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  1. Tennessee bans the online transmission or display of images that are likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

    Time to cross “see a congressman’s naked junk” off the bucket list.

    Stupid Tennesee, closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

    1. Stupid Tennesee, closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

      What does Anthony Weiner say when a stripper asks him to pull out?

  2. School District Hit With New Mac Spying Lawsuit

    Kennedy and the KGB
    …The second step, the KGB head informed Andropov, was a Kennedy strategy to help the Soviets “influence Americans.” Chebrikov explained: “Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize in August-September of this year [1983], televised interviews with Y. V. Andropov in the USA.” The media savvy Massachusetts senator recommended to the Soviet dictator that he seek a “direct appeal” to the American people. And, on that, “Kennedy and his friends,” explained Chebrikov, were willing to help, listing Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters (both listed by name in the memo) as good candidates for sit-down interviews with the dictator.

    Kennedy concluded that the Soviets needed, in effect, some PR help, given that Reagan was good at “propaganda” (the word used in the memo). The senator wanted them to know he was more than eager to lend a hand….

    1. Wow. Amazing to think that getting drunk and leaving an innocent female campaign worker to drown wasn’t actually the worst thing Teddy ever did.

      1. I posted that one just for you. 🙂

      2. I was in the capitol building in Boston when he died. They had a card for the general public to sign for him. Not feeling particularly evil, I think I wrote “Good Luck and God Bless!”.

        1. If anyone needed God’s blessing it was him.

    2. So is that guy a nutter, or is this a for-real deal? American Thinker sounds like “Coast to Coast” only without spaceships. And why have I never heard of this?

    3. More light shined upon the Hero of Chappaquiddick. Ugh, I remember when he finally died my leftist friends posting the most nauseating drivel on Facebook.


    Wisconsin Union protestors disrupt Special Olympics Ceremony. Bonus material from the comments to the Walkerville facebook page.

    I don’t know about anyone else but Im alright with this. Walker’s actions affect many of these people more than me. They have every right to know what is going on in the state; most of them probably already do. Honestly I find the fact tht he was addressing this group offensive. It’s like when he goes and visits a school. What a hypocritical liar.

    1. That’s like protesting Obama’s bowling.

    2. Seriously, John? Walker shouldn’t address the Special Olympics because he’s trying to balance the budget?

      And that makes it OK for political partisans to disrupt the event and ruin it for the Special Olympics people?

      Now, if he was addressing the roadbuilders or some other kleptocrat colluders, I wouldn’t care what the parasites did. But Special Olympics? Really?

      1. I think it was just someone’s quote.

      2. RC. That is a quote from the comments section. I quoted it as an example of the kind of stupid we are talking about.

        Sorry that wasn’t clear.

        1. I’ve caught myself mistaking quoted statements as yours before. You need to italicize or blockquote or bold or something to let us know those aren’t your words.

          You don’t want MNG to read any of those and incorrectly think you two are closer in ideology than you actually are.

          1. What is the code for that? Yes, I am retarded and don’t know HTML. So help out a Special Olympian here.

            1. < I > without spaces, then < / I > without spaces.

              1. Or to indent your quote as a block:

                < blockquote >passage you want to quote< /blockquote >…

                Likewise sans spaces.

                1. like this?

                2. even the slow kid can get it on the third try.

                  1. even the slow kid can get it on the third try.

                    Let’s see if I can mistype that badly …

        2. Agreed. You have a bad habit of cutting and pasting without quotation marks or italics or anything. I was about to lay into you until I clicked the link.

    3. Thats fucking retarded.

    4. Uh, oh…

      Unions protesting for more money for themselves. Profit-seeking in politics! MNG will no doubt suggest for a ban on this sort of thing, since he finds profit-seeking so disrupting to the political process…

      …or will he?

      Maybe he’s comfortable holding the contradictory idea that profit-seekers donating money (done to affect political policy) = bad, while profit-seekers carrying signs and screaming like banshees, destroying property, disrupting the peace (done to affect political policy) somehow = OK.

  4. Tennessee bans the online transmission or display of images that are likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

    No screen grabs of The View in Tennessee, got it.

    1. This time the FL strategy will work, dammit!

  5. Two elements are added to the periodic table.

    Adamantium! If you’re Canadian and have regenerative powers, watch out for the government.

    1. Strangely, it is the US gummint you should fear.

      1. Have you seen the embassy in Ottawa? Some Ontarians believe it extends 50 stories underground and houses a nuclear silo. I laughed but the idea of Canadians living in fear of our government is no mere fantasy. But then they eat a sugar puck and go on their merry way.

        1. a sugar puck

          Wait, is that a meme now?

          1. Only at tractor pulls.

        2. Maple syrup puck.

    2. I would love to have virtually indestrucible bones and sharper than razor claws… plus not having to worry about getting sick, and all of my injuries healing up quickly.

      1. Which would qualify you for an indispensable public service – stand in for the old ‘whack the wrecked car for a buck’ attraction as school fairs and festivals nationwide. Play your cards right, and you could be guaranteed at least $49.99 per appearance, plus access to a really bitchin 401k plan. . .

      2. And forgetting your teenage years. It’s a total win.

        BTW, the other new element is something from DC Comics. Batmantium, perhaps.

      3. Who needs indestructible bones, accelerated healing factor, or immunity to disease when you’ve got free Canadian health care?

      4. Shit, if I lived in a country with socialized health care, I’d want all that too.

    3. Given the half life of these elements, I’d vote for ‘Anditsgoneium’

    4. Adamantium? Is this something discovered by or named after Adam Ant?

    1. That liquid fuel? Gasoline.

    2. Sounds pretty cool. If they can work the bugs out to where it can compete with petroleum, without subsidies, and allow you to have an electric car as practical and safe as a ICE car, I’m all for it.

  6. Russia declares “total war” on drugs.

    I must break you… of your drug habit.

    1. Apparently Russia refuses to learn from our mistakes.

      1. Considering they didn’t quite pick up on some of their own, this surprises you?

        1. No, not really. We don’t exactly learn from our own mistakes, either.

      2. Speaking of the WOD – I received the following email announcement this morning from the US Dep’t of Transportation Office of Alcohol and Drug Policy:

        “On our web site, we posted a link in the upper right hand corner to an important Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative that will provide resources to help the children whose parents engage in illegal drug use, trafficking or manufacturing.

