Reason Morning Links: Union Bill Passes Wisconsin Senate, Illinois Bans the Death Penalty, Dalai Lama Calls It Quits

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    1. Also 2nd, 9th, 11th, 12th…

  1. Wisconsin Republicans pass union bill without Democratic senators.

    Serves them right for not being there to be defeated!

    1. To all the Wisconsin Democratic Senators I say, “Sucka my dick!”

      1. I’m waiting for leftists who supported the parliamentary tricks used to pass Obamacare to come on here and oppose stripping out fiscal measures from a bill to lower the quorum requirements and thus pass the public-union-limiting bill.

        1. Right after the cons who bitched and moaned about ‘deemed and pass’ denounce such tricks now that they like the result…

          1. The possibility of passing non-fiscal legislation without the Democrats being present has been discussed since the first day of the walk-out of the Democrats in the Senate.

            Anyone who finds this action “unexpected” is too stupid to function in the modern world.

          2. So, do you now oppose how Obamacare was passed, MNG?

            Or do you support that, but denounce how the Wisconsin GOP got their bill through?

            1. Do you now support how Obamacare was passed? If I did a searchee thing over there in the right hand corner would I find prolfeed bitching about ‘parlimentary tricks?’

              For the record from day one I said it was silly to block the vote either by ‘occupying’ the capitol or lawmakers fleeing the state.

              1. They’re not comparable. Filibustering is a legitimate use of Senate rules. Fleeing a jurisdiction to deny quorum is not.

                I don’t recall Mitch McConnell hiding out in Costa Rica when the health care bill passed; do you?

                1. If the rules require a quorum to pass a bill then not being part of a quorum to block the bill strikes me as working within the rules. In what way is it ‘not legitimate?’

                  1. If you do that, you better make sure you’re actually denying a quorum for all business.

                  2. If it is legitimate why is it legal for the cops to nab them when they re-enter the state?

                    I would see it as legit if they could pull this move but not have to leave the state.

                  3. In what way is it ‘not legitimate?’

                    The state constitution gives the state senate leadership the power to compel absent senators to attend so as to meet quorum.

                    I don’t think the US Senate’s leadership has the power to compel filibustering senators to vote to end debate.

                  4. The WI constitution explicitly says that the legislatures can compel attendance if it doesn’t have quorum by means specified by the legislature in question. The Senate Dems got away with it because there is there isn’t a measure within the power of the WI Senate that can physically force someone to come to WI from another state if they haven’t committed a crime, but it was a clear violation of the legislature’s rules and they did get fined for it.

        2. prole, I dont see the connection. There was no trick in Wisconsin. They have been passing other non-fiscal bills while the Flee Party is away. So, they passed a non-fiscal bill — I prefer this anyway, too much normally gets packed into a single bill.

          1. The maneuver in Wisconsin was considerably less convoluted than the stuff used to pass Obamacare. Splitting a bill into two parts to avoid quorum requirements is not nearly as complicated as the “deem and pass” crap and reconciliation that was used for Obamacare.

            I was commenting more on the expected hypocrisy-fest from liberals.

            1. Oh I see, already on the bike and pedaling…

              1. Shorter prole: The parlimentary tricks that reached the result I liked are totally different than the ones that reached the result I did not!

                1. Two can play at that game!

                  1. More like one, I never endorsed blocking the vote. Go look, I’m sure prole has…

                    1. “Go look, I’m sure prole has…”

                      My, how you do flatter yourself.

                2. Splitting off fiscal parts of a bill to simplify a bill so it has a lower quorum requirement is a much simpler version of the maneuvering that occurred with Obamacare.

                3. But you started it.

              2. If by “backpedaling” you mean “pointing out the specific differences between two dissimilar things”, then sure.

                Or if you mean by that “clarifying that I was pointing out the expected hypocrisy of others, while not engaging in it myself, as a search in the right hand corner would reveal”, then sure.

            2. Deem and pass was complete bullshit, and I dont say that because of Obamacare, I would say the same if it was used to pass something I supported.

              The Wisconsin move was straight forward and well within the rules if you are going to have different quorum rules for different types of bills.

              1. We get it, you liked the result in one case and not the other.

                1. Re: MNG,

                  We get it, you liked the result in one case and not the other.

                  I thought you would appreciate actions that are justified by utilitarian ethics. If in the end it was a good thing to bust the unions, or was deemed a good end, then why are you bitching about the means?

                  Unless, of course, your whole utilitarian pose was just that… a pose.

                  Let me tell you that the contracts between the unions and the government were not valid from the very beginning, as they involve an unwitting 3rd party – the taxpayer – in the deal. So whatever the two groups of leeches do or not or how they do it is no concern of mine as long as the 3rd party is totally spared from the invalid contractual agreement he or she was made part of.

                  1. I guess you didn’t read this comment upthread:

                    For the record from day one I said it was silly to block the vote either by ‘occupying’ the capitol or lawmakers fleeing the state.

                    I’m fine with playing by the rules, hey, that’s how things are played. Filibusters, quorum rules (and ways around them), deem and pass, some rules I’d like to see changed, some not, but everyone can avail themselves of them as long as they are in effect.

                    “the contracts between the unions and the government were not valid from the very beginning, as they involve an unwitting 3rd party – the taxpayer”

                    The taxpayer is not unwitting, the periodically choose the agents who make these deals in their name or the shareholder who chooses a BOD to pick management to make deals with their money. They are no more unwitting than one who employs an agent in some other respect.

                    1. Re: MNG,

                      The taxpayer is not unwitting, the periodically choose the agents who make these deals in their name or the shareholder who chooses a BOD to pick management to make deals with their money.

                      The taxpayers don’t select their ‘agents’ anymore than they select their ‘singer’ on American Idol. That is utterly false.

                      Unless something really miraculous happened in the last 6000 years, politicians NEVER tell their constituents which deals they plan to do with special interests. Your ‘agent’ analogy misses the mark by a wide and hypocritical margin.

