A.M. Links: Officials Claim White House Didn’t Know About NSA Spying on World Leaders, Kathleen Sebelius Testifying in the House Wednesday, Lou Reed Dead at 71

  • he could sleep for a thousand yearsdannynorton/flickrUS officials say spying on world leaders was mostly stopped after the practice was mentioned in an internal Obama Administration memo this summer, and claim the White House was unaware of it before then. Angela Merkel’s phone may have been monitored since 2002. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, defended the practices and insisted public information on them was misguided.
  • Kathleen Sebelius is set to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the disaster that is Obamacare so far.
  • Federal authorities say they’ve seized 44,336 bitcoins worth $29 million allegedly belonging to Ross Ulbricht, who has been charged with drug dealing, money laundering, and other crimes related to his operation of Silk Road.
  • The FBI will investigate the fatal shooting by police of a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a pellet gun.
  • Syria has submitted a plan to eliminate its chemical weapons to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons four days ahead of the deadline.
  • Lou Reed, formerly of the Velvet Underground, died aged 71.

Follow Reason and Reason 24/7 on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.  You can also get the top stories mailed to you—sign up here. 

Have a news tip? Send it to us!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    US officials say spying on world leaders was mostly stopped after the practice was mentioned in an internal Obama Administration memo this summer, and claim the White House was unaware of it before then.

    It's been decided that it's much better to look insulated and unaware, apparently. Either that, or he probably should have removed that Bush bubble from the Oval Office that everyone was complaining about before moving in.

  • WTF||

    Hey, you can't blame president not-my-fault for something he didn't know about until he read it in the NY Times.

  • Bee Tagger||

    This is why we can't let print media fail. The President won't ever know what's going on in his administration, otherwise.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Who was trying to talk the Germans into joining their silly war in 2002?

  • WTF||

    BUSHPIGS!!1111!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!!

  • WTF||

    You know who else tried to talk the Germans into joining their silly war?

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    The Austrian Habsburgs?

  • Ivan Pike||

    -1 Archduke

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Beat you to it.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    He's the 'I didn't do it President.'

    http://02varvara.wordpress.com.....dnt-do-it/

    I don't know why the name isn't catching.

    /sad eyes.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    He brilliantly diffused it by the "You didn't build that" comment.

  • Lord Humungus||

    wouldn't the Family Circus (gag) "Not Me" ghost be a better description?

  • Rich||

    What is Ida Know, chopped liver?

  • Almanian!||

    So you're calling Teh Prezzident a "spook"? RACIST!!!

  • guy in the back row||

    Wasn

  • guy in the back row||

    Wasn't that Bart Simpson's catchphrase when he was on the Krusty show back in season 2?

  • ||

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't know, I can believe that Obama is kept out of the loop. It's not like his input would help decision making.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It would deter decision making. He doesn't make them himself, he's not the bushpig decider, therefore his minions have to do it, and they have to do it such that he can't be blamed. By not telling him, they free themselves up to later fall on their sword for their glorious leader.

  • Mike M.||

    Yeah, there's a lot of evidence that Valerie Jarrett is the real president when it comes to making the decisions.

  • JW||

    Plausible delegationability.

  • Gbob||

    The nice thing about the press acting like it does (besides the wonderful, sloppy blow jobs) is that you never need to worry about that pesky buck stopping here thing. I wish I could claim that level of ignorance in my own job....I could spend more time playing golf and what not.

  • Spoonman.||

    What the fuck is the President aware of, then? Does he just watch MSNBC all day?

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    ESPN

  • Rod Flash||

    Seems like he should know the names of a couple of White Sox players then.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Only during march madness.

  • Almanian!||

    SHUT THE FUCK UP! SPORTS CENTER IS ON!!!

    /Teh Prez

  • CatoTheElder||

    If recent trends continue, we can expect a news story shortly that demonstrates that the Obama Administration knew full well this has been going on since early 2009.

    Obama's flaks ought to quit issuing denials like this. It's not like any sensible people believe them.

  • Spoonman.||

    I don't know. The federal government does so much that it's self-evidently impossible for any one person to fulfill the job requirements of President. So maybe he really does just go around giving speeches and occasionally holding meetings.

    It would explain all the golf and vacations.

  • Drake||

    It's not like there are enough sensible people for it to matter.

  • Steve G||

    yeah, a news story about a Snowden revelation/original document w/ The Man's sig.

  • Zeb||

    Here's what I'd have said: "Of course we are spying on you. We spy on everyone. And so does every other government (to the extent that they can anyway). Stop being such goddamn drama queens."

  • sarcasmic||

    Perry dangerous: $75M superstar Katy and her entourage cycle around Sydney without safety helmets


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs.....lmets.html
    Oh! My! God! Riding without helmets! Can you imagine! She could have been killed! THEY ALL COULD HAVE DIED! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I like that all the bikes have helmets draped on the handle bars.

  • sarcasmic||

    Rentals.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Right, still amusing to me.

    If only Katy Perry used her power for good

    :-(

  • Jordan||

    Reminds me of my time in China. Most of the cars I rode in had the ends of a seat belt stuck in the seat belt, er, receptacles so that you could disable the seat belt alarm without actually wearing one. And nobody wore one. Imagine trying that in the Land of the Free.

  • KDN||

    I don't know about other makes, but there's a procedure you can go through on Fords that disables the seat belt alarms. This ends up getting accomplished for me whenever I let my brother borrow my car for anything more than one trip since he refuses to wear a seat belt as a matter of principle.

  • Brett L||

    May his path long continue to not interest with idiots.

  • Brett L||

    s/interest/intersect

  • Zeb||

    On Subarus you have to plug and unplug the driver's seat belt 20 times, starting at just the right time to disable the alarm. Whose idea was that?

  • Bobarian||

    "Whose idea was that?"

    Liability Lawyers?

  • Zeb||

    I like to think there is some kind of rule. I don't want to believe that anyone could ever successfully sue a car company for not reminding them to wear a seat belt forcefully enough.

  • Zeb||

    I just turn off the seat belt alarm in my car. I think I live in the only state with no seat belt law for adults. I still generally wear a seat belt, but I hate having my car tell me what to do.
    I think it is funny that there are more states that require adults to wear seat belts than require motorcyclists to wear helmets.

  • kinnath||

    Because seat belt violations give an officer a reason to pull someone over and ask to search his/her car.

  • Zeb||

    I'm pretty sure it's not a stoppable offense everywhere. But where it is it is pretty terrible.
    I think that the biggest reason for the helmet/seat belt law disparity is that bikers are better organized as a group than ordinary motorists and many don't like being told what to do.

  • Juice||

    Are you in New Hampshire? Are you a member of the Free State Project?

  • Zeb||

    Yes, I'm in NH and no, not an official FSP member. I dig the FSP and am glad they chose NH, but I have better things to do than get involved in politics. Maybe some day when I'm done building my house and my body is too worn out to do anything else.

  • gaijin||

    Can you imagine the hit to the economy if she were to suffer a career ending injury? We cannot allow Ms Perry to endanger the rest of us.

  • mr simple||

    It's quite possible that being from laidback Cali, where riding without a helmet is standard, Katy didn't know she was breaking the rules...The singer apparently is confident enough in her bike-riding skills because she didn't feel the need to wear her helmet, which hung on the bike handle in front of her.

    Oh my god, rule breaking, unsafe practices, panic setting in, can't control my breathing. She must have not known it was a rule, right, because no one could just ignore rules. We should report her, for her own good.

  • Aloysious||

    Their riding position is incorrect.
    They deserve all the butthurt they earn sitting like that. Well, it is 19th century tech. Can't expect these young punks to know how use it properly.

    /crusty old man

  • sarcasmic||

    Florida men dressing up as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman for Halloween sparks online storm


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....storm.html

    Dumb, da dumb, dumb, duuuuumb!

  • Floridian||

    Waiting for arrest for past infractions in 3...2....

  • Slammer||

    I like traditional Halloween costumes...just ghosts and demons and witches and ghoulies and creeps. I've never understood dressing up as cultural icons...cartoon characters, movies stars, politicians, and stuff.

  • Floridian||

    I like themed Halloween parties. Last year we did 1920's speak easy with period drinks and food. Looks of fun.

  • Zeb||

    See, now why should that be a Halloween party? Why not just have a themed party like that anytime and have people dress up for Halloween at a Halloween party?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

  • ||

    I think I'll dress as a slutty ghost next Halloween.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Be sure to post pics!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    An Elaine nipple would be nice.

  • ||

    Oh, you don't want to see that! It'll only be to torture the fuckheads in DC with my flab and double chins.

  • Lord Humungus||

    how would a slutty ghost work? A sheet with cutouts in the right places?

  • ||

    No idea. I'm sure I could google something up.

    BTW, Joel McHale and E! stole my slutty Hillary Clinton idea. Except they did it wrong. Instead of booty shorts to mimic the pant suit, they used a mini skirt.

  • PD Scott||

    Slutty Susan B Anthony was funny.

  • robc||

    Allison Hannigan did it in a Buffy episode.

  • Zeb||

    I agree. I have actually completely given up on Halloween because it annoys me so much that people just treat it as dress up as anything you want day. You are supposed to dress up as something scary and supernatural.
    That and trick-or-treating is too early and the kids are all assholes. Get off my lawn.

  • Voros McCracken||

    You know who else liked the scary and supernatural?

  • Zeb||

    Your mom?

  • Enough About Palin||

    Back in about '68, I went as Twiggy.

  • Ted S.||

    We're constantly told art is supposed to be "transgressive" and "challenging", but look what happens when art challenges and transgresses against the wrong people.

  • KPres||

    If you want to know who rules you...

  • Brett L||

    Blackface? Not cool.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I'm going as Al Jolson just to piss people off. Mind you, it's Quebec so they'd probably wouldn't notice - or care.

  • mr simple||

    She's totally racist, just like the Wayans Bros., Dave Chapelle, Eddie Murphy, etc.

  • Steve G||

    mmmm. While I'd agree straight up vaudeville-style blackface is unsat, I don't think using make-up to darken ones face for a freakin costume is at all in the same ball park.
    ...or is my sarcasm meter requiring calibration?

  • sarcasmic||

    ...or is my sarcasm meter requiring calibration?

    ;-)

  • Raston Bot||

    Were they dressed as slutty TM and GZ?

  • Bee Tagger||

    and claim the White House was unaware of it before then/i

    Maybe the Obama administration wants Snowden back on American soil so they can hire him as an advisor.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obama advisors who advise based on the truth rather than Obama's truth find Valerie Jarrett's boot print on their backside in short order.

  • sarcasmic||

    'New York, you lost your nerve': Banksy criticizes design of new World Trade Center in op-ed claiming 'the terrorists won'

    British prankster writes that One World Trade Center 'so clearly proclaims the terrorists won'
    Banksy says that the construction of 'One World Trade declares the glory days of New York are gone'
    Elusive graffiti prankster has just four days left on his New York 'artist residency'


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....Times.html
    He makes some good points.

