Media Criticism

Obama 2008: "Opposed" to Health Care Mandate


Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debate, handicap the Oscars at the Kodak Theater in January 2008.

Here's something President Obama might have forgotten: In 2008, when then-Sen. Obama was fighting then-Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, he got the inside track by opposing a federal mandate requiring you and every other American to purchase health insurance. 

The individual mandate, which is so totalitarian and unconstitutional that even the thoroughly unlibertarian voters of Ohio rejected it last week, went on to become the unpopular centerpiece of Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the putative reform of the health care system widely known as "Obamacare."

The difference over the mandate was one of a number of areas in which Obama at the time seemed to be a more free market candidate than Clinton. But I had forgotten all about it until I discovered my old handwritten notes from Obama's endorsement interview with his apostles at the Los Angeles Times. Read on for some fascinating bits of history, and dark foreshadowings of the narcissism that we have come to know too well these last three years: 

Barack Obama 1.16.08 


Could I win? We concluded that we could. 

Should I win? Not a time when ambition was sufficient.

Not pollyannaish unity: practical, progressive, grounded in common sense.

Tone: Politics desperately need honesty. Not saying I never shade answers. [laughter] 

People think political environment is fundamentally dishonest. 

Young people are sophisticated news consumers. 

John Edwards considers telling the press that Barack Obama sired Rielle Hunter's baby, January 2008.

Experience: Last inexperienced president from Illinois did pretty well. [laughter] Clinton came to caricature my inexperience. In public life 20 years. 

Foreign policy: Most confidence in my judgment. Look at my speech in 2002. Everything I talked about has come to pass. 

Domestic side: What are decisive differences. Rough ideological agreement in Dem party. Clinton, Edwards & I agree on health care. Philosophical difference on mandates. I opposed, wanted to emphasize cost savings. 

Hillary thinks problem is George Bush. I think the problem is more severe. Political culture is broken.

MLK: Indicative of different ideas of how change works. I believe words matter. 

Expansion of executive power? Apply Title VII in job apps: Is there qualification that should exclude somebody? If you concentrate too much power in exec branch, undermine basic design of constitution. 

SCOTUS justices: Marshall, Earl Warren did OK. Current court: Breyer, Ginsburg. 95% of laws should be determined by precedent. There's 5% where law has to be made, because it's new issue or conflict of values… 

Copyright, diversity of ownership of media? Copyright and patent systems are often abused. Consolidation of media is not entirely healthy. Silver lining is the internet. But major media extraordinarily powerful. Need rules in place… Goal is not just symbolic diversity. In favor of net neutrality. 

Surge? Succeeded in quieting violence and that's to be celebrated. Decision of Sunni Sheikhs. Thinking that Americans going to be leaving soon. Clear timetable for withdrawal. 

Use of force? One example 9/11. entirely supported. At other end of spectrum is Iraq. Stuff in middle. President's job to determine all factors. Diplomatic and strategic, and that we're dealing w. fractured, failed states. Prez Clinton did right thing in Rwanda. Acheson/Kennan/Marshall/Truman crew… Understood having more humble foreign policy and that more you can use non-military tools (World Bank, etc.) Blend of realism and idealism. I give George HW Bush lotta credit. They navigated end of Cold War with a lot of savvy. General Jim Jones: How little we spend on conflict resolution. 

2 for 1 with Clintons? I'll use Bill. [laughter] The way they think about govt is not right for now. Karl Rove thinks Hillary will walk all over us: Because they understand model of politics 

Most frustrating part of process? Fundraising unappealing. Media frustrating. Rich people – I spend lotta time with rich people. 

Hillary: Instinctually much more negative to Republicans. 

I started campaign from scratch. Must know something about management. 

The following day Hillary Clinton came in to appeal for the second-best Times' endorsement, notes of which are below. 

I also have copious notes from the days and days of meetings the L.A. Times editorial board held – with all the hope and energy of children performing a fake news-broadcast skit for their parents – in order to make the wise choice. This was the paper's first presidential endorsement (including primary picks for both major parties) since 1972, and the ed board was fully inflated with the solemnity of the task – though after all the rigmarole we ended up reaching a conclusion Ray Charles could have seen coming a mile away: that the paper would back Obama and back him hard. 

Some of the comments from my erstwhile ed board members were absurd at the time but have been rendered fully hilarious by the passage of time: 

"She is solid prose. He is a poem." 

"Obama was everything I expected and more." 

Some are funny: 

"What a great country this is where you can be the wife of a president and grow up to be president." 

Some reveal James O'Keefe-worthy bias: 

"I wouldn't vote for McCain if there was a gun to my head." 

"As long as one of them [Clinton or Obama] wins." 

And one is grotesque: 

"Romney reminds me of Greg Stillson." [The insane presidential candidate who is targeted for righteous assassination by the hero of Stephen King's novel The Dead Zone

The Hillary notes are also interesting. I remember my own impression at the time being that on economic matters Obama seemed like Adam Smith compared to Clinton (or for that matter, eventual GOP nominee John McCain, who ran on a platform of having the government bail out every underwater mortgage in the country). A gander at Clinton's comments suggests why: 

Hillary Clinton 1.17.8 

Focus on what's at stake. Moral authority. Restore Middle Class. 

