Reason Morning Links: Obama's Autopen, Barney Frank's Boyfriend, Bachmann Wants to Be President


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    1. Dave Weigel profiles the biggest famewhore in the House’s freshman class.

      Since you mentioned Weigel:

      David Weigel

      1. Who are you voting for in November? I’ve got the luxury of a guilt-free, zero-impact vote in the District of Columbia, which I would cast for Bob Barr if he was on the ballot. Since he’s not, I’m voting for Barack Obama, the only remaining candidate whom I trust not to run the country (further) into the ground with stupid and erratic decisions,…

      E-mails reveal Post reporter savaging conservatives, rooting for Democrats

      …In the e-mails, Weigel appeared particularly invested in the President’s health care law, expressing undisguised scorn for moderate Democrats who seemed fearful about voting for it….

      1. The Weigel piece had the feel of the Sports Illustrated hit piece on John Rocker back in the 90’s.

    2. When I was a kid, back in the 80s, the Golden Girls was the only show I remember being told by my father I couldn’t watch.

      The writer (Paul Junger Witt) also gave us Soap. Two amazing shows.

  1. Wired: There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
    …Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation – an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy “dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

    “We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”…

  2. Dave Weigel profiles the biggest famewhore in the House’s freshman class.

    Chuck Shumer is serving in the House now too? Is that legal?

    1. You are on a roll today MNG.

    2. Okay, credit to MNG for that one.

    3. Not funny, sorry.

      1. I guess I just consider any insult to Schumer to be a good thing.

        1. He just likes Schumer’s man boobs.

  3. Scientists aiming their gene sequencers at commercial seafood are discovering rampant labeling fraud in supermarket coolers and restaurant tables: cheap fish is often substituted for expensive fillets, and overfished species are passed off as fish whose numbers are plentiful.

    Yellowtail stands in for mahi-mahi. Nile perch is labeled as shark, and tilapia may be the Meryl Streep of seafood, capable of playing almost any role.

    Recent studies by researchers in North America and Europe harnessing the new techniques have consistently found that 20 to 25 percent of the seafood products they check are fraudulently identified, fish geneticists say.…..h.html?hpw

    1. That’s an old, continuing problem. About five years ago, The St. Petersburg Times ran a story about local restaurants, identifying which did and didn’t serve grouper.

      1. And Chilean Sea Bass isn’t really a bass.

        1. And that Chicken Chow Mein from the local takeout store was not really chicken.

        2. And a banana is a berry.

          You can look it up.

          1. Coffee is a fruit.

            1. “I understand why an orange is called an orange, but why isn’t a banana a yellow? And can someone please explain gooseberries?”

        3. But “Patagonian Toothfish” wasn’t selling.

        4. When we get done with it, anything is a Bass.

          1. Mmmm, bass. I haven’t had a bass shake in years.

            1. How ’bout a tuna colada?

              1. If you like Tuna Coladas. . . .

    2. I wonder how soon before the government bans such testing. Like they banned the private testing for Mad Cow a few years ago. Can’t have private people interfering with the governments role of determining food quality and safety.

      1. Or allow people to test their own DNA.

        1. All of which is going in the opposite direction of technology which will probably soon allow hand held testers, some probably cheap enough for people to have in their home or take to the store with them. or in the case of medical devices allow people to test themselves at home for various problems.

          1. Only doctors and those authorized by the Patriot Act should be allowed to have that information.

      2. Which reminds me, when I lived in New Mexico I used to forge my prescription for glasses and contacts, since state law only allowed prescriptions to last six months.

        Here in Prague I can get whatever prescription glasses or contacts I want.

    3. If you can’t taste the difference, why are you buying really expensive fish? (I can’t either, so I buy tuna and sardines.)

    4. Tilapia? Anybody who can’t tell the difference between salt and fresh, deserves what they get.

    5. Surely this is an issue thousands of years in the making.

  4. He may be a media whore, but I love it when he does “Life’s Been Good”.

  5. Of course this story can’t be right. I mean, rational producers would never en masse cheat their customers because honest producers would spring up from the ground and take their market shares.

    I say we deny the science behind the claim!

    1. No one I know doesn’t think business won’t rip people off. Of course government bureaucrats are just as capable of dishonesty.

      1. Yes, unfortunately the difference is that while thier are government ‘watchdogs’ enabled with great regulatory power to oversee the private sector, there is no ‘watchdog’ to oversee the government.

        I suppose at one time that was the job of the press, but they have long since permawhored themselves to the ruling class.

        All this is why the Founders framed a concept of limited government, and Federalism.

        1. there is no ‘watchdog’ to oversee the government.

          That’s supposed to be where democracy and voting come in.

          And the founders tried a limited federal government, and it crashed and burned, so they instituted big federal government. The founders were not a bunch of Ron Pauls, I hate to break it to you.

          1. So you are calling a government without Social Security, Medicaid, with only a few thousand soldiers and sailors, no Homeland Security, no Department of Education/Agriculture/Labor/Health and Human Services/Housing and Urban Development/Transportation/Energy as “Big Government”.

            1. And the founders …instituted big federal government.

              Tony actually believes this. Really, he does.

          2. Have you ever read the Constitution?
            I guess not.
            It is a relatively short document that in plain language gives specific and limited enumerated powers to the federal government, and leaves everything else to the people and to the states.
            Here’s a link to it.
            There’s nothing in there about education, food testing, charity, or any of the other unconstitutional things that our federal government is involved in.
            It is in very plain and simple language that even a moron like you should be able to understand.

            1. Commerce Clause, bitchez!

              1. Yes, the clause which explicitly says that the Federal Government can confiscate and sell your kidneys since your refusal to sell both your kidneys is effecting commerce and the Federal Government is in charge of all commerce including commerce that is not occurring.

                1. Since everything has a substsantial effect on commerce, and congress can make rules about anything effecting commerce, which includes mandates, yes, they can mandate removal and re-use of your kidneys. QED!