        The Drug Endangered Children (DEC) initiative is part of the President’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy and the Interagency DEC Task Force is lead by the DOJ to end the vicious cycle of drug endangerment and to protect the children. Part of what the DEC Task Force is accomplishing is the coordination of resources and the spreading of information regarding youth who live in or are exposed to an environment where drugs, including pharmaceuticals, are present for illegal purposes.

        The DEC web site has just been publicly released and it includes a compilation of related resources and a toolkit of promising practices to assist States, local, and tribal governments in identifying, responding to, and providing services for drug endangered children.

        We encourage you to visit this site.

        Thanks for helping to spread the word and not forgetting the children!”

        This is why the WOD will never end. The armies of entrenched bureaucrats, placemen (and placewomen), consultants, vendors, attorneys, advisors. councilors, experts, etc., who profit from it — over and above law enforcement — is simply overwhelming. I cannot begin to list all the offices, agencies, departments, bureaus, divisions, etc., at all levels of government that feed off it. There are offices dealing in drug policy, drug strategy, drug tactics, drug communications, drug eduction, drug testing, coordination of each of the foregoing, and on and on. It’s an unending gravy train. Even tne New Jersey National Guard has an anti-drug unit for some incomprehensible reason. If anybody or anything is “addicted” to drugs, it is government.

        1. Cancer eventually kills its host.

          1. So do addictions, sometimes.

        2. “But….but…it’s for the CHILDRENZ!

    2. This is gonna turn out awesome. Drinking a gallon of vodka every day = OK. Smoking a joint/railing a line = Opening a world of hurt with possible Russian literary tragedy.

      Russians do love suffering, don’t they?

    3. Unless they can attack drugs with wave after wave of tanks, they are destined to loose.

      1. Unless they can attack drugs with wave after wave of tanks, […]

        Sounds like a plan!

      2. Maybe drugs will inexplicably attack during winter.

        1. You know who else inexplicably attacked during winter?

          1. The Grinch?

          2. Some French guy. I forget his name.

            1. short, but a snappy dresser

          3. Montezuma?

    4. In Russia, drugs declare war on you!

    5. In Mother Russia, drugs declare war on you.


    Very interesting and fair minded piece on SWAT teams. What is also interesting is that all of the comments from the conservative but not libertarian PJ media readership is last I looked anti-SWAT.

    1. Thanks for the link. The author fails to mention the block grants and other Federal largess that are primarily responsible for every podunk town deciding to establish a SWAT team, but otherwise a good article.

      1. Internet conservatives are mostly of the libertarian wing. Honestly, the reason this kind of horrible shit goes on is most people still get their news from the paper and TV, and the paper and TV are bootlicking statists because they have FCC licenses to worry about.

        Honestly, a lot of conservatives can be brought around to be anti raid, if you explain things to them and don’t insult them right off the bat, which I bet most libertarians do. Just be calm and rational. Gun owners especially are quick to realize just how dangerous it is for SWAT teams to be called out so much. They know their natural reaction to a nighttime intruder is likely to get them killed if the intruder is a lost SWAT team.

    2. That’s because they killed that soldier recently. Cops vs. Military puts conservatives in a bind. I guess military wins?

  8. Hello, Schumer.

  9. Fanniegate: Gamechanger For The GOP?
    …If Morgenson and Rosner are right, there is someone the American people can blame for our current economic woes and it is exactly the cast of characters that a lot of Americans love to hate. Big government, affirmative action and influence peddling among Democratic insiders came within inches of smashing the US economy….

    NPR: How ‘Reckless’ Greed Contributed To Financial Crisis
    …So Fannie Mae was on very solid footing in the early ’90s, when James Johnson took over, and according to people who worked there at the time and worked with him, it became a completely political animal at that time.

    It became all about preserving the government backing, preserving the -essentially the subsidies that the government was providing Fannie Mae and making sure that those sort of – that sort of special treatment or special relationship with the government never went away. …

    1. But Bawny is a really great interview and he is gay. So what is your problem Johnny?

    2. But Bawny is a really great interview and he is gay. So what is your problem Johnny?

  10. “This year, President Dmitry Medvedev said drug abuse was cutting up to three percentage points off economic growth.”

    Because there’s no way they could just, sell it legally and turn that -3 into a +3.

    1. And Russian boozing cuts what off their GDP?

      1. Fingers, toes, random body parts not likely to be missed, etc.

  11. Sen. Chuck Schumer thinks Bitcoin is “an online form of money laundering.”

    He also thinks bras are only for women.

    1. The most shocking revelation is the claim that Schumer actually thinks. . .

      1. True. I’m sure that “parroted,” “mumbled,” or “misspelled in crayon and blood-flecked semen” would be more accurate.

      2. He also “thinks” (brain-farts would be a better term to apply to Schumer) that the federal government has four branches.

        1. He also “thinks” (brain-farts would be a better term to apply to Schumer) that the federal government has four branches.

          which is odd given that his family tree has but one.

          1. Schumer would be all for Bitcoin if it could be used to funnel campaign swag to Democrats.

            1. Shaking them down to do so is only the first step.

        2. Well, the various agencies kind of have become a fourth branch of gubmint.

          And let’s not forget Obama’s Private Army. Just this morning, my dad was telling me about that. He read it somewhere.

          1. My first thought: “‘Obama’s Private Army’? Would he even need one?”

  12. Tennessee bans the online transmission or display of images that are likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

    WTF?! How can they ban images but not text?! /sarc

    1. So does that mean every time a newspaper in Tennessee publish a picture of Henry, the evil moleman, Waxman, they are liable for prosecution?

      1. /sarc They jolly well had better be.

    1. I am not sure I have a problem with that. Why should a parent be allowed to sit there with their teeth in their mouth while their slimeball spouse or shackjob abuses their kids?

      1. “John Charged With Failing To Protect Infant”

        1. If I watched my wife beat the kids to death and didn’t do anything to stop, I am kind of thinking I deserve what I get. They are my kids. It is not like I am a bystander.

          1. “John Charged With Failing To Protect Infant, Not His, In Parking Lot Incident”

            1. That is different. You have no duty to protect someone else’s kid. But I can see where you do have a duty to protect your own.

              1. “It Takes A Village”

              2. Really!? That’s why you didn’t protect the infant? Are all libertarians like you, selfish and cowardly?

                1. Saying you should do something and are a coward for not doing it is different than saying you are criminal for not doing it.

                2. I’d happily protect someone else’s kid. Why waste a perfectly marketable commodity? Lots of ways to make some cash with a spare kid. . .

                3. It’s called having a legal duty to care.

                  I also can’t be arrested for not driving to your house and FEEDING your kid. Should we also give the mom here a pass if she doesn’t feed her kids for a month and they starve?