Ambiguity on Obama's opposition to war: Distinction is what he would have done to oppose. Part of larger pattern. On numerous issues: 130 votes, he voted Present. On issue after issue it wasn't yes or no, it was maybe. Petraeus ad 

Hillary Clinton gives sharp salute to a country in the process of giving her a one-finger salute, January 2008.

How repair exec power expansion: Close Gitmo by exec order if necessary. Rein in signing statements. Have to make clear habeas corpus does apply. VP needs to accept he's part of exec branch. Ending rendition, black sites. Reestablish moral authority. I remember speech I gave on torture. Washington. Even when Lincoln suspended habeas, got Congress to ratify it. 

Tax cuts & growth? Tax cuts far too weighted to wealthy. Clearly increase in revs tied to huge amts of stimulus: flows into defense, homeland security. It would be hard for that stimulus not to bring in more revs. Maintain middle class tax cuts, go back to high end. We borrow money from Chinese to buy oil from Saudis. Prez Bush has to go to Saudi to lower price. Our fiscal sovereignty. Sovereign funds are new: Not subject to market discipline. Look @ tax cuts for shared prosperity. 

Tax rates 17% once you factor in payroll and income. 

Mortgage crisis is huge. Productivity is up 18%; most corp execs not sharing that. 

People who are doing work of economy not getting benefits of economy. 

How free has free trade been? Think it was Paul Samuelson: Classical economic analysis of trade may no longer be accurate in global economy. Look at lotta trade partners: They don't give access to their markets we give them. South Koreans: They're just very good at saying one thing and doing something else. I commissioned study on Canadians keeping U.S. products out. American consumer maintained world econ until recently. 

CAFTA: We told Bush get Dem votes thru envmtl and labor standards

What about U.S. govt supports? We've to got to change way we do ag subsidies: gotta switch to envmtl angle that would merit govt funding. Could you get coalition for that? Happen to think family farmers are important part of rural economy. 

First lady experience? Learned about power & limits of office. Combined w. my experience at other end of Penn Ave. 

Healthcare: Learned about marshalling public support. Was part of diplomatic team. Negotiated: Macedonia borders, Ireland, women's issues, dialogue w. Muslim world. 

Jumpstart Arab Israeli peace talks? Regret deeply Prez Bush's disengagement. Had Arab-Israeli…Jordan agreement. Setbacks: Rather absurd view Arafat had. 

Responsibility of Prez is defend and protect U.S. Very much in favor of getting back to promoting democracy. Show world we're in favor of their aspirations. Right kind of security. Prez Kennedy was eloquent advocate of democracy & security. Iraqi people haven't charted own course because of blank check by Bush admin. Democracy about more than just elections. 

Next Prez will have more in common w. Harry Truman. 

Other-directed. Not raised to talk about myself. President is CEO, COO: Important to run country. Lot of ways to be inspirational. Making things better for other people is inspirational. Women have a narrower range in public life. 

Dynastic concern? Everybody starts from some place: Put yourself out there, raise money. 

VP: Someone who could become Prez immediately. Don't think old calculus – gotta carry this or that state – as important as having somebody to be full partner, ready to be prez tomorrow. 

Subprime: Moral hazard. Balance impact against impact on economy. Create envmt for workout: voluntary program. Freeze rates for five years. Prepayment penalty perverse: Vacant houses in declining economy. Look at guy at Countrywide who walked away with $100 million: That's moral hazard. 

Younger readers may not remember this, but back in 2008 even a presidential hopeful could believe that huge amounts of stimulus lead to increases in tax revenues. Lucky thing she didn't win! 

NEXT: Back to Economic Basics

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  1. …gambol lockdown across a whole continent (that takes big-government enforcement), and for universal pollution from Koch Oil refineries (that takes big-government enforcement), then why not universal health care?

    Oh, I remember, libertarianism, while ostensibly about liberty, is really about government for me, and not for thee.

    1. You can have conversations with yourself without visiting this website.

      1. It’s hard to keep the masquerade of freedom straight on your face when White Indian comes to the city-State to count coup on the city-Statists.

        I don’t think libertarian city-statists much like that White Indian has captured the statist paddle and is spanking those who once used it the most.

        All I’m doing is revealing the violence inherent in what libertarians worship and bootlick, the city-State (civilization.)

        If the Non-aggression principle were not merely a debate convenience, you’d thank me.

        1. White Indian,

          Have you given up toilet paper yet?

          1. Now that the comment I was replying to is gone, it looks like I am having a conversation with myself.

        2. It’s hard to keep the masquerade of freedom straight on your face when White Indian comes to the city-State to count coup on the city-Statists.

          Citing studies on the living patterns of homo habilis isn’t counting coup, primtard.

    2. WI, your comments FORCE me to acknowledge that you’re a moron, and so, by your use of FORCE I conclude that you’re a city-statist hypocrite as well.

    3. …loves Koch!

      1. I haven’t been anywhere near a cock in years.

    4. +1 For me (moving in before Episiarch)

      Thanks, Rather, for putting me on the board!

