Reason Morning Links: Obama Threatens Insurance Companies, Judge To Rule on Drilling Moratorium, Orszag To Step Down

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240 responses to “Reason Morning Links: Obama Threatens Insurance Companies, Judge To Rule on Drilling Moratorium, Orszag To Step Down

  1. Nooooooooo! Not Orszag! Now, who will remedy me when I have that not-so-fresh feeling (in my vag)? Oh wretched day!

    1. How is your name pronounced?

    2. Is his wig leaving with him?

  2. “”Our message to them is to work with this law, not against it; don’t try and take advantage of it or we will work with state authorities and gather the authority we have to stop rate gouging,”

    Do you think that perhaps the Obama adminsistration is actually stupid enough to not to realize that they have imposed real costs on the insurance companies with the health care bill?

    1. Hugo Chavez Spearheads Raids as Food Prices Skyrocket

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/37786852

      Just sayin’

    2. Great Obama has decided to go the caudillor route.

    3. the Obama administration has repeatedly reminded insurers ? and the public ? that it will expose industry pricing to what the health secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has called a “bright spotlight.”

      That “spotlight” stuff can work both ways.

      1. That “spotlight” stuff can work both ways.

        Like this?

        Oh, if only.

        1. Top. Men. 😎

    4. Holy Crap. What a doosh canoe this Obama guy is. How dare they try to take advantage of his new unconstitutional power grab by trying to stay in business. How is he going to finish communizing health care if the insurance companies stay in business?

      1. Yes, the arrogance! All they have to do is cover a bunch of sickly kids and they have the nerve to say it will cost more!

    5. “Do you think that perhaps the Obama adminsistration is actually stupid enough to not to realize that they have imposed real costs on the insurance companies with the health care bill?”

      No they think that the general public is stupid enough to let Obama deflect the blame for the consequences of HIS LEGISLATION onto the insurance companies instead of accurately blaming Obama and the democrats who designed and enacted the disastrous helathcare legisation for it.

      1. No they think that the general public is stupid enough

        Sounds like a winning strategy to me.

  3. By criticizing those foreign dicttators FP has created a whole new round of terrorists.

    1. Questioned “under the care of a Doctor” Is different than “tortured for medical experiments” Jeez we’re not barbarians

      1. I think it’s more a question of medical ethics.

        Providing medical care to facilitate the use of low-grade torture doesn’t make you Josef Mengele, but it’s definitely a significant ethical issue for an MD.

        1. Yeppers. Hippocrates would have declined the work.

          1. Not me. I was a braggart and my work still lives on!

          2. That’s because the Greeks didn’t have to worry about malevolent people from the Middle East doing them harm.

            1. Yes, only the Persians…

            2. However, they definitely did have to worry about a certin Italian tribe.

        2. Just went for the yearly exam… I beg to differ… as a local comedian said “it felt like he was trying to get the last pickle out of the jar” I will say however regardless of what oath is mumbled morals and ethics are always fluid. I’m not up on the history of Hippocrates but given what I do know about those times… It wouldn’t be hard to convince me that Dr Hippo was capable of shoving a hot poker up some Hittites ass to see if his eyes turned red…

          I was being sarcastic though

          1. Actually, using hot irons was the treatment for external hemorrhoids before the ligature technique was an accepted technique.

        3. Your a doctor. You are informed that a detainee is going to be subjected to considerable stress as part of his interrogation, possibly with health implications.

          If you refuse to provide care to someone who may need it, how is that ethical?

          If the stress will be applied regardless of your decision, what would you accomplish by refusing?

          On the flipside, what would your reaction be if the interrogators refused to allow any medical supervision?

          1. You are right, it is ethically problematic either way. Probably the best thing to do would be not to torture people in the first place.

            1. BUT TUURRRISTS!!!11!

          2. “”If you refuse to provide care to someone who may need it, how is that ethical?””

            It would be unethical for a doctor to work for someone who’s job is to cause harm.

            “””On the flipside, what would your reaction be if the interrogators refused to allow any medical supervision?”””

            Governments that don’t torture, don’t have to worry about that.

            1. It would be unethical for a doctor to work for someone who’s job is to cause harm.

              So, all the doctors who work for the military, the police, and the prisons are unethical?

              Should doctors refuse to treat patients who work for Remington or Winchester?

              1. So, all the doctors who work for the military, the police, and the prisons are unethical?

                No. Utilizing the doctor’s expertise for harm (harm here is where the term gets very subjective) and also having the doctor be the agent of harm under the express direction of a governing political body or official is the highest form of unethical practice. See also: Iatrogenic injury.

                Should doctors refuse to treat patients who work for Remington or Winchester?

                Depends. If they show up at the emergency room, EMTALA kicks in. Otherwise, it should be based on ability to pay. There is no law that states I cannot withhold treatment based on political affiliation or occupation.

                1. There is no law that states I cannot withhold treatment based on political affiliation or occupation.

                  I thought we were talking about ethics, not the law.

                2. Utilizing the doctor’s expertise for harm (harm here is where the term gets very subjective) and also having the doctor be the agent of harm under the express direction of a governing political body or official is the highest form of unethical practice.

                  How is a doctor treating a patient for stress-related conditions an agent for harm, or having his expertise used for harm?

                  You’re assuming that the doctor has the authority to cancel the interrogations. What if he doesn’t?

                  1. If the doctor knows that he’s patching them up for the purpose that the harm can continue, then he’s working for the contiunation of harm.

                    Doctors advocate for the health of their patients, not for the temporary health for the purpose of getting another round of harm.

              2. “”Should doctors refuse to treat patients who work for Remington or Winchester?””

                Wow, that’s a pretty liberal arguement coming from you. Do you think the people that manufacture weapons are the ones that cause harm?

