Reason Morning Links: Libyan Rebels Hold, Possible Government Shutdown, Ted Kennedy's Chilean Adventure

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260 responses to “Reason Morning Links: Libyan Rebels Hold, Possible Government Shutdown, Ted Kennedy's Chilean Adventure

  1. Drug War Chic

    Sweatshops are dicey subjects for a fashion house to take up under any circumstances; but the Mulleavy sisters didn’t help things with the makeup itself — which pretty much looked like blood — or the models, which one fashion writer described as wearing “ethereal, unraveling, rather beautiful white dresses that alternately called to mind quincea?era parties, corpse brides, and, if you wanted to look at it through a really dark prism, the ghosts of the victims of Ju?rez’s drug wars.”

    1. When will the fashion industry wade into the hot button area of bringing attention to acid rain? And by that, I mean, when will they bring back acid wash denim?

      Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They’re the same look, for Christ sake!

    2. Congratulations on getting here first!

  2. But Teddy supported abortion rights so all the usual scolding about women’s rights and human trafficking does not apply.

    1. Hmmm. I wonder why he would support abortion. Can’t think of any…oh wait.

      1. Actually Teddy was a good Catholic anti-abortion politician until the early 1970s. There seemed to be something bad that happened in his life around 1969 that involved women. So he became anti-abortion to keep the support of feminists.

        1. Was that the year ‘Ol Teddy performed a VERY late term abortion on that lady using his car and a lake.

          1. That Harry Reid would call for the closing of Nevada’s brothels just a day or two before this came out is a mighty odd coincidence.

          2. I was thinkng 3 Mile Island, but more people died at Chappaquidic, so you’re probably right.

            1. + forever and ever

          3. Before my time, but I thought the whole thing was a publicity stunt by volkswagen. He didn’t actually kill the chick, right?

            1. He didn’t actually kill the chick, right?

              Not if you don’t count drunkenly driving a car off a bridge, leaving the car as it sank with her inside, swimming away to shore, walking back home and not calling any authorities about it as “actually killing” her.

              1. And since there was no autopsy or investigation, we will just take Teddy’s word that this is the worst of what happened. We won’t at all believe that he actually did kill her and then just drive the car into the lake to make it look like she drowned.

                1. *drove. Grammar sucks when eating a PB&J.

    2. Feminists probably still overlook Ted’s “waitress sandwich” days.

  3. You know, I’m pretty okay with the Illinois Tea Party right now.

    “On Thursday, The Missing 14 unsubtly crashing the Clock Tower Resort’s Choloholic Frolic in Rockford, Ill. David Hale, the Rockford Tea Party, and his camera began stalking the resort pestering the senators. By Saturday, some of the Missing 14 had skipped over to the city’s Holiday Inn ? and were reportedly seen at Hooters having a last supper of sorts ? when Hale waltzed into the hotel’s lobby and confronted them with his camera and questions like, ‘Senators! Why won’t go home and do your job.’

    Probably aware that a posse of 14 pasty bureaucrats will stick out in a crowd, the senators did what any fugitive chain gang would do: They cut the links and went in separate directions. One did the smart thing and disappeared into the polished back alleys of the Windy City, where only the New York Times could find him.

    By the following Monday, eight of the 14 had gone 30 miles northeast to the two-hotel town of Harvard (Pop. 9,000ish) thinking it might be a good place to ‘hide.’ It took just one tip from a ‘concerned citizen,’ however, before a few amateurs Illinois activist descended upon the hotel, causing enough trouble commotion for the senators to quickly pack it up.”

    1. Funny, and they deserve it, but that sounds like borderline harassment to me.

      1. Following public persons in public places is harrassment? I’m pretty sure the paparazzi would be out of business if a statute could be applied to this behavior. Besides, they could just go back to Wisconsin and avoid all that ‘harrassment’.

      2. If these idiots didn’t turn tail and flee Wisconsin, nobody in Illinois would even know who they were; so I think this comes with the territory of being a douchebag.

      3. Well, you can argue that politicians who spend money they don’t have have been harrassing taxpayers for years, so good on the Illinois Teap Party.

      4. It’s a mobile protest.

      5. Harassment? Asking a politician a question in a public place (like a hotel lobby or a restaurant) is harassment? Seriously?

        See, I think harassment is putting beefy thuggish protestors in front someone’s house. Now, if the Tea Party had a history of slapping people around and was staking out their houses, where their families live, I would have a problem with that.

    2. Hope Gov. Walker’s accounting folks have the balls to dock the legislators’ pay even if it is later established they are “exempt” employees who get paid even when they don’t show up for work.

      1. The law says that in order to be paid, you have to work at least one hour.

      2. What, and let them claim that they’re self-sacrificing martyrs for the cause?

    3. As a service to the runaway legislators, this Rockford native will list all the fun things to do in Winnebago County:

      1. That waterpark looked fun every time I drove by it.

        1. Yeah, I forgot about Magic Waters. But that was still just a couple of slides when I was a kid living there.

          I had a bad experience on the new Typhoon Terror last year though. It’s supposed to be a limit of 700 lbs on each four-person tube, which is kind of impractical for Rockford’s population (and my family in particular).

      2. Saying the word “winnebago” with a mouthful of peanut butter.

      3. There is always the Rockford International Airport.

      4. What do you have against Rockford?

      5. My excuse to post this.

      6. Nothing Rockford has can beat The Wilmington Screen Door Factory.

  4. “Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night’s activities,” according to the memo.

    Ted Kennedy: Man of the People

    1. Spreading the wealth around, that’s all.

  5. Assessment of bailouts continues to brighten

    Almost three years after a series of government bailouts began, what many feared would be a deep black hole for taxpayer money isn’t looking nearly so dark.

    The brighter picture is highlighted by the outlook for the bailouts’ centerpiece ? the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

    “It’s turning out to cost one heck of a lot less than what we all thought at the beginning,” said Ted Kaufman, a former Delaware senator who heads the congressionally appointed panel overseeing TARP.

    It’s all rainbows and puppies and unicorn farts from here, folks!

    1. Bernanke triumphant

      Nearly everything is going according to the plan Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hatched six months ago.

      During a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Aug. 27, Bernanke outlined an effort to spur economic growth, prevent prices from falling and push markets higher through the purchase of government bonds. Since then stocks have soared, the unemployment rate has dropped and Americans have started to spend more.