      1. $oros-paid and unpaid spammers love to pitch welfare-schemes to act as a distraction so the $orosControlledPowerElite can continue their taxpayer-funded war profiteering uninterrupted. Not a NEW story. Doctor Mengele, may I choose a different doctor — you make me nervous?

        1. Another +1 for me. Thanks, Rather!

          1. Damn you tarran! Some of us have to sleep!

            1. Damn you tarran! Some of us have to sleep level up!

  2. …when it get birth defects from pollution from Koch Oil refineries.

    Because only pollution should be universal.

    Not health care.

    1. Huge rise in birth defects – BBC News

      BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China birth defects ‘up sharply’

      BBC News | HEALTH | Pollution linked to birth defects

    2. …WI is too stupid to wear a condom!

        1. I’m going to claim the other +2 on this thread.

          Thanks Rather!

    3. Considering the infant mortality rates of hunter-gatherer societies, it takes BALLS OF STEAL for you to even fucking mention infant health around here.

    4. I claim this one too:
      +1 for me!

      Thanks, Rather!

      1. the narcissism that we have come to know too well these last three years

  3. …are libertarian mandates, because they are necessary for Koch Oil profits

    Health care should never be mandated, because that takes away from Koch Oil profits.


    1. because that takes away from from Koch Oil profits. WI doesn’t care about the sick, only hurting evil Koch Bros.

      1. Two stars for you. ??

        1. I claim another 2 for this thread too!

          +2 for me!

          1. Wow, blogwhoring too. Nice!

  4. It’s a good thing Obama hasn’t mandated yet that everyone should get free internet access.

    1. US ranks 28th in Internet connection speed: report

      Another capitalist “feature:”

      Cuba has higher life expectancy than US…..bas-health

      1. …but Castro doesn’t count the thousands of innocent political prisoners he’s murdered of the course of his dictatorship, which keeps the number artificially low.

          1. Hahaha, all prisoners are DEAD, White Idiot.

              1. The American Indian Holocaust, know as the “500 year war” and the “World’s Longest Holocaust In The History.”

                Communist Aggression = capitalist Aggression.

                Officer, am I free to gambol?

                MARX: NO!
                MISES: NO!

                1. I am going to go ahead and claim +6 for this whole thread.

                  Now, If OM had signed his own stuff, he might have gotten the points. But he didn’t, so I gambol in and seize them.

                2. The American Indian Holocaust, know as the “500 year war” and the “World’s Longest Holocaust In The History.”

                  Perhaps if the primitards had a superior lifestyle, they wouldn’t have gotten rolled like a bunch of $10 whores by their vastly more intelligent conquerors.

            1. …unless you have a cite otherwise.

              You made the claim. Now you can’t back it up.

              jeeeesh, the stoopid is strong with libertard this morning

              1. I’ll post this last one…..z1aFdEqfsY for White Idiot. Why do I feel like that even if I dig up the mass graves, he will still deny these facts.

                1. Because I am a useful “Idiot”?

                2. Luckily, America didn’t need to dig mass graves. The victims just melted into the pavement.

                  1. Was a mass murderer. So what is new, White (Useful) Idiot?

                    1. In 1807, Thomas Jefferson instructed his War Department that, should any Indians resist against America stealing Indian lands, the Indian resistance must be met with “the hatchet.” Jefferson continued, “And…if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe,” he wrote, “we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi.” Jefferson, the slave owner, continued, “in war, they will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them.”

  5. Jesus H. Christ, who is this Koch obsessed troll?

    1. from Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, Property and Environment Research Center, Students for a Libertarian Society, The Libertarian Review, Institute for Humane Studies, Council for a Competitive Economy, Heritage Foundation, Federalist Society, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, funded via Koch Industries, are probably a bit more obsessed than me with their Koch habits.

    2. Knowing what I know about this site, I’d put 1000 on it’s one of the Koch pussies

      1. *baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarf*

      2. And Koan gets on the board with +2!

        Good on you Koan!

        Remember to thank your troll Rather, she’s going to be here for months and she desperately needs the attention!

        1. the narcissism that we have come to know too well these last three years

          Who needs the attention?

  6. Good morning! How’s our patient doing today?

    *takes pulse*

    O Jeez.

    *backs out of room*

    1. Minarchy means small government, which means government for me, but not for thee.


      ? government protects my right to universally pollute.
      ? government protects your right to free universal birth defects from pollution.

      Have some freedom fries with your Koch and a smile.

  7. And one is grotesque:

    “Romney reminds me of Greg Stillson.” [The insane presidential candidate who is targeted for righteous assassination by the hero of Stephen King’s novel The Dead Zone]

    And these are the people who tell us we’re supposed to be more “civil”.

    (BTW: Why on earth do people insist on using “smart quotes” in HTML?)

    1. Statist are like that. City-Statists (civilizationists,) that is.

  8. Great, another Epi playground thread.

    1. Yet for some reason the fucking imbecile gets a pass for feeding the troll.

    2. We’re in the hands of an adolescent.

    3. This is hilarious coming from John “Realdoll Suki” blogwhore Tagliaferro. Really, dude, have some self awareness.

  9. Tim, this has been pointed out by others fairly often, especially by Sean Hannity. I hope your version penetrates the thick skulls of MSM better than the others.

