Reason Morning Links: Killer Storms Ravage the South, SCOTUS Limits Lawsuits, School Choice is Winning

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  • Mike M.||

    Supreme Court limits class action suits.

    It's nice to get some good news for a change. And good morning Reason.

  • robc||

    That decision didnt limit class action suits, it just upheld contracts that mandate arbitration.

    It limited legal suits, whether class action or individual.

  • Ice Nine||

    And thereby limited class action suits.

  • robc||

    Well yes, but not JUST class action suits.

    Bad headline is my point. Actually, headline is fine: SCOTUS limits lawsuits.

    Subthingy is bad: Supreme Court limits class action suits.

  • ||

    “Whenever you sign a contract to get a cell phone, open a bank account or take a job, you may be giving up your right to hold companies accountable for fraud, discrimination or other illegal practices,” Gupta, a lawyer with the public interest group Public Citizen, said in a statement.

    Simple solution - don't sign the contract.

  • OO||

    even simpler - ethical business practices to start with

  • ||

    Reading the terms of a contract, and them abiding by those terms, are ethical business practices.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    So do y'all not believe there is such a thing as a contract of adhesion?

  • robc||

    There is nothing unenforceable or even wrong about adhesion contracts.

    The source of that goes on to point out when adhesion contracts arent valid, but the point is, there is nothing necessarily invalid about an adhesion contract.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    But then I don't get my phone! Waaaahhhh!!!

    We NEED to SUE SUE SUE so plaintiffs lawyers can make millions, and I get a $5 coupon for free minutes with the purchase of a new phone or plan upgrade. I WANTS ME SOME COUPONS!!!

  •  ||

    "Where do those coupons come from?"

    "Obama's stash."

  • Ice Nine||

    I WANTS ME SOME COUPONS!!!

    More importantly, YOUR SHYSTER LAWYER WANTS HIM SOME ILL-GAINED MULTI MILLIONS!!!

  • MNG||

    So if you sign a contract that has a provision buried in it that your first born belongs to the company...

    Contractarians unite!

  • Shorter MNG||

    "Reading is hard!"

  • WTF||

    "But if I don't give up my first born, I won't get the PHONE!! WAHHH!!!"

  • ||

    Human slavery is illegal, so your point is irrelevant, but I get your point.

    If we're talking about conditions that are actually legal, then yes, if you agreed to the terms of the contract, you should be held to those terms. If you don't like the terms, renegotiate, or walk away.

    If you can't be held to the terms of the contract, then the other party shouldn't be held to them either.

  • ||

    just make sure there are no provisions in the contract that sell your mouth to the company so they can sew it to someone's butt hole

  • Kyle Broflovski||

    :(

  • Steve Jobs||

    No! Why won't you read?

  • cynical||

    I think this is a cop out by libertarians (or contractarians).

    From a practical perspective, contracts are not made among equals. A massive institution like a corporation can afford the overhead of drawing up a favorable-to-the-point-of-being-unfair contract, because it will use that contract in millions of deals and spread the cost out. A customer can't afford to have a lawyer review a contract for that one small transaction or draw up a counter-offer. Contracts between corporations and individuals are about as fair as contracts between unscrupulous lawyers and small children -- it isn't that adults (necessarily) lack the faculties, mind you, but that they simply can't afford the legal labor necessary to properly vet contracts.

    You can't say "just don't sign that contract", because you can't live in society without signing massive contracts all the time. You can't get a phone, internet, utilities, a bank account, a house, you can't even use your own property (try installing software that you've already purchased on a computer without accepting an EULA). And this won't change, because contracts are part of a corporation's immune system -- they can't survive without them, because the balance of power will shift too far the other way.

    I'm not saying there aren't libertarian solutions to this problem (the obvious one would be creating a consumer's union that people could buy membership in, that would haggle for favorable contracts with corporations). I am saying that right now it is a big and unsolved problem -- and arbitration is a major part of it. You can't honestly believe that when an arbitrator gets its business from only one of two parties, that it can truly remain neutral.

  • Brett L||

    And yet the cost to a consumer to get into a class action frivolous lawsuit is zero, but the cost to the megacorp could be millions, even if they eventually triumph. Disproportions exist in both directions with the lawyers winning both ways.

  • cynical||

    I agree. We're in this situation in part because businesses had to make complex contracts just to protect themselves from unethical lawyers and moronic juries.

    But, having done so, it seems obvious that they would be tempted to use that same power to abuse others. Another case of unintended consequences, I guess.

  • chinese drywall||

    and their own junk/toxic/defective products & services

  • Fluffy||

    This isn't really true, you know.

    The element you leave out of consideration here is business reputation.

    Even if I don't personally have the acumen to read a Verizon contract and understand if Verizon is trying to fuck me, Verizon has millions of customers, and if their contract said they could come to your house and make you part of the human centipede the din raised by those millions of customers would be more than sufficient to warn me away from doing business with Verizon.

  • cynical||

    So if there were only two cell phone companies in the U.S. (implausible, I know!), and both had a contractual clause stating that under very rare circumstances (which would, of course, never happen to you) that they would sew your mouth to someone else's ass, you would just give up on cell phones and live in a cave?