                It’s not the purpose of prisons to cause harm, nor is it the purpose of the police.

                The military is the closest to being apt but fall short. I’m sure you do understand the difference between a doctor treating and saving the lives of our troops, and a doctor who purpose is to keep someone alive for more torture.

          3. A trip down memory unthreaded lane.

            Read the whole thread, it’s an excellent one!

          4. On the flipside, what would your reaction be if the interrogators refused to allow any medical supervision?

            Our interrogations shouldn’t require any medical supervision, beyond the routine care provided too all prisoners by a prison doctor.

            1. Come on Fluffy, you just haven’t bought in to the new America value that torture is ok. πŸ˜‰

            2. Our interrogations shouldn’t require any medical supervision, beyond the routine care provided too all prisoners by a prison doctor.

              Well, yeah.

              But leaving that aside, let’s assume the stress interrogations go forward. What should the doctor do? Refuse to treat a patient who needs care because of the interrogation? I’m struggling with the concept that refusing care to a patient in need is the ethical thing to do.

              1. “”I’m struggling with the concept that refusing care to a patient in need is the ethical thing to do.”””

                Patching someone up for another round of harm is not what the oath had in mind.

    2. You know there is nothing about that lawless thug administration that would not surprise me. And Obama is no better. I just read The Lucifer Effect by Phillip Zimbardo which discusses Abu Ghraib in depth. Extremely interesting and disturbing.

      To see what authoritarian governments are really capable of just google Unit 731.

      1. You mean the Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory.

      2. I mean there is nothing that WOULD surprise me.

  4. The world’s worst dictators

    That list is obviously racist. All the dark skins! All the Africans!

    1. Seriously, where are the white dictators? Are they on the best dictators list. Why is the Worst list full of minorities?

      1. Affirmative Action gone horribly wrong?

    2. Actually, the list had many White dictators. They were in Lybia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. That’s 10 out of 24.

      1. None of them are John McCain white. Or pink, as the case may be.

        1. I would call them White, but I will grant that race is a social construct with arbitrary borders. McCain has Irish ancestry. In the 1840’s most race experts would say that the Irish are not White, according to the author of “The History of the White People”.

          1. I won’t say anything about the Irish other than confirming my sympathies with my Orange ancestors.

            1. Anyway, seven out of ten anthropologists agree: modern man first climbed out of the trees somewhere in Africa. Why has Africa and the Near East, the Beloved Homeland of so many comfortable American tribalists, had such a difficult time adapting to and embracing Enlightenment principles of liberty?

    1. Surely Judge Marty Feldman will take that into account in his ruling today.

    1. Is it a coincidence that Obama backer George Soros repositioned himself in Petrobras to get dividends just a few days before Obama committed $2 billion in loans and guarantees for Petrobras’ offshore operations?

      I’m on that like stink on shit.

      1. Not me. I don’t do stories like that.

        1. Ugh!

  5. Very interesting juxtaposition (coincidence?), having these two links in this order:

    *Obama warns health insurers not to raise premiums as health care bill takes effect.

    *The world’s worst dictators.

  6. Good morning everyone.

  7. On the eminently punchable Orzsag marrying ABC’s Bianna Golodryga:

    What a disgusting, incestuous place Washington is. Here you have one of the stars of the fawning media actually marrying someone from the Obama administration. A slobbering love affair, indeed.

    1. They’re trying to breed a super race.

      1. Of what exactly?

      2. That’s a typo. It should read “stupor race.”

      3. This is racism straight up.

      4. Decepticons.

    2. Now I ain’t saying she’s a Golodryga…

      But she ain’t marrying no broke nigga…

      1. That’s “gold-digga”

    3. Washington, a place where dorks come to get hot women.

    4. Washington, a place where dorks come to get hot women.

      1. That publicity pic of Andrea Mitchell is hilarious. Hey, let’s take a 64-year-old woman with a face like a can of worms, give her a funky hairstyle and try to Photoshop her into a sexy 30-something. It’s grotesque.

        1. I WANTED JENNIFER ANISTON HAIR, YOU PRICK. “MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A SMART JENNY ANISTON,” I SAID. AND LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID TO ME!!!!!

          1. Rest comfortably, Andrea, with the knowledge that nobody wants to see your tits.

            1. Welcome to my world.

              1. So the irrational exuberance is over, Alan?

      2. Hey, hot chicks dig guys like me!

  8. This may be a day late (and a dollar short), but did anyone catch this the other day?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics…..-slightly/

    This is the Chief US economist at JPM? Lord, help us.

    and

    http://www.zerohedge.com/artic…..-pervasive

    Counterparty losses from CSOs? Are any of those TBTF? More potential bailouts for rent seeking, worthless paper mongers?

  9. Anne Frank pornography, but, you know, all high-class and literary.

    1. I dunno why, but after reading that little article:
      Ewwwwww……!

      1. Probably because she is best known as a teenager who died young, Almanian. Getting hard over a high schooler is gross.

    2. Anne, you ignorant slut.

    3. Where we learn nothing about Anne Frank, but plenty about Sharon Dogar.

    4. What is the Bob Dylan line? “It is easy to see not much is really sacred.” Good lord.

      1. Disillusioned words like bullets bark
        As human gods aim for their marks
        Made everything from toy guns that sparks
        To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
        It’s easy to see without looking too far
        That not much
        Is really sacred.

        http://www.metrolyrics.com/its…..dylan.html

    5. Paul Di Filippo’s short story collection Lost Pages imagines Anne Frank being smuggled out early in the war. She goes on to beat out Judy Garland for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

    6. The anti-smoking Nazis got Winston Churchill’s cigars airbrushed out, so anything is possible.

  10. Obama warns health insurers not to raise premiums as health care bill takes effect.

    We’ll know it’s price gouging because puppies playing on rainbows and unicorn farts are trading at all time highs.