      “It’s been a success,” says Bill Gross, who manages the world’s largest mutual fund at Pimco. Gross had skewered Bernanke’s attempt to boost the economy, comparing it to a Ponzi scheme. “It’s hard to dispute that since Jackson Hole the market is up around 25 percent.”

      1. paraphrasing Gross: ‘It’s affected me and the environment I deal with in a positive manner, so it’s a success.’

      2. Yeah, asset bubbles are always awesome. Until they’re not.

      3. Actually, the DJIA is up only 20% since that speech.

        On a totally unrelated note, gold is also up 14.7%, silver up 80.4%, platinum up 19.8%, and palladium 63.0%.

        1. I saw the Roliing stones at the palladium. Fucking awesome.

    2. So I can tell all my lefty acquaintances it wasn’t really necessary to save the world from teh DOOM, just like I told them 3 years ago? Cool.

    3. So the US borrows money at high interest rate and loans it to the big banks at a low interest rate so they can make profits by lending out at a higher interest rate and pay back the loans.

      I just don’t see this as a good policy nor good economics.

      1. Because you’re ignoring the externalities.

    4. Yeah, it’s easy to pay back money you owe someone when you can take out government loans at 0% then use that money to buy government bonds that pay out at a higher rate.

  6. Report: U.S. has wasted billions of dollars on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In other breaking news, the sun rose in the east this morning.

    1. AFN (The Armed Forces Network) was running ads from SIGAR/SIGIR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan/Iraq reconstruction) last year that tens of billons in reconstruction money was stolen, and if anyone knew anything to call their hotline.

  7. NH Bill Would Make Some Airport Screening Sexual Assault

    “CONCORD, N.H. — A House committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would make it a sexual assault for an airport screener to touch or view a person’s breast or genitals without probable cause.

    The bill (HB628-FN) includes anyone working as a security agent of the federal, state, or local government, and includes touching or viewing with a “technological device.”

    The bill states “discussing or possessing a copy of the Constitution, discussing the security apparatus of an airport, being on the premises of an airport, possessing an airplane ticket or any other type of ticket for access to mass transportation, driving a motor vehicle on a public way, or ownership of firearms” should not be considered probable cause.”

    1. Live Free or Die.

    2. That’s a nice law there…it would be a shame if something happened to it.

      1. Where in the Constitution or federal law is there a requirement to have your breasts or genitals groped when passing through airport security that this law might conflict with?

        1. There’s definitely bipartisan support for such a law if states start getting uppity.

        2. Duh, it’s in the Commerce Clause.

          1. Clearly. The proposed NH bill would affect the interstate groping market.

        3. It’s only Necessary and Proper that we grope attractive women as they pass through security.

        4. It is not only Necessary, but also Proper, that we grope fondle your genitalia as you pass through security.

  8. Why Women Sleep With Losers

    The comments are the best part.

    1. I like the second comment down from a guy self described as “in his late 40s” saying that women in their 20s, if they want a quality man, should go for (wait for it), guys in their late 40s and 50s. Apparently, being a trophy wife is the best young women can hope for these days.

      1. Maybe I was reading a different comment, but it seemed as if the guy was saying if these young women wanted a commitment they should seek older men.

        To be fair I think that he was referencing the part of the article where the 20yo women were bitching about not getting a commitment from their 20yo boyfriends. Frankly, I think that any woman expecting a 20yo man to be ready for marriage is delusional. I probably would have married at 20 on a lark, and then promptly divorced…on a lark.

        1. Frankly, I think that any woman expecting a 20yo man to be ready for marriage is delusional.

          Perhaps among your acquaintances and social circle that is true. I was a member of a Mormon ward for a while, and it was expected that men and women at that age would be getting married and pumping out babies, though from the General Conference talks it appears that the younger members are moving away from that somewhat.

    2. Tiffany Smith
      I am flabbergasted that such an article is even published, it manages to insult men and women at the same time, while denigrating men as somehow too stupid to hold a job while simultaneously hinting that so many woman just “give it away” like its some kind of trading currency, excuse me but this is the most ignorant article I have ever read, the author should either retire or go back to school, you have a lot to learn about human relations.
      Today, 10:37:36 ? Flag ? Reply

      HOW DARE YOU CALL ME UNPLEASANT

      1. Maybe not for the reasons stated by the commenter, but that article was crap.

        Just another conjured controversy/trend piece by slate.

        Slate has slowly turned into an elderly bitch-artist over the past few years…”These kids and their teevee games don’t know the meaning of a good lay!” “Why can’t people be civil towards each other anymore?”

    3. Yup, too bad there aren’t any single 20something males with lucrative careers who are more interested in longterm relationships than casual sex.

      It’s too bad no one like that exists, but if they did it would be those girls’ own fault instead of the crappy men everywhere. Guess they’ll have to keep dating losers and trying to change them.

      1. Yeah, they do exist, they’re just not attracted to unpleasant uggos who nag.

        1. That was part of what I was getting at.

      2. Life is good…

    4. Why Women Sleep With Losers

      Because like attracts like?

    1. Must be a prank. Everyone knows the Koch Brothers are secretive.

  9. Newt Gingrich preparing to announce presidential run AKA a new book coming out

  10. http://nymag.com/news/features…..ff-2011-3/

    A really fascinating New York Magazine interview with Berny Madoff from prison. Totally worth reading

    1. A long interview, with many thought-provoking bits. Thanks for the link.

  11. Libyan rebels hold Zawiya after six hours of fighting with Gaddafi’s forces.

    With justice Khaddafy* will meet Ceau?escu’s fate.

    * There is no wrong way to spell his name.

    1. I spell it Zbigniew.

      1. You forgot the ~%8.

    2. I’ve been going with Cuttoff-y.

    3. And the server let you get away with the ? in CEAU?ESCU.

    1. Welcome to yesterday.

    2. The discussion already happened, JL! Everybody found out that Tony is beholden to the Labor Theory Of Value for his view of economics and class struggle – imagine that!

    3. There’s go to be something wrong with those numbers.

  12. Guess who?

    Will 2011 be the year of fiscal austerity? At the federal level, it’s still not clear: Republicans are demanding draconian spending cuts, but we don’t yet know how far they’re willing to go in a showdown with President Obama. At the state and local level, however, there’s no doubt about it: big spending cuts are coming.

    And who will bear the brunt of these cuts? America’s children.

    I’m fucking burnt out man, we can’t even satirize this stuff. We have this little world here where we caricaturize these people and their ideas, and they in turn espouse the worst that we can attribute to them. The most horrifying thing is that we can’t even create a statist monster that wouldn’t be acceptable for mass consumption.