  • Brett L||

    Haha, mine got a comment!

  • BakedPenguin||

    'It looks like something they would build in Canada.'

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Hahahahhaha-cough-hahaha...hey, wait a sec. I'm Canadian! We build awesome hockey rinks!

    http://ysvoice.tumblr.com/post.....m5pC4LXHBI

  • waffles||

    You didn't build that!

  • waffles||

    "It looks like something they would build in Canada"

    Truly savage criticism. Brutal even.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    If Canada didn't exist, the Brits would have no one to conveniently egg on in the Commonwealth. Aussie's are too far away and insane.

  • Metazoan||

    I like the new 1 WTC. He probably wants some shitty brutalist socialist-looking building to graffiti on.

  • Zeb||

    I agree. I think the design is pretty cool. And I like the fountain thingy too.

    I think the building woudl look better without the indestructible fortress base, but I like the general design a lot.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I wanted a Launch Arco.

  • cavalier973||

    +1 Simcity 2000

  • Juice||

    Maybe he wants some gussied up thing like they build in China nowadays, or Dubai. That crap wouldn't work in lower Manhattan. It would just clash.

  • Lord Humungus||

    From the Warty Fall fashion collection:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci.....o be lucky

  • Lord Humungus||

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    They would look great with a puffy shirt.

  • AlmightyJB||

    WTF

  • Bobarian||

    Almost as terrifying as the Zero in mom jeans.

  • UnCivilServant||

    And the SF link collection.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I don't post fast enough!

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    It is errors all the way down.

  • sarcasmic||

    Former deputy director of CIA blasts Snowden, says disclosures have put Americans at greater risk

    Former deputy director Michael Morell recently retired from the CIA
    He blasted Edward Snowden for the majority of an interview aired Sunday night opn 60 Minutes
    Calling him a traitor, Mr Morell said the Snowden leaks have put Americans in greater danger


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....-risk.html
    No, sir. Snowden is not a traitor to the country. He is a traitor to the government. To the government that has betrayed its country.

  • gaijin||

    ^yep

  • gaijin||

    and claim the White House was unaware of it before then.

    Obama sees nothing, hears nothing, knows nothing...except that it's the fault of someone else.

  • CatoTheElder||

    This is totally unfair to the President. His time is limited. He can only get directly involved in the really, really tough decisions, which take a lot of his time and effort. For example, President Obama had to take the really, really tough decision to "take out" Osama bin Laden. Between that really, really tough decision and his many really, really tough decisions he faces on every single hole on every single round of golf he plays, the President simply has to delegate the small stuff. He can't be bothered with trivial stuff like FnF, Benghazi, IRS harassment of opponents, and 1984-style surveillance. Right now he's probably facing the much more agonizing decision on whether to use 7-iron on and 8-iron on the third hole.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Speaking of which, has he submitted his NFL picks for next week?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    1984-style surveillance

    We'd be fortunate were the surveillance we have only at 1984 levels. What we actually have is much, much scarier.

  • Zeb||

    No, I think I'd be more scared if I were required to keep a large screen in my house that could monitor all of my activities, personal and romantic relationships were tightly regulated and the government controlled all information so completely that you can't even really know what year it is.

    Let's keep a little perspective here.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Are you somehow under the impression that they aren't keeping those kinds of tabs now? No one knows the extent of the spying, except that we know every phone call is mopped up, every email. Every text. Every Skype conversation.

    The only difference is that we don't have monitors talking back to us in real-time. And the scope of what they retrieve is likely as high or higher than represented in 1984.

  • Zeb||

    No, I'm pretty sure that no one is monitoring everything I do in my house.

    In 1984 the government had complete information awareness and the ability to use the information against anyone. I very much doubt that that would even be possible, let alone happening right now.

    I'm not saying that the extremely broad information gathering isn't disturbing or scary and that there isn't a lot of potential from Big Brothery shit. But it's still a long way from literally being Big Brother.

  • R C Dean||

    No, I'm pretty sure that no one is monitoring everything I do in my house.

    As long as you don't have an XBox with their camera thingy on it, you're probably right.

    Probably.

  • Zeb||

    Well, I don't. Nor do I have any webcams generally on or pointed at anything. And I don't carry a cell phone or use my real name in any social networking sites.
    SO you suckers are basically asking to be spied on.

    Is there some prize for being pessimistic, or something? Or for getting it right when everything goes to shit?
    I don't think I am naive about this stuff and I certainly have a healthy distrust for government authority, but I try to be at least a little optimistic. Or at least not entirely defeatist.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No, I'm pretty sure that no one is monitoring everything I do in my house.

    Zeke Emannuel yesterday said that Obamacare causing doctors to quit practicing medicine will be a good thing because people will interact with NP, nutrionists and have in home monitoring

  • Zeb||

    What does that even mean? How are those things connected?

    "In home monitoring" sounds really creepy, but if you have some chronic disease that needs lots of management, and you sign up for it, it is probably a nice option to have. I think it means monitoring your blood sugar or whatever, not installing surveillance apparatus in your home. SLD applies, etc. And no, you can't trust these people not to take it further than that.

  • thom||

    That's only for party members. The proles are pretty much left to themselves.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I suppose. But she looks like a pretty typical thin 16 year old girl to me.

  • Juice||

    She's got a weird face. She's got a Laura Bush reptoid alien look to her.

  • Zeb||

    Nice legs are great and all, but they really aren't that hard to come by.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kathleen Sebelius is set to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the disaster that is Obamacare so far.

    I'm sure House members will ask thoughtful, well-researched questions asked for the sole purpose of exposing the abomination that is all of Obamacare.

  • Bee Tagger||

    They better not build that grand so high that no one can stand on it.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Dueling Rambles?

  • gaijin||

    ^this. But without any "pretty mouths".

  • Jordan||

    US officials say spying on world leaders was mostly stopped after the practice was mentioned in an internal Obama Administration memo this summer, and claim the White House was unaware of it before then.

    Did he read about it in the newspaper?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Or did a tax firm tell him?

  • Brett L||

    I don't know about this Banksey guy over all, but I am in complete agreement about 1WTC.

    "It looks like something they would build in Canada"

  • Bee Tagger||

    It's constructed head-to-toe with denim?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    They should hsve rebuilt the towers. That would be a great FUCK YOU to the terrorists.

    "You tear them down? We will rebuild them. You are of no consequence to us."

  • Juice||

    The design sucked. It maximized floor space but was the main reason they collapsed so totally.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Georgia man ran back into burning house to save beer

    Six adults, including Walter Serpit, and two children were in the living room of their Columbus, Ga., home on Thursday afternoon when smoke began pouring in. All eight people made it outside safely, but Serpit, with the aid of his cane, went back for what really mattered -- his beer.
  • Brett L||

    God bless this brave man.

  • UnCivilServant||

    At least he survived, otherwise, it'd be almost darwin award worthy. (Not strange enough to win though)

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    If it was Hamm's or Old Milwaukee, it would have been.

  • gaijin||

    At least he survived, otherwise, it'd be almost darwin award worthy

    serious question regarding Darwin Awards (yeah, I know)...shouldn't they be limited to those who have not yet procreated? If you have kids and do something stupid, isn't it too late for Darwinism to work?

  • robc||

    Yes.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Not if you take the kids out too.

  • Floridian||

    Speaking of beer if anyone is going to the food and wine festival at Epcot try the Casa beer in morocco. It's pretty good.

  • Brett L||

    I agree. You know what I regret not trying, though? The beer slushies in Japan.

  • Floridian||

    I skipped japan because I eat sushi pretty often. If I go back I'll try the beer slushy.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You can make your own. Leave your beer in the freezer for about 40 minutes. I used to do that in college.

  • Zeb||

    I never did it intentionally, but a few times in high school we had some beer stashed outside and it got a bit cold, so we parties with "icy Schlitzcicles" for most of an evening.

  • KMA Too||

    Oh, C'mon....no one going to bite?

    Icy Schlitzcicles-Great band name.

  • R C Dean||

    I like the way he casually owns up to being an alky.

  • Ted S.||

    US officials say spying on world leaders was mostly stopped after the practice was mentioned in an internal Obama Administration memo this summer,

    "Mostly" stopped, and that's even if you think the US government officials have any credibility.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Federal authorities say they’ve seized 44,336 bitcoins worth $29 million allegedly belonging to Ross Ulbricht

    Look, they know who it belongs to. Pardon them if they don't trust bitcoin valuations.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Angela Merkel’s phone may have been monitored since 2002.

    Bush!!! (Finally, a Snowden leak Obama is happy to see.)

  • WTF||

    Well, no wonder Obama didn't know about it!

  • Lord Humungus||

    Homeowner claims sasquatch has moved next door and is throwing rocks at him

    The owner of a remote home in California's rural Tehama County says a bigfoot has moved into the woodland behind his house.

    The man, named only as Ken S to protect his identity, says the sasquatch arrived about two weeks ago and has been throwing rocks at him and responding to hunting-style calls.

    When Ken called in a team of experts to investigate, they found a footprint and claimed to catch the mysterious 15ft tall creature on an infrared camera.
  • Jordan||

    The man, named only as Ken S to protect his identity

    Doesn't Ken Schultz live in CA? Ken, is STEVE SMITH your neighbor now?

  • Ted S.||

    Dammit, I was going to say the same thing!

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Run, Ken...RUN!!!!

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Run, Ken...RUN!!!!

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Twice, even. What the heck, squirrelz?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's extra-urgent

  • ||

    What a cunt that Sasquatch is.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    This is why there are...hey, wait a minute?!

  • Bobarian||

    STEVE SMITH would never give his position away by throwing rocsks, unless STEVE SMITH deemed that Ken S. was unfuckable.

    Thats like irresistable force meets immovable object. The universe would collapse in on itself.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

  • Ken Shultz||

    It wasn't me, but ten bucks says what he saw was a bear, and the dude was stoned.

    My understanding is that you would need at least 300 of them that regularly came in contact with each other in order to have a stable, genetically varied breeding population, and if there were that many of them, we'd have them in zoos by now.

    No, I'm talkin' about a stable population of at least 300 stoners--nobody wants to see them in a zoo.

    I'm talking about the Sasquatches! Hell, pay attention.

  • Zeb||

    Dood.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Couldn't be a man in a gorilla suit, no fuckin' way, now you know he's real.

    Sasquaaaaaaaaaatch we know you're legend's real. Sasquaaaaaaaaaatch we know you're love is real.

  • Brett L||

    Scientists to skip chance to disprove non-AGW causes of warming. I assume because they know that any affects of the "A" would be lost in the noise.

    The problem, according to members of the governor-appointed Climate Assessment and Response Committee, is that the bill behind the study specifically calls for the researchers to look at “cyclical” climate change. In so doing, it completely leaves out human contributions to global warming.

