Reason Morning Links: Jobless Claims Up, Pork-Laden Defense Bill, Cigar Makers Take Hit

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• New jobless claims up, but still below last month's peak.

• Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) bribery case goes to jury today.

• U.S. moves toward federal mandate of ignition interlock systems for first-time DWI offenders.

• Cigar companies taking hit from smoking bans, large tax increases.

• House refuses to remove pork from new defense bill, leaving in "dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need to fund next year."

NEXT: A Hole They Dug for Themselves

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  1. “They don’t realize that at the end of the day, if we start losing jobs, and imports begin to drop, they’re not going to accomplish their bottom line, which is to collect these taxes,” Gonzalez said.

    The weight of those taxes is solely to blame for the closure of the Hav-a-Tampa plant, said Richard McKenzie, a senior vice president of human resources for Altadis USA, which owns Hav-a-Tampa.

    On Friday, the plant began laying off nearly 500 people. McKenzie said most of the factory workers made between $8 and $12 an hour with health insurance, a pension plan and a 401(k), better than most jobs for unskilled labor.

    Change I can believe in.

  2. U.S. moves toward federal mandate of ignition interlock systems for first-time DWI offenders.

    Ah, yes, another isolated incident of an enumerated power of Congress.

  3. Diabetics often have false positives on car interlock systems. But who cares if we inconvenience this fat bastards? The walk will do them some good.

  4. Also worth noting are Senator Hutchison’s batshit comments on Rick Perry.

  5. “Diabetics often have false positives on car interlock systems. But who cares if we inconvenience this fat bastards? The walk will do them some good.”

    If they hadn’t sinned against the Lord they wouldn’t have gotten sick.

  6. If Obama has any balls at all he’ll veto that defense bill 30 times if that’s what it takes to get that shit out of there. Of course he won’t.

  7. If they hadn’t sinned against the Lord they wouldn’t have gotten sick.

    Unless of course, they’re Type I diabetics. But then, they probably had some extra special original sin.

    Proponents of broader use of interlock systems – including MADD, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Governors Highway Safety Association – say they would save an additional 4,000-8,000 lives a year.

    Outlawing cars would save about 40,000 lives a year! Plus carbon! CARBON!

  8. First-time offenders? Yeah, if you get a DWI three times, your license should probably be shredded, but interlocks for first time offenders?

  9. Unless of course, they’re Type I diabetics. But then, they probably had some extra special original sin.

    Yes! Rev. William Stryker-edition Baked Penguin is awesome!

  10. You have two glasses of wine and blow a .09 and you get an interlock. And for how long? Yeah that makes sense. Fucking assholes.

  11. “Proponents of broader use of interlock systems – including MADD, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Governors Highway Safety Association – say they would save an additional 4,000-8,000 lives a year.
    Outlawing cars would save about 40,000 lives a year! Plus carbon! CARBON!”

    That is based upon the results in one state, New Mexico, that is full of of Indians who have terrible alchohol problems. Further, who is to say that doing it on second or third time offenses wouldn’t have the same effect. What is the marginal benefit of doing it on the second or third offense? God forbid we think this through or ask those questions.

    I am tired of calling these pricks retarded. It is an insult to retarded people. We need a new word.

    The German general Eric Von Manstein had a saying. There are three kinds of officers; smart hard working, smart lazy, stupid lazy and stupid hard working. Every type had a value to an organization except for the stupid hard working ones. Stupid hard working officers destroyed any organization they were in because their hard work did so much damage. Sadly, I am afraid we now have an entire political class full of hard working stupid people. God help us all.

  12. Make that four kinds of officers.

  13. Art-P.O.G.-

    License shredding is a good idea-for everybody.

  14. libertymike,

    Maybe a good idea for Badnarik.

  15. Oh, no. Those fancy lad Type Iers are completely innocent. They’ve been washed in the blood of the lamb. But those Type II fucks are just lazy fat-asses who need to exercise more and stop shoving cake into their pie-holes.

  16. Nice sideburns ya got there, Art-POG. I’ll be back for you later…

    The 4,000-6,000 figure is obvious bullshit. It’s like Disco Stu predicting that in 1985, 100,000,000 disco albums will be sold, based on projections from 1975 – 1979. The question is, do the interest group listed have the pull to push the interlock thing through?

    Given all the nanny state crap they currently have to fight, the National Ass’n of Restaurantuers (or whatever their group is called) may not have room on their plate (sorry) to fight this along with the sundry other measures. The liquor manufacturers might not want the potential bad press.

  17. I’d mention the idea that this is probably just the first step in mandating all cars have them, but I’d be branded one of those whackaloon libertarians who think that government would do outrageous, impossible stuff in the name of “protecting people” like ban smoking outside or in your own home.

  18. But Sugerfree if they put them in every car, they might actually stop drunk driving. If they did that, who would the cops have to arrest and extort huge fees from? You assume they actually give a shit about stopping drunk driving.

    Also, I would like know who is making this machine, how much money they are giving to politicians and MADD and other assorted interest groups. As they say, follow the money. The more they mandate the machine, the more money the maker of it makes. That is driving this more than anything else I bet.

  19. Damn, SugarFree, your links worked. Otherwise, I could’ve claimed, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, that there was no precedent for that sort of thing.

  20. John,

    But Sugerfree if they put them in every car, they might actually stop drunk driving.

    Actually, I’m assuming that the police know the interlocks are easily defeated. It’s a win-win. They get to pop the clever drunkard and lard on another fine for “Circumventing Nanny Technology.”

    And they can step up the patrols and roadblocks because “Now we are going after those people who put planning and foresight into driving drunk. Premeditated drunk driving!”

  21. Actually, I’m assuming that the police know the interlocks are easily defeated.

    By a plastic bag you fill by waving it round (like a parachute gets filled) then holding under the elbow, bagpipes-style, while you work the ignition?

  22. OMG, we can’t get behind a guy like Badnarik or any person who has the temerity to call for and end to licensing one’s right to travel. Horrors, will we be perceived as “nutjobs” and such.

  23. Or paying the neighbor’s kid. Or just driving off after the sober valet brings it from the lot. Or getting a sober passer-by to help you because you are a diabetic.

  24. If they mandate interlocks, having someone in a bar ask you to “Come out to my car and blow me.” might have a totally different meaning.

  25. “Actually, I’m assuming that the police know the interlocks are easily defeated. It’s a win-win. They get to pop the clever drunkard and lard on another fine for “Circumventing Nanny Technology.”

    Good point. I really don’t do enough second order thinking to make a good authoritarian. No wonder I flunked out of evil genius school.

  26. Or paying the neighbor’s kid. Or just driving off after the sober valet brings it from the lot. Or getting a sober passer-by to help you because you are a diabetic.

    If these things truly become widespread then I’m sure someone will come up with a pocket-size device that surpasses them, much like the radar detectors you can use to beat the cops now (if they leave their guns on).

  27. “If they mandate interlocks, having someone in a bar ask you to “Come out to my car and blow me.” might have a totally different meaning.”

    That would be a felony for both of you no doubt.

  28. Libertarians need to be good citizens, reasonable citizens, who understand the licensure of automobile drivers is a necessary function of the state wihtout which there would be utter chaos.

    There are many here who really believe the above and do call those who oppose licensure “nutjobs” and such. Part of the reason is because they recognize what slaves they have become and rather than face that reality, they turn on the folks who have some testicular fortitude and ideological consistency and rational thought.

  29. I think the ingition measures are “uncommonly silly laws” but imo they are within an enumerated power of the feds as motor vehicles are both instrumentalities and articles of interstate commerce.

  30. I flunked out of evil genius school

    Top of my class. But try putting it on a resume…

  31. OMG, we can’t get behind a guy like Badnarik or any person who has the temerity to call for and end to licensing one’s right to travel. Horrors, will we be perceived as “nutjobs” and such.

    Hey, I voted for Badnarik. I’m just saying opposition to motor vehicle operating licensing is a losing battle for minarchists, and not even a particularly important or even rational cause to fight from my perspective.

  32. “Make that four kinds of officers.”

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  33. I oppose licensing because it is solely a money maker for the state. It’s not like it actually demonstrates some ability to drive. We’ve all driven poorly at times and more often been surrounded by downright shitty drivers on a daily basis, yet I bet every one of them is licensed.

  34. MNG, your legs are also articles of interstate commerce.

  35. Hey, what do you know? I voted for Badnarik! I completely forgot about his existence. Did he win?

  36. Or just driving off after the sober valet brings it from the lot.

    The valets are sober where you go? You must go to a much higher class of joint than I do.

    At least the valets would be providing a service to make up for what they steal from my car. Maybe one would do me a favor and steal the interlock.

  37. From the Brickbats:

    Agnes Lawless had a bad day. First, she was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver. Shortly afterward, she was in a convenience store when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her neck. As she pulled away, he jammed a gun in her neck so hard it left a bruise. The man was Alberto Lopez Sr., an on-duty police officer and the father of the driver who had hit her car. Lopez arrested Lawless for assaulting him and later testified that when he ordered Lawless and friends to the floor, she “freaked out” and begin hitting him. Fortunately, for Lawless, the store’s security cameras showed exactly what happened and charges against her were dismissed.

    Phew, charges dismissed! I wonder when the charges against Officer Lopez were filed and how he was reprimanded for abusing his authority. (turning blue over here…)

  38. Did he win?

    No, John Kerry stole all his votes. I’m tired of these other parties stealing votes that should belong to the Libertarian Party.

  39. I was a sober and non-theivey valet. And because none of the rest of the nimrods knew how to drive stick, I got all the sports cars. A Ferrari is nice, even if you are just parking it. And tip money the government doesn’t know about to tax is the sweetest money you will ever hold.

  40. Nick,

    The cop wasn’t white? [Yawn]

  41. “To Regulate Commerce with foreign Nations , and among the several States..”

    I don’t see any grant of power authorizing the imposition of licensing the travel of purely private parties. It just is not there.

  42. I have had both Badnarik and Barr at my house. I consider Badnarik a friend of mine and Bob an acquaintance. They are two different approaches to the same goal. If libertarians wish to make progress then they need to realize this. I have my political issues with both of them but consider both soldiers in the movement. The license thing may not be a top priority but I don’t seem to remember him making a big deal out of it. Both candidates did make a big deal out of media exposure and both got similar responses so until we can get more liberty minded people to participate we will contiue to make hay where possible. That decision is the candidate’s.

    Live and let live

  43. You guys got nothing to worry about–I’m a professional.

  44. The guys who preside over and administer the licensing of travel stole your vote Art-P.O.G. Funny, isn’t it? They are the same guys who preside over and administer ballot access.

    Like Stalin said, “its not who votes that counts; its who counts the votes.”

  45. Oh, right, Barr’s the guy I voted for last time. I actually forgot about him completely.

    Maybe the LP should run a celebrity candidate or employ some other gimmick, because I’m starting to forget their candidates for president, and I’ve been voting for them for nearly twenty years.

  46. “I have had both Badnarik and Barr at my house.”
    Goddamned name-dropper.

  47. Breaking news: Jefferson has been acquitted of money laundering because it was stashed in the freezer, not the washer.

  48. Rich, you should have submitted that one tomorrow and taught Chip Bok a lesson.

  49. Well, it’s not *that* funny.

  50. “MNG, your legs are also articles of interstate commerce.”

    Heh, maybe instrumentalities (though I can’t recall ever walking over a state line), but not articles…

    libertymike-You mean that semi full of tyson’s chicken coming from virginia into maryland and that family in the car with WV plates that turned off into the Wendys in MD are’nt involved in interstate commerce? Oh, they are, well of course. And so Congress has the power “to regulate” that.