    In a just world Krugman would have no readers outside of the recipients of a poorly mimeographed newsletter, but in reality he can put out an article whose principle thesis boils down to “TEH CHILDRENZ!” and get paid handsomely for it.

    1. Listen, the NYT has been a real estate holding company that offsets it’s capital gains by running a money losing paper since the late ’90s. They’ve just about perfected the strategy.

    2. I say we pave TEH ROADZ!! with the bones of TEH CHILDRENZ!!!

      1. you sir have my vote

    3. No, the DRACONIAN (i love that word) cuts will hurt the Brown People most.

      The Childrenz – THEY WILL PAY.

    4. Funny thing is, my kids could care less about all this crap. They just want me around to hang out with them, teach them stuff they don’t learn in school, help them with their homework, or show off their video game prowess.

      Want to help kids? Create an environment that rewards hard work, achievement, saving & investing, personal sacrifice and acountability.

    5. “””And who will bear the brunt of these cuts? America’s children.””‘

      The problem is that the children and their children/children when they grow up will have to pay for the debt that Krugman wants to dump on them. Maybe Krugman should go ask the children if they want to hugely in debt before they even reach 18

      1. Indeed.

    6. At the federal level, it’s still not clear: Republicans are demanding draconian spending cuts,

      Except for Rand Paul, they are not. Their stretch goal for spending cuts this year is $100BB, around 7% of the deficit. Not the budget, the deficit.

      When cutting the amount you borrow by 7% is draconian, the word has lost all meaning.

      1. Rand Paul isnt either. His cuts only get 1/3 of the way to balanced.

        I dont think 3x Paul’s cuts would be draconian either, that would be “minimal”.

    7. Fuck America’s children (when did they become collective property BTW?). America’s children are selfish, whiny little bastards.

  13. WTF

    Most Americans oppose weakening the collective bargaining rights of public employees and oppose cutting their pay or benefits to reduce deficits.

    According to a CBS/NYT poll of a rubber room.

    1. Yeah, I saw that. The basic question was quite the push poll.

      Questions phrased as “Do you support taking away rights” generally skew toward negative responses. A better phrasing would be something like “do you support limiting the issues on which public employees may collectively bargain” to avoid emotionally-loaded words like “rights”.

    2. If you read the sampling data, you’ll see what a joke that poll is. Those people have as much journalistic integrity as Pravda had back in the day, if not less.

      1. Pravda never would have hired Krugman.

  14. Last known WWI veteran dies at 110.

    You know who else was a WWI veteran…

    1. Harry Truman?

    2. Herbert Marshall. He lost a leg in the war, and went on to a distinguished acting career, wooden leg and all.

  15. “We have to attract the best and the brightest into public service.”

    – Barack Obama 2-28-2011

    1. Let’s start by replacing everyone at the top. Oh, you didn’t mean that, Mr. President?

      1. Okay Obama, I’ll put up my grades from any level of schooling against yours. If I win I get your job. If you win, you still haven’t released them.

  16. George Will destroys the liberal train obsession. This is awesome.

    Generations hence, when the river of time has worn this presidency’s importance to a small, smooth pebble in the stream of history, people will still marvel that its defining trait was a mania for high-speed rail projects. This disorder illuminates the progressive mind.

    To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they?unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted?are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make.

    Time was, the progressive cry was “Workers of the world unite!” or “Power to the people!” Now it is less resonant: “All aboard!”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/0…..vency.html

    1. Also, welcome to yesterday.

      What is up with you and Longtorso today? Did you all take a 3 day weekend?

      1. I was a bit off my game yesterday. Long day.

      2. In this case I’ll excuse john. The Will piece should be repeated over and over until it sinks in with independents. There’s no hope with progressives, they proudly admit their power love.

    2. That sounds more like Shannon Love’s all-my-opponents-are-morally-corrupt style than George Will. Progressives support trains because they use less energy, discourage sprawl, don’t require covering giant swaths of land with pavement for parking, don’t require spreading salt onto the fertile ground near roadways in the winter, etc.

      1. Apparently you missed this paragraph.

        Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute notes that high-speed rail connects big-city downtowns, where only 7 percent of Americans work and 1 percent live. “The average intercity auto trip today uses less energy per passenger mile than the average Amtrak train.” And high speed will not displace enough cars to measurably reduce congestion. The Washington Post says China’s fast trains are priced beyond ordinary workers’ budgets, and that France, like Japan, has only one profitable line.”

        There is really nothing energy saving about Trains. Liberals love them for emotional and political reasons.

        1. “The average intercity auto trip today uses less energy per passenger mile than the average Amtrak train.”

          That’s simply not plausible; autos have lower efficiency engines, carry more extra weight per passenger, and experience greater air resistance. He’s either lying or distorting the data (for instance by assuming that every car carries five people on an intercity trip).

          1. I think it is very possible. The efficiency of the train depends on how many people are on it. Also, thanks to the ADA, train cars are a lot heavier than they used to be. And I seriously doubt CATO made up that statistic.

            Here is the CATO blog talking about the stat.

            http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/which-is-greener/

            1. Again, numerous problems.

              First off, the energy comparisons are on a per-seat basis, so computing public transit occupancy rates against the theoretical maximum capacity is ludicrous; at maximum capacity most people are standing and packed up against one another. Strangely, when discussing auto occupancy rates, he doesn’t take “maximum capacity” to be the situation where passengers are sitting on each other’s laps and occupying the trunk, rather it’s the number of seats.

              He also notes that the occupancy rates for intercity auto trips are higher than average, without also noting that the vehicles used in intercity trips are likely to be larger and less fuel efficient.

            2. There’s got to be something wrong with those numbers.

          2. When the really expensive train is mostly empty and traveling 160 mph on a subsidized track going between two points you ain’t at, then yeah, it is plausible.

            1. That was my first thought as well. The only way a train gains its massive edge in energy efficiency is if it is full and everyone walks to their final destination.

            2. Autos are usually mostly empty as well, and have higher air resistance per seat than trains do.

              Obviously the choice of routes is important (and the current proposals are terrible) but that’s not an intrinsic problem with HSR.

              1. An intrinsic problem with HSR is that the market is not finding the best use of it. Instead it is being determined by politics, so it is destined to fail. And oh yeah, people like their cars.

              2. have higher air resistance per seat than trains do.

                Clearly you’re not an automotive engineer. Air resistance goes up as the CUBE of speed, but is only directly proportional to frontal area and to aerodynamic efficiency. And you are talking about HIGH SPEED rail.