                  1. You guys are like laff-in, except for the part where I’ve consistenly been for Lopez and Morrison. Don’t hate on me because you can’t read the Constitution…

                    1. Don’t hate on me because you can’t read the Constitution…

                      And oddly enough, my reading of the Comstitution allows the government to do any damn thing it pleases without limitation!

                    2. Wow, it’s great how you actually missed this line in the very post you respond to!

                      ” I’ve consistenly been for Lopez and Morrison”

                    3. ” I’ve consistenly been for Lopez and Morrison”

                      You say this, yet you consistently argue as though you believe the opposite.

                    4. No, I consistenly say that the action must be directly economic or it should not be reachable. I don’t want the clause or any clause to be a general grant of power, I just don’t buy the activity/inactivity argument because I think a power to regulate includes a power to make mandates as well as prohibitions.

                    5. I think Rehnquist’s opinions in those two cases were two of the best and most important in our legal history.

                    6. I just don’t buy the activity/inactivity argument because I think a power to regulate includes a power to make mandates as well as prohibitions.

                      Combine this with the substantial effects doctrine, and nothing is beyond reach, so that is a distinction without a difference. And trying to reconcile Lopez and Morrison with allowing mandates to engage in commerce, which is not interstate, by prohibiting inactivity, is simply incoherent.

                    7. “Combine this with the substantial effects doctrine, and nothing is beyond reach, so that is a distinction without a difference.”

                      That is just simply not true, and lopez and Morrison demonstrate it. They were not mandates, Rehnquist left substantial effects in tact, and yet he struck down both measures as beyond the commerce power.

                    8. No, I consistenly say that the action must be directly economic or it should not be reachable

                      So how is inaction directly economic?

                    9. If I say you have the power to regulate your children’s after school activities I think that includes the power to make them, say, play volleyball.

                      In the same way if you the power to regulate economic activity you have the power to make people engage in a certain activity, as long as it is economic.

                      What the mandate does is order you to do something. Something classicly economic.

                    10. Your relationship to your children is not regulatory. And the power to regulate “commerce…among the several states..” does not include the power to make individuals not engaging in interstate commerce do any damn thing. But we have all covered this ground before, and I am tired of you stubborn dishonesty.

                    11. The children thing is an analogy. If it makes you feel better use another (a boss and his workers).

                      “And the power to regulate “commerce…among the several states..” does not include the power to make individuals not engaging in interstate commerce do any damn thing”

                      Nice of you to simply re-state your conclusion.

                      If you have some argument that the concept “to regulate” does not include making mandates as well as prohibitions, then you’d be saying something new.

                      “I am tired of you stubborn dishonesty”

                      Yes, I stuobbornly stick to the plain meaning of the actual words used. How dishonest of me!

                    12. Yes, I stuobbornly stick to the plain meaning of the actual words used.

                      That absurd claim is all the proof needed for your dishonesty.

                    13. Regulate means to make rules about. rules can be mandates as well as prohibitions. I’m not sure what is dishonest about that, it’s the plain meaning dude.

                    14. And oddly enough, my reading of the Comstitution allows the government to do any damn thing it pleases without limitation!

                      That’s because words don’t mean what they actually say, they mean what you want them to mean.

                      For example “Congress shall make no law” really means “Congress can make any law”, because if it means what it says then you can’t make laws that you want to make.

                      Reading words to mean what you want them to mean instead of what they actually say allows you to do neat stuff without being constrained by any stupid limitations.

                    15. The word “regulate” includes the power to make mandates as well as prohibitions. I don’t know what else to tell you about that.

                    16. The word “regulate” includes the power to make mandates as well as prohibitions.
                      Combine this with the substantial effects doctrine, and you get:
                      Since everything has a substsantial effect on commerce, and congress can make rules about anything effecting commerce, which includes mandates, yes, they can mandate removal and re-use of your kidneys. QED!

                      So, I fail to see your objection to the spoof post.

                    17. I see you are unfamiliar with Lopez and Morrison.

                      Here is a quick summary:



                    18. I am familiar with Lopez and Morrison. Trying to reconcile the limitations posited by Lopez and Morrison with being able to mandate activity where none is taking place is incoherent. I see you are unfamiliar with basic logic.

                    19. Lopez and Morrison did not deal with mandates and they both upheld substantial effects, yet they struck down both measures as beyond the commerce power.

                      What is wrong with that sentence? Clearly a jurisprudence that does not deny mandates and accepts the substantial effects doctrine can exist side by side with a limited commerce power, because it did so in both cases. Both cases there was no denial of mandate powers, no denial of substantial effects, and yet limits on the power.

                    20. The word “regulate” includes the power to make mandates as well as prohibitions. I don’t know what else to tell you about that.

                      It didn’t when the Constitution was written. At that time it meant “to make regular”. How boring is that?
                      So rather than change the Constitution, it is much easier to change the meaning of words in the Constitution. Have regulate mean “do anything you want”. Much better. This way you give yourself power without having to go through the Amendment process.

                      Another great example is “general welfare”, which at the time was understood to mean “something that benefits everyone”. Like canals and such. A pretty limited power.

                      Now it means “something that benefits a targeted group”. Like money transfers to politically favorable voting blocks. A pretty much unlimited power.

                      Pretty cool, huh?

                    21. “It didn’t when the Constitution was written. At that time it meant “to make regular”.”

                      That is simply not true. Samuel Johnson’s dictionary at the time listed “to make rules about” as a definition and just the other day Neu Mejican cited the Oxford Dictionary of the day to the same effect.

                      Additionally, the Constitution uses the term regulate in similar fashion in other places (like the grant of the power to Congress to make regulations for the military, were they ‘removing impediments’ to the military or were they, well, making rules? I bet some of those rules were mandates too!)

                    22. Samuel Johnson’s 1785 edition of Dictionary of the English Language defines “to regulate” as:

                      1. To adjust by rule or method? 2. To direct.

                      Hell, this is from Freedomworks.

