Reason Morning Links: Negotiations, Protests, and Lawsuits

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  1. TGI Monday.

    1. **** you! I’m waiting for the weekend again

      1. Errybody’s working for the weekend.

  2. So Gerald was the longest lived US President and Betty made it to ~93 also, how does she rank for 1st ladies?

    1. Much more boring than most of them.

      1. Before or after she quit drinking?

      2. Boring is preferable to self-righteous do-gooder. And as an ex-alkie, she was anything but self-righteous. I thought she was pretty cool, actually.

    2. I dunno but Gerald was never elected VP nor President. How does he rank as president. He didn’t actually do much besides pardon Nixon, AFAIK, so that already puts him way up there in my book.

      1. You’re fogetting Whip Inflation Now!

        1. Oh yeah, I am. Still, as far as government initiatives go, it was certainly one of the best. Did it actually cost anything?

          1. A few million dollars worth of “WIN” pins, at least.

            1. Still a mere pittance compared to No Child Left Behind and other such extravagances.

      2. I assume it is the doing nothing that puts him high in your book. But I don’t think Ford should get much credit for his lack of doing things. He really couldn’t have done anything if he had wanted to (especially after pardoning Nixon).

      3. Ford is actually the rare example of a politician who did the right thing for the country even though it was unpopular and probably cost him an election (as well as some totally unfounded attacks on his character from the left).

        You just know the Dems would have turned any Nixon trial into a circus, and it’s not like Tricky Dick got away scot free.

      4. He’s still behind William Henry Harrison on that scale.

        The last year or so of Comatose Woodrow Wilson was also pretty decent, though his wife was still signing legislation for him.

    3. I meant “rank” in terms of longevity.

      1. Nancy just turned 90, so she still has a shot at the title.

      2. Longevity? What a frickin’ boring objective term. Just look it up, slacker.

        1. Longevity has its place.

      3. Hillary’s core personality will be downloaded onto another TX model terminator, so in that sense she’ll be immortal even if someone does manage to lure her into a giant drill press.

      4. I bet she smells like most other old people…

  3. “And you’ll see that reflected in higher interest rates and more concerned loss of confidence.”

    This is the exact approach I take at the local bars. As a result, my deposits in low self-esteem girls have never been higher.

    1. The first lol of the week.

  4. “Those debt talks haven’t gotten anywhere.”

    If the Republicans cave on this they will be guaranteed to loose the house in 2012. The Democrats know this. Have the Republicans forgotten why they were in the House in 2010?

    1. How else would talks be expected to go when one side will not budge an inch on their position? I mean, don’t get me wrong, some things you perhaps should not budge an inch on, but it is strange to be talking of talks and compromise when one side has totally taken a big issue off the table.

      1. Please explain why we need to raise the debt limit at all?

        1. I dunno about that, but interestingly the GOP seems willing to raise it, but only with some concessions regarding the budget. I only point out that they have taken the thing they don’t want off the table in talking about these concessions.

          1. The GOP establishment does, yes, but not the entire GOP.

            Perhaps they have no actual desire to raise the Debt Ceiling and are using the threat of NOT doing so to score political points? We all must remember that almost all of those in congress are political creatures at heart.

      2. You mean the Democrats and Social Security, right?

        1. Perhaps he means the Democrats and tax increases.

        2. In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

          1. Something tells me that any SS proposal from either party will be rich in flim-flam accounting tricks that simply punt the ball down the road a year or two.

          2. Obama’s SocSec cuts, as far as I can tell, begin and end with reducing the inflation adjustments. Helpful, one supposes, but hardly what is needed in the long run.

            1. And considering that the Obamacare legislation raises the Medicare portion of payroll taxes, it’s bullshit.

      3. I know it’s practically impossible for the parties to put aside the game of politics for a moment to take an opportunity to avoid what will likely amount to financial disaster down the road, but they should.

        Frankly, I don’t think the absolutists within the GOP who are refusing to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling are the real problem, because, really, they’re right. We need to take steps now to dramatically cut spending. Otherwise, we’re tempting fate. It’s simply not true that we’ll default if we don’t raise the ceiling, and people in both parties fanning the flames on this issue need to sit down and shut up.

        If they just do the usual “compromise” that does nothing to improve the situation, then we’re going to endure even greater pain when the austerity is forced upon us later on. Now we have the luxury of picking and choosing cuts to make. Later on, we may not have any choices.

        1. A+. Excellently said.

        2. If an individual loses his/her job and doesn’t have an immediate backup (say, within a month) or significant emergency savings, their best plan is to eliminate luxuries (sell the Bimmer, go to a voice-only cell phone plan, stop cable TV, etc.) until they can turn things around.
          If this person also has credit card debt up to the limit, they need to think about selling more assets.
          If a company is dependent on revolving credit facilities to meet payroll and accounts payable, and they lose a major account and stand near their credit limit, they need to think about cutting payroll or selling non-core assets or business units.
          If governments find themselves in similar situations, we appear to be learning, they just need to write themselves a bigger paycheck, raise their own credit limits, and hire more enforcers to ensure the revenue keeps coming in.

          1. Fiscal sanity doesn’t care if you’re the magical fairy government or a business.

      4. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some things you perhaps should not budge an inch on, but it is strange to be talking of talks and compromise when one side has totally taken a big issue off the table.

        Agreed,

        The House should pass a bill that raises the debt ceiling and cuts the budget and then dare the dems in the Senate to not pass it or Obama to not sign it.

      5. The farther you push a policy away from the political median, the more resistance you face. Spending is unusually high, taxes are not unusually low, so it makes sense that the GOP would be more entrenched.