                My Avalon has a fuel economy measure, and I’ve found it gets the best fuel economy going at about 35 MPH (i.e., just barely into the highest gear, thus minimizing both engine drag and air drag) at a constant speed with no stopping or idling.

                Sports cars have low frontal area and great aerodynamic efficiency, but if you drive them at 160 MPH, you are going to get low single digit MPG.

                1. No, it is you who are not an automotive engineer. Air resistance varies directly with the square of speed at high speeds.

                  You also seem to have missed the “per seat” tag. Yes, a train does encounter more air drag than a single car does. It doesn’t encounter more than 100 cars, which would be the equivalent to carry the same number of passengers.

                  1. Oh, I see we’re talking about different measures of air resistance, power and force respectively.

                    Energy usage actually varies with the square of speed, since

                    E = P * t = P * d / v

                    where d is the distance traveled (assuming constant speed v). (ie, the power increase is partially offset by the decreased time of travel)

                  2. Oh, I see, you’re referring to the power necessary to overcome air resistance; I was referring to the force. But the energy spent fighting air resistance on a trip of a given distance is actually related to the square of the average speed, since travel time decreases linearly with speed, offsetting the cubic increase of power.

          3. That’s simply not plausible; autos have lower efficiency engines, carry more extra weight per passenger, and experience greater air resistance. He’s either lying or distorting the data (for instance by assuming that every car carries five people on an intercity trip).

            Have you driven in a car lately? They have super-efficient engines — my Toyota Avalon pumps out 270 HP from a 3.5 liter engine. That kind of HP used to take an engine twice that size.

            And, people are wedged into cars, whereas on trains they have way more space — space that means a lot of weight per passenger.

            And, trains either travel at high speeds, which means crappy fuel economy because air resistence goes up at the CUBE of speeds, or that start and stop frequently, which uses up energy from braking and idling.

            So, unless you have a train that is jammed full of passengers, such as the ones in Japan, it is entirely plausible for a passenger car carrying a single person to be more fuel-efficient per passenger-mile.

            1. And, people are wedged into cars, whereas on trains they have way more space — space that means a lot of weight per passenger.

              What cars and trains have you ridden in? Even on a typical Amtrak train you have only slightly more space than in an airplane.

              And DOT statistics estimate that average auto vehicle occupancy is 1.7 persons…not much wedging going on there.

        2. Looking at O’Toole’s article on HSR at Cato, he simply pulls that out of thin air. The closest thing I can find to a careful study of the question is here, but even he makes some very questionable assumptions (in particular comparing the lightest autos to the heaviest trains and assuming that the percentage of occupied seats in the average auto is the same as that on the average train).

        3. The problem is the ‘average Amtrak train’. The ‘average Amtrak train’ shouldn’t even be running; however for the core cooridor of WAS-BOS (and a few spurs like to Richmond and Portland (ME)) the system is definitely more efficient an in fact and normally quicker than if everyone drove.

          1. and the load factor for commuter rail he cites just seems completely at odds from my personal experience on both MARC and VRE where you’re not able to find an empty seat before they disembark at DC’s Union Station

            1. It looks like he’s counting the 2 am subway rides on equal footing with those during rush hour.

              1. Any reason they shouldnt be?

                1. Because running a subway train at 2 am is a stupid human decision, not an inherent inefficiency of subway systems?

                  1. This is like saying, “Well, what they had in the USSR isn’t really communism.” Are you defending an optimal fantasy version of trains, or the real trains we have had and will have more of should these proposals go through?

                  2. Almost all passenger trains are now run by the government, which means that they are being built on the basis of politics rather than whether they make economic sense. And is something is expensive once the subsidies are accounted for, it is likely to be energy-inefficient and/or environmentally damaging as well.

                    You are basically saying “Well, let’s not compare trains in the real world because they are run poorly. Let’s compare fantasy trains against real world car commuting.”

              2. Fuel is free at 2 am?

                1. I live in Richmond, and often go to DC. I’m a student, so I’m able to grab off peak time fares. For Richmond to DC on Amtrak its 35-40 dollars for a 2.5 hour train ride. For MegaBush, it’s a goddamn dollar. You can’t buy a coke for dollar anymore, but I can get 100 miles of transportation.

                  Ladies and gentlemen, I have no better way to illustrate the difference between the public and private sectors then that.

      2. Progressives support trains because they use less energy,

        Per actual passenger mile? Given the low usage rate, I’d want to see some data to support that.

        discourage sprawl,

        Not by themselves, they don’t. The only thing that discourages sprawl is restrictive zoning and a refusal to build roads. Chicago sprawls like hell, and it has a pretty decent commuter rail system that gets used.

        don’t require covering giant swaths of land with pavement for parking,

        Where do you put your car after you drive to the train station?

        don’t require spreading salt onto the fertile ground near roadways in the winter,

        Oh, please. I lived in the upper midwest. In those areas where the roadway wasn’t, you know, gutters and sidewalks, the grass was just as green as anywhere.

        1. Where do you put your car after you drive to the train station?

          Into the crusher. Silly RC, you think people will still be allowed to own cars in that Shiny Rail Future?

        2. Basic physics, RC. The saltwater goes somewhere, and along most road miles there are no drains. The Carthaginians would like to speak with you about the effect of salt on soil.

    3. Wow. Did George Will actually write that? Has he switched to tea from coffee?

    4. CHOO CHOOS!!!!!!

  17. Penny Arcade vs. Humorless Feminists Proud Of Their Humorlessness

    The longest, dumbest thing you’ll read all month.

    1. And I thought H&R had long-running, absolutely meaningless fights over nothing in particular.

      1. No, we have long-running, meaningfull fights over important issues like where you should stop reading the Dune series (after God Emperor, duh).

        1. What about the Arthur C. Clarke Space Odyssey series.

          Personally, I like them all; 3010 being my favorite.

        2. Really? I enjoyed the fifth book. Probably the best characters and writing since the original. A perversion? Probably. But also a fun read. (I also assume that we don’t include anything that Kevin Anderson has befouled as part of the Dune series.)

          1. I think I’m the only person here that doesn’t think ill of the Brian Herbert/Kevin Anderson Dune books.

            1. Kevin Anderson pollutes everything he touches. Thank FSM for that. I was able to get out of the Star Wars series in the late 90s due to his awfultude.

        3. While the fifth and sixth books don’t quite continue the awesomeness of the first 4 books, I think that they are quite good. And I really like how Herbert goes for the multi-millennial jumps between books.