    Yep, and if it didn't conform to the data, you'd say that cyclical effects couldn't fully explain the data. Idiots.

  • Brett L||

    Related. LAT on how science has lost its way.

    In today's world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.

    You'd be wrong. Many billions of dollars' worth of wrong.

  • sarcasmic||

    The point of the research is to find human activity that needs to be controlled.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists at the meeting said they wouldn’t participate in the climate study if it excludes the influence of humans. Some said they wouldn’t be willing to ask others to consider doing the study, either.

    Yeah, we should totally believe that these people are objective. Do you think they would be willing to do a study that excluded all nonhuman influences?

  • sarcasmic||

    They currently account for non-human influences? I thought they ignored them.

  • Zeb||

    Occasionally they have to acknowledge them. But then they usually claim that it will just be much much worse when the natural cycle goes the other way because of the human contribution. Or that all the heat is at the bottom of the ocean or something.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Occasionally they have to acknowledge them.

    Mainly just when the temperature is low.

  • wareagle||

    In so doing, it completely leaves out human contributions to global warming.

    you mean the null hypothesis??? But, but, science..consensus.

  • Brett L||

    Exactly. Take this money and see if the null hypothesis fits the data or not.

  • mr simple||

    And it’s not just a misuse of language: State Sen. Beau McCoy, who added the word to the bill, is a known climate denier.

    Of the many things wrong with that article: Are they being intentionally obtuse or just lazy with calling people who don't believe in AGW "climate deniers?" I deny that a climate exists.

  • wwhorton||

    They're equating them to another immoral group, the Holocaust deniers. Because otherwise they'd have to make arguments based on evidence and logic, and who wants to do that when gutcheck emotional responses are so much more fun?

  • cavalier973||

    I deny that there is such a thing as "climate". It's all a trick by secular humanists to turn us into homosexuals.

  • Juice||

    Barbara Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, pointed out that “cyclical” isn’t even a scientific term.

    Excuse me? WTF?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Peter King Hits Rand Paul, Justin Amash

    On the subject of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, King said “it bothers the hell out of me that people in my own party, such as Rand Paul, Justin Amash, people on the left also, somehow they try to exalt Snowden. This guy is causing tremendous damage to the country.”

    When the subject of drones came up, King said, “tell Rand Paul to stop doing overnight filibusters on people being killed with drones in Starbucks. We should be standing by our military. Standing by the intelligence agencies.”

    President Obama “should be out there. He’s the commander in chief. He should stand with NSA,” King said.
  • Brett L||

    Terrorist Fundraiser, Peter King. Get your epithets straight.

  • robc||

    Terrorist, Peter King.

    No reason to add in any other words.

  • Brett L||

    Pedantry accepted.

  • robc||

    ^^^Note to John, this is the correct response^^^

  • Drake||

    Think Pete would be cool with drone-killing us some IRA thugs?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How about one of the cheerleaders and bag-men? After all, King was pissed that Rand filibustered over drone strikes in America so he'd be fine getting droned - right?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Syria has submitted a plan to eliminate its chemical weapons to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons four days ahead of the deadline.

    That Putin gets things done. I bet he never has to deal with government shutdowns.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    In Soviet Russia, Government shuts you down!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    And Chuck Norris shuts down Soviet AND Imperial Russia

  • Lord Humungus||

    Why is Obama hiding Joe Biden?

    You can almost imagine Biden saying, “Listen, boss, I know you hate these guys — I do, too — but the Republicans actually have a point.” But he can’t say it, because Biden is afraid Obama will think of him the way Harry Reid has framed him — a Quisling.

    So Biden will have to pass the time doing something else. Lucky for him that there are lots of Iowa state politicians who are trying to enjoy a simple World Series game at Applebee’s.
  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    But he can’t say it, because Biden is afraid Obama will think of him the way Harry Reid has framed him — a Quisling.

    If this is accurate, you have to wonder if this goes back to Biden working out a deal with Team Red over the BCA in 2011 when Reid couldn't do it.

    It would certainly explain Reid's heavy-handed incalcitrance recently. It's also why there's no way in hell anything gets put together during this four-month reprieve in the budget/debt ceiling drama.

  • SugarFree||

    Those darn black people just don't know what's good for them! We must take their menthols away.

    Check on the comments for a roller coaster of good and terrible opinions. Also, the argument that the ability to buy "loosies" is a black market. (Was their pun intended?)

  • Rich||

    Menthol cigarettes were invented in the 1920s by Lloyd "Spud" Hughes of Mingo Junction, Ohio

    A white man, of course.

  • tarran||

    It's worse...

    Initially they came infected with syphilis as part of a Dept of Agriculture public health program.

  • Raston Bot||

    If they ban Fisherman's Friend, then I'll start to care. I eat that stuff like pez.

  • Lord Humungus||

    But What if Obamacare Works?

    Conservatives agree that these cheaper plans create more risk. But they also create a sensitivity to price — and with it, a curb on cost growth — that’s rare in a system where third-party payment has made prices opaque, arbitrary and inflated. And for a society that pretty clearly spends far too much on health care, sticking with catastrophic coverage frees up money — thousands for individuals and families, billions for the government — to spend on something other than the insurance-medical complex.

    Yes, for some that money would ultimately get eaten up, and then some, by unexpected bills. But for others it might be money saved for retirement, money that pays for child care, money used to hire a contractor or buy a house. And for the public sector, it would be money for all the priorities — liberal as well as conservative — that are being undercut by rising health care costs.

    This is why the law’s critics believe Obamacare might be a long-term failure even if it survives its launch troubles and works on its own terms for a while. It’s not about the good things the reform delivers: those are real enough. It’s about whether there are too many other goods, for too many people, that the law’s three “mores” end up crowding out.
  • Brett L||

    It’s not about the good things the reform delivers: those are real enough.

    What? Could we go over the list? More eligible people signing up for Medicaid? Cheaper insurance for New Yorkers?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There is a long list of good things to go with the bad.

    Such as the elimination of $700 billion worth of Medicare payment subsidies we pay for MA.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    "There is a long list of good things"

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you classical liberalism!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So you advocate taxpayer funded subsidies?

    Or rescission? And unlimited Medicare largesse? And freeloading?

  • Jordan||

    Or rescission?

    So you support fraud?

    And freeloading?

    How does Obamacare end "freeloading"? Does it allow ERs to reject me if I don't have health insurance? Does it not subsidize insurance? Does it not force insurers to offer policies to people they otherwise wouldn't?

  • Jordan||

    Does it not expand Medicaid?

  • tarran||

    THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!

    You know what shriek likes?

    It likes hearing the wall scream back, because screaming at a unresponsive wall is so boring.

    DON'T BE ITS WALL!!!!!!!!

    You cannot convince it of anything, it is too profoundly disabled to be capable of rational thought.

    All you are doing is making the conversation more painful to read.

    DON'T BE ITS WALL!!!!!!!

  • Floridian||

    How does obamacare stop subsidies? That is one of the selling points. Subsides for people under @0 of the poverty line.

  • Floridian||

    400 percent. I guess you can't use the percent sign.

  • Fluffy||

    Not one dollar will be held back from Medicare in the end.

    How many years in a row does the doc fix have to pass before we stop taking claims of Medicare savings seriously?

  • KPres||

    "So you advocate taxpayer funded subsidies?"

    Ummm....Obamacare costs $1.5 Trillion even after figuring those medicare cuts. And that figure will be dwarfed by the premium increases due to Obamacare mandates.

    There's no good and bad. It's all bad.

    Unlike Paul Ryan's plan.

  • R C Dean||

    Such as the elimination of $700 billion worth of Medicare payment subsidies we pay for MA.

    Linky, por favor.

    The only Medicare subsidy I'm aware of for MA is the Disproportionate Share Hospital program, which funds safety net hospitals and is being cut by the ACA, but only $5.5B worth.

    For more than two decades, the DSH program has provided subsidies to hospitals that treat disproportionally large numbers of patients who cannot pay for all or part of their care. The ACA-mandated cuts to the program come with implementation of ACA's insurance mandate, which is expected to reduce the number of uninsured patients and thus the need for the $11 billion DSH program.

    Under the ACA, DSH subsidies are slated for a $500 million cut in 2014 and an overall 50% reduction over five years. The Obama administration has not yet announced how those cuts will be distributed among states.

    http://www.advisory.com/Daily-.....bsidy-cuts

  • UnCivilServant||

    *cheaper for 17,000 out of 19million New Yorkers, more expensive for remaining 19million.

  • John||

    Good for Obama. If it works, then I guess we don't need single payer do we? But I somehow doubt that it will.

  • Brett L||

    The poor bastards at Obamacare can't buy a break.

    The data center operated by Verizon's Terremark experienced a connectivity issue that caused it to shut down, affecting the federal government's already problem-plagued online marketplace Healthcare.gov and similar sites operated by 14 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    Obama administration and company officials could not say how long it would take to fix the connectivity problem.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Is his on the "long list of good things"?

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    *this*

  • Steve G||

    Duuude, you can't endorse your own comment. oh, wait...

  • KDN||

    Obama administration and company officials could not say how long it would take to fix the connectivity problem.

    For once I'm not blaming this on the administration. Repairs in that industry tend to take an indeterminately long time. The fact that a data center is out will cause some executive at Verizon to have a very bad couple of days.

  • Brett L||

    Oh, I agree. This was just bad luck. Although it is amazing how often misfortune dogs the ill-prepared.

  • KDN||

    I hardly think that not having a DR plan in place for your signature effort qualifies as "ill-prepared." Especially when you have near-limitless funds at your disposal.

  • Drake||

    Unexpected!

  • Lord Humungus||

    One of the major EDI networks that we use went down due to a water issue at their server farm. This took days to repair.

    Of course, since we route a majority of our data through this system, I got plenty of shit for an issue beyond my control with multiple calls asking when the network was going to be up, etc etc - and what am I doing to help the situation?

    Of course I switched to alternate providers when possible, but even that takes hours of legwork per Trading Partner.

  • KDN||

    Yeah, it's a fact of life that people really don't want to hear. There's so many potential points of failure on an outage like this that just diagnosing the problem takes hours if not days. It's especially fun for the customer facing element of the provider; I'm sure the account reps, technical service managers, and everyone in their depts up through the sector EVP's are getting calls every 15 minutes looking for a status update and basically telling them "it's not the first 7 things we checked, moving on number 8."

  • Lord Humungus||

    Immigration Poses Threat of Another Republican Rift

    There is intense division within the party over the proposals under consideration, and some hard-line conservative members have made it clear that they have no interest in advancing a key part of Mr. Obama’s agenda.

    Even some who support a measure to increase border security say they would not vote for such a bill, fearing that it could become a vehicle to grant citizenship to an estimated 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally.

    “We have seen the character of this president, and the way that he does business,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, explaining why he would oppose any measure.
  • Ken Shultz||

    "US officials say spying on world leaders was mostly stopped after the practice was mentioned in an internal Obama Administration memo this summer, and claim the White House was unaware of it before then."