    2. There will almost definitely be a large number of ugly primary challenges if House Republicans agree to raise taxes.

      1. And rightfully so.

        1. Why do you love deficit spending so much?

          1. LOL. Hopefully those who challenge them in the primaries will be of the growing Ron Paul wing.

            1. I smell a lot of “if” comin’ off this plan.

              1. IF the Republicans cave.

            2. He has at least one more son, right?

              1. According to (the always accurate)Wikipedia he has the following children:

                Ronald “Ronnie” Paul, Jr.
                Lori Paul Pyeatt
                Randal “Rand” Paul
                Robert Paul
                Joy Paul-LeBlanc

                Of course, I have no idea (with the exception of Rand) what their political beliefs actually are. Just because you have a parent who is libertarian does not mean that you are.

                1. Also a boatload of grandchildren (both his daughters had 5 kids, I think) and at least one great-grandchild.

                  Some of his adult grandchildren worked on his campaign.

                  1. In any case, I hear Chairman Brian Miller will be availible soon.

                2. Joy is the obstetrician for my wife and my brother’s wife. I have a friend who works at her clinic. They regularly distribute Ron Paul swag.

                  1. Are they all obstetricians?
                    Also: I would love to see the branded “swag” that an obstetrician’s office hands out!

    3. They’ll lose in a landslide of a magnitude unseen since the days of FDR if SS checks come in 40% lower due to stalling on the debt ceiling.

      1. Of course, the decision to cut SocSec checks is 100% Obama’s decision, as it is completely within his discretion to cut other programs first.

        1. Even if he zeroes out the budgets of every single other program, unless he cuts defense to almost zero, SS/M will have to see significant cuts no matter what. He can’t just furlough the entire military and military pensions are obligated under the 14th.

          1. It’s going to be interesting seeing Obama try to reconcile the liberal position that Social Security is a self-sustaining program that pays for itself, and the necessity of cutting payments because we can’t take on more debt.

            The MSM won’t put him on that particular spot of course, so this is on the level of my Scarlett Johannson fantasies, but everybody needs to relieve stress in their own way.

            1. according to a lefty radio show I heard last week (Los Angeles-area station), the deficit is entirely due to the Bush tax cuts. Doing away with those was the solution to all problems.

  5. Her story of a brutal attack in Iraq sparked a national outcry?but how much of it is true?

    A female reporter and Mother Jones doubting a rape charge? Now there is some news!

    1. All in all I’d say that was as fair a treatment as one could expect from Mother Jones, especially considering that we’re talking about… GASP!… KBR! (which used to be a part of… HALLIBURTON!!!!!!)

      1. Having for all intents and purposes stolen hundreds of millions from the taxpayers, neither company is worth defending. The contractors are mainly parasites who have contributed little to the wars.

        1. KBR and Halliburton did productive work for private companies before the wars. They used to do the same functions (food service, administration, logistics) for oil fields. KBR did lots of fabrication and civil engineering at one point.

        2. Intensive Porpoises dude…c’mon, tow the lion here.

          1. If I had the right connections (going back to before Vietnam) even I could make a lot of money employing Bengalis to do laundry and ladle out chili mac.

            I’d probably buy my own lion to and hire a Filipino to tow him around.

    2. The jury found that she had not been raped. No matter — her allegations served their true purpose by discrediting Bush and helping the Democrats rally the female and anti-war vote. Like Cindy Sheehan, Ms. Jones is now expendible.

  6. “It states that any boycott against Israel or any group located within its territory, including Judea and Samaria, will be labeled a civil offense and its initiators will be subject to litigation.”

    WTF?

    1. I, for one, will reserve my judgment until I see a Downfall parody weigh in.

    2. Cue rambling post about [THE EMPIRE]

    3. The Knesset is scheduled to vote Monday on a “Boycott bill” aimed against anyone who declares an academic, economic, or artistic boycott on Israeli official or civilian organizations, even those located in West Bank settlements.

      I plan a boycott any news agency using the serial comma. We don’t need a wall constructed between that second and third item. Bulldoze it out of there.

      But they should just do a law that states hurting any Israeli business is illegal.

      1. They should have a law that says that if you don’t buy from an Israeli business you are liable. Like a super-international-mandate.

        1. Its is already against US law for companies to participate in some boycotts of Israel.

          http://www.bis.doc.gov/complia…..liance.htm

          1. Do you support that?

          2. That only applies to importers and exporters… it’s much more limited in scope. If I, Tulpa, private citizen, decide to boycott Israel there’s nothing in the law that allows the federal govt to punish me. And I don’t support it even in limited form.

        2. God the current Israeli ruling class is a paranoid bunch

      2. As an opponent of the serial comma, it is good that your nom de blog is Fist of Etiquette, not Fist of Grammar.

        1. That said, the use of a serial comma before “or” is inappropriate.

          1. Every extra comma posted or printed costs money, damages the environment and a third thing.

            1. It damages both the environment and a third thing?

              1. I lol’d

            2. Stop the madness! Besides, I review plenty of contracts, press releases, and the like, and let me tell you that I have yet to meet a serial comma opponent who is consistent. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.

              1. It damages both the environment and a third thing?

                That doesn’t even make any sense.

                …I have yet to meet a serial comma opponent who is consistent.

                I came out of the womb tying together three items with just a comma, a conjunction and grit.

              2. I have yet to meet a serial comma opponent who is consistent.

                I am simply an opponent of the Mandatory Serial Comma. I am consistent in that I only use the serial comma when the sentence would otherwise be unclear.

            3. You would have hated the 18th century. Fucking commas everywhere.

          2. The list “hashbrowns, ham or bacon, and biscuits” is much easier to read if you can count on the comma before “or” preceding the final list item. Otherwise it could look like a choice between hashbrowns or ham or bacon until you get to the “and biscuits” bit.