                  1. Exactly fluffy. If you have a legal duty to feed your kids, I don’t see how it is a stretch to say you have a legal to duty to try and prevent someone from beating them to death or at least call the cops.

                    1. Ironically though hasn’t the SCOTUS ruled that the cops you would call don’t have a legally enforceable duty to protect the kid?

                    2. Not cops MNG, better. CPS workers can’t be sued for failing to protect the kid.

                4. Mind your own business, jerk!

                  My kid is autistic, and this is the only way to get his attention.

                  1. Stop hitting me! Won’t somebody please stop my Dad from beating me again? Please?

                    1. Hang on, kid! I’ll slink around the corner and call 911!

    2. I’m OK with this, too. I’ve done lots of dv clients, Child protective services cases, and DV training. After about 8 years, I learned not to have very much sympathy for most of these women. “But, but, but, those nice guys are so boring and predictable, and Macho man drives a lifted Tundra.” I’d say about 1 out of 5 was a sympathetic victim. The rest, if you refuse to evolve out of that “bad boy” shit, especially when it impacts your children, fuck you, go to jail.

      1. I guess I should say, “Only” if it impacts your children. You want to fuck your life up with some violent ape, that’s your problem.

        1. violent ape

          I misread that at first, but either way, it all goes back to STEVE SMITH.

      2. This. I’m going through the state-mandated adoption training and what some people will stand by and let someone do to their kid is fucking mind-blowingly horrific. Then they get indignant about the state terminating their parental rights. WTF? You let some jackass beat and abuse your kid and you think you should get to keep custody and not be in a cage? Wrong goddamned answer.

  13. Time to cross “see a congressman’s naked junk” off the bucket list

    Time to cross “bucket list” off the annoying clich? list.

    1. I don’t see why; it’s as annoying as it ever was.

      1. THe once was a man from nantucket…

        1. I avoid cliches like the plague.

          1. *sniffle*

      2. I don’t see why; it’s as annoying as it ever was

        Damn your reading comprehension skills.

    1. It’s also a great pick-up line.

    2. It’s like a tortoise shell down there.

      1. You know that picture will be on the Internet for all time, so when Weiner’s kid gets old enough to ask “Where did I come from, Daddy?” Weiner can just download the picture.

    3. You have to bookmark that one for the rampant lookism going on in the comments section.


      “It’s not lookism when WE do it! We don’t wield the dreaded power of the male gaze!”

      1. I already bookmarked it for the how-to on waxing scrotums.

        1. “waxing scrotums”

          Is that a euphemism for waxing poetic?

          1. Nope. (Sorry.)

          2. No, but it’s a good name for a punk band.

            1. The Waxing Scrotums could open for the Smashing Pumpkins.

      2. I can’t fathom why he won’t resign. He’s going to catch ridicule and heck for the next two years and have everyone hate him. What does he think he is gaining from this? Surely at the beginning he could have gone to his party and said “I’ll be glad to resign and get out of your hair, just please hook me up with a job.” WTF?

        1. My guess is he’s dragging it out till he senses he’s self flaggelated enough to pick up some bonus pity points from enough folks (yeah, keep dreamin) to be able to land some kinda gig like his close personal friend Elliot Spitzer. . .hey, the only important thing is that they know your name, right?

          1. Coming soon: Weiner Spitzer.

            1. Not catchy enough… The Dick and Jizz Show.

            2. HBO:
              Game of Wieners.

            3. Weiner Bites Weiner.

              Sorry, but it had to be said.

        2. I think he’s trying to cut a deal. He needs someplace to land once he’s out of Congress. Its not like he’s employable at this point, so he’s trying to arrange some sort of sinecure with a fancy title.

          I’ll be very interested to see if/how long Huma sticks around. The “I am ambitious liberal woman, hear me roar” side has to be at war with the “I was raised a fundamentalist Muslim” side.

          1. MNG warned her about marrying a sneaky Jew, but she didn’t listen. Her hips will never go back to their 2009 borders.

            1. Too late, Huma!

              A little Weiner is occupying your uterine territories. Deal with the facts on the ground, and not the facts as you wish they were.

              1. Yeah, but once she evicts him, there can be no right of return.

                1. Can abortion be justified as an honor killing?

        3. Choked down just enough of Ed Schultz’ show last night to hear that fat fuck opine that Weiner has a kid on the way, and needs income and health care… so Weiner will probably hang on to his cushy government job as long as he can.

          God save us from the likes of Ed Schultz.

        4. Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

          Glibness/superficial charm
          Grandiose sense of self-worth
          Pathological lying
          Lack of remorse or guilt
          Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
          Callous/lack of empathy
          Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

          Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

          Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
          Parasitic lifestyle
          Poor behavioral control
          Lack of realistic long-term goals
          Juvenile delinquency
          Early behavior problems
          Revocation of conditional release

          1. Hey, that sounds like me!

            1. I had a genuine but short-lived and egocentric emotional reaction when reading it.

          2. That sounds like our Congressmen.

    4. Sugar, do yo know if there are home ball-waxing kits.

      1. As far as I can tell, it’s all the same basic product. So just go to the store and get whatever, I suppose.

        Go slow. Work in small batches. And have your partner help you.

        1. I would include a stick or twisted towel to bite down on to muffle the screams.

  14. “Russia declares “total war” on drugs.”

    Hey, we took over their unwinnable war in Afghanistan so it’s only fair.

    1. Thank God Obama got us out of that mess.

    2. Wait, Obama *is* pulling us out of the War on Drugs after all?

      1. A lot of the idiots deluded by vague sloganeering from Senator Present thought just that. I even knew somebody who outright refused to believe that medical marijuana raids kept on going post-election. The Lightbringer wouldn’t do something so nasty and ‘Rethuglican’ after all.

  15. This weekend, the Smithsonian will commemorate America’s first attempt at an air force.

    In June 150 years ago, Thaddeus Lowe flew 500 feet into the air in front of President Abraham Lincoln. Lowe was an American “aeronaut,” and he took flight in a 19,000-cubic-foot balloon.

    The 150th anniversary of the idea of a Union Balloon Corps ? the first air force in the United States ? is being honored Saturday on the Mall, outside the National Air and Space Museum, the very ground from which Lowe’s flight took place.…..l?hpid=z10

    1. The promoter’s biggest fear is that dancing may break out, and send the park police into a frenzy, and cause a PR nightmare out of the whole thing.

  16. In a world…

    1. …gone mad?

  17. It seemed like a straightforward question on a second-tier issue: Would Mitt Romney disavow the science behind global warming?