    The Obama Administration is so pathetic, I'm starting to believe them when they say they have no idea what's going on.

    Don't blame Obama. He just works there. And the rest of them are just doing what they were told. ...by somebody.

  • Rich||

    it was understandable that Obama did not know about the phone tapping of Merkel and other leaders for nearly five years of his presidency because the NSA has so many eavesdropping programs, it would not have listed all of them for the president.

    With all due respect, just WTF *is* a newly-sworn-in President brought up to speed on?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Obama just runs the Public Relations department, so he supervises Jay Carney.

  • John||

    The better question is, what else is the NSA doing that Obama doesn't know. Obama is an idiot and right now the Pentagon and the IC are pretty much on autopilot.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I bet the difference between what Obama knows and what Obama should know is probably pretty amazing.

    And that beyond being more than sufficient grounds for impeachment in a better world, that gap demonstrates how much bigger the government is than it should be, too.

    When a company gets so big that the CEO can't effectively keep up anymore, they sell assets or they spin something off or they downsize. Because "autopilot" is just another word for incompetence, and incompetence eventually will lead to disaster.

  • John||

    To me the most shocking part about Bengazi was that Obama left and went to a fund raiser and left it to Peneta and Hillary to handle it. A US embassy is under attack and the President isn't called until hours into it and once he is briefed says "take care of it" and leaves. The whole thing tells me that none of his cabinet have any faith in his judgement and tell him as little as possible and he has no interest in doing his job and is fine with that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    that gap demonstrates how much bigger the government is than it should be, too.

    TEATHUGLIKKKAN RACIST!!!!

  • R C Dean||

    because the NSA has so many eavesdropping programs, it would not have listed all of them for the president.

    I think I see the real problem, here.

  • Dave Krueger||

    If the NSA is monitoring calls made by heads of state, they must have known there would be a likelihood that Obama could have been a party on some of those calls. And yet they are claiming that they didn't bother to tell the President about such a possibility?

    Excuse me, but it's time to seek higher ground so as to not drown in the BS.

  • Rich||

    I'll bet Merkel doesn't know her people are listening to Obama's phone calls.

    It all evens out.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Unfortunately, they don't hear anything useful, because apparently Obama doesn't know anything about what we're up to.

  • Bobarian||

    It hurts me to think how true this probably is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Kathleen Sebelius is set to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the disaster that is Obamacare so far."

    In related news, Kathleen Sebelius is set to report that she doesn't really know what's going on.

    She just works there. And she was just doing what she was told by...somebody.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Police hunt for liquorice thief

    The driver discovered the theft in the afternoon when he woke up from his nap and reported it to the police. It's unclear whether the liquorice theft was carried out by more than one person.

    The type of liquorice that was stolen has yet to be confirmed. The liquorice plant has many purposes including being used to flavour tobacco including Swedish snus.

    It is perhaps best known for its use in candy. Swedes are among the biggest consumers of liquorice in the world and its popularity is such that an annual liquorice festival (Lakritsfestivalen) is held in Stockholm.

    I always though liquorice was a Dutch thing.

  • Ted S.||

    I thought it was a Finnish thing.

  • ||

    Cool!

  • Lord Humungus||

    Good enough to eat?

    Athens cops charge man in buttocks biting

    Athens Clarke police arrested a 23-year-old man early Thursday morning after he allegedly bit a woman’s buttocks in a downtown Athens bar.

    Davis Franklin Cruz reportedly also fondled another woman in the bar and had earlier tried to kiss a man and woman outside on the sidewalk.
  • Brett L||

    I guess he found the real molly.

  • Ted S.||

    Isn't "Palin's Buttplug" from Athens GA?

  • Mike M.||

    No, that's where his phony sockpuppet person is from. The actual person lives in Washington, DC.

  • Gbob||

    If turning tricks in a parking lot can really be called "living"

  • SIV||

    Yup

  • sarcasmic||

    Lou Reed is still dead?

    Oh no! Matt better write up another article about him!

  • Ken Shultz||

    What would you rather read about?

    Another article on ObamaCare?

    What Rand Paul had for lunch yesterday?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Am I missing anything when it comes to his music?

    I am too young, so my only experience was the thing he did with Metallica, which was fucking awful. I AM THE TABLE! Ugh.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The point that the important political changes are driven by changes in pop culture really shouldn't be missed.

    Not if you want to see a politically more libertarian world, anyway.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    So...culturally significant, but I won't be jamming to Lou in my car anytime soon?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some of his tunes are semi-jam worthy.

    A lot of them are contemplative.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHRFZFmEq9o

    I'm not a huge fan, but I recognize how influential he was--both inside and outside of music.

    I think he can be credited as something that inspired punk. He was doing it before the New York Dolls, et. al. His influence wasn't as direct as Iggy's, but it was there.

    I think he should be recognized as something like the beginning of what came to be called "Indy" or "alternative" music.

  • Aloysious||

    Not unless you like covers of old blues songs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu6z4h2VYb4

  • kinnath||

    Thanks for that one

  • Ken Shultz||

    I mean, the fall of communism didn't happen in a vacuum.

    The role of things like rock & roll and blue jeans and stuff like that really are far too under emphasized.

    Once white girls started shaking their tail-feathers to what had been considered black music before, did Jim Crow really have a chance?

    Recognition of things like gay rights didn't come from politicians; it came from people like David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, and Boy George.

    The fact that the Velvet Underground played a huge role in changing both pop culture and politics is important to understand.

    Oh, and the banality of Generation Y and later's brand of pop culture should be frightening to free people everywhere.

  • Ted S.||

    On the other hand, some of us were born after the Baby Boomers and are sick and tired of their KULTUR WARS being the ones we're still fighting today.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some of that stuff being labeled "culture war" was actually about questioning authority--might have been a few babies i that bathwater.

    ...and if we have a whole generation of people who are dismissive of questioning authority, that's pretty terrifying from a libertarian perspective.

  • Ted S.||

    Unfortunately, the people saying "Question authority" a generation ago are the authorities now. :-(

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Not those who actually meant it. (There were a few.)

  • BigT||

    Recognition of things like gay rights didn't come from politicians; it came from people like David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, and Boy George

    Elton: What am I, chopped liver?

    Liberace: Who you talkin bout?

    Wayne Newton: Sit down, boys, relax.

  • R C Dean||

    The point that the important political changes are driven by changes in pop culture really shouldn't be missed.

    Its worth discussing, but I have serious doubts that important political changes are really driven by a subset of the entertainment industry.

  • Brett L||

    Wow. No, dude. Go thou and pick up Transformer or Rocknroll Animal

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Will this erase Lulu from my memory?

  • Brett L||

    Only if you like good guitar work, if a little heavy on the organ/keyboard (it was the 70s).

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I have the link saved for later, I'll let you know how it goes.

  • Ted S.||

    This is how you thank somebody who took you from crayons to perfume?

  • Lord Humungus||

    I loved like Velvet Underground when I was going through my teenage punk throes, but now? Meh - I don't own a single VU album.

    Their influence is obviously large, but really, I prefer John Cale's 70s solo work like Slow Dazzle or Helen of Troy.

  • SIV||

  • SIV||

    Or better yet...

    Mercenaries (Ready For War)

  • Lord Humungus||

    +1 I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

  • sarcasmic||

    "Hey, man. I listen to Lou Reed and read Hunter S. Thompson. I'm such a non-conformist. If you want to be cool non-conformist like me, all you have to do is listen to the same music as me and read the same books as me."

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    What kind of pizza does this non-conformist eat? And is he circumcised?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    As long as he eats artisanal mayonnaise, it's cool.

  • Lord Humungus||

    a man cannot survive on artisanal mayonnaise alone.

  • Brett L||

    Eh. I can still tell you where I was the first time I heard Heroin off of RocknRoll Animal. The soaring guitar, the time changes, the contrast between the song and the subject. If you can't respect Lou's work for all that, your world is less interesting than it could be.

  • JurisCani||

    "your world is less interesting than it could be."

    Really? That is one of the most pretentiouslyd moronic things I've ever read.

  • Brett L||

    And then you lowered the bar.

  • sarcasmic||

    I never got into the whole hipster thing.

  • ||

    I love this Lou Reed song. Performed by someone else.

  • Brett L||

    Duran Duran?! This is worse than hating pugs!

  • ||

    Lou Reed loved DD's rendition of Perfect Day

  • Brett L||

    I don't care. Its 80s hair-pop.

  • ||

    It was released in 1995.

  • Brett L||

    The date is beside the point, KK! You're out of your fucking element!

    Also, I'm not interested in finding out that Duran Duran might have some talent. I'm comfortable in my worldview with them as no-talent ass clowns.

  • ||

    Haha Brett - I figured. It's not cool to like DD. It's not even ironically hipster to like DD. S'okay.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I'm on the Duran Duran fan bandwagon too - though every copy of Notorious should be burned.

  • Ted S.||

    every copy of Notorious should be burned.

    I thought Claude Rains was quite good. :-)

  • ||

    Notorious is not nearly as bad as Meddazzaland and Pop Trash and Red Carpet Massacre. The boys didn't get their mojo back until "Reach Up for the Sunrise" and All You Need is Now (which is their best album since 1993 IMO).

  • Ken Shultz||

    John Taylor could play some bass.

    http://www.bigbasstabs.com/dur....._know.html

  • ||

    And

  • BakedPenguin||

    This. "Girls on Film" has a great bass line.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or what Kristen said.

  • Ted S.||

    Why is there such a broadly held belief among critics that 1960s pop culture, music and movies is brilliant, but teh 1980s stuff if just utter trash?

    I'm reminded of a couple of years back when John Hughes died, one of the posters on the Volokh Conspiracy did a post on Hughes saying that The Breakfast Club was a touchstone for a generation. One of the commenters responded something along the lines of "But it doesn't have any black people!" I don't recall all the black folk in The Graduate, but that's the apotheosis of young people's angst while the 80s angst movies are just drek, apparently.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why is there such a broadly held belief among critics that 1960s pop culture, music and movies is brilliant, but teh 1980s stuff if just utter trash?"

    Part of it is because of the fashion takeover that happened, especially once MTV came into full effect. The way you looked was suddenly a lot more important than it used to be--and some of the artists made a big deal of it.

    The other came from the punk rock--this could be you, you in the audience, you're no different from us--attitude. There wasn't supposed to be a bid difference between the fans and the bands, and to critics, many of whom think their whole job is to deify the musicians, that's a subversion of their very existence as critics.

    Meanwhile, former fans like Billy Idol and Siouxie Sioux were out forming bands and making music. Black Flag picked their next lead singer out of the audience--like three times! Every neighborhood in SoCal had a punk rock band on the block that was more interesting than anything that was being reviewed in Rolling Stone.

