Reason Morning Links: GOP Threates to Sit Out Health Care Summit, Toyota Recalls Prius, Thirdhand Smoke

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  1. Republicans threaten to boycott Obama health care summit unless Obama scraps bills currently pending in Congress.

    They should not even entertain showing up. It’s just a big B. Hussein photo op.

    Now: third-hand smoke.

    WTF?

    Suki’s Morning Links Illustrated

    1. Third hand smoke is as realistic as a third hand(job)

      1. wow how does that work?

        1. My guess would be that you get two handjobs. And then, uh, a third one.

    2. Third-hand smoke is what they’re blowing up our asses with this joke of a study.

      1. Third-hand smoke is what they’re blowing up our asses with this joke of a study.

        Indeed.

        The amount of possible exposure to third-hand smoke would be so low.

        The power to outlaw tobacco is reserved to the states, of course. But just because such a power is reserved to the states does not mean it is a good idea for the states to exercise this power.

  2. “[The President’]s open to including any good ideas that stand up to objective scrutiny.”

    So much for any non-democrat input.

    1. The Republican response should be a Cheney quote, “So.”

  3. Lookie at what I found when doing my taxes last weekend, a tax credit just for the parasites in DC (the tax credit, not the links themselves):

    Washington, D.C.’s First-Time Home-Buyer Tax Credit

    D.C.’s homebuyer tax credit is a really good deal

    1. If “homeownership” is so great for the economy and society, why aren’t there tax credits for nth-time homebuyers?

      1. Because after you’ve fattened the calf, you have to start eating it.

      2. Looks like Squirrel hasn’t had his coffee yet. Reason is the only thing web not playing nice on my ‘puter.

        I thought I heard something about second time buyer programs recently. Maybe it was a joke and I missed it?

  4. “Dermal uptake of the nicotine through a child’s skin is likely to occur when the smoker returns”

    … resulting in fourth-hand smoke in the child’s breath and urine.

    1. Maybe there is a cure in the genome of the Indians? They were smoking tobacco in pipes long before the first European and somehow managed to survive.

      1. What was their average lifespan? Did violent death overtake them before the cancer could?

        I have no idea, I am simply curious.

    2. March 4, 2015

      Scientists today released a paper detailing the discovered that if you come within fifty miles of a cigarette, you will die.

    3. Dermal uptake of the nicotine through a child’s skin is likely to occur when the smoker returns

      So? I thought nicotine was pretty benign, and that it was all the other gunk in cigarette smoke that was bad for you.

      1. The other gunk is what causes cancer, but nicotine isn’t great for you either. Still, this is stupid. Where are the bodies? We have gotten to the point where any effect of tobacco at all is assumed to be bad without any evidence.

        1. I think we need to go on an irradication programs to wipe out the evil weed from our midst, just like with the other one.

        2. If second hand smoke was as bad as they say, we would have died off a long time ago.

          Damn near everyone smoked when I was growing up.

  5. “Third-hand smoke” article in the NYT a year ago. BBC is johnny come superlately.

    I shall recycle my comment:

    I’m deathly afraid of fourth-hand smoke, which is the use by blog comment avatar of virtual tobacco products. And fifth-hand smoke, which is watching a movie, reading a book, or listening to a song about tobacco products. And sixth-hand smoke, which reading a review of any movie, book, or song that mentions tobacco products.

    I have a Federal grant to discover seventh-hand smoke and how to combat it.

    1. Every breath you take contains at least one molecule of air exhaled by Sharon Stone when she was smoking and flashing her junk.

      1. Wasn’t that a Sting song?

        1. Yes – “Sharon Stone Smoking and Flashing Her Junk”. B side – I’m impressed you know that one!

    2. And fifth-hand smoke, which is watching a movie, reading a book, or listening to a song about tobacco products.

      And I will peer-review your previous findings by recycling a comment of my own about Weaver lighting up in the movie Avatar:

      I think there’s a valid concern here. Children watching Avatar in 3D are going to see Ripley seemingly puffing on a cig right next to them in the theater. And we all know that virtual secondhand smoke is exactly as dangerous as the real thing.