    Instead, the former Massachusetts governor stuck to the position he has held for many years ? that he believes the world is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to that pattern.

    So far, Romney’s reviews from the right are not positive. His views about climate change in particular put him at odds with many in his party’s base.…..story.html

    1. I don’t think anyone will care what he thinks about the science. It is whether he thinks that justifies a bunch of idiotic policies that is the question. But ultimately, Mitts got bigger problems with the base than just that.

      1. I think he would be a real problem as your nominee. The base would be unhappy, and the general public might find some problems with him too. Obama will turn out his base so the GOP needs a candidate that will not turn off their base but will also not turn off the general public.

        I think Rick Perry might be your best bet. I heard on CNN that Texas has recently created more jobs than all the other states combined. If that is even partly true then Perry can simply sell himself on jobs, jobs, jobs. He has taken enought ‘tea party’ friendly positions to satisfy the base he is “one of the them”, so if he can do that he should, unless the economy improves, beat Obama in 2012.

        But hey, I thought Obama had no chance in 08, so whadda I know.

        1. Mitt Romney will never be President. Niether will Perry for that matter. I am starting to think Pawlenty will probably win. Not because I like him but because he is boring, presentable and not a Washington office holder. Unless the economy turns around, that is all it will take to beat Obama.

          1. What’s wrong with Perry?

            1. I don’t think people will go for another governor of Texas this soon after Bush.

              1. Perhaps, but more jobs than all the other states combined? holy shit I would bring that up every other sentence.

                1. What is that? Like eight jobs?

                  1. 649,000 in 2009 if I’m recalling the statistic correctly.

            2. All the voters are gonna go, “Is that guy from Journey? They sucked, man.”

              OK, maybe that was just my reaction to his name.

              1. I thought he was the guy from 90210…

              2. Wait ’til you see his hair, then you’ll be thinking Wham!

          2. With Romney as the nominee (or Giuliani) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ron Paul or Gary Johnson jump to the LP for a run, just for fun.
            Would the 2 – 6% they’d pull be enough to swing the election to Obama?

            1. Probably. Although if the SS Obama keeps taking on water, maybe not.

              1. The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.

                If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost.The Minnow would be lost.

                The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle…

              2. It can sink and the media will hail underwater living as the newest green trend.

                1. You fooking plebes can abandon your fore-closed homes and rent tiny subsidized urban apartments while taking public subsidized transport to pick up your food stamps.

                  1. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

                    1. Hitler?

            2. Ron Paul on the LP party ticket would get 9-12% I guarantee you.

        2. The massive check as compensation for your astute political analysis and wise words designed for SoCon ears but loosed upon us will be arriving in the mail shortly. Feel free to apply it, and an additional buck and a half for one of those horrid beverages Starbuck’s overcharges for.

          Because, what the fuck you talkin bout ‘your nominee’, white man?

          1. I was talking to John dude, not the libertarians here. John’s a conservative.

            1. ah, an ‘anti-Tony’

              pretty much the same type of strange matter particle in physics, just a reversed charge.

              1. If they touch they will destroy the universe. Only solution is to trap them together in a pocket universe where they will grapple for all eternity.

                1. Yeah, because there is nothing partisan about you MNG.

                2. rather and epi?

                  1. They used to be married and the universe is still here. So that can’t be right.

                    1. Wait, they used to be married?

                      I didn’t know that.

                    2. No Fluffy. They didn’t. But if you really want to piss him off, tell him they were. Drives him insane.

                3. “If they touch they will destroy the universe.”


                4. But what of Lazarus?

                  The worst TOS episode ever. Maybe the worst episode of any Trek, and that’s counting the interminable Aztec temple one in TNG.

      2. Let’s ask him random questions from American history. That’s the true test of presidential competancy.

        1. Name all five Monkees.
          Wait, all four Monkees.

          1. Two days ago I was thinking about how I grew up in the eighties and the Monkees were still on TV every day. It seems so weird that they would have been on.

            And weirder still that I enjoyed watching them.

          2. Mickey Dolenz
            Peter Tork
            Michael Nesmith
            Davy Jones

            Shit, I’m such a product of the 70s. I did that from memory. I used to watch that show…

    2. If you’re going to vote for someone who thinks we need to “do something” about global warming, and we need top-down Total State management of our health care, why would you pick Romney over Obama?

      Is the Republican base really going to turn out for a RINO? Are the independents really going to vote for “Anybody but Obama”? A Romney candidacy needs a “yes” to both of those.

      But if the independents go ABO, then a nominee who isn’t Obama-Lite can win. And has a better chance because the Rep base will actually turn out.

      If you’re talking electability, I don’t see how Romney is the odds-on pick.

      1. never underestimate the stupidity of the Republican (or the Democratic) voter.

    3. If Romney did the right thing and DID dismiss manmade global warming, I *might* consider not loathing him as much as I do now.

      But I still wouldn’t vote for him.

  18. Civic-minded residents of Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota, found there’s nothing like a major flood to make new friends while filling thousands of sandbags.

    Just wait until they turn to cannibalism.

    1. Bits of long pig with Velveta and a can of onion soup in a casserole. Maybe served with lime Hello with marshmallows. Midwestern cooking at its best.

  19. “North Dakotans band together to battle floods.”

    My ex-wife is from ND, Those are some high-quality folk. She, of course, was an outlier.

    1. Ok, that was pretty funny +1

      1. Thanks, Minge. Her grandmothers (now deceased) where strong pioneer women. I had tremendous respect for them.

  20. This year, President Dmitry Medvedev said drug abuse was cutting up to three percentage points off economic growth.

    Yes, that’s why your economy is failing. Too bad we don’t have any decent country-by-country drug use statistics. We may not outdrink the Ruskies, but we must have more potheads.

    1. old hotness – ‘kill a commie for mommie’

      new hotness – ‘kill a bowl THEN kill a commie for mommie!’


  21. Tennessee bans the online transmission or display of images that are likely to “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”

    Where was this Great Firewall of Tennessee the first time I was unsuspectingly Goatse’d?

    1. Or RickRolled?

      That always causes me emotional distress.

      1. No need to beat yourself up for falling for it 27 consecutive times in a row. Just a smack to the forhead will do in a pinch.

  22. “It’s just basic science,” he said. “And kind of fun.”

    Yeah, it’s all fun and games until you push it a little too far and create a black hole that swallows the solar system. Livermore labs, I’m watching you.