                    2. I don’t have to be a shareholder of anything, but to date, the State of New York and federal government have not allowed me to opt out of being a taxpayer. Analogy fail.

  2. Word

  3. Six-Figure Bus Drivers & Other Working-Class Heroes
    Ann Coulter

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42215#

    Can we stop acting as if people who work for the government are the heroes of working people?

    Fine, we understand that Wisconsin public sector employees like the system that pays them an average of $76,500 per year, with splendiferous benefits, and are fighting like wildcats against any proposed reforms to that system. But it’s madness to keep treating people who are promoting their own self-interest as if they are James Meredith walking into the University of Mississippi.

    This isn’t how we usually view people fighting for their own economic interests.

    When Wall Street opposes financial reforms or a tobacco company opposes new cigarette taxes, no one hails them as “working men and women” who “deserve a decent pay and decent retirement.” We’re not told Wall Street has a “fundamental right” not to be regulated, or tobacco companies promoting their own interests are just trying to “help working people and middle-class people retain a good job in America.” People on the other side of the issue aren’t said to be “just trying to kick the other guy in the shin and exterminate him.”

    And yet all that was said by the Democratic governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, on MSNBC’s “Hardball” last week, about government workers fighting to preserve their own Alex Rodriguez-like employment contracts.

    […]

    MSNBC is covering the fight in Wisconsin as if it’s the 9/11 attack — and the Republicans are al-Qaida. Its entire prime-time schedule is dedicated to portraying self- interested government employees as if they’re Marines taking on the Taliban. The network’s Ed Schultz bellows that it is “morally wrong” to oppose the demands of government employees.

    Yes, and I guess pornographers are noble when they launch a full-scale offensive against obscenity laws.

    Ba-rum-bum!


    1. Yes, and I guess pornographers are noble when they launch a full-scale offensive against obscenity laws.

      They are, Fuck you Ann Coulter.

      1. Well, she has a point – they’re not particularly noble, just self-interested. Same with the unionized leeches.

        1. They do have the advantage of being right, though.

          1. Of course, the pornographers defending the 1A are defending a right that is enjoyed by all of us.

            The unionistas fighting for their perks and privileges, not so much.

            1. Anyone is as free to try and form a union and enjoy its benefits as they are to purchase pornography RC.

              1. Yes, they are. And for the thousandth time, the employer is free to tell them to piss up a rope come CBA time.

                1. You do realize that under collective bargaining employers are free to decline any and all union offers? They’re doing it now in the NFL. It only requires them to bargain in good faith.

                  1. If NFL plays spent enormous amounts of money to elect the team owners that sat across the negotiating table, you might have a point to make.

                    1. Suddenly we realize the importance of campaign spending!

                    2. I know it’s subtle MNG, but please pay attention.

                      Corporations and private unions can spend as much money as they want to influence the people that define the rules that corporations and private unions work on.

                      Public unions spending money to influence their direct employers is incestuous.

                  2. MNG:
                    “. It only requires them to bargain in good faith.”

                    But see, that’s not really a requirement, right MNG? Sorta like not rape-rape?

              2. But not everyone is free to have their union take money from all taxpayers. How do you keep missing that point???

                1. But this is not a problem with unions or even public employee unions, it is a problem with government employees period. Even in libertopia you’re going to have people whom you are paid with money taken from taxpayers, unless you are going to fund courts and police through bake sales.

                  1. Fund the police through bake sales? Hell, they’d eat up all the profits!

                    1. I know we brought 12 dozen doughnuts! Why the fuck did we only take in $1.83?

              3. Anyone should be free to form a union, so long as I’m not forced to buy their product.
                Simple.

                1. Or what gB said. These poor ol’ fingers can’t fly like they used to.

              4. Re: MNG,

                Anyone is as free to try and form a union and enjoy its benefits[…]

                And by the same token, anyone that does NOT want to be part of a union should be able to work without creepy people harrasing his wife and kids on the parking lot of Walmart.

                1. You should be free from people exercising their free speech rights? Or just creepy people (so those tea party rallies are out I guess)?

                  1. Re: MNG,

                    You should be free from people exercising their free speech rights?

                    “Hey, missy, you knows your husbands there don’t want to play ball with us. Tell him he eithers gets on board with us or, well, it would be a shame such a pretty thing here finds herself in trouble, wih kids and all, ya know?”

                    I think we’re getting the creepy side of MNG this morning…

                    1. Some union members have been shown to be thugs, therefore all unions and their members are bad and need their rights curtailed.

                      Some gun owners have been shown to be thugs…

                      Some corporate members….

                      You can do the rest I imagine…

                    2. Re: MNG,

                      Some union members have been shown to be thugs, therefore all unions and their members are bad and need their rights curtailed.

                      Excuse me – what rights? Nobody is taking away the right of people to assemble into a Union. What they’re taking away from the unions is their monopoly status. That’s not a right.

                      So don’t bring these false analogies here.

                    3. You should really set up your own goal post moving company given your long experience in the area.

                    4. Pot…. Meet kettle.

                      OM:”anyone that does NOT want to be part of a union should be able to work without creepy people harrasing his wife and kids on the parking lot of Walmart.”

                      “You should be free from people exercising their free speech rights?

                      That ain’t moving the goal posts… in MNG’s mind.

                    5. When you are in a union, the members inherently defend each other, therefore by some union members being thugs, since they are not immediately rooted out, make all union members in that particular union thugs.

                      If I own a gun and someone else with a gun shoots someone, I am not guilty simply by owning a same or similar product. Your analogy failures are piling up.

                2. OM – actually, the proper analogy is any employer is free to not negotiate with a union, and that is what the state of Wisconsin did. Its board of directors (legislature) decided to not negotiate with unions except in very specific cases.

            2. The problem with Porn unions is the rules about seniority–unless you’re into granny porn.

            3. But but but . . . the chillinz.

    2. Unfortunately most people won’t make it past the byline here. It’s a good point that needs to be made more often, but as soon as one reads “By Ann Coulter” the switch will flip and they’ll either be entirely against the article or entirely for it.