            1. Well, duh. That’s why I always make my own breakfast.

            2. I prefer to use the logical operators in my lists…hashbrowns AND (ham OR bacon), XOR biscuits…

            3. Most examples of where the serial comma is “necessary” are just examples of poor sentence structure. If you simply rephrased: “Hashbrowns, biscuits and either ham or bacon” there would be little room for confusion.

              Even in your example, the confusion relies on the reader not finishing a short sentence. That sort of person deserves whatever breakfast he receives.

              1. Bah. The simplest solution is the serial comma, not reworking sentences to deal with its absence.

      3. The comma is nice. It lets you know that the “or” references a distinct item and isn’t adding to the current item.

      4. What? Are you mad? The serial comma a friend of liberty.

        1. Put a comma in the concluding conjunction in a series if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction: I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs.

          The AP Style Book says it, I believe it, and that settles it.

          1. Appeal to Authority!

            1. That is really all there is if you want to be “right” about grammar or punctuation.

        2. It’s the best weapon we have against collectivization of our lists.

          A true friend of the individual, as it were.

      5. Frankly, you can never, have too many, commas. They never create more ambiguity.

    4. Does that mean boycotting Hamas is illegal?

    5. This is a terrible proposal to combat a stupid practice. Anti-Israel boycotts are stupid and immoral ironically for the same reason that much Israeli policy is the same, because of its overbroad, collective nature. Let’s say you oppose some Israeli policy (rightly or wrongly), to engage in a general anti-Israel boycott is immoral and stupid because a significant number of Israeli’s effected by the boycott are likely opposed or indifferent to the policies you too oppose. This is why, say, I oppose the Gaza embargo (a majority of Gazans did not vote for Hamas years ago, yet they are punished under the embargo the same as those that did). Having said that, this law is indefensible, these boycotts are stupid but they are voluntarily engaged in behavior.

      1. So when leftists boycott Walmart, that’s immoral since they’re hurting Walmart employees, who probably don’t support Walmart’s policies either.

        Embargo != boycott, by the way.

      2. The boycott for the boners it produces in Bigotville.

      3. But…Hamas!! Terrorists!!

  7. just hours after Obama conducts a news conference to make his case for a “balanced plan” that includes both budget cuts and ending certain tax breaks and loopholes.

    Your daily dose of class war fare.

    1. I’m actually fine with ending certain tax break loopholes, as long as we define what they are. I’m also fine with getting rid of many tax credits as well as making sure NO ONE gets more money back than they put in… ever!

      But if you should have more coming back than you put in, then the excess should be deferred to next year’s tax liability as opposed to cutting that person a check today.

  8. A fat tale
    …Nic Lewis, the indefatigable mathematical sleuth who helped expose the mistakes in a paper about Antarctic temperature trends has been looking at how the IPCC estimates climate sensitivity — that is, the warming expected for a doubling of CO2. He finds that the one study that estimated sensitivity entirely from experimental data — Forster and Gregory 2006 — was distoted by the IPCC when it came to present their results. The distortion was the imposition of a Bayesian “uniform prior” in a way that statisticians say is wholly inappropriate, because it effectively assumes a priori that strong warming is more probable than it is. Yet you don’t even have to know that the use is inappropriate to know that it’s inappropriate to take a published result and alter the graph from it, adding an obscure footnote to say you have done so. A published result is a published result.

    The effect was to fatten the tail of the graph, making a warming of more than 2C look much more probable….

    1. Very interesting. My GF is a PhD candidate in statistics in a very Bayesian department; I’ll have to ask her opinion on this.

      1. I imagine that your bedroom chatter is different than mine.

  9. Obama Sold, Tracked, Same Guns To Cartels He Hoped To Ban Because They Were Tracked From Cartels
    In the Spring of 2009, the Obama administration called for the banning of “assault rifles” and .50 BMG “sniper rifles” due to their use in crimes by Mexican drug cartels. Obama dubiously alleged that 90% of these weapons were tracked back to the United States, implying that Americans have an obligation to surrender some of our freedoms to keep these weapons from being smuggled illegally over the border and used in Mexican-on-Mexican violence in Mexico. In this vintage clip, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre discusses Obama’s proposals with Glen Beck.

    Obama backed off these proposals a month later, noting that such a ban would not be politically feasible at this time.

    In Fall of 2009, the Obama Administration conceived Operation Fast and Furious, in which the ATF sold thousands of advanced weapons to Mexican drug cartels in order to track them once they were used in crimes. This policy perfectly dovetailed with Obama’s gun control arguments. First of all, by selling guns to the cartels that the ATF could definitely trace back to the US (because they were bought from the ATF), the percentage of guns used in Mexican crimes traceable to American guns would increase. ATF supervisors rejoiced at their success when they found that these guns were being used for violence in Mexico….

    …And which guns did the ATF sell to the cartels? AK-47-type assault rifles and Barrett .50 BMG sniper rifles. Exactly the types of guns that Obama hoped to ban due to their use by the cartels….

    The government’s gunrunners
    The scandal surrounding the bizarre federal gun sting gone awry — Opera tion Fast & Furious — continues to mushroom.

    A Phoenix TV station says its investigation of a local drug bust three months ago involving four illegal aliens turned up 43 weapons that had been sold legally to “straw purchasers” in Arizona but wound up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels — all under the watchful eyes of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    And that’s not all.

    A search of court and ATF documents turned up at least four other local cases in which major drug busts also involved numerous assault rifles on the agency’s Suspect Gun Database. …

    1. I have a hard time believing that Barrett .50s are ending up in cartel hands without US government help. He won’t even send/receive his own guns from California for modification for LEOs due to California laws. He’s pretty scrupulous about following state and federal law, and tends to deal with credible folks.

      1. They’re also fairly specialized pieces. It’s not like you’re throwing a Barrett at some 16 yo barrio gangbanger and telling him to get after it.

