Reason Morning Links: House May "Deem" Health Care Passed, HIV Rates Up Among Risk Groups, Responding to Drug War Violence in Mexico

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  1. Sen. Dodd (D-Conn Man.) introduces financial regulation bill.

    Fixed.

  2. The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure

    “Protect” lawmakers? WTF!?!

    1. It is not going to protect the law makers. I can’t believe that a woman as dumb as Pelosi ever got to a position of authority. I honestly think she thinks that voters will actually believe “I didn’t vote for the bill I voted for the rule”. Scary.

      1. If this monstrosity passes, voters won’t have to take names in order to kick ass. There’s only one name that’s pertinent at this point: Democrat.

    2. This is absolutely, completely, and totally beyond stupid. The backlash will be even worse if she pulls a stunt like this.

      1. In time,you bitches will settle down

    3. I’m not sure she realizes we have this new-fangled “Internet” thing, where people can communicate and fact-check and find out what actually happened in the past.

    4. I don’t think she actually believes this, it’s just a talking point she’s feeding wavering Dems in the House, hoping to trick them into committing electoral suicide.

      But so far, Pelosi has said that the public will support the bill after it’s passed, there will be votes to pass the bill after she counts them, and now endorsed a scheme to pass a bill without voting on it. I have a feeling she’d feel right at home in some sort of bizarre parallel universe where the ordinary rules of space and time don’t apply.

    5. We have to deem the bill so people can find out what’s in it!

  3. I “deem” the House a bunch of cowardly fucktards.

    1. the use of ‘fucktard’ as ubiquitously dull.

      1. The word “ubiquitous” is just everywhere.

        1. You win.
          Your humble servant,
          Rctl

          1. How obsequious of you rctl.

            1. GM, persiflage

  4. UN says global HIV raids rising among prostitutes, gays, and drug users due to laws against all three.

    Raids or rates? Don’t they have enough problems without the global HIV raiding them?

    1. At least the HIV squads don’t kill the dogs.

      1. In before the title edit.

        Yes Solanum, but do they have the proper warrants?

        And a wrong address raid by HIV would be really devastating.

        1. Heh heh…agreed on all points.

    2. I’m very skeptical whenever I read statistics about prevalence of HIV and new infections. There is no centralized database using unique identifiers in the United States–a lot of people get tested multiple times, with multiple positive results (either to repeatedly confirm a diagnosis or to qualify for various handouts) and there is no way to track them. Different states have different tracking and reporting procedures. In much of the rest of the world there is no real tracking system to speak of–often people are reluctant to accurately answer questions and keep records. Add to all this the fact that many agencies (including the CDC) have a history of exaggerating rates of HIV in order to justify their existence and call for increased funding.

  5. D.C. home to most cyber-criminals

    WASHINGTON – Here’s a factoid you might not know — D.C. has the most cyber-criminals per capita: 116 for every 100,000 people.

    The Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2009 Internet Crime Report ranks Maryland 19th (29.72 perpetrators per 100,000) and Virginia 28th (24.12 perpetrators per 100,000).

    IC3, a joint effort of the National White Collar Crime Center and FBI, says Nevada and Washington hold the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=1913262

    1. Living in Washington allows them to pick up their checks directly from the Chinese and Russian embassies.

    2. Doesn’t that mean DC has the most cyber-victims per capita? Just because the crime occurs in DC doesn’t mean the cybercrim is there too.

  6. To be fair, American gays aren’t having unprotected sex because there are laws against gay people, or because they don’t know any better. I meet people every day who have unprotected sex because they want to. It’s a risk that they know about and take.

    Now, are we internalizing the hatred of a repressive society, and, because of it, seeking to kill ourselves on some subconscious level? I don’t know, and this isn’t the Huffington Post, quite frankly. I look to the facts and I think, condoms are almost 100% effective in preventing HIV infection (and baby infection!) when used properly.

    Use a fucking condom.

    1. People only have unprotected sex because there isn’t enough government money to give them away and demonstrate their use with bananas in public elementary schools.

    2. Babies aren’t an infection, fertility is not a disease, and pregnancy is not a pathology.

      1. Still, involuntary abstinence is the shiz, you.

        1. There is no such thing as involuntary abstinence in 2010 America. You might have to close your eyes and hold your nose during the deed, but there’s someone willing for everyone. Unless your junk is malfunctioning, that is.

          1. See circumcision comments below (I’m mostly kidding).

      2. Could’ve fooled us.

      3. [i]Babies aren’t an infection[/i]

        Correct. They are a parasitic growth.

        1. Symbiotic, unless you’re going to ignore the value to an organism of having another organism carry its genes. And then we’re talking about your personal philosophy, not biology.