    2. It made me want to buy a t-shirt. I don’t think that was the intention.

    3. Is a dickwolf what Ted Kennedy transforms into inside the depths of a Chilean brothel?

      1. Isn’t that the guy who made Law&Order;?


    4. This is why I’m a humorless feminist. Because rape jokes killed my sense of humor.

    5. What the fuck do they have against Law and Order, anyway?

    6. The sway of opinion in the dickwolf saga is kind of funny. The annoying femenists started off strong, then their support fell off a cliff.

      Remember, Wil Whetton says, “Don’t be a dickwolf!”

  18. Now this is genius. Why didn’t I think of this business years ago?

    Chicago Pols take out insurance against corruption charges.

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blog…..nd.html?dr

    1. What we are seeing here is nothing less than the death of satire.

      1. We really are. I almost feel sorry for the people who write the Onion. Ten years ago wouldn’t

        Chicago Pols take out insurance against corruption charges.

        have been a perfect Onion headline?

        1. The Onion will just have to work harder:

          Chicago Pols facing insurance fraud indictment over corruption-insurance coverage.

    2. How is this NOT insurance fraud?

      1. As long as you price it right, it seems like a good product to sell to most government entities. The taxpayers can think of it as a downpayment on the expected amounts to be stolen.

      2. I hope those insurers have top notch reinsurance. As for the solvency of the reinsurers, well…

        1. I have no idea why an insurance company would offer this product. Their actuaries must be insane.

          1. Crazy Eddies Discount Corruption Insurance.

            “Our premiums are so low…monkey purple coat tree.”

  19. *Cutoff-y

  20. In a strange fit for Reason, Christina Aguilera has been arrested, at least according to TMZ. Here’s the tie-in to reason and Radley: She was arrested for “public intoxication” when her boyfriend was pulled over for DUI. That’s right – arrested for being drunk in the passenger seat of a private automobile! I suppose if we can stretch “regulate interstate commerce” to cover growing a weed in your back yard, being drunk in the passenger seat of a private automobile is easily “public intoxication”.

    A shout-out to Drudge for the link, I never would have ventured to TMZ of my own accord.

    1. This has been going on forever. Happened to a guy I worked with in 1990? I think. 89? No, it was 1990.

      He was asleep in passenger seat, they woke him up, pulled him out of car and then charged him with public intox.

      1. Same reason too, driver of car was charged with DUI.

        1. And what happens in court stays in court? Come on, what happened to the charges?

  21. The surprising thing, to me, is that George Will piece getting published in Newsweek.

    And- speaking (more or less) of FailMags, when did U S News & World Report get bought out by the Daily Worker?

  22. Last known WWI veteran dies at 110.

    Woodhouse?

    1. At least he would have won the tontine.

      1. Just in time to have it all confiscated by the State because he died intestate.

  23. Betty Boop enters the public domain. The Mouse appears to be safe as the key argument is that the orginal owner’s heirs did not control the copyright before it was renewed.

    1. I have entered Betty Boop.

    2. The key argument is the millions of dollars Disney contributes to politicians.

      1. Here we go. OK, tell me again why a company that is still using it’s creation should not retain rights to it? Maybe they’re paying some politicians to keep the other politicians from taking it and giving it to you.

        1. Copyright was intended to make sure that the author — who had about zero power when presses were expensive — got paid. IF, and this is a big IF to me, such an imbalance still exists, the Walt Disney Corporation certainly doesn’t experience it. Why can’t Disney compete on selling “the authentic Mickey Mouse” and coming up with new properties instead of distorting and perverting the entire American public artspace?

          1. Damn right. We want to use shit we didn’t invent! For free! Wheeeee!

            1. And Tolkien owes the descendents of Homer for ripping off The Odyssey. I can make flippant remarks, too! Whee!

              1. Are the descendants of Homer making a claim to the Odyssey? The company called Disney is still using Mickey Mouse. His company didn’t implode upon Walt’s death. If I were on any jury that was hearing a case that says you should be able to use Mickey Mouse, I’d give the win to The Walt Disney Company in a heartbeat. You have no reasonable claim to use for profit that which is not yours.

                1. Walt is dead. Whatever intellectual capital he created can no longer accrue to him. Why should the corporate entity get to profit off of things it did not create?

                  1. The Company he created still operates? Why should they lose all that was left in their care as part of their operation? Let me rephrase. Why do you think it belongs to you?

                    1. So trademark the specific image of the Mouse, and Goofy, etc…and protect against consumer confusion that way, but let the creative expression of the Mickey Mouse universe—the things protected by copyright—go into public domain.

                      Otherwise, you seem to be arguing for a life-of-the-author measure for copyright, and with corporate authorship, that means potentially infinite life. I’ll let others chime in as to why copyrights of infinite duration are a bad idea.

                      As to “why should they lose all that was left in their care…?”, it’s because IP is supposed to be a wasting asset. Single copyrights and patents aren’t supposed to live forever; they’re artificial monopolies for a limited time to reward creators for their labors. And thereby inspire creators to make more new stuff. Not allow creators to get fat off of creations from 75+ years ago. As such, there are tradeoffs between rewarding the authors for the stuff they’ve created vs. inducing them to make more.

                      We made a serious error in the U.S., abandoning the utilitarian idea behind IP, and instead adopting the droit moral framework from Berne. Which is where we get this whole ‘life-of-the-author’ nonsense. I’d far prefer a return of copyright to a 30+30 year term, with automatic reversion of rights to the author or heirs after the first 30 year term to allow for repricing the value of the IP.

                    2. Mickey Mouse is trademarked.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M…..gal_issues

                    3. Of course Mickey Mouse is trademarked. It has been since 1934. And if you search at the PTO’s website, you’ll find at least 29 different trademarks or trademark applications incorporating “Mickey Mouse” in one form or another; all of whose purpose is to inform the consumer of the origin of the goods and services bearing that mark, thereby distinguishing such goods and services from imitators. That purpose continues as long as new goods and services bearing that mark continue to enter commerce, and so traditionally there wasn’t a problem with indefinite terms for trademarks. (See Bass’s red triangle mark, registered since 1876)

                      As Brett L put it, far above, “Why can’t Disney compete on selling “the authentic Mickey Mouse” and coming up with new properties…?” So long as Disney keeps making and selling stuff with the Mickey Mouse mark on it, I have no problem with Disney having perpetual ownership of the phrase Mickey Mouse in that context. Protecting authenticity is one of the important purposes behind TM.