        Or are the cartels that dumb? I honestly don’t know.

        1. There’s a lot of ex-military in the cartels. Some of them may actually have been trained on Barretts, but regardless, I’m guessing they’re the ones who get them.

          1. I’m not sure exactly what special training one needs to operate a Barrett effectively. Basic long range precision marksmanship skills seem to apply directly–the .50s I’ve fired have all operated the same as any other bolt action or semiautomatic precision rifles I’ve shot. The insanely high ballistic coefficient makes it easier to shoot at long ranges than the .338s and .30s.

            1. For everything I can see the Cartels needing a .50 rifle for—very long range shooting, defeating vehicle armor—an M2 MG would do just as well or better, and for the cartels be even easier to get.

              Not to mention that shooting accurately over 1000 yds, which is where your 50s and .338 LMs show their superiority over the run of the mill .308, is really, really hard due to things like doping wind and range estimation. It’s not like the Cartels need to kill people beyond the range of counter-sniper fire. Aren’t most of their assassinations at 50 yds or less? Or with a bomb?

              1. Unfortunately, most folks aren’t that savvy. They hear .50 caliber and freak out. I still recall reading the post on some gun story, and an individual who thought you can order a .50 cal sniper rifle over the internet and us it to shoot down commercial jets. Logic will never prevail with the “guns are icky” crowd.

                1. Gus van Sant showed high school teenagers ordering fully-automatic weapons off the Internet and having them delivered direct to their door in Elephant, so of course this must also be the case in reality. It won a Palme d’Or, after all.

            2. I’m not sure exactly what special training one needs

              Basic long range precision marksmanship skills

              Answered your own question there, didn’t you?

  10. Now, an increasing number of environmentalists, consumer groups and scientists are seriously testing a novel solution to control it and other aquatic invasive species ? one that would also takes pressure off depleted ocean fish stocks: they want Americans to step up to their plates and start eating invasive critters in large numbers.

    “Humans are the most ubiquitous predators on earth,” said Philip Kramer, director of the Caribbean program for the Nature Conservancy. “Instead of eating something like shark fin soup, why not eat a species that is causing harm, and with your meal make a positive contribution?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07…..h.html?hpw

    1. This is precisely why I pose as a calf in online chat rooms to entice pervert cattle into coming over to my house for some fun.

      Chris Hansen isn’t the only one capable of giving pedophiles a good grilling.

    2. “”””Humans are the most ubiquitous predators on earth,” said Philip Kramer, director of the Caribbean program for the Nature Conservancy. “Instead of eating something like shark fin soup, why not eat a species that is causing harm, and with your meal make a positive contribution?””””””

      I haven’t read the story but this makes it sound like eating people would make the most positive contribution to the environment.

    3. Humans are such good predators. That’s why our favorite food animal, cows, are so close to extinction…oh wait…

      1. If our goal were to make cattle extinct in a given region (say all of the USA), how long do you think it would take?

        1. *coo* *coo*

        2. “But we hid cows in the attic”

      2. Um what?

      3. Humans also have thins thing called “farming” or “ranching”. Pretty clever.

      4. A good predator doesn’t drive its food source to extinction. It kills and eats what it needs today (usually sick or weak prey that would have died soon anyway) and lets the rest reproduce that it may eat tomorrow too.

        And considering the fate of wooly mammoths and bison, that makes humans exceptionally bad predators.

        1. Considering the total absence of megafauna outside of the Arctic in the Northern Hemisphere, maybe it isn’t humanity’s fault exclusively.

        2. I’m not sure the bison is that good and example.

          While they were overhunted for food and hides, to a large extent the reason for their near extinction was the deliberate government policy to exterminate them to make it easier to keep the plains indians on reservations and to get them to adopt farming and ranching as lifestyles.

    4. Specieists! How dare they suggest we discriminate against immigrant species!

    5. I don’t eat to male a political statement, I eat for enjoyment and nourishment. If you can make these invasive species taste good while giving me the energy and vitamins my body needs, go for it. But I, and the majority of people, don’t eat to prove a point. To most of us, the biggest health impact socially motivated foodies have on us is to keep our eye muscles in good shape.

      1. They mentioned in the article that lionfish tastes pretty good, although it can carry ciguatera. Which is, IIRC, endemic in the same areas that lionfish are being a pest. Whoops. You’d have to despine them before sale, obviously.

        The two times I’ve had carp, it tasted like shit. Perhaps it depends on what they’ve been eating? Boning them shouldn’t be a problem though, if you’ve ever cleaned something like pike. Hard to imagine it having a crazier, finer skeleton than your average pike.

      2. I just thought this was a neat way to use marketing and voluntary behavior to combat an environmental problem, rather than some heavy-handed government ban or tax or program…

        1. I totally agree; didn’t mean to come off as disdaining the idea. I just happen to have a few food-nanny friends that consistently get my eyes rolling.

    6. Lamprey: it’s what’s for dinner.

      Not very catchy, but it appears to work in Portugal.

  11. There is an age-old debate over alcoholism: is the problem in the sufferer’s head ? something that can be overcome through willpower, spirituality or talk therapy, perhaps ? or is it a physical disease, one that needs continuing medical treatment in much the same way as, say, diabetes or epilepsy?

    Increasingly, the medical establishment is putting its weight behind the physical diagnosis. In the latest evidence, 10 medical institutions have just introduced the first accredited residency programs in addiction medicine, where doctors who have completed medical school and a primary residency will be able to spend a year studying the relationship between addiction and brain chemistry.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07…..?_r=1&hpw;

    1. “The rethinking of addiction as a medical disease rather than a strictly psychological one began about 15 years ago, when researchers discovered through high-resonance imaging that drug addiction resulted in actual physical changes to the brain. “

      Bombard your brain with psychoactive chemicals daily and observe physical changes. Call the Nobel Foundation.