    Because I call bullshit. There are still libertarians living in Chicago and Prince George Country, I guarantee it. Everyone thinks that abuse of power is something that happens to other people, until it happens to them. Fuck, as libertarians, we should be more aware of that than anyone -- it's the human cognitive flaw that allows tyranny to thrive in a society that nominally values freedom and justice.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What "power" is a company "abusing" when it sets the pricing & terms for using its services?

    Is there anything stopping another company (or many others) from starting a competing service to take advantage of the situation? Even with only two, isn't it likely that one will remove the clause in order to steal customers from the other?

  • cynical||

    What "power" is a company "abusing" when it sets the pricing & terms for using its services?

    It's not usually the upfront fees that a problem, it's hidden charges as well the sort of provisions that self-evidently indicate that the contract is slanted to favor one side (such as "We can change the terms of this contract whenever we like, and you can fucking deal." or "By signing this contract, you give up the right to sue us for breaking the terms of this contract, except through a partial faux-court that works for us."

    Both essentially mean that the contract is only really binding on you.

    Is there anything stopping another company (or many others) from starting a competing service to take advantage of the situation?

    Massive capital expenditures? Network effect? Having to purchase spectrum from the government? For cell companies, that is. And there's the fact that the sort of contracts that are simple enough for any person to read are too simple to protect companies from legal abuse by their customers.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    By signing this contract, you give up the right to sue us for breaking the terms of this contract, except through a partial faux-court that works for us."

    Both essentially mean that the contract is only really binding on you.

    I still don't see the "power" they are "abusing" in that.

    If they fail to honor the terms of the contract, you stop using their service (and tell other people about it, too). What they have to lose (your money) and what you have to lose (a service valued at that amount of money) are more or less equal.

    Also, massive capital expenditures, network effect? Who cares? There are lots of big companies who will jump in on an opportunity like that, and small startups who could get funding, too. Not to mention companies overseas that would just love to move into a market with only two fatally flawed competitors.

  • Fluffy||

    It's not usually the upfront fees that a problem, it's hidden charges as well the sort of provisions that self-evidently indicate that the contract is slanted to favor one side (such as "We can change the terms of this contract whenever we like, and you can fucking deal." or "By signing this contract, you give up the right to sue us for breaking the terms of this contract, except through a partial faux-court that works for us."

    Now you're expanding your definition of a slanted contract to be "any contract that contains provisions I don't like".

    Let's take one of your examples - "hidden charges". In the context of a cell phone, that could mean a plan with a low monthly rate, but extra charges that kick in if you use too much data. You apparently think that kind of contract should be illegal, because it's "slanted" against people too lazy to read the contract who only see the monthly rate.

    The problem is that to make that illegal you'd have to make it illegal for me to deliberately sign up for that kind of contract, with full knowledge up-front, because that's specifically the kind of plan I want.

    I don't use a lot of data. I want the cheapest possible monthly plan. That means that it is a benefit to me that such plans exist.

    So basically you're saying that I shouldn't get the plan I want, and the company should issue the plan it wants, not because there is some defect in the contract we're making with each other, but because that contract potentially could "trick" some other asshole who is not currently a party to it.

    Um, fuck off.

  • cynical||

    Way to concentrate on two words and ignore the rest of it.

    Still, the contract isn't something the company specially put together for you, it's a mass-produced legal product. If the contract is indeed deliberately intended to trick some other asshole, that's fraud, and courts aren't going to say "well, it's fraud for this guy, but not for Fluffy cuz he so smart".

  • Fluffy||

    And the even bigger problem with this argument is that as soon as you deny that the average citizen can both possess agency and demonstrate competency, there is no reason to have a free society at all.

    If the average citizen cannot somehow avoid signing up to be part of the human centipede, if that's just too unreasonable to expect, why let people vote? Why let them serve on juries?

  • cynical||

    Again, it's not a question of faculties, but time and labor. Specifically, that the legal economy of scale means that they are much smaller for one party to the contract than the other.

    It's reasonable to expect that a person should thoroughly read a contract when they're getting hired for a long term position, or getting a mortgage, or something major like that. It's not reasonable to expect that a person will read 20 pages of EULA legalese once a week when Sony shits out a PS3 update, just so they can use the property they've already bought.

    Like it or not, a good portion of our law (particularly when it comes to concepts like negligence) revolves around what is reasonable for the ordinary person -- perhaps out of some mistaken sense that the law exists to serve mankind rather than vice versa.

  • zoltan||

    Who is the arbiter of what is reasonable?

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear.

    Glad you asked.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Who is the arbiter of what is reasonable?

    Quite often, a jury. It's not a novel notion. The "reasonable person" standard has been around for a very long time.

  • cynical||

    Judges and occasionally juries.

  • ||

    I see your point. However, their are many situations were individuals enter into contracts, even though they don't have to. Cell phones are the best example of this. You only need to sign a contract, if the cost of the phone is being subsidized by the carrier. If you don't want the contract, pay full price for the phone. If this became the norm, mobile carriers would adjust to the consumer.

    I can't think of many situations when a consumer REQUIRES a contract. You can pay cash for a car if you don't like the terms of the lender. This might require driving a POS, but it's on your terms. If you must have a new car, if you go in with a big enough down payment, you can effect the terms of the contract. The same goes with a home.