                    23. Even so, “among” does not mean “within”.

                    24. You are right, it means “between.”

                      I’m not going to argue that the plain meaning of the words supports the substantial effects doctrine. It doesn’t.

                    25. I’m not going to argue that the plain meaning of the words supports the substantial effects doctrine. It doesn’t.

                      Then how can you argue the plain meaning of the words allows regulation of inactivity? That is an example of dishonesty.

                    26. Because, and I’ll only say this one more time so read closely: Regulate=make rules about, make rules about includes mandates as well as prohibitions. So mandates are ok as long as they deal with economic matters, like a mandate to, i don’t know, enter the stream of commerce.

                    27. So then how can mandates against, oh I don’t know, carrying a firearm within so many feet of a school, be prohibited? And since selling your kidneys is an economic activity, why would the commerce clause not allow a mandate to do so?

                    28. “I’ll only say this one more time ”

                      PROMISE ??

              2. “general welfare.. regulate commerce.. necessary and proper”

                Seven words used to justify over half of the federal government.

            2. As far as I can tell, MNG is right this very second engaging in commerce with Cuba. Right?

              1. Ha, ha, exactly. The inactivity argument is ridiculous.

          3. I suppose you are reffering to the Articles of Confederation. Yes, it crashed and burned.

            You might try actually reading the Constitution, or better yet, Madison’s notes on the convention.

            Alas, I hate to break this to you, my dear Tony, but the experience the Founders relied upon in the framing of the Consitution was distrust of strong centers of power, be they government or NGOs. Hence the concept of checks and balances for each of the three branches of the federal goverment, and the concept of federalism itself, whereby those powers not specifically assigned to the federal goverment are the province of the individual states. I suspect you know this but are just in deep denial since you seem love communism/facsism/socialism and all other forms of liberty-hating collective group think.

            1. “but the experience the Founders relied upon in the framing of the Consitution was distrust of strong centers of power”

              I agree they were concerned about this, but certainly they were also motivated to make a more powerful central government than they had under the Articles, that is Tony’s point.

              1. Tony|5.27.11 @ 9:37AM|#
                And the founders …instituted big federal government.

                I think you’re giving Tony a little too much credit there.

          4. Oh yeah? What about me?

          5. And the founders tried a limited federal government, and it crashed and burned, so they instituted big federal government.

            Call them by their right name: The Justified Liberal Overlords.

      2. That. And surely there is already a law which gets continuously loop-holed and bought off.

    2. If you enjoy a $29.99 grouper that’s actually made from alley cat, have you really been cheated?

      1. Alley cat sold as grouper would not fool anybody. It is, however, an excellent substitute for raccoon.

    3. Of course this story can’t be right. I mean, the government would never stand idly by and let producers en masse cheat their customers because honest regulators would spring up from the ground and shut them down with burdensome fines.


      Note the Mad Cow story above where govt actually prevented private firms from checking for mad cow disease. And you can bet that the small segment of our population that buys expensive seafood will demand genetic testing in the future.

      1. In other Tulpa news, why we shouldn’t have police because they don’t catch every criminal!

        1. LOL, you do realize I was paraphrasing your attempted snark there? So your “Tulpa news” applies equally to yourself.

          1. Sure, I knew that. But here is what else I knew. The police are set up as a reaction crime, the fact they don’t stop all crime is not a good argument for not having police. In this case the fact that not all infractions are caught by regulators does not mean the regulators are a bad idea.

            1. See, I don’t deny that sellers will police themselves some. I just don’t think the job they do will be sufficient. Neither will the regulators or course, but as I noted above this is a poor argument for opposing self policing or regulators.

              1. Recall that you started this by making the argument opposing self-policing. At least you’re honest about the poverty of your arguments.

    4. You know as well as I that the dynamic you’re describing assumes that cheating can be detected and punished by customers.

      Which it apparently can, now, so there’s that.

      1. Because the average consumer has genetic experts handy at their grocery store.

        Look, this is fraud. Libertarians are supposed to be against fraud. Why not have an agency that is dedicated to finding out such difficult to ascertain fraud and punish the fraudsters.

        Let’s call the agency the FDA or something.

        1. Because it’s going to cost money, probably won’t do the job it’s “dedicated to”, and will become an ossified bureaucracy that does ridiculous things like fine people $90,000 for selling rabbits to a pet shop.

          Next question?

        2. The average Jew is able to confidently buy Kosher products in grocery stores with no govt involvement.

  6. I wonder what the Palin Bachman dynamic will be in the primaries. Does Palin just totally upstage Bachamn. Or does Palin take all of the insane criticism allowing Bachman to run untouched.

    1. I’m interested in this too. I’m betting Bachman is not happy, but who knows, your point about Palin attracting the attackes is a good one too.

    2. Palin would COMPLETELY upstage Bachmann. Bachmann just voted for the re-authorization of the PATRIOT act. She also gave a ridiculous rebuttal as to why.

      She’s taking a beating over at Free Republic. Her presidential hopes are pretty much done.

      1. Not being in Congress and having to vote on things like that is a big advantage.

        1. That is very true, but being in Congress and voting like a fucking moron really hurts one’s cause.

          Bachmann sided with Obama, Harry Reid, and Al Franken on this one.

          1. She is just stupid. She would have a chance as a hell raiser candidate. She could be a Johnson like small government candidate that could appeal to evangelicals. But voting like that kills any hope of that happening.

          2. Franken actually voted against the final bill.

            …after he voted against any amendments, and once it was clear it would pass anyway.

            1. What a fucking scumball.

            2. I stand corrected. Thank you.

              I still think Al Franken is a fucking moron, BTW.

            3. I should say that the “once it was clear it would pass anyway” was my interpretation of what he did. I think it’s right though, otherwise he wouldn’t have 1) voted for cloture earlier this week, and 2) voted against the amendments.

