Reason Morning Links: Subsidies for Energy, Trouble for Toyota, Thumbs Down for Question Time


• Barack Obama aims for a bipartisan big-government energy policy.

• A gaffe from the secretary of transportation sends Toyota stocks tumbling.

• The president says no to Question Time.

• If you try to bring children from Haiti to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, you might get charged with child trafficking.

• The Justice Department is looking for a few good mentally retarded lawyers.

• Australian censors mandate big breasts.


NEXT: Fiscal Stimulus is Buying Trouble

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  1. Australian censors mandate big breasts.

    Bigger than these?

    In Other Breaking News: Muslim Trained Female Bombers are not New.

    1. Crap! Second link should go here http://slashslashdotdot.blogsp…..-news.html

    2. The Reason-provided link about this probably shouldn’t be considered SFW, which probably should have been inferrable.

      1. Good thing I make my links generally safe for work, but this one might be pushing it.

  2. I’m pretty sure I know what happened here: Boilerplate that was designed for a wide range of federal jobs ? including the ones (probably a relatively small percentage of all federal jobs) for which one can be qualified even though one is mentally retarded
    I think he’s being too generous.

    1. I thought they were restricting applications to the Democrats Rohm Emmanuel was talking about the other day.

          1. I totally suck before coffee.

            1. God bless you.

  3. Ray LaHood –

    At a congressional hearing, LaHood said his advice to an owner of a recalled Toyota would be to “stop driving it. Take it to a Toyota dealer because they believe they have a fix for it.”

    My thought – yes Ray, thousands of people have died so you should start a panic. (end sarcasm)

    LaHood later said, “What I said in there was obviously a misstatement. What I meant to say .?.?. was if you own one of these cars or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer, and they’re going to fix it.”


    He created the same kind of panic Obama caused by again taking a swing at the “big bank” pinata that caused the market to burp.

    This is a good example of cronic foot-in-mouth disease. The guy opens his mouth and stupidity comes out. Must have attended the same public speaking seminar as Biden.

    When the recession started, I said over and over how the morons in place at the time (Bush, Paulson) said all the wrong things and made things worse. Good to see that happens no matter who is in office.

    1. Did we all miss our chance to buy Toyota cheap? Is that the right strategy?

      1. Like airlines, I don’t think car companies are currently good investments.

        Strange yesterday to hear a Toyota radio commercial touting “leganrdary Toyota quality” in the middle of a news segment that included the Ray LaHood stupidity.

      2. A 7% drop shortly after open. I swear between Timmy during the congressional bank hearings last year, Obama speeches, and other administration morons there’s emerging a viable trading strategy on when government officials speak.

    2. There’s only so many times a group of people can stick their foot in their mouth before the stupid starts to look intentional. Government owns two car companies, government transportation official bashes foreign car maker. That’s taking protectionism to a new low. The comment might not have been intentional, but the sentiment was.

      1. Excellent point.

        1. But no one is going to buy a Chevy because of it. Honda and Nissan may very well benefit, however.

          1. Did Obama tell people to go out and buy GM cars or was that a radio joke?

            1. I think he said only retards would buy a Toyota.

          2. Most auto rating outfits are rating some classes of American cars on par with Japanese cars. There’s already a market share shift, Ford capturing 2% of the market. Mullaly started fixing the company before the crisis, something the other two didn’t do. Ford’s going to have a slow revival in the US and over seas.

          3. Actually, according to the Detroit Free Press yesterday, lots of people are actually rushing to buy GM products:
            Sales up 40.6% for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC
            Down for Toyota 16%.
            I must admit, the timing on all these Toyota ‘revelations’ seems a little suspicious…

          4. Actually, Hyundai is making a HUGE push. They’re about to launch a Hybrid, get the highest average fuel economy of any manufacturer, and have a car (Genesis?) that rivals the Mercedes and BMWs at half the price. If they can get a decent sports car going, they’ll have all the bases covered.