    Cable and internet, I've never been required to enter into a contract for those services. The same goes for my utilities. As a rule, I avoid contracts. For products, or services where it may be unavoidable, I read the terms and conditions. If I can't live with them, I don't buy them.

    Your suggestion of a consumer union looks interesting.

  • Zeb||

    I don't see how anyone who reads a credit card contract can sign one. That's why I don't have a credit card.

  • ||

    Yeah, they are pretty screwed up. Although, the terms only become an issue for people who carry large balances. If you pay off the card on a monthly basis, the terms aren't a big deal.

  • prolefeed||

    Just pay off the balance in its entirety every month, and you'll be fine.

    The people who get screwed are the ones who try to live beyond their means using cc debt.

  • First of Etiquette||

    Armadillos may spread leprosy to humans.

    Undocumented armadillos from Mexico, no doubt.

  • sheep||

    If only we could spread it, and be safe from epi

  • Abdul||

    What did the leper who's into bestiality say to the sheep?

    The tip's for ewe.

    Now to get to work on my Friday Funny material...

  • Hansen's Disease Support Group||

    We've heard them all.

    Now, kindly be nice.

  • Abdul||

    Shit, I offended Blessed Father Damien.

  • The Ghost of Father Damien||

    Not really. In retrospect, most of that stuff is pretty amusing. What pisses me off is dead baby jokes.

  • Dead Baby||

    What's the difference between a dump truck full of bowling balls and--

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You can't unload bowling balls with a pitchfork.

  • The Ghost of Father Damien||

    ... and ... WHAT?

  • Trespassers W||

    Good thing, because the Land needs more anti-heroes now that the Worm at World's End has awakened.

  • JD||

    Undocumented armadillos from Mexico, no doubt.

    Technically, yes--armadillos didn't exist in the US prior to 1850. They crossed the Rio Grande in the late 1800s and have been spreading north ever since.

  • ||

    If we're being "technical" then no, there may be a few armadillos crossing the border from Mexico today and those would be Mexican armadillos, but if an armadillo is born in the US it is an American armadillo.

  • ||

    What if it's an anchor baby?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    REPEAL THE FOURTEENTH!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Dead baby jokes are upthread. I don't think a baby would make a very good anchor. They would drag in sand and weeds. I use a Danforth - much better holding power.

  • Brett L||

    Better as chum.

  • Max||

    Off-topic, but...

    “Yes, Ron Paul Is A Bircher”
    The New Republic

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-pl.....ul-bircher

    The factual record on Ron Paul and the John Birch Society is clear, and his association with the fringe organization that made itself famous by alleging that Dwight Eisenhower was "a dedicated conscious agent of the communist conspiracy" cannot be so easily brushed aside. In October, Paul delivered the keynote address at the Society's 50th anniversary dinner; prior to his speech he released a statement praising the "great patriotic organization." Nor is his involvement limited to this one address. When I reported my story last year, a Birch Society spokesman told me that Paul had spoken to the group about a half dozen times over the past decade. Sorry, but this is not the stuff of Barack Obama being at a dinner in the presence of Rashid Khalidi.  

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Max claims to have in his hand a list of members of the John Birch Society USA and asks "Are you now or have you ever been a Bircher?"

  • DJF||

    Followed of course by blacklisting the Birchers.

    This is needed because the Birchers run totalitarian dictatorships who murder millions of their own people and threaten the US with the same. Oh, wait, that was not the Birchers, that was some other group who we are not suppose to question nor blacklist.

  • Fluffy||

    If you're not allowed to belong to an organization where anyone said anything stupid in the last 60 years, I await the news of the mass resignation of all politicians from all churches.

    Get back to me when that happens.

  • OO||

    prob is the birchers never stopped flinging poo

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Neither have a lot of preachers. Didja hear the one that Obama and Mrs. Obama went to for Easter saying how all the right-wing talk radio hosts are racists and hate mongers?

    There's plenty of poo being flung on both side, so don't act like the left are pure and virtuous while the right are evil bastards. There are evil bastards on both sides.

  • OO||

    even buckley warned about the birchers

  • cynical||

    Buckley was a communist sleeper agent.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    So. Fucking. What.

  • ||

    All Republicans love Buckley
    Libertarians are all Republicans
    All Libertarians love Buckley

    Can't you follow even the simplest logic, BSR?

  • OO||

    doah! why didnt i see that ^BSR & SFv are on the same level as buckley. i hates when i do that

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    William Buckley has been dead for years. And yet even his moldy corpse is more insightful, clever and erudite than you can ever hope to be, double zero. I know, the truth hurts, but maybe in time you can come to live with it.

  • OO||

    gosh u hurt my feelings

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I didn't know you had any.

  • cynical||

    Don't be mean to poor OO, he's just a YouTube commenter that somehow wandered here and got trapped. Confused and angry, now he lashes out at everyone, but he deserves our pity. If you want to help him feel more at home, say how much you like and/or hate Justin Bieber in every thread.

  • Ghost of Joseph McCarthy||

    You're doing good work, Max. Keep it up.

  • Ice Nine||

    When I reported my story last year, a Birch Society spokesman told me that Paul had spoken to the group about a half dozen times over the past decade. Sorry, but this is not the stuff of Barack Obama being at a dinner in the presence of Rashid Khalidi.