    1. That’s what happens when the currency is becoming worthless.

  11. Permission to speak really freely?

  12. Butch Clothing Company: For the mannish woman in your life.

    Capitalism FTW the Diversity Win.

    1. There is a concerning lack of flannel and workboot selections.

      1. But the barrettes are bitchin!

    2. If a man wears a tux from the Butch Clothing Company, is he cross dressing?

    3. Um, these are suits. These are not clothes designed for womyn. These are clothes designed for most men and a few womyn.

  13. A White House official said Gen McChrystal had “been directed to attend [Wednesday’s] monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person” rather than by teleconference.

    Will he be leaving the White House in leg irons and a hood?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. No. He will be leaving by Black Maria.

    2. P Brooks — when a plot against the Emperor failed — the planners were always given a chance to let their families keep their fortunes.

    3. “Will he be leaving the White House in leg irons and a hood?”

      He should be leaving with a dishonorable discharge at least.

      While I pretty much share his views that the current administration is inept, it’s a complete breach of integrity for a serving military officer, especially one of his rank, to speak in the media like he did.

      Plus, martyrdom will set him up for a lucrative book deal.

      1. I agree. Regardless of what he thinks and no matter how right he is, McCrystal needs to shut up. If he is that upset, resign and write a book.

        1. McChrystal actually states in the article that he voted for Obama, and that’s a more scathing indictment of his own judgment than just about anything else he could possibly do.

          He shouldn’t be leading our fighting men, and should resign in shame and embarrassment for what he has helped put this country through.

      2. What McCrystal said was much less insubordinate than what Joe Hooker let slip to The New York Times in 1863, to the effect that “Nothing would go right until we had a dictator, and the sooner the better.” As I recall, the then-Commander-in-Chief didn’t sack Gen. Hooker, but told him, “Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain success can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.”

        Will Obama have the stones to follow Lincoln’s lead?

    4. Who would have thought that the mastermind of the Pat Tillman cover up would be such a fuckup?

  14. From the Washington Post article about the McChrystal thing:

    During a tense meeting with Ingram’s platoon, one sergeant tells McChrystal: “Sir, some of the guys here, sir, think we’re losing, sir.”

    Don’t worry, son, that’s nothing another trillion bucks and 3 or 4 thousand casualties can’t fix.

    1. “Gen McChrystal replaced Gen David McKiernan last year and sought to reduce the number of Afghan civilians killed.

      In the Rolling Stone article, he defends his policy to a US soldier who complains about the rules that troops must treat any insurgent without a weapon as a civilian.

      “That’s the way this game is,” Gen McChrystal says. “It’s complex. I can’t just decide it’s shirts and skins, and we’ll kill all the shirts.”

      After his appointment last year, Gen McChrystal was drawn into a long and detailed strategy review with the president, finally getting an additional 30,000 US troops from Mr Obama.”

      When you are more concerned about who you don’t kill than who you do kill, it is awfully hard to win a war. Ridiculous rules of engagement and a half assed surge tends to hurt moral.

      1. Then why don’t we just take off and nuke the place from orbit? It’s the only way to be sure.

      2. Actually, John, as you are well aware, the Iraq War was “won” when we decided that the evil terrorists no one could ever negotiate with just needed to be massively bribed and brought into the provincial power structures.

        Since “Stop shooting and paper the place with money” worked in Iraq, maybe they’re hoping it will work in Afghanistan, too.

        Maybe they just haven’t airdropped enough cash yet.

        Either way, if “Kill kill kill tear up the rules of engagement bomb strafe destroy!” had been how we “won” in Iraq, maybe your criticism would be more pertinent. But since it’s not, you’re pretty much just talking with your dick. Your dick wants more death – yeah, we already knew that.

        1. No fluffy. You are just talking out of your ass. You don’t know shit about what actually won Iraq. The surge also changed tactics and rules of engagement.

          http://townhall.com/columnists…..is_working

          http://www.heritage.org/Resear…..rd-in-Iraq

          They changed the rules of engagement so they could be more aggressive going after people. We had this debate back in the day fluffy. That was one of the very things you and the people on this board objected to about the surge; how we were making the rules of engagement harsher and were going to make them hate us more.

          Now two years later, you have rewritten history and the surge worked because we papered it with money. Stop rewriting history. You guys really are just appalling on the issue of Iraq and Afghanistan. You don’t even maintain a consistent position and just make shit up to fit the argument of the day.

          1. Seriously, John, throwing money around is part of the counter-insurgency. Whomever doesn’t take the money, eventually gets shot. We are currently paying Taliban and other worthless Afghans to protect our supply lines in Afghanistan – to deny that this is occurring is ridiculous. Even the neo-cons admit this is happening.

            As far as Iraq goes…ever heard of Commander’s Emergency Response Program? You can even track how we are paying off backwards, tribalist douchebags here:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/cerp/

            1. I am not saying we didn’t use money. We did. But, we also loosened the ROE.

          2. You’re absolutely right that I objected to the surge, for the reasons you state.

            That’s because I didn’t realize that at the same time a great big fat bonus check was going to be offered to every insurgent in Anbar Province.

            That method raises the question of why it was necessary to occupy Iraq to protect it from the very people we later set out to employ, but hey – exigencies of war and all that, right?

            In retrospect the surge was irrelevant. It had nothing to do with the “Anbar Miracle”.

            Is it your position that we won the war because we hunted down and exterminated every last person who had ever borne arms against the United States or against the government we had set up in Iraq, John? Did we kill every last evildoer? Yes or no?

            Or did we co-opt them? Yes or no?

