Reason Morning Links: Anthrax, CPAC, Cars, and Darfur


• The White House will unveil its new health care plan this morning.

• The Conservative Political Action Conference wraps up with Glenn Beck attacking Republicans as well as Democrats.

• Internal Toyota documents reveal the company's distrust for an administration that offered "Massive government support for Detroit automakers."

• Darfur's dominant rebel group signs a truce with the government of Sudan.

• Arizonans find informal ways to fight speed cameras.

• The FBI formally closes the case of the anthrax mailings. (Bonus: the Godel, Escher, Bach connection.)

NEXT: Immigration and Crime

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  1. The FBI formally closes the case of the anthrax mailings.

    It was Richard Jewell, wasn’t it?

    1. Yep. It was his plan all along to get the Feds and media off his trail preemptively. Quite ingenious.

  2. A quote from the Toyota article:

    “The “Activist Administration & Congress ? increasing laws & regulations” is listed as one of “Toyota Challenges,” as is “Massive government support for Detroit automakers.”

    And they’re completely correct here. Is there a legal Conflict of Interest case or issue here with the government being in position over Toyota here and already having done so much to tilt the scales towards GM and Chrysler?

    1. BTW, “?” is me. I’ve wanted to change up my name on here but I quickly tired of it.

      (And the new name is a reference to “Superman Prime” from “DC 1,000,000”. Not Optimus or Rodimus.)

      1. Some people will die before ever having the sex. I mean really. LOL


        1. True, but Fleshlights named after comic book characters never say no. Unless I imagine them to in my mind.

            1. A great burn AND a Futurama reference!

              I love our bot and it’s master. H&R rules.

      2. Go back to the Sun, Queero McGoldskin.

    2. I have to admit to a little wariness about how bad the situation of Toyota is being made out to be. Toyota? After decades of making high quality vehicles? Seems a little dubious. Couple that with the government controlling an auto manufacturer and stupid remarks about how people should stop driving their Toyotas immediately, well, I think it’s just possible the problems are being exaggerated for political ends.

      1. That’s the thing. Just anectodal evidence, but everybody I know who was a loyal customer of Toyota before is still a loyal customer of Toyota.

        1. I’ve got a 2007 Sienna, and I’m not that worried about it. I’d certainly take it in if a recall were announced, but I’m fairly confident that Toyota will be taking a close look at everything to do as much as possible to protect its reputation.

          What makes this seem clearly an exaggeration is that Toyota has operated for so long without any problems like this. Possibly a culture change; more possibly some axe-grinding going on in the U.S.

          1. Toyota long had a reputation for over-building things, and supposedly has been cutting back on that to save money. 20 years ago I had a ’76 Corolla, and my mechanic claimed the engine would probably last 300K miles, but that newer ones weren’t as good. Apparently saving a few cents on brake pedal parts came back to bite them.

            1. That is not an uncommon pattern.

              The thing that actually has me the slightest bit worried is hearing that the CEO drives an Audi. It’s not like Toyota doesn’t build some fairly powerful, fairly luxurious cars. Shouldn’t the man eat his own dog food?

              In anycase, I am not rushing off to sell my Camry, and am unlikely to put a GM high on my list anytime soon.

      2. After this, I think my next truck will be a Toyota. It sure as fuck won’t be another GMC.

        30 deaths might be blamed for this? Out of 30,000? That’s .1%. That makes it comment worthy from the presidential administration? Shit.

        1. If I were in the market for a gas truck, the Tundra would be on the top of my list. It’s a really well done machine.

    3. It would be hard to pin charges of harassing Toyota on the Obama administration. After all, the cars are flawed, however exaggerated the risk may be, and do need to be fixed.

      If they’re ever caught covering up the need to recall a Detroit-made automobile, though, it would look really bad.

      1. There have been massive GM recalls in the last few months. But, the government didn’t insist everyone immediately turn over their cars. And the media didn’t cover it. The whole thing is pathetic. And it is not even about Toyota being Japanese. It is about Toyota having non-union American plants. If you are non-Union, you are the enemy of the state these days.

        1. Interesting. I didn’t know about the GM recalls. Which underlines your point about the media not covering it.

  3. Ahhh, Bach.

    1. That’s highly significant.

  4. +1 for the M*A*S*H reference

    1. Johnny, Tom & Epi will be along soon to spank you for your +1.

      1. I almost said something about that, but I was afraid I’d get called out for jumping into the new “anti +1” meme to soon.

