Obamacare

Reason Morning Links: New Year's Edition

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  1. Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to America in 2010 — perhaps even in all of American history, once future damage to health and life expectancy is factored in (based on what we could otherwise have expected under a free market system). It needs to be repealed, or resisted, one way or another.

    1. worst/best.. whatever hastens the decline of the state…

    2. PPACA is a mess, but, come on, worst thing to happen? Worse than dual endless wars? Three, if you count the “drug war”. And we weren’t exactly enjoying a free-market health care system before Obamacare came along.

      1. Government intervention into the economy has been the single greatest source of loss to America, including every war, disease, extermination, internment, and oppression we’ve faced (and/or imposed).

        In the case of health care, when you consider what would have been the case without government intervention historically, versus what we have, it’s already a staggering loss. But if you add to it the fact that this abomination (far worse than a “mess”), which was written and intended to be irreversible – a hobble we were meant to wear as long as we exist as a nation – could have instead been a series of simple reforms which would have allowed medical science and markets to leap forward without bounds, then it is really almost as catastrophic as my perhaps hyperbolic original assessment would indicate.

        How many opportunities were we going to get to “do” health care at the national level? The Democratic party seized their opportunity, during a slim and almost accidental window of total control of the government, to destroy a fundamental driver of American prosperity. I can’t think of an evil this large perpetrated by a single party in all of American history. But I’m open to the possibility that there are commenters here who can remind me of worse.

        1. The Whigs did some bad shit.

          1. Nothing compared to you Democrats. Go back to your Jackson-fellating web site!

    3. Obamacare was the worst thing to happen to America in 2010 — perhaps even in all of American history

      There’s a couple million dead Indians who’d like to have a word with you.

      1. That didn’t happen to America, just to the indians.

    4. Hyperbole poker? I’ll see your PPACA Act with an HMO Act (1973) and raise you a Federal Reserve Act (1913).

  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01…..mp;emc=rss

    Good NYT article on how the European regulatory welfare state has completely fucked anyone under 40. The stories are just sad and infuriating. Of course the NYT ignores the elephants in room and pretends these things just kind of happened.

    1. Let’s not bicker about who killed whose economy.

      1. Sometimes I just get a little carried away with my idiom…

    2. So much for advanced education being the cure for stagnating economies and unemployment.

    3. I’m surprised the NY Times would even run the story. Aren’t they part of the MSM that likes to pretend Europe is a liberal utopia us stupid Americans should be emulating?

      1. The article did try to claim that austerity measures would make things worse. No facts to back it up, but they did try.

        1. Only a racist teabagger would want to cut spending.

    4. I always find it rather funny to read articles about European “anarchists” violently protesting cuts in government.

    5. Good NYT article

      First oxymoron of the new year?

    6. Great article. I loved how the problems of the youth are almost blamed on the very small changes to the labor market (temp contracts, interns etc) that are pretty much the only reason they have any job prospects in Europe at all.

      China is buying out these countries. These countries are dying demographically. Soon, the massive Chinese bubble will pop. China will want a place to ship out discontented unemployed Chinese. Interesting times.

  3. I read the Dave Barry column yesterday. He remains the funniest columnist in the US.

    Well, the guy who’s funniest on purpose. Otherwise Paulie Krugnasty and Tommy Friedtomatoes would always win…

    1. This column was great! A true classic Dave Barry. What a shame they just put this in the morning links… It really deserves its own link.

  4. In other entertainment news, the runaway movie hit is “Avatar,” a futuristic epic about humans who travel to an alien planet to mine a precious mineral that they believe will give them the power to emit believable dialogue. This being a James Cameron movie, they fail.

    Nice.

  5. http://www.commentarymagazine……care-15602

    Really good piece on how the Democrats passing of Obamacare turned what should have been a run of the mill mid term loss into an historic blowout.

    What amazes me about the 2010 election is how Democrats in local and state elections got killed. A good friend of mine is a defense attorney in San Antonio. He says that Democratic judges who were good judges and well liked got voted out of office this year because so many people went to the polls pissed off and voted against anyone with a “D” after their name no matter what.

    1. I think it’s a lesson to many elected officials to choose their friends more carefully. Lots of them like to think that voters “vote for the man” but then that particular man gets election assistance from the party and the party is going to eventually want something in return.

  6. Hungary adopts sweeping new restrictions on the press.

    Just in time for them to accept the presidency of the EU.

    1. “The Hungarian authorities need to provide assurances that this law will be refined and take steps to ensure that it is implemented with full respect for the freedom of expression.”

      So, no worries!

    2. Hungary is just waiting for some EU money. They’ll stop the law when money starts flowing again from Brussels.

  7. Defund Obamacare. Don’t raise the debt ceiling. It’s not that difficult, but I imagine even the GOP can screw this one up.

    1. They will. Pussies.

      1. They will. Pussies Statists.

        1. You say that like there’s a difference. Statists are pussies, since they run to the state to protect them from every and anything.

          1. The statists who actually get power from their statism aren’t pussies.

            1. No, they’re assholes.

            2. Yes, they are. Can you picture any one of these slimy douches, knocking on someone’s door trying to strongarm them out of their money to pay for Obamacare?

    2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning…

  8. House Republicans plan a vote on repealing ObamaCare.

    Should they really be wasting time on a faux-principled stand on obamacare when they know they have zero chance of success? It seems that they could just let people experience what a giant turd it is and use it as an election issue in 2012. Seems to me that by taking on a no-win issue now they run the risk of Gingriching themselves.

    1. Because the longer its in effect, the more people will start thinking they have sunk costs that will be lost if future benefits go away. Look at Social Security – very few people like it as it is, but a vast majority of Americans don’t want to “lose” what they “contributed”, either.

    2. Yes, they should be “wasting time” on it. Of course it has a chance of passing, president cant fund something that is unfunded. So, by not funding it, they effectively repeal it. Until they can get a real repeal thru. And heck, they can attach a repeal to EVERY SINGLE BILL and see if Obama really wants to veto everything.

      1. “And heck, they can attach a repeal to EVERY SINGLE BILL and see if Obama really wants to veto everything.”

        That’s the strategy I’d employ. use the rules committee to “deem” the repeal language as passed by the House

    3. I think it could be great for them. Try your hardest to repeal and let everyone know that you tried but were stopped by the Dems. Then when people have two years of experiencing the painful turd, you get to remind every 2012 voter that you worked very hard to oppose it, hard to repeal it, and now they have a chance to actually make the bad man stop at the polls.

      1. Try your hardest to repeal and let everyone know that you tried but were stopped by the Dems.

        So, basically, the same strategy that got it passed in the 1st place? Replacing Labels where needed, of course.

        1. Except that repeal is popular, whereas the passage was not.

  9. Rep. Peter King is such an idiot, and he’s a terrible sports analyst as well.

    1. Heineken Light and Corona Light? Are you kidding me?

      1. Watching their girlish figures, I’m sure.

        1. Nah, just proving how bad most people’s taste in beer is.

    2. It looks like although the governments are able to enforce general participation in pension schemes, they do not seem to be the best guardians of the money accumulated there.

      Jesus Christ – no shit!

    3. Come on MNG, defend the sanitation workers.

    4. If they were drinking in the car with the heat running, that means the car was on. Which means that they were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which is illegal.

      1. You don’t know he was intoxicated. 3 of the 6 beers could have been for the hooker who was blowing him….while he was on the clock.

        1. With my weight, I can drink a six pack and still be below .08 BAC.

          1. Glad to know I can outrun you, Officer.

            Don’t shoot.

