Reason Morning Links: Shot Shortages, Baghdad Bombs, and Corporate Corruption


• The president declares swine flu a national emergency as Americans line up for scarce vaccines.

• Two bombs in Baghdad kill at least 160 people.

• Stimulus money just might be going to corrupt companies.

• Dallas cops ticket drivers for not speaking English.

• Gullibility on the right.

NEXT: Health Care Delusions, Left and Right

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  1. Hmm, the ticketing for not being English has a fairly plausible explanation. Seems that there is a federal law for commercial drivers not speaking English (who wants to bet that the Teamsters support that one?), and it’s included in the drop-down menu in their police computer. Still, at the same time the Dallas police say that they’re not responsible for enforcing that law.

  2. Looks like Limbaugh realized or discovered it was a hoax partway through, but defended himself on the grounds that “to be a good comedy, it has to be plausible,” so something like the old Dan Rather fake-but-accurate.

    Of course, entertainers like Limbaugh or Dan Rather are more likely to rush to “report” these sort of things. Or Newsweek to believe rumors about mistreatment of a Koran. Or CNN to believe claims about Operation Tailwind.

    1. Looks like that Newsweek one was revived in Afghanistan over the weekend, marked by explosions and gunfire.

  3. Is it normal that I read that as “scare vaccines”?

    So the government misses their vaccine target by nearly 90% and they want to administer yet more of health care? And just how the fuck do you miss by that much and only now call it a problem?

    Even so, this strain of flu has a death rate slightly lower than a moderate seasonal flu. Why isn’t the seasonal flu a national emergency?

    Ya know, someone ELSE was repeatedly accused of emergency-mongering…

    1. I initially read it like that, too.

      1. So the “scare vaccines” will protect us against the SCARE virus. Is that like the RAGE virus in ’28 Days Later’?

        1. Shit, yeah. Jonathan Crane’s a shifty bastard.

  4. Is it normal that I read that as “scare vaccines”?

    Dude, me too.

  5. Stimulus money just might be going to corrupt companies

    Sun rises in east; video at 6:00.

  6. ? The president declares swine flu a national emergency as Americans line up for scarce vaccines.

    Jesse, I do not understand why you would link to these two completely unrelated stories in the same bullet.

  7. The 2nd flu link shows pictures of crowds of people waiting outside in rain and cold, then in confined spaces, for a shot that is intended to fight an illness that they may already have or soon show symptoms of because they’re massing in ideal flu-spreading conditions. Awesome.

  8. Obama plays more golf in 9 months than Bush did in nearly three years…


    1. Obama can play all the golf he wants. the more time he spends working his putts, the less time he has to do anything else.

  9. From the linked article:
    “An officer has to know the elements of an offense or what’s necessary to constitute a crime,” Kunkle said. “In this case it appears that officers did not understand.”

    Is this more of that “New Professionalism” Scalia keeps nattering on about? Or do they have to shoot somebody’s dog to be professional?

    1. I wonder if Scalia actually believed that “New Professionalism” meme, or if he was just ad-libbing.

      1. Well, they haven’t shot his dog.

        1. I do not own a dog so that I can continue to be impartial on this issue.

        2. Yeah, I’m sure all the police officers Scalia comes into contact with are polite and professional. The rest of us? Not so much

  10. “In this case it appears that officers did not understand.”

    Good thing they’ve got that whole monopoly-on-force thing going for them, or they’d REALLY be up shit creek.

  11. I saw the swine flue emergency declaration on CNN. One of the reasons cited for it was to get bureaucratic red tape out of the way to increase the government’s efficiency* at setting up shot clinics. Imagine that.


    1. One of the reasons cited for it was to get bureaucratic red tape out of the way to increase the government’s efficiency* at setting up shot clinics.

      The only reason Obama declared an emergency was to further his position that the government should run your healthcare. Fortunately for America, the bafoon failed to realize that the government missed their vaccine target by nearly 90%.