      1. If I read Ann Coulter, it’s not to seriously consider what she wrote. I’ll give her the same consideration as Michael Moore, Michelle Malkin, Joseph Farah…

    3. Too bad it’s Ann Coulter writing that. Most people will see her name and not bother reading the rest of it. Hell, I wouldn’t have bothered reading it if you hadn’t posted it here.

      1. Whooo!!! Scorecard, MSL! hahaha

    4. “government workers fighting to preserve their own Alex Rodriguez-like employment contracts.”

      It’s this kind of thing John Stewart was making fun of btw…You fat cat teachers with your MLB style contracts! Sheesh, if anyone has MLB style contracts it is defense contractors, but nary a peep from fiscal hawks like Coulter on that subject.

      With common sense exceptions…

      1. You might be able to argue that defense contractors are actually delivering on their lavish contracts while teachers not so much.

        Just an argument not a view. 🙂

        1. 500 dollar toilet seats better deliver!

          1. Five hundred toilet seats for just a dollar apiece? That’s cheap, dude.

          2. Jesus what a cunt. That’s like a 20 year old occurance. That the best you got?

            1. You’re kidding, right pipsqueak? There have been no equivalents of 500 dollar toilet seats in military spending in the past 20 years?

              You’re name bespeaks your tiny, impotent anger. Let the big people talk and go watch Nick Jr. or Fox.

              1. You’re name bespeaks your tiny, impotent anger.

                Every time I see his handle, I think of Great Expectations. And backgammon.

              2. “There have been no equivalents of 500 dollar toilt seats in military spending in the past 20 years?”

                In Pip’s defense, MNG, it is your argument and therefore your job to find a more current example.

          3. “500 dollar toilet seats better deliver!”

            When did MNG all of a sudden start making free market arguments?

          4. Of course, the old “500-dollar toilet seat” meme was never fully true from day one.

            What nobody bothered to report were the full facts of the situation. It was not just your standard, go-to-Home-Depot-and-buy-one home toilet seat.

            It was a seat for a particular military aircraft, which no longer was manufactured. It could not take just a standard hardware-store toilet seat, so they had to make one from custom molds.

            It’s a popular meme, though, and it makes for great, rage-generating headlines, so of course, it continues to be repeated, even decades after the original shoddy reporting.

              1. Whatever is the truth about overpriced defence contractor goods, it probably says more about the government rules, not the contractors.

            1. Of course, the old “500-dollar toilet seat” meme was never fully true from day one.

              What nobody bothered to report were the full facts of the situation. It was not just your standard, go-to-Home-Depot-and-buy-one home toilet seat.

              It was a seat for a particular military aircraft, which no longer was manufactured. It could not take just a standard hardware-store toilet seat, so they had to make one from custom molds.

              It’s a popular meme, though, and it makes for great, rage-generating headlines, so of course, it continues to be repeated, even decades after the original shoddy reporting.

              I can’t agree with this argument for the sole fact that the price bears no reflection to a true market value, merely an arbitrary price determined by government officials. Possibly the price would reflect a market value under competition and multiple buyers, but we can’t know this.

              1. What they need a seat for anyhow? Let the fuckers squat.

          5. Don’t they use those kinds of things to hide their intelligence budgets?

          6. Well you get a $500 toilet seat with defense contractors and retarded societal drain with our union teachers.

            So in one instance you receive property in the other you receive a liability.

      2. This is exactly why I don’t take anything Coulter says seriously, on this issue or anywhere else.

        Well played, MNG. I agree with you here.

        Still think you have your head in the sand re: public sector unions, though.

    5. “it’s madness to keep treating people who are promoting their own self-interest as if they are James Meredith walking into the University of Mississippi.”

      Wait a minute,

      1. James Meredith wasn’t pursuing his own interests in trying to attend UM?
      2. Pursuing your own interests is not noble?

      1. 2. Pursuing your own interests is not noble?

        Are you turning into an Objectivist, MNG?

        “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand

        Short answer: pursuing your self-interest IS noble if your self-interest doesn’t involve using coercion or the initiation of force, with getting paid via money stolen using involuntary taxation most definitely being an ignoble initiation of force.

        1. So everyone who contracts with the government, every soldier who recieves a paycheck from Uncle Sam (which collects at least some of it from pacifists who don’t want it going there but are forced to give anyway), they are in that category too?

          1. Yes. Did you forget your audience, MNG? For the bazillionth time we aren’t Republicans. In fact, most of us here would be OK with the no standing army militia defenses that would be successful all the way up to the LRBM era and after that we still just need missile defense systems that could probably be funded voluntarily. Lots of people in this country don’t want to be nuked. Freeriders (I’m looking at you, Canada) are a minor problem in that regard.

            1. Freeriders? Why in hell would anyone bother to nuke Canada?

              1. Because they hate us for our freedom? Oh, you’re right. Nevermind.

      2. Re: MNG,

        Wait a minute,

        Like heroes, MNG. “Treating them like heroes,” that is what she means – don’t play dumb.

        1. Standing up for your own self-interests is not heroic?

          1. Re: MNG,

            Standing up for your own self-interests is not heroic?

            Not to Tony, at least – he says that not paying taxes is (get this) stealing. Yet I cannot think of a more heoric way of fighting for your own interests. What do YOU think???

            1. Since you asked I’d say not paying taxes is certainly more mala prohibita than mala en se. I find systems of taxation similar to systems of property rights, they tend to serve utilitarian goals, though I think of the former as more of a necessary evil.

              1. Re: MNG,

                Since you asked I’d say not paying taxes is certainly more mala prohibita than mala en se.

                Yes, yes – government says it ain’t stealing to tax, it’s stealing not to pay. Yes, yes, that’s the Tony-esque argument. Is it heroic to tell the government to go fuck itself, or is it not? Is the act itself motivated by self-interest, or by selflessness?