    1. The redshift will be the tip off. . .

    2. Just saying, although you’re obviously tongue in cheek, unless they find a way to create mass, the event horizon of a laboratory-created black hole is slightly smaller than the volume of the particles they smashed together. In this case, probably a bunch of metal nuclei. Given that blackholes radiate with volume to surface area, the lifetime would be nearly as short as the other cool exotic particles they make. Like femtoseconds. I’m not worried about one getting loose and swallowing the world.

  23. “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, according to a report on Thursday that could reinforce fears the labor market recovery has stalled.”

    Jesus H. Christ can we stop with the “unexpectedly” bullshit already? It is like “this just happened and we have no idea why but it had nothing to do with anything the Black Jesus in the White House did we assure you”. But remember there is nothing biased about the big media. They have just been using the same fucking tired term for every piece of economic bad news since January 20th 2009, out of habit I guess.

    1. if I had turned that in, it would have come back with “unexpectedly to whom?”

    2. It’s not a problem any more.

      They’ve just succeeded in making the word “unexpectedly” into a punchline.

    3. This. It also highlights what BS the “predictions” are. “Wow, the experts missed it by a factor of two AGAIN!”

    4. when you expect the unexpected it is no longer unexpected, but just expected. Or something.

      1. “Housing prices have unexpectedly fallen for the 50th month in a row. In other news, the bombs dropped on Libya unexpectedly killed people and flooding in North Dakota unexpectedly caused many formerly dry areas to get wet.”

    5. Remember all the stories about Bush’s ‘jobless recovery’?

    6. I love the “unexpectedly” stuff. It’s basically economists and government admitting how absolutely stupid and fulla shit they are.

      The sad thing is the bulk of the populace eats it up.

    7. They wanted to blame it on Bush but the editored nixed that as being too obvious.

      1. editor nixed,I should preview before submitting when I rewrite

  24. 40 out of 50 Indiana State Senators sign amicus brief supporting use of force against unlawful police entry. According to Volokh, the amicus brief mentions the Indiana self-defense statute that somehow wasn’t mentioned in the original opinion or dissent at all.

    1. That is a good thing, but wtf don’t they, I dunno, pass a law to this effect?

      1. Oh, I see I missed that they pointed to an already existing law. Still, instead of a brief can’t they essentially pass a law clearly and explicitly negating the court’s holding?

        1. They could, and I agree that they should if the rehearing doesn’t work. Apparently they’re waiting partially because the already existing law wasn’t even mentioned in the opinion. Or the dissent. Or the briefs for the main petitioner or respondent, including on appeal.

          So that’s kind of weird. The Legislature apparently believes that the existing law covers the situation, but nobody in the court case, on either side, bothered to bring up the existing law, only discussing common law.

          1. It is pretty common for judges and lawyers to talk themselves into some pretty esoteric and stupid shit.

        2. I think they meant “It is OK for State Senators to use force against unlawful police entry”. Just sayin’….

    2. I’m appalled. I would think any competent lawyer would begin his examination of a shooting during a “dynamic entry” with an analysis of the self-defense law.

      Regardless of whether the citizen or the goons pulled the trigger.

      1. True, a competent lawyer would take this approach. Sadly, the profession is full of half-wits.

    1. Hillary has fathered a child at her age. Even with balls like hers, that is still a remarkable accomplishment.

      1. When the baby comes out wearing a pants-suit, I may as well go ahead and laugh myself to death and get it over with.

        1. I thought laughing makes you live longer? Well, cheer down NutraSweet.

          1. Anyone been keeping tabs on what Billy Jeff has been up to this whole time? Anyone really buyin that he ‘gave away’ the bride? Indian-giver style, maybe. . .

            1. She too thin for Bill.

              1. Give it till the third trimester. And with the added ‘baby weight’ that just won’t seem to yield to Pilates, she’ll be better than a fresh box of knock-off Cohibas. . .

                1. I don’t understand how pilates is supposed to make you lose weight.

                  It looks like something you’d have old people do when they’re too frail to actually exercise.

                  1. Pilates is a form of Yoga right? Go out and put yourself in the “up” pushup position and stay there for about five minutes. Then come back and tell us how you feel. Yoga is absolute torture.

                    1. I can see how stretching might hurt, I just don’t see how it burns any calories.

                    2. It burns calories because your whole body tenses up. The Yoga sections on P90 and P90x are the most painful workouts I have ever done in my life.

                    3. IIRC, Pilates was invented by a Hungarian doctor after WWI to give bed ridden patients (war vets who were often missing limbs) a way to exercise.

    2. Jaime Lannister?

      1. No spoilers!!1!!!

      2. Incest makes me squirm. I thought incest makes ‘tards, not just midgets. Dothraki rape is way more appealing than all that sisterfucking in that show.

    3. Well she was Hillary’s aide and Bill saw an opening…

  25. Also, Kerry and McCain were forced to cancel their Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting, because they didn’t have the votes for their pro-Administration resolution. Instead, Corker and Webb are introducing a bipartisan resolution that mirrors the House one. Rand Paul says he’s going to introduce a tougher one.

    1. The Senate is losing a statesman with Webb. Recently he bucked the Democratic party line on affirmative action. The Democratic Party really needed people like him, that he’s leaving speaks volumes about what is wrong with the party.

      1. And maybe with more than his party btw.

        1. Actually, Webb is the ‘better’ Senator from Va – but simply because the pencil necked milk sop that pretended to be their Governor then only got elected because he had the same last name as the fossil that was retiring, thus confusing many Virginians, along with the sheer redneck ‘maccaca’ stupidity of the other team’s candidate, who could have otherwise beaten him like a rented mule at the polls due to his crappy tenure in Richmond cultivating the ultimate butt snorkeling toady, Tim Kaine.

          1. along with the sheer redneck ‘maccaca’ stupidity of the other team’s candidate

            Err, Allen ran against Webb, not Warner. Warner beat Gilmore, who sort of back into the nomination.

            1. My bad, you’re right. For a lot of reasons, watching Va politics up close had all the appeal of watching a bus full of kindergartners having a slap fight during a three hour road trip, so yeah, it gets kinda mushy and fuzzy, with conflations of stupid events not being uncommon.

