Rand Paul: Shouldn't Legislators Have Time to Seriously Read the Bills They Sign?


The Hill reports:

After blasting the Senate last week for passing a 600-page bill no one had time to read, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation that would force the Senate to give its members one day to read bills for every 20 pages they contain.

"For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning," Paul said Friday, just before the Senate approved a massive bill extending highway funding, federal flood insurance and low student loans rates.

"Not one member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it," he added.

Paul also introduced related legislation Friday, S. 3359, that would prohibit the inclusion of more than one subject in a single bill.

The highway-flood-student loan bill came up just one day before authorization for highway spending was set to expire, and two days before the interest rate on loans was set to double to 6.8 percent. But Paul said that is no excuse for rushing a bill to the floor without giving senators a chance to learn what's in it.

He also noted that Senate rules require bills to be held for 48 hours before they receive a vote so members can read them, but said the Senate failed to follow even that minimal rule….

"I passed two senators in the hall going back to their office, still trying to get out something that's been written in this bill that affects their states that they found out minutes ago," Paul said Friday morning. "Had they not found out about it, nobody would have known about it."

Sen. Paul speaks on this topic:

Though, as Radley Balko pointed out here back in 2009, with many bills merely reading them is no guarantee of understanding their effects.

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  1. Rand Paul just needs to try the Nancy Pelosi method: Pass n’ Read. It’s the new Hooked on Phonics.

    1. That is once when Pelosi was right. No way more than 5000 Americans have read all of the ACA.

      1. The 5000 that have include 0 legislators. Democracy in action!

      2. Your screen name suggests a strong desire to be nestled inside Sarah Palin’s rectum. And your website link suggests a correlation between your intimate desires and George Soros. Please explain.

        1. My guess: He’s a homosexual anal fetishist.

          1. NTTAWWT?

            1. NTTAWWT, but not on my bed, homeboy.

        2. I guess I would fuck her in the ass, hard.

          Call it a grudge fuck. They work nicely.

          1. Grudge fuck? For what, precisely?

            1. Being all country and whatever. The hatred for her is something I was never able to really understand.

              Funniest thing I ever heard someone say about Palin was in 08 when some beta male bitch Obamatron said she was quote “obviously sexually frigid”. Sorry, there’s a lot of things you can say about Palin. Some fair, some not. But that’s just retarded.

              1. Stay in the sticks, pal.

                Sarah Palin is a fucking dumb whore if there ever was one. And so is Sheila Jackson Lee to show I don’t make this a partisan issue.

            2. My bitch pissed me off when she said she still loved her husband then we went to her houseboat and I grudge fucked her in the ass. She went to clean her pooper then I wiped my dick on her pillowcase.


              All dumbass women deserve this at some point in their life.

    2. Your comment just makes it sound like you’re constipated, heller. Have some Ex-Lax.

      1. Fuck Pelosi.

        /not literally, and not even with a stolen strap-on.

        1. When you’re emphasizing your unwillingness to fuck a 72-year-old grandmother, it can only be overcompensation.

          1. More like common sense. Would you fuck Abe Vigoda?

            1. Wait, don’t answer that. You can’t read dictionary entries properly; how can I trust you’d give a truthful answer?

              Besides… fifty is my age limit, and I prefer women with souls.

              1. More Mimi Rogers for me.

                1. Halle Berry. I’m down with the swirl.

                  No matter what Tony says… what white guy who’d fuck a beautiful black woman, could possibly be racist?

                  1. You’re only interested in Berry beacause she’s part non-black. That’s straight-up racist.

                    1. But I wanna fuck her black half!

                    2. Wait, are you saying you want to subjugate that proud black woman via the degrading practice of casual sex? Straight-up racist again!

                    3. You’re doing this so Tony won’t have to. You’re a hella guy, Res. Saving him all that effort.

                    4. Shhhh. Dude, I’m trying to filter him out of here by taking up his bullshit-production duties. You’ll make him aware of my plan!1!

                    5. And, um, PATRIARCHAL GAZE.

                    6. You forgot “microaggression”.

                      Also, fried chicken.

                    7. I hear she prefers watermelon. And, uh, that has nothing to do with race!

                    8. Has she ever owned a Pontiac?

                    9. BTW, I shoulda typed “too” at the end of that wanna-fuck her sentence, but I hit the return key too early.

                      Happens to guys my age.

                    10. If you’re in your 50s, you’re in luck. Pretty sure Berry and Scarlett Johansson are really into older, more seasoned dudes.

                    11. I’d kill for a photograph of Halle Berry driving a Pontiac with the back full of watermelons and a KFC bucket in her lap.