      1. Woo! Peer-review! Now Chony has to believe everything I say.

        1. Smoking thread = illustrated blog worthy.

          Thank you!

          1. Does this mean I am only immune* to first-hand smoke but not the other ones?

            *Asian world population is pretty big and lots of smokers.

    3. Eagerly awaiting a new report on first-derivative hand smoke.

      And shouldn’t this really have been about gripping-hand smoke?

      1. Stop you guys you’re giving us all cancer

        1. Warning, visual tribute to Chony at the Fourth Hand Smoke post in the blog link in my handle.

  6. If the GOP leadership can’t construct a coherent response to Obama’s complaints, then they really are bereft of ideas(*). They should be using this opportunity as a platform to hit Obama back head-on. To threaten a boycott? Total disgrace.

    (*) Yes, I know there are some who carry the GOP label to could put forward an intelligent proposal. Clearly, this does not include those in the leadership positions of the GOP. It’s too bad that this whole Tea Party thing is so incohesive.

  7. If the GOP leadership can’t construct a coherent response to Obama’s complaints, then they really are bereft of ideas(*). They should be using this opportunity as a platform to hit Obama back head-on. To threaten a boycott? Total disgrace.

    (*) Yes, I know there are some who carry the GOP label to could put forward an intelligent proposal. Clearly, this does not include those in the leadership positions of the GOP. It’s too bad that this whole Tea Party thing is so incohesive.

    1. You miss the point. The GOP should put forward an intelligent proposal, but not in an Obama forum where he will simply dismiss it while upstaging them.

      1. “while upstaging them”

        Barack Obama, the Patty Labelle of politics.

      2. “not in an Obama forum…”

        After Obama already upstaged them in a GOP forum (House retreat) I don’t blame them for being scared.

  8. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded by saying that Obama has sought Republican input since early last year, and the president remains interested in hearing ideas that the GOP believe will advance the cause of health care reform.

    It’s a tragic shame; not one single alternative has been put forward in that time.

    1. Key words: advance the cause

      And fresh from Suki’s Obama to English translator health care reform = Nationalization of more industries.

      (if this is messed up I blame it on “Unable to retrieve preview”)

  9. Reason ain’t loading right this morning

    1. I’m having the same problem.

      1. Shovel ready stimulus project!

        1. For a magazine called Reason your website sure does load slow.

          1. Drink! More coffee!

            1. The site was much faster when Postrel was around.

              1. downright un-libertarian it is

              2. Thanks, I needed 2 more cups of coffee.

              3. You know, I gotta call you on that. This site used to be so fucking slow.

                1. Here’s a twenty, kid. Go get yourself a sense of humour.

              4. It needs a few more embedded videos and ads.

                1. BB, your ruse to get us to drink at 9am will surely fail. I counter your attack with “This site must be run by NAZIs, that is why it is slow”.

                  AHHH HA!!!!

            2. I’d think if Reason were really libertarian it would be all behind Palin, so the Jacket’s [kind of] dissing her in his piece is what caused the squirrel revolt that led to the slow response this AM, cause everyone knows IT squirrels are red teamers libertarians and therefore support “Our Sainted Sarah”. Amen. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout

              1. Please – it’s for teh children

  10. “He’s been very clear about his support for the House and Senate bills because of what they achieve for the American people: putting a stop to insurance company abuses, extending coverage to millions of hardworking Americans, getting control of rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reducing the deficit,” Gibbs said in a statement.

    Listen up Dems! That baby was stillborn. You cannot push it back into the womb and hope it re-emerges as a healty infant. You are going to have to start the whole baby-making process from the beginning. I recommend laying of the hard drugs during the pregnancy this time.

    1. … laying off the hard drugs …

      It was the keyboard’s fault. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    2. J,

      I hate to be the one who explains this stuff to you, but someone has to.

      You saw the Government put its baby maker in a certain hole of the taxpayer and assumed that they were trying to make a baby.

      The problem was that the Government put its baby maker in the wrong hole. Which leads to my next observation, that isn’t a dead baby that came out of the taxpayer’s hole.