        1. +1 (I could use a spanking)

          1. this

      2. Remember for my spanking, the safe word is “Betty White”

        The Golden Girls: How One TV Show Turned A Generation Of American Boys Into Homosexuals

        1. Your Golden Girls obsession started out harmlessly enough, but I’m beginning to worry about you now.

          1. +1

        2. How the fuck do you find this shit?

          Besides, that’s wrong. It was Absolutely Fabulous, not the Golden Girls.


        3. as a young runtish lad who burned in the sun easily and lacked any sporting ability, i watched hours of the Golden Girls and have never been tempted to butttsecks.

  5. Anyone see Ron Paul’s speech at the CPAC? He kicked some ass.

  6. From the Healthcare story:

    “President _______ will propose on ______ giving the federal government new power to…”

    You know, I used to say that this Healthcare bullshit was like a zombie. Always coming back.

    In reality, the government is the zombie. A zombie exists only to eat and contrary to definitions or beliefs, a government seems to exist only to steal power.

    The solution for dealing with both is the same.

    1. Feed it brains?

      1. Well, it does have something to do with brains.

        That is of course we’re talking Romero/Romero-ish type zombies and not Return of the Living Dead type ones.

    2. The solution for dealing with both is the same.

      A double tap?

      1. Nah, that wastes ammo. A single shot from an accurate rifle with some good glass, preferably with a red dot, from atop a heavily fortified three story building is more what I’m thinking.

        Wow, my whole line of thinking could be really misunderstood by a jury…

    3. ?,the solution to healthcare bullshit is to have public health care reform. The solution to zombie attacks is to prepare:

  7. “Another dissenter is John Keegan, a judge for the Arrowhead Justice Court, who has called the cameras a constitutional violation. He rejects every photo radar ticket that comes before him.

    So far, Keegan says, he’s dismissed more than 7,000 violations, potentially worth more than $1 million.”

    I want to shake Keegan’s hand.

  8. The speed camera article has some real insightful comments. Especially the 20% that boil down to “Shut up and do as you’re told.”

    No state’s voters should be allowed to vote their way out of a photo-radar system that not only works but saves lives and reduces accidents. AZ’s statistics are proof of this tool’s effectiveness. A speed limit is of course; just that. I sincerely hope this type of enforcement not only spreads nationwide but that after a 3 to 5 yr. period of usage, points will then be assigned to violators. This madness of speeding selfishly must be abated.

    FloLake (02/20/2010, 6:19 AM )

    1. “This madness of speeding selfishly must be abated.”

      How about not penalizing the rest of us because your stupid ass can’t drive?

      1. I think she mis-spelled the last word and wanted to write “ablated.”

        “This madness of speeding selfishly must be [eroded, cut, melted or evaporated away].”

        See? Doesn’t that make more sense?

        But, then… can madness be evaporated? Or does is always have to be sublimated?

        1. Is madness a solid, liquid or gas? Answer that, and you answer your own question.

          1. It’s a plasma, I tell you!

            A plasma!


            1. Never. It’s a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    2. See, she already fed her brains to the government. The system works!

      1. I’d love to make a t-shirt of Zombama eating the brains of his followers but someone would call me racist.

        Then again, I could make others with other pols as the zombie. Cover all markets!

        1. You’re a racist.

          There, now you have nothing to lose.

        2. Nice try, Kyle, but I’m still reporting this site.

          1. You can’t buy this type of publicity.

    3. Speed cameras are about 100x cheaper than cops, and as far as I know no speed camera has ever tried to find drugs in a car that it caught speeding.

      Yet another issue on which libertarians tend to align basically opposite the side of liberty.

  9. The Brits, already neck deep in the pan-optican state, have a game to train up your camera killing skills before you hit the road.

  10. The White House has held details of Mr. Obama’s bill extremely tight, leaving even top Democrats in Congress anxiously awaiting the text to be released Monday.

    Wouldn’t want to spoil the transparency.

    1. I predict it will be the Senate bill with more unicorns and cowbell.

      1. I don’t know if you can get more cowbell than the Senate bill.

  11. Happy trails, H&R. My patient nostalgia tank has run plumb dry.

    11/08/06! Never forget!

    1. Never forget what?

    2. Happy trails? Are you leaving, FrBunny? Or did you just drop some acid?

  12. “The Amerithrax Task Force”

    I wonder how much coming up with that clever name cost the taxpayer.