    And, thank god, it's not even in the same universe as Obama's openly and proudly associating himself with bombing, murdering members of a genuine violent domestic terrorist organization.

  • zoltan||

    Six times in ten years? That's the number of times I associate with my doctor, doesn't make us best pals.

  • Your Doctor||

    Even after a little "twaddling"?

  • cynical||

    Will Grigg was a Bircher, so I don't consider it a permanent black mark. It's understandable that in a time of great ideological evil, people would turn to a group that exists solely to oppose it. If they eventually realize Nietzsche was right*, so much the better for them.

    *"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. When you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

  • ||

    ...and his association with the fringe organization that made itself famous by alleging that Dwight Eisenhower was "a dedicated conscious agent of the communist conspiracy" cannot be so easily brushed aside.

    OOh, goody. I guess now TNR will go after Obama since he supports Planned Parenthood. They were founded to control black population after all, ergo Obama is a racist.

    Max, I think your mom is calling you up from the basement. Your lunch is ready.

  • OO||

    maybe not but the new fake-college- transcripts manure sure is

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear.

    We don't have time for this silliness.

    Affirmative Action is a hand up, not a hand out.

  • Tim||

    A hand up what, exactly?

  • Ice Nine||

    maybe not but the new fake-college- transcripts manure sure is

    Has someone claimed that Obama's college transcripts are fake?? I guess I missed that. I thought the issue was that his transcripts were being hidden from the public.

  • ||

    Has someone else claimed that his transcripts were released?

  • Doc S||

    No.. it's about idiocy and trivial nonissues.

  • robc||

    Unrelated to this case but their is one change to class action lawsuits I would like to see...they must be opt-in IN ADVANCE, not opt-out.

    So, if the lawyer wants to sue for 1 million people at once, Im cool with that, but he has to get all 1 million to sign up.

    And if 1 million are damaged but only 10k sign up, the damages should be based on the 10k, not all 1 million. Lawyers dont get to take a cut from non-clients (in fact, there wouldnt be anything to take a cut from).

  • Elbib||

    We need a new federal agency. Department of Tornado Preparedness. For the children...

  • First of Etiquette||

    President Obama declared the state [of Alabama] a disaster.

    And then the tornadoes came.

  • ||

    We declared Obama a disaster, a long time ago.

  • OO||

    but now u beg obama for help...PAH LEEZE HELPS US'ALL ! PAH LEEEEZE

  • Lord Googoo||

    yawn

  • cynical||

    I thought it was viral marketing for the new Thor movie. Or maybe Thor voicing his displeasure with the direction they took.

    Though I probably shouldn't be joking about it, since the tornado wrecked my sister's house.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Too soon!

  • cynical||

    I think you get a pass if family members are affected.

  • robc||

    Actually, the biggest problem is that it exists. They are issueing tornado WARNINGS far to easily now, which means people are starting to ignore them.

    In the past, a tornado warning pretty much meant one has been cited and it bearing down on your house. The problem was, sometimes the warnings were issued just after it rampaged thru your neighborhood.

    So now they are issueing the warnings earlier and with less true warnyness (its more of an advanced watch) and people are treating them like watches.

    Which in Louisville in April is a daily occurence and thus ignored.

  • Brett L||

    Supposedly a watch designation means tornado-like conditions and a warning means actual rotation and funnel-like structures. They used to wait to call warnings until an actual touchdown, but you can see how that would suck if your house was first point of contact.

  • robc||

    Was talking about this last weekend, the weather geeks all think the calls are coming too quick now.

    Also, the new warnings are supposed to be arbitrary polygons that represent the warning areas and dont follow political boundaries. In some states, its amazing how many of these polygons follow county lines. The creator of the new system is pretty pissed about it.

  • Brett L||

    Interesting. I didn't realize they had changed the way they did warning areas. I have one tornado touch down in a 100 mile radius of me every year, so I don't worry about them calling us into the bathroom (no basements in N. FL) 3 times per year. It would get old fast in your neck of the woods.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think a system of polygons would be pretty confusing, actually. Why not include every county with a part within a polygon?
    What needs help is the weather radio alert system. That thing goes off anytime there's an alert anywhere in a 40-county area. I've turned mine off.

  • robc||

    Actually it isnt. They are doing it right around me...they show the polygon and announce the parts of the affected counties.

    Northeast Foo county, Southeast Bar county, Southwest Bas county, Northwest Fu county. Then the towns affected.

    When looking at the screen, its real easy to pick out. I can see that if southwest Jefferson County is affected that Im not in the eventual path, but if the northern part (the northwest part of Jefferson County is in Indiana) of the county is, I need to watch out.

  • Doc S||

    I just want to say that I'm glad none of the predections associated with anthropogenic climate change have happened in the least bit. Good thing there hasn't been an increase in frequency or impacts of violent storms

    OH WAIT!
    http://us.cnn.com/2011/US/04/2.....tml?hpt=T1

    (note obvioulsy this doesn't prove ACC it's just pointing out how people will be sure to brush this off and it has to be completely unrelated)

  • robc||

    Let me know when we top April 3, 1974

  • Citizen Nothing||

    April 3, 1974, is why a central Ohio newspaper has a Pulitizer.