  7. To be fair, American gays aren’t having unprotected sex because there are laws against gay people, or because they don’t know any better. I meet people every day who have unprotected sex because they want to. It’s a risk that they know about and take.

    Now, are we internalizing the hatred of a repressive society, and, because of it, seeking to kill ourselves on some subconscious level? I don’t know, and this isn’t the Huffington Post, quite frankly. I look to the facts and I think, condoms are almost 100% effective in preventing HIV infection (and baby infection!) when used properly.

    Use a fucking condom.

    1. Use a fucking condom.

      Those are the best kind.

      1. I wonder if they even make a “non-fucking” condom.

        Then again, some brands are so uncomfortable that is the end result.

    2. Maybe it’s basic moral hazard. In the developed world, you can catch HIV and live a long life. It’s not the death sentance it used to be.

      1. +1–I dont see how it is much different that drinking too much, smoking, recreational drug use, or eating too much junk food. And from the research, it seems that gays use condoms about as much as straight people do–which is to say a lot of people don’t use them.

    3. People don’t use condoms for the same reason they watch Let’s Make A Deal: a fundamental misunderstanding about odds and probabilities.

      And, of course, because condoms suck.

      1. If they sucked, more men and women would use them.;-)

    4. Use a fucking condom.

      Or, of course, you could mutilate your infant boys.

      1. Mu-ti-late:

        1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
        2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably:

        1. Circumcision reduces HIV risk.

          1. This is just because sex is less fun, right? Less sex = less HIV?

            This is what I always suspected, at least…

            1. “This is what I always suspected, at least…” I recommend you study more sex;-)

              http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm

        2. Yes, because slicing off parts of a boy’s genitals is neither disfiguring or irreparable.

          Fuck you.

          1. I gotta admit…I kinda miss my foreskin sometimes, yo.

            1. I think the worse thing is knowing that they just threw it away. Or that some freak intern ate it.

              1. That latter thought made me LOL. As long as they didn’t sell it to Steve Smith. :::shudder:::

              2. From downthread (reply FAIL):

                Excised prepuces are commonly used in ablepharoplasties; unfortunately the patients emerge from the procedure cock-eyed.

            2. I don’t miss mine. To miss it, I would have needed a chance to fucking see it after being 5 days old.

              Fucking baby mutilators.

                1. You read/saw Choke, I assume.

              1. Do men orgasm differently with or without or is it the idea of missing something?

                1. The minute I clawed my way from my mother’s smothering womb I owned myself. It’s theft. It’s mutilation. It’s assault.

                  Don’t cut off pieces of people’s genitals without their consent.

                  Why is this a hard concept to grasp?

                  1. Cir-cum-sicions!!!! Cir-cum-sisions!!!!!

                    It’s the latest rage!!!!

                  2. Since it reduces the feeling in my penis (to be pronounced here like Dr. Steve Bruhl does), when I wear a condom I can’t feel much of anything. Of course, being a safe sex enthusiast, this situation is most unfortunate. Most unfortunate indeed.

                    1. That’s the only reason I miss it. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t give a shit.

                  3. Did your mommy clip your fingernails to keep you from scratching yourself in the eyes? Maybe she clipped your foreskin to keep you from getting teh AIDS!!1!!1!1uno

                2. It takes away about half of the nerve endings from our johnsons, so it stands to reason that it makes fucking less fucking awesome than it should be. Fuck you, Dr. Kellogg.

                  1. Warty, you have plenty of nerve endings to work with, providing you have the right partner.

          2. You’re setting the bar pretty low for mutilation. By that standard, letting a 10-year-old get her ears pierced is mutilation too.

            1. If her ears were her genitals and she was 5 days old and piercing holes didn’t grow close by themselves over time, you might have a point.

              1. Ears…genitals? Is she alien?

                Does she have to worry about hearing AIDS?

                1. Damn it Kirk, that’s a great pun.

            2. What SugarFree said. Think up a new argument, because that one is stupid.

          3. dis-fig-ure-ment:

            1. Disfigurement is the state of having one’s appearance deeply and persistently harmed

            2. To mar or spoil the appearance or shape of; deform.

            1. Is there an argument here or are you just an idiot?

          4. jeez, you heathens and your fucking foreskins. Somebody call the WAAHMBULANCE. I’m glad mine is gone. One more difference between me and a European.

      2. I feel the need to speak up for the Jews here, since they’re key ‘perpetrators’ of circumcision.

        They’ve been doing circumcision for thousands of years, and it certainly hasn’t stopped Jewish authors from avowing Judaism’s sex-positive attitude (contrasting that attitude with certain non-circumcising religions). I’m not saying I agree with that critique, but it’s inconsistent with circumcision removing the joy of sex.

        Non-Jews have done it for health reasons, showing that there’s at least room for debate on the subject.