  51. I have had both Badnarik and Barr at my house.

    “I was all like ‘Emiliooooo!'”

  52. libertymike, I am not sure what your point is with

    “I don’t see any grant of power authorizing the imposition of licensing the travel of purely private parties.”

    States require and issue drivers licenses. There is no federal requirement to have a drivers license to cross state lines as far as I know. Every state just happens to require them.

  53. MNG, do you believe that Congress has the power to control (pardon me, regulate) every economic transaction in the United States? Just curious what limits you see on the Commerce Clause, is all.

  54. RC
    I think the clause gives the feds broad power to regulate interstate economic transactions, the channels, instrumentalities, and articles of those transactions, and probably intra-state transactions when, if taken in the aggregate, they have a substantial affect on interstate commerce.

    I do agree with the Rehnquist court though that non-economic activity, though it too may affect interstate commerce, is off limits.

  55. “Non-economic activity.” What a concept!

  56. You know, if those Goddamn Originalists get their way, the Federal government would only have the power to be the final arbiter of disputes between the States about commerce. What a chilling world it would be. I mean, how could Tyson manage to drive a truck full of chicken from one state to another without the Federal government’s watchful eye? Wouldn’t the chickens just explode or something?

  57. In driving product across state lines and selling it in another state, what is the proper role of the federal government? Seems to me that it should prevent states from restricting the movement of the products without a compelling interest (e.g., the product is hazardous and the state wants greater protections than the point of origin requires) or from instituting tariffs or any other unreasonable restraint on trade. Perhaps the federal government could have its own rules on how things move between and among states, too. The receiving state, not the federal government, has the responsibility for protecting its consumers.

    Where the problem comes, of course, is that every aspect of commerce gets regulated, even when the production and distribution of a good or service is entirely intrastate. But whether there is some component or connection to another state should not be enough to trigger federal jurisdiction. But that’s exactly the power the federal government has arrogated to itself–in blatant disregard of its constitutional limits.

  58. Citizen Nothing | July 30, 2009, 11:07am | #

    “I have had both Badnarik and Barr at my house.”
    Goddamned name-dropper.

    I admit it. But I was very honored to be able to help the movement. Both are interesting people. My point not being only to name drop but to show that there are many paths to the goal and we don’t need to bicker over which is best. Just let each actor choose his/her direction.

    I also met William H Macey at the Telluride film festival (shook his hand too). That about rounds out the celeberties I can name drop.

    Don’t touch me there

  59. I’ve stopped even going to the Evil Genius School reunions. Whenever I try to impress them with stories about my bad puns and double parking, some asshole comes up and upstages me. So you threatened the world with a space laser, did you? You and a hundred others. Showw-offs. I don’t know what women see in those phonies.

  60. It’s the hollowed-out volcano lairs, Max. They are panty-droppers.

  61. Pro is right. There is a role for the feds in interstate commerce. And that role is mostly making sure the states don’t spend their time fucking each other. Look at the clusterfuck that is state alchohol regulation (can’t order that evil out of state wine off the internet, you have to go to one of our govenrment approved, good old boy owned liquer stores for that). State governments are just as craven as any other government. We do need a negative commerce clause.

  62. Just a little joke, CB!
    Now if we could just get Macey to run…

  63. “””Premeditated drunk driving!”””

    For the most part, you drive to the bar where you intend to drink and intend to drive back. Most drunk driving would be premeditated.

  64. MNG,

    Driving a car (not a delivery truck) is a non-commerce activity, whether it crosses a state line or not.

    The purchase of the car is generally interstate. Although, if I buy a Toyota or Corvette it isnt.

    The driving of it. Not so much. Congress does not have the authority to regulate interstate travel.

    The shipping of goods is interstate commerce. No argument there.

  65. “””The driving of it. Not so much. Congress does not have the authority to regulate interstate travel.”””

    Which is why they blackmail the states by threating to deny them their highway funds.

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