Reason Morning LInks: Enemy Militants Join Hands To Fight U.S., Housing Prices Down, Earmarking Meets "Lettermarking"


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  1. Don’t you dare call these new financial incentives to speed up ‘end of life care’ Death Panels!
    …”While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

    Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ ? e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

    The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”…

    1. Come on MNG, defend the constitutionality of this Enabling Act.

      …The process used by Obama and Kathleen Sebelius to get this into ObamaCare is more disturbing, and in a very specific way. Congress made it clear that it didn’t want this incentive as part of the new law. However, thanks to the miles and miles of ambiguity in the final version of ObamaCare, with its repetitive the Secretary shall determine language, Congress has more or less passed a blank check for regulatory growth to Obama and Sebelius….

      1. The Constitution? Is that thing even still around?

        1. No, not really.

          1. It’s around, but you have to dig though the penumbras and emanations to find it.

  2. This one’s for John.

    Wired slams Glenn Greenwald over Wikileaks coverage

    On Monday, columnist Glenn Greenwald unleashed a stunning attack on this publication, and me in particular, over our groundbreaking coverage of WikiLeaks and the ongoing prosecution of the man suspected of being the organization’s most important source. Greenwald’s piece is a breathtaking mix of sophistry, hypocrisy and journalistic laziness.

    1. Thanks. Libertarians who are now getting flees from lying with Greenwald are learning the same lesson pro war people learned from lying with Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan back in the day. Just because a guy agrees with you about a few things, doesn’t make him an honest person.

    2. Greenwald’s piece is a breathtaking mix of sophistry, hypocrisy and journalistic laziness.


    3. Greenwald’s piece is a breathtaking mix of sophistry, hypocrisy and journalistic laziness

      Dog bites man.

    4. Actually, Wired at least was kind enough to link to Greenwald’s original article, which I had not seen before.

      Greenwald merely observes what many have observed: that it seems truly bizarre that Manning would confess that he had committed the crimes he is accused of to Lamo, who to Manning was a perfect stranger.

      It also appears that Lamo, by his own admission, is a government informant who posed as both a journalist and as a minister to get Manning to think he could confide in him confidentially.

      If Lamo did that, then he also broke the law. As far as I am aware, it’s still illegal for someone working for a US intelligence service to claim to be a journalist.

      Poulsen has a long-standing personal history with Lamo, and they can reasonably be described as friends. Wired has chat logs between Lamo and Manning that may provide evidence of whether Lamo committed a crime.

      It’s really pretty straightforward.

      Wired can scream “Conspiracy Theory!” all they want – but if Poulsen is going to act as a personal press service for a friend of his who also happens to be a government informant, then they should expect people to “ask questions”, as the Truthers [unfortunately] say.

    1. That PEC cost number came from the same people who claimed the 1099 requirements would add $17 billion in revenues without consulting the IRS about it.

      1. Lets be honest here. Would you want to consult the IRS on anything?

        1. Best not to draw attention to yourself, especially if you are an Obama administration appointee.

  3. “”Teachers are not reading textbooks front to back, and they’re not in a position to identify the kinds of errors that historians could identify,” Pyle said.”

    Like “large numbers” of blacks fighting for the Confederacy? Yes, only a Phd would pick up on that error.

    1. Maybe they meant blacks like Bill Clinton?

      1. As Obamam knows it: “The War Between the 57 States”

        1. He only visited 57 and he had 2 that he was not visiting, so that makes 59. Unless those two sat out the war, of course.

          1. ALaska and Hawaii hadn’t joined the union until…1963

            1. Oh, so that is why Obama can’t find his birth certificate?

              1. I’m 99% sure the Birthers are wrong, but I do wonder what the hell is in the long form that is so embarassing he refuses to release it.

                1. His race maybe? “Look, my momma and grandma are white!”

                2. Me, too. “Father: unknown”? “Religion: Muslim”?

                3. He has a mythology about himself he wants to promote. Anything that would detract from that is hidden away with the complicity of his supporters. His grades from Columbia and Occidental have never been released either to my knowledge. My guess is they would detract from his “smartest guy in the room” image he and his supporters try to cultivate.

                  1. Or perhaps when lunatics ask you to prove yourself you tend to ignore them, to hell with what people try to make of it.