        From previous threads on this subject, I know that some posters at least contemplate banning the practice, putting it on a position of moral equivalence with Female Genital Mutilation. Such a legal campaign (reminiscent of the decrees of Israel’s Greek oppressors as recorded in the Book of Maccabees) would put the government at war with much of the Jewish population – raising the question of whether a government (especially a libertarian government) ought to be at war with its own people on account of a longstanding religious practice whose ‘harm’ is at worst minimal in comparison with certain tolerated practices (like abortion).

        Like it or not, circumcision is central to large numbers of Jews throughout the world – it’s an inseparable part of their religion, and their religion is not distinguishable from their identity as a people.

        Even the wicked, benighted Christians were able to put up with this religious practice. Will it be left to the modern, liberty-loving secularists to ban it?

        1. Very eloquently stated, Max. Still wish I had a foreskin, though.

          1. Nah, I don’t miss mine.

            Sorry Sug, but I’m not with you on this one. I dig what you’re getting at, but parenting, bottom line, is an 18 year dictatorship, with occasional liberalizing of rules after protests.

            1. I just don’t condone unalterably changing a child’s body for the sake of medical mumbo-jumbo or religious whatever. I don’t think letting parents lop of parts of their kid’s bodies is some huge imposition on parental rights.

              If some random asshole parent sliced the clitoral hood off of an infant girl for aesthetic reasons, people would be shitting themselves in rage.

              1. Sure, sure, but how far should we go with what parents can/should and can’t/shouldn’t do with their kids? We all agree that doing something that causes direct and immediate harm is right out: starvation/deprivation, foot binding, beating, etc. But there is a big gray area.

                What about parents of obese kids? Parents who smoke? Parents that allow their kids to watch ultra-violent programming? Parents that belong to fundamentalist religions? Mothers who don’t breast feed? You’re going to have people declaring all of these things harmful.

                What about cultures that enlarge ear lobes or use neck rings? Tattoos or other tribal scarring? A couple thousand years of tradition is a hard thing to get around.

                I agree with you in principle: people should wait until they’re adults to make these decisions, but circumcision isn’t one of those battles I’m going to fight. It just isn’t that big of a deal and it’s tough to show harm beyond a flap of missing skin.

                1. People are going to call all sorts of things harmful, but that doesn’t mean everything suddenly becomes OK.

                  I think automatic, routine circumcision is wrong. It’s a moral violation of the right of self-ownership.

                  If parents want to do it, I wouldn’t legally stop them, but it should be medically discouraged, not encouraged. I was cut just because it was the thing to do at the time. Fuck that.

                  1. I guess all I’m getting at is the too-oft dynamic of something being declared “harmful” and the rise of a self-interest group clamoring for it’s banning/prohibition. I come down on the side of letting parents do whatever the hell they want short of direct and actual harm.

                    Frankly, the angle to sell not cutting is the extra inch or so you get when limp and uncut.

                    “Foreskins. They make your junk look bigger.”

        2. Thinking something is a bad idea and wanting it made illegal are two different things. But then you know that, don’t you?

          Max, your track record is perfectly consistent in denying people agency over their own bodies and sublimating the flesh to the brutalities of spiritual flim-flam. Our bodies and especially our reproductive organs don’t belong to us, but rather your blood-drenched “God.”

          But since I don’t pretend, like you, to speak for the entire Jewish faith, point out the religious obligations of circumcision for my German-Irish Pentecostal father and my Irish Baptist mother. Or maybe you want put down the bloody-shirt of religion you’re waving and pick up a “shoddy medical fads” flag instead?

          1. If I ‘speak for’ the Jews by defending their religious freedom, then do those who defend the rights of pot smokers ‘speak for’ the entire pot-smoking community?

            As for the question of banning circumcision, that issue, as I mentioned, was raised in the Great Reason Circumcision Debate of August 2009, which included posts like this: ‘Male circumcision is barbaric and should be outlawed absent a legitimate medical reason.’

            And this:

            ‘The modern standard of care and law says that healthy, functional, non-pathogenic body parts should not be amputated. That’s the default standard. Nobody argues with this. . . .

            ‘Why are you treating the male prepuce as though it were not subject to the same standards applied to every other healthy, functional, non-pathogenic human body part?’

            1. The second link should be:

              https://reason.com/archives/200…..nt_1373839

            2. How many things are we allowed to chop off of babies whilst still protected by religious freedom?

              Please point out the line that we don’t cross. I can’t see it.

              1. Prior to birth, you can chop *everything* off of a baby in an abortion.

                I’m somewhat curious about the practical methods of enforcement which the government should use when enforcing a ban on circumcision, given that large numbers of Jews will defy the ban.

                Don’t you think that, by the time today’s circumcised babies grow up, medical science will have found a way to regrow their foreskins if that’s what they want?