            4. Wait a minute, Franken is a scumbag because he voted against the bill? Because he “knew it was going to pass?”

              Would the better thing to do be to vote for the bill?

              “Bachmann sided with Obama, Harry Reid, and Al Franken and 82% of Senate Gopers and 2/3 of House Gopers.”


              Hurts, don’t it?

              1. No. It doesn’t at all. She sucks too. And Franken only voted against the meausure because he knew it was going to pass anyway. He is actually worse than Bachman. At least she is honest about sucking. Frankin is a dishonest idiotic piece of shit.

                1. “And Franken only voted against the meausure because he knew it was going to pass anyway”

                  How do you know this? Did you look into his soul like your hero W did Putin?

                  He voted against the measure and she voted for it and in your spin-filled world he is actually the bad guy. Incredible.

                  1. He voted for cloture, MNG. With a bill this bad if you don’t do everything you can to stop it from passing, you’re objectively supportive of it.

                    1. So just voting agains the bill is not enough, people who actually stood up and voted against it are worse than people who voted for it because the former did not additionally try to kill the bill via parlimentary procedures.


              2. There were a bunch of “have your cake and eat it too” douche-nozzles yesterday. There were lots of “opponents” of the patriot act who participated in all of the procedural wrangling to ensure passage. They didn’t even bother to hide it – speechifying that they were going to vote against the extension, but they were also going to vote to block amendments designed to weaken the USA PATRIOT act. They needed 41 votes to prevent amendments – that’s what Franken, Feinstein, et. al. provided. Then they only needed a majority to pass. They got that in spades.

                If any of those progressive nozzles had any backbone they would have stood with Paul and blocked the extension altogether. Durbin was against the bill and strongly supported an overhaul, but he fell in line and helped vote down Paul, even though he really supported several of his amendments. They wouldn’t even let him bring up amendments that might get democrat support. And Durbin could have brought his own amendment package to the floor like Paul did…. but that didn’t happen.

                Nozzles, all of them. Don’t stand there and tell me you are against the bill and then vote to ensure that it passes without amendment. Your stupid little “no” vote is irrelevant after you did everything in your power to make sure that it got to that moment.

                At least the conservative hosebags actually claimed to support the USA PATRIOT act and worked to get it extended on the record. Both are bad, but saying you are against it while actually supporting it is hideous.

                1. You really think a person who votes against cloture and amenmdments but ultimately against a bill must have ‘really’ supported the bill all along? There are different principles and issues as stake in those situations.

                  1. Please enlighten me about what principle or issue can lead one to vote for cloture for a bill like the Patriot Act if one strongly opposes it.

                    1. The principle that the matter deserved an up or down vote?

                    2. That’s not what any of them said. They all said they were going to vote against final passage but they didn’t support amending the bill because it was “too important”. They knew full well that they were having it both ways. They weren’t even coy about it. Head over to CSPAN and see if they’ve still got the tape from yesterday up. This was straight up, unambiguous political posturing. Obama, Reid, Pelosi et. al. were totally opposed to these provisions… until they had the responsibility for keeping them in place. Then suddenly they start arm-twisting to make sure the thing gets through the procedural gauntlet.

                      Assholes to the left of me, Douches to the right – here I am… stuck in the middle with you…

                    3. I don’t know their motivation, I know their ultimate vote, and I think a nay vote was better than a yea. The best that could be done, likely not, but better, yes.

                    4. The principle that the matter deserved an up or down vote?

                      So their principles about up or down votes trump their alleged principles about the Fourth Amendment meaning something.

                    5. But it didn’t deserve a vote. It should have been allowed to expire. The entire abortion of a bill deserves to be allowed to die a lonesome death which has no discussion whatsoever.

                      Quiet. Lonesome. Death.

        2. “Not being in Congress and having to vote on things like that is a big advantage.”

          This. I’ve said all along Palin dropped from being Governor so she could avoid taking numerous tough positions.

          1. But I thought she is retarded? How can she do something politically smart?

            1. The retarded are perfectly capable of being craven John.

              Aw John, I called that she was resigning to later run for Prez and you denied it at the time. Now she’s going to prove me right and you wrong, don’t get mad.

              1. Oh I get it. She is just smart to be craven and evil. I do fear that she is going to get in the White House, renew all fo Bush’s anti-terror policies. run up trillions of dollars in debt, pass a horrible healthcare bill and get us in another war in the middle east with no congressional authorization.

                Seriously, she is so stupid she probably can’t even get a toast to the Queen of England right. We need a good smart Harvard man in the White House to avoid these things.

                1. I don’t know what to tell you John, I don’t find her to be very smart. Lots of people don’t. Interestingly enough she herself seems to agree that the more unguarded exposure she gets tot he press the worse she comes off, as she is quite unwilling to engage them.

                  But yes, she is very, very craven. A panderer’s panderer. This explains the amazingly pandering answers that embarrassed her (“all of them” when asked about the magazines and founding fathers), her dodging her duties as governor, her hiding from the mean ol’ tricky media, etc.

                  1. Are you talking about Palin or Obama MNG? I lost track.

                  2. There continues to be a meme that Palin is “too stupid” to be elected. I’m no fan of her, but for those that believe this, I would refer you to the elections of 2000 and 2004. Looking at some of the things Dubya said, I can honestly say Palin comes off more polished than he ever did/was.

                    1. She comes accross as more polished than Obama does without a teleprompter. It is hard to imagine her making some of the gaffes he has made.

  7. Hey, Gene Robinson actually make sense today!

    The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that trying to police the use of performance-enhancing substances by professional athletes is pure, Sisyphean folly. I’m even more convinced that threatening to throw the accused in jail ? as might happen with Armstrong, slugger Barry Bonds and pitcher Roger Clemens, and did happen with sprinter Marion Jones ? is a gross misuse of criminal statutes intended to sanction actual crimes.…..story.html

    1. I once applied to be a police officer (don’t judge me–I needed the money and I’m too small for gay porn). Two detectives instructed us on how to fill out the background questionnaire, which was two books totaling over 100 pages. There’s a part where you have to be honest about any drugs you’ve ever taken in the past. The cops tell us that some drug use in the past isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but lying about it sure would be.