      2. As soon as I heard that Congress was holding hearings on this matter, I asked “what possible business is this of the U.S. government”. It should have been obvious; another application of the Rahm Rule (the one about not letting a “crisis” go to waste, not the one about retards).

    3. No way government officials are dramatically overstating the problem by accident. No way.

      And for people who insist that Ford is equal to the Japanese automakers in quality, my question to you is how many Fords do you see from the early-to-mid 90s on the road? You see Hondas and Toyotas of that era all over.

      If I were going to buy American, I’d buy Ford, but I’m not planning to buy American.

      1. I have longed believe this and have been a devotee of Japanese cars for years and years (I drive a Toyota, wife has a Subaru and we also have a little Suzuki t-top – and it is a mid-90s vehicle and runs great.) But recent rentals have made me think that maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning a little.

        1. It may be, but in cars, you have to prove it over time. One problem with U.S. carmakers–all of them–is that they radically change features all the time without reason. The Japanese seem less eager to do that, particularly for things that work well.

      2. I actually own 5 Chrysler/Jeep vehicles from the late 80’s to mid-90’s. But then, I’m a mechanic…

      3. I see all kinds of Ford trucks from that era everywhere.

        I also see lots of Ford cars – the boring ones – Taurusesesesss and such.

        My truck has a blue oval on the grille and ever shall it be.

    1. Boo!

      (Hope that elicits a chuckle.)

      1. I am just surprised that I found the story before the Reason staff!

    1. Is John Carney your boyfriend or something? He’s totally grasping at straws.

      Can’t you just accept that many bankers, despite millennia of evidence to the contrary, believed that house prices would continue to go up forever (or at least long enough for them to make a pile of money – many of them were right about that). It’s pathetic.

      You can argue that the CRA is stupid and I’d likely agree with you. But to absolve the bankers – who almost to a man claim superior knowledge and ability when it comes to these matters – is dishonest. Especially when your argument is based on John Carney, the Bank of America and 10 year old statistics.

  4. Q: What do you call a Prius with no brakes?

    A: A start.

    1. Does the Prius go fast enough to even need brakes? Can’t you just use your feet to stop?

  5. [wrt Q&A] “it is going to be hard to recreate the spontaneity that happened.”

    I’m gonna spontaneously call bullshit on this.

    Spontaneity is (or should be) the *essence* of such sessions.

    What the administration means is more like: it is going to be hard to recreate the appearance of transparency that happened.

    1. Er, by definition, spontaneity is impossible to recreate. Of course, I don’t think spontaneity is the main argument for Q&As;.

      I’m not sure whether I support Q&A’s myself. The president is supposed to be an administrator, not a debater. Watching any president of the last 30 years, with the possible exception of Clinton, engage in Question Time would be excruciatingly painful. Obama would be lost without his TelePrompTer, Bush II would invent too many new words to even count, Bush I would commit gaffe after gaffe, and Reagan would fall asleep.

  6. The White House’s Illegal Piggy Bank
    …Gregg added that TARP was not a political slush fund, saying, “It’s not for a piggy bank because you’re concerned about lending to small businesses and you want to get a political event when you go out and make a speech” in Nashua….

  7. Jim Treacher was involved in a hit and run accident while crossing the street last night. The vehicle was Secret Service. Finally the story Reason’s Hit and Run was made for.

    1. First they came for the mid-level humor bloggers, and I said nothing…

  8. If it’s any consolation to Ray LaHood, apparently there are people that are even dumber than he is.

    Such as, for instance, the CBSNews.com editor-in-chief

    Of course, the Transportation Secretary can’t say that millions of people who have no other mode of travel — and who absolutely depend on their Toyota to get to work, school or grandma’s ? should park their cars and wait for a fix. Unless, that is, he has the capability to hand out safe cars to those in need until Toyota dealers apply the fix….