      Our president is one stupid fuck.

      But he is a pretty good golfer.

      1. And a really shitty bowler.

  12. Gullibility on the right.

    We’re all more likely to fall for hoaxes that fit our beliefs; The first question that would have come to my mind is why Obama would have written a thesis when he went to law school. Was he an honors student as an undergrad?

    1. The WSJ had a great piece on hoaxes last week:

      We’re All Balloon Boys Now — With fakery everywhere today, people retreat into a shell of cynicism about everything.

      The “balloon boy” floating over Colorado last week got me thinking of the Obama photo-op airliner flying around lower Manhattan last April at 9/11 altitude. This is not to suggest that the Obama presidency is a hoax, though more on that later. It is to suggest it’s getting harder to know what’s real and unreal in a world that always seems to be slipping slightly out of focus.


    2. I have to say it’s one of the more believable hoaxes/rumors about Obama. The positions the fictional Obama takes in the fake excerpt are consistent with his real actions.

    3. Last I checked, he did not graduate with honors as an undergrad, and that this is one of the few things known about his academic performance.

  13. Unfortunately for the foes of government run health care, the swine flu vaccines are being made by private pharmaceutical companies, Norvatis and AstraZeneca.

    Just another reason we can’t leave our health in profit-driven hands.

    1. Yes, because when the government takes over the vaccines will be made by the lowest bidder. That will be sure to improve availability and quality.

    2. And those manufacturers have all said they are either on schedule or only slightly behind.

      What is new is that for the first time ever the federal government is in charge of distribution. And, waddaya know, there is a big delay in getting the vaccine to the front lines. Coincidence? When even the Prez tacitly admits (federal) red tape is causing delays?

      1. Didn’t he trash the USPS a while back? Maybe he’s a secret libertarian.

  14. If I were going to get a flu shot (which I am not) I would be more concerned that by “declaring a national emergency” Obama is giving the manufacturers a defensible arguement for when they end up producing some substandard vaccine that kills a bunch of people; “Hey. It was a national emergency. We didn’t have time to do all of the quality control that we normally do, which would have prevented this tainted vaccine from getting to market. It’s not our fault”.


  15. S.F. to ease up on unlicensed drivers

    Call it sanctuary on wheels: San Francisco is about to give a big break to people, many of them illegal immigrants, who are caught driving without a license.


  16. Fidel Castro’s younger sister says she collaborated with the CIA in 1964 following the Cuban revolution.

    Juanita Castro, 76, told Univision’s WLTV-23 station late Sunday she initially supported her brother’s 1959 overthrow of the Batista dictatorship but quickly became disillusioned by the revolution’s vast number of executions and rampant expropriation of private property.


  17. Stimulus money just might be going to corrupt companies.

    According to Air Force documents, the companies claimed to be small, minority-owned businesses, which allowed them to gain special preference in bidding for government contracts. But investigators found that they were all part of a larger minority-owned enterprise in Southern California, making them ineligible for the contracts.[italics added]

    There is the root of the problem. Rather than awarding contracts on a value provided basis, we tilt the playing field in favor of transexual, handicapped Aleuts, give them preferences (that is, they get payed more for delivering the same goddamed product) and act surprised that people would actually lie about their transexual, handicapped Aleut status.

    Who could have possibly foreseen that?

    1. Scamming the minority owned thing is a time honored tradition, from what I’ve heard.

      All you need is a dummy company to subcontract through. They get the contract and subcontract back to your company. They are a PO Box and a cut of the check. Or at best a few employees doing some pencil pushing for appearances.

    2. This has been going on for as long as I can remember. One of my dad’s friends had a business when I was in high school. The president, CEO and majority shareholder was his wife because that meant the company qualified for contracts he couldn’t otherwise get.

  18. Two bombs in Baghdad kill at least 160 people.

    If (big word there) the troops leave as scheduled it will get worse. A secular, multi party, stable representative government in Iraq is, and has always been a pipe dream.

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