      Then, some muscle-head raises his arm and asks “Are steroids illegal, cuz I take those?” The detectives assure him that yes, they are illegal. “Really, cuz I take those,”

      I think I was eventually turned down because I just wasn’t dumb enough.

      1. The LA cop who writes on National Review under the pseudonym “Jack Dunphy” says that police departments do not like people with high IQs because they tend to be trouble makers and hard to manage. So, there is a good chance your suspicion is correct.

        1. I’d heard that Greyhound gave an IQ test to drivers. If you were over 95, you couldn’t get that job.

        2. There was a lawsuit in CT a few years back on this very subject. A guy didn’t get hired because his IQ was too high and he sued based on discrimination (and lost). Based on my encounters with the police, that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

      2. I think I was eventually turned down because I just wasn’t dumb enough.

        Abdul….there’s a fix for this! Two words. HuffPo regular.

  8. In an attempt to revive flagging interest in women’s badminton as the 2012 London Olympics approach, officials governing the sport have decided that its female athletes need to appear more, how to put it, womanly. To create a more “attractive presentation,” the Badminton World Federation has decreed that women must wear skirts or dresses to play at the elite level, beginning Wednesday.

    The rule has been roundly criticized as sexist, a hindrance to performance and offensive to Muslim women who play the sport in large numbers in Asian countries.…

    1. You ever watch professional badminton? It’s insanely fast.

      In fact, after reading your post, I dug up a badminton video we posted at Urkobold a while back. Very crazy.

      1. Blazing fast. It is a great game. Badminton players are twice the athletes that tennis players are. The serving though – dainty little taps over the net – is pretty incongruous.

        1. “Badminton players are twice the athletes that tennis players are.”

          That might be a bit of a stretch.

          I does seem funny that an overhand serve is not allowed.

          1. It’s like those classic rock songs that start off all ballady, then go hard rock on your ass. Like “Free Bird” or “Stairway to Heaven.” It’s the change-up.

            1. Stairway to Heaven was the blueprint. Led Zepplin used to privately call all the other songs like that “little Stairways”.

              1. They also OD’d on playing it and came to hate it.

                Did you know that for many years after it became a hit, STH was the most requested song on radio. Might still be for all I know.

                1. It’s a great song. Overplayed, yes, but that doesn’t reduce the quality of the song.

        2. Any athlete I could beat the crap out of with a blazing hangover is not twice the athlete of a Nadal or a Federer.

          1. Which of course leaves out any reasonably accomplished badminton player.

    2. Hell, why do you think women’s beach volleyball is so popular?

      1. Imagine how much money the operas could make if they made their female singers wear bikinis.

        1. I guess you never heard the expression about the fat lady singing.

          1. Actually that is not true anymore. In the last 20 years, for some reason, female opera singers got wildly hot. I am not kidding.


            1. Holy crap! In that case, yes, bikinis might get me to the opera.

            2. Oh my god John…..That one link has improved my musical tastes forever!

              1. My wife is a big opera fan. I never wanted to go until I understood just what some of the singers look like.

            3. As you can probably guess, most opera singers are not among the 10 hottest.

              1. The next 30 or 40 are not bad either.



              1. If I may aks a question of his excellence the Urkobold, Why does the Urkobold write with the exact same ‘volume’ as Steve Smith?


            5. I just caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!

  9. President Obama’s autopen signed the reauthorized PATRIOT Act yesterday.

    Skynet probably slipped a few signing statements in there. Thanks, Obama.

    1. It’s Skynet’s White House Agent, the teleprompter, that we should keep an eye on. . .

    2. Obama just wanted plausible deniability.

      1. And definitely no photo op.

    3. Maybe one of the lawyers can weigh in here: does an autopen really count as a legal signature? And if so, how is it different than just lifting a signature off a pdf and copying it onto another document? Because they are really both just copies, and not done by the person’s hand.

      1. I don’t know about legality by you should see what that thing does with a seegar.

      2. The OLC under Bush issued an opinion that it was Constitutional for the autopen to sign it as long as the president directed the signature be placed. This bill is probably big enough that we’ll see this opinion challenged in court.

      3. It’s legal if it’s authorized by the signed. You can execute contracts without putting pen to paper, too.

        1. Authorized by the signer, I mean.

        2. Thanks – I wasn’t really sure what the legal principle was.

        3. This isn’t a contract, though. Different rules may apply.

          1. President Clinton “signed” some things electronically when I worked there. You can also delegate signing authority. Besides, a president can “sign” a bill by not vetoing it.

            1. True, Pro Lib. However, that unsigned bill would only become law after the 10 days has passed (not counting Sundays) without a signature. They couldn’t pass it after a few hours of “presenting the bill for signature” unless he actually signed it into law.

              1. Right, but that’s why it doesn’t really matter. Also, since the power to sign a bill into law is strictly the president’s, it’s really up to him, so long as the signature is clearly appended by him in some manner.

            2. Of course, the big question is why Obama scheduled his trip to Ireland at the same time the Patriot Act was due to expire? I mean, since hundreds of millions of lives were going to be jeopardized if it didn’t get extended on time.

        4. “”You can execute contracts without putting pen to paper, too.””

          I don’t think I would call the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act a contract. Didn’t many home forclosures get thrown out due to the use of a robopen?

          1. The president doesn’t have to sign laws, which is the real point in this particular instance.

    4. Was there seriously no way for some enterprising hacker to intercept and sabotage the fuck out f that transmission?

  10. Glenn Greenwald: David Brooks’ political dream
    …Britain is also blessed with a functioning political culture. It is dominated by people who live in London and who have often known each other since prep school. This makes it gossipy and often incestuous. But the plusses outweigh the minuses….