            My argument about Iraq has been consistent since the day I turned against the war: that the benefit we received would never be worth the price we paid. At one time I expected the costs to be even higher and the benefit to be even less, and our “success” there narrowed the ratios somewhat – but it has never ultimately changed my mind.

            If anything, our method of “winning” in Iraq only cemented this in my mind, because we were told over and over that we couldn’t just abandon Iraq because the insurgents were so unspeakably evil that they would turn Iraq into the realm of Gog and Magog or some such nonsense – when under cover of the surge we were more than happy to bribe most of the Sunni insurgents to lay down their arms and join the provincial power structures. If they were that fucking reasonable to barter with, they were never that terrible a bogeyman to begin with.

            1. In retrospect the surge was irrelevant.

              Absolutely. The stated purpose of the strategy was to give Iraqi politicians breathing room to “reconcile”. That goal has never been met, and was silly to begin with (as it ignored the political realities that caused the political rifts).

              I’m happy that the surge brought violence levels down, but to declare victory on that metric alone is to move the goal lines quite a bit.

              1. How much reconciliation is necessary? Certianly not complete reconciliation. In what democracy (or republic) has that happened. Hell, one of the last times our politicians voted unamiously (almost) was the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act. Was that a good thing?

        2. Fluffy, what makes you think we’ve “won” the war in Iraq?

          Call me when the first peaceful transfer of power occurs after US troops are out of the country. Until then you have no basis for making such a statement.

          I’ve been saying this for fucking years.

          1. I agree.

            It’s not really ours to win, but the people of Iraq to lose. It’s all about the Iraqis behavior after we leave. They may totally fuck it up again, or not.

        3. John, Fluffy, people respond to both possitive incentives and negative disincentives. I think a little of both caused the changes in Iraq.

  15. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

    1. Are you sure that’s not an oncoming train?

    2. Actually, it is just the light that marks the spot where we turn the corner.

      So far, I believe the US-led NATO coalition has ‘turned the corner’ at least 12 times since 2001.

      1. I was wondering why we seem to always be back where we started.

  16. Interesting comment from Roger Simon on how Obama hates his job.

    “So what does this mean that POTUS hates his job? On the extremes, he could have a breakdown (as blogger David Thomson has predicted) or simply quit. Neither of these things are likely to happen, though they certainly are within the realm of possibility.

    More likely he will stumble on, spending as much time as he can on the golf course or on vacation. Meanwhile, the role of the presidency will begin to diminish. More people will disregard his wishes. If the Republicans win big in November, he will retreat further. This man is not a fighter, because he has never had to fight. He lives in a very close, protective bubble, among people he has worked with for many years, most from Chicago. That will only increase as the wagons circle

    Except for the most partisan among us, none of this is cause for rejoicing. America cannot thrive with a president who wishes he weren’t there. Nothing does. We can only hope that the damage that is done is reversible. Sometimes I think that it is. Sometimes not.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerl…..epage=true

    I look at it a different way. Will an incompetent and miserable Obama do lasting damage to the imperial Presidency?

    If the guy just checks out and the Congress takes over, doesn’t that set a precedent for future Presidents?

    1. Except for the most partisan among us, none of this is cause for rejoicing. America cannot thrive with a president who wishes he weren’t there.

      Bullshit. Diminishing the Presidency would be the best thing this douchebag could ever do for the country.

      I wish he would start working two hour days three days a week and showing up in flip-flops.

      Hate your job more, Obama! Hate it more! Pretty please.

      1. Seriously, if he became completely disengaged and the dems lost at least one house of congress, I’d vote for him in 2012. I might even campaign for him.

        “Obama 2012: He won’t do anything!”

      2. We will see. But this is not a new point. Ann Althouse made the same point last year about how Obama loved running for President but seems to hate being President.

        I can’t say that I blame him. It is a crappy job. But, you would think he would have thought about that before running.

        1. I was hoping it would be different.

        2. In his speeches he sounds like he is still running for president.

    2. Wow. That is contrary to my every instinct about Obama. And therefore fascinating.

      I’m with Fluffy on the possible effects if this is true. Can we thrive with a president who’s just phoning it in? Hell yeah!

    3. If the guy just checks out and the Congress takes over, doesn’t that set a precedent for future Presidents?

      I fuckin’ hope so. It’s hilarious seeing douchebag conservatives fret that a president they hate may me diminishing the power of the presidency, never stopping to consider that a powerful executive might not be a great thing.

      1. I suppose. But do you honestly think things will be any better with Congress running things?

        1. The one virtue of Congress is that it moves slowly, since most of its members are dire enemies. I have no hope of a government rollback, so I’d just like to slow down the acceleration of its fucking of us.

          1. The second derivative of government with respect to time, you know. d^2G/dt^2.

          2. Yeah, the nice thing about a violent cyclic thrusting motion is that dx/dt =0 twice per cycle.

        2. Yes, power defused between 535 different corrupt individuals is better, than 1 corrupt individual having the power.

        3. I prefer 435 egomaniacs fighting amongst themselves than a powerful leader shredding our liberties.

        4. But do you honestly think things will be any better with Congress running things?

          If the Rs take the House and we get closer to gridlock, then yes, a president who is phoning it in and letting Congress run things would be a wonderful thing.

      2. But without a President God-emperor who will we worship.

        1. I propose a solution…

        2. Kate Beckinsale?
          Megan Fox?

          Take your pick.

          1. Beckinsale. That was easy. Now what?

          2. Beckinsale? Owner of what may be the worst boob job in Hollywood? You must be kidding.

    4. Also,

      Pajamas Media appreciates your comments that abide by the following guidelines:

      1. Avoid profanities or foul language unless it is contained in a necessary quote or is relevant to the comment.

      2. Stay on topic.

      3. Disagree, but avoid ad hominem attacks.

      4. Threats are treated seriously and reported to law enforcement.

      5. Spam and advertising are not permitted in the comments area.

      …what an incredibly boring place.