                The point of Coulter’s article is that pundits are pretty selective on who they deem ‘heroic’ even when the people they deem ‘heroic’ are not particularly behaving in some selfless way. A person rescuing a puppy from a freezing lake is a selfless (and terribly stupid) act, whereas unionized leeches protesting to keep their leeching is not particularly selfless.

      3. “it’s madness to keep treating people who are promoting their own self-interest as if they are James Meredith walking into the University of Mississippi.”

        Wait a minute,

        1. James Meredith wasn’t pursuing his own interests in trying to attend UM?
        2. Pursuing your own interests is not noble?

        No argument with your post, MNG. Coulter is the typical person who believes that individuals should act altuistically for certain causes; for her it would be God, Country and Family Values. This belief system trickles into her polemics to produce the above confused sentence.

  4. Julianne Moore to play Sarah Palin in HBO movie about 2008 campaign.

    Bill Maher to write the script with his own objective insight.

    1. If Richard Dreyfuss doesn’t play McCain I will be sorely disappointed.

      1. Perfect!

        1. With Denzel Washington as Obama, and Craig T. Neslon as Biden. Done and done.

    2. A bit odd, isn’t it? The Hollywood left wants to do a movie about what is essentially ancient history, politically speaking, just in time for the 2012 election. I wonder if it will be another Mikey Moore docu-lie?

      1. ancient history

        You rang?

      2. I hope the producers thank Citizens United in the credits, for paving the way for them to commit the bold act of mentioning a politician’s name within six months of an election.

      3. The funny part is that they are doing this film to take down Palin…who isn’t even running for POTUS.

        1. who isn’t even running for POTUS.

          Yet. Pre-emptive strike.

    3. As long as Julianne dresses like she did in Boogie Nights, I’m down with this.

      1. As long as she behaved as she did in Boogie Nights, I’d be even more down with it.

      2. I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin has already been Rule 34’d

        1. I will confirm this to be true, and with satisfactory results. Nailin’ Palin lesbian 3 ways are easy enough to find.

    4. It’s the rare occasion where a Hollywood actor/actress is less attractive than the real-life person they are playing. At least she’s a good actress.

    5. Bill Maher to write the script with his own objective insight.

      He’s a libertarian, ya know?

      I kid! I kid!

  5. The Dalai Lama quits politics.

    Finally! Now we can let China invade Tibet they way it was meant to be all along.

  6. Newt Gingrich says love for America made him cheat on his wives.

    And who can argue with THAT?

    1. And then I shot myself in the *other* foot!

    2. What, did he put a flag over their faces so he could do it for his country?

      1. Strangely enough, i bet they all laid back and thought of England.

    3. Public office can be such a burden. You peons plebes could never imagine.

    4. Newt was specifically referring to America Ferrera.

  7. Well, I guess that whole “We won, get over it” thing works both ways, don’t it? Honestly, I’m surprised the WI GOP didn’t do this before now.

    1. I guess it took a while before some policy wonk who is smarter than the actual senators pointed out that they could pass everything they wanted if they took it in two bites instead of one.

    2. The nuclear option was pointed and being discussed by all sorts of high-profile commenters.

      I think the Repubs just made a bad political call here, believing that

      (1) it would be better to put it through on a pure party line vote with the Dems present (I’ve never understood that,

      (2) they could win the PR war (as if the union-friendly media would ever let that happen, and

      (3) that the Dems would come home after a few days.

      1. Whatever the short-term blowback, this has got to help the Wisconsin GOP in the long run unless the bill gets overturned in the future, which would require a Democratic majority in both Chambers and a Democratic governor. Dunno if the blowback will be that stringent.

  8. Your flying car is coming.

    I don’t want a tiny airplane that doubles as an automobile. I want a levitating car that doesn’t need wings or propeller or any of that physics shit.

      1. “Last night I held Aladdin’s lamp
        And so I wished that I could stay
        Before the thing could answer me
        Well, someone came and took the lamp away
        I looked around, a lousy candle’s all I found”

        (Props to John Kay.)

        1. That’s what he was singing that whole time?

          1. I had the exact same thought.

            I never could decipher those lyrics. Nearly as bad as Curt Kobain.

            1. Hey, what about me ?

              1. I’ve never had a problem comprehending your lyrics, Mr. Fogarty.

      2. Yeah, while I’m tooling around in my airborne ride, I’d rather not be profiled as a terrorist, thank you very much.

    1. Physics is for punk-ass bitches.

      1. Now you’re channeling Charlie Sheen. Did you know he can walk through walls, levitate and transcend time, space and dimension?

        1. So can my penis. At night. When I’m alseep. It travels the world, righting wrongs and striking down the wicked. I love my penis.

          1. Obligatory pop culture reference.

            I woke up this morning with a bad hangover
            And my penis was missing again.
            This happens all the time.
            It’s detachable.

            [background singing begins: “detachable penis” over and over]

            This comes in handy a lot of the time.
            I can leave it home, when I think it’s gonna get me in trouble,
            or I can rent it out, when I don’t need it.
            But now and then I go to a party, get drunk,
            and the next morning I can’t for the life of me
            remember what I did with it.
            First I looked around my apartment, and I couldn’t find it.
            So I called up the place where the party was,
            they hadn’t seen it either.
            I asked them to check the medicine cabinet
            ’cause for some reason I leave it there sometimes
            But not this time.
            So I told them if it pops up to let me know.
            I called a few people who were at the party,
            but they were no help either.
            I was starting to get desperate.
            I really don’t like being without my penis for too long.
            It makes me feel like less of a man,
            and I really hate having to sit down every time I take a leak.
            After a few hours of searching the house,
            and calling everyone I could think of,
            I was starting to get very depressed,
            so I went to the Kiev, and ate breakfast.
            Then, as I walked down Second Avenue towards St. Mark’s Place,
            where all those people sell used books and other junk on the street,
            I saw my penis lying on a blanket
            next to a broken toaster oven.
            Some guy was selling it.
            I had to buy it off him.
            He wanted twenty-two bucks, but I talked him down to seventeen.
            I took it home, washed it off,
            and put it back on. I was happy again. Complete.
            People sometimes tell me I should get it permanently attached,
            but I don’t know.
            Even though sometimes it’s a pain in the ass,
            I like having a detachable penis.

