mean progressives either. I am talking secular capitalism.

  • Xenocles||

    Secular capitalism? Why didn't I think of that?

    Now which party is it that's offering capitalism?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Now which party is it that's offering capitalism?

    None that scores in double digits.

  • GroverinCA||

    You are a complete idiot, Shriek. I know this because you are seeing things that don't exist or weren't written. You called me a conservative the other day, even though I had literally never stated my position on a single topic on this board. And you are doing this continually to other posters.

    This lunacy is your life.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    I recall him referring to me as a Bush supporter too, some time back. He'd better be referring to me lifting women who leave areas unshaven because I have never voted for anyone by the last name of Bush.

  • GroverinCA||

    So you like to... Pound. Head. In. Bush?

    Shriek reminds me of the homeless junkies shouting random shit in the streets here in San Fran. Only attempt to engage with such a person if you want to help them.

  • Restoras||

    Somehow, to this Obama fellator the pointing out of facts that are inconvenient to him makes you a Booooshie! when all that actually does is a) point out that Bush sucked, and b) Obama is worse than Booosh. It is this last fact that raises the ire of this partisan hack and intellectual clown.

  • Restoras||

    You really don't have a clue what you are talking about, as usual.

    Go fellate your savior Obama, dickhead.

  • Brutus||

    It's not a defense of Bush, Shriek, it's that you invariably post that shit in every thread where Obama has perpetrated some collectivist outrage against liberty, markets and human reason. Then, when you're called on the lard-witted attempt to deflect attention off of your Chocolate Savior, you say it's Reasonoids' worship of Chimpy Katrinaburton.

    It's cheap, it's dishonest and it only proves that your commitment to liberty is, in fact, a commitment to collectivism and the Democratic Party.

  • Shakaree||

    The only thing PBP is committed to is a state hospital. I hope, for his sake.

  • Pi Guy||

    "Chimpy Katrinaburton"

    *snicker*

  • Restoras||

    Dickhead, you'll actually have to provide some proof of Bush Apologia first.

    Until then, get back under you bridge you mindless Obama fellator.

  • Restoras||

    It can't. When you dwell under a bridge (or more likely in your mommie's basement) you lack the actual life experience needed to argue in good faith.

    It rises on the Stairs of Troll from it's underground lair, makes idiotic comments, and descends the depths all the while pretending to engage in intellectual conversation - with itself, convincing itself of its own righteousness, intelligence, and reasoning, when in fact it has none.

    Pity it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Alt text: Obama sets a good example for the citizenry by holding up the results of his urine test.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You're still using the wrong bait, Shreeek.

  • Humason||

    Looks like it's still working, actually.

  • hotsy totsy||

    A daily serving of alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) helps halt bone thinning in as little as 24 hours, say Oregon State University scientists.

    Alcohol mimics estrogen when it latches onto bone, stopping calcium from trickling out into your bloodstream, (where it can combine with cholesterol to form plaque in the arteries).

  • hotsy totsy||

    Government health nannies forget about that.

  • ||

    So having an alcoholic beverage is good.

    Upon applying FdA's "Law of Extremes"...

    If an alcoholic beverage is good, extreme quantities of alcoholic beverages is EXTREMELY good.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Their logic seems to be, if getting falling down drunk every night for years gets you fired from a lot of jobs, and puts you on the list for a liver transplant, then no one should ever ever consume alcoholic beverages.

    If you absolutely MUST, limit it to one drink a month or two. But only IF you are over 21 and not pregnant.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Overall, alcohol has far more health benefits than rice cakes. Plus it tastes better.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    So having an alcoholic beverage is good.
    Upon applying FdA's "Law of Extremes"...
    If an alcoholic beverage is good, extreme quantities of alcoholic beverages is EXTREMELY good.

    I am reminded of the radon scare. They only looked at high-exposure data (from miners IIRC), then graphed a straight line from there through the origin. What a surprise when data from actual neighborhoods showed places with extremely low radon exposures actually had significantly higher cancer rates.

  • ||

    If an alcoholic beverage is good, extreme quantities of alcoholic beverages is EXTREMELY good.

    Not quite.

    This and this seem appropos here.

    Alcohol mimics estrogen when it latches onto bone, stopping calcium from trickling out into your bloodstream, (where it can combine with cholesterol to form plaque in the arteries).