    2. I really, really, really, despise that line of reasoning. FFS, what human activity is NOT related to brain chemistry?

      The debate should not be over how changes in brain chemistry due to stimulative behavior might lead to a feedback loop. No fucking shit this is the case. The debate is one of free will.

      Individuals are still responsible for taking steps to make changes, regardless of how “hard” it may be due to the changes wrought by past misbehavior.

      1. It’s a classic example of looking for your glasses under the lamp post. Docs work on physical systems, so the problem must be primarily physical. Maybe they will identify metabolic pathways that work differently and can be targetted, but at the end of the day the choice remains with the individual. Or gene therapy.

      2. You only despise this line of reasoning because your brain chemistry makes you despise it.

    3. The alcoholics, er social drinkers, I know are pretty much addicted to the stuff – every social event revolves around drinking until a state of drunkenness is reached.

      If they do stop drinking, they get addicted to something else – smoking, religion, or drugs.

      I once knew a junkie who quit the habit and went on the methadone program. He went on to become an alcoholic!

      I do know people who have successfully quit, but they become annoying prigs.

      1. * should have written “but some become annoying prigs”

        1. You know, us former alcohol addicts get pretty sick of your stereotypes, mister! There are plenty of us who have learned not to constantly lecture others over and over about the problems associated with alcohol abuse just because we used to have a problem with our drinking.

          Now sit here for 45 minutes while I tell you how I learned not be a dick…

        2. And for the record, it is possible to stop drinking without drugs or AA or anything else. It’s also possible to learn how to drink within limits.

          I was a teetotaler for about 8 years, then started drinking again. I still drink to catch a buzz (I don’t see the point in “a” beer), however now I only do it 2 or 3 times a month instead of 5 or 6 times a week.

          1. Compared to my 20s, I’ve throttled back on the booze train. It’s mostly the responsibility of having a kid, “real” job and I don’t recover as fast as I used to.

            On the other hand, some of my friends don’t seem to be slowing down at all.

          2. I now drink so rarely that one beer gets me noticeably tipsy.

            I feel a hell of a lot better than I ever did in college, too.

    4. “Age-old” debate? I don’t really think so. The physical “maladization” of addictions, character disorders, and the like is a quite recent phenomenon.

    5. Increasingly, the medical establishment is putting its weight behind the physical diagnosis.

      Predictable, since a physical diagnosis generates revenue for the medical establishment.

      1. So, psychiatrists are no longer part of the “medical establishment”? At best you are talking about shifting revenue from psychiatrists to internists, which pretty much puts your supposition to rest.

        1. Vastly outnumbered by their colleagues. Supposition remains valid.

          1. So what, pediatricians, orthopedists and gynecologists are going to be partaking of these newly finagled spoils?

            1. How many people people used to take their kids to a psychiatrist to shut them up, vs. to a doctor for a pill today?

            2. Gynecologists are often a woman’s de facto primary care doctor. I expect them to be cashing in, yes.

              Get back to me with the ratio of primary care doctors who will expand their business under this approach, v. psychiatrists who might lose some business, and we’ll talk.

              1. Placing the burden of proving your contrivance on me rather than on you and your local seer where it belongs is adroit, but I think I’ll pass on it.

    6. Stupid false dichotomy. Of course addiction is something physical happening in one’s body. Everything is. That doesn’t mean that will power has nothing to do with it. That is exactly what will power is: using your rational mind to do things that your body (including mental and emotional systems) makes it difficult to do.

      1. It’s like that fucking fat-ass FDA guy who had a book out a few years ago saying that his compulsion to eat cookies couldn’t be combated by will power alone. Of course that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that he didn’t have sufficient willpower to avoid the cookies. That’s what willpower is, fatso.

      2. Problem is that, like “consciousness”, it isn’t clear what “willpower” is and why some people seem to have it towards some stimuli while others don’t towards other stimuli.

        It could simply be a case of their urges not being as strong, since there’s no way to objectively measure the strength of an urge.

        1. I use the Kathy Bates / Jessica Alba scale to measure my urges.

        2. True. It seems likely that people who are prone to addiction, overeating, or whatever have stronger urges to do the thing they know they shouldn’t do, so it is not only a question of willpower. And we don’t know exactly what willpower is, but I think we can agree that it is roughly the thing that allows us to overcome our baser impulses and urges.

  12. Selective Shaming: If only government were as accountable as British tabloids.
    …So, at the News of the World, every single employee is clearing out his desk. But, at the Atlantic Public Schools, at the DEATFBI, life goes on. A curious contrast. The striking feature of Big Government, from Athens to Sacramento, is its imperviousness to any kind of accountability ? legal, fiscal, electoral, popular. A media mogul, a bank chairman, an oil executive, a corporate-jet depreciation-claimant are easily demonizable: As President Obama cautioned CEOs a couple of years back, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    More fool us. Our pitchforks are misdirected.

  13. The August 2nd deadline for the debt ceiling is nothing but political bullshit as is all the administration’s screeching about ‘default” and “catastrophe”.

    The federal government collects more than enough in taxes to pay the interest on the currently outstanding federal debt. All it has to do is prioritize paying that first and cut spending elsewhere.

    Cutting spending on anything else is not a “default”.

    This was entirely a ginned up crisis anyway. The Dems could have raised the debt ceiling back when they were in charge of the entire govt before the election. They deliberately chose not to do so just as they chose not to produce a budget for 2011 as they were supposed to do so.

    It is nothing more than a political ploy – an attempt to split the Republican party by getting some of them to vote for tax increases under threat of a “catastrophe”.