    1. If Sean Hannity is the one pointing it out, it’s no wonder nobody is paying attention.

      1. I hear he has a big audience.

  10. I love Fidel Castro. They have free healthcare, therefore his country is way freer and better than the US. Woohoo!

    1. …America, the paragon of capitalism, can’t reach the life expectancy of Cuba.

      That is all.

      1. Commies impoverish their people, which means they can’t purchase new cars and die in auto accidents. Commies can’t afford militaries, thus no soldiers die in combat. Commies have poor medicine, therefore if you get pregnant, chances are govt forces you to have abortion. I wish White (Useful) Idiot’s mama had lived in Cuba.

        1. …just took HER ball and went the fuck home.

        2. Three stars for you. ???

          That little ditty is the paragon of libertarian reason.

          By the way, the highest abortion rates are in western Europe, with all that poor medical care, ya know.

          1. “By the way, the highest VOLUNTARY abortion rates are in western Europe”

            That single word you intentionally left out makes the difference, and is the reason cuba has such glowing stats, they lie.

          2. would rather throw babies in garbage, fight wars, or let you own cars than have consequences of freedom count against meaningless “life expectancy” statistic.

            1. I am going to claim the +2 that should go to OM if he would only sign his own stuff.

              +2 for Tarran

        3. You forget whoring Fidel’s forays into Afrika, while on the SSR’s titty. All that now being in the past, that role now has been taken over by Chief Continent-Raper Obama, on the attack to seize control over Mother Afrika’s assets.

      2. What’s your basis for believing any statistic about Cuba at all?

        They can make up any statistics they want.

        They can say their life expectancy is eleventy billion.

      3. Got that ultrasound coming up tomorrow. If I pass it by being birth defect free, I get to become a citizen of the Worker’s Paradise. Yay, lucky me!

      4. …America, the paragon of capitalism, can’t reach the life expectancy of Cuba.

        That is all.

        What we need in America is to get everyone smoking again. Because from Daddy Fidel and Uncle Raul on down, they all be walking talking chimneys in Cuba. Invigorating, second-hand smoke…Mmmmmm is pervasive and the cultural norm. Thirteen-year olds smoke on the street and passing adults don’t miss a beat in Cuba.

        You can smoke in Cuban restaurants, you can smoke in Cuban bars…I bet Cuban bars are saucy, smoky places. Unlike our ascetic, healthy counterparts. Which have something else in lieu of smokes…tons and tons of food!

        I wonder how they all smoke, yet live longer on average than fatty-losers like Americans? Oh wait, I think I just said the answer: Smoke more, eat less. Put the Twinkie down, pick the Camel up. Spark that tasty, fat-free cigarette; and while you kill two lungs, you’re not clogging that one and only heart.

        But it must be the awesome healthcare. Riiiight.

  11. …come gather ’round the fires of freedom.

    Just don’t breath the high-benzene oil smoke, so your children don’t get birth defects.

    Private oil profits, Universal birth defects.

    1. GE’s pollution wonderful!

    2. Come sit by our fire, White Useful Idiot. Our toxic fires smell like roses!

    3. I’m going to claim this one too

      +1 tarran

    4. George $oros, supporter of spammers, documented war-criminal and profiteer. I know he is but what are you?

    5. GodState Medical Officer: “Dissent from WarStateMedicalState is BANNEDPROHIBITED. Voluntary Support is Required for MandatoryCare and UniversalWar — our NewPlan ties them together.

  12. _/\/\/\/\/\_______/\/\__________/\/\________/\/\/\/\/\_____/\/\/\/\/\/\_

    1. Sweet, sweet barf.

      1. Sweet, sweet baarf.

        Fixed. I think barfman is Dutch or something.

  13. Confucius say: “Do not feed the troll. Instead, feed yourself and vomit on it.”

  14. This troll is probably a Breatharian and can subsist indefinitely on her own vapors.

    It’s really not a troll so much as it is someone who is determined to ruin the comments section of H&R. I suppose you could call that a troll, but given the unusually high quality of most of our official trolls (Tony, etc.), I’d say this is more like vandalism. I’ve been wondering if it’s some bored Occupier or some /b/-tards or something.

    1. I’d say this is more like vandalism. I’ve been wondering if it’s some bored Occupier or some /b/-tards or something.

      Agreed. Feels more like a group of griefers, professional or otherwise, than rather’s usual shtick.

      What I don’t get is that this is Reason’s property, and TPTB are acting like they could give a shit. C’mon Welch/Gillespie: I’ve seen you use the banhammer on Lonewhacko and Ayn Randian. You can’t muster the energy to use it here?

      1. I’d hazard a guess that they have; IP addys are easy to get. They could ban a range, I suppose, but that would potentially cut off other people who aren’t doing anything wrong.

        They can complain to the ISP, but this person seems dedicated enough to roam around for free WiFi in order to grief this place.

    2. $$$$oros pays for it….though some do it for free because they support the $oros/Clinton/Obama brand of violence and aggression rather than the other brand.

  15. The Conventional Wisdom is that breaking campaign promises is “statesmanlike.” See: FDR (balanced-budget promise, promise not to send young men to foreign wars), George HW Bush (“read my lips”), etc.