  26. From the always great Dear Prudence WAPO chat last Monday.

    Q. Revenge of the Geek?: I enrolled my two boys into an exclusive private school in our new hometown. At a school event I bumped into an attractive woman whom I didn’t recognize. She came by and asked if I remember her. It turns out that she was someone I bullied in high school. After that day I noticed other moms slowly avoiding me. I think she must have told them about how I used to bully her. Eventually my boys started coming home, crying and upset that other kids wouldn’t play with them. My younger son was not allowed to join a game of hockey during recess because another boy told him, “My mom says your mom is a b***h.” They are now openly being ridiculed and ostracized at school by their peers. I asked to meet my former classmate and apologized for bullying her as I was young and stupid, although I don’t much remember what I did. She smiled at me in a creepy way and said she went through therapy for what I put her through. I haven’t told my husband about this woman because I’m a little ashamed at how I used to treat her. Putting my boys into another school is not a feasible option, but I just don’t know what to do.

    Yuppie Washington moms are quite vicious.

    1. This is why I don’t have an advice column. Because my advice would involve telling the other mom’s kids that the reason her mom got bullied in school was because she sexually molested a retarded janitor.

      1. Nah, she was bullied because her parents made her get a sex change operation in the 8th grade.

      2. After she killed all the home room hamsters. . .

      3. Dear SugarFree,

        My new neighbor, a large, ugly, hairy man who claims to be a bankruptcy attorney from Los Angeles, wants me to go hiking with him sometime. Should I accept his invitation?

        -Concerned in Oregon

        1. Under no circumstances. Get out of the house, and try and cross a stream as you flee. It will throw off your scent. And you might want to try and get some sort of chastity belt for your private crotch business and your mouth. And ears, nostrils, tear ducts and foot arches.

          Seriously. Stop reading the Internet and GET THE FUCK OUT!

          1. The call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

          2. Steve Smith is a bankruptcy attorney?

            1. Yes Fluffy he is. You would be amazed at the arrangements creditors are willing to make after being confronted with the threat of being raped by a Bigfoot.

            2. “Steve Smith: Man Raping Bigfoot Attorney at Law”

              If that is not a Robot Chicken show, it should be.

          3. You forgot to tell him to get video. For Warty’s amusement, if for nobody, and probably nobody, else.

    2. If you can’t put the boys into another school, you have no choice but to get them to embrace their identities as the offspring of bullies.

      Once they crack a few skulls they’ll be the ones deciding who plays in hockey pick-up games.

      You have to look at it as if you’ve just become President and have to deal with Afghanistan. Maybe it’s a stupid war, but your kids are now stuck with it and if they can’t withdraw they have to kill everything in sight.

      1. That’s essentially what my father told me when I was bullied as a kid. “You can’t change schools, crying about it won’t help, and apparently they don’t punish bullying. you do the math.” he was right. all it took was standing up once and the kid backed down and we all got on with our lives. I’ve given it about zero thought since then.

        1. my brother once told me – “if you let people push you around, they will keep on pushing.”

          So I took the kid who was bullying me at Junior HS and shoved him into the lockers. Never got bullied since.

          1. Never was severely bullied in school, although some of my classmates were well known ticking time bombs that might replay some of the home abuse tricks they’d picked up from their oh, so loving parents, which was virtually no different from bullying. Never was that much of an issue, as the authority figures realized these were one-off, uniquely fucked up situations, not imaginary major societal trends that only they could notice or address. Also, I’ve noticed something interesting, kind of related to the whole ‘payback’ aspect, which is, well, as dumb as the childish incidents triggering such impulses. And it’s this – as a kid, I was prime bullying material. No fighting skills, average to moderate physical development, so I was never the biggest or fastest of the year group. Then I joined the military. And 30 years passed on by. Simply because of this, even though I was Air Force, not in a direct hand to hand combat role, the instant intimidation factor is . . .oddly powerful. Even though my last actual physical altercation was during my high school years, and ended up with me getting my ass kicked, with a mere tone of voice and a glance, people can be cowe3d into believing all sorts of unpleasant and imaginary things, which will make them bend over backwards to please you. Not like you, but do what you want. Quickly. Especially if it is something they are already supposed to be doing.

            And the realization of this, along with running across some former ‘Bilbo-badass’ who is now a meek and sheeply member of society, willing to put up with all kinds of pointless shit just to be ‘polite’ is . . .well rather satisfactory in and of itself, somehow.

            1. I get by on being ludiriously hard to kill.

              1. Damn you, premature sumbitation!

                1. Stop bullying your keyboard.

            2. I’m tall, so that automatically reduces a certain number of protagonists. But back then, I was also of a “sensitive” nature, so some bullies picked up on that.

              Now that I’m older (jaded, bigger, or whatever reason), not many people take the time to bother me. For example, I notice that panhandlers never ask me for change. But I certainly don’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder – heck, I can’t remember the last time I actually got in a real fight.

    3. I know we are supposed to be super serious about bullying now, but did it ever occur to people to toughen the fuck up? The concept of being an adult is fading from memory.

      1. No. The world is supposed to fall at the feet of her little brats. It owes her that.

      2. Great point Dangy. I was bullied and beat up on a regular basis in elementary school. I eventually learned how to fight & then no one messed me after I kicked the school bully’s ass. I now consider getting bullied a positive experience. I never would learned to defend myself if I hadn’t been bullied.

      3. The other thing that struck me about that post Dagny is how petty and vindictive women are. If I ran into a former bully from school, I would imagine we would laugh about it now. Seriously, who but a woman is still pissed about something that happened in the 8th Grade?

        1. Figuring that the rampant victimology on display with the whole thing, combined with the liklihood this isn’t a completely unique circumstance, the sort of petty bile on display here would go along way towards explaining the amount of bile that seems to pop up from just about everywhere else in DC. Petty and vile. It’s the new social path to. . .something.

        2. Seriously, who but a woman is still pissed about something that happened in the 8th Grade?

          And, apparently has no problem with her kids taking it out on her former bully’s kids, who obviously had no part in the bullying.

          1. That’s just till the lawsuit for generational compensation gets out of the discovery phase. . .

          2. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Those little bastards were there. There’s no limited liability for future offspring.

        3. Some bullies grow up to be cops or other people with authority. Some of them become complete losers, but they still keep that bully mentality with them later in life.

          1. And there’s a direct correlation of how tightly the bullying mentality is held to the insignificance of the authority granted it almost seems.

        4. Sorry, gotta go with the Revenge faction on this one.

          “Let’s let bygones be bygones.” Sure. Right after I wreck your shit, then we can bury the hatchet.

          1. Yeah, and the punk ass kid that was responsible for the after the play blindside late hit that earned me a full arm cast for six weeks is quite befuddled and utterly clueless his good fortune that I keep rejecting his friend request on FB, or so I’ve heard.

            1. Sounds like he needs to get the high school ex-girlfriend line:

              “When I told you that I never wanted to speak to you again, what part didn’t you understand?”