    …It has long been the supreme fantasy of establishment guardians in general, and David Brooks in particular, that American politics would be dominated by an incestuous, culturally homogeneous, superior elite “who live in [Washington] and who have often known each other since prep school.” And while these establishment guardians love to endlessly masquerade as spokespeople for the Ordinary American, what they most loathe is the interference by the dirty rabble in what should be their exclusive, harmonious club of political stewardship, where conflicts are amicably resolved by ladies and gentlemen of the highest breeding without any messy public conflict….

    …Serious elites will impose, with top-down magnanimity, true centrist wisdom (which just coincidentally happens to match the specific centrist-right views of David Brooks)….

    1. I posted this yesterday to no response. Brooks is such a douchebag he makes me agree with Greenwald.

      1. He had this to say yesterday. I think it’s a apt description:

        “And to say that Harry Reid — who previously demanded that the Park51 Community Center be moved and that Guantanamo detainees not be tried in the U.S. — is a duplicitous, soul-less, craven, worthless politician is also to understate the case.”

      2. It struck me that Brooks was arguing for exactly the type of government that Yes, Minister! lampooned.

        1. Brooks is like a real life parody of the ignorant ruling class pundit.

      3. Greenwald is often spot-on, particularly when it comes to civil liberties.

        His political views and thoughts on things like “social justice” and whatnot are garbage, but he’s as staunch a civil libertarian as any libertarian on most topics (minus 2nd amendment views).

  11. Apparently the geeks at the National Science Foundation know how to party. Government funded jello wrestling.…..ds-newsxml

    1. That’s a $20 bill that each tax payer will never get back.*

      *About 1/2 the US population pays federal taxes (roughly 150,000,000 people). $3,000,000,000 / 150,000,000 = $20.

  12. Now, if Bachmann was running FOR President OF Waterloo, Iowa, instead of announcing running FOR Prez IN Waterloo, I’d be totally cool with that.

    1. Bachman and the Herminator will at least make the debates entertaining.

      1. Battling to see who is the bigger SoCon? Yeah, that will be totally thrilling.

        1. Have you ever listened to Cain? The guy is a total loose cannon. He will be entertaining. And Cain isn’t a SOCON.

          1. Cain isn’t a SOCON.


            When I think SoCon, the three biggest issues that come to mind (please forgive me if I’m wrong) are INPO abortion, drug war, are marriage.

            Cain supports the re-instatement of DADT, and is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape. I don’t know what Cain’s stance is on the drug war, but I certainly don’t recall him saying anything during the recent SC debates when the issue of drug legalization came up.


            As far as Ron Paul versus HC-who’s the bigger SoCon-we know that Paul voted against DADT and is possibly the biggest anti-drug war warrior out there. It seems to be a stretch to say he’s more of a SoCon than Cain.

        2. Battling to see who is the bigger SoCon? Yeah, that will be totally thrilling.

          Ron Paul is more of SoCon than Cain.

          1. Maybe.

            But even if he is, he has no interest in legislating said SoConness.

      2. Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I hope the weirdos stay in the race for a long time.

    2. It’s too bad about the requirement that the prez and veep come from different states — TPaw/Bachmann would have made an interesting ticket.

  13. CNBC very generously invited welfareseeking windbag T Boondoggle Pickens on this morning to badmouth the Kochs and pitch his (Boondoggle’s) crony capitalist welfare scheme.

    Apparently, privately held corporations are evil.

    1. It’s not the corporations, it’s thier agents.

  14. It is apparently good to be The Beiber.…..Gomez.html

    1. Texas A&M faculty flipping out over suggestions to promote better teaching and accountability including bonuses for receiving good ratings from students and productivity reviews.

    2. A tattoo in Hebrew? Somewhere, an Orthodox Alannis Morrisette is writing a sequel to “Ironic.”

      1. Next up, pork for Passover.

        1. Why the hell not? If the FDA has declared pork fit to eat, who are the Jews to deny the FDA its authority?

          1. You know who else the Jews tried to deny?

            1. Have you ever read the Bible? Who haven’t they denied? That’s their schtick.

        2. Please. Bacon wrapped shrimp in cheese sauce. Stuffed with emu.

      2. Adding to the irony, the ink was derived from lobsters.

        1. Applied with a needle forged from one of the nails used to crucify Jesus.

    3. I’ve always know that the way to get chicks is to be a girl, but…man. This is hard to take.

      1. *pip squeaked voice*

        I’m a MAN!

    4. Tatoos and a girlfriend – doesn’t that damage the brand?

      1. Traila Trash 4eva, y0!

      2. Just laying the groundwork for him to come out as a “bad boy” once he starts losing popularity. His handlers are far-sighted.

    5. Whether the youngsters are allowed to share a bed together is unknown, although with Justin being a minor it’s doubtful their parents would allow such a thing.

      OTOH, with Justin being the one who pulls in $50million a year for the family, he just might well be the one deciding what’s allowed and what’s not.

    6. Biebers totally gay! If I had bikini clad Selena Gomez hanging on me like that you could have done chin ups on my boner!

  15. Pickens evidently wants the government to bankroll his genius plan to use natural gas for motor vehicle fuels, for five years. After that, the whole thing will be self-sustaining, and everyone will wonder why they didn’t do this a hundred years sooner (or something). But the Kochs are evil because they oppose a massive new government energy plan.

    Any guesses how soon the “We need more TIME, you can’t end these subsidies yet” drumbeat would start?

    1. Yeah, because it is so hard for a billionaire to get financing for a project that will wildly profitable after five years. He is just giving the government the first shot at this great deal out of patriotism.

      1. Dead on the mark. If it had any hope of being wildly profitable in just five years, VC would be slaying thier grandmothers for the chance to fund it.

        Fucking logic, how does it work?


    1. How can it fit? The Taliban’s pockets are stuffed with money from the US State Department and the CIA.

  17. This will wrap up the JohnnyLinks for the day. I’m hoping the post-deleting-gods will smile on my pausing between posts to let others in and not de-Johnny the thread.