    Heavy drinkers tend to have fantastic LDL levels, high HDL levels, but increased risk for atherosclerosis (one of many factors) and the well-documented alcohol-induced hypertension condition. Its affect on VLDL is pretty remarkable, as VLDLs are a way of shipping fats and cholesterol from the liver to other organs/tissues via the bloodstream. In short, alcohol increase the amount of fat in the liver and in order to deal with this it dumps the fat into the blood stream inside VLDL.

    That said, alcohol consumption is definitely part of a healthy diet, barring contraindicating conditions present.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Interesting articles, GM. I don't think I was clear, as I was referring to moderate alcohol consumption, that is, 1 daily drink for women, 2 for men, which can be beneficial to bones.

    People can take calcium supplements of 1200 mg daily, the recommended dose, and STILL have bone thinning if the calcium isn't absorbed, and worsen arterial plaque to boot, even if their cholesterol is supposedly under control.

    Alcoholics most likely have bigger problems besides bone thinning.

  • ||

    Interesting articles, GM. I don't think I was clear, as I was referring to moderate alcohol consumption, that is, 1 daily drink for women, 2 for men, which can be beneficial to bones.

    Thanks, if you are still checking this thread. Yes, dosage clarification is important, and I assume you are using the 1.5 oz. shot of hard liquor, 8 oz glass of wine (8-10% AVBW), or 12 oz. can of beer (6% ABWV).

    People can take calcium supplements of 1200 mg daily, the recommended dose, and STILL have bone thinning if the calcium isn't absorbed, and worsen arterial plaque to boot, even if their cholesterol is supposedly under control.

    Also true for many patients, though I read the Oregon State Study you referenced and found some elements lacking in the study and I am not inclined to make broad recommendations; however, and this is specifically why I mentioned VLDL's as they are typically not included in a cholesterol test, as the levels cannot be exactly directly measured. Healthy levels are generally between 5-30 mmg/dL and are calculated indirectly. These can also have a direct effect on plaque formation, either with or without the presence of hypercalcemia in people with stable, controlled LDL and HDL levels.

    (cont)

  • ||

    (cont)

    Since women are way more at risk for osteomalacia (softening of the bones D/T the inability to properly form hydroxyapatite) and osteoperosis (actual leeching of bone calcium), this should be of special interest to you. The results can also be verified via Rubin's Pathology. Of special interest is the effect of both dietary fibre (not good) and fats (good for absorption).

    The only form of calcium supplement I RX is Citrical, since the usable form of calcium does matter, and demonstrably absorbs better in the presence of citric acid. Pauling was right about that one.

    Alcoholics most likely have bigger problems besides bone thinning.

    Metric tonnes of them, correct.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Secular capitalism? Why didn't I think of that?

    Shreeek is a squealing fanboi of cowboy capitalists Warren Buffett and George Soros; that could explain it.

  • Lewisite||

    But...but...Boooosh!

    '$1.2 trillion deficit'...he didn't build that.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Buffett and Soros are probably the two most respected capitalists in the country.

    Why do you hate them?

  • Lewisite||

    Booosh?

  • Humason||

    That says something about the country.

  • Brutus||

    Would that be Convicted Felon George Soros?

  • Lewisite||

    "Would that be Convicted Felon George Soros?"

    Pure as the wind driven snow, he is...just ask him.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    "Most respected capitalists" doesn't translate to "capitalists."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Gosh, why would I hate notorious rent-seekers?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You wingnuts are so predictable.

    The Kochs are the biggest lobbyists by far among private citizens.

  • Lewisite||

    "The Kochs are the biggest lobbyists by far among private citizens."

    Kochtopus...boosh booooosh boosh, boosh booooossh! Booossh booosh boosh boosh...booosh (booosh/boosh) boooosh?

    1)Booosh
    2)Booosh
    3)Booosh!
    Booosh, boosh booosh...boosh?!?

  • C. Anacreon||

    and don't forget Halliburton!

  • Robert||

    "Bouche? He wasn't even running!" -- Gary Shandling

  • GroverinCA||

    Seek help, seriously.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You don't know these posters, you dumbass. I have posted here six years.

    I know the true LP from the conservatives and the occasional progressive from time to time.

    I am a rarity, a classic liberal which by definition is a SECULARIST. The Bushnecks cannot stand us classic liberals.