  16. Let me add: I simply love the Koch brothers. As the old ad slogan said: Have a Koch and a smile!

  17. Let’s hope Obama gets spirited away by a tornado on his next flight.

    I like how they try to shut him up. Fuck them. Those are some pretty good answers, Paul. Keep it up. God, I hope he wins the nomination.

    1. “This debate was a joke, Dr. Paul won with under 5min. of speaking time in a one and a half hour debate. The powers that be don’t want him to win and their tactics make me sick. I’ll keep giving Ron money but early primary states I am counting on you to make it happen. When he wins Iowa and New Hampshire he can no longer be ignored and his front? runner status will be established for all the sheeple to see. Ron Paul 2012!!!”

      Is this commenter being overly optimistic?

      1. He’s a Paultard. most of them are living in fantasy-land.

        1. Smiles everyone….smiles!

          1. *baaaaaaaaaaaaaarf*

            1. No, RPA, you’re not being overly optimistic. Paul is the only one who speaks the truth, so I think he has every chance to get the nomination.

      2. That commentator is being overly optimistic.

      3. Dr. Paul won with under 5min. of speaking time

        I believe I saw that he actually scored eighty-nine (89) entire seconds.

  18. If WI is Rather and Rather is a female, I hope that any offspring they have dies of either malnutrition or an easily-preventable childhood disease.

    Because if you’re going to advocate for the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, you should get to experience ALL of it, including having nearly half of your babies die like fucking tadpoles.

    Bad luck for the baby and all, but oh well.

    I wonder how many babies worldwide would die in the next twelve months if we immediately stopped burning all hydrocarbons tomorrow.

    1. And how about that life expectancy he’s always whining about?

    2. Supreme Generalissimo Fluffy, hunter-gatherering isn’t anything I would ever do, and neither would I wish for someone’s kid to die but I don’t think epi will ever get pregnant -Warty is sterile 😉

    3. Don’t forget the intentional infanticide practiced by most hunter-gatherer societies when food becomes scarce.

    4. Unlikely that her fat ass will ever have offspring. You don’t spend all day shitposting on an internet forum if you’re a female that gets the slightest amount of male attention in real life.

  19. This is becoming tiresome.

    1. Becoming?

  20. I need to let my computer rest so Skyrim doesn’t fry it. In the meantime, how goes your weekend?

    Man, UFC picked the wrong fight to be their first forray to network.

    1. There’s STILL no animations to pick shit up and pull levers. FFFFUUUUUUUUUUU BETHESDA FUUUUUUUUUUU

      Seriously, though, AUH20, how’s the gear variety in the game? Are there more armor sets than Oblivion (at least so far, how does it look?), or is it similarly constrained?

      1. Armor looks about the same.

        My orc tank will rape you with shield, mace, and fire. Come at me bro!

        1. Fuck you, man — Imperials all the way!

          You won’t be able to do shit when somebody mods dragon mounts into the game and I appear out of nowhere to burn your ass. Prepare for doom.

          1. Ooooh, what are you going to do, talk me to death? Throw gold at me?

      2. Also, who cares about lever animations?

        Bad Stuff About Skyrim:

        1. Bethesda glitches. Epicness scales with glitchiness, apparently.

        2. The favorites menu is retarded. Bethesda should be able to come up with a combat interface that is not simply a list of shit to equip. This would make it easier to fight, but more importantly, it wouldn’t break the excitement of the battle with stupid pausing.

        1. I care about lever animations. Immersion, or something.

          Also, when you say the armor looks about the same, you mean in terms of variety of armors, right?

          Well, that sucks. I’ll have to wait for the famous Elder Scrolls modding community to do its magic, in that case.

          1. Also, when you say the armor looks about the same, you mean in terms of variety of armors, right?


      3. The gear variety isn’t amazing. I don’t play in third person much, but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t look significantly different than the last game… with the notable exception of helmets, which look way better.

        Also, I’m only 10 hours in and on basic steel shit, so maybe Daedra, Glass (which I have never fucking understood) and the new Dragon armor are significant upgrades.

        One thing that is cool is the fully rotatable models of every item, including armor, which does give you a better feel for your equipment.

        The change from individual weapons to One Handed and Two Handed has led me to finally try axes and I am enjoying them.

        Modders should also work on improving the enemy AI, which does tend to much towards a “rush forward toward the opponent, but not if you have a bow/magic”. The two hand fighting approach does work well. Sadly, the game is not mapped very well for the computer(the Favorites problem mentioned below)- to wit, the game begins with the left click controlling the right hand and vice versa, which is annoying as hell.

        They’ve finally made the fighters guild more interesting than just a pure mercenary outfit, which is good. Haven’t hit up the mages guild just yet.

        The first Dragon fight was anticlimactic, simply because you have so many people helping you out that you don’t really have to win the fight… you just can’t lose it. Still, Dragons are fucking awesome.

        I’ll put a more coherent post up about my thoughts on this in the next couple of days, once I’ve logged some more time and joined a few more guilds.

        1. Greatest thing ever: Become a werewolf. Lots of benefits for a warrior, the only cost is that you can’t get rest buffs.