      1. Well, that explains why none of us are commenting over there, doesn’t it?

      2. 1. Fuck that shit.

        2. I hate peas.

        3. Republicans = Democrats (that’s an ad hom to them, right?)

        4. I’m gonna bleach The Jacket and set it on fire.

        5. Makes sense when you think about it, dude. LOL

    5. Yesterday, I can’t remember who it was, but some mainstream media lefty on CNN more or less apologized to the country for foisting this worthless, incompetent dickhead on the country. Even many of the lefties know in their hearts now how badly they screwed up by siding with Obama over the Clintons.

      If he won’t resign from office on his own, he should be removed from office. Preferably peacefully, but with force if it absolutely comes down to that.

      1. …you mean if he loses the election in 2012 but refuses to leave office, right?

        Otherwise, fuck off.

      2. Even many of the lefties know in their hearts now how badly they screwed up by siding with Obama over the Clintons.

        You have a rosier view of the worst Clinton than I do. Hillary ain’t Bill. She is one of the few politicians who might make us wish for the relative moderation of an Obama.

    6. Republican control of the House or the Senate combined with a Democrat that hates being president. What a wonderful outcome. It might even be worth holding onto for a full six more years.

    7. Except for the most partisan among us, none of this is cause for rejoicing.

      I’ll be rejoicing. If I despise the Republicans slightly less than I do the Democrats, does that make me partisan?

      Having a charismatic demagogue humiliated and reduced cannot be anything but good for a Constitutional Republic.

    8. America cannot thrive with a president who wishes he weren’t there. Nothing does. We can only hope that the damage that is done is reversible.

      I think the president who wishes he were not president is precisely the ideal that the Founders had in mind. George Washington certainly didn’t want to be president, at least not after his first term.

  17. If he is that upset, resign and write a book.

    Eventually, there will be nobody left but the YesMen. Gresham’s Law, in action.

    1. You take it up privately not publicly. And McCrystal voted for Obama and gave Obama a lot of credibility by doing so. So, if he doesn’t like what he got with Obama as President, too bad.

    2. Yeah. Take it up in front of the fucking Rolling Stone reporters. Poor judgement. He needs to get MacArthured.

  18. Obama warns health insurers not to raise premiums as health care bill takes effect.

    What we need are price controls. That always works.

  19. The image of a President moping around the White House in his pajamas all day too depressed and apathetic to get out there and meddle in my affairs doesn’t exactly fill me with sadness.

    1. As long as he doesn’t start a myspace page to share his shitty, weepy poetry with the world.

      1. Nah. I’m thinking LiveJournal.

        1. Now that geocities is gone, it’s really your best choice for sharing near-suicidal maunderings.

    2. Calvin Coolidge took a nap every afternoon. We got peace and record economic growth under his leadership.

      1. Maybe Cool Cal should have been paying attention to the economic bubbles that were straining all around him.

        The seeds of the Depression were laid in the 20s — not the fault of the free market, but very iffy economic policy.

        1. Which economic policies are you refering to?

  20. You don’t know shit about what actually won Iraq.

    Wait- we won Iraq?

    Was that on Good Morning America?

    1. We are leaving next year. The government seems to be in no danger of toppling. The country isn’t going to split apart or be a threat to its neighbors.

      It is a sorry fact for the war critics. But yes we seem to have won.

      1. I’ll mail you a shiny nickel if all our troops are out next year.

        1. They will have a clever name for them, but they won’t be called ‘troops’. Perhaps something like, ‘transitional peace keeping blah blah blah’… Perhaps there should be an over/under poll on how many US employed men/women with guns (whatever you want to call them) will be in Iraq AFTER we claim to have brought all of the troops home… I take the over on 60,000.

      2. John do you really believe we will remove all troops from Iraq next year?

      3. Honestly, Charlie Brown, we’re leaving next year. I promise. Now, do you want to kick this football or what?

      4. John, I think you’ll find that libertarians criticize the war because we believe the US shouldn’t be invading countries which pose no immediate threat to us. It has nothing to do with whether or not we think the US military will defeat its opponents.

      5. John, see my comment above.

        Not a goddam thing has changed. Iraq gets a new strongman ruler. Iraq hasn’t been a threat to it’s neighbors since Desert Storm and you know it.

        1. No kidding, contrary to John’s “The government seems to be in no danger of toppling”, the current paliament can’t form a government, period.

          This is Italy with keffiyehs. Places like this get tyrants like Saddam of kleptocrats like Berlusconi.

          Switzerland on the Tigris and Euphrates, this ain’t.

          1. Correction: “tyrants like Saddam ofor kleptocrats like…”

            Me can’t type no betterer than Iraqui pols can form a government.

      6. The government seems to be in no danger of toppling. The country isn’t going to split apart or be a threat to its neighbors.

        I’ll take that bet, John. How much are you willing to put up? I’m betting within 5 years from our withdrawal, one of those three things happens.

      7. John, I had no idea success = weak Sharia-law type parliament.

        And I, too, would be willing to take the bet that one of the three things you say won’t happen will happen in the next five years. I’m betting on government dissolution, myself.

        1. Triple down. All three could easily happen.

        2. Take whatever bets you want. You guys were convinced the invasion would never reach Baghdad. Then you were convinced the country was doomed in 2004. Then you told me that the surge would never work and the US would be driven out ala Saigon. Then it was how the country was going to split apart and the surge was going to make things work.

          You all’s wishful thinking has proven to be too correct yet. I get so tired of this topic. No one will ever admit they were ever wrong about anything. They just rewrite history and say the real disaster is coming. Yeah whatever. Wars are hard and unpredictable. And the people who advocated the war deluded themselves into thinking it was easy. They should admit that. And I do.