  • Lewisite||

    'Sockpuppet'...booossshh booossh booosh booosh "booosh". Booosh boooossshh...booosh booosh desperate boooosh? Booosh booosh boooosssshhhh troll, boooossshhh booosh boooosh lame. Booosh booosh boooosh fail boooosh!

  • ||

    I am a rarity

    You...are an asshole!

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    I am a rarity, a classic liberal which by definition is a SECULARIST.

    Hold it. I'm an atheist and I certainly prefer it that way, but I'm not sure that follows as a necessary condition. History shows many of the pioneers and heroes of classical liberalism were religious men.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    One can be religious and still be a secularist.

    Secularism is keeping government and religion completely apart.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    a classic liberal which by definition is a SECULARIST.
    Secularism is keeping government and religion completely apart.

    Second definition of secularism, but a valid one. Again, while I prefer it that way, that is clearly not what many, or even most, classical liberals did. Perhaps French revolutionary liberal tradition (Rousseau, Condorcet) has confused you?

  • Lewisite||

    "I am a rarity, a classic liberal which by definition is a SECULARIST."

    My Dockers are blue, and cotton...by definition, they are blue jeans.

  • GroverinCA||

    Actually, asshole, I've been reading these boards for several years, and that's why I know you're a troll. Your life is spent entirely on attempting to piss of human beings. Your inane ramblings serve no purpose.

    I feel sorry for you. Seek help, seriously.

  • Restoras||

    The only thing you really know is how to jerk yourself off in mommies basement, loser.

  • Brutus||

    Why compare the Kochs' lobbying to that of private citizens, when it's obviously more apt to compare it to that of other business entities?

    And lobbying takes two forms, offensive and defensive. The Kochs, being libertarians, would naturally take part in the latter.

  • sloopyinca||

    I said, The Ohio State Buckeyes are 12-0. Why are you people worried about politics when almost every politician is a self-serving douchenozzle. For Fuck sake, there's college football going on today, which you and I will have more impact on than we could ever have with politicians.

    Fuck Michigan!!!!!!

  • Lewisite||

    UofF already played today...

  • C. Anacreon||

    And my Northwestern Wildcats are 9-3 after a 50-14 drubbing of the hated Illini, and heading to Florida for New Years' Day. Really weird year for the B1G, with your Bucks and also PSU ineligible for the postseason, so all the other teams are moving up. Likely four six-loss teams in bowls.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Colleges have football teams? Since when?

  • Ted S.||

    I thought everybody hated both An Ohio State University and the Michigan Muskrats.

  • Xenocles||

    Yeah, I was sort of hoping they could both lose.

  • juris imprudent||

    12-0? So is Notre Dame. There is a difference though.

  • ||

    I have a couple of drinks everyday...

    ...and then I have a couple more.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    FUCK the NCAA.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Ross Douthat thinks the payroll tax should go away.

    Payroll taxes are a relic of New Deal Machiavellianism: by taking a bite of every worker’s paycheck and promising postretirement returns, Franklin Roosevelt effectively disguised Social Security as a pay-as-you-go system, even though the program actually redistributes from rich to poor and young to old. That disguise has helped keep Social Security sacrosanct — hailed by Democrats because it protects the poor and backed by Republicans as a reward for steady work.

    But the costs of this disguise have grown too great to bear. Whatever its past political advantages, the payroll tax now imposes an unnecessary burden on a stagnating economy. In an era of mass unemployment, mediocre wage growth and weak mobility from the bottom of the income ladder, it makes no sense to finance our retirement system with a tax that falls directly on wages and hiring and imposes particular burdens on small business and the working class.

    NYT commentariat express obligatory outrage.

  • Lewisite||

    "Matthew Carnicelli
    Brooklyn, New York

    Ross, you've written some bad columns...but this one could top them all.

    "... the payroll tax deserves to be pared away into extinction."

    Right. And next we'll hear the argument from conservatives that Social Security is simply yet another entitlement program we can no longer afford - instead of a dedicated saving program, with a dedicated revenue stream, that Wall Street con men simply cannot touch."

    This poor, deluded fool.

  • Brutus||

    I had coffee with a noted local libertarian thinker today. He had a great idea about SS: If this is a good idea, why not give people a property right in it, even to the point of letting them take a lump sum distribution or to assign beneficiaries of the remaining sum paid in?