                      But what Disney is doing is using copyright law to stifle anyone else who may want to make a derivative work from Mickey Mouse, even if it’s not called Mickey Mouse or if the drawn image doesn’t resemble the protected mark. That’s only possible because of the dramatic increase in copyright term length over the last 30 years. And that’s a perversion, IMO, of the intent behind copyright law.

                    4. If I were on any jury that was hearing a case that says you should be able to use Mickey Mouse, I’d give the win to The Walt Disney Company in a heartbeat. You have no reasonable claim to use for profit that which is not yours.

                      Holy self-contradiction, Batman! No one currently involved with the Walt Disney Corporation during the past 30 years actually created Mickey.

                    5. How is it a contradiction? You have no claim to it, the Walt Disney Company does have a claim. The character was part of the company (not just the man) and is maintained by that company. They employ artists who draw him (with computers now) every day. They have maintained the use of the character and have retained sole authority over its use, never ceding it to the public so people can make Mickey porn or run over him in GTA.

        2. I’m an heir of Atok, the original inventor of fire. Please mail me my royalty check. Many of my cousins have given up on defending our patent on Fire, but it is good to meet such an outstanding citizen as yourself who won’t steal my intellectual property (as if we live in Somalia or something).

          1. I get my fire straight from lightning hitting the brush behind my house. Take it up with the lightning.

    3. Better link by clicking through: Betty Boop: Latino Icon

  24. OK wow, that sounds like a very good idea dude!

    complete-privacy.eu.tc

  25. Chicago Pols take out insurance against corruption charges.

    This sounds like an offshoot of the policies management buys (with shareholder money) to protect Boards of Directors.

    1. A key feature of those policies is that, if you are found guilty of a crime, you aren’t covered after all. You can’t insure someone against criminal liability.

      They’re handy for funding the defense, and for paying off some civil damages, but they aren’t a get out of jail free card. I haven’t looked at one in awhile, but I seem to recall that if you are found guilty of a crime, you have to repay the costs of defense out of your own pocket.

  26. This is interesting:

    In the 1950s and 1960s median family income grew almost as quickly as per capita GDP. In 1950, the average American family had an income of $29,858. By 1965 that figure had grown to $47,764. Over the course of those two decades, every dollar of GDP growth produced an 81-cent increase in median family income. In that essentially socialistic sense, the baby boom era really was an economic golden age.

    Now consider what has happened since: Real per capita GDP grew by 101.2% between 1970 and 2009, yet median family income in 2010 is estimated to have been a little over $50,000 ? around 6% higher than it was four decades earlier. While the nation as a whole is trillions of real, inflation-adjusted dollars wealthier than it was 40 years ago, median family income has remained close to $50,000 for this entire time. (Here are the figures for median family income in five year increments, in 2010 dollars. 1965: $47,764, 1970: $48,332, 1975: $48,667, 1980: $46,839, 1985: $46,813, 1990: $50,050, 1995: $49,363, 2000: $53,817, 2005: $53,034, 2010: $50,500). If the relationship between the growth of real per capita GDP and median family income in the 1950s and 1960s had continued during the subsequent four decades, the average American household would be bringing in $85,000 in annual income ? and very few families would have to get by on less than $40,000 per year.

    Where then has all this almost unimaginable increase in national wealth gone? Consider that while in 1965 the 95th percentile of family income was approximately $105,000 ? i.e., a little more than double the median ? by 2010 it was $180,000. But the relative good fortune of the upper middle (or perhaps more realistically lower upper) class pales to nothing in comparison to what has happened in the economic stratosphere. Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent of households rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation ? an increase of nearly one million dollars per household. Yet even this increase is trivial when placed against the bounty that has rained down on the true Lords of Capital. In 1980, the richest 0.01% of American households ? roughly the 10,000 richest families ? had an average annual income of $5.4 million (in 2006 dollars). A quarter century later, that figure had grown, in real, inflation-adjusted terms, by a factor of nearly six: to $29.6 million per year.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo…..-nostalgia

    Emphasis mine.

    1. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. I see somebody is a little scared that reality may start to interere with their religious faith ideology.

        SugarFree is a like an 8th grader in an Evangelical Christian school who just got handed a copy of Origin of the Species.

        1. Put me back in your faggoty ass.

    2. “By 1965 that figure had grown to $47,764.”

      Bull. Fucking. Shit.

      1. Inflation-adjusted terms, numb-nuts.

    3. “In the 1950s and 1960s median family income grew almost as quickly as per capita GDP. In 1950, the average American family had an income of $29,858.”

      I see what you did there. Shame on you.

    4. Can’t a non-retatrded right winger like John or Pro Liberatre try to debate me instead of a homophobe on one hand and a guy with the IQ of a bag of bricks on the other?

      1. Hello Shit Facktory!

      2. If you want to debate an intellectual equal of yours, go here: libertarian republican.net.

        1. Did you just DONDERROOOOOOO!!! him?

          Awesome!

      3. I’m putting that on my wall.

    5. How much did a flat-screen teevee cost in the 1950’s, or an iphone?

      1. Only a libertard fool blinded by his ideology would confuse wanting the economic regime of the 50s with wanting to live 1950s technology.

        Here’s another hint for your small brain: wanting 90% top marginal rates and a heavily unionized economy doesn’t mean I want to outlaw abortion or bring back Jim Crow, either.

        1. Sorry The Truth, but you don’t get iphones when the top marginal tax rates are 90% and 1/4th of the work force is in a union.

        2. You know, I’d like Reason to do an article on what the real tax rates for people in the top brackets back in the 90% era were. My understanding has always been that the number of loopholes back then made that rate a complete fiction. But I don’t know that as a fact. It would be interesting to know what people actually paid, particularly at the top.

      2. But I do think being able to afford without selling yourself into indentured servitude, to be able to afford healthcare without bankrupting yourself, and be able to afford a mortgage on one income instead of two or more is a little more impressive than loads of cheap plastic crap.

        1. Should read, “being able to afford college”.

          Oh, and what was the average credit card debt load in the 50s? Average student loan debt?

          Those things didn’t even exist because they weren’t needed for a middle class lifestyle or to go to college.

          How many foreclosures did we have in the 50s?

          1. You should read more of the articles you are commenting on. There are lots of articles on this very site about exactly why a college education costs so much, and precicely what the factors are that make healthcare expensive for the individual.