                    Do you make it a point to satisfy your biggest detractors, or do you tell them to get fucked?

                4. The longer he refuses, the more MSNBC can bash the tinfoil hatters. The only coverage of this crap for months has been on MSNBC. When they run out of other crap to talk about, it’s one of their go-to fillers.

            2. 1959 I believe…for both.

    2. There were a lot more Blacks fighting for the Confederacy than the average White Liberal will acknowledge.

      1. Yeah, but that is a set of all real numbers > one.

      2. Voluntarily?

    3. Even if it were true, so what? Large numbers of people vote for a political party that is opposed to their self-interests all the time.

      1. No, no they don’t.

        Large numbers of people vote for a political party whose opponents say is opposed to their self-interests all the time.


    4. I do wonder how many blacks did fight for the Confederacy, though. And how many of those fought because they were forced to. If any fought but were NOT forced to, why did they do it? Were there some blacks who LIKED being slaves?

      I’m not trying to be offensive or anything. I really do wonder about this sometimes.

      1. Some were only partially black and were free(ish), but there’s some evidence that several thousand blacks served in the CSA army, though not so much evidence that they engaged in combat. My understanding is that the evidence is pretty sparse.

        A couple hundred thousand blacks fought against the South, unsurprisingly.

      2. Framing.

        No one said “Come out and fight for your own oppression.”, they did not so much as let on that the war might affect the free/slave status of anyone. They picked some “protect your home….” or “be a hero…” line and went with it.

        Add to that those who would rather protected their own slightly privileged position vis-a-vis the even more oppressed masses, those who had transformed their resentment into a dogged loyalty, and any of a dozen other human delusional systems and you’re sure to find some…

        1. Exactly, yeah. Plus some people probably felt that while being a slave sucked, if the north won and everything changed, things might be worse in new ways. At least being a slave meant you were fed.

          1. Maybe some joined up after their mothers got raped by Sherman’s troops. Just a guess.

      3. “Were there some blacks who LIKED being slaves?”

        Three hots and a cot. And free healthcare. What’s not to like?

        1. Joking aside, there had to be a few slaves here and there who looked at it that way.

          Not all that different from the “Sure the TSA violates our rights but they keep me safe from terrorists” attitude.

      4. Did you guys know that there are documented cases of Blacks (and American Indians) owning (black) slaves in the confederacy? I read about this some time ago. I’ll let you Google it yourselves.

        What I will do right here is open up a “funny caption” contest: imagine a cartoon frame in which a freed-slave who is now a slave- and plantation-owner himself looks out from the veranda over his “property.”

        Caption: [fill in the blank]

        1. Caption: “Haters gonna hate.”

        2. Caption: Where all the white women at?

        3. Caption: I promised them Four Lokos and a mule.

          I also read about blacks & Natives owning slaves.

    5. So, why not just teach kids from Wikipedia?

      Hell, Wikipedia should probably branch off a Wiki-textbook project of some kind.

      1. I guess I should have kept reading.

  4. “School districts choose textbooks from a list approved by the state. Among the factors is price. The books by Five Ponds Press often are less expensive than those produced by larger publishers. ”

    Everybody knows that books with actual facts cost more to produce…Virginia saves money by buying nearly true textbooks.

    1. If they were really serious about saving taxpayers money, they would abandon textbooks and just point the kids to wikipedia.

      1. consensus = fact

        reality = fiction

        1. The Science Is Settled?

        2. “consensus = fact”

          SOP for the Technocracy. Yes, that’s a Mage joke.

      2. In new socialist Amerika, we save monies by eliminating childrens.

  5. Anti-earmarking congressmen get pork-barrel funding by other means.

    Heard that one in detail on Rush yesterday. People cannot be reminded enough.

    1. We should string them up by their curly tails.

      1. Just warn people of the source when you hand out the pork rinds.

  6. Scolnik said [textbook mill] Five Ponds is in the process of hiring a professional historian from a Virginia university.

    Hey outraged people: Your local Applebee’s also doesn’t employ a chef.

    1. Don’t tell Bloomberg that. He will think that is the reason there is butter, salt and sugar in the kitchen.

      1. That hypocrite only wants salt on the table, in exclusive Bloomberg-only salt shakers.

        1. Bloomberg news salt shakers?

          1. No, I mean salt shakers only he can use. Haven’t you heard he puts so much salt on a slice of pizza (why, I have no idea) it would burn the mouth of mere mortals?

  7. “Diagnosis in the U.S. is often delayed because health care providers are unaware of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) and its symptoms…There are many kinds of leprosy but there are common symptoms. These include runny nose, dry scalp, eye problems, and muscle weakness”

    Who knew leprosy mimics the flu?

  8. “U.S. presence is uniting rival militant groups on the Afghan-Pakistani border.”

    Easier to kill when they come to you. It’s a war, people. What a bullshit headline.

    1. The important thing is that the US is a “uniter, not a divider”.

      Everyone wins!

    2. So, why are we killing them again? Cause I’m thinking the flaw may be a little farther down the line than, “It’s a war, people.”

      1. Because they are trying to kill us, duh.

        USA! USA! USA! Hell yea!

        1. I don’t think a single Afghan or Pakistan national has tried to kill me lately. There were some crazy Saudi dudes who blew some shit up. I hate to use the tired as leftoid argument, but by that logic we should be waging war on Michigan since that’s where McVeigh was prior to his act of epic stupidity.

          Obama promised to unite the people, but he didn’t say which people.

          Your troll is a nice one. I have to feed it.

          1. God damn Tim McVeigh for continuing to bring death to the innocent people of Michigan!

            I bring you back to life so I can kill you again, you bastard!

            *shakes fist*

          2. Cute! By your logic, if Saudis are training and plotting in Afghanistan, go blow up Saudi Arabia, instead of trying to get rid of their training and plotting cells. Nice. Same when a Nigerian is trying to blow up a US airliner? Go blow up Nigeria and leave the training cell in Yemen alone. Perfect!

            1. ^^THIS^^

              There are some crazy Islamist motherfuckers out there and if they want to die together for their bullshit beliefs, it’s all good.

            2. Or, don’t bother blowing up “training cells” and protect my fucking shore line. Instead of using weak ass arguments for nation building? Maybe we should wage war on NY since that’s where he was born? What metric are we going to use to justify our nation building?

              1. No, YOUR logic is to blow up New Mexico because that is where jihad boy was born. Attacking him in Yemen is not a bad move.

                Same with your logic of bombing Michigan instead of finding the bomber and his conspirators, and bringing them to justice.

                All of this can be done along with protecting our shoreline. Take up that southern border protection with the “open borders, no illegal immigrant ever did anything to you” crowd in The Office of The Jacket.

                1. Uh, the guys that attacked us, are dead. You’re making the argument that you are somehow going to find everyone involved and seek some sort of justice. The same flawed argument that is being used to nation build…

                  1. Seriously. How the fuck does killing some illiterate goat herder and his family living in a mud hut in a country that has been the bane of civilization since civilization existed help secure my freedom or protect me?

                    1. That’s why we need to bomb Copenhagen.

                      COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Five men planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were arrested Wednesday in an operation that halted an imminent attack, intelligence officials said.

                      Denmark’s intelligence service said it arrested four men in two raids in suburbs of the capital, Copenhagen, and seized an automatic weapon, a silencer and ammunition. Swedish police said they arrested a 37-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin living in Stockholm.


  9. From Balko’s other blog:

    The Real Reason Amazon Dropped WikiLeaks? Taxpayer Money
    Earlier this month, online retail giant portrayed its decision to drop the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks from its servers as a brave, moral stand prompted by its tremendous concern for protecting innocent lives.

    But New York University journalism professor Dave Winer thinks he’s stumbled across the real reason the company moved so quickly to boot WikiLeaks, “the 800 pound gorilla in the room”: Amazon’s desire to secure lucrative government contracts that could’ve been jeopardized had it agreed to host a website whose founder has been labeled a “high-tech terrorist” by the vice president.

    “Today I got a promotional email from Kay Kinton, Senior Public Relations Manager for Amazon Web Services [AWS], entitled ‘Amazon Web Services Year in Review,'” Wisner recounts on his blog — an email that heralded the company’s financially lucrative and growing ties to the federal government….

    1. What, what, what? Rent seeking may have influenced a company’s actions? Well I never…I can’t believe…that just seems…

      *flummoxed face….whatever that looks like*

    2. So, Amazon decided to continue doing business with one customer and dropped another because it could not continue doing business with both.