    Clearly, the odds of the Toyota accelerator problem causing irrevocable harm are small. But with foreknowledge of a potentially serious problem, expecting people to drive the vehicle is a dicey proposition. It’s similar to asking a person to fly even if they know that some planes in an airline fleet have a potential fatal flaw that could lead to injury or death — but the probability is small so they should just take their chances.

    The 2.3 million Toyotas being recalled are approximately 1% of the 250 million registered cars in the US. So around 300 of the 35,000 traffic deaths each year happen in these cars. If the 19 deaths attributed to the accelerator flaw happend over 6 years, that’s 3 per year, or 1%.

    So there is a 100-times better argument for Toyota drivers not to drive their cars: they might get into a crash completely unrelated to the accelerator and die.

    Thank goodness statistically challenged people like this are the exception rather than the rule in government and media. Otherwise, we might end up with idiotic cell phone bans or something.

  9. The Justice Department is looking for a few good mentally retarded lawyers.

    Don’t you mean a few more?

    1. I motion that the above commentary of Spartacus be awarded the Win.

    2. Moral retardation is another matter.

  10. Here they come —
    The Demon Sheep!

  11. Let me be clear. The concerns of the American People about the reasons for cell phone bans and automobile recalls are unacceptable. I would accept responsibility, though not necessarily blame for any uncertainty, however improbable. I am therefore creating (or saving – heh, heh) the Position of Statistics Czar ….

  12. ? Australian censors mandate big breasts.

    This story went from YESSS to Are you fucking kidding me? so fast that I think I sprained something. Better make sure that the actresses twats look Steve Smith’s armpit too. Fuckity fuck.

  13. Australia has also banned pornographic depictions of female ejaculation, a normal orgasmic sexual response in many women, with censors branding it as ‘abhorrent’

    Wow. Then again, this is a country where bringing a girl to a bar, parking her at a table, and spending the rest of the evening drinking beer and playing pool with your pals is considered a “date”.

    1. Australia really is paradise.

    2. Australia has banned depiction of female ejaculation?

      I, for one, vow never to live in Australia, then.

    1. Ack!

      I had a +1 for you too and edited it away.


    2. KnittyGrittyxxx 02/03/10

      I have 2 vaginas and 2 uteri. I’m pregnant in the left one right now. There is not enough money in the world to get me onto Tyra’s stage. Good grief. She can’t even say vagina like a grown-up.

    3. This story makes my dominant penis stand up and take notice.

  14. The Justice Department is looking for a few good mentally retarded lawyers.

    Rahm Emanuel apparently knows a few…

  15. I’m not sure if anyone posted this, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go look:

    Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States.

  16. How on earth can 435 Congressmen, 100 Senators, 9 Justices and one President spent more than 300,000,000 tax payers can earn?

    1. To be fair, they haven’t, yet. They’re getting there.

      1. To be fair, they haven’t, yet. They’re getting there.

        To also be fair nowhere near 300 million of them are taxpayers. My children pay nothing while 5-10 million others pay negative taxes through programs like EITC.

        1. Considering FICA, even most (all?) EITC recipients are taypayers.

          1. To continue with the fair thing, they aren’t spending all we earn, not yet anyway. They are just spending more than they collect in taxes which is just a percentage of what we earn. Although, I’m pretty sure a lot of them want to spend all we earn.

    2. It is a lot easier to spend other people’s money than you own. To prove this I suggest you walk into a bar and buy a round for everyone and notice that the “free” drinks are more expensive than the ones they were drinking previously.

  17. Retards to Rahm: Fuck You!

    Special Olympics does NOT accept Rahm apology…


    1. Yeah, they would be idiots to accept it.

  18. I don’t know about you guys, but, just for the sake of freedom, I’m going to go out and find as many pictures and videos of small-breasted, ejaculating women. If the Aussies can’t, then I’ll double my current efforts!