          2. The only issue I have with being circumcised is that I cannot safely time travel to Nazi Germany. They might think I was Jewish or something.

            1. Wait until you find out that you’re Hitler’s grandfather.

              1. “Save me, Eva Braun!”

  8. McCain and Palin to reunite to boost McCain’s senate campaign.

    I’m not going to read that article because it’s the Huffington Post and I do have some self-respect, but if it’s true then McCain really needs to just pack it in now.

    1. Actually Palin needs to pack it in for supporting McCain. I understand loyalty and all, but there is no excuse for supporting him now. As far as McCain goes, this will probably get him re-elected. Palin will bring huge money, followers and seriously undercut his primary challenger.

  9. “Sen. Dodd (D-Conn.) introduces financial regulation bill.”

    It is too bad Senators go out of their way to be nice to each other and not call each other out on their theft. I would give anything to see someone go up on the Senate floor and ask Dodd what kind of sweetheart mortgage deal he got for drafting this. Dodd is just a petty criminal.

  10. Some dingbat journalist in India calls Obama’s leadership “womanly” (she means it as a compliment natually), while Valerie Jarrett nodes and smiles like a doofus.

    I’m sure Obama is just thrilled to be described that way.

  11. i>I honestly think she thinks that voters will actually believe “I didn’t vote for the bill I voted for the rule”.

    If you’re so stupid that Harry “No Negro Dialect” Reid is a comparative member of the intellectual elite, and you’re so stupid that you need him to regulate every aspect of your life (other than abortions, of course), then of course you’ll be stupid enough to believe this.

    If they didn’t think you were stupid, they wouldn’t be liberals.

    1. Being too stupid to properly use html tags is another issue entirely, however.

      1. Nah, it’s not that. It’s that we libertarian types are too arrogant to use the “preview” button.

        1. Previewing is for the weak. We are made up of the strong.

          1. Ha ha, true. That’s also why I refuse to acknowledge my own inexplicably poor typos.

            1. Excised prepuces are commonly used in ablepharoplasties; unfortunately the patients emerge from the procedure cock-eyed.

              1. I guess that’s supposed to be some sort of doctor joke.

              2. Ok, does it mean exercise produces strengthening of the eyelid but makes you cockeyed.

                1. Using the prepuce for boys born without eyelids.

                  1. GM, foreskin graft for syndactyly repair. Had to google that one because I thought you were playing with me. There’s something oddly fascinating that a girl must receive a donated graft. I’ve heard of having a man by the balls but this takes the cake.

          2. We are made up of the strong.

            With every post you submit. As reason demands.

  12. Mexican, U.S. officials denounce drug violence, pledge to continue policies that have spawned it.

    Awwwww shit.

    1. I have a bad feeling about this. If things continue to go south down there, how long before the US gets involved in what amounts to an insurgency on our southern border. Won’t that be fun.

      1. “If things continue to go south down there” I think the problem is things are going North.
        http://dailycaller.com/2010/03…..ghborhood/

        1. I saw that. Scary.

        2. I read that. They probably were allowed to with permission from a joint US, Mexican classified drug interdiction policy.

          A foreign military aircraft over one’s town is not uncommon for places south of the border and into South America. It’s usually our aircraft over their town. Feels funny the other way around, huh.

          1. I think you’re wrong because they were armed.

        3. Hypothetically, I wonder what would happen if a private citizen shot down an armed foreign military aircraft flying over his property? I’m sure it violates some FAA rule about interfering with an aircraft in flight but self defense would be applicable.

          1. Said private citizen would probably not be amongst the living much longer afterward.

      2. Re: our southern border John, I am becoming convinced that US military involvement is inevitable as the police force on each of those border states just can’t handle all the gang violence that spills over the border.

        The people, weary of more and more violence, will demand it. And this is dangerous, opening up the door to even more police state policies in the name of “protecting our soil”.

        Why can’t the powers that be realize that the policies are failed and take a different tack? I have problem none with protecting our country and citizens, I just have a problem with drug prohibition policies directly causing it. The drug kingpins are not going stop production and distribution if prohibition is driving up the price of the product, and they have more than adequately demonstrated that concern of their own citizenry is non-existant.

        1. Right now there is very little violence spilling over the border. El Paso, for example is one of the safest cities in America, while Juarez is worse than Baghdad. I think the drug gangs are afraid of the US military getting involved and thus are keeping it all on their side of the border. Sadly, I don’t see how we can count on them being that rational forever.

          1. The article in the links says they just killed three people connected with the US consulate on Saturday. The FBI says they don’t believe they targeted because of their connections, but we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months.