    1. Amerithrax would be an excellent name for a rock band.

  13. Who would win in a fight, Steve Smith or Bea Aurthur? “We all would” is not an option.


    1. Since Bea Arthur is dead, I’ll give this round to Steve Smith.

      In her prime… I’d have to get a ruling on whether or not she would be fighting a greased Steve Smith or not. Greased, she wouldn’t stand a chance. It’d be like fighting a Sasquatopus.

      1. Ok then, Zombie Bea Aurthur.

        1. Fast, slow, Romero, Return of the Living Dead or Marvel style?

          1. Don’t forget Black Lantern Bea Arthur.

            1. Assuming her ring worked on the color ruddy, she’d have a good chance.

              Despite the myths and legends built up around his reign of woodsy terror, Steve Smith is not a metabeing and has no mystical powers. He’s not a wendigo, for example.

              1. So you’re saying the Smithdigo is fake? Like God?

                1. As long as you hold him in your heart, he’s real to you.

      2. But what if in his lust for rape, Steve Smith fell and impaled himself on one of her bones?

        I think Bea could take him. In life or death.

        1. Steve Smith fucks old women bones every goddamn day and twice on Tuesday.

          1. Yeah, but she might like it and that could ruin it for him.

  14. As ASU fans in maroon and yellow shuffled into the game, a mother with children in a Toyota Prius gave an opposing view as she drove past.

    “Photo radar keeps people alive with kids, whoo-hoo!” she yelled.

    God bless America.

    or something

  15. One of my other functions is to be an anonymous cash cow for AZ. So pay up, jerk face. Whoo-hoo! LOL


  16. Ron Paul kicked ass as usual.

  17. Paul winning the CPAC poll was interesting. Not sure what it means, but it sure beats losing.

    1. Have u seen all the backpeddling the conservative blogs are doing? They’re all pissed that he won

    2. Yeah I heard that while watching CNN’s faux Cyber Attack/government fluff job and did a double take.

      Might there be an actual shift from voters going on?

    3. It means that of the people who are motivated enough to travel all the way to a conference in Washington DC, Paul is really popular. But that is a pretty small audience.

      1. I hate to say it, but this is probably right. There’s a reason the result was booed. For those of you for whom the Bush years still left it unclear, conservative != libertarian

        1. I think a radical could win in 2012. But Paul is too mild mannered and has too much baggage to be that radical. It will have to be someone new with a lot of charisma. Also understand that if we really can find a candidate who will change things and is charismatic, the media will hate his or her guts. All right thinking people will recoil from them in horror. I wonder if such a candidate ever came around, if Reason would have the balls to stand up and be counted rather than find a reason to go with the right thinking crowd.

          1. Gary Johnson?

            1. That’s who I was thinking of. He’s one of the few (R)’s I’d vote for.

            2. I’ll vote for him if he runs.

            3. He is some kind of triathlete health nut, which is of course his business. But I don’t trust health nuts. Also, he divorced his wife basically on her deathbed, like Gingrich did, which makes me wonder about his character.

              1. Yea was Johnson ever a morality crusader like Gingrich is?

                1. No. But not being a hypocrite doesn’t make you a good guy.

              2. Wow, incredible rationality on display here.

                1. I think how people act in private says something about how they act in public. I don’t care that he divorced his wife. And maybe he had a good reason. But, it does seem very unseemly.

                  In the end, you have to have a pathology to be a successful politician. That is why I never get my hopes up about any of them.

                  1. All things being equal, I agree. If I know the guy is a jerk, and I have someone else to vote for, I’ll vote for someone else. But the pickings are mighty slim.

          2. “”Also understand that if we really can find a candidate who will change things and is charismatic, the media will hate his or her guts.””

            Yeah, well don’t forget the parties themselves play a role. The candidate would have to be a money machine and that might not be enough.

          3. “”I think a radical could win in 2012.””

            I would like agree with you. But radicals are often too radical for the voting public.

            Besides, the Presidency doesn’t affect us as much as Congress. Congress passes laws. Congress inserts stupid things into a bill for the President to sign. Even Paul would fall victim to that, else he would never sign anything into law, nor could he sign a fiscal budget. It would bring government to a halt in a way Paul himself wouldn’t agree to.

            If you’ve listened to Paul, he’s made no bones about the inability of the President to do much. He will say that he will work with Congress to do X.

            When he was on The Cobert show, he was asked if he would do away with the IRS, he said he couldn’t but he would work with Congress to do away with the IRS.

            Personally, I like that he admits it. It’s far better than the failing President will be savior claim we hear in campaigns. A President rarely gets his way, it’s always a compromise with Congress.