    That newspaper? The Xenia Gazette.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    As for me, my rag will be inducting me into its Quarter Century Club on Sunday.
    Pray for me. And for it.

  • robc||

    April 3, 1974 is the first storm that I remember.

  • Doc S||

    The estimate for this one was 151 tornadoes, which, if it stands, does top April 3, 1974.

  • robc||

    Only if you consider all tornadoes equal.

    Distribution of intensity matters too.

    But, 151 is greater than 148. 170, however, is less than 315.

    Not sure how to score a storm, but I would count F5 tornadoes more than F0 ones, and death toll has to go in there somewhere.

  • ||

    Some tornadoes are more equal than others......

  • Shorter Doc S||

    "Weather isn't climate unless I want it to be."

  • Doc S||

    Absolutely correct, however consistant deviations in weather from historical trends suggest changes in climate.

    My point in this post was to point out the idiocy of people who say "Look at all the snow we had this winter, climate change cant be real"

  • Shorter Doc S||

    "Cold, hot, rainy, or drought... all these confirm my bias."

  • Doc S||

    And the opposing side claims the same. Interesting ehh?

  • Shorter Doc S||

    "Deflector shields to maximum!"

  • ||

    And the midwest/south consistently have major storms when the La Nina system in the Pacific is in effect. So the current weather isn't much of a deviation from past historical trends.

  • ||

    Who thinks that the climate isn't changing?

  • Dinosaurs||

    Ha! The climate never changes. We'll be fine.

  • Brunswick Ice Sheet||

    Exactly.

  • turtles, gators, lizards, bird||

    we are

  • robc||

    Dinosaurs arent extinct.

    All birds are dinosaurs (modern classification).

    Dinosaurmorphs on the other hand, they are toast.

  • ||

    If weather ever gets to the point that it seems normal and predictable, that's when we should worry.

  • Brett L||

    The Guild charges a high price for that.

  • KWebb||

    Actually, the biggest problem is that it exists. They are issueing tornado WARNINGS far to easily now, which means people are starting to ignore them.
    I agree. I'm in central Arkansas. Monday evening's storms had the sirens going off nearly uninterrupted for three hours. I had tuned them out after 20 minutes and would just occasionally check the TV news coverage and silently hope that a couple of small towns police motor pools would be tossed into the river.

    Although one of those did spawn a lethal tornado, so I guess I'm glad they have it.

  • ||

    ""In the past, a tornado warning pretty much meant one has been cited and it bearing down on your house."'

    I grew up in Arkansas, and a warning did not mean one was sighted. And it's hard to tell if they are bearing down on your house. Tornados do not always follow a path. That's one of the scary things, they are fairly unpredictable.

  • Rich||

    They can start by outlawing mobile home parks. Those trailers are tornado *magnets*.

  • Mr. Leahy||

    But not Sunnyvale! I need a job.

  • Randy||

    I want a store-bought cheeseburger!

  • ||

    Hey, Randy. Knock-knock.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    I never understood why mobile homes are so prone to damage from tornadoes. Shouldn't they be able to drive away from them?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I was just pondering what a different morning this would be if, instead of tornadoes, the news was a terrorist attack on Birmingham with one-tenth the casualties and damage.

  • Tim||

    TSA would ban the air in your lungs from getting on a plane.

  • osama||

    birmingham? my allah where's that?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Protest deaths in Syria top 500, hundreds resign from ruling party.

    Bashar al-Assad seems to be shedding himself of troublesome protesters and party members who can't toe the line.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Could be. Or they could be rats deserting a sinking ship. Guess we'll see.

  • Lord Googoo||

    He's clearly guilty of war crimes.

  • Restoras||

    Poor Bashar, I best he wishes his best pal Nancy Pelosi was around to comfort him on the benefits of tyranny.

  • ||

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/04.....gulations/

    Why isn't this getting more media attention?

  • ||

    The Education Department’s inspector general is investigating Wall Street short sellers’ role in strict new regulations of the for-profit college sector, sources confirm to The Daily Caller.

    The investigation could reveal the extent to which the investors, who are hoping to profit when the for-profit firms’ stock goes down, influenced the process or received advance knowledge about regulatory actions by the department.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/04.....z1Kp7Odg1D

  • ||

    “Documents indicate the Department may have leaked the proposed regulations to parties supporting the Administration’s position and investors who stand to benefit from the failure of the propietary school sector,”

    Cronyism at it's finest!

  • Barack Obama||

    Now you know what I really meant by "tranparency!"

  • cynical||

    Too bad for them. If they want to legally short things based on the negative impact of changes in law, then they should work for Congress.

  • Team Blue||

    Why isn't this getting more media attention?

    Becuase it's okay when our guys do it!

  • The Department of Education||

    the Department has given a very bland, across the board assurance that everything is fine

    Oh, alright then. MOST things are FUCKING fine! Better?

  • ||

    The most contentious new rule, known as “gainful employment,” is still being finalized at the Education Department.

    Oh boy.

  • X||

    let them build the bomb. they'll be surprised when anger studies becomes an all cash business.

  • cynical||

    I can understand why, with so much support from traditional academia, the Democrats want to built a school-killing weapon to eliminate their supporters' upstart competitors.