            2. I have done the same. After all these years, I have my revenge on FB. LOL

          2. Interesting. Had this conversation the other night.

            Revenge is a dish best served over and over again.

  27. Is anybody else watching the Canucks choke in their first chance at the Cup in, like, forever? Two abysmal games in a row in Boston.

    1. I don’t watch much pro-basketball.

    2. My inlaws are from Boston. Don’t worry the Bruins are bigger chokers than the Canucks. They will find a way to lose.

      1. Fun little factoid: if the Bruins do in fact go on to win, every one of the major Boston pro teams will have won a championship in the last seven years. That would be a pretty damn remarkable feat.

        1. It would be. But that fact will not stop Boston fans from whining about how hard they have it.

        2. It’s not sufficient until they all win in the same year.

    3. Canada-Boston, I’m torn. Why can’t they both lose?

      1. In matches like this I always root for a meteor strike.

        1. I only wish for the meteor strike when Buffalo is playing. Anyone. Cause Stan is that big an asshole. No, I’m not going to explain that.

    4. You have to understand that to everyone in the US, the Canucks may as well be the Washington Generals.

      No one is watching them “choke” because you can only choke if you are the protagonist in the narrative. And the Bruins are the protagonist in the narrative down here.

      1. Yeah, Vancouver is only 3 hrs from Seattle and people here have no idea why all the cars with BC plates have Canucks flags right now.

        If they do manage to eke out a win, Van will go crazier than it did during the Olympics.

    5. While not normally a Vancouver fan, I generally root for whomever wins the West after my team (the Devils) fails to get in or is knocked out in the first round or two of the playoffs. The only reason I’m not upset is Tim Thomas, the rest of the Bruins can suck it.
      The 8-1 game was pathetic to watch. Luongo should have been pulled after the end of the second. That he started game 4 boggles my mind. If Vancouver’s lucky Schneider will start game 5 and they might still have a chance at beating Boston.

      1. If the Canucks win, they will be forced to overpay EVEN MORE the shakiest blocker in the West.

        If the Canucks lose, Luongo will be drawn and quartered in the public square.

        Either way, everyone else is better for it.

        1. win win?

    6. If it was still socially acceptable, I would have a youtube up of Hitler ranting about that.

      1. There is the incentive of a German lawsuit – you know, one you have to dress up in latex bondage attire for to appear in court about. . .

    7. No – once the Wings were out, my interest dropped. Just happy the Sharks finally choked again.

      Of course I really don’t want the ‘nucks to win either. So go, uh, Bruins.

    8. Fuck team sports.

      1. Finally, a true libertarian chimes in.

  28. Fox News is carrying the story about the student loan SWAT raid. This morning’s update:…..latestnews

    1. The IOG’s statements seem to contain some weasel words. Something is fishy here.

      1. ‘Official’ statements crafted by lawyers so mediocre they could only find employment from the government that contain ‘weasel’ words?

        HOW THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN? Oh, nevermind.

      2. I think they are actually experiencing what we would call “shame”.


    “Oh, right, guns have nothing to do with the health of our children.”

    No Dahlia they don’t. You stupid fucking cow.

    1. Yeah, asking about guns in the house (or whether you wear your seatbelt) really is not a medical issue (though I don’t know that I would support a law forbidding doctors from asking about anything, seems like a free speech issue). Doctors should be concerned with things that can go wrong inside your body, not with every possible risk that one might face in life.

      1. Also, what the fuck is a “toilet lock”?

        1. A device that prevents the toilet lid from being lifted so little kids can’t drown. Yes, this is an actual thing. The child safety people are insane.

    2. “Kiddo, if the doctor asks you about guns, tell him I let you run around with loaded guns. Papa needs a big lawsuit win.”

    1. Damn. Moby needs to be electrocuted like Curt Cobain needs another hole in the head.

    2. That’s when I reach for my Taser

      1. +1

    3. His kids are going to be gay and have super powers.

    4. I really liked Play.
      So sue me.

    5. [random Powder reference]

    6. And nobody does a damn thing except take pictures of his lifeless body on the floor. Good going, humanity.

      I prefer to read that last sentence as being non-sarcastic.

  30. Jesus fuck, read those comments over at Jezebel . . . those bitches rant on and on about the virtues of the hairless male body. And they do so with a kind of passion normally reserved for sports, or politics.

    1. It’s funny, I always thought that having a body image preference meant that you were an evil running-dog lackey of the oppressors on Madison Avenue.

      Huh. Weird.

      1. No, no. If you disagree with their body preference you’re an evil running-dog lackey.

    2. C’mon, Koan, for that crowd, a “hairless male body” combines sports and politics.

    3. What’s the big mystery? It’s how all their boyfriends are. You know, the ones that love to go shoe shopping with them.

  31. Isn’t “Reason” old enough to use the word “penis” instead of the seriously Puritan euphemism “junk”?

    Nice link re the Wall Street Journal/Al Jazeera scam. So the WSJ is sleazier than AJ. Who saw that coming?

    1. I suggest we all start using the alternate term for “junk”, namely, “the Alan Vanneman”.

      1. So, a Balko story is now a kick to the Vanneman?

      2. STOP SPELLING MY NAME WROND!!!!11!!!!!!

  32. I must say that the student loan story smells . . . that is, I think most posters here have made a sort of reflexive jump to judgement here. I was initially appalled, and I still think that the use of SWAT is at least questionable, but I have a gut feeling there is much more to the story here.
    *Ducks for cover*

    1. Did the wife have a previous violent felony conviction on her record?

      Had the wife made public statements declaring her intention to violently resist any warrant?

      Because unless the “much more” involves one of those two things, it doesn’t really change the story for me.

      1. That doesnt change it for me. Unless she has hostages RIGHT NOW, the SWAT team is unjustified.

    2. I’m fine with stopping at “Dept. Of Ed has a SWAT team.” I don’t give a shit what they are using it for, the fact that they have one is the scandal.

      1. Im fine with stopping at “SWAT team”.

  33. 40 out of 50 Indiana State Senators sign amicus brief supporting use of force against unlawful police entry. According to Volokh, the amicus brief mentions the Indiana self-defense statute that somehow wasn’t mentioned in the original opinion or dissent at all.

    Fuck “amicus briefs”. I suspect the Indiana Senate is the body responsible for holding impeachment proceedings against those judges. For treason.

    GET ON IT.