            [background voices continue to sing “detachable penis” for
            a while, then out]

        2. Now you’re channeling Charlie Sheen. Did you know he can walk through walls, levitate and transcend time, space and dimension?

          So, you’re saying he’s a Scientologist now?

    2. So the real question here is whether or not the folded wings will fit under a McDonald’s drive-through.

      1. That’s not that important because future drive-INS will have robotic carhops. The important thin is whether the flying car can dock directly to one’s levitating house.

        1. The important thing is whether the carhop, robotic or otherwise, can dock to what I got levitating.

    3. I’d be okay with a flying car such as this if it opens up the daily commute. Unfortunately, the Airway police would probably have a problem with me trying to circumvent the system… that’s the only reason that I can see we haven’t had this sort of thing sooner.

    4. The problem has never been making flying cars. It’s selling them.

      You don’t think this would apply to, say, hybrid or all-electric cars, do you? No? They’re ompletely different, right?

  9. BBC journalists say they were tortured in Libya.

    They were made to watch old Channel 4 reruns! The bastards!

  10. The Greatest Country On Earth.

    The comments… oh the comments…

    1. The Hindu oppressors beat Africans to death for smoking marijuana.Souns like Progressivotopia.

    2. “The reason we can’t afford to give everyone good education and health care is because we have millions of chainsmoking, overeating, underactive people drinking mountain dew and watching tv, whose health problems make up half the cost of our nations health care. I agree with Mike Huckabee who said we have a ‘health crisis’, probly as well as a health care crisis. We would be a greater country if we took a little better care of ourselves, focused on sustainable agriculture and family, and getting different sources of energy rolling.”
      From “Guest”

      1. Guest? Who the hell was that – Tony?

      2. And yet people who feel as Huckabee and Michelle Obama do about obesity and health don’t want freedom and a free market in health care which would force those unhealthy people to shape up or pay more. Morons.

      3. “Guest” is full of shit. Smokers and fat people end up saving society money in the long run because they die earlier and use less SS and Medicare.

        1. Hm. Do I detect a possible solution to our SS and Medicare funding problems? Early death expiration. A stroke of genius, my man!

    3. First, the question is not whether we can afford to provide health care or education for all or ensure widespread homeownership.

      Why no mention about the QUALITY of health care, education, and housing the people are receiving. I’m sure that was simply an omission on the author’s part.

      1. “Here’s your Scotchgarded cardboard box and a box of Band-Aids. Now you’re a homeowner and have healthcare!”

      2. Well we did ensure widespread home ownership. And look how great it worked out!

        Yes we did!

    4. [Comment by a Mauritian:] i mean, why would people leave MRU to go live and work in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France if these countries were to learn from MRU in the first place ?

      Global warming.

    5. Actually, I can get behind some of this article. According to the CIA factbook, Mauritius spends 3.4% of GDP on education compared to 5.5% for the US. I say we cut education spending down to 3.4%. If Mauritius can do it, so can the US, right? Isn’t that the point of the article? Oh, and their public debt as a percentage of GDP is only 60.5% compared to almost 100% for the US. I say we follow their lead and cut government spending by a third. If Mauritius can do it, so can we! I’m sure Joe Stiglitz will be on board with that. Joe?… Joe?…Where’d he go?

      1. I’m sure Mauritius U has an outstanding hospitality school, but they don’t seem to be the epicenter of tomorrow’s tech boom.

  11. Apparently Slate doesn’t have any balls.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2287739/

    1. Just finished reading that myself. Manjoo completely discounts the fact that crazed stalkers attach themselves to websites and harass the posters.

      1. Manjoo also completely discounts how easy it is to set up a fake Facebook account. It’s not like Facebook does any verification of what I tell them. Hell, I think go set up an account for a person named Farhad T. Manjoo and start commenting over at Slate.

      2. I guess Farhad never bothered to read Primary Colors.

      3. But enough about MNG vis-a-vis John.

    2. If you’re engaging in private behavior?watching a movie online, posting a dating profile, gambling, or doing anything else that the whole world shouldn’t know about?I support and celebrate your right to anonymity. But posting a comment is a public act. You’re responding to an author who made his identity known, and your purpose, in posting the comment, is to inform the world of your point of view. If you want to do something so public, you are naturally ceding some measure of your privacy. If you’re not happy with that trade, don’t take part?keep your views to yourself.

      And Publius wept.

    3. Sights where the comments are in the wrong order are pretty much worthless. I’m pretty sure Slate would worthless even if they fixed their comments …. but still.

  12. World’s biggest private bond investor Bill Gross of PIMCO completely sells off all his U.S. government treasury holdings.

    1. I don’t own any bonds at all. I anticipate massive inflation once the double of the monetary supply gets unleashed on the marketplace and halves the value of the dollar.

      All those Wall Streeters who still think of U.S. Gov’t T-bills as the safest investment imaginable are delusional.

      1. Agreed. Anyone who would actually still buy a U.S. government bond is a complete and utter fool; the bondholders are going to be the first ones screwed over when the Bernanke Bubble collapses. You’re better off just putting your money in a CD.

        Gross is obviously a lot smarter than I had given him credit for.

      2. Same here. When interest rates cannot, mathematically, go any lower, the value of bonds cannot, mathematically, go any higher.

        I don’t think the pitiful yield on bonds even comes close to compensating me for the downside risk.

        Of course, thousands of professionals who have made billions with bonds apparently disagree.

        1. Of course, thousands of professionals who have made billions with bonds apparently disagree.

          If they’ve made billions by cashing out those bonds and replacing them with non-bond investments, then sure.

          If they have paper profits on bonds they haven’t cashed out, they may be in for a rude awakening, similar to those people who bought derivatives based on the supposedly “good” tranches of a pool of housing loans entirely composed of crappy loans to homebuyers who were sure to default.