    There was the fact that putting on headphones and listening to records wasn't necessarily the whole purpose of the music anymore. You don't put on headphones to listen to punk rock. You go to the gigs to be part of the scene--and to be seen. If you put on headphones to listen to the music, you're poseur. An outcast!

    The critics hated the '80s for all of that.

  • R C Dean||

    "Why is there such a broadly held belief among critics that 1960s pop culture, music and movies is brilliant, but teh 1980s stuff if just utter trash?"

    Because people imprint on the music of their youth, and the folks driving the pop culture criticism bus all came of age in the '60s/early '70s.

    Really, that's all it is.

  • Brett L||

    For me, we were listening to Metallica, Public Enemy and NWA while the other kids of my age group (I started HS in 1993) were listening to Rio. While I've come a long way in respecting pop music, some of my prejudices have stuck with me.

  • ||

    I was a synth pop-only gal until end of high school/early college, when I started to open my mind. There's room in my head for all kinds of music.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why is there such a broadly held belief among critics that 1960s pop culture, music and movies is brilliant, but teh 1980s stuff if just utter trash?

    60s pop culture wasn't viewed as brilliant by anyone other than the boomers. Their parents thought it was trash.

    80s pop culture is the boomers' kids. So of course their parents think it is trash.

  • Ted S.||

  • Brett L||

    Now you're just trolling me.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Lord Humungus||

    so he's the Dylan of the alt/underground/_fill_in_the_blank world?

  • John||

    U2 used to do a live cover of Satellite of Love that was fantastic. Most Lour Reed songs sound better when covered by someone else.

  • KeithC||

    Velvet Underground was well before my time -- I'm 25 -- yet I still think both Loaded and their self-titled album are great. Loaded is a bit more upbeat and has some great jams (Sweet Jane, Rock & Roll), but the self titled is pretty unique and unlike anything I've ever heard.

  • ||

    Lou Reed Dead

    Due Lead Red

    Rue Deed Lead

    Duly Red

    Ruly Dead

    Deadly Rule

    I am at work. It is Monday.

  • Rich||

  • tarran||

    Arthur Conan Doyle describing Sherlock Holmes journey to cocaine addiction?

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    + 7%

  • Ted S.||

    Hovering over the link gives the answer, but I could swear I saw this quoted a few days ago.

  • Jordan||

    Valerie Jarrett is Shreeeek?

  • gaijin||

    --to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them reject any that do not fit with what he already believes

    Edited for alignment to reality

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Grigori Rasputin?

  • CatoTheElder||

    It says "he has never really been challenged intellectually".

    I'd have to guess it refers to a guy who admitted to Leno on the Tonight Show that he cannot help his daughter with 9th grade mathematics.

  • Bobarian||

    Well, 9th Grade Math and raising children, just like embassy security or decisions on who to drone, are sooo below him.

    Give him important stuff, like beer summits and golf to worry about.

  • R C Dean||

    It says "he has never really been challenged intellectually".

    I'm sure this is true. You have to be open to intellectual challenge. When you live in a bubble, that ain't gonna happen. And Obama has been in a bubble his whole life.

  • CatoTheElder||

    ^ THIS.

  • Lord Humungus||

    (Reagan's OMB director) David Stockman: This is the economy’s biggest threat

    Drury: "You're clearly very critical of the Fed's programs. But, just to play the devil's advocate, since we've enacted QE, the stock market is up – we're sitting around record highs again – the unemployment rate down. Why is it so bad?"

    Stockman: "It's so bad because, essentially, the zero interest rate and the massive bond purchasing have very little to do with the slow recovery that we've had in the economy. I think that was just a natural recovery after we had the big liquidation of labor and inventory at the time of the crisis in the fall of 2008. Nevertheless, we barely crept forward at 2% real GDP growth for more than four years – weakest recovery we've had in the post-War period after the deepest recession. The fact is most of the money that they're printing never gets out of the canyons of Wall Street. It goes into speculation. It goes into financial engineering and leverage, stock buybacks, and everything else. That drives the indices higher but it's really not doing much that's constructive for Main Street and it's only hooking the economy on ultra-low interest rates that aren't sustainable."
  • John||

    But I thought the Democrats hated the evil speculators?

  • gaijin||

    I don't understand why people like stockman don't just reject the simplistic premise that stock markets = state of the economy.

    Or trash the premise that the unemployment rate--vs. the percentage of the population in the labor force--actually means anything.

  • John||

    The last five years has proven beyond doubt that is possible to have a great stock market and a horrible economy by any rational measure.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Stockman does reject that notion in his book.

    With reasonably sound money, stock markets can be a reasonably good indicator. But when the Fed is intervening to the tune of $85B/month, it's hard to conclude that higher valuations mean anything other than that the Fed is creating more liquidity to bid up stock prices.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's a big, complicated enterprise, government is. You cannot expect the President to know what those guys in the NSA are up to every minute of every day. He's a Big Picture guy.

  • Rich||

    The NSA has suggested it does not usually store the geolocational information for mobile phone calls.

    "Has suggested"?

    As in, "the White House has suggested if you like your doctor you can keep him"?

  • tarran||

    There's no sugarcoating it: in Washington DC they occasionally are slightly less than fully honest.

  • gaijin||

    are you suggesting that they are liars?!

  • Rich||

    "Dammit, you *know* how suggestible I am!"

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    least untruthful answer

  • Ted S.||

    "not usually"?

  • R C Dean||

    That would mean they are deleting this information.

    And if they are telling us they delete data, they are lying.

  • Rich||

  • waffles||

    How many Red Bulls are consumed every day? I can't believe they got someone to take the case.

  • Lord Humungus||

    for fans of 80s-era Tangerine Dream soundtrack type stuff:

    Emeralds
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otphsTWroSc

  • Rich||

    Thanks, LH.

    The Sorcerer soundtrack never gets old.

  • Rhywun||

    Nice - will have to check out more.

  • John||

    At some point in the next few years some prominent Democrat is going to have to give what will amount to the 1956 Khrushchev speech and admit that Obamacare is a failure, if for no other reason than to use the failure as an excuse to push for single payer. I would submit that when that happens it is going have a devastating effect on the party faithful.

    We all know that the Progs explain failure by saying "we didn't have the right people in charge and didn't try hard enough". If this were President Hillary, that would easy and the Progs would already be destroying her in order to save the ideology. But Obama is not a normal President. He will always be the first black President. He will always be the first gentry academia political activist President. People have a tremendous amount of emotional investment in him and to admit Obamacare is a failure is to admit Obama is a failure. When you have an idol and the party turns on them, you either have to believe the party and realize that the party sold you a false idol or you have to not believe the party and realize the party is now blaming your idol for its failure. In either case you lose faith in the party. Retreating out of this debacle is not going to be as easy or as clean as people think it will be. A lot of committed progs who really believed in Obama are going to be devastated by this and lose faith in the Democratic party. You watch.

  • Rich||

    A lot of committed progs who really believed in Obama are going to be devastated by this and lose faith in the Democratic party.

    Who, for instance?

    Malia?

  • John||

    The entire black community for one. Do you know any Progs? They have spent the last six years telling themselves and everyone who would listen that Obama is brilliant and anyone who thinks differently is a racist who can't handle a black President. No way are they going to cheerfully admit that the first black President is a failure. No amount of "but he was let down by the people below him" is going to make that go down easily. Obama is one of them. He is who they want to be, right down to being bi racial. To them Obama is a giant symbol of their superiority over the rest of America. Admitting he is a fuck up is not going to be easy.

  • Rich||

    Yes, I *** shudders *** know some progs.

    No way are they going to cheerfully admit that the first black President is a failure.

    The responses I keep getting are variants on: "He is brilliant about getting what he wants done. For instance, National Healthcare."

  • John||

    "He is brilliant about getting what he wants done. For instance, National Healthcare."

    Yes, that is what they think. And when the Democratic Party tells them "no Obamacare and by extension Obama was a failure", their heads are going to explode.

  • Rich||

    "It's NATIONAL HEALTHCARE! For the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY! How can THAT be considered a failure?!"

  • WTF||

    They will just be convinced that it would have worked but for sabotage by the ratbagging teathuglicans who obstructed him and made it fail because of dirty politics.

  • John||

    Some will. But not all or even the majority of them. Not everyone is like the liberal trolls on the internet.

  • Floridian||

    I don't think you can count the entire black community. Many are disappointed that their lives did not radically improve under a black president. The black community has lost more ground during the recession than any other. People may not follow politics but they know if life is getting tougher.

  • John||

    That is an interesting issue. What is the fallout in the black community after this? You are right. They finally got a black Democrat President and things got worse, a lot worse. That is going to cause a whole lot of soul searching in the black community. Blacks are loath to attack a black Democrat where the white community can hear it. But if you don't blame Obama, what does that say about the Democratic Party?

  • Floridian||

    The people in the black community I interact with do blame the president. That is the risk a leader takes in asking people to put faith in them. If there are failures he will take the blame directly. I don't think the black community is unique in sticking with the president. Many republicans stick with the party because they are afraid to change teams. I think a lot of republicans would be better served in a libertarian party but they won't switch because of fear of wasting their vote or believing the other team is evil.

  • John||

    The blacks I know I are either silent or will defend Obama. I don't think blacks are going to leave the party. But I think a lot of them will just disengage from politics. It will be a very long time before you see the kind of black turnout there was in 08 and 12 again.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I doubt it - such soul-searching doesn't seem to ever come around. Heck, look at Jesse Jackson, Marion Barry, Kwame Kilpatrick, etc etc.

    It will take something major to break the belief that racism is part of the system. The white folks Republicans will be blamed yet again for their failures.

  • John||

    None of those guys were President Humungus. And while blacks didn't stop voting Democrat after Marion Berry, a lot of them moved out of the district in disgust as a result. Not every black person is a welfare queen talking about how Marion was going to take care of them.

  • wwhorton||

    Well, I don't know about the national level, but if the local level acts as a predictor, it ain't lookin' good. In our ward, the incumbent is a Marion Barry-type, only less capable and even more corrupt. However, the challenger is white and middle-class. So, the local Democratic machine and the Friends of Black Annapolitans have been leaning hard on black voters, especially in public housing, to vote by skin color. I've seen a lot of "We Shall Overcome" in fliers they've been passing out, for instance.

    A lot of black voters have made no bones about the fact that they're voting for the incumbent because he's black. There's also been mention of vote buying, both direct and indirect (through increases to entitlement checks and city jobs, neither of which he has any influence over). Others have said that, while they'll be voting for the challenger, they have to keep the incumbent's sign in the yard. Only a few with whom I've spoken have openly declared support for the challenger, and they're pretty frank about it being somewhat risky for them to do so.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What is the fallout in the black community after this? You are right. They finally got a black Democrat President and things got worse, a lot worse. That is going to cause a whole lot of soul searching in the black community.

    Yeah, except that's never happened at the local level where one incompetent, corrupt black dem is just replaced with an even more corrupt and incompetent black dem.