        2. It’s illegal to have and imbibe from an open alcoholic beverage in a running motor vehicle regardless of whether or not you’re drunk (excepting the back of limos, for whatever reason).

      2. So is idling a city vehicle for hours on end.

    5. Extremely disturbing. We are seeing the rise of some seriously bad shit in Europe. Good to see Bulgarian trade unions stand for freedom.

  10. The Truth Wears Off
    Is there something wrong with the scientific method?

    1. …But now all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology. In the field of medicine, the phenomenon seems extremely widespread, affecting not only antipsychotics but also therapies ranging from cardiac stents to Vitamin E and antidepressants: Davis has a forthcoming analysis demonstrating that the efficacy of antidepressants has gone down as much as threefold in recent decades.

      For many scientists, the effect is especially troubling because of what it exposes about the scientific process. If replication is what separates the rigor of science from the squishiness of pseudoscience, where do we put all these rigorously validated findings that can no longer be proved? Which results should we believe?…

      1. They are just discovering what Richard Feynman knew in 1974.

        http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm

        “If replication is what separates the rigor of science from the squishiness of pseudoscience, where do we put all these rigorously validated findings that can no longer be proved?”

        Stop considering them to be true.

        There, that isn’t so hard is it?

        1. Stop considering them to be true.

          There, that isn’t so hard is it?

          BUT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED!!!

          *pulls hair out*

      2. One of the dozen or so money quotes from the speech.

        “But then I began to think, what else is there that we believe? (And
        I thought then about the witch doctors, and how easy it would have
        been to cheek on them by noticing that nothing really worked.) So
        I found things that even more people believe, such as that we have
        some knowledge of how to educate. There are big schools of reading
        methods and mathematics methods, and so forth, but if you notice,
        you’ll see the reading scores keep going down–or hardly going up
        in spite of the fact that we continually use these same people to
        improve the methods. There’s a witch doctor remedy that doesn’t
        work. It ought to be looked into; how do they know that their
        method should work? Another example is how to treat criminals. We
        obviously have made no progress–lots of theory, but no progress–
        in decreasing the amount of crime by the method that we use to
        handle criminals.

        Yet these things are said to be scientific. We study them. And I
        think ordinary people with commonsense ideas are intimidated by
        this pseudoscience. A teacher who has some good idea of how to
        teach her children to read is forced by the school system to do it
        some other way–or is even fooled by the school system into
        thinking that her method is not necessarily a good one. Or a parent
        of bad boys, after disciplining them in one way or another, feels
        guilty for the rest of her life because she didn’t do “the right
        thing,” according to the experts.

        So we really ought to look into theories that don’t work, and
        science that isn’t science.”

        1. “So we really ought to look into theories that don’t work, and
          science that isn’t science.”

          And it’s always nice when the science that doesn’t work is exactly the science with political ramifications I abhor!

          1. Sometimes life works like that. Not always, but sometimes. I would love to believe that faster than light travel is possible and that we could live to see some kind of Star Trek future. But, the science says otherwise as abhorrent as that is.

            I am sure racists hate the fact that science doesn’t support their crackpot theories. But, hey sometimes life is like that and they either have to get used to it or be wrong. In the same way, Leftists are going to have to accept that fact that most of the social sciences and social engineering done in the last 100 years is just superstition with no scientific basis whatsoever.

            1. And what, pray tell, are you going to have to accept that fits uneasily with your political ideology John?

              1. Not very much. But, that is the advantage of not believing in a bunch of horseshit superstition. Show me where that crap can be proven scientifically valid and I will gladly believe it.

                It is funny how everything is some kind of political sport to you. In your mind, the fact that many liberal ideas are being shown to be scientific junk doesn’t mean that the ideas are invalid. It just means the other side must out of comity admit that their ideas are invalid to. The truth is what it is. It is not a product of compromise.

                1. Yes John, the science supports your views on everything.

                  Jesus you really are some kind of fundamentalist!

                  1. No. The science doesn’t speak to everything I believe in. I don’t have the crackpot conceit that everything I think is true with scientific certainty. That is where liberals fail. They simply do not understand the limits of science and clothe everything they believe in the garb of “science”. There is nothing particularly scientific about teaching kids to read. If there was, you could create one way to do it that would work in every instance that could be replicated. To pretend otherwise and create entire schools of education dedicated to the premise and calling that science is just as Feynman says a cargo cult.

                    1. Why could science not clear up a lot about education John? The components of education (motivation, comprehension, cognition, etc) are simply the stuff of psychology. Do you now think psychology is a bogus science?

                    2. “Why could science not clear up a lot about education John?”

                      Because education is a human endevour and thus inherently unpredictable I guess. But, I am not totally sure. I can understand why sixty years ago people thought it could. But the fact is that after decades of work, education specialists have brought nothing to the table except bald faced ideology. We are no better at teaching kids today, and in many cases worse, than we have ever been.

                      The planes are not coming MNG. Yet, you and your ilk keep wanting more money to build landing strips.

                    3. I don’t think much of what ed schools have been doing, but it is silly to say there cannot be a science of education, it’s just psychology.

                    4. Unless and until it produces tangible and repeatable results, it is not science.

                    5. Astronomy is considered a science, even though it is impossible for us to experiment on stars and black holes and such, let alone to repeat the results of those experiments. We accept that observations can take the place of experiment when experiment is impossible.

                      In the study of humans and their behavior, it’s often impossible to test a hypothesis experimentally without ethical problems, so we have to grant the same leeway of substituting observation for experiment.

                    6. The measurements we take of stars and other celestial bodies are often tangible and repeatable. Trying to figure out one way for 7 billion different people to learn to read is a fools errand.

                    7. “We accept that observations can take the place of experiment when experiment is impossible.”

                      Experiments are just a way to get a certain set of observations which are hoped to be useful for drawing inferences. So…

                    8. I have no problem stating that psychology is bullshit.

                    9. Well, part of the problem is that science focuses on objective measurements, which is a little difficult with questions like education — you can put several large groups of kids in front of the same teacher using two different methods of teaching, then measure what they learned with a test, but it doesn’t control for interactions within the test group, which undermine the independence of the samples, or whether the teacher implemented both methods the right way, and in the end all you really learned is what helps kids succeed at that particular test.

                      Still, the problem is not so much science, as people who tend to treat science like a modern day religion and look for absolutes. The point is, you can describe exactly what you learned, with all the caveats, and that is useful information — but someone who has an agenda or is just ignorant will toss all the caveats and context and try to use the study to make a point that is unsupported by the evidence. People want to have someone else process the details and give them an executive summary of the findings, which makes them susceptible to the biases of the person creating that summary.

              2. That Americans are too stupid to elect a libertarian as president. The science has proven it.

            2. Leftists are going to have to accept that fact that most of the social sciences and social engineering done in the last 100 years is just superstition with no scientific pseudo scientific basis

              FIFY

            3. I take issue with FTL not being possible scientifically. First, the science on that very topic is, at least by a large minority, not settled. Second, there are several theories which could satisfy the definition (Einstein Rosen Bridges, quantum non locality, etc.) Third, Einstein never said C was the speed limit. This was said as an interpretation of relativiy but he never claimed it himself. Fourth, there is ample evidence that things DO currently travel FTL, 1. Mu Messons are shown to exists on the surface of the earth but their half life is too short to make the trip through the atmosphere 2. Gravity remains a mystery and is the only force for which instant action at a distance is acceptable in science (the very definition of cognitive dissonance since those two things are anathema to current theory), 3. quantum particle synrchronization has been demonstrated and opens the door to even backward temporal events (this is weird as fuck to me but fascinating). So to say that FTL isnt possible is the same as saying the globe is warming based on 20 years of shitty data. Sorry John, too much science is NOT known, we are ever arrogant in our understanding and always fooled in our results. That is the true nature of science.