    At What Price the Moon?
    JFK challenged Americans to take to the skies half a century ago — but as human space flight embraced rockets rather than reusable spacecraft, what did we lose?

    1. The international community stopped the early privatization of the satellite industry, we blew our wad in six trips to the Moon, and now we have no independent capacity to even go to LEO.

      I’m very impressed with the epic achievements of the Apollo program, but the fact remains that the space “race” ended in the early 70s. If we want a sustained presence in the solar system, the private sector needs to take the lead.

      1. As far as government boondoggles go Apollo was great. I’m pissed about all they squandered on Skylab and the fucking shuttle. There was no reason to repeatedly send “diversity teams” into LEO. Nasa could’ve accomplished much more for much less, arguably within the constitutional roll of government. doing unmanned surveys of the Solar system and beyond.

        1. There are some who say that the way to LEO was in the X15 project. NASA bought into the Shuttle at the expense of the work that was being done with the X15. If you think about it, the Virgin Atlantic and other private space craft are nothing but 21st century X15s. We can only wonder where we would be today if all the money that was spent on the shuttle has been spent on the X 15 program.

          1. The Kennedy administration pushed through laws that basically stopped AT&T from dominating the satellite industry in favor of government control. As much as I don’t care for the old phone monopoly, I have a feeling that inhibiting private activity in this area (including companies other than AT&T, all of which were basically forced to work together) for decades may have affected possible private moves into manned spaceflight as well.

            Piddling around in LEO is humiliating. We’re the joke species of the entire Orion Arm.

            1. Well, we are in one of the galaxy’s most unfashionable neighborhoods. So it is not like anyone notices.

              1. We live in a McMansion neighborhood where our yards are all of 12’x12′?

            2. …that basically stopped AT&T from dominating the satellite industry…

              Thank goodness…can you imagine the frustrations of the first mission to mars trying to contact mission control using their iPhones? 😉

              1. Not that AT&T. The real one. Ma Bell. The Phone Cops. The President’s Analyst.

                1. Dr. Johnny Fever – one of the great rants of tv history! “It’s the phone cops, man… they blew up the transmitter!”

                  1. Yep, that’s it.

                2. I hated The President’s Analyst.

                  1. May Coburn forgive you.

    2. It was kind of a stretch to call a vehicle that needed months of repairs after every landing before it could go up again “reusable”…particularly with half of its surface being replaced every time.

      1. It’s mostly not reusable, of course.

    3. as human space flight the US govt embraced rockets rather than reusable spacecraft

      The Apollo program was all about getting US to the moon before the Russkies. If the government had mandated reusable launch vehicles we’d have been better positioned in the long run but the USSR would have gotten to the moon first.

      1. It was a race. The race is long over.

  18. The GOP bill is good. Obama wants to deny contractors bids based on who they contribute to politically, this way der fuhrer won’t be able to do that.


  19. Remember, this is the same Barney Frank who used to consort with a criminal male prostitute named Hot Bottom, and who wrote letters on Mr. Bottom’s behalf to the cops. And more recently, Barney was present at a drug raid in York County, Maine, where he claimed he didn’t even know what a marijuana plant looked like.

    Frank is one of the more vile people on this earth, and not because of any of this.

    1. To my knowledge Frank has never done jack shit about the drug war despite his position. Meanwhile him and his boyfriend were growing weed in the backyard. He is perhaps the most vile human being in Congress.

      1. *That we know of?

        1. Waxman is a mole man and not a human. So he isn’t in the running for most vile human in Congress.

      2. More vile than Man-Boobs even?

      3. I think this is unfair too. It’s brave for a Congresscritter to speak out against the WOD. It’s not like he was pushing something that later he was found to be violating.

        1. Here is some of his record on the WOD, ain’t perfect by better than most by a long shot.


    2. “So it was with the Republic at its height. Like the greatest of trees, able to withstand any external attack, the Republic rotted from within though the danger was not visible from outside.

      “Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government, and the massive organs of commerce, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to be elected President of the Republic. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic.

      “Once secure in office he declared himself Emperor, shutting himself away from the populace. Soon he was controlled by the very assistants and boot-lickers he had appointed to high office, and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears.

      “Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of justice in the galaxy, the Imperial governors and bureaucrats prepared to institute a reign of terror among the disheartened worlds of the galaxy. Many used the imperal forces and the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions.”

      Star Wars by George Lucas, page 1, prologue

      1. More Lucas retconning. The Emperor turned out to be much more hands on in the later movies.

        1. Really I thought he was more of a consensus builder.

          1. We’re used to leaders blowing smoke out of their ass, not lightening from their fingers.

        2. Well, we saw what he was hands-on for, but what about all the things he ignored? The failed flan harvest on Dweedledoo? Ignored. The gompershute strike on P’iklep’per? Ignored. Universal health care? Left to droids to handle.

          Truly, Palpatine was out of touch, obsessed with a gang of misfit rebels.

          1. After the Fugitive Wookie Slave Act, the Empire lost its moral credibility.

        3. To be honest, I was kind of rooting for the Emperor in the late prequels. He was the only somewhat rational character surrounded by a bunch of incompetents and whiners.

          People get the Empire they deserve. That’s the theme of the prequels as far as I can tell.

          1. I have studiously avoided the last two prequels. Never watched them. I have several friends who said they ruined the first three movies because you can never look at Vader again and not think “he used to be a whinny little bitch”.

            1. Unfortunately, there are plenty of kids who think it sucks that Anakin became a heavy-breathing freak dressed in a black leather caped bodysuit with a control panel on his chest.

            2. The third one isn’t quite so bad.

              First one… whoo, that’s some crap right there. Lucas writing romance: “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.”


          2. The Jedi had it coming, bunch of eccentric eunuchs…

            1. “Go to Kashyyk I will. Good relations with them I have had.”

