Reason Morning Links: Off-Shore Drilling Permits To Resume, Voters Fed Up, Primary Day


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  1. Hey, Libertards, I’m looking for an ass to kick! Any takers?

    1. I like it rough!

      1. Go back home Barney.

        1. Helen, you should go back to Gaza.

          1. Helen, thanks for YOU being the one to say stupid shit in front of a camera, for a change. I was getting tired of being in that kind of situation.

            1. Joe, now can you keep your shirt on when you wash your Trans Am at the White House?

    2. Why? You’re already kicking the Dems’ ass.


    Today’s corporate profits reflect an income shift into 2010. These profits will tumble next year, preceded most likely by the stock market.

    [I]f people know tax rates will be higher next year than they are this year, what will those people do this year? They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.

    Also, the prospect of rising prices, higher interest rates and more regulations next year will further entice demand and supply to be shifted from 2011 into 2010. In my view, this shift of income and demand is a major reason that the economy in 2010 has appeared as strong as it has. When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe “double dip” recession. …

    The result will be a crash in tax receipts once the surge is past. If you thought deficits and unemployment have been bad lately, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

    There is a good morning kick in the balls. While Laffer is not always right, what he says here makes perfect sense.

    1. Yup. FWIW, my bankruptcy colleagues are preparing themselves for a big upswing in business in the next year or so.

  3. OT — The WSJ has an opinion piece today about the survey showing the economic literacy of conservatives/libertarians/liberals. It does a good job of explaining how the survey was designed and scored:

    we counted as incorrect responses of “somewhat disagree” and “strongly disagree.” This treatment gives leeway for those who think the question is ambiguous or half right and half wrong. They would likely answer “not sure,” which we do not count as incorrect.

    1. Do you have a link to the actual article?

      1. Here are the money quotes.

        “In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.”

        “How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.”

        Yet on every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).

        “The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect.”

        I can’t say I am surprised.

        1. John, I saw the original, I wanted to see the details on how it was scored, I thought this article went into that.

        2. Did they correct for income and education levels? Those seem to be obvious confounding variables.

      2. We talked about the original article a month ago, I believe.

    2. I read that. The questions are designed to make “liberals” fail. Not that I disagree with the “right” answers in most cases, but I don’t know that they are as factual as the study presents them.

      1. What do you mean they are designed to make “liberals fail”? The questions are all valid statements. For example, understanding that licensing increases the price of something doesn’t mean you can’t support licensing. It maybe that the benefits of the system outweigh the cost. And indeed, at least a few liberals did well even if their aggregate score was terrible. The problem is that liberals don’t even know how to make the proper argument for their policies. And instead live in a fantasy world where these policies come for free.

        1. but..but..but..Rascist!

        2. Wait, you think, “I’m looking for asses to kick,” and “Let’s spread the wealth around,” are not proper arguments?

        3. I think they picked questions that were designed to poke reflex instead of invite consideration. I think it was a leading survey, and at best only conveys that self-identified liberals do not consider the economic cost of those policies significant. It’s just more red-blue gotcha BS.

          1. “at best only conveys that self-identified liberals do not consider the economic cost of those policies significant.”

            Which is absolutely at odds with reality. I don’t see how that paints liberals in any more favorable light.

            1. They should have totally skewed it for a liberal bias, John.

              Question 1.
              Kobe Bryant has $17 million dollars in various investment. You have $220 dollars in a no minimum requirement checking account and are white. How much money do you owe Kobe Bryant in reparations?

              a) $38.50
              b) $120
              c) $220
              d) Where are your fucking house keys, oppressor?!?

          2. I think it was a leading survey, and at best only conveys that self-identified liberals do not consider the economic cost of those policies significant.

            Except that the questions don’t ask for a subjective judgment about whether the price increase is “significant”. They ask whether they exist at all.

            I think it’s a “gotcha” test, too, but not for the same reasons as you. I think that many of those questions knew full well what the answer was, but automatically refuse to supply any answer that might count as an argument against their position. Someone who knows that licensing increases prices, but who likes licensing, is inclined to answer that they disagree not because of any haggling over “significance” but because they have learned to deny any fact that might be used against them politically.

            So in those cases where the test isn’t actually measuring economic illiteracy, it’s measuring intellectual dishonesty.

            1. Sorry, that should have read “…many of those questioned…”

            2. I think you give them too much credit. I think they have convinced themselves that there is no cost. They really believe it and will suffer no argument against it. I find in arguing with the liberals on here that they live in a different reality.

              1. I tend to think they know there is a cost, but believe it is outweighed by “social gains.” So it’s a net positive in their minds.