    1. I think the Republicans split themselves when they voted for the 2011 budget.

    2. from the WSJ:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

      “We think this was the President’s spend-and-tax plan from the very first. Run up spending and debt in the name of stimulus and health-care reform, then count on Wall Street bond holders and the political establishment to browbeat Republicans into paying for it all. He apparently didn’t figure on the rise of the tea party, or 1.9% GDP growth and 9.2% unemployment two years after the recession ended.

      Last November Republicans won the House and landslide gains in many states in large part because of the deep unpopularity of the stimulus and ObamaCare. Mr. Boehner has a mandate for spending cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans instead agree to raise taxes in return for future spending cuts that may or may not happen, they will simply be the tax collectors for Mr. Obama’s much expanded entitlement society”

  14. Looks like Howie will have a new Death Pool today.

    I pick Casey Anthony.

    1. That would be Howard Lawrence Carr ?

      1. The most expensive car on your lot.

  15. Is Porn a Prisoner’s right?

    Now, I could post the original, but a thread on Feminsting that gets over ten posts is always worth celebrating. Seriously, WTF did they do to that comments section?

    John Told me if we legalized gay marriage, gays would be expected to get married to get benefits… and he was right!!!

    Although, on a larger note, I think as much as we dogpile on Feminists on here, what we really are picking a bone with is liberal feminists who have highjacked the term. Cathy Young, Mangu-Ward, and Postrel would all probably identify as feminists, but sites like Jezebel would kick them out, because they don’t, for example, believe that it is the government’s job to fund child care, or Planned Parenthood.

    Honestly, I think Feminism has limited itself: When it was purely the idea of, “Hey, women should be politically, socially, and economically equal” people were cool with it, but when it became, “Oh, and you have to be pro-abortion, and have state funding of abortion because if a woman can’t afford an abortion it’s not a ‘meaningful’ right, oh and child care because otherwise they can’t return to the workforce properly, oh AND…etc.” I think that is where Feminism went off the rail. Also, as a CC alum, the lack of ability to take a fucking joke. Sadly, I can’t post another link, but I will post the FIRE article about an incident which happened my freshman year in the next post.

    1. Y’know, the porn and prisoners rights posts would’ve gotten comments if NurtaSweet had had his insulin this morning.

  16. UK says no more fat babies.

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/…..latestnews

  17. The US Gov. has already defaulted as a result of a lack of debt ceiling increase… in 1979

    Follow up to last post: Colorado College shows how to alienate a whole generation from feminism in my freshman year.

    tl;dr version: The Fem-Gen department has a flier they put in the bathroom, some guys spoof it, the Fem-Gen department gets super butthurt over this and gets the administration to rip down the satirical fliers, go in to full crises mode, and punish the offenders.

    1. “Colorado College shows how to alienate a whole generation from feminism in my freshman year.”

      People aren’t supposed to find out that feminists are humorless twats until after they’ve been sold on easy sex and the possibility of occasional lesbianism.

      1. Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        A: ONE GOD DAMN IT!

    2. The funny part is that the feminists call their own flier “The Monthly Rag.” Someone spoofs your spoof and you get all offended?

      Reminds me of the old joke: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
      A: THAT’S NOT FUNNY!

    3. FDR’s “revalutaion” and Nixon closing the gold window were both plainly defaults too.

  18. Should schools tell your kid is fat?

    Okay, ‘nother mini rant: I think that this is another area where “feminist” websites like Jez or Feministing alienate folks. Body image has NOTHING to do with the political and economic equality of women, but it has become a big feminist issues because a lot of women feel bad about their bodies, so it gets page views.

    Our long national nightmare is over: Arrested Development movie is being made.

    1. Hopefully “Arrested Development: The Moive!” will do better than the last cult-fandom-series-“wrongly”-cancelled-by-FOX-turned-movie Serenity did.

      1. *checks tine sharpness on pitchfork, dips torch in pitch*
        I’m sure you mean commercially, right?

  19. OT: http://img51.imageshack.us/img…..aryuni.jpg

    Which are your favorite uniforms of the uniformed services? Also, are the old Army Green uniforms (and their star arrangement on the shoulders) better?

    And the Chinese reds pull out a new one, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..ts_Cao.jpg

    Remind you guys of anything?

    1. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..rtrait.jpg

      Also, that’s a fucking kick-ass uniform — look at those buttons!

    2. Marine dress blues are easily the best of the lot.

      Ask any woman.

      1. Nothin’ close.

      2. Even lowly privates have to beat women off with a stick while wearing the dress alphas. Good times.

    3. How can you be off topic in Morning Links?

      Navy uniform. Everything else is too busy.

      1. I’m surprised that the Navy enlested men didn’t complain about dropping the traditional dress blue uniform with bell bottoms and dixie cup hat the way they did in the late forties, when the Navy floated the idea of a change, and the early seventies when they actually made the change only to revert to tradition within a few years.

        1. enlested s/b enlisted

        2. And, BTW, who the fuck decided that sailors need camouflage work uniforms. You’re on a big motherfucking ship in the middle of the ocean, where the fuck are you going to hide?

          Besides which, the enemy is out to sink the whole big motherfucking ship not out to kill you individually, sinking the ship will likely increase the odds of that happening.

          1. Supposed to be an “although” before “sinking”.

          2. That is possibly even more absurd than police wearing camo in the city.

          3. That website said they had military uniforms, so why did they include the Coast Guard?

            …okay, that was mean.

          4. It’s a ulitity uniform for work situations, mainly in the pattern to conceal wear and stains, among other things. And they look pretty great, so I don’t care! 😛

            I’d much prefer if the stars on generals’ shoulder straps were much bigger — they sort of look puny now.

            1. “Ulitity”? Lmao. Utility.

            2. OK, that’s a good answer, and actually makes sense.

          5. Corpsmen and Chaplains detached to the Marines need to fit in, so they gave everyone in the Navy the utes so they wouldn’t feel left out.