            To your point about home ownership – first, homes in the 50’s were a fraction of the size of new homes being built today. I know, I live in a 1950’s home. It is very spacious by the standards of the neighborhood – 1400 square feet – a full 3 bedrooms and 2 baths! (no garage, they were rare at the time). Storage space was very generous for the time. You probably have more space in your master bedroom closet than I have in the entire house, but for the time it was reasonably swank.

            Today 2,500 square feet is often found in starter homes. That would have been a borderline mansion back then in most places. NPR had a story about this not too long ago. Of course they take the angle that the average Joe having 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms is bad for society because it isolates people into their own little enclaves, but at least they recognize that the common man has a much, much larger house than in the 50’s.

            Plus, home ownership rates are manyfold higher than they were in the 1950’s. Or ever before. Largely due to a focus on home ownership by republicans – Jack Kemp in particular – and a focus on relaxing lending rules by democrats (primarily Frank, Waters and Clinton, among a host of others).

            These issues don’t really cut in the direction you think they do when more fully understood.

            1. Oh, and in the 50’s nobody went to college. With the GI bill college enrollment boomed in the 50’s – more than doubling to a 2.7 million peak in 1950. With the post-baby boom decline in college age kids, there are only 16 million or so college age kids, down from a peak of 22 million. Even so, there are about 15 million students in college today.

              Things are very different today than they were in the 1950’s. Most people today can afford college (it is free in my old state of Georgia if you maintain a B average, and it is free in Florida with similar hope scholarships too. Here’s to voluntary taxation via the Lottery!) And most people attend college today. In 1950 it was a revolution that the common man even had a chance to go to college after serving in the military. That never existed before.

        2. You really don’t know what it is that you’re arguing against, do you?

          Not to say that I don’t appreciate your measured and mature response, but you’re attacking a position that I never took.

          Read your post from 10:45 and you’ll see that you are implicitly making my point for me, again. That is if you can ken what my point is.

          If you want to post in a cogent manner I suggest reading over the past few comments very slowly and letting it all sink in.

          1. I’m arguing against deliberate policies that, since 1980, have deliberately placed more and more of our national wealth and growth in the hands of those at the very top while giving almost nothing to those in the middle and actually stealing from those at the bottom, and arguing for policies that gave us three prior decades of broadly shared growth for everyone.

            1. Wage stagnation actually started in the 1970’s so you can’t blame it on Reagan. Considering Nixon was an avowed Keynesian, it seems like liberal economics are to blame, not tax cuts.

          2. Because everyone got richer but the top got more rich than everyone else seems to bum The Truth out, as if he has some claim to those top earners’ money.

            Hey The Truth, the supply of workers has not decreased. Efficiencies of scale have been gained. If it still took X people to create Y products maybe the salaries would remain relative. Since it doesn’t, and markets have become more global, well, the disparity is going to exist, and it is exasperated by the growth of government which harms the lower classes far more than the rich. If you want wealth redistribution because you feel “less than” I can’t help you. You’ll just have to piss off. If you want wealth redistribution because you have some claim to the wealth of others, then you could realize that is not the case. They owe you nothing. You could change your economic outlook, work harder and/or smarter and gain some of that capital you desire.

            1. Uh, not “everyone has become wealthier”, the middle has stagnated (the paltry 6% gain being wiped out by increased energy, education, and health costs) and the bottom has become poorer since we adopted right wing economic policies in the 80s.

              1. Show your work, or no credit will be awarded.

              2. When poor people have cell phones and personal computers and cars and HDTVs and cable and a dishwasher and toaster oven and a different change of clothes for every day of the week, yes the poor have gotten wealthier relative to their 1950’s counterparts, even if the money in their pocket adjusted for inflation is the same. Their purchasing power has gone up as those efficiencies of scale have made products they find useful more affordable. Their quality of life has improved.

                1. Cheap plastic crap! Yay for cheap plastic crap!

                  Who needs affordable college or a life free of credit card debt or affordable healthcare or job security when we have LOST OF CHEAP PLASTIC CRAP!?

                  1. If they can earn all the cheap plastic crap they want without a college degree maybe it isn’t worth what you think it is. Why should you decide what is valuable for other people? Health care costs are higher now for 2 reasons. 1) Govt regulation and restrictions and 2) New investments in making people live longer.

                  2. Weren’t you arguing the utility gained by being a union member, which is funny enough, in another post. And now you’re discounting the utility, the use of the word is still funny, of cheap plastic shit?

                    hmm… Me thinks you might not have a clue what you’re talking about. Next you’re going to tell me CPI is great for standard of living measures.

                  3. Lots of people are free of credit card debt. They are responsible people who did not choose to live beyond their means, but at least they like the cheap plastic crap you hate. So, for that, we thank them. Has it dawned on you that the poor you aim to help are not at all concerned with the things that would be required for them to live The Truth’s preferred life? Why can’t you just be honest that you’re appealing to their base desires in order to contribute en mass to your attempt to get stuff you didn’t earn from those that earned it?

                    1. Second sentence should read:

                      They are responsible people who did not choose to live beyond their means, but at least those that do have credit card debt like the cheap plastic crap you hate.

                2. Nick, Da Troof doesn’t look at technology and see wonders of human ingenuity and engineering, all that he sees in his spittle flying rage is CHEAP PLASTIC CRAP. He is so blinded by his class envy that he can’t be told that at his fingertips is more information than the richest man on the planet would have had access to only 20 years ago.

                  No, he just bangs out on his cheap plastic computer the cheap plastic talking points of class warfare.

                  Yawn.

              3. People still want to immigrate to America, not Sweden or China.

                1. I do not disagree with spirit of your comment, but people do want to immigrate to Sweden. The Swedes just don’t want them. At least when my sister lived their some years ago, there were many immigrant Turks.

                  North Koreans move to China, but I don’t know if immigration is the proper term; more like fleeing.

                  1. Yes there some people who have aspirations to live the Swedish “dream” of having free education etc. but they are completely outnumbered by those that would rather live in America.

                    1. Yes there some people who have aspirations to live the Swedish “dream” of having free education etc.

                      I don;lt know if the Turks came directly from Turkey or had lived in Germany and then moved to Sweden. My sister was amazed how openly racist the Swedes were.

                    2. Sweden has always been a somewhat insular nation, so their distrust to outsiders is somewhat understood.

                      But beyond that, because of their high socialism levels, the new arrivals can often live of state funds relatively easy, obviously the natives will not look to kindly on this. This is one of the major problems with socialism, when different groups are competing for the same government resources, things can get nasty between those groups.