                They are of course wrong, but they read into the question what they want and out of the question important assumptions.

  4. Primaries today – any libertarianish republicans (or democrats, for that matter) that we can argue about whether they are libertarian enough?

    1. That is like, uh, all of them?

  5. The Folly of Blindly Trusting the Government
    …The bias in favor of trusting government brings out democracy’s worst tendencies. The normal defenses that people would have against alien authority are undermined by a chorus of politicians and government officials continually reminding people that government is themselves, and they cannot distrust the government without distrusting themselves.

    How should people think about their rulers? This is a question that is rarely asked. Instead, it is preemptively squelched by myths pummeled into people’s heads from a very early age.

    Since it has not been possible to neuter political power, citizens’ thinking on government has been neutered instead. Fear of government is portrayed as a relic of less civilized, unrefined times. There is a concerted effort to make distrusting the government intellectually unacceptable, a sign of bad taste or perhaps ill breeding, if not downright ignoble….

  6. Teh Interwebs is bad! Look the guy who sits at his kitchen table with his wife and two iPads isn’t having any meaningful human interaction!

    What do you want to bet that this guy’s personality is such that if there was no internet, he would simply not interact with anyone? Instead of being a loner, the internet allows him to spout off on various message boards, or e-mail, chat, etc.

    In the IT world I know a LOT of folks who fit this profile. Their online personality is very opinionated and loud. When they get in real life situations, they are less animated than a block of wood.

    There is also a very good chance that the stuff you can find online might be vastly more entertaining than those around you. For example, when my wife has her friend over for coffee they have never done anything as intriguing as 2 girls 1 cup despite the fact they have 2 cups.

    1. I also think that online activity pisses off a lot of extroverts. In the old days, people would pay attention to them because there was nothing else to do.

      Now the extroverts actually have to compete for the attention of those around them.

      An old example of this is something written by Penn Jillette when people were mad about Walkmans.

      1. I actually think Jimbo is on to something here.

        Because the type of social interaction that the internet creates doesn’t involve trying out for the football team and dancing around cheering on the pep squad, “joiner” types don’t think it’s “authentic human interaction”.

        Because, being assholes, they define “authentic human interaction” as “the social interactions I enjoy and am good at” and define “inauthentic human interaction” as “any social environment that doesn’t put me on top and make me the center of attention”.

        1. Fluff,

          Maybe it would be OK if DARPA created a virtual swirlie machine so that the existing paradigm of human interaction could be extended into cyberspace.

          The downside is that H&R would be very hard to read due to all the virtual water spots from commenters dripping hair getting all over.

    2. 2 iPads? That’s just self-indulgent libertinism. Also, is the wife a robot?

      1. Nope, nothing that fancy. Looks like it is a second hand real doll.

    3. Their online personality is very opinionated and loud. When they get in real life situations, they are less animated than a block of wood.

      I would like to assure you all that I’m much, much worse in person.

      1. Yeah, the smell doesn’t come through the tubes, for which we’re all grateful.

        1. I am a bit musty.

      2. I typically only use the Fluffy persona while driving. The rest of the time I am more civilized.

        This can lead to some awkward moments. The other day I was driving with my wife and kid and I honked my horn at someone. And the 3 year old pipes up from the back seat, “Daddy, was that motherfucker driving wrong?”

        Why, yes, little one. Yes, he was.

        1. How did you keep from driving off the road?

          1. The Medusa look my wife gave me froze my arms into stone, and this enabled me to continue driving straight forward.

            1. Pure awesomeness fluffster. Outstanding jerb.

            2. Ty Fluffy, for my Laugh of the Day.

        2. My wife and I curse so much that we plan on telling our kids that “some people believe these words are bad, and because you have to deal with people even if they’re stupid, it’s best not to say them unless you know the other person is comfortable with them”, or something like that.

    4. For example, when my wife has her friend over for coffee they have never done anything as intriguing as 2 girls 1 cup despite the fact they have 2 cups.

      I have to wonder why you would want them to do something like that, but I’d advise you taking away one of their cups and seeing where it goes from there.

  7. I hate your f’ing spam filter.

    The Folly of Blindly Trusting the Government

  8. The national survey shows that 29 percent of Americans now say they are inclined to support their House representative in November

    71% and counting. All incumbents out.

  9. Do you have a link to the actual article?


    When I put links in my comments, they never work.

    1. Members of the LP scored slightly better than self identified libertarians as a whole.

  10. [Bernanke said] “My best guess is we’ll have continued recovery, but it won’t feel terrific.”

    *My* best guess is we’ll feel a terrific recovery, but it won’t continue.