            1. And then there is the Mexican Mafia.

              In contrast to Los Zetas and other Mexican capos, leaders of La Familia exhibit a religious fervor that approaches messianic zeal…. It claims to administer “divine justice” to rapists, robbers, corrupters of youth, and the like. It has even harshly disciplined teenaged graffiti artists…. La Familia boasts that it enjoys grassroots support because it assists campesinos, constructs schools, donates books, prevents the sale of adulterated wine, and employs “extremely strong strategies” to bring order to the Tierra Caliente…. When arrested, the brigands told law enforcement agents: “We are neither kidnappers nor gangsters (rateros). We come to restore order and help those whom you cannot.”… La Familia stalwarts use evangelical appeals to recruit members from the 700,000 Michoacanos (out of a population of 4.2 million) who live in hard-scrabble poverty. They concentrate their message of rehabilitation, empowerment, and self-renewal on drug addicts, alcoholics, and juvenile delinquents. In order to forge a cult of true believers, the syndicate castigates the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. In short, it provides a new family and sense of community for the downtrodden and disenfranchised, whom they brainwash into committing savagery to satisfy supposed commandments from heaven.

              http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200…..acana.html

              1. So how soon until they start sacrificing their prisoners’ hearts to Quetzalcoatl? I give it a few years at most.

          2. El paso is safe because of tough drug law enforcement, thay don’t tolerate people that take the pot.

          3. El paso is safe because of tough drug law enforcement, thay don’t tolerate people that take the pot.

            1. Leave juanita comments to the professionals.
              Don’t try it at home kid.

          4. Seen the firepower they have been packing lately John? When it comes to protecting their business interests, I seriously doubt they fear the US military. I think the irrationality of which you speak is already here.

            1. They have some firepower. But if they don’t fear the US Military, they are not just irrational but insane.

              1. “”But if they don’t fear the US Military, they are not just irrational but insane.””

                The Mexican military could kick it up a notch. Are they dropping bombs on houses? That’s what we might do. Make the terror/drug war nexus and you can shoot hellfires from a drone.

                But I agree that not fearing the US military is insane. The main reason I think people who believe they can do armed rebellion in this country is insane.

                1. That said, most people who think they can do armed rebellion don’t think they can beat the army, just that when things get bad enough to rebel, a lot of the army might take their hardware and join the rebels. That’s more being naive about The Troops and Defending Our Freedom than insane.

            2. We could just find where they may be and drop cluster bombs and cruz missles all over, or even tactical nuclear bombs.

              1. I wouldn’t mind having a Penelope Cruz missile dropped one me.

              2. “Cruz missiles”? Nicely done.

                1. Damn, I need to hit “refresh” more. Nah, I’m too arrogant to do that.

          5. Would we have to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan in this BorderWar scenario? Or do we have a shitload of troops who aren’t doing anything that we could deploy to Mexico?

        2. “”The people, weary of more and more violence, will demand it. And this is dangerous, opening up the door to even more police state policies in the name of “protecting our soil”.””

          Anti-terror rules will start applying to the drug war, our government may start taking the war part of that more seriously.

          Our government should revisit the reasons for the 21st amendment. I doubt they will. The idea that giving up is weakness, is too strong.

      3. And increased drug enforcement in the US. Remember, American’s drug use is the cause ;-).

        The drug warriors will want to get tough.

        1. And increased drug enforcement in the US. Remember, American’s drug use is the cause

          You are right, if any individual American wants to do something about terorism, they can stop using drugs because they are the funding the terorists use.

          1. I’m thinking the misspelling of “teror” in these posts is a subtle form of satire, but I can’t be certain.

          2. Thanks for fucking up the conversation, who ever you are Juanita. Your trolling sucks.

            1. She seems to be towing the drug war line fairly well.

              What sucks isn’t Juanita’s trolling, but the fact that there are Americans, in position of power, that believe the same shit, and they believe strongly enough in that crap that they think it should be shoved down our throats by force of law.

      4. Our southern border would be a lot shorter, and a lot easier to police, if we just conquered Mexico and were done with it.

        1. Can we also take Canada while we’re at it? That whole Alaska-being-separated thing has always bothered me.

    2. Bring in the predator and reaper drones to patrol the border. Blow up anyone suspected of having drugs. Shock and Awe. If Mexico can’t stop the violence then they need some good old fashioned Regime Change. We should use the drones in the USA to look for drugs. We should blow up anyone near the border. Shock and Awe. We need to use the military to go to war on drugs.

      1. Performance art or interpretive dance?

        You be the judge!

      2. If we want to get tough and get to the source of the problem, Juanita is correct. If we use drones to locate large storages of drugs in the US, and blow them up the problem will be solved. We just need to program the location of DEA evidence rooms in the the drones.

        1. Using that logic, then eradicating hookers and those with AIDS via comparable methods should also solve those problems as well.

          Prohibition exacerbates the situation and doesn’t solve it.