              E=MC2 but not on wednesdays

              1. Einstein never said C was the speed limit. This was said as an interpretation of relativiy but he never claimed it himself.

                And Isaac Newton never stated in his theory of gravitation that objects could share the orbit of a planet at its Lagrange points. So? It’s still true.

                To travel faster than light, you need to come up with a way to get to that superluminal velocity without accelerating past c. Every means of movement we have, and indeed nature has, depends on accelerating from lower speeds.

                Mu Messons are shown to exists on the surface of the earth but their half life is too short to make the trip through the atmosphere

                That’s hardly a disproof of relativity; in fact it’s one of the classic length contraction results predicted by special relativity. If a mu meson is traveling into the atmosphere at high speed, from the meson’s point of view the atmosphere is traveling at high speed, and thus its length contracts (making the journey to the surface shorter in duration as well).

          2. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!

          3. Did you just say that pseudoscience is okay as long as it supports your politics? You did, you vapid weaselfucker. You are scum.

            1. Poor weasels.

            2. I have to wonder how someone who’s comprehension skills are so incredibly poor can work a computer. Are you in an assisted living home?

              1. Nursing homes chicks are sluts, dude. And I note that you have made a spelling error in your low-quality insult. Leave insults to the professionals.

                1. What’s the nursing-home equivalent of “goin’ hoggin” again?

              2. whose

          4. And it’s always nice when the science that doesn’t work is exactly the science with political ramifications I abhor!

            I suppose its a coincidence that science with abhorrent political ramifications, ramifications that drive grant funding, BTW, turns out not to be very scientific at all.

        2. I’m not so sure about the crime bit. It’s hard for your crime statistics to decline when you keep criminalizing more and more activities. Even if, tomorrow, people stopped killing each other completely, you’d still have plenty of people in jail for littering, jaywalking, and not buying health insurance.

          1. That was written in the 70s when crime was exploded.

            After the public got sick of it, removed treating criminals from criminologists and went back to locking up violent criminals the crime rates fell and continued to fall.

            Completely coincidental the criminologists say.

            Proving that they (and probably all leftwing intellectuals) are irredeemably clueless.

      3. I think the choices they point out are telling – there may have been a great deal of confirmation bias in the original findings.

        The most widely used antipsychotics were neuroleptics, which honest psychiatrists have known for a long time to be merely “chemical straight jackets”. They are also incredibly damaging to the brain – they make inhalants look healthy by comparison.

        The original antidepressants, the tricyclics, were dangerous and had dubious benefits. For the newer ones (manly SSRIs), placebo effects wear off after time. People don’t view Prozac as the miracle drug is was touted to be in the early 90’s, so people come in with lower expectations.

        And the efficacy of stents has been questioned for a while now.

        1. Let’s be clear about the stent issue. The controversy is over their benefit (vs. medical therapy) in prolonging survival in people with stable heart disease.

          This is not some recent breakthrough undermining the foundation of medical science. All of the original studies showing benefit were on people suffering major heart attacks. Some argue that doctors overapplied these findings to more stable patients. In Canada, for example, a coronary blockage that isn’t acutely killing someone is likely to be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

    2. Well, either a lot of bullshit was able to pass itself off as “science” because of social problems with our scientific institutions, or else we live in the WoD Mage setting and the Consensus is shifting.

      1. Not if we have anything to say about it, Sleeper.

        1. Oh, you work for TU? Here’s one for the suggestion box: Please stop letting the people in charge read Ayn Rand — yes, I also appreciate the irony of tossing in references to an Objectivist author’s work in a consensus reality, but the world is becoming less and less plausible everyday, and I wouldn’t want to be you when the bottom opens up on the Paradox shitstorm that’s a-brewin’.

          1. Who would you rather be? The guys with the cool suits, the Enlightened Science and the hypertech (i.e. the Union), or a unAwakened monkey with a keyboard (i.e. you)?

            The Consensus will be protected, no matter how many Sleepers have to die to secure it.

    1. Lazy, entitled, arrogant scum of the earth. It was inevitable that the day would come when the country would finally start to get sick of their bullcrap. The only wonder is that it took so long.

    2. A raft of recent studies found that public salaries, even with benefits included, are equivalent to or lag slightly behind those of private sector workers.

      Horseshit! I know in NJ it has far exceeded the private sector. My Father worked a maintenance job at a state institution for over 20 years, recently retired. When he started, the wages were less than the private sector, but it was made up for in pension and benefits. Now, I looked into it, the wages are about equivalent, plus the pension and benefits. And I can almost guarantee you, Catholic School teachers earn less than public school teachers. (That’s the Catholic way).

      So many Philadelphians have flocked here over the years that locals call it “South Philly with grass.”

      True dat. I helped build many of those houses in the 80s in Washington Twp. Residents refer to it as “The Township”. Douchebags. They all think it’s so wonderful there. Mostly because they come from a South Philly shithole. It used to be nothing but farmland and orchards. They built it up so fast, they had to impose water restrictions, because the public works dept. couldn’t keep up, and there’s an artesian aquifer here in SJ. But people prefer city water to individual well water. That’s just too much maintenance. (Not to mention SJ has a large sand concentration in its soil that acts as a natural filter.) It’s just so much easier to hand money over to the government and let them worry about it.

      1. Screw a raft of studies, we have Captian Ancedote!

        1. We have someone with real world experience, not some statistical study that can be manipulated, like a whore, for political purposes.

        2. And the studies are so authoritative that the reporter doesn’t bother to cite them. Yeah, I’ll just go punch “raft of studies” into google scholar so that I can check his sources. Based on his vague reference of a Manhattan Institute study, I found this: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ib_05.htm

          This study only looks at salaries, not benefits. The study shows that, for the hours that teachers work, they make competitive (i.e. equal or higher) pay, even without considering benefits. Furthermore, they compare teachers to other professionals, not public school teachers to private school teachers.

          tl;dr: The one study the article kind-of references doesn’t support the reporter’s point in the slightest. I shudder to think of the sloppy work that went into the rest of the article.

          1. Nothing sloppy about fixing the double-plus ungood public sentiment!

  11. They had some “analyst” on the radio this morning talking about the debt ceiling. It was basically how the irresponsible Republicans are going to destroy the country by insisting on “draconian cuts” in return for raising the debt ceiling. You could just as easily say that Obama is risking bankrupting the government by refusing to recognize the results of the last election. The media is going to use the same “evil Republicans shut the government down” playbook they used in 1995. But I don’t think it will work as well this time.

    1. Some people say it will trigger a default event on CDS. But I have my doubts.

    2. Every incident with a negative outcome at every level of government will be blamed on Republicans and budget cuts.

    3. ” risking bankrupting the government by refusing to recognize the results of the last election”

      I’m not sure it follows that the GOP wins in Nov mean everyone should know vote for what they were pushing. By that logic Obamacare was rightly passed as Obama promised something like it when campaigning and he won.

      1. Isn’t that exactly what happened? Obamacare passed didn’t it? Elections have consequences don’t they? You lost MNG. You are in the minority and the policies you support are destructive and horribly unpopular. You better either figure out a way to make them popular or get used to losing and seeing them repealed.

        To quote the President, “we won”. So fuck you.

        1. Minority? The last time I checked the Dems had the Executive and the Senate John.

          1. Not for long. And the Republicans own the House. And that is where the money comes from. And that is what it is all about for liberals isn’t it?