          But the war’s critics have been wrong about every prediction they have made since we rolled over the berm. First Saddam was going to create a humanitarian nightmare with his WMDs and fight us house to house in Bahgdad. Then the Shias were going to rise up in revolt. Then the there was going to be an all out civil war that ended in genocide and the US leaving in disgrace. Then the elections were going to be a disaster. Then it was going to be an Islamic fundamentalist state. On and on. And the worse case scenarios the other side so fervently hoped for never happened. Now the story is that we really didn’t win because the really bad stuff is going to happen sometime in the future after we leave (that claim of course is made right after the claim that we will never leave, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds I guess). Yeah whatever. Iraq is the only Arab democracy in the world. It is no longer a threat to its neighbors. And for the region, it does a pretty good job not murdering its people. Things look a lot better there than any of you people ever thought they would. I will gladly take that. And if that reality makes you people angry, well sometimes life is like that.

          1. You guys were convinced the invasion would never reach Baghdad.

            Um…was there really anyone who thought the US wouldn’t roll over the Iraqi forces?

            1. Yeah, there were a few knobs in the press (some British guy in particular, name escapes me) who toured the defenses and were all “Oooh, the Iraqis are locked and loaded for the Americans.”

              1. I don’t recall them posting here on Hit and Run, which is presumably the domain of the “you guys” who John was calling out.

          2. “””But the war’s critics have been wrong about every prediction they have made since we rolled over the berm. First Saddam was going to create a humanitarian nightmare with his WMDs and fight us house to house in Bahgdad.””

            The WMD use arguement didn’t come from war critics. Our government expected it, and handed out rubber suits.

            While many war critics turned out wrong, it’s largely because our government adjusted the strategy accordingly. If we didn’t adjust, they may have proven to be right. That’s the ebb and flow of war and opinions. One could argue the Bush admin was just as wrong if not more wrong than the critics. Remember the war was only going to last a matter of weeks, not months or years, and it was only going to cost $200 million.

            “””Now the story is that we really didn’t win because the really bad stuff is going to happen sometime in the future after we leave”””

            First, define win. If it’s just kicking Saddam out of power and letting someone else do the job, we’ve won. But if it’s about creating a sustainable democracy, the jury’s still out. But if Iraq goes theoacracy in another 10 years, it makes our win moot.

            Put it this way, I wouldn’t be on the American people’s ability to maintain a democracy, so naturally I wouldn’t bet on the Iraqi’s ability to do the same.

          3. And the people who advocated the war deluded themselves into thinking it was easy. They should admit that. And I do.

            Then the war is always and forever a failure, John.

            Sorry.

            I want the cheap war with easy success and Iraqis throwing flowers and a wave of democracy formation in the Middle East that was promised, or the war was a fucking failure.

            The pathetic client state we have created in Iraq just wasn’t worth a trillion bucks and thousands of dead GI’s.

            Let’s look at your list of claims, BTW:

            You guys were convinced the invasion would never reach Baghdad.

            I never said that once.

            Then you were convinced the country was doomed in 2004.

            Considering the fact that they ended up having a sectarian civil war that killed hundreds of thousands and led to millions of Iraqis fleeing the country, yeah, the country was doomed in 2004. That actually happened. If what you’re saying is, “Every last Iraqi didn’t die, and history continued after that, and the sectarian conflict eventually ended after most of Iraq was ethnically cleansed and we built giant security barriers around every neighborhood, so that means your prediction failed to come true!” then fuck you, John. It’s easy to write off what happened from 2004 to 2008 when it’s not your country it happened in.

            Then you told me that the surge would never work and the US would be driven out ala Saigon.

            Yes and no. I thought the surge wouldn’t work, and eventually we’d leave, and that our client state would fall. But you can only do the fall of Saigon once.

            In fact, I started warning everyone a long time ago that the neocons would call anything that didn’t involve choppers taking off from the roof of the embassy “victory”, and that we should be on guard for that. It’s nice to know that’s how you define victory, too.

            Then it was how the country was going to split apart and the surge was going to make things work.

            I never predicted a partition. That was your buddy Orin Hatch. Partition as a solution was floated as a trial balloon by neocons, because they thought it looked like a way to bail them out of their problems.

            First Saddam was going to create a humanitarian nightmare with his WMDs and fight us house to house in Bahgdad.

            I never said that. Ever.

            Then the Shias were going to rise up in revolt.

            You might have missed that little thing where the Shia and the Sunni mass-murdered each other for several years.

            Then the there was going to be an all out civil war

            There pretty much was. We were too strong for anyone to actually put conventional forces in the field, but the casualties produced by the Iraqi civil conflict make it pretty impressive.

            that ended in genocide

            How many Iraqi deaths would you consider a significant enough number to lament, John?

            and the US leaving in disgrace.

            We stayed in disgrace instead.

            Then the elections were going to be a disaster. Then it was going to be an Islamic fundamentalist state.

            If Iraq’s democracy is allowed to function and we refrain from continually subverting it with covert action [as we did in Italy] or sponsoring coups [as we did in Greece] eventually Iraq will have a regime with significant Shia theocratic elements and will have a rapprochement with Iran. I stand by that prediction.

            1. Your predictions have never been right in the past fluffy. So I doubt they will be correct in the future. And as far as the rest of it, you have too much emotional baggage invested in the war to ever admit that even one thing is right about it. It is funny. It is the anti-war people rather than the pro war people or the veterans who seem most emotionally damaged by the war.

      8. We are leaving next year. The government seems to be in no danger of toppling.

        You do understand that in the unlikely event that the first sentence turns out to be true, the second sentence will likely no longer be true?