        2. Give it two months, and you’ll be drowning in mods, including armor — that shit’ll be great

        3. Alright, so I’ve got a choice to make: I can replay Oblivion, and then play Skyrim, or I can do the reverse — what do you think?

          1. Dude, fuck Oblivion and play Morrowind. Skyrim will look a lot better by comparison, and no goddamn Oblivion Gates

            1. I really love how much better faces are in Skyrim than in Oblivion — it’s a fucking quantum leap. I need to think on the game choice, though — wanna wait a few months before I play Skyrim so that there are mods out.

        4. According to the lore, the “glass” is actually a special kind of volcanic glass that is much, much stronger than normal glass.

        5. The change from individual weapons to One Handed and Two Handed has led me to finally try axes and I am enjoying them.

          I swear I remember 2-handed weapons in Oblivion.

          1. Yup. Two-handed axes and claymores.

            1. Also two-handed hammers and maces.

              1. I never used them, though; I never felt that their power made up for their lack of speed.

    2. I didn’t see it, though read that Dos Santos won, which I expected.

      I wouldn’t worry about MMA’s popularity resting on one fight, nor one promoter. It will continue to grow.

    3. Skyrim is just Fallout with a different skin. Seriously, that’s all it is.

      I’ve long wondered how Bethesda manages to have such an appreciative audience, given the quality of the engine they choose to use. Fallout is a lot of things: interesting, absorbing, free (freedom to gambol!), but it is neither pretty nor graceful. The physics are downright cartoonish.

      I’ve felt bad about not liking Bethesda games. Everybody is talking up Skyrim likes it’s the Second Coming of Gordon Freeman, but I’ve watched quite a few in-progress LPs on YouTube, and I’ve only managed a hearty “meh.” Sweet, you get no story direction whatsoever, and you are in fact so free you can break the game permanently if you slaughter the wrong NPC. That’s supposed to be fun?

      Eh, I think I’m just in a permanent holding pattern until ME3 drops. Barring a catastrophe, that WILL be quite possibly the greatest game ever made.

      1. You can’t break the game. All story-essetial NPCs are immune from death. You can hurt them, and they’ll come close the death, but there’s a block that’s activated when you do that, and you can’t kill them. GameSpot’s marathon guys confirmed it, if I recall correctly.

        Aren’t you the guy that didn’t like Dragon Age: Origins, either? I mean, I know it’s probably no KotOR, but it’s considered a good game. Anything in particular you didn’t like about it?

        1. RPA,

          Sorry, man. I can offer no objective evidence that DA:O is a bad game. It just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe I’m just not a fan of that sort of fantasy storytelling. That’s actually probably it. I’m not trying to slaughter any sacred cows, or being contrary just to be dickish. Sorry if it came off that way. I shouldn’t say “it’s utter shit” when all I mean is “I don’t like it.”

          With DAII, it isn’t so much the game itself I don’t like (although I felt it was merely average), as the DLC model. Day 1 DLC, DLC if you want to play everything that’s available in the game…no thanks.

          With Skyrim, it’s good that you can’t kill essential NPCs. I had made that assumption given my previous experience with Bethesda, and I was wrong. Thanks for setting me straight.

          One of my best friends is as huge a gamer nerd as I am, and he also finds my attitude toward Fallout and Bethesda in general puzzling. If I’m honest with myself, it may be that I don’t like that much freedom in a game. I don’t necessarily like to be on rails, but I guess I also don’t like “go anywhere, do anything, all the time.”

          Right now I’m playing through Dark Souls, and having a great time getting owned. I’ve also got Uncharted 3, El Shaddai, and DXHR going at various stages. Those are the kinds of games I truly enjoy. Kings of all (for me, anyway) are Half-Life and Mass Effect.

          1. I’m with you 110%, dude. Totally open games bore the living shit out of me. If I wanted no direction, I’d go outside and go for a walk.

            I play games to kill things and gather loot, increasingly awesome loot, that makes me better at killing things. I don’t care about anything other than the thinnest storyline, or about backstory, or any other crap. I want to kill things, get more powerful, and find increasingly better shit.

            That’s why Borderlands is for me.

            1. Wait so you say open worlds are bad because they give you no direction, but then you say you don’t want to be directed by a storyline, you want to go off and kill things. Well couldn’t you do exactly that in a game like Skyrim specifically because it is open world?

              1. You could, Masshole, but they never design the games that way. If you want to truly advance, you always need to do the “real” quests, because those are the ones that deliver the XP and the real rewards. So if that’s the case, just give me the quests and I’ll do them. What do I need with a completely open world?

                1. Fuck you, I was born in NY.

                  You can get a shit ton of xp and artifacts from doing side quests before doing the main quests. The main quests mostly give you dragon shouts, not rewards. Most cool items come from side quests.

                  1. Aboard a train
                    I met a dame
                    She was a hipster
                    Man a real gone dame
                    She wasn’t pretty
                    For New York City
                    As we strut down on that ol’ fairlane
                    With a heave and a ho
                    I just couldn’t let her go

      2. Nooge, I think that the super open endedness of Bethesda’s game is part of the appeal, to the right kind of person.

        In a way, Bethesda is sticking to the truly old old old school Western RPGs that were made in the vein of “go anywhere, do anything” with normally fairly weak main line plots. I know I gave way more of a shit about the Thieves Guild than the Oblivion gates in the last game.