        2. When interest rates cannot, mathematically, go any lower

          You say interest rates cant go negative?

          1. Because people would be better off stuffing their dollars into mattresses than investing them.

            1. This isn’t already the case?

          2. Bernanke can figure out a way. As long as the answer is “inflation”, he is very clever about how to get there. And the answer is always “inflation”, so the question isn’t really that important.

      3. All those Wall Streeters who still think of U.S. Gov’t T-bills as the safest investment imaginable are delusional.

        I was just talking with a math finance professor last week about this topic, that is, why a fundamental assumption of math finance is that any stable government’s bonds are risk-free (while things like gold are not). His argument was that it was valid because if the government defaults on its debt, we’ve got bigger problems than that assumption.

        Which begs leads to the question of whether math finance’s predictions based on this assumption has any validity in today’s world … because we’re damn close to those big problems.

        1. I’ve always hated that crap. US govmt has defaulted at least twice. 1933 and 1972. Redefining the dollar and paying the debt back with the changed definition counts as a default in my book.

      4. That was what boggled my mind; the market basically shrugged on this news, and is rallying on Treasuries today.

        Fucking inflation, how does it work?

        1. It works very well for those who get to spend the new money first.

  13. Newt Gingrich says love for America made him cheat on his wives.

    That’s one better than my devil dick made me do it

    1. My love for meth made me do a bare-back anal gangbang with everyone in my dealer’s rolodex. Ouchie!

      1. Other commenters have led me to believe that’s your job, rather, not an unfortunate outcome of your meth addiction.

        1. There’s a difference? *shrug*

      2. don’t use my handle bitch

        1. fuck of helle- go gte my cofee bich ..

          1. That’s right little bitch; I tell you what to do and you listen

            1. You got like multiple personality disorder or something?

              1. I have my own personal Kuato who lives up Helle’s ass

  14. Diorama Peeps? Show No, SF, it’s not that kinda Peep show.

    Most of them are pretty fun to look at until about number 8 or 9 when there’s an homage to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Get Moving” health and fitness extravaganza. Making a statement about health using one of Easter’s most iconic sugary snacks.

    Fuckin’ irony, how does it work?

      1. FRUCTOSIST!

        1. FRUCTOSIST!

          I’m a GALACTOIST, TYVM. Carbs are a necessary evil. Michele Obama told me so. (Ironic since fruits are chock full of simple and complex sugars).

          1. CHEMIST!!!

            1. Organic chemistry is for bitch-ass punks.

          2. more of a saccharin

    1. Disappointed there was no entry of peeps fighting orks or tyranids.

      1. +40,000

    2. Thanks for the link! My sister turned me on to this a couple yrs ago.

      Fave of all time was a “Bagpeep” band – fucking Scottish peeps for the win!

  15. He cheated on his wives, in part because he worked “too hard” for the country?

    “Too hard”? No. Nooo….

  16. # Wisconsin Republicans pass union bill without Democratic senators.
    “Analysts say the legislation would cripple most of the state’s public employee unions. “

    I love when you can clearly see the bias in an article. I love how it’s not some analysts or a majority of analysts, but just analysts. Which makes it sounds like all analysts see this as a CRIPPLING blow to unions.

    1. The response from Democrats in Illinois was sort of incoherent. “Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people,” said Wisconsin Senate minority leader Mark Miller. “Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.”

      Sure, right.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mUqZfTKM6M

    2. Dude, Walker and his supporters are pretty frank that they hope the bill cripples the unions. Similar provisions in Indiana made union membership fall off at incredible levels.

      1. Re: MNG,

        Dude, Walker and his supporters are pretty frank that they hope the bill cripples the unions.

        And that’s a bad thing… right?

        1. Different people will differ, but hmmm’s point was that it is somehow biased to say this result is likely. Pretty much all sides agree on that part.

      2. Oddly, the headlines announcing Obamacare’s passage didn’t proclaim that analysts thought it would cripple the private insurance industry.

      3. So, when people aren’t forced into a union, they don’t voluntarily join them at the same levels? Looks like freedom won in Indiana.

      4. Yeah, I’m not sure how that’s bias.

    3. “Analysts say the legislation would cripplemost of the state’s public employee unions. remove the onerous tax burden of the state’s citizens”

      1. Ah, so it was fiscally related after all!

        Pip, pip hooray!

  17. Neal Asher on Britain’s National No Smoking Day…

    It being ‘no smoking day’ today my first reaction was to roll myself a nice Old Holborn rollie and puff away contentedly. Luckily for them I’m not going anywhere today so won’t encounter any of the righteous pricks who are pushing this. Any requests to stub it out would have been immediately acceded to, right in the eye of the one asking.

    1. What a prefectly sophomoric response! It reminds me of those mature adults who, when encountering a vegetarian, start to loudly proclaim they would like a big, juicy hamburger right now…

      Look, smoking is unhealthy but worse gross and nasty. It’s as off-putting as chronic flatulence.

      1. Is it my imagination, or are peaceful anarchist libertarians getting more violent?

        1. It’s your imagination.

          1. Ah, so all the bloodthirsty rhetoric is mere posturing, bravado, a sort of cathartic acting-out? I understand.

      2. It reminds me of those mature adults who, when encountering a vegetarian, start to loudly proclaim they would like a big, juicy hamburger right now…

        If they were to act that way on Britain’s National Meat-Free Day in response to being hectored by a stranger, I would find it rather less sophomoric.

      3. Remember, kids: Conformity is maturity!

        1. That’s right, there is no middle ground between cowardly conformity and boorish rebellion.

          1. Wait. Isn’t this a democracy? Don’t we have to vote for one or the other?

            1. On a more serious note, in a world absolutely filled to the bursting with cowardly conformity, I will always cheer a bit of boorish rebellion.

      4. Can’t count how many times I’ve been kicked out of restaurants and workplaces for chronic flatulence.

  18. It seems they were able to get by the quorum requirement by stripping out the ‘fiscal’ measures. But I thought all the union measures WERE fiscal measures?