  20. Court overturns FCC decision to allow media consolidation, “people” somehow win.

    Seriously, it’s called the fucking internet. Anyone can start a blog, a website, a Drudge report.

    The Don Draper guide to problem solving.

    Weirdest thing? Got this link off Feministing… because Don Draper is a feminist… somehow.

  21. I do this for the Lulz:

    What if you had to ask your husbands permission for a credit card?

    Married Reasonoids, I’m counting on you for some funny responses to that question.

    1. Teh wife doesn’t use the CC except for emergencies.

      Now on the other hand, my audio gear binging…

    2. It’s the other way around for me. I scrounge on ebay looking for pristine copies of vintage wargames, and catch hell for it, while my wife goes through thousands to support her adrenaline addiction (road bikes).

      1. Seperate checking and cc accounts. As long as the bills get paid per the mutually agreed upon split, it’s all good.

  22. That’s THE Colorado College, you ignorant buffoon; where you are free to explore any idea (no matter how wacky or preposterous) as long as it does not challenge or offend their progressive sensitivities.

    And they wonder why I ignore the “Dear Alum” tin-cup-rattling pleas they send me every two fucking weeks.

    1. Naropa?

    2. Wait, P Brooks, you’re a fellow alum? What year?

      And yeah, CC sucks, and it is RETARDED that they now insist on being THE Colorado College, like we’re goddamn Ohio State or some bullshit.

    3. DU BITCHES!!!!

      Can’t spell dumb without DU.

    1. That article is the first time I’ve had a shred of sympathy for FB programmers. Fuck giant MySQL installs.

    2. “It would be easy to accuse Stonebraker of tooting his own horn”

      Yes, it is. Statements like “‘old’ SQL is good for nothing” can’t be taken seriously.

  23. Why the Debt Deal has stalled: Dems demanding bigger tax increases.

    SURPRISE!!!!!

    Mancession over, He-covery beginning.

    Okay, let me ask this: Why the fuck are people so stupid about services v manufacturing? “Oh, services suck, but manufacturing makes stuff!” Sorry, but we export services, we import goods, and we have the biggest damn economy in the world. I get a manufactured product is more tangible, but seriously people…

    1. Also, why do people think the US doesn’t manufacture stuff?

  24. I was there when the current Secretary of the Interior was there; in the mid-seventies.

    ps- I thought Salazar was pretty much an idiot in 1975, and my opinion of him has not improved.

    1. Yeah, it kind of sucks when people ask me, “Who went there?” and I have to tell them Salazar.

      The Hockey team’s still pretty good though, so that’s slightly redeeming, although it does make it harder to get chicks with so damn many puck sluts.

  25. That actualyl makes a lot of sesne when you think about it. Wow.

    http://www.anon-toolz.tk

  26. It was a lot more fun, but you could see the Politically Correct Nanny Stater Mob grasping frantically at the levers of control.

    Those fuckers sure loved them some Woodrow Wilson.

  27. Is Sex Passe? Asks NY Times.

    Seriously, between this and April’s The Sex Drive Idling in Neutral I’m starting to think that the New York Times writing staff isn’t getting laid.

    And here I thought that liberal chicks put out.

    1. Lust for control fuels our current obsession with the deficit, our rejection of passion, our undoing of women’s rights. How far will we go in destroying women’s equality before a new generation of feminists wakes up? This time we hope those feminists will be of both genders and that men will understand how much equality benefits them.

      Que?

      1. It gets better.

        Punishing the sexual woman is a hoary, antique meme found from “Jane Eyre” to “The Scarlet Letter” to “Sex and the City,” where the lustiest woman ended up with breast cancer. Sex for women is dangerous. Sex for women leads to madness in attics, cancer and death by fire. Better to soul cycle and write cookbooks. Better to give up men and sleep with one’s children. Better to wear one’s baby in a man-distancing sling and breast-feed at all hours so your mate knows your breasts don’t belong to him. Our current orgy of multiple maternity does indeed leave little room for sexuality. With children in your bed, is there any space for sexual passion? The question lingers in the air, unanswered.

        Or, from the other article…

        She couldn’t really tell me. It wasn’t exactly a Bund rally she’d attended, but it was something. Even if these women weren’t planning to fob their own husbands off on helpful neighbors or prostitutes, they were in agreement that at a certain point in a long relationship, a woman might very well just want less of “that part” of her life (“that part” being the linguistic first cousin to “down there”). The biological imperative for sex had receded, and was now as distant as the memory of, say, once having gone to Epcot with one’s parents (you know you were there because of the snapshots of you and your family in lederhosen; just as, in the case of sex, you know you once prolifically and creatively partook, because you ? or perhaps, horribly, your children ? have unearthed from a drawer a tiny bottle of some dried gray substance called Love Pollen, older even than the Robitussin PE that haunts your medicine cabinet.) Suddenly, being touched by one’s husband or partner could seem so … last year.

        The New York Times: The Grey Lady, for and by Gray Ladies!

        1. Damn block quotes, and damn lack of an edit function!!!

  28. Paul Ryan accuser won’t talk
    …On Saturday, I sent Feinberg an email asking a few questions about the incident and about her unhappiness with Ryan. First, the photo she snapped of Ryan and two men sitting a few tables away appeared to be taken from her own table, and on that table was a bottle of wine. (Feinberg told TPM that she and her husband had shared a “bottle of great wine.”) A check of the Bistro Bis wine list — in much the way that Feinberg did at the restaurant — shows that the wine was a Thierry et Pascale Matrot 2005 Meursault, which is $80 per bottle at Bistro Bis. Was that, in fact, Feinberg’s bottle of wine?