  • juris imprudent||

    Don't you understand, the goodness in the program is that one person gets milked while another sucks at the govt teat. Property rights would fuck up that beautiful system. People would get confused that it wasn't just pure govt goodness that makes it all possible.

  • Calidissident||

    Social Security does not redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. It's a regressive tax, and benefits aren't means-tested. Rich people also tend to live longer

  • Mickey Rat||

    It redistributes wealth from the young to the old, and the old tend to be wealthier than the young.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Kochs are the biggest lobbyists by far among private citizens.

    Sponsoring NOVA counts as lobbying, now?

  • dinkster||

    It makes no difference. Because of his name, his actions are automatically sinister. It is clearly some effort to repress science and discovery among the nation's youth.

  • PapayaSF||

    If I looked like Margo Wootan, I'd be encouraging men to drink as much as possible.

  • ||

    Wasn't she in a movie?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I am a rarity

    You're a rarity, all right.

  • Lewisite||

    A precious snowflake.

  • sciencenerd||

    The CDC is merely the data gatherer. To say that they are "positioning themselves to make alcohol the next soda" is incorrect in my mind. They collect the data. The government decides if it wants to be a nanny or not. The data collected helps people who want to make educated decisions on what is the best thing to do.

  • Humason||

    If they were just making spreadsheets of data available on their website, you would have a point. They're not. They're interpreting the data in a very specific way that suggests they're after certain policies.

  • sciencenerd||

    I disagree. They have this and other data available on their website. Plus, they have no enforcement capability. They are an agency that crunches numbers and provides information. It's the lawmakers that use or abuse it.

  • Pagan Priestess||

    A lovely quote from John Brignell:

    The Independence Fallacy

    In our discussion of fallacies the point was made that the probabilities of cause of death are not independent. Because we all die of something, they are constrained to add up to 100%. This is a point so important that it is worth re-emphasising.

    Let us make an imaginary experiment. Someone invents a pill that is a miracle cure for Alzheimer's disease, call it Placebene.

    Now, take some round figures for probabilities of causes of death

    Alzheimer's 10%

    Heart Disease 30%

    Cancer 20%

    All Others 40%

    After the invention of Placebene the table for its adherents will change to

    Alzheimer's 0%

    Heart Disease 33.3%

    Cancer 22.2%

    All Others 44.4%

    It does not take much imagination to come up with the ensuing headlines:

    Harvard study shows that Placebene causes 11% rise in heart disease and cancer.

    EPA calls for a world-wide ban on Placebene.

    President declares Placebene to be the number one health problem

  • Pagan Priestess||

    (cont)This is not a trivial point. Much of the bureaucratic interference in our lives has been justified by the putative increase in cancer rates. The main reason that they are increasing is that we are not dying of the other diseases that have inflicted man throughout his existence. Let's face it, the human body was not designed to work for more than about 75 years. Evolution does not require it. Modern scientific medicine has created a situation in which we are not prey to all the infectious diseases of the past. Our life expectancy is such that we are now likely to die of one of the diseases of old age (cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s) which were once comparatively rare.

    The prevalence of the independence fallacy means that every major improvement in public health can be presented as a disaster. The more lives we save from various diseases, the more we increase deaths from cancer and heart failure. Almost all people actually die of heart failure anyway, whatever the primary cause. When we have cured all diseases, including cancer, heart failure will be the only thing left to put on the death certificates. Even if the primary cause of death is a disease such as Alzheimer’s, the chances are that it will be recorded as heart failure."

  • C. Anacreon||

    Way back when I was in medical school I worked under a gerontologist who felt that the maximum humans were designed for was 85 years. He felt a good goal was to some day eliminate most diseases so everyone could live to that age, but after that, you were on borrowed time, and medical science should step aside.

    One can almost imagine a day in the not-too-distant future, where the state will argue that pension, social security and Medicare costs can only be controlled by cutting off all support at a certain age like 85. I wonder.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    DON'T TAK SHIT ABUT DETH PANLS

  • juris imprudent||

    Soylent Green!

  • ||

    Hmm, benefits accrual and dispersal based on telometric age?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    and job assignments based on phrenological assessment

  • Shakaree||

  • Shakaree||

  • Pagan Priestess||

    The 100+ people you occasionally see in the news haven't seemed to have needed much in the way of medical care as they went past 85. It seems that if you don't have the longevity genes doctors can't make up the difference.