          1. Hooker Eradication Squad… this fall on Fox.

  13. Reading the Pelosi article makes me laugh:

    The Postman is not that great a movie, but there’s one line in it that’s very cool. It’s when Will Patton is denying that “the postman” can exist, and he says:

    “I was at the Battle of Georgetown. I saw the White House burn!”

    When I read stories like the “deem” article, I think how much I’d like to have that line as a ringtone.

    1. Pelosi is nothing if not ambitious. A normal insane politician would just want to pass the horrible, unpopular bill. But that is not good enough for her. Pelosi wants to pass it by rule and both destroy the parliamentary system of the House and insult the entire country.

    2. Fluffy, IIRC wasn’t the point of that movie about the need for government services? The post ?

      1. Actually I thought that movie was all right. Obviously very unrealistic (how the hell do you feed that roving army dragging hundreds of prisoners in tow in the middle of freaking Oregon?) but once you get over that the plot was OK.

        Oh, and several of the older characters in the film — who would have remembered what the real Post Office was like — were also surprised by resurrecting it being the cause around which the younguns rallied around. I think that was supposed to be an ironic twist, but people who hated the film for other reasons act as if the filmmakers were seriously lauding the Post Office.

        1. Also, Tom Petty as a postapocalyptic stoner mayor was an inspired bit of casting.

          1. His campaign slogan: “You don’t have to live like a refugee.”

        2. To rctl and Tulpa,

          Actually, the bit about the Post Office being really important was not satire or a joke. It’s from right out of the novel and it’s literal.

          Brin makes no bones about the fact that part of his apocalypse is the result of a breakdown of communications. If everyone could just have kept communicating using the Post Office, the US would not have collapsed, yadda yadda yadda.

          Actually, the postal worker uniform the narrator finds and starts to use comes off a dead postal worker “hero”, who was struggling to keep civilization alive in the waning days of the Republic, according to Brin.

          Meanwhile, the scientists at the nearby university completely fail at maintaining civilization when their computer breaks, so they decide to deceive the local population and set themselves up as a priestly class.

          So, just to review, according to the source material for The Postman, scientists and engineers would not be able to rebuild a basic technological civilization following a general collapse, but postal workers would be.

            1. You know, tracking the hysteria-mongers is possible, too. Strange that these ideologues never realize that their weapons can–and generally will–be used against them.

              Understanding the possibility of error is a key step on the path to wisdom. All this total certainty is dangerous stuff, most of the time.

              I was exchanging comments with BP about meeting Brin at a Cato conference in San Jose in the 90s. He was promoting The Transparent Society, which I thought was an interesting perspective on the whole privacy and technology business. Assumed he must be at least a little libertarian to be there. Maybe not.

              1. Alarmists never suffer for chickenlittling. Ehrlich still has a endowed professorship at Stanford. Carson is a saint to Goreans. East Anglia has hordes of defenders.

                People seem to be content thinking they dodged a bullet without examining if a gun was fired at them in the first place.

            2. Brin suffers from a malady common to science fiction writers: he is addicted to disaster. And if there are no real imminent disasters available for him to sniff the cork of, he’ll make one up.

  14. Should you send “racy” pictures of yourself to John Edwards? Respond to that text from Tiger Woods? Post videos of your friends beating “the unpopular” to death with Trapper Keepers to Youtube? If you find yourself saddled with these quandaries, puzzle no more. MTV will give you Moral Guidance. Meanwhile, they’re still paying Snooki to stew in a hot tub filled with her own STDs and brain dead man meat.

    The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

  15. Remember, any weather even that supports AGW is an example of climate. Any weather event that doesn’t is just weather.

    “Gore, the self-anointed climate change alarmist-in-chief, told supporters on a March 15 conference call that severe weather in certain regions of the country could be attributed to carbon in the atmosphere ? including the recent rash of rainy weather.

    “[T]he odds have shifted toward much larger downpours,” Gore said. “And we have seen that happen in the Northeast, we’ve seen it happen in the Northwest ? in both of those regions are among those that scientists have predicted for a long time would begin to experience much larger downpours.”

    But Gore had a specific example in mind. He explained this recent soaking in the Northeastern United States was “consistent” with what global warming alarmists were projecting.

    “Just look at what has been happening for the last three days,” Gore said. “The so-called skeptics haven’t noted it because it’s not snow. But the downpours and heavy winds are consistent with what the scientists have long warned about.”

    http://www.businessandmedia.or…..61540.aspx

    1. You know what would be great? If this bitch were to be struck down by lightening.

    2. The downpours and heavy winds are consistent with March.

      1. You know what? Fuck Al Gore. Using any discrete weather event or even weeklong trend IN FUCKING MARCH to try to point to a larger shift in climate is craven, even for him. March is probably the most variable month in temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. There IS NO normal in March.