        Everyone there is just biding their time until the big dogs leave and they can all then go at each other’s throats without fear of interference.

  21. Here’s a homework assignment for you, John: google “Iraq car bomb”.

    1. But…but…John told me that the murder statistics were better than Detroit’s! Which, you know, makes Iraq a success…….somehow.

  22. The article said about 2 billion live under dictatorships. That makes it as common as speaking English or being Christian.

    1. They had Hu Jintao on the list. He accounts for about 1.2 billion of that 1.9 billion.

  23. Maybe it is just too many Tom Clancy novels from my youth speaking, but I always wondered why, in a world of 6 billion or more people, some terminal patient with no family and a good rifle didn’t start wacking dictators. A modern rifle can readily make 800 yard cold barrel headshots, and you should be able to get at least that close.

    1. That is why they always disarm their people.

    2. A modern rifle can, easily. Most shooters? Not so much. 800 yard headshots on the first round are difficult. Think of it as a power or a log curve. As the distance goes up, the difficulty increases non-linearly.

      Anybody who can make 800 yard first round headshots 9 out of 10 times has spent a large portion of their life getting that good. It’s not like you pick up a rifle and 6 weeks later are making those shots repeatedly.

      1. Think of the drop on a bullet from 800 yards. The muzzle velocity of a good 8mm or .306 rifle is about 3000 feet per second. Eight hundred yards is 2400 feet. When you consider the deceleration of the bullet, it should take around a second to travel that far. That means it is going to fall for a full second. The distance traveled by a falling object is 1/2 g x t squared. G is 9.8 meters per second per second. That means the bullet is going to fall 4.9 meters during its flight. Hitting a target at that range is like throwing a rock at someone.

        1. How much long-range shooting have you done, John? I’m shit past 300 yards.

          1. I have done a fair amount. And it is more like random shooting than long range shooting because I, like you never hit anything. I have hit targets in the military at 300 meters. But even with a my 8mm mauser, I don’t hit much beyond that.

        2. 800 yard head shots are crazy hard. I have an excellent long-range rifle (sub-MOA .300 Win Mag) and am a decent rifle shot for a member of the unorganized militia, and I couldn’t hit a freakin’ barn door at that distance. I won’t take a shot at a deer from more than 300 yards, and at that range, I’ll use a rest, thank you.

          You’ve got wind, elevation, temperature as your major variables on long shots. It takes a hell of a lot of practice and a natural talent for it to shoot accurately at that range.

          1. Exactly. When you factor in drop and wind, you literally are throwing a rock at the target. You have to aim up and over to the side. I don’t see how people do it. You hear stories about snipers getting head shots in Afghanistan at over a mile. And I am just amazed by that. The bullet takes two or three seconds to travel that far.

            1. John, I know that was just a wild ass guest (ex rectum, as it were) and I not trying to be an ass just getting the record straight. It appears that the longest confirmed sniper kill is 2,475 meters.

              British Army CoH Craig Harrison of the Household Cavalry successfully engaged two Taliban machine gunners south of Musa Qala in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in November 2009 at a range of 2,475 m (2,707 yd), using a L115A3 Long Range Rifle rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum.

              [trivia]Incidentally, CoH stands for Corporal of Horse, apparently. And the Household Cavalry are the guys that ride in the palace parades carrying spears and wearing $40,000 worth of silver armor. It seems there a little bit more than just ornaments for the queen’s house after all.[/trivia]

              1. That’s still awful fucking good shooting, of course.

                I (and most other people) can hardly even see a half mile, let alone make out a single human being, even with all the scopes in the world.

                I can’t find any record of it, but I seem to recall reading about a test the US Army did back in the 20s or so. Apparently a soldier placed a shot on a six foot square target at something like 6000 yards with an 03 Springfield. They were more concerned with testing for penetration and lethality of the (30-06) round at long range than anything, though, IIANM.

              2. For civilized people who avoid exposure to primitive, yet effete, “metric system” measurements, that would be just over one and one half miles.

                1. You’re right. Even seeing it in yards, I got the math wrong. 1.54 miles. Me feel dumb multiplying instead of dividing etc.

                  1. That’s an even bigger deal. I don’t think there’s a scope in normal use available that would let me make out an individal person at a mile and a half (not the +/-half mile I erroneously arrived at).

                2. Metric is definitely the less primitive measurement system, though Americans do get points for having the more sophisticated knife-and-fork protocol.

            2. The .50 cal shooters championship last year: some guy shot a 2 inch group at a 1000 yards. WTF? I mean, seriously. How the hell is that even possible?

              1. Bench rest shooting is just crazy. Any sport where you need a tape running behind your target, because otherwise you couldn’t tell whether you put 5 or 50 shots through the same hole, is just inhumanly precise.

                Other tales of long range shooting include the Second Battle of Adobe Walls (~1000 yd + shot in 1874) and the Sandy Hook rifle tests of 1879. (2 mile testing of the .45-70) http://www.researchpress.co.uk…..dyhook.htm (given up trying to insert links in this bb).

                The Afghan shots with a .338 are just insane. Even knowing the range, how do you begin to calculate the windage over a shot with a ~5 second time of flight? Screwing around with a ballistic computer, I get 36 feet of windage at 2500 m with a 10 mph crosswind. And from the article, he made a first round hit! Just silly.

                Agree that 800 m is a touch long for your average disgruntled gun nut to head shot some public official…

                1. Gray Ghost, your link to the Sandy Hook rifle tests of 1879 appear to be what I was referring to above.

                  So it was 3200 yards, not 6000 as I had misremembered.

                  Hey, it’s Hit and Run, what do you mean I should get my facts straight before posting? πŸ™‚

      2. +1, getting that good at long range takes a huge time investment. How many people even live within driving distance of a location where they could practice shooting at 800 yards?