    But I think TradAc is failing to comprehend how easily such a weapon could be adapted to attack them as well -- and with the non-vocational, non-research side of universities perceived by the right as wholly hostile to their interests and a tool for their partisan opponents, there's no reason to think they will show the Women's Studies Department any more mercy than public sector unions.

    That said, given that academia tends to bring out the most statist and repressive forms of leftism, I can't complain if that happens.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The Afghan pilot who killed nine U.S. trainers in Kabul on Wednesday came from the security force that has been more closely screened for insurgent sympathizers than any other force.

    The screening, conducted by the Afghans with help from NATO,

    How ever could such a thing like this have happened? Why this man was screened by the Afghans! THE AFGHANS!

  • Abdul||

    I find it comforting that the attack was motivated by a workplace disagreement rather than Islamic fundamentalism.

    We are winning hearts and minds! They're now doing workplace shootings for the same reasons we do them.

  • Brett L||

    With not much better accuracy than our average postal employee.

  • ||

    And with much better fire power.

  • The Afghans||

    Our shoving him through that screen seems to have been the last straw.

    Sorry.

  • Army Major Nidal Hasan ||

    How ever could such a thing like this have happened?

    I have no clue

  • CUNT-VOMIT ALERT!||

    EOM

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Of course you don't. You're a psychiatrist.

    Now write me a prescription, you glorified drug pusher.

  • ||

    Sort of like the screening the Northern Alliance did when they were standing between Tora Bora and Pakistan.

  • ||

    James Toranto on the Obama birth certificate.

    The Obama birth certificate reveals that the future president was born Barack Hussein Muhammad Jihad Guevara Manson Obama on July 4, 1976, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Not only is he not a natural-born citizen, he's not even old enough to be president. And his mother, Ethel Rosenberg, lists her religion as "Stalinist."

    That is comedy gold.

  • DJF||

    I thought it said that Obama was the love child of Barbara Bush and Reverend Wright and half brother of George W Bush, which explains why their policies are so similar.

  • Confirmation||

  • ||

    No, no. Obama was a test tube baby with George W. Bush as the mother and father.

    Isn't it obvious?

  • Jesse Helms||

    Whooa!! This one ain't mine

  • Jerry||

    The return of Keynes vs. Hayek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If only Atlas Shrugged had had such production values.

    I enjoyed Keynes vs. Hayek
    Round 2, but I miss the thrill of surprise I got when I first viewed the original.

  • robc||

    I missed the hot chicks from round 1.

  • [J[o]h[nn]y] L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

  • [J[o]h[nn]y] L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

  • Arne Duncan||

    Thanks, uh, [J[o]h[nn]y].

    I am so mandating that for next year's Wellness Classes!

  • Pip||

    "
    There are a couple of different methods. The most common is what I call "the accidental method." Simply put, you wait until you are about to have intercourse. Then, you "accidentally" put it in her rear end. When she says, "That's the wrong hole," you say, "There's nothing wrong about it." From that point, it should be obvious how she wants you to proceed."

  • [J[o]h[nn]y] L[o][n]gt[o]rs[o]||

  • cynical||

    Ah John Yoo, the noted civil libertarian.

  • PantsFan||

    Making a stand against the Royal Wedding
    At the forefront of dissent will be anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, which will hold a Not the Royal Wedding alternative street party in central London during the day of events at Westminster Abbey.

    Republic will be "celebrating democracy and people power rather than inherited privilege".

  • Mike M.||

    Thank goodness at least some of the Brits are totally embarrassed by this nonsense. I know I if I were British (and thank goodness I'm not), I would be. We're in the freaking 21st century for crying out loud.

  • american women||

    guess who aint getting any

  • cynical||

    Lose some weight, and we'll talk.

  • robc||

    21st century? They had the right idea in the 17th century.

  • Nipplemancer||

    with all this bullshit about the wedding and the story from yesterday about the Keytarist getting arrested for singing "Kung Fu Fighting" I think it's time they had their own revolution over there. Or we just nuke it from orbit.

  • robc||

    The Brits had the right idea with Charles I.

  • Jerry||

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "Any criminals attempting to disrupt it, be that in the guise of protest or otherwise, will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response."

    STOP. RESISTING.

  • Rich||

    a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response

    Radley?

  • Pip||

    Here's what I don't get. Prince william is a fucking prince. "Prince" is in his name for Christ's sake. So why didn't he go after Lobster Girl?

  • ||

    Like all ugly guys, William latched on to the first girl who didn't gag when he he took his clothes off in a lit room. The surprising thing is that Middleton isn't morbidly obese, but that is a function of being ugly AND rich.

  • OO||

    give her time to drop a few rugrats. then she'll fatten-up like the rest of em or...pass the viagra please

  • ||

    What? Prince William is getting married?

  • ||

    So sick of the royal wedding... didn't we fight a war--two, in fact--so that we could ignore these idiots?

  • Tim||

    Actually the Nazis would have continued the monarchy.

  • ||

    The Nazis were behind The Revolutionary War and and the War of 1812? Those bastards!

  • WTF||

    I thought the Japanese burned the Capitol?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Prescott Bush and Hitler sold weapons to both King George and the Colonials.

  • Brett L||

    Did we quit when the English bombed Pearl Harbor?!

  • bluto||

    wait who bombed pearl harbor?

  • waffles||

    I fucking hate those guys.