    1. Then you thought wrong.

      Fiscal measures aren’t anything that might, as a second order effect, impact on the state budget. If that were the case, everything would be “fiscal” and the term would mean nothing.

      Nope. Fiscal means something like “directly affects this year’s revenue or expenditure.”

      1. But all of these commenters and pundits and Walker himself when confronted with “well the unions are agreeing to wage and benefit cuts” kept saying “but all of the union rules are fiscal matters!”

        1. The union rules affect fiscal matters. That is not the same thing as saying that, for purely technical purposes, a bill is a non-fiscal bill for the purposes of determining quorum requirements for voting on it.

          A fiscal bill for that purpose is anything that appropriates funds, that says “we will steal this amount of money from the taxpayers without their consent to pay for this program.”

          Though they usually aren’t quite so blunt about what they are doing when “appropriating funds”.

          1. “we will steal this amount of money from the taxpayers without their consent”

            This is such a tired libertarian trope. We have periodic elections in which consent is assessed.

            What you want is for every individual to consent, free rider problems be damned.

            1. Of course, one way to minimize free rider problems without engaging in coercion is to reduce whatever it is you are doing that invites free riding.

              1. Let’s take a vote to see if MNG gets punched.
                (Too sophomoric?)

                1. Let’s take a vote to see if MNG gets punched.
                  (Too sophomoric?)

                  Not quite, but I would rather take a vote on which one of us gets to eat his food, drink his booze, screw his significant other, and sleep on his couch, all in the interest of “majority rules”. On principle, you know.

                2. Actually you would have to do that in Libertopia. For example, there would be a debate on copyright and intellectual property laws. If supporters passed such a law then you would empower somebody to ultimately punch the people who violated this law, even if they violated it because they objected to it and felt they didn’t ‘consent’ to it when they were outvoted.

                  So get off your high horse.

                  1. I was wavering, but now I’m sure which way I’m gonna vote.
                    Rand/Punch MNG In The Pie Hole in 2012!

                    1. Rand Paul.
                      I probably wouldn’t vote for Ayn Rand’s corpse.

                    2. She’d do less damage than I can do.

                    3. A legislature composed of entirely dead people would be an improvement.

                      Hard to appropriate funds due to difficulties mustering a quorum.

            2. We have periodic elections in which consent is assessed.

              And this is not a tired liberal trope?

            3. Word, MNG. Word.

            4. “This is such a tired libertarian trope. We have periodic elections in which consent is assessed.”

              No. We have periodic elections in which consent is falsely imputed to people despite their “no” votes or non-participation in the process.

            5. We have periodic elections in which consent is assessed.

              So much fail in this sentence.

              “We” — no, the government holds elections. I am not part of the government, and neither is anyone not employed by the government.

              “Consent” — no, members of the electorate don’t consent if they don’t vote, or vote for the losing person, or vote for the lesser of two evils in self-defense, or vote for someone who promises something and does the opposite. So, almost nobody consents to the results of the election.

              “assessed” — well, the votes are counted, but almost always the winner (didn’t vote / none of the above) has all their votes thrown out.

    2. Re: MNG,

      But I thought all the union measures WERE fiscal measures?

      No, they’re statutes.

  19. Somalia: now with CHEESE!

    1. Funny!

  20. Newt Gingrich says love for America made him cheat on his wives.

    Wow, Senators Ensign and Vitter must be some really patriotic motherfuckers!

  21. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03…..l?_r=1&hp;
    New Jersey’s public-sector unions routinely pressure the State Legislature to give them what they fail to win in contract talks. Most government workers pay nothing for health insurance. Concessions by school employees would have prevented any cuts in school programs last year.

    Statements like those are at the core of Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign to cut state spending by getting tougher on unions. They are not, however, accurate.

    “Clearly there has been a pattern of the governor playing fast and loose with the details,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University.

    1. Uh, the article never goes on to explain how those statements are false…it concentrates on some false statements on picayune matters of protocol. Two of the three cases they bring up are matters of whether he talked to someone at a particular time.

      But I do like this line:

      Political analysts, Democrats and even some of his Republican allies say that Mr. Christie could ? and sometimes does ? make most of his points without resorting to questionable claims. It is beyond dispute that New Jersey is in terrible financial shape, that the governor has made big cuts in spending, that the pension funds are headed for insolvency and that state workers pay little for generous health benefits compared with those in the private sector.

      Way to totally contradict the lede on page 3, NYT.

  22. I’m going to defend Christie here a bit, it’s the same defense I’ve made of people like Biden in the past in comparing her to Palin.

    If you talk a lot in unguarded situations and everything you say is recorded there will be gaffes to be publicized. Christie and Biden go out and answer questions from people and the press regularly, so they are going to mis-speak sometimes. The real problem is when you are like Palin, when you carefully guard every appearance and still are riddled with gaffes.

    I actually find a lot to like in Christie and his style.

    1. You don’t have to agree with Christie’s politics to concede he’s a stand up guy who (at least seems to) say what he really means and not what his handlers convinced him to say. If he keeps talking that way, he’ll be a shoe in for the White House.

      1. I think your first sentence is at odds with yours second. To our detriment.

  23. Gross is obviously a lot smarter than I had given him credit for.

    It would be interesting to see his bond sales overlaid on a timeline of his public comments.

  24. Will Ben Bernanke still be a genius when his vast portfolio of Treasury debt is worth sixty cents on the dollar?

  25. I wonder WTF happened to Gingrich. He used to be one of my favorite GOPers. He’s well educated and can be amazingly intelligent at times. Sure, he’s always been a bit partisan overkill, but he’s just gone nuts lately (the Mosque comments, the ‘anti-colonialist’ comments, and this stuff). Is the base making him do this, or has he always been such a panderer?

    1. Re: MNG,

      I wonder WTF happened to Gingrich.

      He was always the opportunist. He is very smart and very cultured, but his ethics were always suspect, especially when he left a very sick wife for his secretary.