    4. I thought the most interesting part of the poll was that Palin got 7%. Now that’s something to celebrate.

  18. The most important story of the day is Team U.S.A beating Canada on their own soil.

    U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

    1. So this is revenge for 1812?

      1. No, we’ve got to invade and burn Toronto again to do that.

        1. Isaac, you know this is worse for most Canadians than if we leveled Toronto.

          The best part is that now they have to play Germany, Russia, then (probably) Sweden, to try to get into the gold medal game. Our guys get to sit a few days, then play Belarus or Switzerland, then probably Finland.

          1. Bracket here.

          2. Getting Russia in the 1/4s is brutal. Did you see the Ovetchkin hit on Jagr yesterday? The Russians really are the most talented team. I would want no part of them.

            I wouldn’t count out the US. Goalkeeping in Hockey is like pitching in baseball. The US has a hot goal keeper and you can ride that a long way. The Canadians basically kicked the US asses yesterday, except that the US goal keeper was just a lot better than Broudour.

            1. Brodeur gets sloppy when under-used, and it showed. He seems to do better when facing more shots. Canada outplayed and outshot the US most ofthe whole game, but Miller was on fire.

      2. It was revenge for exporting Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, thus ruining a wide swath of impressionable American youth (i.e. “it was for teh children”)

        We’ve owed them that for a long, long time.

        1. But they gave us the Shat.

    2. You could hear the collective groan from across the Detroit River, the level of which rose noticably due to the gallons of tears shed by our northern neighbor.

      Those dudes take hockey way too seriously, so it’s really cute when they lose and obsess about it for the next four years.

      1. “Ultimately, I think the way American medicine handles common gynecological ailments says a lot about its view of women: that we can’t be trusted to take care of ourselves, and that we need someone to watch out for us.”

        Nah, it’s just a scam so dirty doctors can fiddle your nasty cooch.

        1. I love the smell of yeasty snatch in the morning. It smells like…..bakery.

          1. mmmmmmmm! donuts!

      2. KJP caught the same quote that stuck out for me. My thought was that she very likely believes that in nearly every other aspect of life, we can’t be trusted (guns?! OMG! You own a business? You need to be regulated!!) and government needs to watch over (not out for) us.

      3. I know it’s sort of an Eve Ensler cliche, but I actually think that the shame and grossness associated with UTIs and yeast infections are one reason why we still treat them as more serious than they are. Maybe if everyone ? men included ? realized how run-of-the-mill these ailments really are, then we wouldn’t think of them as meriting an expensive, annoying doctor visit.

        So, despite the fact that there are several OTC remedies already available, the system is broken because the *one that works on you* isn’t OTC. And you had to invest some time into your health. Oh, the horror.

        Oh, and it’s because vaginas are yucky that you had to endure this. Yes, that must be it.

        1. I wonder if this woman will ever figure out that maybe less regulation could help out in other areas, too.

          I doubt it, but it’s possible.

          1. My apologies. I basically repeated my previous post.

            1. In all fairness I feel it’s an idea that does deserve to be repeated.

          2. Oh no, because unless someone forces them, the evil pharma companies will keep all the drugs to themselves.

            1. and libertarians wonder why women will not take your party seriously.

  19. I wouldn’t read too much into Paul winning the straw poll, but it is interesting. It does make it harder to dismiss Paul as a fringe candidate with no real support. But it might be more accurate to see it as a reflection of how uninspiring the other contenders are.

  20. I thought the interesting story of the CPAC poll was that Palin only received 7%. That’s something to celebrate.

  21. It would be extremely interesting to see a breakdown by age on those CPAC poll results; I suspect the average age of a Paul fan is significantly lower than for those other meatheads.

    1. Fifty-four percent of those who participated in the poll were between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.


    1. “BusinessWeek reports that the Treasury and Labor departments are asking for public comment on “the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams.”

      Haven’t read the whole thing yet but fuck this with a broken bottle.

      1. !^*&^!@%%!!

        I brought this up with my accountant right after Argentina did it to their citizens over a year ago (for the second time). He basically told me I was losing my mind and shouldn’t worry about it.

        If the gov’t does this, the backlash will be traumatic. If it isn’t, I’ll be thinking about emigrating to some small island.

      2. Pass the bottle, Kyle.

        1. Jw,hope it gives you a yeast infection. Oh, the horror!

    2. I can’t believe they would have the balls to even float an idea like this, but it shouldn’t surprise me, now that treasury auctions are starting to show their first signs of drying up.

      I think this would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for ordinary working Americans.

      1. Exactly.

        Except this isn’t ballsy. It’s flat out insane.

    3. The funny thing about it, is if you suggested doing the same thing with FICA payments (say the 5% of the 6.2% SS personal payment that is for retirement and not survivors benefits) the left would freak out. In fact, Bush’s proposal was much less than this.

      How about leaving private retirement private and investing the 5% from FICA into government bonds as individual accounts. Would return better rates than SS currently does. The company matching could be used to guarantee minimum payments for those whose personal account isnt high enough. And slowly eliminated over time.

  22. http://www.slate.com/id/2245188/

    This is interesting.

    The Chemist’s War
    The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

    1. I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the story, but there was a group of prohibitionists who wanted the government to not label the alcohol as poison, because they thought that would help discourage drinking.

      I’m sure it was for the children.

      1. They may have killed 10,000 people anyway. It is one of the worst things I have ever read about the government doing. Amazing that, with all of the apologies and gnashing of teeth over things like the Tuskegee studies, that this case, where the government basically murdered 1000s of innocent people out of spite, never gets covered.

        1. I’d heard about this previously, but I didn’t realize the extent. There are a lot of really nasty, horrible things governments have done for the War on Drugs.

          4,000 people, including many who were not involved in the drug trade, were basically murdered by the Thai government in an anti-opium war. This was done with the active support of the United States, of course.

      2. Yeah, so was the Paraquat in the 70s

  23. http://www.slate.com/id/2245188/

    This is interesting.

    The Chemist’s War
    The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

    1. The comments for the story are decent, too. I really think people are wising up.

  24. OMgosh man, people are taking this stupid terrorist nonsense WAY too seriously.


  25. WSJ is reporting on the president’s new health care proposal.



    1. “It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years ? and about $1 trillion over the second decade ? by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.”

      A hundred billion over 10 years. Wow a whole ten billion a year when we have a deficit of almost two trillion. I hate Obama’s guts not because he is a liberal. I hate his guts because he hates me. And he apparently thinks I am retarded and will believe anything I read.

      1. “”And he apparently thinks I am retarded and will believe anything I read.”””

        Him, and pretty much every other politician too.

  26. Here’s where they lost me:
    This is just the latest chapter in what is developing into a war by the left on America’s seniors. All that class-war rhetoric about “the rich” ends up targeting seniors, who tend to have accumulated the most in savings and investment on average because they have been around the longest.

    From Johnny Longtorso’s link (an editorial by Newt Gingrich)

    “Encouraging” people to convert their private savings to a public entitlement is a criminally stupid idea, but Newt’s bogeyman electioneering causes an instantaneous STFU response.

    1. What is so objectionable about that? It is true. When you go after the “rich” you are generally going after old people. Unless you are a trust fund baby, you don’t have any wealth until you get older.

      1. “”Unless you are a trust fund baby, you don’t have any wealth until you get older.””

        Not really true. I guess it depends on how you define wealthy. Many made their first million under 30.

    2. Newt is an ass, but the underlying point remains. If the gov’t initiates a conversion to public annuities for retirement accounts, it will not be in the best interest of anyone, and it will not remain voluntary for long.

  27. you don’t have any wealth until you get older.

    True; and much of what we have been doing (social security and medicare, for example) is a transfer of wealth from the young and poor to the old and rich. Gingrich sounds like a mouthpiece for AARP (or Abe Simpson).

    He wants to keep all his accumulated wealth, *and* get free stuff from the government

    1. Basketball (and other) playas do.

  28. I can think of one reason why the conversion to annuities won’t happen:

    Wall Street will hate it. And Wall Street, although publicly vilified by Our Masters, generally gets more or less what it wants.

    Also, can you imagine the collapse in stock prices when all those 401ks are liquidated for conversion?

  29. It’s funny that they talked about the financial apocalypse that would happen if the government didn’t give out trillions, blah blah blah, yet here they are proposing an idea that would be far more damaging to the financial markets than letting a few large companies fail.

  30. Oh, goody!

    Police in Turkey today detained more than 40 high-ranking military commanders for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government.

    The arrests highlighted the ongoing struggle between the secular establishment and the government and leaves question marks over the traditional role of the military as the pillar of the secular state.

  31. The Noahesque flood is beginning in DC. Soon the snow will be melted and the zombies will be freed.

  32. Just anectodal evidence, but everybody I know who was a loyal customer of Toyota before is still a loyal customer of Toyota.

    I own two Toyotas, and I’ve been mulling over taking advantage of the beaten down prices and buying a third.

    I’ve owned shitty union-built American cars — Toyotas and Hondas rock compared to them.

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