      1. Here is my take on this using a baby making analogy. The problem is too many people on the set. Health care reform is like two actors performing and they can’t concentrate when they have other actors yelling “I want a share of the pie” ( Nebraska and Louisiana) and a director (pharma /insurers) telling them what to do. It is hard to cum to a satisfactory bill for anyone under these circumstances.

      2. OK, that made me laugh out loud. And now I feel awful…

        1. Porno does that to you every time 😉

  11. Reason ain’t loading right this morning

    1. Glad it’s not just me. I also got the new firefox which seems to have killed my theme and some extensions.The coincidence had me worried.

      1. seems somewhat better now

  12. “Dubai closes world’s tallest building.”

    Using slave labor to build things might be cheap, but the workers have no incentive to do a quality job.

    1. Didn’t the Egyptians have an incentive plan for that? Ended up with an emigration problem, but not a QC problem.

      1. The last twenty years or so have seen an increasingly solid (dare I say it) consensus that even the common workers on the great Egyptian monuments were highly skilled, respected and well treated.

        Evidence like, they ate copious amounts of fish and meat, drank enormous quantities of beer, had access to good clothe, and luxury body oils.

        No direct evidence either way on whether they were slaves or not, but opinions seem to be against.

        Too bad for the directors of sword and sandal epics.

  13. From the Dubai article:

    It boasts more than 160 stories, but the exact number is not known.

    aaaannd from wikipedia:

    160 habitable floors
    plus 46 maintenance levels in the spire and 2 parking levels in the basement

    Sheer laziness. Buncha yahoos.

    1. aaaaannnnd tag fail. unless you want to imagine the wiki article calling yahoo lazy.

      1. SO what, is SF running a virtual campus now in his HTML class?

        Hrumphf

  14. I refuse to read “Toyota recalls” as anything but the title of the second greatest Schwarzenegger movie ever.

    1. That makes no sense. You must be snubbing either Junior or Jingle All The Way.

      1. Kindergarten Cop?

        1. Helllooooo – “Predator”

        2. I actually liked Kindergarten Cop. Of course I was 8 when I saw it.

          1. ,i>Stay Hungry was excellent. Co-starring Sally Field nekkid back when she was cute as a button.

            1. *hangs head in shame*

          2. Take the gun.

    2. Get ready for a surprise!

    3. How do you get Predator out of Toyota Recalls?

      1. simple but effective .You win.

    4. Get your ass to Mars!

  15. If drivers experience a delayed reaction when depressing the brakes in any of these models, they should keep pressing, according to Toyota and the transport ministry.

    o rly?

  16. In perhaps the strangest moment of the Obama presidency yet, he claims to have received a letter from a woman who was dying (due to a lack of health insurance), and insisted that she was “going to be buried in an Obama t-shirt”.

    1. This Obama guy is one fucked up motherfucker.

    2. Sounds like Edwards found a new job as ghost writer.

    3. Okay. Obama has now graduated from a simple egomaniac into Jim Jones territory. For his next act, he will have Galileo excommunicated for suggesting that Obama wasn’t the center of the universe.

      1. Geez, Galileo can’t catch a break.

        He just got pardoned by that poseur Pope (John Paul) in 1992 or so. Now he’s going to be kicked out of heaven by Obama?

        1. If the rumors of Galileo’s torrid affair with Johannes Kepler have any truth to them, he wasn’t in heaven to begin with.

    4. Even better, she was supposed to have been an Obama Campaign worker. So it’s his campaign that’s at fault for not providing health insurance for employees!

    5. I got a letter … from a woman in St. Louis who had been part of our campaign, very active, who had passed away from breast cancer. She didn’t have insurance. She couldn’t afford it…

      Perhaps she should have considered getting a fucking job instead of being “very active” in a political campaign.

      1. Even better, it turns out this woman was already enrolled in a public option.

        So government healthcare failed and Obama was lying again about her having no insurance.

        1. Obama lying? Are you serious? Are you serious?

          1. Why was she wearing an eyepatch?

          2. Obama lying? Are you serious? Are you serious?

            For him to lie, he has to know that what he is saying is not true, or said it without caring if it was true or not.

        2. Yes — and there’s no reason to believe that the unspecified treatment that her “private carrier” denied would have prevented her death.