                    12. I’m almost fifty, which means my lifelong preference for older women has finally caught up with my age.

                      What about Popeye’s chicken?

                    13. But older women’s preference for younger men has left you hangin’

                    14. Yep. Caught in a netherworld, I am.

                    15. P= Poor
                      O =Old
                      N= Tony
                      T= Fix
                      I= It
                      A= Again
                      C= Cuz’


                  2. Didn’t Family Guy once ask, would you rather do Queen Latifah or Halle Berry after she’s been dead 6 hours.

      2. No need, these bills have plenty of fiber.

        1. Does Pelosi actually consume food at this point? I thought she derived all her sustenance from sucking kittens dry.

          “I gotta take a dump.”

          “Must’ve been all that beef, Stu.”

          1. She probably prefers whole-roasted kittens, popped into the oven live, albeit shaved first.

            It’s not the bones she minds… that kitten fur may be soft, but she doesn’t want to have to pay her non-union employees to pick it out from between her fangs.

            1. Pay them? That’s so nekulturny. In Pelosi’s workers’ paradise the peasants will crawl over one another for a chance at the scraps between her teeth.

              1. “…the scraps between her teeth.”

                That’s fuckin’ teamwork!

            2. “You know, I never really cared for Mother.”

              “What do you mean, you never really cared for Mother? You’ve had three helpings!”

              /spit take

              1. Thank you all, I think I lost my appetite. I should have you post every day just before dinner – I could drop 20 pounds in no time.

                1. The Hit ‘n’ Run Weight-Loss Program!

                  1. Doesn’t the Hit ‘n’ Run Weight Loss Program involve political /fic

    3. Wait, do you honestly think more than 2 or 3 Congress critters hill have actually read all 2000 pages of the PPACA? Sure they have all probably had members of their staff collectively read the whole thing and the summarize their sections to a single powerpoint slide for the Politician to review but I’d be shocked if more than a handful have actually read the bill themselves.

  2. they’ll just use a smaller font.

  3. Herman Cain did Rand one better – no bill over three pages long allowed at all.

    You can’t slip anything past great minds like that.

    1. You are a cunt, shrike.

      1. I seriously want the LP to be a political force. Just think if 10% of Congress were LP. It would be great to form power blocs with the minority party to get things done.

        But you guys are too bitter and sad to make it happen.

        1. No it’s because we cling to our bibles and guns!

          1. The fuck you say, shrike.

            Why do you vote for Democrats, if you “seriously want” the LP to be a political force?

            1. I have mostly voted LP. Like Cato favorite George Soros I will vote anti-GOP until the John Birchers are thrown out of the GOP on their asses.

              I voted Reagan in 84 and LP until 2004.

              In Georgia I vote LP for all state offices.

              Will definitely vote Obama in 2012.

              1. “Will definitely vote Obama”

                One step forward, and nine miles back.

                Why don’t you vote for LP presidential candidates?

                Wait for it, folks… this is gonna be a knee-slapper.

                1. “I seriously want the LP to be a political force. … Will definitely vote Obama in 2012.”

                  That’s like mounting a carpet-tack dispenser on your front bumper while towing a trailer full of spare tires.

                  1. Romney is on record for rolling back Obama’s Medicare and defense spending cuts (the budget passed last August). One trillion over ten years. Just a lightweight reduction but better than Romney by miles.

                    Fuck him.

                    1. And Obama rolls back… what, again? One trillion over ten years? And you’re EXCITED about that??

                      Plus… they’re both religious-minded men. I’m surprised you’d ever vote for anyone like that.

                    2. A Mormon, and a man steeped in Black Liberation bullshit theology.

                      Hmm… yeah, that’s a tough choice – a rational person would vote for neither.

                    3. Ahhh- now I see the true idiot you are.

                      “Black Liberation”? Obama doesn’t give a fuck about that nonsense. Neither do I. In fact I hate all religion.

                      Its always race or religion with you conservatives.

                      And I am a white cultural supremacist. When Asian chicks play Beethoven quartets I get aroused.

                      The West won. Get over the race bullshit.

                    4. “I hate all religion, but I’m voting for Obama, a religious man”

                      And don’t fucking accuse me of racism. I get enough of that lying bullshit from Tony.

                      Also… I’m not a religious person. Lie again, motherfucker.

                    5. He does it with me, too, and I’m an atheist.

                    6. “Get over the race bullshit.”

                      I’ll remember that the next time you equate Herman Cain to Uncle Tom.