  • Tim||

    It all comes back to Nazis, everything. OK, I was mentally adrift.

  • Brett L||

    I'm ready to fight another one to never see any more Charles & Di wedding footage.

  • robc||

    They burned down the White House. That makes them a terrorist nation. Or possibly heroes. Now Im confused.

  • Restoras||

    Wasn't that tit-for-tat? Didn't we invade Canada and burn a bunch of stuff down?

  • robc||

    It was Canada. Oooooh, we torched some igloos. BFD.

  • Rhet Orical||

    Who is stopping you from ignoring them?

  • ||

    The same irresistible force that drives you to be a terribly unfunny troll, I guess.

  • ||

    GE has produced the ultimate ironic appliance:

    http://i.imgur.com/J0PXQ.jpg

  • ||

    The irony is that idiot american women are what bankrolls this whole thing.

  • ||

    You have fun with all them over there. As a matter of fact, feel free to keep them.

  • ||

    The asian american ones are most the giddy.

    There shall be easy pickings on friday night. I may even shave.

    Of course my real priority this weekend is the new IPA with cornish hops on tap at my local. ;-)

  • ||

  • Shorter SugarFree||

    "I like people who can't fight back."

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    You just cannot get a quality troll, SF.

  • ||

    There's a real hateful vibe here today. It think the troll alert level needs to be raised to chartreuse.

  • waffles||

    Not me, I'm being productive today. Enjoy your trolls.

  • Shorter waffles||

    "Some of it is actually funny, so it can't possibly be me."

  • waffles||

    ooh, fun!

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    Chartreuse indeed. I'm just going to trot back for one last look at the Kung Fu Fighting post (yesterday's) before I get to work. ;P

  • MNG||

    The SCOTUs decision was one where federal law was ruled to pre-empt state law on contracts. Interesting to see the state's rights brigades vs. the hallowed freedom to contract battalion and pro-business syncophants around here discuss that...

    "At issue in Wednesday’s ruling was a California law that does not allow bans on class-action efforts in arbitration or litigation.

    But Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, found the law — similar to ones in 18 states — at odds with the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act, whose “overarching purpose,” he said, was to “facilitate streamlined proceedings.”

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. Let me tell you how much I want to treat with a corporation using the laws of Delaware when I'm in Florida, the product came from China, and their corporate offices are in Omaha. Why would federal law apply?

  • ||

    Shouldn't there be a mexican somewhere in that sentence?

  • ||

    Shouldn't there be a Mexican somewhere in that sentence?

  • Shorter MNG||

    "Racists vs. People who think other people should read contracts before they sign them... why can't they both lose?"

  • MNG||

    This all happened in the Garrisonville area of Stafford County, just south of the Quantico marine base, at the Walmart on Garrisonville Road. And the suspect was not a cow, but allegedly an 18-year-old Stafford man in a cow suit, according to Bill Kennedy, the spokesman for the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

    Kennedy said witnesses watched the cow-man enter the store on all fours, and then watched again as he pushed a full cart outside. He said there were no takers for the offer of free milk directly from a cow.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

  • Shorter MNG||

    "If Walmart was unionized, this sort of stuff wouldn't happen. Tsk, tsk."

  • Brett L||

    Luckily, he was approached by the one deputy with a sense of humor, so no tasing or shooting was necessary.

  • Brett L||

    Luckily, he was approached by the one deputy with a sense of humor, so no tasing or shooting was necessary.

  • Brett L||

    Luckily, squirrels, my sense of humor includes double posts.

  • Terr||

    Is it shoplifting if you leave the product on the property?

  • MNG||

    Obama and Beyonce's Booty in 2012!

    Sure, she can dance. But can Beyonce move Obama’s youth vote to the polls?

    Although the video will be shown at schools across the country, it raises an issue that extends beyond tweenage fitness: With a reelection campaign fast approaching, the president will have to find ways to reenergize a young, disillusioned base. Will his continued associations with the artists that fill his iPod (and ours) help do the trick?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z8

  • OO||

    know what else beyonce can move to a poll ?

  • Arne Dillo||

    He'd better re-energize his base, because I assure you after today's links he's lost the Dasypodidae vote.

  • Shorter MNG||

    "See? See? I'm totally not a Democratic shill because I posted something mildly critical about Obama."

  • ||

    That's not minge. He likes to copy and paste articles without quotation or citation. Click on the link, and you'll see the above section is exactly taken from the article.

  • Shorter capitol l||

    "Must. Defend. Boyfriend. From. Attack."

  • ||

    Can you read motherfucker?

    Bitch.

  • Shorter capitol l||

    "I have no sense of humor."

  • ||

    HAHAHAHA

    You misread my post, then make a comment that is apropos of fucking nothing, and it's supposed to be funny?

    Your 'shorter' shtick might be humorous if you actually showed the effort to read those you are spoofing. Or, maybe your just a 'tard with no basic reading comprehension skills.

    Why not come out and play, bitch?

  • Shorter ______||

    We are legion. Do not resist us.

  • rather ||

    :-)

  • waffles||

    but capitol I doesn't make long posts. you suck at this.

  • ||

    Fake MNG? Fake cap l? How could this possibly even be the "real" waffles?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, sure, ok - "SugarFree"...