      Where is the libertarian issue here?

      1. That the govt is so large and controls so much $$ that they can get people to do things the govt doesn’t have the constitutional authority to order. Basically, they’re sliming their way around constitutional limits on their authority by sheer financial muscle.

        1. Now we have a libertarian problem. The government needs network services, many companies provide network services, so the government “bribed” Amazon by offering them lots more work if they dropped WikiLeaks? Somehow I am not sensing that is the way it went down.

          1. Not an explicit bribe. Just that the govt has so much $$ and is such a source of revenue that companies don’t want to risk pissing it off. The govt doesn’t have to make explicit threats; it just has to say “won’t somebody rid me of this meddlesome priest”.

            1. won’t somebody rid me of this meddlesome priest

              +2 for working this in today, the anniversary of the assassination.

            2. Sounds more like one customer says they will stop doing business with you if you continue to do business with one particular business. Nothing wrong here, unless there is some other evidence, like Amazon got extra business in return for dropping wikileaks. Maybe they provide some unique service or price that the government finds beneficial? I know, that one is a stretch.

              1. OK John, we’ll remember you said this when the Obama admin is doing the same thing to gun manufacturers to keep them from selling to “civilians”.

              2. The government is not a “customer” in the free market sense.

              3. The difference is that one customer is the government, which as you know is held to a different standard once its actions start impinging on the first amendment. Now, that still makes the government the one to blame, if Amazon had a credible concern that supporting the speech of the political opponents of the leadership in the U.S. would lead to them being punished.

  10. Lunchbox mix-up leads to charges for Sanford teen

    Sanford, N.C. ? An athletic and academic standout in Lee County said a lunchbox mix-up has cut short her senior year of high school and might hurt her college opportunities.

    Ashley Smithwick, 17, of Sanford, was suspended from Southern Lee High School in October after school personnel found a small paring knife in her lunchbox.

    Smithwick said personnel found the knife while searching the belongings of several students, possibly looking for drugs.

    “She got pulled into it. She doesn’t have to be a bad person to be searched,” Smithwick’s father, Joe Smithwick, said.

    The lunchbox really belonged to Joe Smithwick, who packs a paring knife to slice his apple. He and his daughter have matching lunchboxes.

    “It’s just an honest mistake. That was supposed to be my lunch because it was a whole apple,” he said.

    1. Was the TSA involved?

      1. No — they actually found the knife.

    2. Oooo – caller 7 beat you to it…..n-zero-tol

      1. Asshole much?

  11. U.S. presence is uniting rival militant groups on the Afghan-Pakistani border.


    1. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  12. Textbooks used in Virginia schools filled with errors.

    Uh huh, great. Wake me up when historians are suddenly concerned with how FDR’s dealings with Stalin have been hagiographically misrepresented in pretty much every U.S. history textbook used in a public school.

    1. +1 and raise you how FDR’s economic policy is misrepresented in same.

    2. One of the errors is technically correct, or at least debatable. Kentucky was admitted both to the Union and to the Confederacy. It functioned as a Union state throughout the war, although that might have been different had the Confederacy had the manpower to capture and hold it.

    3. I was unaware that “they do it too” was a valid defense for historical errors.

  13. New York City, this is your government at work. +100 for a priceless video.

  14. Wow, reading the Suki, TallDave, Marshall Gill, Longtorso is like watching a bukake afterparty for Mitt Romney’s campaign kick-off…

    1. It must suck to be you.

  15. I keep forgetting that housing prices dropping is supposed to be a bad thing.

  16. Thanks for the clarification, Gil.

    In a Dec. 26 story, The Associated Press reported that the United States is studying drug reforms in Portugal, and that White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske visited Portugal to learn about its experience with decriminalizing drugs. The story should have made clear that Kerlikowske does not think Portugal’s approach is right for the United States.

    Fucking hilarious, ol’ Gil.

    1. If he knew going in that he didn’t think their reforms were right for the US, then logic would tell us the only reason he went was for a taxpayer funded Portuguese vacation. Fuck him.

      1. Maybe he wanted to try to pressure them into dropping their reforms and getting back on board with the Holy Crusade for Purity.

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