                    7. Seriously, the stupid cunt should ONLY be voting for avowed, vetted atheist candidates.

                    8. I don’t care if Obama is religious or not as long as his approach to governance is secular.

                    9. How can you be *sure* Obama’s decisions are 100% secular?

                      God, you’re a stupid cunt.

                    10. Bush overtly claimed Gawd told him to invade Iraq.

                      Contrast with Obama – no outrageously stupid claim, no torture, no nation building and no lies about some Middle Eastern shithole no one should care about.

                    11. I didn’t vote for Bush, so stop trying, shrike. It’s just pathetic.

                      I reiterate: How can you claim to be for more LP presence, yet be an Obama supporter? There IS an LP candidate, you know. Gary Johnson, by name.

                      But do go on. This is most amusing.

                    12. BTW, your Team bought those lies and helped Bush with their votes to go to Iraq.

                      But you’ll still vote for Obama.

                    13. You’re jumping the shark, anal toy. Either you’re really this fucking retarded, or you’re a spoofer who’s getting sloppy.

                    14. I’m sure Barry mentioned scripture in reference to “helping the poor” in America.

                      That, alone, negates his secular bonafides.

                    15. Yes, I think he did. How is that Black Liberation Theology?

                    16. Well, looky here!


                      “Hard work ? that’s a value. Looking out for one another ? that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together ? that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper ? that is a value.”



                      Sounds kinda religiousy to me.

                    17. I did explicitly type “Black Liberation bullshit theology”, you know.

                      Which means I disagree with it. Just like you do.

                      Try again, cunt.

                    18. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

                    19. It is a Christian value you asswipe.

                      Unless ni**ers can’t be Christians.

                    20. Black Liberation theology is based on Christianity, which should be kept out of public-policy matters at all times.

                      Why are you making this about “ni**ers”? Is your hatred of Herman Cain an indicator of how you really feel about black people other than Obama?

                    21. Wait… did you just DEFEND “Christian values” just then?

                      Sounds like someone’s a little bi-curious…

                    22. Told you this would be a knee-slapper, folks.

                    23. Don’t you understand, FIFY? President Perma-Tan Jesus is an exception to the rule — utterly incorruptible!

                    24. The Rev. Wright made sure Barry turned out to be the kind of man he wanted him to be, yes.

                    25. and no lies about some Middle Eastern shithole no one should care about.

                      Libya ring any bells with you?

                    26. Oh, yeah, Res… and, don’t forget, Barry’s mortal shell holds the very soul of Barry Goldwater.

                    27. *snap* THAT’S why he used to call himself “Barry Sotero”! He was channeling BARRY GOLDWATER!!!

                      It all makes sense now!

                    28. Now all that’s left to do, especially if the libertard horde chases Perma-Tan out of office this year, is build a huge-ass, hugely expensive Obama statue on the White House lawn. May we never forget the Era of Hope and Change!

                    29. Shrike must have the same problem Tony has when it comes to certain dictionary entries.

                    30. “Shrike must have the same problem Tony has when it comes to certain dictionary entries.”

                      Oh, it’s not a problem. It’s a special talent silly anti-government extremists could never even dream of having.

                      It’s the same one that allows them to read all that fine, magical print on the Constitution. Here’s an example:

                      “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Or just fuck this shit and do whatever.

                      See? Same with dictionaries.

                    31. “promote the general welfare” = “handouts for perfectly-capable, sound of mind and body people”

                    32. Well, the Era of Death and Destruction and Insufficiency and Sociopolitical Degradation and Authoritarianism also, but mainly Hope and Change ™!

                    33. Poor shrike must be babbling on the floor now. We’ve been awfully unkind to him, y’know.

                      Why, he might accuse us of being racist again. Unless he can think of some other shit to say.

                    34. Blast from the past, on the subject of the Constitution:


                    35. “You could say two things about it: one, that it has no binding power on anything.”

                      Fuck you with Nancy Pelosi’s dick, Ezra. How the hell do these pundits rise to positions of authority???

                    36. You brought up race, you idiot. Your bait was “Black Theology”.

                      That is what losers do – race bait.

                      You’re the white Al Sharpton.

                2. Obama is better than Romney, and only Obama and Romney have any chance at winning.

                  Although if he lives in Georgia, Romney’s going to win no matter what, so vote LP to send a message.

        2. That is so cute. Shrike thinks we want the government to “get things done.”

          1. Leftists view that as its only function, MS.

            1. “We’ve come this far. We must go on. We have to go on.”

        3. But you guys are too bitter and sad to make it happen.

          So it’s true that the LP consists of 12-20 regulars on HitRun;. I knew it.

