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    1. Don't you know that the most selfish thing you can do is leave people alone?

      1. I did some reading on the general welfare language in the Tax and Spending Clause. The Supreme Court has recently taken the broader, Hamiltonian view of the general welfare language. It appears that the Court goes a little back and forth on this, saying when it wants to allow a federal action that it's Congress' job to determine what's in the general welfare, but it also has clearly said that that determination can be limited by other provisions of the Constitution.

        This isn't really a settled issue, and the Court will likely slam the door on anything very expansive that is inconsistent with its view of the powers of the federal government.

        Personally, I think an expansive view of the clause makes absolutely no sense as a matter of legal interpretation. Here's Madison's view of this very issue from Federalist 41:

        Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States," amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction.

        Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare."

        But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.

        All of this aside, in the context of the healthcare law, even under the expansive view, the president and others said quite clearly that the mandate isn't a tax, so that's a dead end. There's also a good argument that it isn't in the general welfare (or paying down the debt or providing for defense), because the mandate's penalties favor some at the expense of others. Not "general."

        In any case, I think the Court will, if pushed, acknowledge the Madisonian view of the clause, as it's the only way to retain any concept of the Constitution as a framework of limited government.

        1. I would only say that there were two sides to the debate and the Constitution is a political document. And by that I mean not all of the drafters were Jeffersonians or anti-federalists. Some of them wanted a big strong federal government. And as a result the language can be a mismash because it was created by compromise.

          R.C Dean wants to read Hamilton and his followers out of history and pretend they were all Jeffersonian anti-federalists. That is just not true. I think the general welfare clause represents a concession to the federalist view and was meant to be interpreted broadly.

          1. Madison was a federalist. So, #41 is the FEDERALIST view.

            1. Fair enough. But read it. He is talking about regulatory and police powers. He says

              "A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare."

              He is saying the clause doesn't give the government unlimited regulatory power. It doesn't talk about the ability to buy things or give away money. That is different.

              1. Read further:

                But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?

                Every power given by that clause is listed after the semicolon. EVERY FUCKING ONE OF THEM. If it aint listed, it aint covered.

            2. From Madison's notes on the constitution debate:

              Mr. SHERMAN opposed the election by the people, insisting that it ought
              to be by the State Legislatures. The people he said, immediately should
              have as little to do as may be about the Government. They want
              information and are constantly liable to be misled.

              1. On the proposition for giving "Legislative power in all cases to which the State Legislatures were individually incompetent."

                Mr. PINKNEY & Mr. RUTLEDGE objected to the vagueness of the term incompetent, and said they could not well decide how to vote until they should see an exact enumeration of the powers comprehended by this definition.

                Wow, if we had given the congress power over everything the states were incompetent at, that would have been HUGE. CA legislature is clearly not competent at anything.

                1. Mr. MADISON said that he had brought with him into the Convention a
                  strong bias in favor of an enumeration and definition of the powers necessary to be exercised by the national Legislature

        2. For reference, the Taxing and Spending Clause:

          The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

          The question, I think, is what constitutes spending for the "General Welfare of the United States"?

          I submit that it does not include what we think of as welfare benefits, that is, the mere transfer of wealth by forcible appropriation from one party and disbursement to another. That is not for the "general welfare", because only some are better off, while some are definitely worse off.

          In addition, I believe it was Madison who was quite emphatic that the general welfare clause did not encompass such activities as "charity."

          If you can find me one single contemporaneous quote that contradicts Madison, John, please put it up. But I do not believe "general welfare of the United States" means "improving the standard of living of a subset of residents at the expense of others."

          1. Even if there is not, the plain meaning of the statue would emcompass welfare. It says in very plain language "provide for the common Defense and general Welfare". I don't see how Madison's post hoc explanation trump the plain meaning of the text. If Congress decides transferring wealth is for the general welfare they can do it.

            "That is not for the "general welfare", because only some are better off, while some are definitely worse off."

            That is completely ridiculous RC. The same could be said of tariffs or any government action. By that logic, the Congress could do nothing for the general welfare since any action is bound to benefit someone at someone else's expense.

            You just don't like the language and want to pretend it doesn't exist. To me that is no better than liberals inventing positive rights that are not in the text. The text says what is says and is very plain in its meaning. The fact that one of the founders didn't mean it that way does not trump the plain language.

            1. general welfare =/= welfare.

              welfare as we know it, is about the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have-nots.

              general welfare as I suspect the founders knew it, was providing things like potable water and sewage systems in cities and towns.

              1. Thank you, Gobbler.

                note that the complete phrase is "General Welfare of the United States". Which I take to mean, more or less, things that are available to all. Which transfer payments/"welfare" emphatically are not.

                1. It's a major objection to the use of that language to support the mandate. Of course, the administration shot itself in the foot for this argument by saying flat out that the mandate wasn't a tax.

          2. R C Dean,

            I did a little digging. Hamilton had a different view post-ratification, and the Supreme Court has take the expansive view when it really, really wanted a particular result.

            See South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987) (justifying the federal government blackmailing the states to raise their drinking ages) and U.S. v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).

            Personally, I think these decisions were totally results driven and wouldn't hold up if the action were viewed as contrary to accepted federal powers (the decisions do vaguely indicate that the Tax and Spending Clause can be limited by other parts of the Constitution), but with an expansive view of federal power, it sets an incredibly dangerous precedent.

            My understanding is that legal scholarship generally thinks the Court was dead wrong on these cases and may very well go the opposite direction if a desired result requires it. Certainly, by any accepted rule of legal interpretation, the fact that the comments on the clause before and during ratification clearly stated that the clause wasn't a catchall, and the fact that the expansive view pretty much guts the concept of enumerated powers shows that we've twisted the original meaning into something more useful to a government that is increasingly unshackled.

            Just goes to show how dangerous a pro-government Court really is. We didn't get here without the active connivance of the judiciary.

            1. Also see a Volokh Conspiracy post on the topic.

          3. ""The question, I think, is what constitutes spending for the "General Welfare of the United States"?""

            I agree. The question also applies to what constitutes "Common Defense". If we look there, it means pretty much whatever government wants it to mean. Drug law enforcement is portrayed as a war to give it that defense feel. Without any strict rules, government can ad lib it to a big degree.