    1. Years ago there was a website called “The Itty Bitty Titty Committee”. Perhaps it still exists.

  19. Hey Seth Macfarlane: Rape jokes aren’t funny

    Announcer: Gentleman, Give an indifferent east coast welcome to our newest bullrider, Peter the Kid!

    (Peter rides bull, gets bucked off shortly after.)

    Bull: You know what I am back at the ranch? I’m a breeding bull.

    Peter: Wha…wha…what’s that?

    Bull: You gonna find out.

    Peter: (Gasps)

    Bull: Where you going fatty? We’re gonna have a party.

    Peter: No! No!

    (Peter fights as the bull pulls his pants off)

    1. Ah, Femifisting. The Institute for the Humor Prohibited. You’d think they’d be all over a patriarchal oppressor getting his “just desserts.”

      (Note, this is not a defense of Family Guy being funny. I would never attempt that.)

  20. There’s a small snag in the Haiti orpahn story: not all of the children were actually orphans.

    So yeah. It’s possible to be just a little suspicious when you’re taking 30 children over to another country when some of them still have parents.

    1. There is a story here in the Idaho Statesman about the churchlady attempting the alleged trafficing. She has been very busy going broke in Idaho.

  21. Google to form a partnership with the National Security Agency?

    Now that is something I would not have expected, and find a bit worrisome.

    1. Relax.

    2. That’s probably what SugarFree’s “long boring meeting” was about yesterday.

    3. What the NSA can find out about you from Google pales to what the NSA can find out from your Fackbook account.

      1. You mean like where I hide my ammunition and nail tools?

    4. This sounds a lot less like a problem than you headline makes it. A more accurate headline would be “Google asks NSA’s help in finding the Chinese hackers that hacked it”.

  22. Here’s one for Radley. This could get interesting.

    Blogger Jim Treacher injured by hit and run driver

    One last thing: I’m told by multiple people that the SUV that hit me was Secret Service. If this is true, I want to know why that happened. I was crossing legally, and they just left me there.

    the police added insult to injury by issuing Jim a citation for jaywalking, which Tucker Carlson tells me is “completely false and made up.”

    1. “completely false and made up.”

      Glad it’s not just one. Case closed.

    2. I absolutely had the right of way. I yelled something like, “Are you really doing this?” as it hit me before I could move.

      So…he had time to yell a complete sentence, but not to jump out of the way or something.

    3. That sounds almost identical to what happened to Steven Hatfill, the guy who the media and government incorrectly believed was the anthrax letter mailer early on.

      1. Who is writing the movie treatment?

    4. From what I understand, this is a fairly common method of retribution in southern California. I find it curious that it is being used in the D.C. I wonder if it has something to do with the inability to easily aquire firearms in the District?

  23. the police added insult to injury by issuing Jim a citation for jaywalking

    This, of course, reminds me of the old adage which advises pedestrians to cross at a point which ensures they will *land* in the crosswalk.

    Maybe Marie Antoinette the First Lady sent the Palace Guard out for an emergency Cherries Garcia run.

  24. Treacher should be grateful a Treasury Agent didn’t emerge from the vehicle with a tricked-out sawed off shotgun, to end his suffering.

    1. They let IRS agents ride along?

      1. The Secret Service is under the Dept. of the Treasury.

        1. Not any more. It’s part of Homeland Security now.

        2. I was talking about the new tactical shotguns. Story from yesterday.

    2. If the Prime Oracle ran you over, it must be a matter of national security.

  25. And for today’s “Soon every kid will have a suspension on their permanent record.” file.

  26. Maybe Marie Antoinette the First Lady sent the Palace Guard out for an emergency Cherries Garcia run.

    I lik to believe she is more of a Karamel Sutra lover.

  27. bestpriceforsales powershot s90 I took it back to the store. The S90 exhibited some of the worst barrel distortion I’ve seen from any camera, much worse than my SD780IS or my even older SD950IS.

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