        4. You guys are too bitter and sad to make it happen.

          That’s not fair. Libertarians are also cynical, paranoid and nihilistic.

          1. At least we’re not leftists.

          2. No, we have an ethos.

            1. Like I said…

          3. Thanks for your input, Mary!

            1. too insightful and true to be Mary.

          4. Better than naive, gullible, and religious.

        5. See, Shriek wants to vote LP so we can have small government, lower taxes and greater liberty, but for now he’s voting the the guy that will deliver massive government, choking taxes and crushing statism.

  4. I like the page limit idea. I would love it if politicians who rant about “getting government off our backs” to pledge that the number of pages in the federal registry will go down in their term (and no funny business with the margins or font size). Of course, I’d like to see politicians who rant about government spending to pledge that spending won’t be higher than it is now, but that’s not going to happen either.

    1. Charge per page. A hundred million dollars a page.

      The writer(s) of the legislation bear the costs. Up-front.

  5. I wonder how many pages Paul’s bills were.

  6. The fly in Rand’s ointment is whether or not legislators would use the extra time to read the bill, instead of campaigning, doing photo-ops with “normals” at Frozen Yogurt shops… or banging hookers and doing blow.

    I’m all for slowing down the leglisative process, but I’m not convinced we get better legislation by slowing it down… just slower legislators.

    1. That is still an improvement.

      1. So essentially you want to turn Rage Virus politicians into Romero politicians.

        I can get behind that.

        1. My scheme to turn them all into Jenna Jameson didn’t pan out, so I’m going with plan B.

          1. Jenna is too plastic.

          2. Your problem is that you tried to turn them into someone old and over the hill. I suggest trying to turn them into Allison Brie.

            1. I didn’t say my plan was perfect. Given that there must be zombies, she was the least offensive zombie I could think of.

    2. That show is horrible.

      1. It’s a documentary.

    3. Easy. Require the legislators to take an exam, written 1/2 by stated proponents, 1/2 by stated opponents, on the proposed bill, its predicted effects, and costs, etc. Any legislator scoring less than 93% on the exam automatically has his or her vote entered as “FAIL” for that legislation and they do not get another chance to vote on it. Tests are closed book, taken in isolation from other legislators, aides, etc.

    4. Let’shope it’s banging hookers and doing blow, far less damaging than them writing and voting bills…

  7. I suggest instead that a limit be put on how long bills can be. Hmmmm, say 5 pages, 24 pt….double spaced.

    I have a suggestion for a bill that easily meets that standard…..”The Patient Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed.”

    1. I am trying to cook and keep up…but alas, I cannot. I see the page limit discussed above. Still, my recommended bill remains.

    2. What do you have against affordable care for patients?

      1. Maybe he’s cooking FOR patients, CE.

        “To Serve Man”, and all that.

  8. Just another wacky idea from those libertarian extremists… expecting Congresscritters to actually read the bills they pass… the American public will never stand for such reactionary ideas….

    1. It’s crazy talk! Crazy!!

  9. with many bills merely reading them is no guarantee of understanding their effects.

    You don’t seem to understand. It’s not the effects that are important. The intentions, however, are so critical they actually tell you what they are in the title of the bill!

    1. The ‘Save the Poor Children and Really Old People of Our Dying Inner Cities and Revitalize Our Great Country and Cure AIDS and Make Money Grow on Trees Act of 2012″ would be a good name for a tax increase bill.

      1. No, no. It must have a clever acronym. I propose the following tax increase bill:

        Financial Organization Reform Act to Rebuild Entirely the Keen Independence of Disparate Souls.

        FOR ARE KIDS!

        1. Excellent! The DNC shall be calling with a job offer soon enough, good sir!

  10. Passing a bill that says you have to delay passage of a bill would have no effect; the later bill can just exempt itself from the requirement.

    The true remedy would be for Congresslifeforms to simply vote no on any bill they haven’t had time to read. You know, what us little people are supposed to do if we’re presented with a contract we don’t understand.

    1. “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

      1. Don’t be ridiculous. If you were really Nancy Pelosi, you wouldn’t spell ‘serios’ the silly European way with that ‘U’ in there. She’s a true American patriot!

        1. Nancy Pelosi once made the Congressional Cafeteria rename hors-d’oeuvres to appetizers because the original name offended her feminist sensibilities.

          1. Lol. +10.

    2. Currently, their approach is more like the ordinary person’s approach to EULAs.

      That said, if someone slipped some language into one of the larger bills mandating that all Congresspersons that approve of the bill be taken into captivity and combined into a human centipede, that might be an educational experience for them.