        However, I also love Mass Effect, but one trend that I have noticed of late in Western RPGs: They’ve kind of taken a page from JRPGs and put the game a bit more on rails while still leaving an open world (whereas for some reason the new trend in JRPGs is to go, “Fuck exploration!” which is so stupid and wrong. I still remember leaving Midgar in FF7 and just running around in circles because I had thought the whole game was going to take place in Midgar and the world map was just so damn cool). Mass Effect, especially 2, had a bit more on the rails thing going on (combat was better, but less RPG-ish than the first one) and I am super excited for 3. I did like the whole “Dirty Dozen IN SPACE!” that 2 had going, but the third game had better reward me for saving the Rachni and the Krogan. Because I didn’t do that shit for nothing, is all I’m saying.

        Actually, ME and KOTOR both follow a similar model: Initial inductory quest, exposition quest and trade hub, choice of 3 new quests and hubs, 1 quest, final quest. Not a bad model, but just as Bethesda has a signature, so does Bioware.

        1. I was hoping Bethesda would introduce longarms and cloaks, but I guess I was delving in a pipe dream

        2. Nooge, I think that the super open endedness of Bethesda’s game is part of the appeal, to the right kind of person.

          You’re probably right. There definitely is an absolutely huge and very enthusiastic audience for that sort of thing.

          JRPGs have some charm, to me. I’m partial to Disgaea, although that’s probably not quite the quintessential JRPG. You are right about them cutting out exploration, though. When I was playing through FFXIII, I kept wondering when I would get to walk around a bit, and when I finally got to, it was a little underwhelming. I remember reading an interview with one of the producers, in which he said they didn’t go as open-world as they wanted, because it simply would have taken way too long to build. Hrm. Maybe the next generation.

          As for ME3, I’ve got my two Shepards (one Paragon, and one Renegade) ready to go. Damn, I love that series. I know I sound like a fanboy, but it’s the closest to epic I’ve ever felt in a game.




          That’s the sort of quality I hope the next few months brings in the inevitable shitstorm of Skyrim mods

        5. the third game had better reward me for saving the Rachni and the Krogan.

          Same here. If I don’t get massive Krogan and Rachni fleets pummelling the bad guys in ME3, I will be peeved.

  21. “I wouldn’t vote for McCain if there was a gun to my head.”

    Wait, I thought I had left by then?

    1. .

      Matt Welch|6.29.10 @ 12:16PM|#
      *I* am the thin-skinned crap weasel. I don’t want people spoofing *anyone* here, but since that’s not going to happen until we waste precious time overhauling the comments process, then the least I will ask, particularly at this sensitive juncture, is to not spoof Weigel, so as to completely eliminate the possibility of people confusing a spoof for something he is written. If you don’t like it, get off my lawn, etc.

      Unless, the *anyone* has tits

        1. Unless, the *anyone* has tits

          Unless anyone has saggy, bolonga tits. FIFY.

  22. So, what’s the take away here, chief? You through your support towards Obama, but unlike the brain dead members of your editorial board, you were cynical about it from the start? Okay.

    1. ‘threw your support’, jeez, na’bit! Fucking English how dat work?

  23. @ Matt Welch|11.13.11 @ 11:27AM

    Uh, can’t you fix this place?

    1. Why should he?
      If you look at the top of the thread, it’s obvious that some folks like the troll(s). It gives them a chance to look clever, I guess.

      1. Oh. I had taken that as desperation.

        Back to medical school for me.

        1. It seemed to me a happier place a few eeks ago, and during the brief respite at the end of last week, but I could be projecting.

      2. Hey we asked nicely. They refused to do anything; I suspect because they are afraid that moderation would make them liable for content in case another insane lawyer should sue them over comments.

        Rather’s goal is to annoy certain people. If they receive her griefer posts joyfully, turning the other cheek as it were, her desire to hurt is thwarted.

        1. and yet they went full shut down on the Everyone Draw Mohamed thread.

        2. Aysh.

          Used to be a nice place.

        3. Wonderful psychiatric analysis, unfortunately it fucks up the thread for everyone then.

          1. It’s already fucked up, you unbelievable pussy. I cannot believe your capacity for whining and blaming the wrong people. Seriously, just shut the fuck up.

            1. I took “it” to refer to the recent invasion, not the diagnosis.

              1. Did Tulpa seriously claim that a thread composed 40% – 70% of Rather’s greifer posts is unfucked up, but one with all her comments followed by regulars claiming point tallies is converted to a fucked up one?


                I’m starting to wonder if Tulpa likes Rather’s shtick.

                1. I’m no longer wondering.

                2. Did Tulpa seriously claim that a thread composed 40% – 70% of Rather’s greifer posts is unfucked up


                  For someone making quips about reading comprehension on the other thread, it seems like you could use a trip to the Sylvan Learning Center yourself.

                3. The point being, the regulars plus-oneing and trolls spewing garbage both require me to scroll, and the first category also don’t get filtered, unless I start ignoring regulars which I have strong beliefs against doing.