    3. I’m surprised Pope Albert is not trying to link plate tectonic shifting (earthquakes) to AGW.

      1. Danny Glover already did it for him.

        1. AGW has so many acolytes making the most absurd of claims it’s impossible to keep up with them all.

    4. John, you fool. Even Steve Smith fears the wrath of Manbearpig. Now say 100 Hail Gaias and pray to St. Gore for forgiveness.

    5. In retrospect, losing the presidency was the best thing to ever happen to Punxsutawney Al. He was able to get into a far more lucrative scam.

    6. Al Gore : global warming :: Stephen Colbert : conservatism

    7. The rain was sent by ManBearPig to PUNISH US!

  16. He defended the deem-and-pass strategy as a way “to make it clear we’re amending the Senate bill.”

    Without that approach, Van Hollen warned, “people are going to try to create the impression that the Senate bill is the final product, and it’s not.”

    Here’s another approach: if you’re so horribly ashamed of the Senate bill, why not try writing this “final product” instead, and then having an actual vote on that? Yes, yes, it turns out that any actual implementation of “healthcare reform” turns out to be much less attractive than your Platonic ideal of “Healthcare Reform”, but that doesn’t mean that you want to vote on imaginary ideals and thereby enact tainted realities. Are you worried that your colleagues might notice before it’s too late that central planning is inevitably less worthwhile than they’d hoped for? That’s a feature of the system, not a bug.

    1. “tainted realities”

      Great band name.

      1. How about “Reality’s Taint”?

    1. It looks like that band is made of Warren Ellises of various eras gathered from the timeline and brought to a single point outside of space/time as we understand it in order to record a song.

      1. If I knew who Warren Ellis was, I’d probably think that was really clever.

        Ah. Comic book/transhumanist guy. Thanks Wikipedia.

        Carry on.

        1. I wasn’t sure what Warren Ellis looked like before SugarFree typed that, but I think that’s the single greatest song review I’ve ever read.

      2. I’m confused. Are you saying that Warren Ellis has a great beard?

        1. No, I’m saying that he has a large number of great beards that resonate down through the ages.

      3. To make it weirder, the singer’s sister is on Ace of Cakes. Which I only know exists because of that fact.

    2. Great song. Great bands. Great beards.

    3. To make it even more confusing, there is a Warren Ellis who’s a member of the Bad Seeds. He also has a fantastic beard. So many beards today. It makes me glad I haven’t shaved since January.

  17. Using parliamentary tricks to pass a big, unpopular bill is incredibly shortsighted. It sets precidence, and a future Republican congress will surely use it to pass something Demcrats are squarely against. Not that anyone is thinking past the next election, though.

    1. Nothing is ever used just once. It will set a precedent that will then be used to justify its use again.

      1. Quote the Iron Law:

        “Me today. You tomorrow.”

      2. Yes, Grasshopper. You have learned your lessons well.

        1. I assume the Democrats are banking on there being no undo even possible until 2013. However, that discounts the possibility that the government will come to a standstill if the GOP decides to make it a cornerstone of this year’s election. Obama lacks the cojones to face off an opposition Congress for very long, too, I suspect.

  18. Finally, scientific proof of what we have all long suspected; environmentalists are selfish dicks using their environmentalism to justify their dickish behavior.

    “According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the “licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour”, otherwise known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics”?

    Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong argue that people who wear what they call the “halo of green consumerism” are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal. “Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours,” they write.

    The pair found that those in their study who bought green products appeared less willing to share with others a set amount of money than those who bought conventional products. When the green consumers were given the chance to boost their money by cheating on a computer game and then given the opportunity to lie about it ? in other words, steal ? they did, while the conventional consumers did not. Later, in an honour system in which participants were asked to take money from an envelope to pay themselves their spoils, the greens were six times more likely to steal than the conventionals.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…..kely-steal

    1. Shorter study:

      I’m morally superior, therefore entitled. The amoral can pay.

    2. Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong argue that people who wear what they call the “halo of green consumerism” are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal.

      See, also, the documented propensity of Total State leftists to avoid personal involvement in charity and good works.

    3. Sounds familiar.

    4. I could have told you that just by counting the number of cars with Obama bumper stickers on them, during an average rush hour, being driven by complete and total self-absorbed dickheads.

  19. “But the downpours and heavy winds are consistent with what the scientists have long warned about.”

    I didn’t realize “in like a lion, out like a lamb” was a scientific forecast of doom.

    1. “”””But the downpours and heavy winds are consistent with what the scientists have long warned about.”””

      That’s true. But the warning is,
      SPRING IS COMING!!!

  20. Feministing starts a regular feature to review romantic comedies.

    It was pretty clear that 2010 was going to be a big year for romantic comedies. And it was pretty clear that a good number of them were going to benefit from some feminist analysis.