        3. Also note that she refused to get early treatment because she didnt want to pay the deductible. If you get a catastrophic policy with a 10k deductible, its a good idea to keep 10k in the bank.

          1. Maybe the new HCR bill will have a clause against pre-existing deductibles?

  17. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke explains how GSEs work:

    The GSEs’ second line of business is the main focus of my remarks today. It involves the purchase of mortgage-backed securities and other types of assets for their own investment portfolios. This line of business has raised public concern because its fundamental source of profitability is the widespread perception by investors that the U.S. government would not allow a GSE to fail, notwithstanding the fact that–as numerous government officials have asserted–the government has given no such guarantees. The perception of government backing allows Fannie and Freddie to borrow in open capital markets at an interest rate only slightly above that paid by the U.S. Treasury and below that paid by other private participants in mortgage markets. By borrowing at this preferential rate and purchasing assets (including MBS) that pay returns considerably greater than the Treasury rate, the GSEs can enjoy profits of an effectively unlimited scale. Consequently, the GSEs’ ability to borrow at a preferential rate provides them with strong incentives both to expand the range of assets that they acquire and to increase the size of their portfolios to the greatest extent possible.

    1. Well, the perception turned out to be true, didn’t it?

  18. unless you want to imagine the wiki article calling yahoo lazy.

    I thought that was a reference to the workforce.

  19. Larry Summers is stark raving mad. He just said “unemployment is down.”

    1. The other day Biden said unemployment was going to be increasing. The reporter helped him out and he took her correction.

  20. He’s (Summers) also a lying sack of shit.

    Surprise!

    1. A lot of economists have recently said that they think that even the bullshit unemployment number which just dropped down a bit is going to start rising again in the near future, possibly even as high as 11%.

      1. The non-bullshit number also dropped, from 17.3% to 16.5%.

  21. Larry Summers is stark raving mad. He just said “unemployment is down.”

    Technically it is. You see, people get less money for unemployment than they got in wages so that would be down. Unemployment is down.

    1. I’m down with that.

  22. Republicans threaten to boycott Obama health care summit

    This just in: John Murtha died from an infection caused by a surgical mistake (perforated intestine) during his gall bladder surgery at National Naval Hospital in Bethesda. Oops.

    1. I think you mean navel hospital.

    2. Government healthcare at work.

      1. If it means more dead politicians, then i’m all for socialized healthcare.

        1. Yeah, it’s bittersweet. Too bad you can’t sue the government, eh?

      2. But it’s that high quality health care that only the members of government get. So I’ve heard.

  23. Threates? Really?

    1. That’s the Middle English form of “threats”, which would make sense in the context. It also turns up 193,000 hits on Google (though Google asks me if I meant “theaters”).

  24. How To Split Up The U.S. based on Facebook fan/friend cluster information.

    1. I thought that this was a pretty awesome link, in that it reflects my totally unsubstantiated intuitions about how the United States breaks up, socially.

      I am sure the NYCers are going ape shit over having so much in common with us lowly flyover folk, but NYCers were always jerks anyway.

      1. The Stayathomians display similar behavior (they don’t move far away) as indicated by the fact that they don’t have links to far away.

        So while Iowans and New Yorkers behave similarly in this regard, we don’t actually connect to each other. So culturally we remain quite distinct.

        So this “grouping” is misleading.

      2. hey now! if you cut us, do we not bleed into our lattes?

      3. From where do you think most the people in NYC come?

    2. They also have NYC and DC in different regions, even though the connection between those two cities is the strongest on the map.

    3. My biggest problem with it is that KY appears to be with the north, not with Dixie. You make one decison in 1861 and it haunts you forever.

    4. From the article

      Some of these clusters are intuitive, like the old south, but there’s some surprises too. For instance, Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas have closer ties to Texas than Georgia.

      Not surprising at all if you’ve been to all those places.

      These really are two “The South”s and they divide rather somewhere around the Big Muddy.

  25. Why do the Chinese save so much? To get some ACTION, of course.

  26. Do you ever think Obama will finally realize that the ones who make all the important decisions have all been bought and paid for? Its the American way!