              1. Yoda had relations with the Wookies? Eeeewwww.

    3. Hot Bottom? Seriously? Gay or Straight, men are loco.

  20. where conflicts are amicably resolved by ladies and gentlemen of the highest breeding without any messy public conflict….

    Bring back caning.

  21. It has finally warmed up in the south and the east, but in much of the north and the west it still looks like winter.

    1. I blame Al Gore.

    2. Seriously, this winter has been brutal. Forecast for the long weekend here in Seattle is rain and highs in the mid-50s. I fantasize daily about moving to somewhere warm in flyover country.

      1. I read the other day where the high Sierras set a record for snow this year. The high Sierras get more snow than almost anywhere on earth. They got like 80 feet (yes FEET no inches) this year.

      2. We’ve had about four spring days in Cleveland this spring. I’ve ridden my motorcycle precisely once. The idea of moving to the South sounds better and better to me.

        1. Here in Georgia, we’ve had seven straight days in the 90’s. It’s only supposed to be 85 today.

        2. It’s been warm in Pittsburgh…

          1. And typical hemming and hawwing T-storms. But surprisingly pleasant.

        3. And it is always sunny in Philadelphia.

        4. Make sure you’re not riding a helmet, as this famous Ohioan suggests.

        5. Florida is Florida.

          1. Except for the frequent “the end of the world is nigh” thunderstorms this spring, KY weather rules. We have 4 seasons of reasonably equitable length.


    Young DC liberals eagerly sign fake petition to have the government ban conservative websites. I mean the constitution is like 500 years old and written Danish. Who understands it anyway?


    Young DC liberals sign fake petition to get the government to ban conservative websites. Really though, the Constitution is over 600 years old and written in old Norse. Who today understands it anyway?

    1. They can deliver the petition to their voting member of congress and senators.

      oh wait.

    2. my favorite was the signer who asked if he had a website. apparently he found the interviewers thought crime ideas intriguing and possibly wished to subscribe to the newsletter.

  24. Good article from Bloomberg, explaining why business isn’t hiring

    But we already knew that.

    1. “Because I don’t know how much it will cost,” he explains. “How can I hire new workers today, when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?”

      1. What is to be uncertain about? It is not like we have a shallow, crony capitalist moron in the White House or anything.

      2. They’re not hiring because they’re too racist to support a black president.

      3. They’re too busy down in their treasure rooms, running naked on piles of gold coins and rubbing themselves in handfuls of jewels.

        1. I tried that once. A word of advice – Keep your jewels away from your jewels. They leave scratches.

        2. You have no idea. I sometimes troll the C-Span Facebook page and am constantly shocked at the economic illiteracy and innumeracy of the commentariat. There are people who truly believe that the rich are just like Uncle Scrooge, with a giant Money Bin out in the back yard. All the nation’s problems would disappear if only these hoarders would pay their fair share.

  25. Speaking of the weather…

    It was about 37 when I got up; it’s 45 now. Yesterday, little ice pellets were mixed in with the rain falling from the sky.

    Of course, there’s so much snow climate change residue in the mountains any rapid warm-up will produce prodigious flooding, so hardly anybody’s complaining very loudly.

    1. Where in the world is P Brooks?

      1. In the Sahara, those numbers are in Celsius.

  26. Question for the gun nut segment of the audience:

    Has anybody done business with SARCO?

    I think my next gun is going to be a built-from-scratch* 1911, and I can’t justify paying Brownells’ prices (a quick tally put me at about a thousand bucks).

    *By “scratch”, of course, I mean assembled-and-fitted-by-hand commercially available component parts.

    1. Cast your own from scrap metal.

    2. I once built a potato gun from scratch.

    3. Do you have a curio and relic license?
      Brownells (and others) will give you a discount just like it was a regular FFL.
      A c&r ffl is easy to obtain and pays for itself in no time. Compliance is easy and you don’t give up any rights like with a regular FFL.

    4. 1 word: Doublestar.

      All high quality parts and no Schwartz. If you have to ask what Schwartz is, you haven’t done enough research in to 1911s.

  27. RE: the War on Cameras video…

    Is “Hawk Jenson” a made-up name? It sounds like a made-up name.

    1. I bet not. People name their kids screwy stuff.

      1. Good call. Coming up with cool sounding street names has become much more challenging.

        1. Hottest women I ever dated when I was single was dead set on naming any future son she had “Bear”. That fact made not dating her anymore a little more bearable pardon the pun.

          1. I’m betting you never forgot to “wrap up”!

          2. Was she from Alabama?

            1. Rhode Island.

              1. The Alabama of New England

    2. At least get the danish spelling right, Chyn Chyn: “JensEn”

      With an “E” it’s Danish.
      With an “O” it’s Swedish.

      Danes don’t like Swedes much. Which is to say, Sweden sucks it.

      1. Can’t rightly comment, but I can say that Sweden has much better metal.

  28. Cast your own from scrap metal.

    I would, but I’m still waiting for somebody to die and leave me a mill.

    1. Get a C&R FFL. You get “dealer” wholesale pricing on parts.

  29. that makes a lot of sense

  30. Unfortunately, the autopen passes the ultimate Constitutional test: Thomas Jefferson would have thought autopens are really cool.

    1. He had a dumb waiter just to lower a signing pen to him when he was in a hurry (meaning he had to go bang one of his slaves).

  31. Stephen Colbert tries to poke fun at Citizens United v. FEC ruling, finds out that the joke is on him.

    1. Welcome to last week.

  32. The whole autopen thing is just weird. They can’t Fedex the bill to him if he’s out of town?

  33. Don’t tell Barack, but I prefer it when he uses the autobanger on me.

  34. Was it S990 that reauthorized the sunsetting USA PATRIOT provisions? I went to THOMAS yesterday and looked at the text of that bill; I saw nothing that mentioned PATRIOT or homeland security at all. Instead, this appeared to be a very innocuous energy act.

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