                  1. So a thread with Rather’s pollution = not fucked up.

                    A thread where you have to scroll past Rather’s pollution + regulars saying “+1 for me!” = fucked up.

                    1. Several of the troll’s posts have been deleted.

                      Look at the first comment of the thread: it’s indented. That means the comment it was in response to was deleted.

                      It’s not your plus-oneing thing that’s making the difference, it’s Reason’s finally policing the threads.

        4. tarran|11.13.11 @ 1:30PM|#
          “Hey we asked nicely.”
          And then you decided it would be great fun to post ‘clever’ responses to vermin shit.

          1. Nope, we decided to make it less fun for her to post stuff.

            You’re welcome by the way. Once she gets fed up and leaves, you free riders can enjoy genteel discussions with the other regulars and also read Tulpa’s lame attempts at Socratic questioning.

            1. Assuming this troll isn’t in fifth grade, I don’t see how it’s “making it less fun” for the troll. Your and Banjos’ explanation of how it’s supposed to work is so silly it would be fodder for an OWS declaration.

              1. Go back and read the thread where we came up with the game.

                Her frustration, and unhappiness at the strategic surprise of people taking pleasure at her attempts to hurt are quite clear, especially in her futile attempts to mess up the scoring by posting random numbers.

                1. Reason deleting the troll’s comments is helping too. Look at the indentation level of the first comment in this thread.

            2. tarran|11.13.11 @ 8:18PM|#
              “Nope, we decided to make it less fun for her to post stuff.”
              Uh, that’s nice. Sure wish it helped.

  24. This weekend has been dreadful.

    1. It goes away week day mornings after the school bus comes then starts again after school is out.

  25. Seasoned with the ground-up bones of dead Africans and Asians. Greedy American Socialists savor the taste — ignore the source — gimme more more more — how ’bout some free National Socialist health care next?.

    1. I claim this one!

      1. It’s mine mine mine — keep your plucking fingers off!

        1. Wohoo! One more for Banj!

    2. ^^this^^

      1. Rather, you really need to stop, you are going to make the boys jealous of me!

        +1 for Banj!

        1. I have to figure out how to sandbag you.

  26. Sometimes people hold beliefs others may see as internally inconsistent or irrational.

    Holy fuck, you really have to be a genius to figure that out.

  27. You have to admit, Obama is a good presidential candidate. Too bad that’s only a temp job.

    Somewhat more off topic, how’s that plus-one strategy working, glibsters?

    1. Quite well. Her posting rate is greatly reduced.

      Your discomfiture at seeing problems solved by emergent order vice top down dictats is an unintended yet entertaining second order effect.

      1. Her posting rate is greatly reduced.

        It’s tiger-repelling rocks all the way down.

        And of course, while the troll’s post count may be reduced (and we don’t know what’s going on on Reason’s end with blocking long comments/IP restrictions etc) the annoyance level of the threads is not much reduced with all the scorekeeping posts.

      2. solved by emergent order vice top down dictats

        Yeah fucking right, that’s it. I’m just a top down guy, that’s why I don’t like having to sift through garbage comments from people I usually pay attention to.

        I was totally in favor of the filtering approach which is as bottom up as it gets, unfortunately the troll found a weakness that hasn’t yet been fixed.

        1. hat’s why I don’t like having to sift through garbage comments from people I usually pay attention to.

          I’m not buying this rationalization; Someone saying “+1 to me” is not disruptive and easily scrolled past. In fact, I’m sure that, like the sussurations of a ventilation system, your brain will be quite capable of filtering it out.

          So, Tulpa, what’s the real reason you are so irritated?

          1. How about chains of dozens of them?

            1. Dozens of plus-ones, that is.

  28. Headline I Saw Earlier:

    “How Could Sandusky’s Wife Not Have Known?”

    He was buttfucking those boys IN THE SHOWER; his dick wouldn’t have tasted like shit.

  29. The Ascended One puts his nuanced economic understanding on display.

    President Obama said this weekend that the United States has gotten a little “lazy” about attracting foreign investment, and needs to be more aggressive about attracting overseas dollars.

    Dude, we should put an ad in the Economist or something!

    1. “MORE aggressive? — oh no!”

    2. Sell Rockefeller Center again.

  30. Sorry, Barry, you are very unattractive to me, a real turn-off, untrustworthy and a spendthrift. I will go play with the Canucks and the Asians.

  31. Obama is so narcissistic I bet he publishes his notes from years ago and brags about how prescient they were.

    1. +1 for keeping it real.

  32. Hey, Cavanaugh, ever heard of the “Read this article” link?

  33. Has anyone else noted that Obama’s native language appears to be PowerPoint ?

  34. Funny that Reason Magazine was for mandatory health-care in 2005.

    Remember that?…..urance-now

  35. Just as interesting: back in 2004, Reason advocated for mandatory healthcare.…..urance-now

    1. You should read your link; the devil is in the details.

    2. Ron Bailey != Reason

  36. Hey, what do you guys think about taxing sick workers? They just mouche off society and don’t contribute when they’re sick from work.

  37. There are several reverse mortgage disadvantages that you should evaluate before taking out one. You will be paying a higher interest rate than on other loans, have less equity in your home, and you may run out of the money sooner than you think.


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