    And so, Feministing community, because I love you, and because I may be something of a masochist, I’m going to be seeing every romantic comedy that comes out in 2010. Every single one. And I’m going to write about them here, so that you can debrief, or be forewarned, or feel smug that you never watch romantic comedies at all.

    1. I’m looking forward to this.

      1. No, you’re not.

        1. Seriously, I can’t believe someone would have to make this statement.

    2. So do you troll over there? Or is there just pleasure in lurking? Seems like the kind of place where the ban-hammer would get used pretty quickly.

  21. Rand Paul’s opponent is trying to use Kentucky basketball to paint Paul as a carpetbagger.
    Sorry if this has already been posted.

    1. Ads have also been running in KY to promote this website.

      http://randpaulstrangeideas.com/

      1. I see that opposing the war in Iraq is a strange idea.

  22. “It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know,” the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”

    This is truly Bizarro World stuff.

    Can’t the House Sergeant at Arms take Pelosi into custody or *something*?

    1. I don’t think Pelosi’s goal is passing a healthcare bill, she’s trying to put The Onion out of business.

  23. I’m a little mystified as to how this maneuver helps the Dems.

    First, it won’t get them off the voter hook. A vote for the rule/combined bill will still be seen, rightly, as a vote for the hated health care reform.

    Second, it doesn’t solve their main problem, which is the Senate. Whatever amendment to the Senate bill the House adopts, by whatever parliamentary maneuver, still has to be approved by the Senate. How does this help on that front?

    1. I doesn’t. And the Senate passed their bill because they happen to like getting their states special goodies and funding for abortion. I see no reason why the Senate will ever pass the fix. The Republicans are not going to save the House Dems by voting for the fix. That is 41 votes right there. Then add in Landrieu and Nelson who no doubt want to keep their goodies. That is 43. I can’t believe there are not seven Senators who wouldn’t be willing to stick to the House Dems in order to get federal funding for abortion. No way do the fixes pass.

    2. I suppose the one advantage of the Slaughter Solution is that it prevents the Senate bill from being enacted into law as is, which may give the Senate some motivation it otherwise wouldn’t have to take up the House amendment.

      But really, was the Senate ever not going to take it up? The problem wasn’t primarily the Senate just blowing off the House amendment, the problem was the Senate passing it. Unaltered.

      If the Senate changes one freaking comma, it has to go back to the House, for additional hijinx there.

      This really is turning into the Charge of the Lightweight Brigade.

      1. Now the Union thugs are threatening to fund primary challengers against any Democrat who doesn’t vote yes. I can’t see that having an effect. All of the no votes are from Republican leaning districts where the goon candidate isn’t likely to do well. At this point voting No seems to be the only way for them to have a fighting chance to win re-election. I stood firm and killed this bill you hate, is at least something to run on. Maybe I am too much of an optimist, but I don’t think they are going to get it passed.

        1. Now the Union thugs are threatening to fund primary challengers against any Democrat who doesn’t vote yes. I can’t see that having an effect.

          Especially since the primary season is over in some states, and nearly over in most others.

          1. Pelosi’s has three arguments.

            1. The voters will learn to love this thing before November

            2. We will give your district so much pork this summer that your voters will forget you voted for this thing.

            3. We will take care of you post election with a sweet do nothing big paying job when you lose and you will always know you were part of history.

            I will leave it to you RC to judge if you would buy any of that. I sure wouldn’t.

            1. We will give your district so much pork this summer that your voters will forget you voted for this thing.

              The fact that Rostenkowski, the King of Pork in his day, was mobbed by constituents after voting for relatively minor health care reform, makes me think no amount of pork to big campaign contributors will assuage the rage of the voters.

              1. Almost the same exact thing happened to Ben Nelson. I’m sure he thought the Cornhusker Kickback would be wildly popular in his state, but instead he barely made it out of a local Omaha pizza parlor with his life afterwards.

              2. And also, the word for the day after this thing passes will be austerity and deficit reduction. If you believe that there will be that much pork to give out after Obama gets his pony, I have a bridge to sell you.

              3. And also, the word for the day after this thing passes will be austerity and deficit reduction. If you believe that there will be that much pork to give out after Obama gets his pony, I have a bridge to sell you.

              4. Good old Dan Rosty….how quickly we forget.

      2. Occasionally I wonder if this circus of legislative Lazarus is merely one huge distraction for other things they are passing and debating but not making the media rags.

        Color me cynical.

        1. They are not that sophisticated. Pelosi, Obama and company are just old fashioned political goons. If they were really sophisticated operatives and not just goons, we really would be in trouble.

  24. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”

    In bizarro P Brooks World, this statement would be an impeachable offense.

  25. Mexican, U.S. officials denounce drug violence, pledge to continue policies that have spawned it commit more.

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