    Look, I hope you are correct, but there is absolutely no evidence to support your position.

  • sarcasmic||

    Every two-term presidency sees a drop in popularity after the second election.

    Give it time and they'll all rally behind their team (and their team leader's accomplishments) by the time the next election comes along.

  • Lord Humungus||

    just to check, I looked up Reagan. A dip six years in, and then a rise toward the end.
    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu.....hp?pres=40

  • John||

    Obama is not every President. We have never had a President who had this much emotional baggage with his supporters.

  • waffles||

    But Hillary would have been the first woman president. Are you saying it's better to throw a woman under a bus than a black man?

    With all things Obamacare I will watch, wait, and see.

  • Rich||

    Are you suggesting that Hillary might have been thrown under a black man?

  • SugarFree||

    Not a man.

  • Rich||

    Are you suggesting what the NSA thinks you are?

  • SugarFree||

    [muffled scream]

  • Rich||

    I'm suggesting now we'll never know what the NSA thinks SugarFree is.

  • John||

    She would have been. And that would give her a cult following among a certain breed of perpetually butt hurt boomer women. But that is nothing compared to the cult that Obama has.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And that cult will continue when Cory Booker runs for president in 2020.

    Mark the tape.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "when Cory Booker runs for president in 2020"

    Stop it MLG. You're scaring me.

  • John||

    No way. Booker only won by 10 points in New Jersey. He is no Obama. And even if he were, the country did its "prove we are not racist elect a black man" thing. No one wants to go through another four years of "anything you say against the President is racist". Even committed Progs don't want that.

    You will never see another black President in our lifetimes. Certainly a woman and maybe a Latino. But never a black President.

  • Spoonman.||

    Maybe you're right that there won't be another black President elected for its own sake, but that doesn't mean people might not vote for a black man or woman because they like what that person says.

  • John||

    True. But Booker proved himself to be a corrupt moron in that campaign. There could be a black man who wins. But he won't get the free pass Obama did. And without the free pass, that black man will not be Booker.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    "No one wants to go through another four years of "anything you say against the President is racist"."

    But we're doing just that, right now.

  • Spoonman.||

    None of these people are above just making shit up to make politicians seem good.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    "bros before hos" - wasn't that a young Donkey saying?

  • sarcasmic||

    Failure will be blamed on what's left of the free market, and will be used to bring on single payer. You watch.

  • John||

    If that is true, then this failing is the greatest thing that has ever happened to liberals and the Democratic party. They don't seem to view it that way. I guess they don't realize their good fortune. Or maybe, they understand that selling that lie is going to be a little difficult.

  • sarcasmic||

    Give it time.

  • John||

    A few decades after a new generation of kids have grown up having no idea how bad this was, sure. That is what they did after the 1970s. But it will take a lot of time.

  • John||

    Sarcasmic, they thought this would work. They live in a fantasy world. Obama is the ultimate top man to these people. Easy for you to blame the evil market. But this was Obama. He said this would work. How can he be wrong?

  • sarcasmic||

    The website fuckup will be fixed, and when it is fixed people will see the prices they must pay for insurance. Some will blame the ACA, but most people will blame the greedy corporations. The only solution will be single payer.

  • John||

    The website fuck up in not getting fixed. There is no fixing it. It can't function as they designed it. And even if it did, there is still no way to process all of those applications in any kind of timely matter. The whole thing is never going to come up and leave millions of people paying the penaltax for not buying insurance that was unavailable.

    This thing is not just a glitch. It is a complete disaster.

  • tarran||

    I am amazed at the brazen all problems fixed by Nov 30 claim.

    It's farcical.

    My guess is that by Nov 30, they will come up with some excuse of "it's external forces that kneecapped us" and claim they'll be fixed by the end of the year.

    My mom worked in a company who was selling vaporware, and the project manager excelled at that sort of thing.

  • John||

    It is farcical. The other thing to remember is that if there were any positive fact available, they would be on TV every day pushing it. Instead they are saying nothing other than "we will get this solved by November 30". That means there are no positive facts and they have nothing to base that promise on other than wishful thinking.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There will be no single payer without another super majority in Congress.

  • Rich||

    Executive Order, biotches!

  • Rasilio||

    Actually even then I'm not sure they could manage it.

    Single payer requires a law making it illegal for Doctors to not accept payment from the government on the government terms.

    It does not take very much of a lawyer to argue that this constitutes a forcible taking of all of the private practices out there

  • R C Dean||

    It does not take very much of a lawyer to argue that this constitutes a forcible taking of all of the private practices out there.

    Perhaps, but it would take a different breed of SCOTUS Justice to vote for that argument.

  • ||

    Would the insurance companies allow single payer to happen? What kind of payoff would they expect in order to let their Congress creatures pass single payer?

  • John||

    I don't think so. And more importantly, I don't care how much the media lies for them, it is going to be real hard for the Democrats to sell another major health initiative for a very long time if this thing fails. They barely got this through. And now after it fails the country is going to sign up for their next trick?

    Maybe the world really is that crazy. But I have hard time believing the logic put forth on this board that Obamacare failing is going to make people who didn't before want to vote for the party that created it and usher in full single payer and full on California style Prog rule. Maybe I think too rationally about this stuff. But my impression is that the media, the Democratic Party, and the entire Progressive movement staked their reputations on this thing and sold it as a real improvement that was going to finally convince people that government run health care was the way to go and if it fails not just Obama but the entire idea of government run health care is going to take a severe hit.

  • Spoonman.||

    They'll just claim it was a success. I think you're assuming far more people care about truth than do.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes, you are being too rational. You're got to emote. Feel. Don't think.

    You're an average low information voter, and you're going to get your free health care that was promised by the president. Low and behold it's going to cost you almost as much as your rent! What the fuck! It couldn't be the president's fault! I mean, he promised! So it's got to be the insurance companies! I mean, they're greedy corporations that care about profit, not people! And, and, and the government is us! It's us against the corporations, and the corporations are screwing us! It's not like that in Canada or Europe! We need single payer like them!

  • Lord Humungus||

    ^ pretty much this ^

    Once you approach the cliff of socialism, it's hard to take a step back.

  • John||

    Sarcasic,

    By your logic Obama should just start bombing cities. He could just blame the death and destruction on the market and the Republicans. There is a limit to how much you can lie. Even the Soviets lost faith in the party after the 1956 speech.

    And if what you and MLG are saying is true, then you better start hoping Obamacare is a success, because clearly nothing will help the Dems more than a total failure.

    It is not that simple. And the Democrats seem pretty upset about this. Perhaps they understand the low information voters a bit too and understand that this thing won't be as easy to spin as you think it is? They do know low information voters you know.

  • trshmnstr||

    By your logic Obama should just start bombing cities. He could just blame the death and destruction on the market and the Republicans.

    That's ridiculous. In the healthcare market, there are actors that may be blamed (insurance companies, "obstructionist" republicans). If he unilaterally started carpet nuking American metropolises, who is there to blame?

    Now, if he started with drone strikes on random brown people walking down main street America, that could possibly be pinned on some other actors (intelligence community, "hawkish" republicans, al quaeda).

    These administration wonks ain't stupid, they won't stick their necks out far enough to take sole responsibility for an action. Look at Libya. "Leading from behind" is a great strategy if you don't wanna be blamed for the outcome. The response in Benghazi was the politically prudent one, but enough loose lips blew up the fact that their political prudence was exercised through cowardice.

    The Obama administration knows media and marketing. They know exactly what to say and do so it looks like they tried their hardest, but were stonewalled.

    What actually happens is irrelevant, because he who owns the media narrative, owns the truth. Then, when leaks and rumblings start coming from non-traditional sources, you just ad-hom them to death, and 80% of the proles just ignore them. The other 20% who actively call out the administration for their actions just get a little star on their entry in the NSA's database.

  • John||

    Maybe they are evil geniuses. Or maybe they are total morons who have now managed to fuck up so badly even the media won't be able to save them.

    I think betting on official stupidity is almost always a smart bet.

  • trshmnstr||

    Not having the goals that they should have is often misinterpreted as stupidity. I'm not saying they're smart enough to run the gov't. I'm saying they're smart enough to have people in the administration who spend every waking hour of their life thinking about the political impact, and finding the best way to proceed politically.

    Political genius is what got Obama elected, political genius is what got Obamacare passed, political genius is what makes him teflon in the mainstream media. He and his handlers have had decades of practice at riling up the right agitation groups at the right time and doing politically expedient stuff that can't be pinned on them.

    Why do you think immigration is coming up now? It's a GREAT distraction from O'care. When immigration is worn out, another debate will surface. It may be abortion, it may be Israel, it may be public transportation. Who knows?

    They're like a flashy marketing director, they can steer the discussion like none other, but they don't know jack about the actual thing they're talking about. That's how you can seem like a genius and a moron at the same time.

  • John||

    Obamacare was a total disaster for the Dems. They lost the House. That is a big deal. To call passing it political genius is totally at odds with the facts. If Obama hadn't passed Obamacare, there would have been no Tea Party and the Dems would probably still hold the House and Obama wins re-election by a wider margin. It was a colossal political blunder.

    You people have lost your minds. You sound like abused spouses or shell shock victims. Snap the fuck out of it. Obama is Chauncey Gardner and he owes his political success to a cult of personality. These people are not the Nazis. They are morons.

  • trshmnstr||

    You don't get how devious this is (and how simple). They have the template for how this works. FDR did it, LBJ did it. FDR was the cult of personality to end all cults of personality, and he won a landslide reelection after passing SS. LBJ didn't have that cult of personality, and lost a few seats in the Senate in the next election. Now SS and Medicare are the third rail of politics. The dems think that they can weather the storm, and then O'care will become entrenched like those other programs.

    You and I know they're morons for thinking that, and that this will collapse before it becomes entrenched, but they're surrounded by Obama worship, they can't help but look through the rose colored glasses.

    The fact is that they're right about one thing. No amount of political will is going to make O'care go away. It will literally have to collapse, taking a large part of the economy with it, to be killed.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You people have lost your minds. You sound like abused spouses or shell shock victims. Snap the fuck out of it. Obama is Chauncey Gardner and he owes his political success to a cult of personality. These people are not the Nazis. They are morons.

    ^^^^^This^^^^^^

    The defeatism of cosmos is fucking pathetic.

  • Metazoan||

    not just Obama but the entire idea of government run health care is going to take a severe hit.

    If the right plays this correctly (hah), it could even be an example of how government run anything sucks.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Maybe the world really is that crazy.

    Well, that same world was crazy enough to believe that ObamaCare ever had a chance for working.

    American pols, especially Dems but also GOP, have a history of designing unstable welfare programs that fail forward to an escalating welfare state.

    I have some hope that you're right, John, but the world really is crazy when it comes to the prospect of getting free shit.

  • John||

    Well, that same world was crazy enough to believe that ObamaCare ever had a chance for working.