        3. Why do you think health care and college got so expensive? It couldn’t have anything to do with the federal government’s inflationary policies related to Medicare/Medicaid or subsidized loans could it?

    6. I should know better than to try to explain reality to simple minded wealth redistributionists, but WTF, I’ll give it a try.

      The size of the average American family has shrunk over the last three decades, but perhaps surprisingly, the average family home has ballooned in size.

      The average single family home was 2,349 square feet in 2004, compared to 1,695 square feet in 1974. The size of the kitchen alone has doubled to nearly 300 square feet. Ground-floor ceilings have grown by more than a foot, and bedrooms are now an average of 12 feet by 12 feet, compared to 9 feet by 10 feet 30 years ago.

      That’s more home for less people. Today’s average family size is 2.6 people. Then, it was 3.1 people.

      From here.

      Talk to me about living standard stagnation in light of those simple facts.

      1. What’s the average debt load?

        The average number of foreclosures and bankruptices?

        BTW, personal median income? That’s also stagnated since 1970:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…..ted_States

        1. Your assertion is that as people’s income has stagnated in real terms but they somehow moved into larger dwellings during a period when government fueled home prices outstripped inflation?

          The standard of living, e.g. how much we eat, where we eat it (we dine out way more than we used to), how big is our house, how many cars, TVs and swimming pools we own, and how long we live has all gone up over the last 40 years.

          Basically you are envious of the wealthy and think that some of their money should be redistributed to make life “fairer” so you trot out long discredited arguments to try to convince the weak-minded.

    7. Considering inflationary monetary policy tends to benefit the rich and well connected at the expense of everyone else, maybe you should start examining the role the federal reserve played in creating the economic inequality you liberals are so obsessed with.

  27. being drunk in the passenger seat of a private automobile is easily “public intoxication”.

    Well, duh. Next you’ll tell me a guy on a bicycle shouldn’t be charged with DUI based on the flimsy excuse that the bike doesn’t have a motor, and its operation is not covered in any way by the state-issued Motor Vehicle Operator’s License.

    Gwet with the program, wouldja?

  28. TLAAAAAAAAAAAINS!!!

    1. Horrrywooood!

  29. Well, the government shutdown may not affect me, apparently. I’m paid under Army Working Capital Fund, and many defense employees are paid under some Working Capital Fund, so they would likely be unaffected by a shutdown.

    I know the Democrats were trying to put the blame on the Republicans, but the Democrats had the perfect opportunity between September and mid-January to pass a budget before the Republicans took power in the House. This is a political ploy, and they knew full well that it was coming to this. Oh well, we do need severe cuts in the government to get a budget surplus and start paying off this massive debt.

    1. September and mid january? They were required to have the budget passed by September, the budget year begins in October. They are almost 6 months into the fiscal year without a budget – this with unassailable control of both houses of congress and the presidency. Nobody is commenting on it much, but that has to be the most remarkable failure of any elected government in US history.

      Really the only way it makes sense is that they saw the handwriting on the wall with all of the Tea Party rallies and wanted to push off another budget so they could claim that the Republicans drove up the deficit for 3 of Obama’s 4 budgets (by having control of the House for 2 years).

      But to your point, if the Dems really wanted to cut (or raise) spending (or taxes) they could have done so not only for the current fiscal year, but also for FY 2011 beginning in October. They could have set everything in stone for half the term of the new congress before they even showed up on Capitol Hill. I guess they didn’t really want those tax increases and spending cuts they keep talking about…

  30. Budget battle could result in government shutdown.

    We’ll still have roads though, right?

  31. I haven’t looked at one in awhile, but I seem to recall that if you are found guilty of a crime, you have to repay the costs of defense out of your own pocket.

    I think that’s right, R C, but I left it out because I wasn’t sure.

    My expectation would be that, like fire insurance which doesn’t pay off if *you* set the fire, the Director’s policy and the Pol’s policy would only pay off in the event the accusations were disproved in court.

  32. Last known WWI veteran dies at 110.

    Wrong. Last American WWI vetran dies at 110. There are still non-American WWI verts alive (Claude Choules).

    1. You-know-who’s body was never found, either.

      1. Jimmy Hoffa fought in WWI?

      2. I thought it came out that the Russians did find Hitler’s body.

        They still have Hoffa’s.

  33. That’s the last known American veteran of WWI, right?

  34. Oops, see I’ve been preempted.

    1. There’s also a female veteran, Florence Green,from the Women’s Royal Air Force. I didn’t know there was a Women’s Royal Air Force.

      That seems to be be it.

  35. Here’s a good one.

    NH is discussing making part of the TSA screening process a tier III level sex offense.

    http://www.wmur.com/r/27035604/detail.html

  36. When poor people have cell phones and personal computers and cars and HDTVs and cable and a dishwasher and toaster oven and a different change of clothes for every day of the week

    When they have all that, they are fucking NOT POOR. They are, by historical standards, reasonably well-to-do if not outright rich, depending on which year in history you compare them to, however the government tries to move the goalposts, for political reasons, of the people they define as “poor”.

  37. Well, the government shutdown may not affect me

    It is NOT a “government shutdown” when the only government workers not working are the ones deemed non-essential. When that happens, it is a “laudable improvement in government efficiency that ought to be made permanent and carried further.”

    If the Republicans in the House weren’t statist big-government pussies, they should be welcoming this alleged “shutdown” and dragging it out for as long as possible, making hard-core demands for budget cuts that the Democrats won’t accept, until the cognitive dissonance makes non-government employees have the epiphany that their lives aren’t substantially harmed by big chunks of the government going away.

    1. They don’t even really do “non-essential”. They only stop services that are likely to get bad press and cause irritation with the voting public. As long as entitlement checks are going out the door, there’s no shutdown. A true “shutdown” would put them to work getting a budget out the door so fast it would make your head swim. No way they’d last a week with Social Security checks on hold.

    2. I’d love to have a few months of an actual government “shutdown.” Because, at the end, you could always say, “See? We survived.”

      I’d also make a really major issue out of any attempts by the government to get a public reaction by shutting down popular programs for the sole purpose of making it look like the government is actually strapped. Like the states and municipalities do when they play the drama queen by closing schools and libraries.

  38. FBI memo: Ted Kennedy once attempted to rent out an entire Chilean brothel.

    “Attempted”?! What kind of sorry-ass Kennedy only attempts to rent out a brothel.

    1. The dumber, younger brother. Duh.

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