  • Mike M.||

    Obama had better hope that Beyonce can somehow solve the crises in the Middle East, lower gas prices, and create a bunch of jobs. I don't think her fake knockers are going to be able to get the job done for him by themselves.

  • ||

    anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, which will hold a Not the Royal Wedding alternative street party in central London

    Off with their giant papier mache heads!

  • Max||

    Are Birchers libertarians then?

  • Shorter Max||

    "I make poopy!"

  • ||

    The single best tornado warning; when the sky turns green.

  • Rich||

    I agree. That is one, um, energizing sight.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    With respect, the greatest warning a tornado is coming is when you hear this.

  • Ice Nine||

    It's going to be tough giving up those armadillo steaks but I for one am not taking any more chances.

  • ||

    Have some music from Pittsburgh:

    http://soundcloud.com/stevemoo.....-institute

    Apparently the "escape from new york" vibe is no coincidence.

  • ||

    L A Dodgers owners is currently boo-hooing about being mistreated by MLB.

    "They're trying to derail my gravy train!"

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Philadelphia cops continue to illegally harrass and arrest legal open carriers.

    The cop almost shot the guy, who was legally walking along with a gun openly carried in a holster. AFTER he posted the audio on YouTube, he finds out they've put out a warrant for his arrest. Gotta love this crap.

  • ||

    Since in many place the audio is illegal, they should just add closed captioning to the video.

  • OO||

    247 people on terror watch list buy guns in 2010 By EILEEN SULLIVAN
    Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than 200 people suspected of ties to terrorism bought guns in the U.S. last year legally, FBI figures show.
    >The 247 people who were allowed to buy weapons did so after going through required background checks as required by federal law.
    >It is not illegal for people listed on the government's terror watch list to buy weapons. For years, that has bothered Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who is trying again to change the law to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists.
    http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/.....TE=DEFAULT
    _
    another win for the guns n god crowd! be proud...be very proud

  • Shorter OO||

    "Please pay attention to me. Please."

  • OO||

    thx 4 ur attention

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Hey, as long as they can't get on an Amtrak train, we're keeping the country safe.

  • Fluffy||

    Absolutely, I am TOTALLY proud of that.

    Are you seriously proposing a system where in the absence of adjudication a government official can just put your name on a list and you lose an enumerated right?

    It's nice to hear that you support the fuhrerprinzip.

  • Trespassers W||

    If I understand this correctly, a bunch of people who haven't been charged with any crime were able to purchase weapons after passing a background check.

    WHY IS THE SYSTEM INSANE?

  • db||

    Proposed Constitutional Amendment:

    Amendment XXVIII:
    Under no circumstances shall any of the guarantees of liberties herein apply to any person suspected to be in any way unsavory by The Right People in Charge.

    That ought to cover OO's concerns.

  • OO||

    good idea! that'll cover maybe a half dozen of the 274 terrorist wannabees who bought guns.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Oh, I see where you're coming from. Because some person within some government agency put this person's name on some list, that means, the government legitimately can deny that person any and all rights the government damn well feels like.

  • ||

    Welcome to 21st century America.

  • Brett L||

    You realize that those people are people who the government is afraid of allowing to go armed. That citizens should be afraid of them armed does not necessarily follow.

  • OO||

    and it doesnt NOT follow either

  • Brett L||

    Let me prove a negative.

  • cynical||

    What? We aren't taking Constitutional rights away from people after the government alleges with no proof that they or someone with a similar name may or may not be engaging in illegal activity?

    What has this country come to?

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    The watch list of people so dangerous they must be monitored yet so law-abiding no arrests or convictions for criminal behavior can be made. Yeah, I really want my freedoms restricted based upon an arbitrary list I can't appeal.

  • ||

    The cop almost shot the guy, who was legally walking along with a gun openly carried in a holster.

    This is plainly reckless endangerment. Some innocent old lady, watching from her sixth floor window, might have been hit in the fusillade. Even more horrifyingly tragic, one or more of the valiant and noble peacekeepers might have been hit by "friendly fire". And it would have been that guy's fault.

  • ||


    another win for the guns n god crowd! be proud...be very proud

    *puffs out chest*

  • ||

    If I understand this correctly, a bunch of people who haven't been charged with any crime were able to purchase weapons after passing a background check.

    Accusations made by faceless bureaucrats should carry the force of law.

    Go back to Somalia, you anarchist.

  • Restoras||

    Silver is ripping today - up 7% - think the masses are panicing about inflation? Where's shriek to tell us there is no inflation? Do you think he's buying silver puts? Somehow I doubt it.

  • Ben Bernanke||

    This ship isn't sinking! Really, sir, whatever gave you that idea. Such silly nonsense! (goes back to rearranging deck chairs)

  • OO||

    nope not the masses. investor money lookin for quick profit in commodities like gold, copper, silver, oil...

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yeah. Masses of investors, retard.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't know what to think of this because I found it on Weekly Standard, and they say they got it from those right-wing bastards at WikiLeaks. However, unlike those here, I don't so much trust the MSM narrative on Iraq and AQ.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=1

  • OO||

    and yet other leaked docs at wikileaks show the military says there was no aQ presence in iraq PRIOR TO INVASION.

  • ||

    "according to a recently leaked assessment written by American intelligence analysts. "

    Made to order?

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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