            ""But I do not believe "general welfare of the United States" means "improving the standard of living of a subset of residents at the expense of others.""

            I tend to think that "general" doesn't dig down to individual people. Kinda like public health shouldn't involve government trying to manage your diabetes.

            But I'm not sure that at the expense of others makes it wrong. It certainly doesn't apply to common defense where people's freedom comes at the expense of others. Sometimes it's considered your duty to sacrifice for the common defense of the nation. It could be argued that people should sacrifice for the general welfare too. Not that I would agree.

    2. At least we don't dress like the douchebags in the Seattle PI fashion section.

      1. I see that that the lesson of "share your toys" he learned as a boy from his mother sunk in a bit too deeply.

        I wonder how much extra he voluntarily sends to the gummint every year, above and beyond the taxes he pays?

      2. Speak for yourself Brett!

      3. At least we don't dress like the douchebags in the Seattle PI fashion section.

        Never been to an Austin LP meeting, I take it. (Actually, neither have I, but I know some Austin Libertarians.)

        1. That's fair. I lived in Austin long enough to know that dress has no bearing on political view. Still, some of that crap from the PI that gets posted here obviously clashes with the monocle!

    3. Now we are getting drug policy advice from Mexico. Next up, debt policy advice from Zimbabwe.

      1. Reply fail.

      2. I think we are actually.

    4. That as almost good enough to be a Friday Funny. But its no Garfield.

      1. Garfield's new edgy, provocative political trend is refreshing.

        1. I'm waiting with bated breath for the Thanksgiving Garfield.

          1. In it, Davis will lay out his detailed strategy for evacuating the Middle East. In four panels.

    5. From the comments:

      Doesn't the bible teach that we shouldn't seek seek earthly treasures, that our reward will be in heaven? Heck, I learned that in Sunday School when I was eight. Guess the Libertarians and Conservatives no longer believe in what the bible teaches... or they're all just a bunch of lying hypocrites.

      Bible thumping libertarians...whoa hold on I'm still laughing, woo!

      Also: sage_commander, nice.

        1. robc, I think that the only time you bring up your beliefs is when it is pertinent to the conversation, and not with the purpose of advocating policy. I.e. no thumping.

          1. Thumping isnt about advocating policy, its about prosletization, not that I do much of that here either.

            1. stop forcing your beliefs on me robc!

              1. Shut up pancakes! You gladly open wide when I force myself on you.

            2. Hey man, you're the one that said "ahem".

              I just thought the comment was funny because I personally have never encountered a proselytizing libertarian, in the religious sense. Or a libertarian that advocates for "christian/family values" based legislation.

              1. I try to separate my libertarian proselytizing from my christian proselytizing.

                That latter would be a contradiction, you cant be a libertarian and advocate for the legislation.

                1. As a libertarian, I'm sure that I advocate for some piece of legislation somewhere; I just can't think of one right now.

                  Since Christ advocated the nice round number of 0 pieces of legislation, as a Christian, I could say that the same sentiment as above applies.

          2. Since my thumping has been low, decided to do something about it - Here is the robc bible verse of the day (this is very unlikely to be an ongoing feature):

            Song of Songs 4:5 (Hurray! Boobies!)

            1. Awsome erotic poem.

              1. I should have gone with 7:7-8

                Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, "I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit."

                Thats my kind of family values.

                1. That's what some TSA thug said . . .

      1. Thank you. Feel free to email me with comments. Or you can put them right here!

      2. Funny how liberals want that separation of church and state... until they want no such separation, as in "when it furthers the cause of collectivism".

    6. Too bad the artist couldn't squeeze the guy's burning cross in the pane.

    7. Damn skippy, he nailed you guys. Whether or not you're forced to do something is irrelevant to a rational person. The desire for autonomy is just a bizarre, psychological maladjustment.

      Reminds me of this girl I used to date. The sex was always great, for both us, so one day after we broke up I waited for her to leave work, tazed her, and tied her up in my basement to relive the old times. But she didn't enjoy it at all! What a psycho. She was probably a libertarian too, I guess. Well, with all the screaming I had to quiet her down with a pillow over her face and I guess I got a little overzealous, but she made me do it. Anyway, it was a real shame, and it's your fault. Goddamn you sicko libertarian fucks.

    8. I think that Horsey is just jealous of all the unicorn owners around here.

    9. Horsey has quite the backpfeifengesicht.

    10. That there's a waste of good drawin'.

  1. I love the smell of deflation in the morning. You know, one time we had a bank default every day, for 12 straight days. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink loan officer. The smell, you know that burnt mortgage papers smell, the whole hill. Smelled like victory. Someday this recession's gonna end...

  2. So that's why there's no meth being produced in Mexico.

    1. The System worked!

    2. So how long will it be before people are smuggling pseudo-ephedrine into Mexico?

      1. They already are. Chinese pseudoephedrine gets smuggled into Mexico by the boatload for use in Mexican meth labs, which then send their product into the US.

        1. Why don't they just use the old German meth recipe? Seems it would be easier than smuggling cheap knock-off ChiCom pseudoephedrine to Mexico...

          1. Is that the one that has a phosphene gas byproduct in one step? Because that's pretty exothermic and fairly dangerous to people's health if inhaled. Also, it stinks for miles. Or so I've read.

            1. That WOULD upset Chad, wouldn't it?

              But, yeah, but don't we have more-efficient toxin-scrubbing smokestack equipment than the Nazis had?

    3. Yes, Mexico is doing so well in their war on drugs that we should copy everything they do, right?


  3. Portugal, Ireland on the verge of debt crisis.

    OK, those of us without memory holes might remember that Ireland was recently much ballyhooed and sold as a successful free market example. Now that it is tanking like Greece what is the spin going to be?

    1. I'm just guessing here, but that article was written in 2003. The central banks have been hard at work since then, you know, stimulating the economy with low interest rates and the sort.

      Of course, the Austrians would say they saw this coming from about 20 years back, and they would be right.

      1. It proves Friedman was right on Ireland and the euro, Mundell was wrong.

    2. Dublin has so far admitted to holding talks over "market conditions" with EU partners but insists that it is fully-funded until June and hopes to calm nerves with ?6bn (?5.1bn )of budget cuts in early December.

      That doesn't sound like "tanking like Greece"...

      1. Yeah, Ireland feels like they don't need a bailout and doesn't want one.

        It's European Union bureaucrat types that are trying to force one upon them, because they are desperate to hold Humpty Dumpty together. But they are in denial; the E.U. is a fraud and is inevitably going to break up.

        The smartest thing the U.K. ever did was in not joining the Euro.

        1. Hard to buy German exports without that bailout.

    3. "those of us without memory holes might remember that Ireland was recently much ballyhooed and sold as a successful free market example. "

      On the other hand, so was America. It's tough to have this discussion without bringing in the Germans, who have tuned the EU to their growth at the expense of everyone else, which isn't meant to defend or refute what you are saying; just extending the scene to note that 1 and only 1 economy in Europe is not going to shit. It seems weird in an economic cooperative zone like the EU.

    4. It was a success. And they are a lot richer than they were 20 years ago. But, they never cut their spending. And it is not like they are the only country in Europe with this problem. Pretty much all of Europe is going broke. You can't sustain a European style welfare state forever. That is the lesson of all of it.

      I think it is almost a lesson in psychology. No matter how small the programs are to start, once you start handing out money it appears to be impossible to stop. Forty years ago, Europe had welfare and big government but it wasn't anything like it is today. But, they couldn't seem to control the size of things. It seems to erode the underpinning of society. Once some people get on the dole, everyone thinks "why not me" and starts taking it either directly or in the form of avoiding taxes.

      How is it that a country like Greece or Ireland or Iceland with a reasonably stable rule of law and productive societies could end up bankrupt? You can't say it was "capitalism". The UK has been capitalist for 500 years, suffered through multiple world wars and it has never gone bankrupt. Before the 20th Century only wars caused countries to go bankrupt. And there hasn't been one of those in seventy years in Europe. So that kind of narrows it down doesn't it?

      1. I'm guessing a problem with that theory John is that, relative to nations like France, Germany or Scandinavian countries Ireland is quite famous for having a less extensive system of government programs....

        See, this is my problem with fundamentalism. No falsifiable proposition is ever ventured, therefore one never has to deal with any empirical phenomena that seems to contradict the cherished axioms. A honest libertarianism would say something like "government intervention if correlated with economic success." Instead many libertarians seem to wait until after the fact and create "just so" stories that attribute any after the fact success to some market friendly policy (you can always find one) and failures to some non-market friendly policy (again, always available).

        1. I can't think of any successes associated with non market friendly policies. Can you? Name them? The history of the last 100 years seems to be one of capitalist economies of varying degrees attaining wealth and prosperity and government controlled economies attaining poverty and misery.

          Yeah, you can point to a country like Sweden that has a big government. But that government is laid over a capitalistic system. Take away the capitalism and it is East Germany without the Stazi.

          More importantly, that third way model of big government, high taxes and big social services, is proving to be unsustainable. India isn't going bankrupt. Europe and soon the US is. And Europe is getting there even faster than the US.

          1. "The history of the last 100 years seems to be one of capitalist economies of varying degrees attaining wealth and prosperity and government controlled economies attaining poverty and misery."

            Only if you have on one side Marxist dictatorships like N. Korea and the other nations which you would have to admit have as much government intervention "laid over" their capitalism (and vice versa) on the other. Again, the only honest way to do it would be to look at some kind of correlation. And guess what, it would not be perfect.

            Let me illustrate my point dramatically. I can change one word in a critical sentence of yours and it would be in every sense as true!

            "The history of the last 100 years seems to be one of government-friendly economies of varying degrees attaining wealth and prosperity"

            As anyone here can note even a nation like the US which would be on the "market" side of any sensible continuum saw marked government friendly policies during that same 100 year period.

            1. But you are missing the elephant in the room. Those countries who were both market and government friendly are now going broke. Europe and America are facing a sovereign debt crisis that is the result not of wars or natural disasters but of their governments over spending a blank check.

              Go look at the numbers. You have seen them. Now explain to me how the US and Europe are going to sustain their welfare states going forward. The math doesn't lie. Twentieth century social democratic liberalism is dead. It is only continuing because of entrenched interests and momentum. It is not like it works anymore or has a future. At some point every country that practices it is either going to go bankrupt or abandon it. The math makes that unavoidable.

              I understand why you tend to not want to see that. It has got to be hard to face the fact that all of the policies and things you believe in are about to be sent to the dustbin of history like communism and monarchism. But, that is what is happening.

              1. "I understand why you tend to not want to see that."

                This from a man who just used India as an example of a successful market friendly nation and the US as an example of a non-market friendly failure!

                Next thing I know you'll be laying hands on the Greek economy and speaking in (Austrian) tongues...


                1. You always avoid the topic and start insulting people when you are corning. MNG, explain how Europe and the US are going to keep their welfare states without going bankrupt? If you can't do that, and given the math there is no way you can, then you have lost the argument.

                  It is not about being right or wrong. it is about reality. Europe and American is either going to give up their welfare states and big governments voluntarily or go bankrupt and lose them through austerity (or if they print money inflation). The game is up. No more great societies. No more New Deal.

                  1. "You always avoid the topic and start insulting people when"

                    That's not the topic of this discussion. You are the one avoiding that you made my point (which was about the picking and choosing and applying "just so" stories methodology of market fundamentalists) in your bizarre choice of India as an example of market success.

                2. Ireland was a huge success story in the mid 1970s-1990s. They had massive deregulation, lowered taxes and made it easy for international firms to invest in the country. Just because the nation's fiscal house got out of whack, doesn't mean that their previous growth wasn't driven by good policy.

              2. I understand why you tend to not want to see that. It has got to be hard to face the fact that all of the policies and things you believe in are about to be sent to the dustbin of history like communism and monarchism. But, that is what is happening.

                Denial is the first stage of grief.

          2. " India isn't going bankrupt. Europe and soon the US is."

            My God are you actually putting India up as somehow on the more non-gvoernment friendly, market friendly side of the continuum?


            1. According to measurements by Heritage India ranks a pitiful 124 on economic freedom, while the US (and Ireland btw, take note OM) is in the top 10.

              WTF John? This is your brain on market fundamentalism.


              1. And they are no doubt poorer for it. But since they don't have a giant welfare state, they are not going to go bankrupt. And note that India is much more free today that it was 40 years ago when it was straight socialist. And sure enough they are richer today than they were then. It always works that way.

                And do you even know what you are advocating? Do you think India would be better off if they had Obamacare and cradle to grave welfare and retirement at 50? Do you think that that would make them richer? I don't.

            2. We are not talking about government. We are talking about the welfare state and western liberalism. That is what bankrupts countries.

              1. Good lord John, your just digging deeper! Heritage ranks India far, far below the US in government spending!


                Look, John, someone sold you a bag of "magic" beans. Stop planting them!

                1. Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are relatively low. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 28.2 percent of GDP.

                  They only spend 28% of GDP on government. The US in contrast, if you count state governments is nearly 50%. That is from your own link. The European governments are even higher. India doesn't have a huge unsustainable welfare state. And they might be poorer for their regulations. But they are not going to go bankrupt.

                  1. You have to count local Indian government expenditures, factor in that India spends a much lower fraction on military than we do, and as the link notes take the US figure (which is 37%) as including the spike in stimulus spending. India in fact DOES have a huge amount of welfare spending John.

                    This is the problem, there are numerous counter-examples (notice Denmark is up there and is not tanking, are you going to say Denmark doesn't have a big welfare system?) to make the perfect correlation you seem hell bent on making...

                2. I'm having some fun here, but look John, I think I actually agree with you generally, I just don't see the correlation as so perfect as you do. I think there is probably a curvilinear relationship between government intervention/size and economic success. I just don't like these pseudo-fundamentalist pat approaches where examples are picked and chosen willy nilly, successes attributed after the fact to market friendly policies and failures to non-market friendly attributes (or previously boosted examples are simply pushed into the memory hole when they start to not pan out). It's too easy, too simple.

                  1. I just don't like these pseudo-fundamentalist pat approaches where examples are picked and chosen willy nilly, successes attributed after the fact to market friendly policies and failures to non-market friendly attributes (or previously boosted examples are simply pushed into the memory hole when they start to not pan out).

                    Then I take it you hate every word the Democrat party has ever had to say on the economy in general, and DEFINITELY on the causes of the recent crash in particular.

                    Where is there a single word written on the crash by leftist economists that isn't after-the-fact ratiocination?

                    Krugman holds himself out as an expert on the causes of the crash. If he knew so much about the crash, why isn't he a trillionaire? Because 25 cents and perfect foresight of the crash could have made you that kind of coin.

                    1. Of course this point would need to be levelled at every Austrian, whom we are told over and over hear saw this coming from miles away. I guess they are all rich now.

                  2. Funny how as soon as John pointed out that you weren't even interpreting your own link correctly you changed the subject and backpedaled. Huh.

                    1. Funny how I doubt you'd care to explain wtf you are talking about. I've kept on the topic throughout, that is that India is less market friendly and yet was cited as John's example. John switched from a general "market friendly=success" argument to a "spending more than you have" one pretty quickly. But you likely agree with and share his fundamentalism so you see it your way. Fundies are like that.

                      Incredibly I'm not even saying that "market economies=success" arguments are not mostly correct or somewhat correct. I'm just pointing out that it is not always that simple and using Ireland as an example of how the fundamentalist view forces one into all kinds of goofy after the fact contortions on the part of fundamentalists.

              2. "We are not talking about government. We are talking about the welfare state and western liberalism."

                Lets call it western regulatory democracy.

    5. I'm guessing like all fundamentalists (or Marxists curiously) we can just attribute any successes to Ireland's free market friendly policies and any failures to where those policies "didn't go far enough."

      1. So you think they should have kept taxes high and continued the government controlled form of soft socialism they had in the 1970s? Is your answer Labor Britain?

      2. Read the Friedman vs. Mundell debate I posted above.

      3. Or that its a really bad time to be a weak country, no matter how fast one was strengthening. The US is working on pissing away 200 years of reputation as a nation that pays its debts. Everyone with a worse debt structure or less reputation is in deep shit. Like the old warning about shorting stocks, the market for sovereign debt can stay irrational longer than most players can stay solvent.

        Free markets provide the highest attainable amount of rationality -- they are not perfectly rational.

      4. In this case, like Iceland, Ireland had a couple of free-market sectors that enjoyed dramatic success [like banking and call center operations], but due to their small size both were forced to hitch their economic wagons to larger entities [the EU and the US].

        Both states were epiphenomena, enjoying dramatic prosperity as lampreys riding larger fish, and when those fish got sick the effect on them was naturally profound. [Like the way the Hamptons collapse when New York City catches a cold.]

        But the worst impacts on both countries are coming into play because of the political necessity they both face to socialize their banking losses. Iceland, for example, would have been much better off if they had just said, "OK, the banks failed. Fuck you, overseas depositors! You lose! Pick better banks next time." But political pressure from Britain made that impossible for them.

        I'm perfectly willing to own up to the fact that economic freedom produces business cycles, and that during busts somebody's going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and lose. But when politicians make those losses everyone's problem, by trying to put all losses onto the public balance sheet, the negative side effects to that don't really belong to libertarians.

        1. "Both states were epiphenomena, enjoying dramatic prosperity as lampreys riding larger fish"

          Funny you should use this simile, as I was thinking about something similar last night -- A Friday Funnies idea of a shark (labeled US Economy) with a bunch of lampreys on it labeled "SEIU", "UAW", "Obamacare", etc.

    6. Re: MNG,

      OK, those of us without memory holes might remember that Ireland was recently much ballyhooed and sold as a successful free market example.

      I don't have a memory hole, and I clearly remember Ireland being ballyhooed as an example of a business friendly country because of their low corporate rates, NOT as a "free market" example.

      And even IF Ireland had a freer market than, oh let us say, California, that does not mean the laws of economics were suddenly suspended for the sake of government largess. Spending more than what you take is STILL a bad thing.

    7. Ireland suffered a massive property bubble due to being part of the Euro (a not free-market currency). The European Central Bank set interest rates that were appropriate for France and Germany but not appropriate for Ireland: they were too low. As a result, Ireland was awash in credit and fresh euros. Hence, a property boom, followed by bust.

      Ireland built its house upon the sand.

      1. Ireland gets much of its tax revenue from taxes on real estate transactions. The government made the mistake of thinking that the boom wasn't a boom and the money would always be there, so they started on a spending binge. When the market collapsed, the tax revenue dried up, and the government started running big deficits. Like in every similar case, Ireland's problems are the result of ill conceived and excessive government spending. It has nothing to do with free market reforms.

  4. The Fox news one is gold I tells, ya, gold!

  5. The best science fiction writer you aren't reading on Britain's national debt.

    With bonus SF writer vs. SF writer slap fight in the comments.

    1. The fun starts about half a page down in the comments when one of them states how wonderful the Soviet medical system used to be.

      1. That's the other science fiction writer, Adam Roberts.

        1. Are his books worth a shit? Because he appears to be quite retarded.

          1. I've talked up Salt and Stone here a number of times. On was a great idea that had a shaky execution, Polystrom was an half-successful fusion of steampunk and pocket universes. The Snow mistook obtuseness for mysteriousness.

            I haven't read anything else by him. Like a lot of UK authors, he had problems getting an American publisher during the economic downturn.

            1. Not quite in the SF genre, but give me any of Terry Pratchett's work any day.

              1. That is, of course, SF in the sci-fi genre, not the SugarFree genre... which would be quite interesting, I'm sure.

  6. U.S. to expand presence in Yemen.

    It's just a few military advisors and some equipment to support a democratic government under siege.

    What could possibly go wrong?


    French Leave Vietnam

    US Training South Vietnamese: The US Military Assistance Advisor Group (MAAG) assumes responsibility, from French, for training South Vietnamese forces.

  7. "pseudoephedrine should only be available with a prescription"

    I guess an added bonus for drug warriors is that everyone will be too congested to snort any drugs.

    This is the kind of everyday issue that I'd like to see LP candidates make their centerpiece. Everyone I know hates them taking the pseudoephedrine out of otc cold meds.

    1. Minge, this is like the tenth regulatory/legisaltion dangerous chemical banning cycle that has happened in the last 30 years. Most of the time no on notices because they are regulating reagents that the general public doesn't use anyways.

      In fact, the only reason people use sudafed is because of the restrictions placed on precursors for much easier processes.

      Also, if you know where to look, you can buy 55 gallon drums of psuedoephedrine from china, which is what the cartels do.

    2. I guess an added bonus for drug warriors is that everyone will be too congested to snort any drugs.

      Although I don't have any direct experience in this, the vasoconstriction due to snorting cocaine should be great for nasal congestion.

    3. Ah, so people are now expected to schedule a doctor's appointment every time they get the sniffles. Way to bend the cost curve, Obamarrhoids!

    1. The Alpha Apes are doing something! I must pay attention!

      1. We have our own, home grown, dysfunctional royalty clan.

        We call it the Kennedy's.

        1. At least there aren't any Kennedys in public office... for a change. Hintity-hint hint.

          Let's hope it stays permanent. That clan ain't right in the head.

    2. It's a decoy. Something else is going on that the overlords want to get under the radar.

      *adjusts tinfoil*

    3. Millions of vapid young women who have lost another chance at being a real princess?

      1. Just wait. Someday one of these future kings is going to marry an American chick and the shit will escalate to unimaginable levels. I hope I'm dead by then.

        1. I take it you've never heard of King Edward VIII?

    4. Its our future King!!!

      There was a show on some random cable channel about them the other day...yeah, I dont get it either.

      I really think some segment of America misses out on the "princesses" part of royalty, so just adopts the British royalty. Probably could be fixed by more debutantes. Is that even done anymore?

      1. Large Man with Dead Body: Who's that then?
        The Dead Collector: I dunno, must be a king.
        Large Man with Dead Body: Why?
        The Dead Collector: He hasn't got shit all over him.

    5. Inbreeding has always fascinated people.

      1. Unlike other future queens, Miss Middleton, who comes from Bucklebury, in Berkshire, is not of royal, or even aristocratic, lineage. Her father is a former airline pilot and her mother a former flight attendant; together they run a successful mail-order business that sells paraphernalia for children's parties.

        1. sells paraphernalia for children's parties

          Kiddie bongs?

          1. That was my thought too. Gotta start them early, right?

            1. "Mommy? Can you bend my heroin spoon for me?"

              1. Damnit. Now I'll spend all day giggling about Barney tie-offs and Disney character needles.

              2. Get Uri Geller to do it.

      2. I'd hit it.

      3. We've been fascinated by it as well, John.

    6. Oh come on! She's a pretty girl. That's all that matters.

  8. A senior administration official said the U.S. wants to help boost Yemen's ability to move its troops around the country, but didn't comment on any specifics about this effort.

    I'll specify: Sell GM vehicles to Yemen, if you must -- but stay the hell out!

    1. So you want to make them drive Volts? Why do you hate the Yemenis so much?

      1. Good catch. Obviously the official meant this.

  9. I love that Fox News story. Their reasoning is obviously that you can't side with anyone against the US, even when the US is wrong.

    You know what? I don't give a shit that Sitting Bull killed a US general. Good for him.

    If the Cherokees could have fought their way to Andrew Jackson and tortured that fuck to death using all sorts of freaky Indian tortures and shit, I would think that was fucking awesome.*

    [*Hyperbole intended to express hate for Andrew Jackson and a general willingness to side with the other guys when the US is in the wrong, and not to actually endorse torture.]

    1. We needed Andy J to kill off the 2nd Bank of the US.

      Bring back zombie Jackson to kill off the 3rd (Fed).

      1. The Cherokee have oil now that Zombie Jackson would want to give to his zombie buddies. Where would he drive them to now?

    2. "Their reasoning is obviously that you can't side with anyone against the US, even when the US is wrong."

      Well of course fluffy, tribal nationalism is the raison d'etre of the right. Has been for ages.

      1. We're talking about a movement that was up in arms because Obama wouldn't wear a flag pin for goodness sake and that still thinks Michelle Obama's (a woman who saw her father bowed by Jim Crow and had enslaved great-great grandparents) comments about not being proud of her country to be the worst sin in the world.

        1. What a crock of shit. And fuck Michelle Obama's slave ancestors. My great-great grandfather served a good deal of time in a Confederate prison camp. I never met him, so it really has no effect on me. Do you think Michelle Obama ever met her great-great grandparents? Of course not, so any issues she has about them having been slaves are just the manufactured product of her diseased mind.

          1. If it has no effect on you, great.

            But Michelle Obama's critics are the ones demanding an effect. They demand that she feel, and voice, the positive effect of pride.

            So a person who felt nothing about their ancestral past would not be satisfying those critics, either.

            1. I'm speaking to a much larger issue.

              1. That's because you're being a douche.

                You are annoyed by the fact that you think in general blacks aren't "grateful" enough for being Americans. So even though by the terms of your own argument it would be absurd for you, personally, to feel pride about being American, you demand that Michelle Obama say that she's proud, and always has been, or she's one of those damn ungrateful black people.

                1. I'm not demanding a god damned thing.

            2. Well, to be fair, it could be considered a reflection on the president (particularly when considered along with his other controversial associations), and it's reasonable to mistrust a person to run a country when they feel animosity toward that country -- with such a position of power, there's plenty of harm they could do, and certainly there's no reasons to think they have the best interests of Americans (those people they are ashamed of) in mind.

              1. ^^THIS^^

          2. Michelle also saw segregation work against her family while she was alive. Was your father in a Confederate war camp during your lifetime?

            1. And she's *still* pissed about it?

              Seriously, I wonder if she resents Barry's white half. I wonder why she'd marry someone with such a bad heritage. Ticket to power, most likely... Hillary did the same thing - latched on to a guy she knew would make it big.

            2. As noted below, she was born in 1964 Chicago. Your myths are showing.


            3. If she saw segregation at work then she experienced desegregation too. So the Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn't make her proud of the US?

        2. Yes, MNG... Jim Crow was bad. No one but for deranged white supremacists, would argue otherwise.

          But Michelle needs to get over it. Jim Crow's long-dead and won't be coming back. Ever.

          1. Are you saying that if you saw your dad treated like shit under segregation you would not, I dunno, resent the system that it was a part of? You would be like "USA number 1!" WTF?

            I think it quite appropriate for many blacks to have lukewarm feelings of patriotism at best.

            1. I'd at least acknowledge we've made progress since then, MNG. Michelle acts like it just happened a few years ago.

              I'm not saying she has to be all rah-rah about America, but OTOH she could have spared us the "now that my husband is president, NOW I'm proud of my country" bullshit.

              Yes, we had/still have flaws. All she sees is the flaws.

              1. On another track, I've had variations of this argument with feminists:

                So, would you rather live *here*... or in a country where your own male family members will hold you down and slice off your nose and ears for the crime of adultery, or beat you to death with rocks for being around a man you're not related to/married to?


                Just no pleasing some people.

              2. Dude, this is idiotic.

                I'm not saying she has to be all rah-rah about America

                That's exactly what you're saying, since you're supporting people who were annoyed with her for being insufficiently rah-rah about America.

                but OTOH she could have spared us the "now that my husband is president, NOW I'm proud of my country" bullshit.

                Yes, we had/still have flaws. All she sees is the flaws.

                Guess what - I'm still not "proud" of America. Do you think that's because all I see is flaws?

                1. That's the thing, Fluffy; you're not saying what Michelle said. I can understand not being proud of the US' behavior, period; you just have very high standards for pride.

                  But what Michelle said was that, in effect, electing Obama was the most honorable thing that America had done in her lifetime. Which is way off the plantation.

                  1. *I* see the flaws, Fluffy. I'm not and never will give anyone a pass for current bad behavior, race-wise - from ANY side.

                    But I'm not going to slam the whole fucking country, like Barry's wife does - and like he does, for that matter.

                    We're imperfect, but I'd take here over a lot of other places.

                2. No, Fluffy, I'm not. I'm pointing out that Barry hitched himself to a spiteful bitch with a chip on her shoulder and she used the national stage after his election to pull on the scabs of segregation. And she's STILL doing it.

            2. Didn't the bitch grow up in Chicago? Was that a big Jim Crow city?

              Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.



            3. She was born in 1964, Minge. There was some sort of famous act that became law that year. I just can't seem to remember what it was about though. Somebody help me out.

          2. As long as there is a liberal bias in the media, and race hustlers like Sharpton, it's never going away.

            Just came across this a minute ago:

            Amid Montgomery's affluence, plight of suburban poor worsens in downturn

            Their numbers are growing, but the suburban poor can be tough to spot amid the affluence that sometimes surrounds them. In few places is that more true than in Tobytown, a tiny enclave in Potomac still occupied by the descendants of former slaves who founded it in 1875.

            See! They're descendents of slaves! They don't have a fucking hope or a chance. SLAVES!!!

        3. "Michelle Obama's (a woman who saw her father bowed by Jim Crow"

          [citation needed]

    3. It was a war. Of course if you can't blame the Indians for killing white people, you can't blame the white people for doing the same.

      It is really an interesting bit of history. Two cultures who just absolutely could not understand one another came into conflict. The truth is much more interesting than the cartoons we make out of it. The Indians were not perfect either. They conquered and enslaved each other. The Sioux were only in the Black Hills and Montana because they had gotten their asses kicked out of Minnesota and before that the east coast by bigger and badder tribes. And they came and kicked the hell out of the Shoshone and the Blackfoot who were living there. Those guys were not to upset when the whites wiped out the Sioux.

      1. I totally agree.

        I do not think the narrative is "Evil white people who hate nature exterminated hot blue chicks with tails who talked to the animals angelic aborigines who lived in harmony with each other and the land".

        But that being said, given the fact that the US openly announced its intention to take every last thing the Indians had and broke every agreement it ever made to the contrary, I don't really think it was unreasonable of them to try to stop us. And Fox apparently DOES.

        1. No I don't think it was unreasonable of them either. To me it would be like if aliens with total kick ass technology landed on earth. What would we do? Some people might fight for our culture and history. But a lot of people would suck up and go over to the alien side. Interstellar technology is some pretty cool shit. Sadly, it would end with most people getting wiped out and a few earthlings adapting and assimilating. But our culture as it stands now would be a museum piece from the day the arrived. That is just reality.

          1. I'd just start huffing paint.

            1. Pip, you wouldn't have paint to huff it it weren't for government. It's a big fucking deal, I tell you.

          2. I'd hand over our leaders and go underground in a heartbeat. You know the government would either cut deals with the aliens to save their own asses or they'd enslave us to fight the aliens. Either way, we're screwed. So, I'm outta here.

            "The guys you want are in those big white buildings by that river over there. Have fun."

            1. Independence Day was an awesome movie, but yeah, total fiction. We'd be so screwed.

              1. I prefer Mars Attacks. You can't authorize spending without the Congress.

          3. To me it would be like if aliens with total kick ass technology landed on earth. What would we do? Some people might fight for our culture and history. But a lot of people would suck up and go over to the alien side. Interstellar technology is some pretty cool shit.

            Assimilation in large numbers was not even an option for Indians in the 19th century. Sure, white society tolerated having a few conversation-piece Indians around, but mass movement of Indians into white cities and towns would not have been accepted.

            It's the same dynamic as we see in modern Europe. Back when there were only a few non-whites in Europe, they were accepted and even sought after as novelties, and European intellectuals prided themselves on how Europeans weren't racist like those barbarians on the other side of the Atlantic.

            Now that you have mass immigration of other races into Europe, you see how tolerant Europeans really are.

            1. "Assimilation in large numbers was not even an option for Indians in the 19th century."

              That is just a fucking pile of stupid. And has no relation what so ever to what actually happened.

              Tens of thousands of Indians assimilated. They are all over America. Not all of them went to reservations. Further, the federal government had a long standing policy of forcibly assimilating Indians from the 1880s on. Indeed, many of the reservations were converted to Indian land where Indians were given land and were taught to be farmers. There is a whole sorted history of this stuff from the 1880s up until the 1920s.

              There was a tremendous amount of assimilation that went on. It is still a big deal among Indian tribes who view the government as trying to destroy their culture and those that left and assimilated into white society as traitors.

          4. I'd start angling for a casino license. I'd be constantly telling our new galactic overlords about how it was part of my traditional way of life.

            I'd also use the hyperdrive technology to go to other planets and exploit the shit out of them. Again when the overlords tried to stop me I'd start in on traditional way of life and how my treaty rights mean that I can strip mine those other planets with nuclear lasers.

      2. Two cultures who just absolutely could not understand one another came into conflict.

        The Eastern Indians did misunderstand the whites at first, back when they helped the first settlers learn to farm American soil. They thought they were just visitors who were going to leave after a few years.

        In later times, the Indians understood whites perfectly well: they knew that whites wanted their land and would break every promise in the book in order to get it. There is no misunderstanding here.

        Now yes, the Indians were not, in general, peace loving hippies who respected each other's territory. Neither were Europeans. That doesn't change the fact that whites were almost universally in the wrong in their behavior vis-a-vis the Indians.

        1. I would encourage you to read Maria Sandoz's famous biography of Crazy Horse. It does a great job of explaining how and why the two cultures didn't understand each other. The Plains Indians just could not fathom why anyone would want to stop and stay in one place. And thus never understood the threat they were under and how strong the whites actually were. The whites in contrast understand why the Indians wouldn't just settle in one spot and live a sedentary life. They were just incomparable.

          1. They may not have understood why the other side behaved as they did, but they certainly understood THAT the other side was going to continue behaving that way.

            Oh, and it's kind of hard to settle in one spot and live a sedentary life when every few years, the federal govt decides you need to move somewhere else because white settlers want your land.

          2. ""The Plains Indians just could not fathom why anyone would want to stop and stay in one place.""

            NJ had some problems with natives selling land but didn't think they had to leave. They really didn't understand the land ownership concept.

    4. I fully agree that Custer was a genocidal maniac and I cheer that the Sioux gutted him.

      But it takes a your modern liberal ghostwriter to then make Sitting Bull into some pussy "Sioux medicine man who healed broken hearts and broken promises" for children's book.
      NO, Sitting Bull was a kickass warrior chief who handed the US Army its ass!

      1. +1 on that last paragraph, well said!

    5. Another thing that makes the Fox story ridiculous is that the US Armed Forces themselves routinely use Geronimo in their unit naming and operations naming conventions.

      Because they think Geronimo was a badass motherfucker.

      But Geronimo routinely killed members of the US armed forces when he could - and civilians when he thought he needed to.

      Damn you, America-hating US Air Force!

      Why, US paratroopers would routinely proclaim their admiration for an enemy war leader as they leapt from airplanes! Those AMERICA HATERS!

      1. Braxton Bragg and John Bell Hood were traitors who killed thousands of American soldiers. Yet, the two largest US Army installations in the world are named after them.

        The armed forces have viewed the Indians, at least since the turn of the century, like they view the confederates; as fellow Americans who fought a kick ass fight. You would never see an American helicopter or Army post named after Rommel or Santa Anna. Our local wars are just viewed differently.

        1. Apparently Lafayette, Casimir Pulaski, and Frederick von Steuben got the shaft there too.

          1. Pulaski got a fort named after him in Charleston. Lafayette has a square named after him in Washington. Steuben kind of got the shaft in that regard. But those were on our side.

        2. Traitors? I think that's a bit strong. Allegiance to the state one was from was a much bigger deal back then. The U.S. wasn't even a century old at the time, after all.

      2. Another thing that pisses me off about the article. Indians are Americans. Many Americans have Indian blood. I think Americans can look at Indian culture as part of the greater American culture and history. The 101st Airborne didn't wear mohawks when they jumped into Normandy because they looked at Indians as being the enemy. They did it because they considered Indians part of the American warrior heritage that they were about to unleash of the fucking Nazis.

    1. Oh, goddammit, J sub D.

    2. At the end of The Loo Sanction, the narrator notes that the most beautiful women in the world are the ones a man encounters immediately after leaving England. Trevanian is awesome.

      1. They're both decent looking people for England. They've got nothing on the girls of the ACC or SEC.

    3. Do you think they have illicit, premarital sex in the Queen's bed?

      1. Do you think they have illicit, premarital sex in with the Queen's bed?

        1. With a sex tape? If only the world were that awesome.

    4. and some of William's friends were said to mutter, "doors to manual" when Miss Middleton came into the room, a reference to her mother's prior career [flight attendant]

      I've never met any of them, but it's unlikely the friends of the prince of England have flown commercial airlines enough to know these phrases.

  10. The Four Loko death toll keeps rising.

    FDA steps in

    The following month, a 20-year-old in Tallahassee, Fla., started playing with a gun and fatally shot himself after drinking several cans of Four Loko over a number of hours.

    1. This is Darwin's theory at work. You'd think the evolutionists would be all about it.

    2. The agency declined to say what it would do, but several food safety lawyers who once worked for it said a likely option was to use warning letters to inform manufacturers that the drinks were adulterated and, therefore, not safe.

      First, the drinks are said to target young people; now, they're "adulterated". Why can't the government take a consistent position?

      1. "Adulterated"? You've got to be kidding me. That word does not mean what the FDA thinks it means, but as we know, liberals are wont to force their will by redefining words (hi Neu Mejican!).

    3. Wait, how can they prove that the can pulled the trigger? How did caffeine+alcohol become pcp? Why is my skin all itchy!?

      1. stop drinking 4loko at work...

    4. It's like Reefer Madness all over again. Drink this drink and you will lose your mind, play the piano badly and try to rape your girlfriend! You may even fall into a crowd that likes....jazz music!

    5. In response to the ban, liquor distributors will now offer 5 Hour Energy and OE 800 together in a blister pack.

  11. No one's going to comment on the HuffPo scandal? Then I guess I will, by coining the phrase "The Huffington Poach". You can use it if you want.

    1. Its a website. What was there to steal?

    2. How about Colin Campbell calling Marc Savard a big old faker?

      Now there is a scandal, or something.

      1. Colin Campbell deserves to die a painful death. That is all.

    3. HuffPo did something interesting for a change? Well, that's refreshing. Good for them!

  12. EU bureaucrats want to "bail Ireland out" so they can gain leverage to force them to raise taxes, a source of unrest amongst their colleagues in the EuroTrash Village.

  13. The following month, a 20-year-old in Tallahassee, Fla., started playing with a gun and fatally shot himself after drinking several cans of Four Loko over a number of hours.

    If this isn't an incontestable demonstration of causality, I'll eat Krugabe's hat.

    1. Here in Tally some friends and I are playing "guess his major". We're leaning towards Criminology, but we have a couple of holdouts for Kinesiology.

      1. I've got $5 on School of Music (probably a Performance major). Go Noles.

      2. I'm gonna go with "local redneck taking some welding classes at TCC."

        1. See, I think local rednecks would have more practice drinking and handling guns by age 20. Maybe he was from Killearn.

          I tried to look him up in the Tallahassee Democrat, but apparently he didn't merit his own story.

          1. I wonder if it's even true, then.

            Money quote from the NYT article:
            But Dr. Mary Claire O'Brien, a professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University, warned the F.D.A. last year that the combination was dangerous. Dr. O'Brien said that ingesting both substances at the same time had a much more potent effect than either one by itself.

            "There's a particular interaction that goes on in the brain when they are consumed simultaneously," she said. "The addition of the caffeine impairs the ability of the drinker to tell when they're drunk. What is the level at which it becomes dangerous? We don't know that, and until we can figure it out, the answer is that no level is safe."

            That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard a professor say. And that's a pretty high bar.

            1. I found an archive article from 9/23/2010 about a 20-yr old FSU student killed in a gun accident, but its behind the paywall. The timing is right, but it was part of the "Local Briefs" for the day. Probably 1 paragraph written by an intern. Probably why no names are named. The source material is 1 graf in a local daily.

    2. He also had eaten some Doritos. Clearly corn chips are a menace.

  14. 2 Dems claim Arianna Huffington stole website idea

    Peter Daou and James Boyce charge that Huffington and partner Ken Lerer designed the website from a plan they had presented them, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together, according to a lawsuit to be filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

    This falls under the category of "Boo-fuckin'-hoo"

    Statist fucks of every ilk entertain this notion that one can "steal" an idea. You DON'T, no matter how low one thinks of the pasty Arianna, who looks like Billy the Exterminator's mom.

    1. It's a shitty design they should not try to take credit for.

    2. and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together

      Jeebus H. How long have people in IT been signing NDAs before they will even have lunch together? And these two clown presented a "website idea" with no protection at all?

      They're too stupid to win a verdict.

  15. In other news, Michael Vick just scored another touchdown.

    1. He's like the Energizer Jungle Bunny.

  16. From the NYT op-ed:

    Pseudoephedrine is a nasal decongestant found in some cold and allergy medicines. In 1976, the Food and Drug Administration allowed it to be sold over the counter, inadvertently letting the genie out of the bottle. Afterward, the meth epidemic spread across the nation, leaving destroyed lives and families in its wake.

    Confusing cause and effect.

    The only effective solution is to put the genie back in the bottle by returning pseudoephedrine to prescription-drug status.

    Which would make Big Medical very happy, at $25.00 per prescription (co-pay).

    In 2009, Mexico, which had been the source of most of the methamphetamine on the streets of the United States, went further, banning pseudoephedrine entirely. The potency of meth from Mexico has since plummeted. This is great news.

    Great for whom? Now Mexicans with the sniffles have to suffer just to continue an unwinnable war on economics.

    Most cold and allergy medicines on store shelves are not affected, because they contain no pseudoephedrine.

    Which makes them almost useless, by the way...

  17. What a moron. He could have mentioned Japan, which has also banned Sudafed entirely, and doesn't have a meth problem.

    Oh well, I guess I should be glad when political opponents are incompetent.

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