  • Jose Chung||

    It appears that since now the Progressives have rehabilitated their original name they are going to try to resurrect a few unpopular old policies like prohibition. One can only wonder how long before we start hearing about how the Nazis gave Eugenics a bad name and that it really deserves another hearing. Think your lady-parts are threatened by conservatives, girls? Imagine if the Proggies start branding people "unfit" and pull forced sterilization off the bench again. Buck v. Bell has not been overruled, folks.

  • waaminn||

    Sounds like a rock solid plan to me dude.

    www.Tru-Anon.tk

  • T o n y||

    These alcohol consumption statistics seem way off, based on my survey of myself.

  • ZacJ||

    Though most people who advocate for such policies as legally regulating alcohol consumption don't ever actually think about whether or not the government has this authority, those who do usually look to the Interstate Commerce Clause for justification. I would like once and for all ask one progressive (who uses the commerce clause as an excuse for this type of intrusion) to spell out in no uncertain terms what the limits on the commerce clause are. Does this clause supposedly give the government the right to restrict every type of human behavior (other than abortion which of course is somehow exempt)? Is there any thing a person could do that the government could not in theory ban? This reminds me of the confirmation hearings for Elena Kegan when she was asked if the government had the authority to mandate that the citizens eat a certain quantity of fruits and vegetables and her only response is that that would be a dumb law. She could not bring herself to say it would actually be unconstitutional or illegal, only dumb. In other words, the government has all power and authority but our rights are safe because "the government would never do anything dumb."

  • T o n y||

    Obviously government can do dumb things. The check for that is supposed to be citizens electing policy makers who don't make dumb policy or kicking out those who do. Unless something is specifically cited in the constitution as above regulation (admittedly debatable in the case of abortion), then Commerce Clause powers are better when they're broad. Every policy affects people one way or another. The Roberts court is certainly within its power to reinterpret the CC more conservatively.

    So the big question isn't whether it's a constitutional policy, but whether it's a good thing for Congress to have expansive CC powers. I think flexibility is good for the modern world, though it would be better if the constitution weren't so limiting on Congress's legislative ability that it has to assert dubious CC justifications.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "The check for that is supposed to be citizens electing policy makers who don't make dumb policy or kicking out those who do."

    That check is not working, as Obama's election and re-election proves.

  • T o n y||

    I think it's working just fine. The public has wised up to Republican incompetence. Too bad it was too late for the 2010 gerrymandering.

  • Restoras||

    Fuck off, sock.

  • ZacJ||

    Okay, so my question still stands: what are the limits on the commerce clause? I know you want it interpreted "broadly" but does that mean infinite? Is there any point at which the commerce clause no longer applies? Are the only limitations on the commerce clause the specific rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights and beyond that government has all authority as long as a law is passed through the "correct channels?" Can you name one thing (besides abortion) that the federal government cannot ban that is not specifically listed in the Bill of Rights? If not, then you believe that the commerce clause essentially repeals the entirety of the rest of the constitution and the purpose thereof.

  • T o n y||

    Obviously government can do dumb things. The check for that is supposed to be citizens electing policy makers who don't make dumb policy or kicking out those who do. Unless something is specifically cited in the constitution as above regulation (admittedly debatable in the case of abortion), then Commerce Clause powers are better when they're broad. Every policy affects people one way or another. The Roberts court is certainly within its power to reinterpret the CC more conservatively.

    So the big question isn't whether it's a constitutional policy, but whether it's a good thing for Congress to have expansive CC powers. I think flexibility is good for the modern world, though it would be better if the constitution weren't so limiting on Congress's legislative ability that it has to assert dubious CC justifications.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "then Commerce Clause powers are better when they're broad. Every policy affects people one way or another."

    If the 2nd sentence is true then it negates the 1st sentence. Because of the knowledge problem, it is much more likely that any policy the government puts forth is dumb, and therefor destructive, policy. So it is better that government has narrow Commerce Clause policy allowing the people involved in commerce the flexibility to come up with solutions to problems without much interference from the government.

  • Restoras||

    Fuok off, sock.

  • Timon 19||

    Penalties fucking suck. They need to be abolished as a means of determining a winner. Fuck. Fuckity fuck.

  • uythsb||

    Is Alcohol the New Soda?
    yes ,it is with it !

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