            Democrats suffered the worst defeat of a party in a hundred years. Sitting around saying “fuck you we still have the Senate and the Whitehouse” isn’t going to help. You spent two years saying fuck you to the electorate and look where it got you? Want to spend two more years doing the same? Have fun and good luck with that in 2012.

            1. Are you 15 John? These things happen all the time. I’m old enough to remember how the Democrats were screwed after 94 and Clinton came back and whomped Dole in 96. Hell, you should remember that after 08 there were people talking about the crisis of the GOP…

              It was a bad election for the Dems. Far from wailing I felt they deserved what they got. But it’s hilarious to see your goofy triumphalism, it’s always the downfall of the movement that thinks it has “won.”

              1. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!

                1. The dog is back! Good boy!

                  I thought schools were back in session?

              2. OMG, Boehner is having the Constitution read to Congress!!! I’m melting, I’m melting….

                1. OMG, Boehner is having the Constitution read to Congress!!! I’m melting, I’m melting….

                  Up next, the entire text of the PPACA.

                  1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

              3. I think refusing to cut spending and dying on the hill of Obamacare is a sure way to lose. 2010 was not a triumph for Republicans. They just happened to get the benefit. It was a revolt against liberalism. And the President really seems to believe in the kind of 1960s New Left liberalism that the country hates. So, I don’t give him much of a chance to pull a Clinton. And Clinton came back how? By working with Republicans and doing things like Welfare Reform and tax cuts that defanged them and took away any reason for them to run against him in 1996. All Bob Dole had was “where is the outrage”. If Obama doesn’t triangulate and do something about spending and make real concessions on Obamacare, the country is going to punish Democrats even more in 2012, especially in the Senate where 20 Dems are up for re-election.

                1. Don’t forget that the economy was already well into boom phase in 1995. If the economy had been like this at that time Clinton would never have survived the ’96 elections.

              4. ‘m old enough to remember how the Democrats were screwed after 94 and Clinton came back and whomped Dole in 96.

                Keep telling yourself that and telling the American people to fuck off.

              5. Dole is the easiest target to beat. And the Democrat loss in 2010 was far greater than the one in ’94. The Force (of public sentiment) is not with you.

      2. Obama did not promise something like what eventually passed. He promised something much better (by progressive standards) and did not deliver.

      3. By that logic Obamacare was rightly passed as Obama promised something like it when campaigning and he won.

        He railed against Hillary Clinton’s proposal for an insurance mandate in the primaries, and ridiculed McCain’s proposal for scaling back the health insurance tax exemption. Guess what…both are major parts of Obamacare.

  12. The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is now law.

    It’s not like cops and firemen in New York were uninsured. Where the fuck is that money really going? What’s wrong with workman’s comp?

    1. “the bill, which pays for health care for responders believed to have been sickened by pollution at the ruins of the World Trade Center…”

      The CNN article and every other one I’ve seen neglects to mention all the other “folks” who will be “compensated” just for being in lower Manhattan on 9/11, as well as all the assorted make-work projects that will be created to “study” the long-term ($$$) effects of the attack and cleanup. The bill is an open-ended welfare fund for all the “victims,” funded by our collective guilt and, of course, our patriotism.

  13. Mr. van Ark pleads for patience, saying, “This is not about building a line in the Central Valley.” And indeed, while the first link may run from Bakersfield to that ghostly area outside Borden, that is not the final destination anyone has in mind.

    “This is all about building an intercity, high-speed network,” he said. “One must put that above where this will start.”

    NYT

    What’s wrong with those dumb hicks? The government wants to make their miserable lives better. What a bunch of ingrates.

    1. Why would they want water to run their farms when they could have a high speed rail network instead?

      1. don’t you see…
        it’s all part of the plan…
        high speed rail and solar farms

    2. If they start building a small section that people might actually use, then they might stop early and just use that small section. Building the least-useful section first guarantees that the state will have to finish the whole thing.

  14. Steve Smith reportedly inconsolable; ‘Bitey’ was Steve’s only friend. 🙁

    Chupacabra killed in Kentucky

    1. They have a new unidentifiable animal every year. We should just start calling them all the same species (they’re dead so no way to test that theory) and throw in anything that is unidentifiable from now on.

  15. “Is China preparing for a crackdown on _____________?”

    Yes.

  16. Krugabe says “Don’t kid yourself; Chicken Little was right.” Because, well… you know…

    A rational political system would long since have created a 21st-century version of the Works Progress Administration ? we’d be putting the unemployed to work doing what needs to be done, repairing and improving our fraying infrastructure. In the political system we have, however, Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte, delivering the Republican weekly address on New Year’s Day, declared that “Job one is to stop wasteful Washington spending.”

    Realistically, the best we can hope for from fiscal policy is that Washington doesn’t actively undermine the recovery. Beware, in particular, the Ides of March: by then, the federal government will probably have hit its debt limit and the G.O.P. will try to force President Obama into economically harmful spending cuts.

    “Republicans are so stupid and criminally insane, they won’t just do what I think they should.”

    1. This is a great idea — two years ago the firm I worked for laid off about 60 people, mostly associates and support staff. a few partners technically resigned. I’m sure they’d be great at building roads and repairing bridges.

      1. I’m sure they’d be great at building roads and repairing bridges.

        Just make sure they label the bridges, so I can know to avoid them…

  17. Lancaster County boy drowns in manure pit

    Is there a more unpleasant way to go?

    1. Sodomized to death by an unwashed Nancy Pelosi.

      1. For fuck’s sake, SF – think of teh CHILDREN!

        *vomits in disgust at the revolting vision*

    2. I read about an 8-year-old in New Zealand who died after falling into a pool of boiling water. They pulled him out and he screamed non-stop until he died. Sounded pretty brutal.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n…..d=10697191

      1. To ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again, I propose a ban on geothermal energy. Its formal title is the Convective Heating Intervention and Legal Deterrent Act of 2011, but it is informally called “Ashley’s Law”.

      2. What was David Foster Wallace’s memorable line from one of the stories in Oblivion? Never forget it.

        If you’ve never wept and want to, have a child.

        Read more: http://www.esquire.com/fiction…..z1A0StwJ9Z

  18. I saw that “Public Workers Chased Through Streets by Pitchfork-Wielding Mobs” article in the Times.

    That reporter was flogging the living shit out of the “comparable pay” canard. He neglected to mention anything about results.

  19. Am I the only one who detests force-fed retrospectives at the end of each year? Isn’t that what VH1 is for?

    1. Sad, isn’t it?

      1. Or an oppurtunity for a post-apocalyptic tourism agency. Looking for partners to get in on the ground floor!

    2. “Hey, layoff Detroit. Them people is living in ‘Mad Max’ times.”

    3. I like the looted police station.

    4. Looks like it would make a great prison. The president better keep his kids off planes.

    1. My breakfast this morning was the leftover fat from the prime rib I cooked on Saturday. Enjoy your foodphobia, fat girls.

      1. “Ew! Now he’s eating the gristle!”

        1. I love when they look at you like you’re crazy for eating hambone fat. No! No!

          Yes.

          1. Passing up the opportunity to make some kickass split pea soup IS crazy. Ya nutjuob.

          2. I rendered ham fat into lard over Christmas. Delicious. And my hamstock is solid at room temperature from extracted gelatin. Ham. Ham. Ham.

            1. Pea soup sounds good, but I’m too intemperate, and let’s face it, too incompetent when it comes to cooking to let something sit and then simmer when I can just rip into it.