      1. I at least hope his secretary was hotter than Clinton’s intern…

        Now if Kucinich left his wife then we could question his morals and his eyesight/intelligence.

      2. especially when he left a very sick wife for his secretary.

        GingrichCare? Pa-tooey! A pox on his house (and other things) AFAIAC. Ethics matter.

        1. Wait – Under GingrichCare, would we all get a hot new spouse when our old one got sick?
          Hmmmmm.

          1. Wait – Under GingrichCare, would we all get a hot new spouse when our old one got sick?
            Hmmmmm.

            Careful there trigger, that cudgel swings both ways. You’ll get old and infirm at some point as well. However, since males die younger than females, it balances out, I suppose. Instead of a mandate, GingrichCare would discriminate against those that can’t procreate and the riff raff as well. Excepting the politicians, of course. Sanger…Holmes.

    2. Is the base making him do this, or has he always been such a panderer?

      Considering his “conversion” to eco-theology (Iowa pandering anyone?), I would think nuts. He wants to be POTUS, but without the scathing criticism he took when he was SOTH. I think he has gone full blown schizoid, personally.

    3. Nothing happened to Gingrich. The man is and has always been an amoral douche who will do anything to get power for himself. There is no right or wrong, conservative or liberal for Newt. It’s all about what will help Newt and Newt alone.

      1. Nothing happened to Gingrich. The man is and has always been an amoral douche who will do anything to get power for himself. There is no right or wrong, conservative or liberal for Newt. It’s all about what will help Newt and Newt alone.

        This is how I have viewed Gingrich. It seems to follow from a Neo-Con ideology.

        Though not a Neo-Con, Dick Morris shows the same style of ever-changing political calculation.

  26. The sooner Gingrich drops off the POTUS radar screen, the better for everybody.

    1. While Gingrich vs. Hillary would have some nostalgia value, ultimately I have to agree.

  27. So where are the MSM in reporting on the union violence and threats. eh?

    I read that the Wisconsin Republicans had to have a police escort out of the Capitol after they voted and that the union protestors tried to break out the windows of the cars they were leaving in.

    If it had been tea party protestors engaging in this type of behavior, the MSM would make it the number one topic for a solid month.

    There’s not been a peep out of them about anything the union goons or the democrat lackeys have been doing or saying during the whole time this has been going on.

    1. Union protesters: “The whole world is watching!”

      Right…your little cheese-eating union tantrum is every bit as bloody and iconic as the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

    2. Of course they won’t cover that. They are as likely to cover that as MNG is to make an honest argument. If Republican legislatures ever tried this trick and Tea Party crowds were tearing up a capitol, there would be no end to the negative coverage.

      1. Most MSM have union employees. You bet your ass they aren’t going to cover anything that makes unions look that bad.

  28. From Mickey Klaus today

    2) It appears the Democrats had not accepted the concessions outlined by Walker in an email to some Dem senators (an email his office released). These were discussed below. They allowed collective bargaining over a broader range of issues, but kept the provision ending mandatory union dues checkoff, which is arguably the change unions fear the most. I doubt there was ever a route to a mutually acceptable compromise unless the dues-checkoff provision could itself have somehow been compromised;

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03…..z1GDJNTcX7

    So Walker was willing to give up on the collective bargaining ban. But the Unions still wouldn’t buy it because they want to keep the ability to get the government to forcibly extract dues. In the end this was about what things are usually about, money. They whole bargaining freedom of association bullshit was just to give the trolls their talking points.

    And is there any doubt after this that the Democratic Party is nothing but a wholly owned subsidiery of the public employee unions? Not a single Democrat that I have seen has broken with the unions on this.

    1. Playing devil’s avocado here, but why didn’t the GOP just pass the dues-checkoff provision by itself, without the collective bargaining limits? That would have forced the lefties to show their true colors if they complained.

      1. That is a really good question. Perhaps they really are not that smart and didn’t realize how important that is in the long run.

        1. I’m wondering if that doesn’t veer too closely to “fiscal” legislation.

      2. Why negotiate against yourself? Let the Dems come back to town and negotiate after the fact… toss them a bone (collective bargaining RIGHTS!) but withhold the dues checkoff.

        1. Why negotiate when you have the votes to get what you want without compromise?

  29. They are as likely to cover that as MNG is to make an honest argument.

    Remember your 12 steps, John. Don’t relapse. Adonis…Tiger blood.

    1. You are right. Must stop now.

      1. Be the warlock you want to see in other people, John.

    2. Hey, I want credit for dragging John off to his first 12-step meeting.

      1. Hey, I want credit for dragging John off to his first 12-step meeting.

        You are so credited; however, you are a shitty sponsor, letting John go off into H&R unsupervised like that. Appalling.

        1. I didn’t say I was any good at this 😉

  30. I probably wouldn’t vote for Ayn Rand’s corpse.

    Who else is on the ballot?

  31. Below is the death threat that Republican legislatures in Wisconsin. Pretty much hits every lefty talking point. I wonder if Rachel Maddow and Micheal Moore are going to be held responsible for inciting violence.

    Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
    will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
    to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
    will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
    that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
    more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

    WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
    the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
    have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
    support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
    with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
    for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
    others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
    We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
    nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
    it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
    message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
    now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
    demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
    in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
    This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
    tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
    not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
    to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
    necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
    them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
    and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
    understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
    everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
    that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
    of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
    say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
    Reply Reply to all Forward

    http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/117732923.html

    1. Nice. Wonder what the Southern Poverty Law Center pukes have to say about this.

      1. that it was obviously written by militias funded by right wing conspirators. and you should donate to the SPLC!

    2. C’mon, that’s no different than the dozens of death threats Tea Partiers send every week to Democrats.

      /snarkasm off/

  32. Even in libertopia you’re going to have people whom you are paid with money taken from taxpayers, unless you are going to fund courts and police through bake sales.

    No, in libertopia the courts and police would be funded the same way the grocery stores currently are — people would pay subscription fees for protective services or conflict adjudication services from whichever private provider they selected.

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