    That is not crazy, that is ignorance. You guys think most Americans are functionally retarded and nuts. No, they just are not dorks like we are and have lives. So they don't pay a lot of attention and don't put a lot of thought into this stuff. They are out drinking beer and screwing and living their lives. So when the media told them this thing would work, they believed them. And when it doesn't work and fails so badly even the media can't hide it, they are going to be angry about it and want to hold the people who sold this fuck up to them responsible.

    I know our political system and media suck. But it doesn't suck quite the way you guys think it does. It sucks because they hide their failures. No one ever knows how bad their fuckups actually are. Well this time, for once, everyone knows how bad it is. They hide get the media to ignore and hide their failures because "failure just means the country will love us more". They hide them because when people start paying attention, they will assess blame.

  • sarcasmic||

    They hide them because when people start paying attention, they will assess blame.

    When have the people ever paid attention? They haven't in the past, and they're certainly not going to start now. The World Series is on.

  • John||

    When have the people ever paid attention?

    When things get so bad that the media can't hide it anymore. People paid attention to Iraq and Katrina didn't they? They paid attention to the Iran hostage crisis didn't they? They paid attention to Obamacare being passed. And they are going to pay attention when they are stuck paying the penaltax or can no longer get insurance or have to pay higher insurance rates.

    Basically you guys are telling me that not only will Democrats never be held accountable for a fuck up, they will actually be rewarded for a fuck up and rewarded even more if the fuck up is really big and epic. Really? I am as cynical as anyone. But things are not quite that simple. If it were, the Dems would already own 70 seats in the Senate and 300 seats in the House and would have held such power for decades.

  • Virginian||

    People paid attention to Iraq and Katrina because the media made it their mission to make people care.

    Make no mistake, the push will be for single payer because the "market solution has failed and now the government needs to step in", and the public being utterly ignorant of economics thanks to the public school system will mix with the lack of an effective opposition party and the Universal Community Provided Health Care Act will pass with razor thin majorities before the Supreme Court rubber stamps it.

    War's over dude.

  • John||

    Virginian,

    All you are saying is that you are smart and everyone else is stupid and can't figure out what you, being smart can. And I would submit that you might want to consider that despite what our mothers' told us, we are not that fucking special. The rest of the world is not retarded. There is a limit to what they will believe.

    I find this whole argument to be so tiresome because it is not really an argument. It is the people on this board sitting around and telling each other how smart they are and how dumb everyone else is and then feeling sorry for themselves.

    It is all very un libertarian. The reason why you should believe in freedom is because you believe that people will ultimately act in their best interests and thus government should not be making decisions for them. Other than just pure selfish interest, I don't see how you can square believing in freedom with thinking most of America is completely idiotic and there is no limit to what they will believe, provided the government or a Prog tells them it is so.

    If I thought that, I would be a liberal. Clearly people that stupid need some kind of government supervision. I don't see how you could think otherwise.

    But I believe in freedom because I don't believe that. And thus, I think that totally fucking up Obamacare is not going to be seen by most people in America as a vindication of the Democratic Party and the Progressive ideology.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    "The rest of the world is not retarded. There is a limit to what they will believe."

    I think I see the problem, John. We don't think people are exceptionally stupid. We just think they're average. Which, on average, they are. And though that average does seem to be improving in a lot of ways, one of history's biggest lessons is that every time we say "Never again" you can make some good money betting that it will happen again and again.

    There are limits to what people will believe, but it's a lot easier to believe something when you already want to believe it. One of the most popular ideas out there is that there's an easy fix to every problem. The internet abounds with ads for these silver bullets - the "do this one thing for fat loss" approach. So when pols roll out their "do this one thing to fix the economy" pitch, the people eat it up.

    And it's not because they're evil or stupid. They're just people. Nobody here is claiming to be above that generally, just in small ways. Most of us are better than average at something.

  • John||

    Kid,

    Sure people want easy solutions. But wanting an easy solution and even believing in such doesn't mean that you will not notice when the proposed solution fails or just want more of it.

    Obama sold Obamacare as a solution. They told the country it was going to make their lives better and it was going to solve the problem of healthcare. Just because people don't pay a lot of attention and want an easy solution doesn't mean they are going to not hold the Progs responsible for the resulting disaster. That is not how it works.

    To put it in terms of your analogy, just because people want easy weight loss solutions, doesn't mean that anyone marketing such will never go out of business. When people buy the pills and they don't work, they don't buy anyone of those pills.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Basically you guys are telling me that not only will Democrats never be held accountable for a fuck up

    For an example of this phenomenon, look at the history of government education. Performance drops, and people clamor for more centralization of funding and authority (school board - state board - federal Dept of Education) in government education. The process has repeated over and over and over again for a century or so.

    And, Democrats -- bad as they are -- are not the only party to blame.

  • John||

    And Cato,

    People don't care that education is bad. All they care about is their kid and many times not even them. What people care about is feeling like they care about education. And spending money accomplishes that. You are giving me an example of something that most people don't care about. No one cares that the inner city schools are horrible. Hell, the people who go to them largely don't care because they don't care about educating their kids. And the people who don't go to them don't really care. They just want to appear to care. Healthcare is a bit different.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Like I wrote earlier, I hope your prediction comes true. However, the free shit brigade is huge, and it is going to love ObamaCare. Who in the free shit brigade is going to care if the premium is $600/mo, if he gets a $500/mo subsidy or even a free pass on Medicaid?

    Heck, as a self-employed geezer too young still for free shit under Medicare, I'm going to benefit from subsidized shit under ObamaCare until it collapses. My 2014 premiums are going to go down significantly with OC and the extent of coverage promised is significantly better than my existing plan. The only problem is that OC is nonsense from an actuarial standpoint. It cannot work unless healthy young men in particular are threatened with imprisonment for failing to work and subsidize everybody else.

  • John||

    Like I wrote earlier, I hope your prediction comes true. However, the free shit brigade is huge, and it is going to love ObamaCare. Who in the free shit brigade is going to care if the premium is $600/mo, if he gets a $500/mo subsidy or even a free pass on Medicaid?

    That is not how it works. First, if you don't want insurance at all and have better things to do with your $100, that is not a good deal. Second, the subsidies are not that high and most people don't get them.

    The problem Cato, is that you have internalized the Prog lie that everyone in this country who doesn't have medical insurance really wants it. That is not true. If this thing gave away medical insurance, then it would attract the free shit brigade. But making people buy insurance, even if it is subsidized is totally different. Poor people get their medical care for free in this country as it is. They just go to the ER and get treatment. Since they are poor anyway, they don't care about another bill they won't pay. They are not going to be happy with anything less than free. And worse still, once they get insurance, they are going to use the fuck out of it and crowd out the middle class. And when that happens, the middle class is going to lose all interest in getting the poor health insurance.

    You people drive me nuts sometimes. Not everything is a square hole. And not every liberal program is like welfare.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I certainly don't think Americans are functionally retarded and nuts. I think that they've been thoroughly indoctrinated by 13+ years of government education and continuously propagandized by the popular media to believe, truly believe against all evidence, in the capacity of goodness in government.

    The craziest opinions I hear are from intelligent people with advanced degrees, not uneducated dunderheads.

    I think what you're predicting, and what I'm certainly hoping for, is a breakdown in a widely popular paradigm that the State can effectively and beneficently serve society in a expansive role beyond that of the night watchman state. I'm just too old to be very optimistic.

  • John||

    Cato,

    They hold those crazy opinions because they have never had to suffer the real world effects of them.

    I mentioned the 56 Khrushchev speech for a reason. He gave that speech to the party members in secret. The average party member still believed then. They had been raised in an environment of conformity and terror you and I cannot imagine. And they had no idea how bad things were. They believed, just like most Americans believe today that most people in prison belong there, that the people who went to Gulags were enemies and that if bad things happened it was because Stalin didn't know about it. And when Khrushchev, the ultimate insider who had been there for the whole thing, got up and said Stalin was a monster, it was devastating. No one believed in the party or the ideology anymore. Sure, it went on for another 35 years out of terror, self interest and inertia, but it was done from that forward because no one believed in it anymore. People either understood how bad Stalin was and thus hated the party for creating him or they didn't believe it and hated the party for blaming him.

    The same thing, in less dramatic terms, is going to happen to the progs post Obama, assuming Obamacare fails the way it looks like it will. They can't go on and pretend a disaster this big is really a success. But when they admit it is a failure, they will admit Obama is a failure and put their true believers in the same position Khrushchev put the party members in 1956.

  • sarcasmic||

    The craziest opinions I hear are from intelligent people with advanced degrees, not uneducated dunderheads.

    "Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so."
    --RR

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So when the media told them this thing would work, they believed them. And when it doesn't work and fails so badly even the media can't hide it, they are going to be angry about it and want to hold the people who sold this fuck up to them responsible.

    It's not just going to fail - it's going to fuck over a lot people along the way. This really is our generation's version of forced bussing from the 1970s.

    It's an elitist fantasy programs, which they exempt themselves from, that fucks over people and is instantly hated. But the idiototic elites are going to stick with it and ride it all the way to electoral oblivion. The one major difference is that forced busing was bi-partisan in the beginning and Obamacare isn't.

  • John||

    It's an elitist fantasy programs, which they exempt themselves from, that fucks over people and is instantly hated. But the idiototic elites are going to stick with it and ride it all the way to electoral oblivion. The one major difference is that forced busing was bi-partisan in the beginning and Obamacare isn't.

    That is a great analogy. And they are going to ride this to their doom.

  • CatoTheElder||

    After ObamaCare collapses, the insurance companies will be happy to exit the health insurance business.

    There's still plenty of money to be made off of government contracts to administer a single-payer system.

  • sarcasmic||

    Would the insurance companies allow single payer to happen?

    By the time the government is done micromanaging how they run their affairs and running their companies into the ground, they'll welcome it.

  • Raston Bot||

    It will require a Great Leap Forward and nationalization of the health insurance companies.

    Our countrymen are 100% capable of such a monstrous fuckup.

  • ||

    I'm just wondering because the insurance companies wrote the current law, so obviously they have a crapton of money floating around Congress and the Executive Branch. Enacting single payer will require the insurance companies to let go the "investments" they have made in the political system. I don't think they'll let single payer happen. No matter how fucked up their businesses become, they still have the ears and balls of the government, which is a great situation to be in.

  • Rasilio||

    Insurance companies wouldn't be the problem. Doctors, Hospitals, Diagnostic centers, etc. would.

    Health Insurance companies would in theory just be driven out of business by the new government health plan so their opinions wouldn't really matter. Medical providers however would be required to accept reimbursement from the government on the governments terms, likely exclusively. This would essentially result in government assuming ownership of their practices which would represent a forcible taking which even as screwed up as it is I can't see the Supreme Court allowing to go unreimbursed. Where exactly is the government going to get the money to "buy" every Doctor, Lab, and Hospital out before they even implement single payer?