    Amy
    http://www.private-surfing.be.tc

    1. Anon Akabot!

  27. Dubai closes world’s tallest building.

    I was disappointed by the actual story. Needs the Irwin Allen touch.

  28. Too lazy to link:

    John Murtha dies

    Everyone has a term limit.

    More snow in DC shuts down federal government

    See? Even God wants a do-nothing Congress for once.

    1. God, hell. I did that!

  29. I haven’t read the Dubai story; I hope there’s something in there about “imminent collapse”.

    1. Nope. The link text is misleading.

  30. Obama’s invite to the Republicans on HCR is a brilliant political move. R’s have been painted as obstructionist on everything Obama wants (Shelby from Alabama comes to mind). If they don’t show up, the Dems will scream loud and long in campaign ads that the Reps are happy with health care the way it is. With Obama saying he’ll consider any Republican ideas that fit his reform, no meaningful dialogue will occur if Rs do sit down with Obama so there isn’t much reason to go but he appears to be willing to work with the Rs. Either way, the Republicans will be presented by the media to be uncaring and unwilling to work towards some kind of reform. The huge block of swing voters are, IMO, in agreement that something needs to be done to stop the rising costs of health care and insurance. They could easily be swung back to the Democrats if the Republicans don’t tread very carefully.

    The Republicans have painted themselves into a corner by not participating in the reform process and now the administration has sprung a rather ugly trap.

    1. “The Republicans have painted themselves into a corner by not participating in the reform process and now the administration has sprung a rather ugly trap.”

      Not participating? I seem to recall that they were affirmatively excluded.

      However, they csn be faulted for not presenting an alternative plan on their own and taking it directly to the voters, as they did with the “Contract With America.”

    2. If we accept as an axiom that the media is going to distort the truth and outright lie to help the Democratic Party, then the GOP was pretty much fucked to begin with. You can’t really lay much blame on them for choosing a bad strategy.

      1. If we accept as an axiom that the media is going to distort the truth and outright lie to help the Democratic Party, then the GOP was pretty much fucked to begin with. You can’t really lay much blame on them for choosing a bad strategy.

        Any proof of this?

        1. It’s a boiler plate right-wing claim that the MSM distorts and lie for their liberal buddies.

          I’ve never seen any actual proof. But the claim is made often.

    3. And it wouldn’t be such a “brilliant political move” if he didn’t have lackeys in the MSM ready to put the spin he wants on every story.

    4. I agree that this dog-and-pony show of reaching out to the republicans (which is mostly intended to try to distract people from the fact that he can’t even unite his own party) is a smart tactical move, but it’s not going to be enough to save him or his beleaguered party in November for two main reasons.

      First, he is an ideologue and has no intentions of truly listening to the republicans, and this will only become more apparent to people as time passes. Second, his dictated parameter is that they’re not going to start over, but work with what has been framed in Congress already, and most of the country despises what has come out of there. It’s kind of amazing that he still doesn’t seem to understand this simple fact, but as I said, he is an ideologue.

      1. Is this dog and pony show going to be televised? If so, the GOP needs to get its ten best (granted this might be a chore) presenters there to challenge Obama on reform ideas that Repbulicans and the majority of Americans back. For example, Rep. Ryan says “Can I see a show of hands from my Democratic congressional colleagues, how many of you want serious tort reform and damages caps and limited trial lawyer fees in a health care reform package?” Photo-op if none raise their hands. Should some do so, take names and get a bill going. The GOP needs to position itself as reasonable and staying away won’t because the average American isn’t going to be tuned into the subleties of why its good political strategy for them to stay away.

        1. Is this dog and pony show going to be televised?

          I’m not sure, but I agree with you totally. This a bluff by Obama, and the republicans should call it, because they hold the winning hand.

          If they’re afraid of going head to head with him, they shouldn’t be, because he isn’t nearly as smart as what America was led to believe.

  31. NEWS FLASH:

    Third hand smoke causes global warning and encourages excessive corporate bonuses!

  32. I’ll take the scourge of third-hand smoke over the scourge of second-hand body odor any day.

  33. Ahhh, Greater Texas. Where the Mexicans are middle-class and Arkansanians are slave labor.

    1. Well, if they really wanted to work…

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