    I asked Feinberg, an economist, what price constituted outrageous in her mind. Would she have been as upset if Ryan’s wine were $150 a bottle? Or $100 a bottle? Or perhaps $80 a bottle, like her own — which is, after all, more than a day’s labor for a worker making the minimum wage.

    If the problem was not just the wine’s cost, then what other factors were involved in Feinberg’s anger? Was it because she thought Rep. Ryan was a hypocrite for drinking expensive wine while recommending reduced spending on Medicare and Medicaid? Was it because she believed Rep. Ryan was corrupt for drinking with two men she suspected were lobbyists? And finally, did Feinberg believe she behaved appropriately in the matter? Would it be appropriate for a conservative who felt strongly about, say, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, or Rep. Barney Frank, to do something similar to them under similar circumstances?

    Feinberg’s response was brief: “I’m sorry. I have no comment on this.”…

    1. If the problem was not just the wine’s cost, then what other factors were involved in Feinberg’s anger?

      My guess is that she is used to being able to harangue undergrads with her viewpoints then got a little buzzed from her own bottle of wine and thought she’d do a little lecturing out in the real world.

      Now that she’s sobered up and didn’t get the groundswell of popular indignation behind her position that she expected to get, she’s in “move along, nothing to see here” mode.

    2. I’m not an economist math genius like Mizz Feinberg, but I figure that Ryan’s server(a sub minimum wage earner) made ~$200 tip, while Mizz Feinberg’s server probably got ~$40 tip.

      How can she live with herself? Oh, I get it. Altruism in her world isn’t paying people for a service or product, it’s stealing money from others to give to people for no service or product.

      Also, I feel bad for the Feinbergs out there, not involved in this situation, that won’t be able to get a table at a decent DC restaurant for a few years.

      1. $40? Maybe. She doesn’t seem like a 15% minimum tipper. She probably knocks 3% off for server being male.

        1. I was being charitable; figuring 20% of $200.

  29. Just.Shut.The.Fuck.Up.Krugman.

    “Everybody knows that President Obama tried to stimulate the economy with a huge increase in government spending, and that it didn’t work. But what everyone knows is wrong.

    Think about it: Where are the big public works projects? Where are the armies of government workers? There are actually half a million fewer government employees now than there were when Mr. Obama took office.

    So what happened to the stimulus? Much of it consisted of tax cuts, not spending. Most of the rest consisted either of aid to distressed families or aid to hard-pressed state and local governments. This aid may have mitigated the slump, but it wasn’t the kind of job-creation program we could and should have had. This isn’t 20-20 hindsight: some of us warned from the beginning that tax cuts would be ineffective and that the proposed spending was woefully inadequate. And so it proved.”

    Dave Wiegel asserts that the stimulus really didn’t fail.

    Cuz if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a chicken.

    1. Check out Weigel’s statement about voting for Obama in 2008 (in the relevant Reason thread) or his Journalist defense of Obamacare and disgust w/ its opponents.

  30. Rosie O’Donnell and her girl friend go boating.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..ating.html

    Add that to the spank bank!

    1. The first seven words of that article’s title made me fibrillate.

  31. Lust for control fuels our current obsession with the deficit

    And not our obsession w/ more govt regulation?

  32. people ask me, “Who went there?” and I have to tell them Salazar.

    Don’t forget Cheney’s (I have it on good authority) bull dyke daughter.

    1. Oh, yeah, I have a professor who had her, and is convinced that he caused her Mom to give a speech: The story goes that the daughter was out on campus, but in the closet to her family. She’s taking a course with a gay professor, Tip Reagan, about Deviants in the Middle Ages (history- he’s head of the department now). Anyway, they’re learning about people accused of being witches, and gay people- all the people who weren’t approved of in the middle ages. This is 4rth block, so she goes home for Christmas break.

      Anyway, a few weeks later, Cheney’s wife gives this speech about how, “Kids in college used to learn about Charlemagne, now they learn about gays and witchcraft and etc.”

      Tip is CONVINCED that she came out that break, and then at some point dropped an, “Oh, by the way, I’m taking this class on witchcraft.”

  33. This time we hope those feminists will be of both genders and that men will understand how much equality benefits them.

    Obviously, this means men will

    a) become pregnant

    and

    b) have abortions

    True Empathy FTW!!

  34. Deviants in the Middle Ages

    We used to just call them “Popes”.

    1. “And on the day survivors grave ya,
      All the popes in hell can’t save ya.

  35. This isn’t 20-20 hindsight: some of us warned from the beginning that tax cuts would be ineffective and that the proposed spending was woefully inadequate. And so it proved.

    You’re just not hitting it hard enough!!!!

    1. Of course, always complain that the govt program is too small for some pre-failure ass covering.

    2. It occurs to me that one way a smart pundit can always fail to be wrong is to propose solutions outside the set of politically feasible solutions, then write endless columns on if only they’d listened to me.

      1. That’s also an old management consulting trick – propose changes too big for the client so they say no and your ass is covered.

      2. Like libertarians do?

        1. Please. Our set probably overlaps the Aspberger’s set to near unity. We do it to be dicks, not to keep our record perfect.

      3. Maybe Reason writers are smarter than I”ve given them credit for.

  36. Also, why do people think the US doesn’t manufacture stuff?

    Because they are stupid.

    1. I seem to recall reading that we’re by far the biggest industrial manufacturing country in the world, though that may not be as true as it once was. By industrial, I mean stuff like jet engines, generators, and so on

    2. Two words “the Truth”

  37. I am late to the party. But the beginning and end of all first lady discussions is with Francis Folsom Cleveland. Grover Cleveland entered the White House as a bachelor. But he soon met and married the 21 year old and rather fetching Francis Folsom. Folsom is the youngest and really the only legitimately hot first lady ever. Way to go Grover.

  38. How about a post on the successful secessionists of South Sudan and the anti-secession liberals who celebrate them?

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