              Mmmm…ham lard. I bet you could eat it raw on a cracker. I did duck fat this Christmas. Tasty as all get out. Actually, I made potatoes and eggs with it, and it came out tasty.

              I am not an epicurean. I stink at cooking. But it was still good.

  20. I really hate when sites link to news on other sites, rather than writing it up themselves. In this instance, I was not able to read the article as I do not have a logon for the New York Times (imagine that!), nor do I wish to create one. I come to Reason to read the news!
    Please take the time to write the news yourselves!

    1. So, Reason is now a primary news source instead of an opinion site?

      1. The most trusted news source behind FOX and CNN! (ahead of MSNBC)

    2. Fucking Links, how do they work?

      Oh, quite simply actually. See, at the bottom of your browser is something called the status bar. When you hover your cursor over a link, it will tell you where it goes. Don’t click on anything you don’t want to read/deal-with.

      Ta-Da.

    3. Times links work fine for me without having to log in.

  21. Hypocritical liberal democrat scum who loved the filibuster five years ago now hate it, want it eliminated.

    It’s unbelievable that these jackwagons can claim with a straight face that the system is “broken” after having just rammed through more of their pet legislation than any other congress in recent memory.

    1. Is it the same people who “loved” the filibuster that now hate it? I heard it was some of the newer Dems and the old hands were counseling against getting rid of it?

      The filibuster is a pretty goofy idea, right behind the idea that every state gets the same rep in the Senate despite population.

      1. You’re being sarcastic, right?

      2. If the Senators represented the states like they were originally meant to do, then it makes perfect sense.

        1. Yeah, yeah, we should count on state legislators to do what is best for us. The poor unwashed masses can’t decide on who is best to represent them in the Senate, that needs to be left to our trusted state pols!

          What monumental bullshit.

          1. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!

          2. State legislatures are elected by whom?

            Dumbass.

          3. The Senate can’t do anything without agreement from the popularly-elected President, and can’t do most things without agreement from the popularly-elected House.

            Don’t you have a PhD in this poli sci shit?

          4. MOB RULE NAO!

      3. The filibuster used to be 67 votes. And as for the equal senate representation, we wouldn’t have a constitution without it.

        1. Oh, because the lil’ states would drop out and form their own backwater nation. Right.

          1. No becuase that was the compromise that had to be hammered out before the Constitution was ratified: bicameral legislature-one House based on population and the other with equal representation.

            1. I understand that, but I argue it was a bad compromise. There were some of those in the Constitution…

              1. Fine. But the fact remains that it was necessary in order that the Constitution be ratified. The 17th Amendment brought about the direct election of Senators. The only way to make representation in the Senate proportional would be another amendment-good luck with that.

                1. Amendment wouldn’t work. The equal representation is one of the few things not subject to amendment

              2. It was not a bad compromise.

              3. It’s a bad compromise because it doesn’t let progressive east coast states tell the rest of the nation what to do, right, MNG? How dare those backwards, racist states over there want different things that the elite?!

              4. Right, because having a slave state completely dominate the federal government from the get-go would have been just splendid. I had no idea what a fan of 1780s Virginia you were.

          2. I think it was a pretty good compromise too. FU NY & VA

        2. The constitution is like irrelevant.

          It’s like a hundred years old and has not controlling authority.

          http://tundratabloids.com/2010…..evant.html

      4. How the fuck is it goofy for each state to have equal representation in the Senate? The House is based on population. Fuck the 17th amendment.

        1. It’s goofy because everyone should have an equal vote and giving a state with 1/100th the population of another the same vote violates that principle. It allows a small minority to block the majority. We call that “oligarchy” and whatever democracy’s faults it is worse.

          1. What’s funny is that the filibuster and equal rep despite population in the Senate are exactly along the same lines as Lani Guineer’s writings about institutionalizing minority checks on majority rule, just with geography instead of race. Traditionalists fumed at her suggestions but love them some of the silly filibuster and Senate representation.

            It’s not much to say “states rights!” is protected by this, as for every lil’ state helped a big state is fucked.

            1. I’m glad we have a Constitutional Republic instead of a democracy not for all it’s obvious benefits, but because it pisses you off, MNG.

              I find it interesting that a minority on this board wants the majority to rule simply because they are the majority.

          2. I really can’t believe you are this dumb. How old are you minge, seriously?

            1. He’s a PhD in poli sci, Destrudo. You don’t have the credentials to argue with him.

          3. That damn Constitution is kryptonite to us! There, I said it.

            1. Yeah, yeah we hate the Constitution, you are its real defenders…Jesus.

          4. Good thing America is a representative republic, and not a democracy. D’oh!

          5. Right or wrong, rational or irrational, don’t matter so long as you have the numbers on your side, right?

            Checks and balances, my friend. Checks and balances.

          6. In democracy 51% can vote the other 49% executed. Multiplication of tyrants is no buffer against tyranny.
            As the House was designed to look after the power of the majority, the Senate was designed to look after the power of the States, as a check on federal power.

      5. The filibuster is a pretty goofy idea, right behind the idea that every state gets the same rep in the Senate despite population.

        MNG forgets that this country was originally a federated republic of sovereign states, with each state given equal representation in a house of Congress to help maintain the division of power between the states and the national government.

        Fucking history, how does it work?

        1. Not very well anymore.

        2. He probably knows history; he just doesn’t give a shit about it.

      6. Is it the same people who “loved” the filibuster that now hate it? I heard it was some of the newer Dems and the old hands were counseling against getting rid of it?

        I was referring to the guys like you in the “mainstream” press. When the republicans have the majority, they go on and on about the rights of the minority, the “cooling saucer”, and all that garbage. When the democrats have the majority, the filibuster suddenly becomes a threat to civilization.

      7. What’s ridiculous is that the Supreme Court isn’t even representative at all.

        Wait a second, what if — like the Supreme Court — the Senate was never intended to be a democratic body, and was instead totally different from the democratic part of our government (the House of Representatives). The direct election of Senators was always intended to deprive state governments of power in Washington, furthering the progressive agenda of putting as much power as possible into as few hands as possible, and whitewashing the resulting technocracy (where all real power lay in the executive branch and its myriad bureaus) with an illusory “democracy”.

        But rather than eliminate the non-democratic branch of Congress, they simply changed it so that Senators were elected. Although it may have been sold as a move toward democracy, it ensured, ironically, that some peoples’ votes counted for more than others.

  22. The real outrage last week was the unsportsmanlike call on the kid who simply saluted the crowd after scoring. WTF?

    1. It cost his team the chance to tie because it pushed the two-point attempt back to the 18. Assess the penalty on the kickoff if you have to, but it was a BS call anyway.

  23. I think EVERY FUCKING BILL which comes before the Senate should require seventy five votes to pass.

    Moar filibusters, plz.

    1. Including a bill to repeal Obamacare? Duly noted.

      1. No, 25% of Congress should be enough to repeal any bill. You should have to get, and keep, overwhelming support for a law instead of this one man one vote one time shit.

        1. beat me to it!

      2. Repeals should only require 1/3

        1. Shorter libertarians:

          “I want less than a majority to pass things *I*I like, but a super-majority to pass things I don’t! Because shut up, that’s why!”

          Very democratic, guys.

          1. See, upthread the paleos cite the Constitution with reverence, downthread they want to re-write it.

            1. Proposing changes to the constitution to be made via the amendment process in Article V is perfectly reverent.

              Proposing de facto changes to the constitution via judicial fiat, as liberals do, is not.

            2. As opposed to the perverse, unquestioning reverence for mob rule?

          2. You are only showing that you just don’t get it. Keep ’em coming.

          3. Nope, REPEAL, not pass. Words mean something, pal. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of this “reading” thing eventually.

  24. The loss of Joe Miller should remind everyone that even in Alaska, Palin is extremely unpopular:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..01907.html

    33% approval rating in her home state.

    1. Who gives a fuck? Get a life.

      1. She’s the GOP front-runner for President.

        1. EAP is in love with Palin, @. He just finished the bx set of her new reality show and his re-runs of Dancing with the Stars and is ready to defend her honor some more…

          1. I think Palin is a lousy politician and her daughters way too fat.

        2. Front-runner is an interesting term to choose, as it implies she is leading the pack. But she doesn’t even have feelers out in New Hampshire and Iowa. Romney and Huckabee are the “front-runners” for what it’s worth. Not much better, but it’s definitely not Palin. She’s busy with her reality show.

        3. “She’s the GOP front-runner for President.”

          Provide a link. Because currently, that honor belongs to Huckabee.

          1. If by front runner you go by what the pundits are saying. I’d say Mitch Daniels has jumped to front runner in two short weeks, first it was Krauthammer and Hayes on Fox saying he was the man to watch. And yesterday Donna Brazille admitted Daniels scared her more than anyone else on ABC’s This Week. George Will has him on his short list of Midwestern governors that have a chance.

    2. Palin would be even less popular if we could get the HuffPo henhouse to STOP TALKING ABOUT HER!

    3. I voted for Miller, not because of Palin, but because of Murkowski. He’s been nothing but a disappointment ever since. Up to me, they’d all three be chopped up and fed to the gators.

  25. It truly was a bitchslap delivered by the Murkowskis to Palin in her home state. That’s a nasty feud up there and Palin losing it in that fashion speaks volume about her.

    Every Dem I know is praying she will be the GOP candidate.

    1. Yeah. I’ll bet Papa Murkowski knows just how that feels.

    2. I don’t think she has a shot in hell to be the GOP candidate, however I too love that possibility. Faced with another 4 years of Barack “God Damn America” Obama, or 4 years of Sarah “God Bless America” Palin, a Gary Johnson or Ron Paul could do very well with independents.

      1. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      2. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      3. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      4. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      5. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      6. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

        1. I didn’t catch that,

          Please repeat it a few times.

      7. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

      8. “God Damn America as long as she keeps trying to act like she is G-d and she is supreme!”

        Say what you like about Jeremiah Wright, but Sarah Palin hasn’t said anything half as Christian as what he said during his infamous sermon.

        1. What the …

  26. Statists are pussies, since they run to the state to protect them from every and anything.

    Tulpa?

    Is that you?

  27. Including a bill to repeal Obamacare? Duly noted.

    *clutches chest, falls to floor*

  28. the lil’ states would drop out and form their own backwater nation.

    If only.

    1. Don’t make me open up a can of “northern aggression whoop ass” on you again.

      1. Won’t be anything other than naked conquest to hang your crusade on this time around. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen of the new Union, you need to send your sons and daughters to die, not to liberate anyone, but to ensure that Washington gets tell the residents of a bunch of net-tax-guzzling states what to do. Wow, sounds like a winning campaign.

  29. Don’t forget 75 votes for tax cuts!

  30. I don’t care about equal representation of the states in the Senate. This is a federal republic, fine.

    But the filibuster, at least the way it’s being used now, is absurd and needs to either go or only be able to slow down legislation, not kill it.

    1. Unless you can show me where you were saying that in 04 and state that you were willing to live with things like all the judges Bush wanted and social security privatization, shut the fuck up. Because without the filibuster, that is what would have happened.

      1. Social Security privatization wasn’t killed by the filibuster, it was killed because it was just plain unpopular. It couldn’t even make it past the House.

        As for judges, fine, the President gets to appoint the judges he wants as long as they’re qualified and not criminals. I agree.

        1. Tru dat. Hell, I thought Bork should get confirmed.

          Social security privatization was never going to pass…

        2. If you honestly believe that, you are the only liberal who does.

          I like filibusters. It keeps us from having a parliamentary system. If something is truly popular it will get passed. Take Obamacare. It is despised. If the Dems want to vote for it again by filibustering the repeal, let them. The rest of the Dem senators will be up for re-election in 2012. And they can explain it to the voters.

          1. No, the equal representation of states in the Senate and the separation of the executive from the legislature is what keeps us from having a Parliamentary system.

            The Constitution gives us plenty of veto points in our political system, we don’t need to invent even more, unless you want us to end up like the old Polish Republic with its “free veto” that basically choked it out of existence.

          2. Dem senators elected in 2008 (and there were a lot of them) are not running again till 2014.

      2. But thanks for finally admitting Bush’s failed plan was privatization! Because I kept saying this during that debate, and all the Republicans swore up and down it wasn’t a privatization plan!

        1. It is a question of semantics. I say it was privatization because I want to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. The numbers don’t lie. We can either privatize social security, go broke, or end the program. But it cannot continue like it is forever.

          1. End the payroll tax cap. “Problem” solved, if you even want to call something that may or may not happen in the 2040s a “problem”.

            1. Sure, we can just raise taxes. That will solve everything won’t it? People will gladly pay the taxes and revenue will go up. They would never hide income, not invest and work because the taxes don’t make it worth it. They would never do that. We can raise taxes forever and solve every problem.

              And yes, something that is going to eat up a larger and larger percentage of the budget is a real problem. That is the graveyard you are walking past. And it likes your whistling.

              1. “Sure, we can just raise taxes. That will solve everything won’t it?”

                Yes, eliminating the payroll tax cap will make Social Security solvent beyond the lifetime of my grandchildren. It solves that problem.

                Or you can raise the retirement age by a year for people who retire a half-century from now, but it’s kind of silly to try to fix a problem that hasn’t come yet.

                Medicare is the difficult thing to fix, Social Security is easy.

                1. Medicare is easy to fix.

                  Everyone pays for their own fucking health care.

                  Problem solved.

                2. but it’s kind of silly to try to fix a problem that hasn’t come yet.

                  Unless Gaia is involved….

              2. Because when Reagan raised the payroll tax were entered a dark time where life became nasty, brutish and short.

                I hope raising taxes is the last resort to nearly every problem, but it does not always end in the Death of the West John. If social security is a good thing and having current young people pay at current rates to support the older people, then there are several possible solutions, one being increasing the rate that is paid.

                1. That’s a pretty big “if” there.

                2. Eliminate a shit load of departments. Any you’ve never heard of would be a good start. Keep all their funding to cover the SS liabilities of everyone currently over a certain age, say tiered starting at age 30 or whatever. Anyone under that gets privatization of their retirement. Watch investments take off, creating new jobs as companies get new revenue and grow rapidly.

          2. You could always nationalize it — i.e., take whatever money or IOUs are in the lockbox, eliminate FICA as a separate entity and add it (including the employer-paid half) onto the income tax, convert SS/Medicare into a welfare program paid from the general fund, and kick off all the well-to-do seniors. Would result in hilarious spectacle of Republicans arguing for nationalization and welfare and Democrats criticizing it.

  31. I don’t have a link, but in Pennsylvania, all new houses are now required to have fire sprinkler systems. It will add between $10,000 and $15,000 to the cost of a new home. It does nothing for the cost of homeowner’s insurance, because of the risks of a possible malfunction. So, the next logical step is to allow the local fire department into homes to inspect everyone’s sprinkler system.

    Somebody fucking shoot me.

    1. My landlord has the maintence staff inspect the sprinkler system in my apartment every month.

      Tyranny I tells ya! TYRANNY!

      1. Your landlord owns the property and has every right to inspect your apartment as per the lease agreement. You do understand the difference, no?

        1. Oh sure, it’s different. Probably what they’ll do is give you an insurance or tax break if you let someone inspect it every month.

          1. Fine. As long as it isn’t an agent of the government enforcing more regulations, that they can enforce with the threat of, or act of the initiation of force. but that’s not the way government works, is it? It was the fire department that pushed for these regulations in the first place.

          2. So you’re just intellectually dishonest then? Making a point that you know was false before it was made…

        2. And the govt owns your property – see property taxes and eminent domain.

          1. Is there any state that doesn’t have property taxes? I know NH outlawed eminent domain at the state and local level.

            1. They do have high property taxes but no sales tax. I’m just not sure I can handle the Massholes that keep sneaking across the border instituting stuff that caused them to leave Massachusetts…and those awful accents.

          2. see property taxes and eminent domain.

            You’re not suggesting we simply roll over and reinforce that?

      2. Don’t you understand, that is not tyranny because you can always choose to live under a bridge. As long as it is a public bridge.

        In further news, libertarians oppose public bridges.

        1. So many liberal trolls….must keep head…from asploding..gah…

        2. How about we make all housing public, like the bridges?

      3. Fine, but your landlord’s maintenance staf doesn’t get to inspect anything in the building I live in (in this case my private residence).

        In case you’ve missed the point, your landlord owns the building and depending on the landlord/tenant law of your state is permitted to make certain inspections to protect his investment. Such things ought to be spelled out in your lease, of course.

        1. My Mother lives in a privately owned condo, and the fire department is allowed into everyone’s condo to inspect the smoke alarms. I think there’s currently a court battle going on over that. If you don’t let them in, or schedule an appointment, they call the police, and force their way in.

          1. Then, after that, I’m sure they fine you, and if you don’t pay the fine, they come with the guns and the shackles and put you in a cage.

            1. Don’t you have to get your private car inspected every year?

              1. And that’s acceptable because driving is a privilege, and not a right? So, living in my privately owned home is a privilege, as well.

              2. Don’t you have to get your private car inspected every year?

                Not in Florida you don’t.

                1. Furthermore, there is absolutely zero evidence that cars in Florida (or in any other non-inspection state0 are any less safe than those in states which require inspections.

                  1. In NY, vehicle inspections are a scam to collect revenue and nothing more. And there is the added bonus that upstate residents pay (because we drive cars) and down state city dwellers get to spend the money and elect all the politicians. Yay!

                  2. In PA and NY at least, they’re not just safety inspections, they’re also emissions system inspections, ostensibly to cut down on pollution.

              3. If you want to drive your car on public roads you have to. If your car just sits in your drive way you don’t have to do anything.

              4. only if you drive it on public roads.

          2. What can really be said to be owned? The bank owns it until you pay it off. It can be seized for failure to pay property taxes. It can be seized for public use. It can be seized if a private company wants it bad enough.

            The only time property is really yours is when someone is injured on it enough to sue you.

            1. Hmmm. If I ever get sued because someone get’s injured on my property, I’m so blaming the government for not having seized it before I had the opportunity to make it safe for others.

    2. That’s single family homes, not just condos and townhouses.

    3. “It does nothing for the cost of homeowner’s insurance”

      I know it does with commercial property – sprinklers are one of the first things they look for. I’m not sure it’s any different with homeowners.

  32. It’s a shame how Montana and Wyoming use their “disproportionate” representation in the Senate to completely dictate land use in Connecticut. It’s a damn tragedy, it is.

    1. Montana and Wyoming and Alaska would be third world backwaters without the benefits of tax dollars from the coasts. Spare me.

      1. Except for the oil in Alaska and the Cattle and Tourism dollars in both Wyoming and Montana. Oh, and the Alaska fishing. And Tourism. And Mineral wealth…

        1. There’s gold in them there Yukon hills!

        2. To be fair, a lot of those tourism dollars would dry up if a trip there required crossing an international border.

          1. What? For Alaska? That may be but a lot of their tourism money comes from cruises that sail from Seattle. No need to cross any borders that way.

      2. Govamint is sivilizashun!!11!!! SOMALIA!!!2111 ROADZ!!111!!

        1. The ‘2’ was a nice touch.

  33. Montana and Wyoming and Alaska would be third world backwaters without the benefits of tax dollars from the coasts.

    If you say it, it must be true.

    1. They take in far more tax dollars than they contribute to the federal government, while places like Connecticut pay more than they get back.

      1. So what? First, what percentage of their actual GDP is from the federal government? Just because they take in more per capita than other states, doesn’t mean they would cease to exist if they didn’t get the money.

        Second, Connecticut will always pay more money than big empty states like Montana. Connecticut is a small densly populated states. If you just gave out federal money on the basis of population, there wouldn’t be any interstates in Montana. And the existence of a single military base in a small population state like Nevada or Alaska would throw the whole calculation off.

        That whole per capita argument has to be one of the dumbest arguments liberals make. They make a lot of dumb ones. But that one is dumb even for them.

        1. Shorter John:”Billions for rural interstates, not one penny for urban high speed rail!”

          1. I thought the interstate highway system was created to move troops and military equipment. It’s a little difficult to do that on high speed rail.

          2. Urban high speed rail? That must be one huge city.

            1. It doesn’t need to make sense it just has to be ‘progress’.

        2. Geez, outdrawn again! I salute your speedy response, sir.

      2. Taking that statistic and making the erroneous assumption that it means the net dollar receivers would not have robust economies without the net tax exporters is an understandable mistake, but one a reasonably bright person should not make. Logic fail.

      3. …while places like Connecticut pay more than they get back.

        What’s the problem?

        Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is the moral foundation of liberalism.

      4. while places like Connecticut pay more than they get back.

        If the federal taxing and spending game isn’t working out for them, maybe they should vote against those who promote it (Democrats).

  34. libertarians oppose public bridges.

    You bet your fucking ass I do.
    Especially when a small group of people wants everybody in the universe to foot the bill for a bridge which which will benefit about twenty people living on an island. Let ’em build their own fucking bridge. And, when it’s done, if they want to charge a toll, that’s perfectly okay with me.

  35. They take in far more tax dollars than they contribute to the federal government,

    And the only thing which prevents a place from being a third world backwater is the benevolent distribution of federal dollars upon the peasants.

    1. The federal government gives them cheap grazing rights. It subsidizes their infrastructure. It funds the National Parks which are a huge part of their tourist industry. It gives out subsidies like M&Ms; to their agricultural sector.

      Should I go on?

      1. You must be aware that the people here don’t like any of that shit. Right?

        1. So? They may not like it but it props up a good deal of the economy of rural, western states.

          1. You are dumber than a basset hound and couldn’t think your way out of a wet paper bag. Just quit before you embarrass yourself.

            1. I have a basset hound, and she’s a pretty dim bulb, but she can ask to go outside and she barks when the doorbell rings, so she’s an order of magnitude smarter than @ seems to be.

          2. You clearly have never been to the West. It props up a few corporations and connected good old boys. It is a myth that those programs benefit a majority of people out there. They don’t. And those states as a whole wouldn’t miss them nearly as much as claimed. The connected cronies, many of whom don’t even live there, would miss them terribly. But the average person, not so much.

            1. Funny how all their Senators, of both parties, feel they have to continue all of those things or fear being voted out of office then!

              1. Voting is a form of submission to the powers that be, slave.

              2. Because the people who receive these subsidies are big donors and very connected. They don’t fear being voted out of office. They fear their buddies losing their place at the government trough.

                1. Actually, the myth that @ is repeating is widely believed by voters everywhere, not just in the western states.

                  The corporate beneficiaries spend vast amounts of money in both political and other advertising campaigns to keep it alive.

                  Let us not lose sight of the fact that most people do, in fact, want something for free and when it’s promised to them by politicians they will vote for it.

                  No one votes against his wallet.

      2. Then get rid of it all. You won’t get any argument here.

      3. Should I go on?

        Yes, please tell us how preventing oil drilling in ANWR is a net benefit to the economy of Alaska. I’d love to hear this one.

      4. Reason magazine has criticised every single one of those things over the years.

        I suspect the one thing everyone here can agree on is that grazing fees ought to be set at something more closely approximating market rates*, infrastructure should be funded by user fees, as should the National Parks**.

        And if there’s a single fan of agricultural subsidies among the regulars on this board he or she has kept those sympathies secret.

        *When you’re as major a landowner as the US govt is it’s kind of hard to figure out exactly what market rates would look like. Maybe the government ought to sell some of that land or open it for homesteading.

        Of course, our belief in thos things is why everyone believes we kick homeles people as we walk down the street and advocate throwing the elderly into snowbanks.

        Every one of those subsidies came from activist liberal politicians.

        The fact that constituencies for every one of them continues to exist is something that critics of “progressivism” warned about when the “progressives” first dreamed them up.

        **that is when it’s not being proposed that things like this should be privatized outright.

        1. Why would the feds have control of any land to charge such fees?

          1. That’s why I included this

            “Maybe the government ought to sell some of that land or open it for homesteading.”

            in my comment.

      5. Yes, without the federal government, there would be no Old Faithful, no Grand Canyon, no Mount Whitney, no Meteor Crater. Probably no sun in the sky either.

  36. Or you can raise the retirement age by a year for people who retire a half-century from now, but it’s kind of silly to try to fix a problem that hasn’t come yet.

    When raising retirement ages it is certainly a good idea to do it well in advance so that the people affected can include that in their plans.

    So, no, it’s not at all silly to try to fix the problem that we know Social Security retirement will have fifty years from now so that twenty-year-olds starting their working lives now will know what’s in store for them.

  37. http://www.cnbc.com/id/40887018

    New Jersey plans to steal unused gift cards. My God these people are craven.

    1. I hadn’t heard that one. How do they plan to even pull that off?

      1. I couldn’t even imagine how insane an audit for this would look. NJ would require businesses to analyze revenues from gift cards sold, and then compare the revenues to sales attributed to redeemed gift cards. And then what, send a tax bill for the difference, as if that money belongs to the people and not the entities that collected it?

        1. Would the money “gained” even cover the cost of the bureaucracy required for enforcement? I guess even if it doesn’t the up side is, all of the jobs it will “create”.

          I have fucking nightmares about broken windows.

    2. What if the gift cards are purchased in NJ and mailed to people in other states? NJ still gonna assume it was supposed to be used in NJ?

    3. Didn’t read your link, but I know that states have been implementing “unclaimed property” schemes for at least 20 years. That includes things like accounts payable balances where your vendor has dried up and disappeared, and there’s no one for you to send the check to. States have passed laws that state that you, as the business owner with the accounts payable balance, must turn that amount over to the state.

      So, since a gift card is just another form of “accounts payable” I can see why they’d try to formalize this.

    4. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that one first.

  38. The federal government gives them cheap grazing rights. It subsidizes their infrastructure. It funds the National Parks which are a huge part of their tourist industry. It gives out subsidies like M&Ms; to their agricultural sector.

    You’re in favor of property rights, then; good boy.

    And, nobody ever made a living in Montana before (either) Roosevelt. Gotcha.

    1. Being a farmer or rancher was a very precarious existence before federal agricultural policy. There’s a reason why the Populist Party caught fire in those areas in the late 1800s.

      1. “Being a farmer or rancher was a very precarious existence before federal agricultural policy.”

        Sure it was. And we somehow managed to create the most productive agriculture industry in history. Life is precarious. So what?

        1. Government can make life risk free John; why can’t you realize that?

      2. The reason it became so precarious was because as technology improved, we needed less people to be farmers and ranchers. The Populist Party was a reflection of the increased abundance of food that depressed food prices and put many (now unneeded) farmers and ranchers out of work.

        All federal agricultural policy has done is continue to keep people in occupations that are no longer in demand by the market. Without the subsidizes, less people would engage in unproductive farmer and ranching and instead engage in more productive work, something all society would benefit from.

      3. Who cares about the ranchers anyways, in MT copper is king.

  39. They may not like it but it props up a good deal of the economy of rural, western states.

    If, by props up, you mean distorts.

  40. As entertaining as this all is, I have to get my shit together; I’m going skiing today.

    Which, of course, makes me a Hypocritical Commie Welfare Queen, because nobody could ever have figured out how to cut trails or build chairlifts without the existence of the Bureau of Land Management.

    1. Funny you should say that:

      Paul Augustine started his working life tending to farm fields west of Hastings and ended up turning tracts of land north of town into one of the biggest ski areas of the Midwest.

      “We like to say he was a crop farmer that became a snow farmer,” said his daughter, Amy Reents.

      Augustine, the co-founder of Afton Alps in Denmark Township, died Saturday at Afton Care St. Croix in Afton. He was 79.

      His daughter said he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 20 years ago and had recently struggled with “bouts of pneumonia.” She said as strong as he was running a ski hill, he was stronger dealing with his illness.

      “If he would have had his way, he would have died on the hill,” Reents said. “I mean that.”

      In the early 1960s, Augustine, his brother Robert and their friend Tom Furlong ? all farmers ? turned acres of farmland in south Washington County into a winter playground just outside the Twin Cities.

      “He was a farmer who just enjoyed skiing,” Reents said. “He thought this was something he could build.”

      On opening day ? Dec. 21, 1963 ? Afton Alps hosted 37 skiers and had one lift, two towropes and a single chalet.

      Now, Reents said, the 300-acre recreation area, with 18 lifts and a golf course, draws 250,000 people a year. During the winter, the Alps employs about 1,000 part-time workers.

      Reents said the boom in size at Afton Alps had a lot to do with her dad’s work ethic.

      “His favorite thing to do was move dirt and land,” Reents said. “He was a builder. He enjoyed the physical work first.”

      http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_16990711

  41. So? They may not like it but it props up a good deal of the economy of rural, western states.

    Yes, and federal bailout money propped up a lot of banks.

    But guess what, without federal bailout money there’d still be banks, only they’d be different, healthier more sustainable banks.

    And, without federal subsidies there’d still be rural, western states, only they’d be different, healthier rural, western states with more sustainable economies.

    1. Good thing Goldman Sachs took the deep discounts they received from the Fed and invested them wisely.

      Social Media bubble, here we come!

      1. yeah that same investment worked out great for New Corp.

      2. And when it arrives, Ronald Reagan/Margaret Thatcher/Bush/Milton Friedman/… will get the blame.

  42. I think the argument that federal money props up a lot of Midwestern states is a pretty good one. Or at least, it was a good one before Bail-Out Bonanza of the last couple of years. If anything, NYC would be a Third World Country ™ without the federal government.

    1. Yeah-BBC America had a story about his passing this morning. He was in lots of good stuff, but I’ve got a soft spot for his SGT Obidiah Haikeswell (from the Sharpe’s Rifles series) opposite Sean Bean.

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