    1. Sure feeling good about the power of someone whose policy decisions are driven by best guesses.

      1. No shit. How many times has Bernanke assured us that the recovery was strengthening?

  11. But without Jill Wagner commercials, my life is empty and meaningless:

    RIP, Mercury

    1. Yes, I’m well aware of “Wipeout!”.

      1. It says on her wikipedia page that she was being considered to play Wonder Woman. I am thinking she would fill out the tights quite well.

  12. MMmmmmmmm, Jillllll Wagnerrrrrrr…

    I’ll be in my, um, office.

    1. Good bye and Big Balls.

  13. The oil industry is awaiting new safety regulations from the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service

    Christian Szell: Is it safe?

    Babe: No. It’s not safe, it’s… very dangerous, be careful.

  14. Obama to issue new rules, then re-open process for new off-shore drilling permits.

    I don’t like giving Obama kudos but truth be told, he has handled the clusterfuck in the Gulf commendably.

    The only thing I’d have done differently is explain to the American people that we are going to have to wait for nature to clean up the mess.

    1. I guess if having hundreds of meetings with bureaucrats is somehow ‘handling it’. They did call in world-renowned petrochemical engineer James Cameron, if that counts.

    2. I disagree. He dithered needlessly while Louisiana begged for weeks to be allowed to build the temporary berms and barrier islands that might have protected their more vulnerable shorelines, at least for a while.

      1. But, it is much more important to show up Jendal for his years of preaching for limited government then to allow that to happen.

  15. Not sure the internet is making people stupid, but I’m pretty sure it is having an impact on how people interact, manage their time, and I do think it has compounded TVs impact on the prevalence of in depth reading.

    Personally, when my current job ends (it requires multiple screens and loads of multitasking) I plan on taking a break from tech…. Probably go on a cross country train ride for a week or two. Just books and a backpack.

    1. The question, to me, at least, is, “How important is in-depth reading?” Does our society suffer if there is a shift in people’s aggregate entertainment choices?

    2. I think the internet is just making it easier for stupid people to be heard. Or, put another way, people are simply making the internet stupid.

      1. Stupid people have freedom of speech too.

        1. That’s right! Never forget!

        2. Indeed…and I am grateful for that each and every day 🙂

  16. Question: Assuming the equipment exists and is available, is there any reason why any and all independent salvagers cannot go into the Gulf, collect oil, and sell it to refiners?

    There *should* already be a strong economic incentive for independents to collect and sell oil. Unless, of course, the government has put barriers in place.

  17. Another wave of “the Internet is making you stupid” stories.

    Pfft. I was an idiot 30 years ago.

  18. Is It Legal To Fire The Unattractive?

    And the Jezebel reaction.

    Money shot:

    We may never be able to legislate concepts as complicated as attractiveness, but surely we can prevent waitresses from being fired for gaining weight ? and perhaps even actresses from being pilloried for being too old.

    Make fun of transvestite donkey witch Sarah Jessica Parker and get sued in federal court?

    Nope. No unintended consequences there.

    1. Apparently Citi feels it is legal to fire the too attractive, so this must also be legal.

    2. Back in the 1990’s I worked for a time on a bond trading floor and the boss hired this outrageously attractive woman … think Raquel Welch with a dash of Gina Gershon … who dressed the part. Gotta tell you she did distract the men, infuriated the (very few) women, and when office gatherings included wives, caused loads of friction. Sorry people, we’re all still animals ….

  19. “Is the Internet making us stupider?” hangs on the unproven premise that we were once smart.

    There was no Golden Age; get the fuck over it.

    1. They didn’t disappear you? Thank Jehovah!

      What do you mean there was no Golden Age? Helen Thomas and Whoopie Goldberg said there was a time when there were no Jews in Palestine.

      1. The Bible says that there was such a time.

        1. Fluffy, sorry I forgot about that whole Egypt lockout of the pyramid builders. I even mentioned it in another thread 🙁

  20. Dear Mister President:

    Televised melodramatic petulance does not impress me.


  21. Sugarfree, is driving traffic to Gawker some sort of part time job for you?

    1. I just like to point and laugh. My favorite thing to laugh at is stupidity. Gawker is a treasure trove of stupidity.

  22. In Minneapolis, a police officer who was shot six times by friendly fire has taken his life. Here is the most fascinating part:

    Ngo, shot in a 2003 “friendly fire” incident by an officer who mistook him for an assailant, still carried scars seen and unseen, associates said. The shooting and the aftermath, which included a botched internal investigation, rumors he had shot himself to avoid military duty, lies told by police superiors and other sordid events, generally is regarded as one of the most unseemly chapters in Minneapolis police history.

    “He had to fight not only his injury but also the idea he was somehow causative in it, which was ludicrous. Half the police department turned on him,” the lawyer said. “The mayor is being told, as Duy is in surgery, that he had something to do with it. That’s a damn lie, and he had no way of refuting it.”

    The guy is shot six times by a fellow officer and “half the police department turned on him”.

    That tells you all you need to know about the fucking cops.…..ck_check=1

    1. Which “brother” did he try to arrest?

  23. The guy is shot six times by a fellow officer and “half the police department turned on him”.

    Life is hard in the baboon troop.

  24. I want my iPhone to have some MOTHERFUCKING BALLS, MAN!

    1. Surely that is some form of neoclassical Freudian penis envy.

    2. Open up your eyeballs and look at those iBalls.

  25. Gawker is a treasure trove of stupidity.

    This is indisputable.

    However, their website design is so fucking horrible it almost defies belief; it’s like they’re done by thirteen year old boys with ADD.

    1. Their web design makes me sick to my ass.

    2. Gawker? Pshaw. I have seen the worst web page ever. Behold Yvette’s. I can’t help but suspect it’s some sort of sick joke, but it appears to be real.

      1. “My eyes! Ze goggles do nothing!”

      2. OUCH! That hurt even with squinting.

      3. Find her and destroy her!


        If it’s still as I remember it, it’ll make your eyes explode.

        1. I see SF is still giving html lessons.

      5. That’s why you don’t put your site together while tripping-balls. iBalls i mean.

    3. it’s like they’re done by thirteen year old boys with ADD.

      Like? I always presumed it was, since they write the posts too.

  26. 4 Chinese Nationals Shot at North Korea Border

    The United States and S. Korea should extend condolences and explicitly refuse to condemn the North Korean government.

    1. Hee hee.

  27. Pure awesomeness fluffster. Outstanding jerb.

    (Stupid fucking spam filter)

  28. Outstanding fluffy. Awesome.

    (And a big sloppy FUCK YOU to the spam filter.)

  29. Financier of Gaza flotilla wants to build mosque at Ground Zero

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the key financiers behind last week’s violent “aid” flotilla to Gaza, is also the Muslim cleric proposing the construction of an enormous mosque where New York’s World Trade Center once stood.…..;nid=21242

    1. Considering the fact that the Muslim Cultural Center in question won’t actually be located “where New York’s World Trade Center once stood”, I guess we can assume that you’re either an idiot or a liar.

      Surprise, surprise, surprise – you suck. Oh wait that’s not actually a surprise.

      1. I merely cut-and-pasted the headline and first sentence.

        The point is, half-wit, that via financial assistance, this asshole Imam is trying to stir up trouble with the Israeli blockade as well as lower Manhattan.

        If it were just the mosque, one could claim it’s non-confrontational, but when you throw in the flotilla, a pattern emerges.

  30. Your morning laff:

    “The President has undertaken a far-reaching effort to modernize and reform government,” Orszag will say, according to his prepared remarks.

    He will also explain the administration’s budget guidance for federal agencies. Obama wants non-security federal agencies to develop a list of their bottom 5% performing discretionary programs, measured by their impact in furthering the agency’s mission. This will help the agencies meet the spending freeze “while meeting inevitable new needs and priorities,” Orszag will say.

    He will add, “As stewards of the American people’s tax dollars, we cannot afford to waste money on programs that do not work, that are out-dated, or that are duplicative of one another.”

    Peter Orszag

    1. “The President has undertaken a far-reaching effort to modernize and reform government,”

      Meaning they will throw away all the old stuff that still works, buy all new stuff at inflated prices and spend us into a hellhole of oblivion that not even death can relieve for the victims?

    2. “The President has undertaken a far-reaching effort to modernize and reform government,”

      Meaning they will throw away all the old stuff that still works, buy all new stuff at inflated prices and spend us into a hellhole of oblivion that not even death can relieve for the victims?

      1. Really. I mean it.

    3. Well, what are we bitching about then? Problem’s solved.

      1. Of course. They are developing a list. Of 5% of their spending.

        Really, its overkill.

        1. A blue-ribbon bipartisan commission is examining the problem, RC. BI-PAR-TI-ZAN. How dare you be so cynical.

          1. What ‘blue ribbon’ do appointees to such a commission possess? I once had a pet guinea pig that won a blue ribbon in a pet show…would that qualify?

  31. A blue-ribbon bipartisan commission is examining the problem

    If we’re REALLY LUCKY, the cost of the commission will only be three times the savings.

    1. Hey now, Top Men don’t come cheap.

  32. Obama is gonna kick Chris Pleasant’s ass now. If explosions are not enough cause to disconnect your rig without delay, what is?

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