  • R C Dean||

    What kind of payoff would they expect in order to let their Congress creatures pass single payer?

    They are going to have to be bailed out, so there's room for a deal, here. I could see a multi-billion check to clear their liabilities, together with a nice fat contract to administer FedHealth (like they do now with Medicare), buying their acquiescence.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Failure will be blamed on what's left of the free market, and will be used to bring on single payer. You watch.

    There's a reason why Obama suddenly changed the name of the Obamacare Exchanges to Marketplaces. It's to further the lie that our health insurance system has anything at all to do with a free market.

  • John||

    Again, the Democrats and the Progs I know sure seem to want this thing to succeed. Why are they not euphoric at the thought of it failing? It failing is just going to ensure they are in power forever right? Why aren't they happy about this? It seems to me that if what you are saying is true, Obamacare failing is going to cause even the Red states to finally give up on the market and vote Dem. We should have 60 D votes in the Senate and a big D majority in the House come 2015. This is finally going to be when the people realize how the market and the Republicans are hopeless and only the Dems can lead the way. Right?

    Seriously, isn't that how it should play out?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "the first gentry academia political activist"

    What was Wilson, chopped liver?

  • John||

    Yes. Wilson is old and he was so awful he got written out of the party history. So the Progs today don't view him as one of them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But, but...his vision for world peace was blocked by republicans!

  • Gbob||

    I dunno. I've heard progs who still go on about Wilson. You can bring up his KKK ties, and they still stand by him.

  • John||

    Some of the dorky ones do. But your average prog voter has no idea who Wilson was.

  • tarran||

    They now exactly who Wilson was! He was the guy who invented the volleyball that kept Tom Hanks sane on the desert island.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Nicely done.

  • Gbob||

    Presidents always look better with a bit of distance. Hell, I catch myself thinking every now and then that Bush didn't seem so bad (it may just be a matter of in comparison to the current president.) The only exception in modern times have been Carter and Nixon.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He will always be the first gentry academia political activist President.

    Second, Woodrow Wilson was the first.

  • Juice||

    Dammit. I was about to say that, but I had to scroll down through a hundred fucking comments before I felt safe doing so.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Bullseye.

    Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

    I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group -- I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

    So Lucy's enjoying her GYPSY life, and she's very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:

    Lucy's kind of unhappy.

    To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:

    HAPPINESS=REALITY-EXPECTATIONS

    It's pretty straightforward -- when the reality of someone's life is better than they had expected, they're happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they're unhappy.

    Grow the fuck up and stop expecting that wealth and success be delivered on a silver platter by the time you're 27.

  • waffles||

    No. When reality turns out worse than expectations I don't change my expectations. I change my reality.

  • ||

    I thought we weren't supposed to talk about Lucy.

  • Brett L||

    From about 75 AD:
    Remember then that if you think the things which are by nature slavish to be free, and the things which are in the power of others to be your own, you will be hindered, you will lament, you will be disturbed, you will blame both gods and men: but if you think that only which is your own to be your own, and if you think that what is another's, as it really is, belongs to another, no man will ever compel you, no man will hinder you, you will never blame any man, you will accuse no man, you will do nothing involuntarily (against your will), no man will harm you, you will have no enemy, for you will not suffer any harm.
    --Epictetus, Enchiridion

  • CatoTheElder||

    Along the same lines, from 5th Century BCE:

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.

    Of course, envy is an extremely powerful emotion and serves as the central organizing feature of the modern welfare state.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah, I like this one because it says, boiled down, that if you try to control that which is beyond your control, you'll end up unhappy. To leave to fate what is fate, and to work hard on conforming yourself, your desires, acts, and aversions, to the small sliver of the world you control if you wish to be happy is important.

    And Epictetus is very clear that some people might want fame or money or influence more than happiness, and they will have to contend with fate.

  • John||

    The Progs have destroyed the economy and the future for a lot of young people. So now they will explain to young people how the whole thing is just the result of bad luck and they are only unhappy with their crappy lives filled with debt and low paying or no paying jobs because they have unrealistic expectations.

  • ||

    In other words, France.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The problem with that narrative is that the progs are also the source of the unrealistic expectations.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Attorney General Luther Strange and Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), which is being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in their continuing challenge to the Obamacare HHS mandate that would require not-for-profit religious organizations to include contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in employees’ health insurance plans.

    "...In addition to ETWN’s religious rights, the mandate violates the laws of the State of Alabama and the rights of its citizens, the lawsuit asserts. “The State of Alabama has a sovereign prerogative to regulate its insurance market in accordance with its own law and policy, without being contradicted by unlawful federal regulations.”"

    http://www.religiousliberties......013/ag.asp

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not sure if this has been posted yet or not. NY Times cheerleading for higher inflation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10.....d=all&_r=0

  • Outlaw||

    Inflation is good, comrade. It means everyone can be millionaires!

  • Fluffy||

    Guys, ask yourself this:

    You just took the oath of office ten minutes ago. It's your first day in office as President of the United States.

    Now you have to go to work.

    What's the first thing you do? The very first thing?

    I'd spend the first fucking month getting briefed on...well, everything.

    And meeting with the inspectors general from every department. Every last one.

    Obama can't be this incurious. He CAN'T be.

    I thought "governing" was what the fucking progs WANTED to do. I thought the wonk shit turned them on. Five years in, you still have no clue what's happening in any department? I don't get it.

  • Metazoan||

    I thought "governing" was what the fucking progs WANTED to do. I thought the wonk shit turned them on. Five years in, you still have no clue what's happening in any department? I don't get it.

    I think most progs do want that. And if you're a government prog bureautard, then Obama has pretty much given you what you want (expanded authority without supervision).

  • CatoTheElder||

    Obama's talents and experience are in community organizing, which is just agitating aggrieved parties to harass and shake down privileged elites. Success in achieving the objectives of Obama's community organizing were always expressed in terms of "we win; you lose".

    His talents and experience were very useful and effectively employed in his campaign. But they of little use to an executive charged with running a complex enterprise whose success requires cooperation of competing interests.

  • BigT||

    + 1 million parasite march

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He admitted in one of his books that his community organizing failed at improving the community. As did his education reform efforts for Annennberg.

  • Floridian||

    My thought was to get the veto stamp ready for action. No more laws damn it.

  • Spoonman.||

    Their entire philosophy is that a hand-wave by the government can alter reality and human nature. They think platitudes like "national healthcare" have real meanings that all reasonable people can agree on.

    They really do think that the reason the VA sucks is that it is underfunded.

  • ||

    Their entire philosophy is that a hand-wave by the government can alter reality and human nature.

    This. I'm astounded at this aspect of progressivism every day.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's straight up mysticism from the reality based community.

  • Raston Bot||

    Resign in protest.

  • John||

    No shit. The first thing I would want to know is all of the cool shit the Intel community is doing and what kind of "wow" information I am now going to have available to me.

    Obama met with these leaders over and over again. And he never asked "hey are we running any intel on these guys? Can you tell me what Merkel or Sarkozy are saying privately about this stuff before I meet with them"? How can you not know that the NSA is listening to the phone calls of the people you are meeting and negotiating with?

    He just doesn't give a fuck about doing his job.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Equally likely, and not at all contradictory: He just doesn't give a fuck about telling the truth.

  • John||

    Honestly, I hope he is just lying here. Every politician lies. That is no big deal. But if he really is so stupid and out of touch he didn't know this, that is a big problem and much worse than him just him lying and trying to dodge responsibility.

  • Steve G||

    This sh!t fascinates me. As the proud renter of a TS clearance, I have to get investigated/reinvestigated routinely and even a bounced check results in a long discussion and potential denial, let alone drug use. ...but, if I get elected to office, suddenly my position automatically gives me access no matter what's in my background. Calls the whole system into question.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    The very first thing I'd do is to suspend any operations that don't have a direct customer interface (keep passport control; put sting operations on hold). Then I'd spend the next month adjudicating them for reinstatement or termination.

  • BigT||

    What's the first thing you do? The very first thing?

    "Where's the white women at!"

    Pelosi enters the room.

    New Prez seen running down the hall, later found hanging from a chandelier.

    /sarc

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Obama can't be this incurious. He CAN'T be

    Why not?

    Winning a popularity contest doesn't automatically mean that you give a shit about anyone or anything else.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    NY Times cheerleading for higher inflation.

    Or, as we like to call it, "today".

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What's the first thing you do? The very first thing?

    Initiate Wing Attack Plan R.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    For great justice, take off every zig!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Just got my letter on next year's health insurance cost. Up 25%. Thanks, ObamaCare! (IT WOULDA BEEN WORSE!)

  • tarran||

  • SugarFree||

    Quit working at Home Depot, Christfag!

  • John||

    And you are blaming it on the market and the Republicans right?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's those god damn greedy (and racist) corporations.

  • Juice||

    You lucky bastard.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I thought "governing" was what the fucking progs WANTED to do.

    "Governing" is boring. Swanning around the globe on Air Force One backslapping the High and Mighty is where it's at.

  • R C Dean||

    Governing is so, labor-intensive.

    Ruling is better.

    Reigning is best.

    Obama reigns. Jarrett and his cronies rule.

    Apparently, nobody is really governing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Up 25%. Thanks, ObamaCare! (IT WOULDA BEEN WORSE!)

    All hail the Great and Powerful 0, who hast slain the horrid beast of laissez faire cowboy capitalism insurance kkkorporationistas!

  • Sevo||

    "US officials [...]claim the White House was unaware of it before then."

    So on top of being an obvious liar, he's incompetent. Not sure that's reassuring; who has the 'briefcase'?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They think platitudes like "national healthcare" FAIRNESS have real meanings that all reasonable people can agree on.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Hey, hey, let's be fair. Obama is far too busy supervising the Obamacare code monkeys to keep up on who is spying on who. Cut the man some slack, he's right there in the trenches, running on Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and four hours of sleep a night.

  • Outlaw||

    Code monkeys? RAAAAAAAAAACIST!

  • Brett L||

    What do you have against Asians, East or West?

  • ||

    Should I be worried that Vermont currently has more snow than Park City? And that Killington is open (at least temporarily), while Deer Valley and Park City are at least 3 weeks out (and even that's iffy given the forecast)?

  • Bobarian||

    Definitely signs of AGW.

    Stop burning gas in your selfish SUV, you baby-killer!

  • ||

    Fuck AGW. I just want snow in UT by early February!

  • R C Dean||

    Should I be worried

    Not unless you have a business in Deer Valley or Park City.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fuck AGW. I just want snow in UT by early February!

    I don't know about Utah, but I have had at least a foot and a half of snow (which has all melted) at my house, so far. Today's highly touted blizzard! conditions have not proved as terrifying as some people wanted me to believe, but there's still plenty of time to lay down a thick blanket of snow for the trick-or-treaters.

    I don't think you need to start panicking yet.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    The rest of the world is not retarded.


    Citation needed.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement