NSA Finds Way to Bypass FISC Overseas, Putin Pushes Obama Aside in Power Rankings, Arpaio Wants Drones: P.M. Links

  • Definitely more horsepower, anywayEdward Snowden’s latest document drop reveals that the National Security Agency has managed to break into communications systems for Google and Yahoo overseas, which allows them to engage in surveillance, both foreign and domestic, outside the purview of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
  • Forbes has pushed American President Barack Obama aside in its list of most powerful people in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi is having her staff get insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, but Sen. Harry Reid is not.
  • A woman in Fargo, N.D., says she’s going to give letters to trick-or-treaters she deems obese rather than candy. Keep an eye out for news reports about terrible things happening to this one house in Fargo, N.D., Thursday night.
  • Social Security benefits will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the smallest increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.
  • Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to use asset forfeiture money to buy drones to catch more drug-traffickers to get more asset forfeiture money.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Forbes has pushed American President Barack Obama aside in its list of most powerful people in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    I bet he doesn't have to lie to get comprehensive legislation passed.

  • Tonio||

    And he's back on top.

  • Sudden||

    He is my cowgirl missionary.

  • ||

    I'm surprised this is just happening now.

  • Tonio||

    You really thought Serious would permanently displace Fist? Unpossible.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I think he's talking about Putin supplant Obama, but yeah, I'm but a mere pretender.

  • Tonio||

    I was making a little joke...

  • Ted S.||

    Very little.

  • grrizzly||

    Nope, a bare-chested pic of Putin won't distract Tonio from what really matters: whether Fist is on top.

  • Tonio||

    ;-)

  • Brett L||

    They thought Obama was dreamy until the got a look at what Vlad's boot could do to a face.

  • PD Scott||

    Other than the glittery pic of him on the unicorn, have we ever seen Obama on horseback?

    He must not allow an equine gap.

  • Tonio||

    +1 Gen. Turgidson

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, we've seen him on the bike with the helmet and mom jeans. Does that count?

  • fish||

    WELL SOMETHING GOT HIM BUMPED OUT OF THE TOP SPOT!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Forbes has pushed American President Barack Obama aside in its list of most powerful people in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Should we send Rocky Balboa back to Russia?

  • Tonio||

    So close.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I'm must break you (ie Fist).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Come at me bro.

  • Slammer||

    Stand Your Ground!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Social Security benefits will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the smallest increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

    I'm going to have to get a cane made of something harder than ivory to beat away the hoards of hungry old people that will no doubt be flooding the streets.

  • Zeb||

    I'd stick with ivory. It has the toughness and stiffness you need and is quite hard enough without being brittle.

  • Jordan||

    Nah, go with polished orphan bones.

  • Zeb||

    I actually do own an ivory cane and it is amazingly strong and flexible. I have much less experience with orphan bones. I usually just grind mine up for fertilizer.

  • Almanian!||

    I leave the ivory for the ornamentation on my bagpipes.

    For my canes, I prefer birch...

  • Zeb||

    Birch? At least go for Italian briar.

  • Almanian!||

    Fuck off, slaver!!!

    *waves BIRCH cane wildly while walking away, briskly*

  • ||

    Birch? Please.

  • Almanian!||

    + fuck me that was funny!

  • Sudden||

    plus, the blood will leave a slight staining on the ivory that will serve to further intimidate the uppity elderly and save you some efforts over the long haul.

  • Bobarian||

    The trick is to use ivory from a narwhale tusk, it tends to have less micro-fractures, and works well for beating the servants.

    Nothing more embarrassing than breaking your rod of discipline... or your cane.

  • Hopfiend||

    Stainless steel is simple, but classy.

  • KPres||

    Just use your factory boys as a human shield.

  • Almanian!||

    * jots down in journal under heading, "Excellent Ideas To Try"*

  • Rich||

    outside the purview of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    Inconceivable!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    And the Grand Jury Prize For Most Superficial Analysis This Week of ObamaCare, Employee Compensation, and Rising Health Care Costs Goes To…

    We've been seeing this all along. For the past year or so, Obamacare has been the perfect foil for every corporation in America that's done something unpopular with its benefits package. In the past, they were forced to vaguely blame their handiwork on "rising prices" and leave it at that, but now they have something better. Cutting back on benefits? Obamacare! Raising copays? Obamacare! Reducing hours? Obamacare! Whatever it is, all they have to do is say that it's a response to Obamacare. CEOs and HR directors across the country are pleased as punch that for at least a little while, they can plausibly deflect criticism for things they were probably planning to do anyway. It's been a godsend.

    [Cont.]

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    With Honorable Mention for Excellence In Snubbing the Lumpenproletariat For Rejecting the Revolutionary Truth:

    But deceptive or not, Pollack is right that it's a real phenomenon and that workers will often believe what their bosses tell them. There's not a lot liberals can do about this when it comes to smallish companies—other than relentlessly highlighting the truth and pointing to positive experiences around the country—but in the case of large corporations I hope liberals are able to make it clear that it's a bad PR decision to badmouth Obamacare. The Fortune 5000 folks don't have to be Obamacare boosters, but we should expect them to at least remain neutral. If they're on the side of the tea partiers, they should know that there's a PR price to be paid.

    Bonus Points for Horribly Wrong Prediction of ObamaCare Rollout:

    In a few days people are going to start finding out what premiums will be like on the exchanges, and he figures they're mostly going to have positive experiences.

    As John and I have been saying, progressives who think they'll simply be sell this line to the benefit of single payer will find themselves surprised by events.

  • ||

    but in the case of large corporations I hope liberals are able to make it clear that it's a bad PR decision to badmouth Obamacare.

    They had better be careful what businesses they target and how they go about it, lest they unwittingly begin another Chic-fil-A sales-a-thon type windfall for their political enemies.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "There's not a lot liberals can do about this when it comes to smallish companies..."

    Which is why liberals are uncomfortable with small businesses. It is damn difficult to demonize management as the worker's class enemies when the employees know the corporate officers personally.

  • CE||

    Cutting the FSA spending account limit in half came directly from ObamaCare.

  • John||

    Perhaps shoving the bill down the country's throat and effectively owning health care in this country wasn't such a good idea. Sucks to be you.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A woman in Fargo, N.D., says she’s going to give letters to trick-or-treaters she deems obese rather than candy.

    Those letters will be mockups of insurance policy cancellations.

  • Rich||

    Beautiful.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    What does Fist give trick-or-treaters?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He actually lives about a half mile behind a locked gate. Any tricksters who successfully make it back my dark and winding lane get the deed to the property.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I will infiltrate the Fist compound, but I want a Snickers. You can keep your deed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The joke's on you. There's a Snickers factory on the property.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I only want one. I don't want my wife to receive letters about how fat I have gotten.

    *Sobs, pulls out a candy bar to eat*

  • Almanian!||

    *stuffs letter into Cert's bag*

  • General Butt Naked||

    He runs out from behind the bushes and yells, "FIRST!" before the kids can knock on the door.

  • CE||

    With a better costume, to boot.

  • PD Scott||

    Fist goes to their homes, rings their door bells and gives them candy. None of this waiting around BS for him.

  • Sudden||

    He's too busy finishing his Christmas shopping before everyone else.... for 2014.

  • fish||

    What does Fist give trick-or-treaters?

    Depends on who get there first.

  • CE||

    If she actually deems some of them candy she will be in much bigger trouble.

  • Rich||

    Nice catch.

  • Tonio||

    Oh, this is going to be delicious. I'm truly sorry for all the kids whose holiday will be wrecked by this witch. But I suspect that she'll receive epic paybacks for a long time to come.

  • Ted S.||

    They're going to come back and TP her house, or worse.

  • Rich||

    Nah, those fat fucks would be too winded at that point.

  • Almanian!||

    nice

  • Sevo||

    "Those letters will be mockups of insurance policy cancellations."

    Those are NOT "cancellations"! They are merely transition documents to the insurance policy you should have had if you were smart enough to know that, dummy.

  • Mickey Rat||

    She's not quite grasping the concept of TRICK-or-treater, is she?

    Have fun with all the eggs!

  • CE||

    Forbes has pushed American President Barack Obama aside in its list of most powerful people in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Have you seen the guns on that guy? He could break Obummer like a twig. Let's hope the upcoming war with Eastasia doesn't come down to single combat between our leaders.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Forbes is only saying that because they're afraid Putin will kill them and their families.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Paul Krugman, brings teh funny:

    Has anyone else noticed how much the GOP position on Obamacare resembles the classic borscht belt joke about the two ladies at a Catskills resort? Lady #1: “The food here is so terrible, it’s inedible!” Lady #2: “And the portions are so small!” Republican #1: “Obamacare is slavery!” Republican #2: “And it’s so hard to sign up!”

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Except if you don't sign up you get punished. That's the thing these jokers are forgetting.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Isn't that joke supposed to be antisemitic?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Not when you are in the tribe.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Liberals by definition hate themselves.

  • Killazontherun||

    Everything is anti-Semitic, except the intent of some things are more veiled than others.

  • ||

    WTF is the Catskills resort, and when did it get a running joke? What the fuck kind of people are famliar with this "joke" that he feels so sure he can just casually reference it?

    Oh right, NYT readers who probably don't know they first thing about comedy, and always (ALWAYS) laugh politely at the jokes other people tell at galas.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Yeah I didn't get it, so I googled it to make sure he wasn't completely full of shit.

  • Bobarian||

    But google would only confirm that he is 110% full of shit.

  • PD Scott||

    Wow, y'all haven't heard that joke before?

  • KDN||

    The Catskills are upstate NY's Appalachia, and a place where middle class New Yorkers, especially Jews, used to go on vacation (my mom's family used to go to the annual picklemaker convention).

    In short, it's a cheap countryside retreat filled with whiny Jews, and this joke lampoons them.

  • Sevo||

    I'll be here all week.

  • Restoras||

    Key phrase is "used to go". The old resorts are deserted or gone. Now they all go to the Hamptons or Jersey Shore.

    Thankfully the golf courses were left intact. Grossingers is fantastic and The Monster at Concorde is, well, a monster.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What the fuck kind of people are famliar with this "joke" that he feels so sure he can just casually reference it?

    Really, dude? I have a feeling you're a Dane Cook guy.

  • Paul.||

    Information, like the rest of us, wants a home in the Hamptons.

    Now ask me what the fuck the Hamptons are. Probably some place where people on the east coast "ski".

  • Mickey Rat||

    "WTF is the Catskills resort,..."

    Study "Dirty Dancing", the answers to most of your questions will be revealed.

  • GILMORE||

    For the record, that's a Woody Allen joke.

  • ||

    Well his readers seem to know and love the joke. Personally, it's an epic fail.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Slate: Don't take business advice from Atlas Shrugged

    Favoring the gold standard

    "Atlas Shrugged" is particularly popular among people, including some politicians, who object to the way monetary policy is currently conducted and favor a return to the gold standard or "hard money." They often point to one passage in particular—copper titan Francisco D'Anconia's famous "money" speech.
    [...]
    The idea that the gold standard is more stable or objective is wrong. It's actually quite unstable and was definitely bad for business. The current actions of the Federal Reserve, many of them only possible in the absence of the gold standard, helped save the country from economic collapse and support the economy as it continues to grow.
    [...]
    Viewing the government as a pure antagonist

    Government, as portrayed in "Atlas Shrugged," is a caricature, existing pretty much exclusively to demonize and take from more successful people. But the foundation of any business' success is infrastructure, property laws, and particularly intellectual property laws. Government provides all of that and a whole lot more. Businesspeople might be irritated by some of what government does, but they'd be a lot worse off without it.

    Pay no attention to the people in government today.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Has Slate ever turned a profit?

  • KPres||

    Government, as portrayed in "Atlas Shrugged," is a caricature, existing pretty much exclusively to demonize and take from more successful people. But the foundation of any business' success is infrastructure, property laws, and particularly intellectual property laws. Government provides all of that and a whole lot more. Businesspeople might be irritated by some of what government does, but they'd be a lot worse off without it.

    Isn't that pretty much exactly what Ayn Rand thought government should be limited to? Meaning buisinesspeople should take advice from Atlas Shrugged.

  • Doctor Whom||

    No, no, no, you silly billy, there are rules about these things. When badmouthing Ayn Rand, you must never quote what she actually said. Instead, you must set up a straw man.

  • fish||

    So when did Cass Sunstein start writing for Slate?

  • hotsy totsy||

    God forbid they actually READ Atlas Shrugged or anything else Ayn Rand wrote.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Government, as portrayed in "Atlas Shrugged," is a caricature, existing pretty much exclusively to demonize and take from more successful people.

    You didn't build that. Pay more taxes.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Government, as portrayed in "Atlas Shrugged," is a caricature...

    I used to think that, too. But since sometime in Bush's first term, not so much.

    Now, the Obama Administration seems more like a caricature of Atlas Shrugged.

  • Brett L||

    Every Capt. Kirk has to start somewhere.

    Captain James Kirk, the prospective commanding officer of USS Zumwalt, will lead the 610-foot vessel, the Navy's largest destroyer and first of three new Zumwalt-class ships "designed for littoral operations and land attack," the Navy said.

  • CE||

    Maybe he'll command the Enterprise eventually.

  • PD Scott||

    Whenever the next one is built. The current Enterprise is in the process of being decommissioned.

  • Almanian!||

    Well-earned rest, after the way she performed at Midway....

    *walks away in fog*

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, the good old NX-01.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    What's the Earth equivalent of green-skinned Orion girls?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In my experience, Filipinas.

  • Almanian!||

    I was thinking "Russians doing the krokdil..."

  • JW||

    "designed for littoral operations and land attack," the Navy said.

    They dropped a 'c' there, as any James Kirk of any worth would be operating on.

  • SugarFree||

    "designed for littoral operations and land attack," the Ncavy said.

    WTF? That doesn't even make any goddamn sense, JW. You're a moron.

  • JW||

    Look, just because you never learned the language of true passion, Esperanto, don't take it out on the rest of us.

  • SugarFree||

    No one likes you. Go away.

  • JW||

    ::runs from blog, sobbing, plotting bloody revenge::

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi is having her staff get insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, but Sen. Harry Reid is not.

    One is flipping the bird to the country, the other to staff.

  • Tonio||

    It will be interesting if any of her staff quit over this and tell tales. Of course, that would end their careers in govt, but sometimes tipping points are reached.

    Also, don't know if they can be forced to sign non-disclosure agreements.

  • Ted S.||

    There was that staffer for a Representative from Illinois (I think) who bitched about seeing her premiums jump.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wasn't that a former staffer, to a congressfuck who lost his seat in the mid-term Obamacare slaughter?

  • Swiss Servator, Burn Böögg!||

    Yeah, Sue Klinkhamer - she continues to haunt my county's political scene - losing a county Chairman's election, etc.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I doubt this is a real sacrifice on her or her staff's part. We'll find out later somehow they're being compensated.

  • Sudden||

    She's still trying to find out what's in it...

  • Derpetologist||

    Would America be better off as a monarchy?

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c.....archy.html

    Stochastocracy: A new form of government

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c.....ms-of.html

  • Bam!||

    Depends who the king is.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Well, at least there is the probability of a good king or an indifferent king is greater than zero.

  • hotsy totsy||

    King stay the king!

  • CE||

    I prefer multarchy. Everyone gets to decide which government to join, and it sets your taxes and regulations, and multiple governments coexist in the same geographical area, sort of like insurance companies or credit card companies do now.

    We'll have a website where you sign up, and.... oh wait.

  • Derpetologist||

    The Thane system of medieval Iceland was sort of like that. Thanes would go around offering protection services. Guys who had a reputation for protecting people and serving justice got more customers.

  • ||

    I'm a strong supporter of the Thane system.

  • Bam!||

    3. Monarchs usually manage their kingdoms prudently. They do so because people are careful with things they own. In contrast, most politicians steal as much as they can and do whatever it takes to get re-elected- regardless of how foolish it might be.
    ...
    7. Heirs to the throne are groomed carefully so as to be better leaders.

    Since when?

    8. When monarchs are crazy or incompetent, they often leave interesting buildings behind. When was the last time a politician built a pyramid?

    Just wait until you see Obama's monument.

  • Derpetologist||

    Hapsburg, Bourbon, & Romanov dynasties?

    They wouldn't have lasted centuries unless the rulers were somewhat competent.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    All 3 were eventually led by inbred, gibbering idiots. It was good to be the power behind the throne.

  • PD Scott||

    Just ask Valerie Jarrett.

  • Tonio||

    Monument - I hadn't thought of that but I'm sure people will be pushing for that. I won't be around for that, but you kids have fun paying for it.

  • Killazontherun||

    Put his visage on the side of Rushmore not to honor him, but so people never forget and the eagles can shit on his face until the End of Days.

  • ||

    At least when the pyramids were built, they were paid for in coin and sweat and that was it.

    Taxpayers are still subsidizing $30-something for every single visitor to the Clinton Birthplace National Park.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....irthplace/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The pyramids were actually paid for in beer.

    Truly a glorious civilization.

  • CE||

    In a monarchy, future rulers are groomed from birth to rule. Some are good and wise and benevolent, while others are corrupt and cruel and seek personal glory and power.

    In a democracy we only get the second kind.

  • Derpetologist||

    My point in a nutshell.

  • PD Scott||

    Sometimes the future rulers who were groomed die before they take the throne, and their younger (and occasionally idiot) brother whom no one had bothered to groom takes the throne instead. Henry VIII is a good example.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Sometimes this is not a bad thing. "Grooming" often entailed education towards points of view favorable to entrenched interests; many reforming monarchs were often younger brothers or otherwise not educated in line with grooming for the position (Peter the Great, for example).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Indeed. With monarchy, there is a chance that a ruler will be good, and the monarch has strong incentives to secure and stabilize what he/she has to pass on to their progeny.

    Not so with a democracy.

  • Bam!||

    Hmm... Point.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "... most politicians steal as much as they can and do whatever it takes to get re-elected..."

    Henry VIII says differently.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Austria-Hungary and Brandenberg-Prussia-Germany were ushered into variants of liberal capitalism with some finesse by their monarchs. Victorian UK, while not strongly monarchistic, still had monarchs with some powers and managed quite well -- ditto Japan. It is worth noting that the successor republics to these Germanic monarchies fared quite poorly, both in terms of stability and in their move towards dictatorship (usually of a fascist or communist variety).

    Monarchy gets a bad rap, but it is not provably worse than democracy in terms of outcomes. It's certainly better than arbitrary dictatorship.

    That said, I don't think that monarchy in a system and culture that is not pre-disposed towards it will fare all that well compared to other systems. Of the systems that have existed, localized republicanism without universal suffrage seem to have delivered the best outcomes, IMO.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Social Security benefits will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the smallest increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

    This during the greatest expansion of the money supply in the history of the country.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I guess Paul Krugman is angling for Baghdad Bob’s old job or something…

    This morning I talked to someone who successfully signed up for Obamacare — with great difficulty, but she did succeed in the end. Since New Jersey is one of the states that defaulted to a fed-run exchange, this shows that people are starting to trickle through. I know, one example — but the plural of anecdote is data.

    Oh, and she was very happy with the low cost.

    Obviously they messed up the programming big time, which is kind of a shock. But this will get fixed, and Republicans believing that they’re going to be able to run against the program a year from now are going to do about as well as they did in believing that they could use a shutdown to defund the program.
  • Invisible Finger||

    but the plural of anecdote is data.

    The actual phrase is "the plural of anecdote is NOT data".

  • CE||

    Data is the plural of datum.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Well I'm just one datum, and so far Healthcare.gov has told me that it is impossible to sign up until some bureaucrat in London, Kentucky decides that I am who I say I am.

    Ninety separate log-in attempts and four weeks, still no response.

    I mailed a copy of identification documents to the address Healthcare.gov gave me two weeks ago, and still await reply.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah, he keeps saying that, and it is completely, utterly wrong.

  • Zeb||

    I'm sure Krugman is actually a smart guy and once did something interesting in economics. But I can't for the life of me see how anyone takes any of the shit he writes in the Times seriously.
    I almost want to think that he knows exactly how ridiculous some of the shit he writes is and just gets off on all the people who gobble it up and act like he is involved in serious debate.

  • Derpetologist||

    One of the easiest ways to make money is to tell people what they want to hear. Think of people like Marcotte, Coulter, Yglesias, Hannity, etc.

    Can you think of a single memorable line any of them has written? To call them mediocre would be lavish praise. They're literary prostitutes.

  • fish||

    Krugman was probably identified early on as a greasy little climber who would tout the approved line at very low cost. Staple one horribly misnamed "economics prize" to his resume and he becomes the go to shill for big gov/big bank.

    As near as I can tell he's stayed bought.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Maybe Krugman is doing a long-running Sokal Hoax?

    I doubt it, but it sounds like something an Enron consultant would try to pull off.

  • ||

    Zeb, did you read the comments? He has fans.

  • BladeDoc||

    Actually this maybe the only thing Krugnuts is ever right about. The original quote stands. http://blog.revolutionanalytic.....r-all.html

  • Brett L||

    Man this Obamacare thing is going so well that Democrats are just loving it.

    Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats.

  • Slammer||

    Why would she propose something that Obummer already said would happen?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Can I keep my existing non-coverage?

  • PD Scott||

    That's "fine" with the IRS.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Someone is up for re-election.

  • Rich||

    “The promise was made, and it should be kept,” Landrieu said in the Capitol Wednesday.

    "The oath to 'support and defend the Constitution' is not be be taken lightly."

  • ||

    Social Security benefits will increase by 1.5 percent next year, the smallest increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

    Time to buy stock in cat food companies

  • CE||

    I'm just hoarding the actual cans of catfood....

  • Rich||

    A Fargo, N.D., woman says she will give trick-or-treaters that she deems "moderately obese" a letter instead of candy this Halloween.

    She will smother "extremely obese" trick-or-treaters in condensed mushroom soup and serve them as hot dish.

  • ||

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi is having her staff get insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, but Sen. Harry Reid is not.

    Gotta give her credit, she is damn determined to find out what exactly is in it.

  • Rich||

    LOL

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The New Republic asks: Why Aren't There More Female Libertarians?

    "Forty-nine percent of women making $25,000 or more believe homeless is not outside the realm of possibility for them—and 27 percent of women earning over $200,000 a year carry the same anxiety. The study didn’t poll men, but I’d hazard a guess that their responses wouldn’t suggest the same level of self-doubt.

    "It takes a very particular person to ignore the risks that come with absolute freedom, and that particular person is usually a white male....

    "Then again, maybe it’s not all bad that many women—and many men, too—admit the capriciousness of fortune that can, in fact, turn breadwinners into bag ladies. In Hobbes’s thought experiment, people cotton on to this pretty quickly: They realize they can’t all be winners, and most will be losers, and they make a social contract. In the past few decades, we’ve taken it a little further and, to the libertarians’ chagrin, made a social safety net. It’s to women’s credit that most of them are not in favor of throwing it away."

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....bertarians

  • CE||

    The New Republic asks: Why Aren't There More Female Libertarians?

    Newbies.

  • ||

    Did anyone else's eyes slide over that last paragraph without gleaning anything meaningful?

  • Brett L||

    Pretty much.

  • SugarFree||

    I think that in their hilarious desperation to discredit libertarianism, most of the progressive columnists are falling into the memetic fallacy. They hope to triggering hysterical outrage so badly, they are writing in a way that the already hysterically outraged mind thinks--the focus on familiar touchstones of hatred, the obsessive circling back to subject, the bitterest cynicism grotesquely masquerading as humor--rather than presenting an actual argument. Not only are they preaching to the choir, they are also assuming the choir members have all been recently bashed in the head with a hammer.

  • Tonio||

    No, it's useful intel about how they think. What really jumped out at me is the statement "most will be losers."

    Most will be successful to some degree, a few very much so and an equal few not so much.

  • Brett L||

    Some of it is their world-view. For many of the "in" set, Ivy League educated people who have gone on to be the intelligentsia, your resume is determined by 17, maybe 22 at the outside.

    So most people they know succeeded or failed before they walked across the stage at their highschool graduation. Whereas, in the real world, the wheel of fortune turns and many people who "fail" learn while doing so.

  • Almanian!||

    this, so much ^^

  • Tejicano||

    I remember a story about a guy named Sanders who tried and failed at a number of business ventures over his lifetime. In the end, when he thought he had reached the end, he finally tried the fried chicken franchise idea he'd had all along.

  • Long Range Boredom||

    Also has the implication that their system somehow helps 'the losers' and that said system doesn't produce 'losers' of its own.

  • Mickey Rat||

    People who know themselves to be losers become liberals.

  • CE||

    "It takes a very particular person to ignore the risks that come with absolute freedom, and that particular person is usually a white male....

    But any fool of any race or gender can ignore the risks and lost opportunities that come with fascism and socialism.

  • CE||

    You know who else ignored the risks that came with absolute freedom?

  • Rich||

    Icarus?

  • Almanian!||

    The dude who coined the phrase "Arbeit Macht Frei"?

  • Pathogen||

    THX1138?

  • hotsy totsy||

    Buddha?

  • KPres||

    Patriarchy. Our sexist society pushes women to be submissive and docile, needing somebody to control and dominate them. The result is they become progressives.

  • ||

    The smartest thing anyone earning a large salary does is to living below your means. That means forget the fancy mansion and the luxury cars. Be modest in your materialism and you won't worry and should be able to squirrel away most of your money should the day come the company you work for goes belly-up.

    Just my suggestion.

    But nooooo. We want the snazz and all that jazz.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Salon: Hate and resentment is totally a right-wing thing

    Despite the fact that he’s a registered Republican (or perhaps because of it) few people rival Josh Barro when it comes to pissing off the right. His latest transgression, a rather innocuous tweet stating that public policy can be paternalistic, has got the right-wing Twittersphere more worked up than it’s been since he penned his seminal defense of “derp.” He even got his own piece on Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy, the online equivalent of being designated the subject of the right’s daily two minutes hate.

    I don't think the right has anything remotely equivalent to the left's fixation on the Koch Brothers and Citizens United.

    As Barro pointed out in subsequent tweets, this “don’t tell me what to do!”-style libertarianism, if taken seriously, would have some pretty radical implications. No public education, for one. No regulations on food or consumer goods, for another. Workplace safety? Forget it. Through the lens of this vulgar individualism, any kind of collective action — besides those undertaken by the military, of course — becomes an unbearable infringement on these conservatives’ “liberty,” or as Twitchy puts it, “freedom to choose.”

    I'd be glad our enemies are such morons if they didn't have so many followers.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Through the lens of this vulgar individualism, any kind of collective action — besides those undertaken by the military, of course — becomes an unbearable infringement on these conservatives’ “liberty,” or as Twitchy puts it, “freedom to choose.”

    Man, he's really beating the shit out of that strawman. BEAT HIM HARDER!

  • ||

    I don't think the right has anything remotely equivalent to the left's fixation on the Koch Brothers and Citizens United.

    Don't forget Halliburton or BOOOSHHH!!!1!!

    The right's disdain and constant referencing of Soros and Alinksy come pretty close. Ayers also comes to mind.

    While the right enjoys tying one of those boogeymen to the current lefty du juor, nobody beats the hatred caused by the Kocktopus, that I agree with you on.

  • Killazontherun||

    he penned his seminal defense of “derp.”

    And they, both the guy that penned it and the one praising it, have not even hanged themselves yet. Classic lack of self awareness amongst the proggies on display there.

  • Freedom Frog||

    vulgar individualism

    WTF?

  • trshmnstr||

    Because when government isn't ass raping you, that's when it becomes vulgar

  • ||

    Salon commenters are worse in the ignorant-arrogance than Huff ones.

  • Brett L||

    Could this possibly be real?

    The tiny Caribbean island of Antigua is finally getting some economic revenge on the US, which derailed its booming gambling industry 10 years ago. That's good news for Antiguans, but it could also be very big news for the rest of us—because the country’s long-awaited compensation includes the right to launch a platform that offers open access to copyright-protected TV, movies, books, and software to anyone in the world

  • Rich||

    Apparently Antigua wants to end up like Grenada.

  • ||

    Yes, US were retarded in front of the WTO because GAMBLING AND CHILDRENZ and the WTO gave Antigua a pretty hilarious compensation.

    I can't wait to see what Indonesia gets for the retarded ban on clove cigarettes.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The English Major’s column is once more upon us, its sentences hurtling forward recklessly without regard for human life!

    It’s a brief post that doesn’t mention the blog of the woman—titled I’m In Love With A Serial Cheater—who started this shaming site, but I ended up reading many blog posts from it because, to be frank, the experience of being a woman who has completely absconded any personal dignity and is so devoted to even the most grotesque sexism is really alien to me.

    67 words. Other things alien to Ms. Marcotte: proper punctuation, syntax, and sentence structure.

    But what I didn’t really touch on in the Slate post is the role religion plays in all this.

    Of course. Remember: no matter the subject, it’s always about Amanda and the Angry Right Wing Christian Males.

    But religion is one of the best ways that humanity has ever come up with to bamboozle people out of noticing giant flaws in a system[…]You need to add, “God said so,” at the end of that so that people stifle the obvious questions.

    So if Marcotte added “and God said so” to the end of every article she writes, they would start making sense? If she says so…

  • Brett L||

    "How can people be different from me?!"

    Well, we hate ourselves less. And enjoy things without questioning whether it makes us authentic. At least some of us.

  • Numeromancer||

    ...who has completely absconded any personal dignity...

    Amanda, put that down before you cut yourself!

  • ||

    Bill Maher: President Obama “Lied To People” About Health Insurance

    The late-night host slammed the president for assuring Americans they could keep their health insurance under Obamacare despite knowing that millions would have their plans canceled. CNN host Piers Morgan agreed, “It was a lie, wasn’t it.”

    It's taking for-fucking-ever to load on my computer. Does the video live up to the hype?

    Video

  • Bam!||

    When you lost Bill Maher, you've lost the crazy wing of your own party.

  • tarran||

    No...

    To lose the crazy wing, you need to lose Al Franken.

  • ||

    Maher wasn't lost. That was one vapid video the vaporized my attention in four minutes.

    Morgan and Maher. Middling in mediocrity!

  • Juice||

    The chyron says "This is a massive hidden tax."

    What's hidden about it?

    And the Chief Justice of the United States justified the mandate by calling it a tax.

  • Pathogen||

    "And the Chief Justice Judicial Activist of the United States justified the mandate by calling it a tax exceeded the scope of the case jurisprudence by answering a question that nobody asked."

    FTFY

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Don't be mean to John Roberts.

    He couldn't let the pix of him fucking a goat be released.

  • Pathogen||

    That's probably the only reasonable explanation, sadly enough... The gold metal winning mental gymnastics displayed with reviving a question which was thrashed so completely in the lower courts, that the federal government (who were getting their asses soundly whipped, and were running on pure desperation) didn't even mention it in their defense. Judicial activism was openly shunned in the media, whilst quietly engaged in the SCOTUS chambers...to the nodding approval of the statist wing on the bench... it's just astounding...

  • ||

    Was having dinner at the bar of a restaurant the other evening and two mid-thirties professional-looking women sitting next to me are going on about how Obama is getting such unfair treatment from constantly hostile media and he's trying really hard, etc.

    Good thing it was happy hour.

  • Jordan||

    Do you need a liver transplant now?

  • Invisible Finger||

    You should have approached them and asked what non-profits they work for.

  • ||

    After a lot of wasted time I almost never butt into political conversations with strangers. Hell, it's usually hardly worth it with people I know. Every so often I get dragged into something like the Randy/John/G.E.B. Kivistik scene in Cryptonomicon, though.

    I have discovered an amazing shortcut, however: I merely ask if it's OK if their side does it (sometimes precisely that bluntly) and if the answer is yes--and quite a lot of the time it is--I stop attempting to administer medicine to the dead. Smile, nod, move on.

  • Slammer||

    "Well, Ladies, you know who else tried really hard?"

  • Ted S.||

    I'm naturally hard. I don't need to try.

  • SugarFree||

    Egg-laying filth.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Best laugh I had all day.

  • SugarFree||

    I've been working on some new insults. I got to keep it fresh.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    two mid-thirties professional-looking women sitting next to me are going on about how Obama is getting such unfair treatment from constantly hostile media and he's trying really hard, etc.

    Next time you encounter ladies with such a deep Black guy fetish that is immune to all reason, hook a brotha up, will ya?

  • tarran||

    I thought you liked your penis? Or do you have some clever plan to hide all your wife's knives?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Shit. Forgot about that.

    Nevermind.

  • Juice||

    If you like your penis you get to keep it.

  • Killazontherun||

    Which reminds me, my best find of the day, a Big Indian a Sexy Mulatto, and a gorgeous vocal rendering of a Dylan classic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2C9jzTwSPw

  • ||

    How do people know he's trying really hard? Seriously.

  • Pathogen||

    Because he sez so, you can see it in his eyes...

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He's been working night and day to perfect Obamacare for the last three years - on golf courses all over the world.

  • Rich||

    Pelosi told her entire staff Wednesday morning that they will all have to purchase health insurance through the District of Columbia health exchanges. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is keeping staff in in his leadership office off the exchanges.

    Of course, both staffs told their "bosses" to fuck off or they would leave for more lucrative employment.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I won't subject this thread to two Salon links, but over there Joan Walsh has a piece up decrying the "pernicious myth of Obama incompetence". She's convinced herself that there is a media conspiracy to overblow the IRS, Benghazi, NSA, and Obamacare fuck-ups to make Obama look bad.

    But don't call a movement that requires mass delusions of its adherents a cult!

  • ||

    I wish they were even more cultish. If D.C. went all Jonestown tomorrow I'd pee my pants with giddiness.

  • Pathogen||

    The aftermath would truly be one of those elusive "Shovel-Ready Projects™" we've heard soo much about...

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Little boy walks up behind Pope Francis, confidently sits on pontiff's chair

    Pope Francis was delivering a homily but a little boy stole the show.

    Francis was speaking in St. Peter’s Square about the important role grandparents play when a little boy walked up behind him and confidently climbed up and sat down on the pontiff’s white chair.

    The Vatican says Francis was surrounded by elderly faithful and their grandchildren Saturday night at a rally to encourage family life when the boy came up, wearing a striped shirt, jeans and sneakers.

    Acting like an indulgent grandpa, Francis let the boy explore the area undisturbed before tens of thousands of people. The pope smiled while reading his speech as the boy sat in the empty chair, gazed up at him and even at one point clung to the pontiff’s legs.

    I hope that kid's name isn't Damien...

  • Zeb||

    I couldn't care less about what becomes of the Catholic Church, but I must say, I think I like this new Pope.

  • Agammamon||

    Bad Grampa

  • CE||

    You know who else rode a horse while shirtless?

  • Jordan||

    Please tell me the answer is Kate Upton.

  • SugarFree||

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Too fat - Sarcasmic

  • Jordan||

    Holy shit. Are you a genie?

  • SugarFree||

    I figured you were referencing that. Google around, there are plenty of versions without the stars.

  • CE||

    If it is, I hope there's video.

  • Slammer||

    Henry Brandon?

  • Brett L||

    Lady Godiva?

  • Invisible Finger||

    I didn't know horses wore shirts.

  • Tonio||

    No, "while shirtless" is correct and refers to to the rider.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You're no fun anymore.

  • Ted S.||

    Hedy Lamarr in Ecstasy?

  • fish||

    That's Hedley......

  • Tonio||

    Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes"?

  • CE||

    yup.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Secretariat.

  • CE||

    Many times.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What does Angela Davis know about freedom?

    Tonight, a woman who supported the imprisonment of Soviet political dissidents (calling them common criminals), cheered on the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly the International Stalin Peace Prize) by communist East Germany, will give the Birkbeck-University of London Annual Law Lecture. Her title? ‘Freedom is a Constant Struggle.’
  • ||

    Ragers against the machine, take note: you too can leverage trying to lead a murderous Marxist putsch into a lifelong career in academia and public speaking.

    I wonder if she still claims that Solzhenitsyn is a liar.

  • ||

    Sriracha sauce factory odor causing headaches, burning eyes, city says

    But in Irwindale, where the hot sauce’s production facilities are, residents are complaining of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches caused by a powerful, painful odor that the city says appears to be emanating from the factory during production. The smell is so aggressive that one family was forced to move a birthday party indoors after the spicy odor descended on the festivities, said Irwindale City Atty. Fred Galante.
  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Why is Sriracha so popular? I worked at a grocery store while going to school and that shit (along with Nutella) would fly off the shelves.

  • Invisible Finger||

    It masks the taste of Nutella.

  • Ted S.||

    Nutella is not shit.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    It's okay. I don't see what the fuss is.

  • Juice||

    It's mostly sugar and vegetable oil. Mmmmmm

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why is Sriracha so popular?

    Some people like flavor?

  • ||

    It's a solid hot sauce to go with Asian food. I don't know why it has such an intense cult following though.

    If you thought Nutella was bad, just wait until you hear about Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe's:

    I wasn’t aware of your existence until I was standing in line at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and noticed a display of jars with a sign that said “LIMIT TWO PER CUSTOMER.” I went to investigate but was stopped by a middle-aged man with a handlebar mustache wearing a Gryffindor t-shirt. Apparently sensing my curiosity, he held his hand up and shook his head. “You don’t want to buy that,” he said ominously.

    “Why?” I asked. “What is it?”

    “It’s cookie butter,” he said, “and once you start buying it, you will never stop.”

    It's ok, but it's not THAT good.

  • Invisible Finger||

    but was stopped by a middle-aged man with a handlebar mustache wearing a Gryffindor t-shirt.

    This is why I never go to Traders Joe's.

    This is also the reason I encourage my wife to go there.

  • Brett L||

    The wife brought some home. I'll try it later and let you know how it goes with beer.

  • wheelock||

    Sriracha is pretty good stuff. Staple for pho. However I think it's cult following has more to do with the funky packaging with the rooster which gives us the excuse to call it "cock sauce".

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

  • Sudden||

    So that white people can pretend they're capable of handling spicy foods.

    Pussies. Eat a damn habanero.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Habaneroes don't go as well with pho.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Mercy, mercy me: Family of Marvin Gaye sues Robin Thicke for ripping off 'Gotta Give it Up'

    Two of Marvin Gaye's kids are shooting down Robin Thicke's claims that "Blurred Lines" is NOT a rip-off of their father's music ... filing a countersuit that accuses Robin of changing his tune about the origin of the song.

    Nona Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye filed the docs today ... pointing to Robin's interviews with "Billboard" and "GQ" -- where he admitted Marvin's "Got to Give It Up" was one of his fave songs of all time, and he wanted to "make something like that, something with that groove."

    Nona and Frankie's suit is a response to Robin's -- filed back in August -- in which he sought to preemptively get a court to rule 'Blurred' was not a carbon copy.

    The Gaye kids also cite a clip TMZ shot with Robin after his lawsuit ... where Robin denied thinking of Marvin Gaye when he wrote 'Blurred.'

    So What's Going On?

  • Invisible Finger||

    If only their father was alive to shoot them.

  • Slammer||

    I saw what was done there. Nice.

  • John||

    Guy does one disco song and it is the best disco song ever. Marvin Gaye was a genius.

  • Mickey Rat||

    People care about this, because...?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Earth-sized lava world discovered

    A doomed "lava world" with a similar mass and density to that of Earth has been discovered orbiting a star 400 light-years away.

    Observations suggest the planet, named Kepler 78b, is composed mostly of rock and iron, much like our own planet.

    But its extremely close proximity to its host star - a hundredth of the distance between the Earth and the Sun - remains something of a puzzle.

    Details of the work by two teams of researchers appear in Nature journal.

    From theory, astronomers expect the planet to be tidally locked to its host star, which means that one side is permanently facing in, and the other side permanently facing away.

    Temperatures on Kepler 78b's "dayside" - the side of the planet facing its star - are a searing 2,000C-2,800C, far too hot to support life.

  • Tim||

    SPACE LINCOLN HAS BEEN FOUND!

  • Fatty Bolger||

  • ||

    What's the context to her saying this?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    She was being asked why she hasn't enrolled in Obamacare herself.

    She also incorrectly said she's not eligible to use the exchange because she already has access to insurance. So either she lied under oath, or the person in charge of the Obamacare rollout doesn't understand how it works.

  • Agammamon||

    Being asked uncomfortable questions about why Obamacare really sucks and how long she's known that it will suck.

  • Almanian!||

    She was told she's being locked in a room with Warty "until you get Obamacare RIGHT, Kathleen!"

  • Mickey Rat||

    Being asked to commit seppuku in order to save face for the One?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Funny, millions of Americans have said the same thing about their dropped insurance plans.

  • John||

    I recall the entire state of Massachusetts saying that during the 09 special election. Their pleas were ignored.

  • Invisible Finger||

    MA already had a state-fuckedup pricing structure before mandatory coverage went into effect, so people with coverage were already being ripped off or massively subsidized.

    The beauty of Obamacare is some states had market/risk-based pricing and Obamacare has now shit all over them.

  • John||

    Yes. The people who are going to feel this the most are voters in red states and swing states like Virginia and Ohio and Florida that have reasonably sane governments. I am not sure that is a good strategy.

    But even the blue states are going to be a lot worse off. This is an epic shit sandwich.

  • #||

    Surprisingly CA hasn't totally fucket up their indidividual markey alreayd like NY has. Theres going to be a lot of pain their too.

  • John||

    A lot of very good CA liberals are going to really feel this.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Having a stroke, Pound Sign?

  • DK||

    I thought they just cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

    /Obi-Wan

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    This Obamacare is now the ultimate power in the galaxy!

  • Slammer||

    Guy on the left looks way hammered.

  • Derpetologist||

    I created a minimalist conlang. Curious to hear what our resident linguist has to say about it:

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c.....u-aba.html

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Which one? Me or Geoff Nathan?

    Anyway, I always like agglutinative morphology; I find it powerful for encoding meaning. It reads Polynesian to me, which I'm assuming is intentional. Is it intended to be a pidgin or creole?

  • Derpetologist||

    I was inspired by the small sound inventory of Polynesian languages. I wanted to pick sounds that occur in most languages and also leave out sounds that are difficult for people with speech impediments.

    I was going more for a linguistically-neutral auxillary language- like Esperanto, but much simpler and without the Indo-European bias.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Cool. If your idea of fun is the same as mine, and as a Conlanger, it seems it is, then I'd consider making your language tonal. That way, your vocabulary doesn't run into the "problem" of extremely long words, like Hawaiian does. Being able to take a morpheme, like /pa/, and (at least) triple its semantic potential through 3 tones is a life-saver, and is more common outside of the IE family.

  • ||

    Britney Spears music blasted out by merchant navy to SCARE off Somali pirates

    Chart-toppers Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again are the most effective in the war against the Kalashnikov carrying bandits.

    I'm sure Ted will let me know if this has been posted before.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Evidence that Somali Pirates are the same as SoCons < /Bo Cara Esq

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    When Black People Dress Up As White People

    There are a lot of things white people do that black people don't do. We don't raise our voices at our mamas, we don't wear shorts when it's 30 degrees outside, and we don't share our plates and utensils with our pets.

    But one really important thing black people don't do that a lot of white people seem to think is necessary: we don't paint our faces white when we dress up as a white person for Halloween.

    I'll be honest, the majority of my Halloween costumes have been black folks. There are so many good black people to dress up as. Between entertainers, ball players and brilliant television characters, black people have provided a smorgasbord of Halloween options. Which is why I understand the desire so many white people have to dress up as a black person each year. What I don't understand is the need to paint one's face black just to make sure your friends know you're dressing up as a black person.
    [...]
    Blackface costumes are like roaches. You kill one-- or blow it up into a viral story that starts tons of conversation and pisses a lot of people off-- and they come back twice as strong the next time around.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm all for black people dressing up as mimes.

  • Sudden||

    So you're saying you don't want them talking back, eh? Why don't you just break out the firehose and dobermans while you're at it...

  • General Butt Naked||

    Where did the whole "black people don't talk back to their moms" thing come from?

    I've heard it repeated a lot. Was that a thing once? Because I see black kids yelling at their moms on the bus all the time.

    Not that I think black kids are any worse than white kids, it's just that I keep hearing about how they don't talk back.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah, I've fed my dogs off my own fork....

    /white as hell

  • hotsy totsy||

    Yukky! And yes, I've seen people do this and all of them white. Again, GROSS!!

  • ||

    Black people don't set out their leftovers on a plate for their pets? Is this actually a thing? Because I've directly observed otherwise on multiple occasions.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I think people may take the things they witnessed their families do and extrapolate that out to everyone of that race.

    I knew a korean guy that was adopted by a white family. He'd always say stuff about things that white people did that I'd never heard of.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I knew a white girl who dated an Asian guy for a fairly long time - possible marriage, knew family members well....

    However, everything their family did became "standard Asian culture" for her.... I tried to talk her out of that stance with the obvious "it's unlikely all Asians are exactly like the ones you knew well" but it failed and only created anger.

  • ||

    I have found that any statement containing "Things white people do...." or "Things black people do..." are bullshit.

    Neither white people nor black people are groups having anything more in common than skin color, and even that is debatable.

    I am as white as white gets and I once horrified a female black co-worker by holding my arm up next to hers to show that I was actually darker than she was.

  • Coeus||

    IT's total bullshit. there are plenty of examples.

  • ||

  • Slammer||

    That's a good one.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I read somewhere that sexualized Halloween costumes originated in 1970s gay culture.

    So that's a clever way to honor that spirit.

  • Paul.||

    Intercepting communications overseas has clear advantages for the NSA, with looser restrictions and less oversight.

    Always remember kiddies, when you send you data offshore so it can be "safe", it may actually be less safe.

  • John||

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....99101.html

    Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats.

    Landrieu, a Democrat who faces a tough reelection in Louisiana in 2014, said she would either offer her own bill or formally sign onto another measure that would ensure that the law would not force anyone off of their existing health policies.

    Mark my words, if there is a Dem bloodbath in the midterms, the Dems themselves will repeal this monstrosity over Obama's veto. I would not call this a libertarian awaking or claim it will cause people to perhaps think that government isn't the answer to every problem. But, make no mistake, this shit will get fixed. You are not going to fuck over the middle class, you know the people who actually vote, and get away with it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I still think the likelihood is that we muddle along with this clunker with perhaps some minor revisions, but it's far from true that such an outcome is inevitable. Conservatives, libertarians, and progressives who think the free stuff will compel people to vote out Republicans and that the Dems can spin the bad things as due to insurance companies have completely lost their minds. The "free stuff" is too disbursed, too opaque, and is going to people who by and large don't care about "free stuff" as pertains to health insurance. The people saddled with the bill will not excuse the Democrats on this one, and ObamaCare has been far too well-covered and publicized -- and its effects too obvious and widespread -- for the blame to fall squarely on the evil insurance companies.

  • John||

    People are not going to be happy until their insurance rates go down and their employers no longer have a reason to kick them off to the exchanges. That means community rating, the mandated coverages, and the employer mandates have to go.

    All that will be left of it is the subsidies that no one really will want.

  • ||

    Having TEAM BLUE lose big to TEAM RED won't be beneficial anyway. TEAM RED will merely see that as in invitation to plunder the candy store themselves.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not likely in the case of healthcare. Republicans had a high degree of control over government during the beginning of the Bush administration, and did basically nothing vis a vis healthcare besides Medicare Pt D -- which itself was the result of a) trying to co-opt a popular D policy, and b) required roping in lots of recalcitrant Rs through the inclusion of some free-market mechanisms.

    There isn't much enthusiasm for healthcare reform among Rs, for good or ill. It is possible that they might maintain ObamaCare, but it is unlikely that they will try to do anything along the lines of ObamaCare themselves.

  • John||

    Even the stupid party wants no part of this. Trouser has it right. They are not going to agree to any "fixes" that would just put them on the hook for the disaster. They have no reason too. They are not any worse off for this thing. So they will only agree to a repeal, which either before or shortly after the midterms, the Dems will be happy to get so they can take this issue off the table in 2016.,

  • ||

    I'm not saying they're going to suddenly be gong-ho for Obamacare fixes. They're idiots, but they're not raving lunatics. I'm suggesting that they're going to be floating the idea of funding several absurdly expensive items on TEAM RED's wishlist.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    funding several absurdly expensive items on TEAM RED's wishlist

    ...such as? Possibly Rs get that Naval fleet revamp they've been stumping for (I doubt it), but outside of that which "absurdly expensive" government programs have they been stumping for recently? Which "absurdly expensive" government programs not already in place was Mitt Romney, for example, running to institute? There are two possibilities as I see it wrt Republicans in the near future:

    1) They co-opt Dem agenda items, Bush-style. This is unlikely given the current zeitgeist in their base.

    2) They run on maintaining government as it stands, with possible repeal of ObamaCare. (This was basically the Romney position.)

    I don't see where you are getting absurdly expensive government programs from.

  • Paul.||

    Mark my words, if there is a Dem bloodbath in the midterms, the Dems themselves will repeal this monstrosity over Obama's veto

    So far, this looks exactly like how I saw it. They'll add fixes and bandaids making it more complicated. They'll never repeal it.

    In ten years when it's exactly as big a mess as was predicted, they'll go full-single payer.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's not what I'm seeing.

    I'm seeing a Dem desperate to win in her state looking for a bandaid fix, but no takers in either her party or among Republicans.

    If there are a series of bandaid fixes, they will not come immediately since Republicans (quite rightly) feel that they can repeal just as well as they could "fix" and that a Republican-supported "fix" would just tie both parties to the oncoming disaster.

    "Fixes" will only come after the program is uncontroversial, as was the case with the Great Society "fixes".

  • John||

    So far, this looks exactly like how I saw it. They'll add fixes and bandaids making it more complicated. They'll never repeal it.

    Oh yes they will. The thing has been in effect less than a month and they are already talking about delaying it, you know that idea that was treason in September, or effectively gutting it.

    The Dem politicians like to stay in office more than they are committed to the cause. You guys are on crack if you think that people are going to let the Dems off the hook on this thing.

  • Paul.||

    Obamacare A Mess? Liberals Say Go Single Payer.

    “Had Democrats stuck to the original Democratic vision and built comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare, it would have been cheaper, simpler, and more widely accepted by the public.”

    The Left is champing at the bit to go single payer, even before Obama Care has begun. The employer mandate has been delayed and thousands of exemptions have been granted. Of the major provisions, only the individual mandate and fines remain, and even they may be delayed. But the liberals say: Let’s change the venue and the rules before the game even starts.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/pa.....gle-payer/

    If by "repeal" you mean go single payer... yes, I agree.

  • John||

    They are not getting single payer. That is not happening. Yes, a good number of the progs are going to want that. But the country doesn't. The Republicans sure as hell won't agree with it. So what are the Dems going to do, scream for single payer while their own voters demand the thing be repealed?

    Funny Landreiu, someone who actually has to face the voters next year, isn't introducing a single payer law. She is trying to get a partial repeal, and it has only been a month.

    You and sarcasmic are fucking retarded. The liberal internet trolls are not the majority or even a particularly large majority. Single payer ain't happening. And the middle class is not going to put up with losing their health insurance.

  • Paul.||

    They are not getting single payer.

    I just don't think Romney's going to win in 2012.

  • John||

    So how will single payer happen? Will the GOP vote for it even though their supporters hate it? Will the country vote the GOP out and give Obama and the Dems 60 votes in the Senate and the Dems will do it?

    Just stop it. These people are laughing stocks. And you and people like Sarcasmic can do is sit around and cry and tell everyone how fucking everyone's health insurance is going to make America love the Progs and demand more. It is so fucking tiresome and idiotic.

    Maybe you should go post over on the liberal boards, because they seem pretty upset about this. They clearly don't understand their good fortune. You should go explain to them how this is going to mean a complete Dem rule of America. There is no point in them feeling bad when they have in fact won the political lottery and will now rule forever.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Will the GOP vote for it even though their supporters hate it?

    Yes.

    If being flexible on that issue gets a few more liberal-light votes thrown toward Republicans it is guaranteed in a hotly-contested race. You think the staunch GOP supporters have any real choice? All a RINO has to do is talk fiscal responsibility to win the primary, then lightly backtrack on the issue during the runup to the general election.

    John, you keep making the mistake of religiously believing that people running for public office have integrity. Voters don't even have integrity, it's an outdated concept in our culture.

  • John||

    If being flexible on that issue gets a few more liberal-light votes thrown toward Republicans it is guaranteed in a hotly-contested race.

    But no one but the hard core left wants single payer. The Dems owned a once in a generation majority in the House in 2009. And the Dems themselves said no to the public option. To believe we are going to get single payer is to believe that the moderate liberal and independent voters in this country who are losing their health insurance are going to somehow now demand single payer. That is nuts. That is not what is going to happen.

    John, you keep making the mistake of religiously believing that people running for public office have integrity.

    Where did I say they have any integrity? They just like to stay in office. Neither side is going to lose their office to get single payer. They craven and have integrity. That means they don't give a shit about the ideology if it means losing office.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But no one but the hard core left wants single payer.

    After they're forced to eat Obamacare shit, they'll be glad to take single-payer because it sounds so easy.

    We were all saying Obamacare had no chance, and the integrity and intelligence of the voter was once again overstated.

    FedGov is mostly made up of programs and agencies the voters didn't want. And none of them ever go away.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    After they're forced to eat Obamacare shit, they'll be glad to take single-payer because it sounds so easy.

    There is no evidence for this claim. No country that I know of has had a single-payer system instituted immediately after a massive, unpopular government intervention in healthcare markets.

    FedGov is mostly made up of programs and agencies the voters didn't want. And none of them ever go away.

    This would come as a surprise to the people who set up the New Deal, much of which was rolled back -- or many of the price fixing and regulatory agencies which were in place during the 60s-70s.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    being flexible on that issue gets a few more liberal-light votes thrown toward Republicans it is guaranteed in a hotly-contested race.

    Name one place where an R has run and won a seat stumping for single-payer. I can guarantee you that if this R does exist (I haven't seen it happen in the 20 years I've been observing politics), he isn't running anywhere that is even remotely representative of American politics.

  • John||

    Good point trouser.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    You remember how many people cared what John Bolton's opinion of foreign policy was in 2008? How much influence guys like him had in that election among independents and moderates?

    That is exactly how progressives will be seen -- especially since 99% of the ones who aren't on FireDogLake were 100% for ObamaCare and predicted only good things. Only difference is that unlike the Iraq War, healthcare affects Americans on a much more personal level. If Democrats are really stupid enough to go Full Metal Single-Payer as a response to a broken ObamaCare, the American public will not forgive them for it outside of the places that Dems win every election, anyways.

  • John||

    ^^THIS^^

    The "if you like your plan, you can keep it" line is so devastating. It makes the Progs and Obama into a punch line. What is a prog candidate in 14 or 16 going to say about this? "We just need single payer"? And when someone cat calls "If you like your plan, you can keep it" and the whole room bursts out laughing, what then?

    Forget conservatives and libertarians and the 48% of the country who hate Obama's guts. The mushy middle believed they were going to keep their health care plans and now look like fools. They are not going to respond to that by embracing the people who lied to them and demanding single payer.

  • Invisible Finger||

    the American public will not forgive them for it outside of the places that Dems win every election, anyways.

    The bottom 3 income quintiles (a democratic majority) are so dependent on Uncle Sugar that those votes are pretty much in the bag each and every election. Outside of a few economically conservative repubs, there's no difference in the parties. Reagan's second term and all 3 Bush terms were fiscally irresponsible (and I should probably throw in Nixon's terms as well).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The bottom 3 income quintiles (a democratic majority) are so dependent on Uncle Sugar that those votes are pretty much in the bag each and every election.

    No, they aren't. Those people just won't show up to vote.

    Outside of a few economically conservative repubs, there's no difference in the parties.

    On this issue, there sure as hell is a difference -- a difference which will persist so long as ObamaCare is unpopular and single-payer politically non-viable.

  • John||

    Finger,

    Just because people want free shit, doesn't mean they are going to want this. As I said above, I would not read this to mean some kind of libertarian awakening. But this particular program is doomed along with the people who supported it.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But this particular program is doomed along with the people who supported it.

    John, I hope to God you are right. But I just don't have that kind of faith, especially since the same thing was said about Social Security.

  • John||

    Finger,

    Social Security gave checks to the middle class. This program screws the middle class. Whatever happens, this program is nothing like social security.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Social Security gave checks to the middle class.

    It gives them checks NOW. When it began it did not.

  • John||

    Yes it did. And people knew it they were going to get checks. More importantly, as the program grew, not just old people liked it, but young people too because it meant they didn't have to take care of their parents like they used to.

    Obamacare, whatever you think of it, is not that. Social Security is not a valid analogy. I don't know why people keep insisting that it is.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ObamaCare is a lot closer to the WPA/CWA than it is to Social Security. This can be seen in how convoluted they were, the operational problems right out of the gate (and persisting through their existence), the reasons for the program's construction and existence being less and less obvious as time goes on, and a lack of clear motivated constituency for the programs.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Social Security is not a valid analogy. I don't know why people keep insisting that it is.

    I'm comparing it because it was hotly debated, barely passed, required fix after fix after fix after fix, is still massively fucked up, and now people like you think it's great and make shitloads of excuses for it.

  • tarran||

    First of all, they aren't liberals. They are progressives. Let's not soil a fine tradition like liberalism by pretending that progressives are liberals.

    Secondly, it doesn't matter how much they want single payer. They've shot their wad, and shot it stupidly.

    They've alienated the very people who have to be willing to listen to them.

    It's over. Obamacare was the high-water mark of their attempt to nationalize medicine for at least a generation. They used every parliementary trick, every lie, every strong arm tactic they could conceive of to get it in play. Had it proved popular, they'd be ok.

    But it is a disaster.

    And believe me, there are several nasty skeletons in the way it was crafted and passed that are just waiting to come out.

    I see a perfect shit-storm coming.

    I wonder what name the progressives will hijack next in their chameleon-like attempt to escape their past?

  • Paul.||

    I wonder what name the progressives will hijack next in their chameleon-like attempt to escape their past?

    Hillary Clinton/Biden '16.

  • John||

    Good luck with that.

  • Paul.||

    Throw out Obamacare? Yes, and give us a single-payer system.

    As the old saying goes, even a blind pig finds an ear of corn sometimes. And so it is with Republicans and Obamacare: They’re right; it’s a mess and deserves to be euthanized, perhaps by its own special “death panel.”

    And I have just the thing to replace it with: a single-payer healthcare system.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion.....z2jFBlUzqc

  • John||

    What you are seeing here is the begins of a full on Dem civil war. Some of the hard left progs are going to turn on Obamacare and demand single payer. A whole bunch of others believe in Obama and Obamacare too much to do that. And they are going to claim this thing is great, evidence be damend.

    Meanwhile, the Dem politicians who plan to remain in office are going to take the best of the available bad options and vote to repeal it in hopes the issue goes away in 2016.

  • Paul.||

    Well, yesterday on PBS’ Nevada Week In Review, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was asked whether his goal was to move Obamacare to a single-payer system. His answer? “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/th.....er-system/

    What's the over-under on Harry Reid being reelected?

  • John||

    Zero Paul. He is retiring and will never face the voters again.

    Go find me a Dem who is actually facing election in 14 or 16 who is saying that.

  • Paul.||

    That'll take some time.

    Here's Bernie Sanders who I admit isn't up in 14 or 16:

    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/.....omic-sense

    It looks like the Bill to watch is S703 which was just introduced to usher in single-payer.

    Conyers is behind hr676, the house version of a single payer bill.

    List of congress members on board for 676:

    Current Representatives already on board (thank them if you’re in their district): Nadler, Schakowsky, Pingree, Grijalva, Ellison, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Takano, Holmes-Norton, Lofgren, Rangel, Moore, Chu, Al Green, Farr, McGovern, Welch, Clarke, Lee, Nolan, Pocan, Doyle, Engel, Gutierrez, Frederica Wilson, Cohen, Edwards, McDermott, Clay, Huffman, Roybal-Allard, Cummings, Yarmuth, George Miller, Honda, Christensen, Rush.

    Haven't researched which are up for bid in 14 or 16.

    http://www.healthcare-now.org/.....introduced

  • John||

    He is a socialist Paul. He has always wanted single payer. IF the people like Sanders were the majority, we would already have single payer. They tried to get the public option in Obamacare. And the Democrats wouldn't support it. They have a huge majority in the House and this was the best they could get.

    Unless you can explain to me why most of t he country is going to start electing people like Sanders, I don't see how single payer is going to be the result.

  • Invisible Finger||

    IF the people like Sanders were the majority,

    You keep forgetting that the American way is to boil the frogs slowly.

    Health care is going the way of education: a public shitty version and a good private version for those who can afford to pay again.

  • John||

    Health care is going the way of education: a public shitty version and a good private version for those who can afford to pay again.

    It might be. But that isn't going to help the Dems right now. And this is not a slow boil. That is why it is different.

  • Paul.||

    Unless you can explain to me why most of t he country is going to start electing people like Sanders, I don't see how single payer is going to be the result.

    I only think Single Payer is our inevitable result because we got Obamacare, which would have been beyond comprehension 30 years ago.

    It seems to me, that with the slow erosion of a true private market healthcare in this country that single payer is an inevitability.

  • John||

    I only think Single Payer is our inevitable result because we got Obamacare, which would have been beyond comprehension 30 years ago.

    Not true at all. Just 35 years ago we had full on price controls and government control of entire sectors of the economy like trucking, natural gas and the airlines. And the New Deal was even worse than that. And most of the New Deal was repealed.

    If anything, Obamacare was more thinkable in the 1970s than it was in 2008.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Just 35 years ago we had full on price controls and government control of entire sectors of the economy like trucking, natural gas and the airlines

    Trucking is MORE regulated now than ever. The only things gone are the tariffs and the carving of the country into sections.

    But now the regulations are so onerous mom & pop trucking companies can't even get started anymore. You can exude the same amount of control by artificially limiting the number of players as you can by dictating prices and zones.

  • John||

    Okay. But we don't have universal price controls and we haven't reinstituted the New Deal. And we don't control the production of natural gas.

    Things do get repealed sometimes. And Democrats do lose elections. If what you were saying were true, Democrats would have always owned the government and we would have had full on communism decades ago.

  • Paul.||

    Democrats would have always owned the government and we would have had full on communism decades ago.

    In my brief, harrowing lifetime, I've seen one (1) election shocker. That was the 94 mid-terms. Look how long that lasted.

    Reagan's first term was a big turnaround for the country- lowering of marginal tax rates and the like. But as great a game as Reagan talked, he grew the government, big time.

    If what you're saying is true, the next mid terms should be a route of '94 proportions. I'm not seeing it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But as great a game as Reagan talked, he grew the government, big time.

    No he didn't.

    Defense spending grew and entitlement spending grew. Both would have happened in any case. But the 80s were a pause in march of ever greater regulations that began in the 1960s. Reagan didn't have Congressional majorities to reverse the long term trend but he did use the executive branch to pause it.

    And you're wrong about the '94 mid terms being the biggest shock. Reagan's election in 1980 was a much bigger one. Six moths before being elected the media was smearing him as an senile, out of touch former actor that would start a nuclear war. The analog today would be Sarah Palin getting elected president in a lanslide and carrying the Senate too.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Trucking is MORE regulated now than ever. The only things gone are the tariffs and the carving of the country into sections.

    You obviously had no direct experience with shipping product in the 1970s.

    Trucking is not, by any mean, more heavily regulated now than it was then.

  • Paul.||

    Single Payer, Period

    Instead of a menu of 53 skimpy, restrictive plans, a single payer system would offer Americans unrestricted choice of care and first dollar coverage. By eliminating private insurers’ overhead, and the massive paperwork they inflict on doctors and hospitals, we’d save enough to cover the 31 million who will remain uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfor.....yer-system

  • John||

    If the NYT editorial board represented the country, we would have single payer. If the Dems response to this is "well we are going to just do single payer". We all better get ready for a GOP super majority, because that is not going to fly.

    I am kind of thinking that there are a few Dems who are a little smarter than that.

  • JW||

    If the Dems response to this is "well we are going to just do single payer".

    That will be the Stupider Party's acid test.

    If they don't shut that shit right down, then they are truly and irrevocably worthless as an opposition party.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    They don't have to. Do recall that single-payer (or at least a public option) was the original Big Idea before the Dem caucus revolted and had to shunt both to get something passable.

    ObamaCare was the best Dems could manage in an interparty battle -- there was zero involvement from Republicans. Stupid as R leadership is, they have never supported single payer -- and will not do so in the near future against the wishes of their constituents.

  • John||

    I think even they are smart enough to say no to that, out of feral instinct if nothing else.

    The danger is that the Republicans don't totally repeal it and do just enough to manage to get themselves blamed for the ongoing disaster allowing a new generation of Dems to sweep back into power blaming the whole thing on how the market can never work.

    Long term the whole "the market failed we must have single payer" line of bullshit might work. But it won't work until they manage to get the Republicans to take some of the blame for this.

    This generation of Democrats staked everything they had on Obamacare. They are fucked. There is no saving them.

  • JW||

    Which Reason writer was saying a few months back that Obamacare isn't a stalking horse for single-payer? Suder-Man? Welch?

    I'm only amazed that it took the proglodytes this long to start the war chant.

  • John||

    I'm only amazed that it took the proglodytes this long to start the war chant.

    Who gives a fuck if the hard left starts screaming for single payer? They have been screaming for single payer for 70 years and haven't gotten it. It is pretty hard to see them getting now after they just got done selling Obamacare to the country and it ending in disaster.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Which Reason writer was saying...

    Shit, go look back at Ron Bailey articles where he was proposing mandatory health insurance 10 years ago.

  • John||

    Bailey is a nitwit about a lot of things.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "...a single payer system would offer Americans unrestricted choice..."

    How can anyone pair "single payer" with "unrestricted choice" and have enough functional brain cells to continue breathing?

  • Pathogen||

    The problem with zombies is, they don't know that they're dead...

  • Invisible Finger||

    The midterms take place BEFORE the big penaltax hit, the penaltax in 2013 is small in comparison. A small penaltax MAY be enough to cause a bloodbath, but my guess is people will simply ignore it/cheat around it and forget the whole stupid thing come election day.

  • John||

    The Penaltax is big. It is not $95 dollars. It is the greater of $95 or 1% of your income. So that means it is going to be around $300 or more dollars for most people. That sounds small. But to someone making $30K a year, that is a big deal, especially when it is being assessed for not buying insurance that they either can't afford, don't want, or can't even get because the website never worked.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But to someone making $30K a year, that is a big deal,

    Not really. $300 two months of cable TV. Most dumbshits have someone else do their taxes for them, will see another $300 hit, blame Republicans, and go buy another smartphone on credit.

  • John||

    No they won't. The people who do those taxes explain the taxes to them before they sign. And part of that will be "and here is the $300 penaltax". Everyone knows the penaltax, unless Obama plans to get H&R Block lie for him.

    And two months of cable TV is a big deal. Just because people piss away money on stupid shit for themselves, doesn't mean they are happy to give it to you or the government. Remember, most people don't pay any federal income tax.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The people who do those taxes explain the taxes to them before they sign.

    Yeah, they do that with mortgages, too. Then the signers claim they didn't know what they were getting into.

  • John||

    So what? That doesn't mean they like to pay taxes. Again, if people were as dumb as you think they are, raising taxes would be politically easy rather than nearly impossible.

    Come on? Is is that hard to admit the Dems may have finally really fucked up?

  • Invisible Finger||

    So what? That doesn't mean they like to pay taxes.

    Not liking is one thing. Paying them anyway is another.

    John, do you live in a red state or a blue state? I live in a blue state and raising taxes is relatively easy: a lot of posturing and the GOP voting for "temporary" increases that never go away. Shit, when the GOP WAS in power here they actually REDUCED the amount of representation as "fiscal sanity" and 25 years later were stuck with fewer, more gerrymandered districts with incumbents who NEVER lose for being on the "wrong" side of an issue - if they lose it's because of some other public shame.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Come on? Is is that hard to admit the Dems may have finally really fucked up?

    Of course not.

    But fucking up to the point of losing Congressional seats en masse? Hardly.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No way. Have you ever seen a politician try to raise gas taxes? People scream and bitch and moan about that all the time -- they throw people out of office for that all the time, if those people are stupid enough to persist in their error. (Almost happened to Bill Clinton when he was Governor of Arkansas.) $300/year is substantially more than most gas tax increases, and that is for people making $30,000/yr for the first year. If you're making $50,000 a year, you'll be paying $500. Then the fee goes up to 2.5% -- suddenly, you're paying $750/year on that 30k salary.

    People already hate this thing. What happens when they have to pay $750/yr on the low end to get out of it?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Almost happened to Bill Clinton when he was Governor of Arkansas

    Back when most people did their own taxes and got paychecks.

    Now people don't even see their pay stubs because of direct deposit, taxes are done electronically and paid on credit cards.

    Look guys, I am on your side except when it comes to predicting election outcomes.

  • John||

    Finger,

    No one is saying that this is going to cause some small government renassaince or the GOP isn't likely to fuck things up in new and different ways.

    All we are saying is the Demcorats just staked their entire reputation on Obama and by extension Obamacare and it is turning into a complete disaster for them. And that is not going to end, at least in the short term, well for them and sure as hell isn't going to be this great stroke of good fortune causing America and the GOP to now embrace single payer.

    I realize there are a lot of problems and the GOP getting in is hardly some great thing. But lets deal with those things later. Right now, we should be enjoying watching these assholes crash and burn instead of feeling sorry for ourselves telling everyone how this disaster really just going to ensure the Progs get everything they want. That is just nuts.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Gray Davis was recalled as governor of CA a decade ago mostly because he raised auto registration fees by $100 / year.

    Finger has his head up his ass if he thinks people don't hate shit like the Obamacare penaltax.

  • #||

    If there is indeed a dem bloodbath it will leave only the most liberal dems from the bluest states. So no, they won't repeal it.

  • John||

    Yes they will. Even in the bluest states there are still 40% Republican. And a hell of a lot more than 10% of the other 60% of the voters are going to want their health care back. That is the point. This is fucking Dem voters too, not just the rich or the bitter clingers. Respectable white suburban Dem voters are getting screwed. Those people are not going to take that sitting down.

  • ||

    I am hoping, and will do anything I can to make it come true, that mary fucking landrieu killed her career by voting for obamacare. She needs to go.

    Her proposed legislation is going to go back in time and prevent people from being dropped? From so many plans being cancelled?

    Nice try mary.

  • Bam!||

  • John||

    Should he be asking Rumsfeld that question? I pretty sure it was Rummy who thought we could invade the country and go home without actually using any troops.

  • GILMORE||

    Generally true.

    But the 'cobra II' Iraq plan was an outgrowth of the basic scheme for 'future use of military force' outlined by the PNAC ('project for a new American century') group, which included Cheney to some degree.

    Their idea was "make use of force quicker, smaller, and lower exposure, and we can wield force more often, and with greater impact on foreign affairs"

    I.e. "Limited Footprint + Limited Deployment = Greater Flexibility and Willingness to Use Military Power"

    They were basing their ideas on concepts about 'reforming the Pentagon', and then extending them to "what, in theory, could a reformed Pentagon *do*?"

    They sort of let the cart get ahead of the horse, to put it mildly.

  • Bam!||

  • Bam!||

    Squirrels.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Putin needs a scimitar and a furry hat, in that photo.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Putin needs a scimitar and a furry hat., in that photo.

  • John||

    I would think he has both. Wouldn't you if you were him?

  • Killazontherun||

    I got a cutlass and poofy shirt, in fact, on me at the moment. Close enough?

  • John||

    If you were a Bond villain like Putin, you would have a lot more than that, including a cool fur hat and a scimitar.

  • Killazontherun||

    In my defense, supervillain is the day job, so people would be like 'why aren't you dressed for Halloween.' No funny hats though. We just look like stunt doubles for the Matrix movies.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    RENEGADE NUNS

    A SOCON ADVENTURE STARRING JOSEPH RATZINGER

    “You sent for me, boss?” Joe Ratzinger was nervous about coming to Pope Francis’ office – the last time, Francis had chewed him out about celebrating Mass in Latin, and threatened to “have your badge.”

    But Francis was in a more cheerful mood this time. “Sit down, my son,” he told his predecessor.

    The ex-Pope took a seat as Francis explained that a new crisis had emerged.

    “There’s a group of nuns in the United States who keep using my name to justify all sorts of dissent against the Church. I can’t afford to come down on them too hard just for that – I’m focusing on bringing the lost sheep back into the fold, not discussing doctrinal orthodoxy.”

    “Of course, Your Holiness,” Joe mumbled in reply. He thought it was time Francis grew some Papal balls and tackled the problem of heresy in the very bosom of Mother Church. But his approach was gentler. So be it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    “I have also heard disturbing reports,” said Francis, “that these U.S. nuns – the Order of St. Mary Magdalene – are doing even worse things than criticize Church teachings. I’d like to commission a confidential, low-key investigation without making a big public fuss I’ve selected you to do the investigation – nobody will anticipate you leaving Rome and travelling incognito, so you’ll be able to pick up information quiet-like.

    “I’m giving you some travellers’ checks an a plane ticket to Atlanta” – Francis handed Joe an envelope – “and I’m giving you a change of clothes, so you will fit in better in America. I’m also lending you something of mine, but I want you to take special care of it, because it is precious to me.”

    “Yes, Your Holiness.”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    On a remote Alabama country road, the roar of a Harley’s engine could be heard as a leather-jacketed man in ripped blue jeans drove maniacally along (as maniacal as he could drive while obeying the speed limit, pursuant to Romans 13), hunched over the handlebars as he kept a lookout for the honky-tonk where he was supposed to meet his informant.

    The sound of Toby Keith and the flashing of a neon sign signaled the man that he was coming up on the Truckers’ Rest. The motorcyclist parked the motorcycle, took off his helmet to reveal himself as an elderly, white-haired man in a NASCAR cap – quite a change from his customary headgear.

    Joe strode into the honky-tonk and saw a woman at the bar getting chatted up by a bearded gentleman in a wifebeater T-shirt. The woman was trying to ignore beardo, but he persisted.

    “Is this guy bothering you?” Joe asked in his German accent.

    “Get lost, old man,” beardo said, but he suddenly gasped in pain as Joe grapped his right arm, pulled it behind his back, and rushed him toward the door.

    “Dicite Deo quam terribile opus tuum in multitudine fortitudinis tuae mentientur tibi inimici tui,” Joe recited as he cast the man out into the inky darkness outside.

    Returning to the bar, Joe asked the young woman, “hello, my child, are you Ms. Jones?”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    “Yes, but you can call me Agnes. And you must be Joe. I was told to wait for you. Thank you for saving me.”

    “You can thank me by telling what you know of these Sisters of Mary Magdalene,” Joe said, going right to business.

    “Well,” said Agnes, “I wanted to join their order, but they threw me out when I kept referring to God as ‘He.’ But while I was at their convent, I saw all sort of strange goings-on: The Mother Superior was talking with Fr. Cullen, the notorious liberal Catholic professor who says there’s no such thing as sin. Fr. Edward Cullen was doing some kind of ceremony with the Mother Superior and some of the other nuns – I think he was trying to make them priests.”

    “There can be no valid ordination of females as priests,” said Joe.

    “I know, I was glad to get out when I did. But they kept talking about some upcoming ceremony, and how it would shake the Church from top to bottom. I’m worried that-”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Agnes’ voice was drowned out by the sound of a thumping beat coming closer and closer. Looking out the window, Joe saw a bus pulling into the parking lot. The music (if so it could be called) consisted of the beat and the words “smack my bishop” repeated over and over.

    Several grizzled truckers playing pool in the corner looked at the bus and quickly looked down again at the pool tables. “It’s them again,” some muttered, “don’t provoke them – remember what they did to Hank when he looked at them funny.”

    Several women emerged from the bus. They were middle-aged, hatchet-faced, wearing pant suits and wielding enormous rulers.

    “It’s them!” whispered Agnes. “The nuns! Don’t let them see me!” and she ran behind the bar and crouched down.

    “What are you looking at?” the largest of the nuns screeched at Joe as they charged into the honky-tonk. “We’re gonna mess you up.”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Joe whipped a crucifix out of his pocket, held it in front of him. He pulled out a water pistol and, reciting “Miserere mei Deus secundum misericordiam tuam iuxta multitudinem miserationum tuarum dele iniquitates meas,” he squirted the menacing women with holy water.

    “Retreat!” shouted the Mother Superior. “Let’s get back headquarters and start the ceremony!” And they all ran back outside, got into the bus, and drove off.

    “Are they gone?” Agnes asked in a quavering voice.

    “Yes, my child,” said Joe, “but we must pursue them. You know where their convent hideout is, and you must take me there.”

    “I’m frightened,” gasped Agnes.

    “I won’t conceal the fact that I’m frightened, too,” Joe replied. “I haven’t been this scared since the student riot in Tübingen. But Our Lord said that the one who endures to the end will be saved. So sit behind me on my motorcycle and as we drive, show me the way to their headquarters. I have a feeling that we need to get there quickly, before they finish that ceremony of theirs.”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In the convent’s chapel, Fr. Edward Cullen and several nun-assistants, dressed in priestly garb, were dancing around the altar.

    “In the name of the great Earth Spirit, of Beelzebub, and of Isis,” the celebrants chanted in unison, “we call upon the powers of the underworld to legalize abortion, punish the supporters of traditional marriage, and plunge this country into socialism forever!”

    Fr. Cullen drew out a golden box, filled with discs. Joe and Agnes - who were watching through the chapel window – realized what these discs were.

    “Damnable sacrilege!” said Joe as he took his motorcycle helmet, smashed in the window, and crawled through, followed by Agnes.

    “I’ll get the priest,” said Joe, “you get the nuns.” And he went into battle, chanting “quare turbabuntur gentes et tribus meditabuntur inania, tractabunt pariter adversum Dominum et adversum christum eius. Pasces eos in virga ferrea ut vas figuli conteres eos.”

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Joe seized the box from Cullen and reverently placed it and its contents where they couldn’t be trampled inadvertently. Then he smote the renegade cleric with a right hook to the head. Agnes tore through the nuns like a whirlwind, kicking and punching until they were all out cold.

    Joe carefully took the box and placed it in his pocket. “I guess we’re through here,” he said, “let me just do one last thing.” And he took a bull of excommunication against Cullen, the Mother Superior and all the nuns and nailed it to the wall.

    Back in Rome, Pope Francis said, “well, you weren’t exactly discreet, but I guess you got the job done. And I’ll find Agnes a spot in another order of nuns. Now, did you bring back my Harley safe and sound?”

    “Yes, Your Holiness,” said Joe.

    “Then I give it, and you, my apostolic blessing,” said Francis. “Now go in peace.”

  • ||

    In the convent’s chapel, Fr. Edward Cullen and several nun-assistants, dressed in priestly garb, were dancing around the altar.

    “In the name of the great Earth Spirit, of Beelzebub, and of Isis,” the celebrants chanted in unison, “we call upon the powers of the underworld to legalize abortion, punish the supporters of traditional marriage, and plunge this country into socialism forever!”

    It's like reading the fevered writings of a Time journalist in the '80s! How did you capture the tone so well?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.

  • ||

    Is this going to turn into slashfic soon?

  • Tonio||

    Eddie is a srsly dis-turbed mofo. I admire that in a person.

  • ||

    Disturbed compared to the larger population or compared to SugarFree? I feel like he's MAYBE hitting 4 or 5 µSFs, but I like that he's putting the effort in, most people see the monumental task of stacking up to SF's sexual memoirs and just give up and go home.

  • Coeus||

    This piece has been widely linked among the femosphere:

    Well, I guess we should be buying designer shoes for the poor, then. But only the black women, apparently.

    Why do poor people make stupid, illogical decisions to buy status symbols? For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose. We want to belong. And, not just for the psychic rewards, but belonging to one group at the right time can mean the difference between unemployment and employment, a good job as opposed to a bad job, housing or a shelter, and so on. Someone mentioned on twitter that poor people can be presentable with affordable options from Kmart. But the issue is not about being presentable. Presentable is the bare minimum of social civility. It means being clean, not smelling, wearing shirts and shoes for service and the like. Presentable as a sufficient condition for gainful, dignified work or successful social interactions is a privilege. It’s the aging white hippie who can cut the ponytail of his youthful rebellion and walk into senior management while aging black panthers can never completely outrun the effects of stigmatization against which they were courting a revolution. Presentable is relative and, like life, it ain’t fair.
  • Coeus||

    Then she talks about job interviews for the rest of the article. Of course you get a decent suit for job interviews. But she's trying to justify everything. That gold grill or Iphone is not gonna get you a job.

  • Coeus||

    A feminist got too comfortable with male feminists eating shit. I mean, that's what they're there for, right?. Brother wasn't having none of it.

    So there I sat on a panel with a white woman and a Black man. As a Black feminist, I never quite know how political discussions will go down with either of these groups. Still I’m a fierce lover of Black people and a fierce defender of women.

    The brother shared his thoughts about the need to “liberate all Black people.” It sounded good. But since we were there to talk about allyship, I needed to know more about his gender analysis, even as I kept it real about how I’ve been feeling lately about how much brothers don’t show up for Black women, without us asking, and prodding, and vigilantly managing the entire process.

    In a word, I was tired.

    I shared that. Because surely, a conversation about how to be better allies to each other, is a safe space.

    This brother was not having it. He did not plan to be challenged, did not plan to have to go deep, to interrogate his own shit. Freedom-talk should’ve been enough for me.

    But I’m grown. And I know better. So I asked for more.

  • Coeus||

    I got cut off, yelled at, screamed on. The moderator tried gently to intervene, to ask the brother to let me speak, to wait his turn. To model allyship. To listen. But to no avail. The brother kept on screaming about his commitment to women, about all he had “done for us,” about how I wasn’t going to erase his contributions.

    Then he raised his over 6 foot tall, large brown body out of the chair, and deliberately slung a cup of water across my lap, leaving it to splash in my face, on the table, on my clothes, and on the gadgets I brought with me.
  • Coeus||

    From the original article:

    After being approached at the end by a Gary Dourdan-looking macktivist, who couldn’t be bothered to stand up to the brother screaming on me, but who was ready to “help” me “heal the traumas through my body,” –as he put it (yes you can laugh)—I grabbed my coat and schlepped back to Jersey.

    On the long train ride home, and in these days since, I have been reminded that this is not the first time that I have been subject to a man in a movement space using his size and masculinity as a threat, as a way to silence my dissent. I remembered that then as now, the brothers in the room let it happen without a word on my behalf.

    Why?

    Is it so incredibly difficult to show up for me – for us—when we need you? Is it so hard to believe that we need you? Is solidarity only for Black men? As for the silence of the sisters in the room, I still don’t know what to make of that. Maybe they were waiting on the brothers, just like me.

    I do know I am tired. And sad. And not sure how much more I want to struggle with Black men for something so basic as counting on you to show up.
  • Coeus||

    You wanted equality. You got it. She's pissed that a man didn't risk his safety for her. But it's not even that:

    Eventually three men held him back, restrained him, but not with ease. He left. I breathed. I let those tears that had been threatening fall.

    IT's that they didn't risk their safety fast enough for her.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Indeed, she even mentions that she had a "sister" next to her who didn't help.

    I'm old-school. If someone is threatening a woman, I'll step in and I think any man around should do the same. But you know what? That's not a feminist value; it is in fact an impulse that has gotten me labelled as a patriarch in other contexts (opening doors for ladies, for example).

    At the beginning of the article, she says that she "kept it real about how I’ve been feeling lately about how much brothers don’t show up for Black women, without us asking, and prodding, and vigilantly managing the entire process." So when she is being blunt and forthright in her discussion, she's "keeping it real". When a black man does the same, he is "trying to let me know what you were capable of doing to a sister who didn’t shut her mouth and listen".

    She was not, in fact, assaulted. Not being there, I don't know if that was a danger -- but it didn't happen thanks to those three guys, so perhaps some thanks to the men who showed up to protect her is in order, instead of complaining about black men some more?

    Feminism really is a poison -- one that my wife and I have thankfully been able to insulate my children from. I do wonder what kind of men -- and women -- my children will be having romantic interactions with, whatwith feminism's cultural impact on the west.

  • ||

    opening doors for ladies, for example

    In high school I took a class called Race, Class and Gender. We got through race and class without too much trouble and then we got to feminism and the class revolted. The women often moreso than the men. For a few months afterwards women in from the class would push men out of the way to open doors for them while the men shrieked "stop oppressing me" in the frailest voice possible. The teacher was pretty chagrined by the whole thing.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's an awesome story. I wonder if something like that could happen in high school today...

  • Paul.||

    macktivist

    *sigh*

    You're pushing it, Coeus.

    movement space

    A what?

  • Tejicano||

    "movement space" - a toilet?

  • Paul.||

    allyship.

    Is this a word you're going to make me google?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It should be a given that sexism and misogyny have no place in progressive political movements.

    Wait, it should? I'm thinking you're going to need to replace your FDR, JFK, and LBJ mugs, honey.

  • Coeus||

    Does the word bullying even have a meaning anymore?

    Today, during a soccer game, a kid on the opposing team made fun of my four year old daughter's 'boy' shoes. I am so sick of this shit I could scream.
    Here's the video of my daughter talking about being bullied for 'boy shoes made a couple months ago. Please share your stories so parents start to understand the epidemic that gender bullying has become, in preschool and beyond.
  • Paul.||

    Back in my day...

    Just never mind.

  • ||

  • damonzgp640||

    up to I looked at the draft ov $9682, I did not believe that...my... brothers friend was actualy taking home money in there spare time from their computer.. there mums best friend has been doing this 4 only 16 months and a short time ago repaid the mortgage on there place and bourt themselves a Jaguar E-type. hop over to this web-site ......... http://www.BAM21.CoM

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