        My Dad used to compete in DCM (long range shooting with US military rifles, e.g. a Garand, M14 clone, or AR-15). He would practice at 600 yards and it was an all day affair. Just going back and forth from your location to the target takes a lot of time.

  24. 20. PAUL KAGAME of Rwanda: A liberator who saved the Tutsis from complete extermination in 1994, Kagame now practices the same ethnic apartheid he sought to end. His Rwandan Patriotic Front dominates all levers of power: the security forces, the civil service, the judiciary, banks, universities, and state-owned corporations. Those who challenge the president are accused of being a hatemonger or divisionist and arrested.
    Years in power: 10

    I didn’t know about this dude. I suppose it was inevitable that a dictator would use the 1994 genocide as a pretext for power, but…shit.

    1. 21. Barack Obama of Kenya: A liberator who saved the Democrats from complete extermination in 2008, Obama now practices the same expansionist view of presidential power he sought to end. His Democratic Popular Front dominates all levers of power: the unionized security forces, the civil service, the judiciary, banks, universities, and state-owned corporations. Those who challenge the president are accused of being a hatemonger or divisionist or racist.
      Years in power: 1.5

      1. Nice.

      2. 1 round of applause.

      3. I was half-expecting a drive-by, Tea-Party type to do something like this, which would have been less than effective. But coming from SF…brilliant! Extra points for basing his response on an existing entry.

      4. Sweet. +1

    2. Kagame is more of a benevolent dictator. Rwanda, in general, has done extremely well since he took power.

      http://www.fastcompany.com/mag…..ising.html

  25. I always wondered why, in a world of 6 billion or more people, some terminal patient with no family and a good rifle didn’t start wacking dictators.

    Because out of six billion people, there are about ten who really, on every level of consciousness, think dictators are bad guys.

    Maybe not that many. Maybe none.

    1. I always wondered why, in a world of 6 billion or more people, some terminal patient with no family and a good rifle didn’t start wacking dictators.

      Because killing a dictator is HARD. Think about how hard it is to kill an American President. Now, ramp up the level of difficulty by having a dictator who is free to disarm the citizenry, employ secret police to track down dissenters, shut down media outlets pointing out how bad the dictator is, and generally stacking the decks against killing him.

  26. “According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. shed 2.3 million jobs since February 2009, Obama’s first full month in office. Going back to World War II, that is by far the worst record for any president in his first 17 months, outpacing the job destruction experienced in the early Bush years by more than 800,000 jobs.”

    http://nalert.blogspot.com/201…..ation.html

    Can the media please start calling him “worst President since Hoover”? Imagine if McCain had had that kind of record. The media would be having kittens every day instead of saying how every piece of bad news is “unexpected”.

    1. It’s because of our newfound commitment to balanced budgets, John. Haven’t you been reading Krugman?

    2. “”””According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. shed 2.3 million jobs since February 2009, Obama’s first full month in office.””

      Do you really think any President can prevent that in his first full month? I would argue that the amount of executive authority need to make that happen that quickly, is and should be, beyond the powers of the executive branch.

    3. “””Can the media please start calling him “worst President since Hoover”?”””

      Besides, since when do you give a shit about what the media says? You don’t really believe them do you?

  27. Haven’t you been reading Krugman?

    Krugabe wants those evil private sector jobs to be replaced with unionized government jobs.

  28. http://online.wsj.com/article/…..style_11_1

    Shockingly the “sex trafficking” that was supposed to explode in South Africa because of the World Cup, never happened.

    1. Yeah, just read that and was about to post it myself. Gotta love the officer’s account of his on-the-job “injury,” received in “pursuit” of the horrible criminal defendant:

      I grabbed the Defendant’s arm and he pushed me away scraping my arm with his fingernail.

      You know damn well why he makes the allegation that he was scraped with the guy’s fingernail – so he can try to get the guy charged with assault on an officer. “See, he scratched my arm with his fingernail!!”

      Fucking A. What a fucking Barney Fife.

      1. Yeah, the fingernail scrape was harmful, the possible stroke, not so much.

        It really shows the mindset of some cops. It’s all about them. Their safety, their authority. Their safety and authority is in more valuable than your life.

        1. Internet outraged fixed it.

  29. BAHAHAAHA South Africa is beating France.

    Die Frenchies!

  30. 22. Rupert Murdoch of the United States. Furthering his ideological goals through the borderline treason and violent rhetoric of his cable news network since 1996, Murdoch continuously obstructs the legitimate democratic government from implementing the will of the people. With tactics borrowed from Nazi brownshirts and Genghis Khan, his astroturfed Tea Party movement has terrorized public servants into paralysis despite representing only a thin, crusty fringe of the American people.

    Years in Power: 14

    1. Speaking of adrenaline, I regretted not firing more than two shots into Tyler. Not because he needed them, but I just wished I had taken advantage of the opportunity to fire more shots. Then again, my thumb was a bloody mess thanks to the hammer of the Glock 19 9mm handgun pulling back and taking a patch of skin with it. The last thing I needed was to create the sort of situation where my own blood would be dripping all over the place. No doubt the police would find it and trace it back to me. They probably would not buy my story as to why Tyler needed to die.

      1. the hammer of the Glock 19 9mm handgun pulling back

        Snicker. Glocks don’t have exposed hammers. What a maroon.

        1. Pretty sure this has been covered in this context before.

          1. Yeah. I need Dan to write me some new material.

    2. Derivative and unfunny. You suck as a writer, Dan.

      1. Which is not to say that you don’t suck at everything else.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with being derivative. If we are to see farther than others, we must stand on the shoulders of gnats.

    3. Hobie Hanson, You’re Weird

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