  34. I throw a show at you!

  35. the pencil necked milk sop that pretended to be their Governor then only got elected because he had the same last name as the fossil that was retiring, thus confusing many Virginians, along with the sheer redneck ‘maccaca’ stupidity of the other team’s candidate, who could have otherwise beaten him like a rented mule at the polls due to his crappy tenure in Richmond cultivating the ultimate butt snorkeling toady, Tim Kaine.

    *outright, prolonged laughter*

  36. Fluffy, SF, both of you make fine points. The DoE should not have a SWAT team – seriously, WTF? – and we do not know at this time anything about the wife’s criminal past, if she has one at all. It just seems so . . . unbelievable.
    If it’s true that the DoE used a SWAT team over defaulted student loans, then I will give serious consideration to packing up and leaving. If it turns out that there is some sort of greater criminal enterprise afoot, then I still think some serious law enforcement reforms are necessary, and may even be possible. That we are even talking about a DoE SWAT raid is distressing.

    1. The warrant was for papers, documents, etc. relating to financial fraud. It even had “other contraband” scratched out and initialed by the judge. Still far from something that should require a SWAT team, but not collecting on a default.

    2. if the DoE was working in conjunction with a “real” law enforcement agency, then this story would have weaker legs. But even still, the use of the SWAT team is questionable over something that is probably just a ‘white-collar’ crime.

  37. Sen. Chuck Schumer thinks Bitcoin is “an online form of money laundering.”

    So people using cash must really piss him off. Money laundering happening in broad daylight! On our streets! Will no one think of the children?

    1. If only they had bitcoin back in the day, Judas might have gotten away with it.

      1. Q: How was Cat 5 cable invented?

        A: Two Jews fighting over a BitCoin.

    2. Schumer’s only pissed because he can’t get Bitcoins handed to him in a briefcase at a Starbucks, or left in a brown paper bag in a rent-a-locker at the train station.

      1. Exactly!

  38. Does anyone know why The Agitator is coming up “This Host Does Not Exist” ?

    1. It’s back working.

      1. It has been bouncing up and down quite a bit lately.

      2. Important resource: Down for everyone or just me?

  39. If it turns out that there is some sort of greater criminal enterprise afoot

    What manner of misbehavior involving student loans could POSSIBLY justify that sort of raid?

    Let’s assume the worst, and posit her participation in some sort of organized ongoing criminal enterprise defrauding lenders on a large scale; barring a trail of dead and maimed student loan officers from sea to shining sea, there is still no reason one guy in a suit, carrying a briefcase, couldn’t have trudged up the sidewalk and knocked on the door.

    “Sir, I am part of an investigation involving irregularities in student loans. We believe your wife may have information relating to our investigation. Is she around?”

    1. …barring a trail of dead and maimed student loan officers from sea to shining sea…

      Is there a problem with that?

    2. Or even a simple phone might has sufficed:

      “Yo, lookin’ for Judy. That bitch around?”

    3. STOP RESISTING!!!11?!1!

  40. a trail of dead and maimed student loan officers from sea to shining sea

    Poetic, no?

  41. Justice Scalia chastises the legislature for the vague, crappy laws they write.

    1. Call me when he starts striking them down.

      Justice Dean’s opinion:

      “Jeebus on a stick, what part of “vague” do you idiots not understand? Of course this law is unconstitutional, when your own goddam lawyers get into a fist-fight during oral arguments about what it means. And don’t give me that arguing in the alternative bullshit; if you can argue in the alternative about what a statute means, it is by definition unconstitutional.

      Here’s the deal: if government’s attorneys have to look at the statute during oral argument to answer a question about it, it fails. They’ve had nothing to do for weeks but learn the damn statute; if they can’t manage it, how is an ordinary citizen with a life to live?”

      1. Give that the court pretty much gave itself the power of judicial review, it should also give itself the power of judicial quality control.

        “This law is a poorly written piece of shit, and longer than the Bible and every Ayn Rand novel put together. Sending it back for a complete re-write. Keep it down to 10 pages.

        – Ed.”

  42. Goddammit, John. I just read that Dahlia Lithwick link; now my head hurts and I want to go deposit a giant flaming bag of dog shit on her desk.

    1. A word please, sir?


    These pictures are quite remarkable.

  44. Cop shoots self:…..effco-home

  45. Russia declares “total war” on drugs.

    Everything old is new again.…..viet-State

    Gorbachev’s original theory was that the socialist system was in good working order, but the people, the cogs in the communist machine, had taken to laziness, drunkenness, and were accumulating “dishonest income” in violation of socialist ethics. His first reform was to call for “a restructuring of people’s thinking.”

    The anti-alcohol campaign began right away. Party bosses sternly announced that they didn’t want any “drunks” in their country. Their enforcers began a concerted effort to discover anyone with the smell of alcohol on their breath and haul them into the police station. When the police stations became overcrowded, it became routine practice to drive thousands of people about fifteen miles out of town and drop them in the cold and dark. Nearly every night, you could see armies of so-called drunks walking miles back to town in the middle of winter.

    Over 90 percent of liquor stores were closed. The Party bosses did not anticipate what happened next: sugar, flour, aftershave, and window cleaner immediately disappeared from the shelves. Using these products, the production of moonshine increased by about 300 percent in one year.

    The predictable result was a heavy loss of life. From 13,000 to 25,000 people died from drinking poisonous homemade alcohol. Many more died standing in lines for five hours to get the little bit of official liquor that was left. Meanwhile, Gorbachev and loyal Party bureaucrats ? who said the dead deserved their fate ? would get expensive liquor from the West delivered to their homes and offices. Many families would spend up to 75 percent of their official income on alcohol. But with Gorbachev’s campaign, every other household began moonshining.

    Revenues from alcohol sales (taxed up to 6,000 percent) were a major source of funding for the central government, generating enough to fund the entire medical budget. The campaign ended when the government realized it was costing too much. The government’s budget began to lose 25?30 billion rubles per year. Moreover, Gorbachev learned what previous regimes had understood: it is easier to govern people who are drunk because they withstand humiliation and abuse better. When people are sober they begin to care about politics and are not nearly as passive. So Gorbachev did an about-face and ordered a massive increase in alcohol production. And he had the government make it available to be sold everywhere, even toyshops and bakeries.

    The anti-alcohol campaign did irreparable damage to the economy. With state revenues having been severely curtailed, an economic chain reaction set in that hurt every sector. The central bank began to print money, leaving too much money chasing too few goods. Consumers used to get enough to survive from state stores, but new disposable income saved from not buying alcohol was spent on goods. The end result was massive shortages. And to correct for the deficit, services were drastically cut, even while Gorbachev restricted private alternatives.

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