      1. +100.

      2. Ya’know I was gonna bust on ya for being a pedant in another thread – but this just totally redeemed you in my view.

      3. South Park did it!

        1. Why can’t it READ?

    3. What Tulip said

  11. Or if Rand really wanted to be a prick, he could sneak a “tax on the wealthy” into a bill, which taxes anyone who votes on a bill in Congress without reading it an extra 20% of their income.

    1. Or he could sneak in a provision mandating the summary execution of every other legislator in Congress. That might wake them up a little.

    2. I’d send Rand a campaign contribution if he did that.

    3. Too nice, and too vague. Should take everything they have, and come with a prison term if possible. Should trigger for any Congressperson that votes in favor (because if the penalties are harsh and personal, they almost certainly didn’t read the bill).

      1. Here’s how it should go down:

        The moment anyone is elected to public office, they go straight to prison and are not released unless they resign or lose re-election.

        That way, we can keep an eye on the motherfuckers.

    4. Or if Rand really wanted to be a prick, he could sneak a “tax on the wealthy” into a bill, which taxes anyone who votes on a bill in Congress without reading it an extra 20% of their income.

      This suggestion gets very close to the core solution.

      If I were Rand Paul instead of just Paul., I’d insert very scary one-liners into each legislative bill. Pepper the things with them.

      My fellow Senators would be scared shitless to vote on anything, lest some horror lurked within that was going to come back to bite them.

      Basically, it would be like putting a cigarette load in every paragraph. You’d be forced to explore every damned word and sentence carefully after the first one went off.

      1. Is genius.

      2. “The IRS will not enforce the PPACA tax/penalty”

        One line. So awesome.

        1. I’ll go one better. “The PPACA is hereby repealed.”

      3. If I were Rand Paul instead of just Paul., I’d insert very scary one-liners into each legislative bill. Pepper the things with them.

        He’s already started. I was really disappointed about him throwing a “fetal personhood” law into an unrelated bill last week. Now it makes sense.

    5. I seem to recall that when the ACA was being written the repubs were locked out and not allowed to know what was going in, or add anything in themselves. I suspect that the nasty repubs sneaking something in was exactly what they were worried about.

      1. “most transparent administration ever!”

    6. But that’s a mandate! You can’t tax certain forms of inactivity!

      Oh wait – you can. Never mind.

  12. OT:

    Anderson Cooper comes out: ‘The fact is, I’m gay’

    Longtime CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has publicly declared he’s gay.

    In discussing last week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story on the emerging trend of celebrities nonchalantly coming out of the closet, Cooper revealed his sexuality to Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan told Cooper that public figures revealing their sexuality still matters, even if most people are no longer startled by the news.

    “We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love, ?

    1. This is so PM Links ago

      1. Must have missed it. Sawy.

      2. That is so 10 years ago. He used to do “Channel 1 News” which was this news show that was on during homerun in my high school. I knew he was gay then.

    2. What? The Republicans are trying to end gay marriage? God, they act like they’re stuck in the 2020s.

      1. The guy writes for the Daily Beast. Don’t expect anything but delusions and horseshit.

    3. I didn’t know A Cooper was in the closet.

      1. He’s more in the closet about the fact that he’s part of the original, blue-blooded 1%.

      2. An aside, Robert Gates quietly ended the practice of not allowing openly gay officers in the CIA. It was around that time that Cooper signed up. Was he openly gay then?

        Of course, the fact that he was in the CIA is a good reason to assume there are agitprop purposes for everything that comes out of his mouth.

        Establishmentarian scaffolding is job one.

        1. An aside, Robert Gates quietly ended the practice of not allowing openly gay officers in the CIA. It was around that time that Cooper signed up. Was he openly gay then?

          I uhh, my understanding is that the CIA (and British intelligence services) were essentially built by gay men from elite colleges like Yale and Harvard. Am I wrong about that?

    4. Who? Some CNN anchor? I’m sure there are lot of other gay news anchors out there, too. Shepherd Smith comes to mind.

      1. I always got that vibe off Shep as well. It’s the wide, glistening eyes. Cooper’s got ’em, Shep’s got ’em, Tom Cruise has got ’em, and so does Barney Frank.

    5. and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love,

      7th Day Adventists?

  13. Why not just stop passing bills, shred the Federal Register, adjourn and go home?

  14. If only we had speed readers like Mr. Data in Congress.

  15. Dear Reason: Could you give us the bill numbers of all bills you mention in your stories? Thank you!

    1. I mean, you give us the state and party affiliation of members of Congress. Bill numbers don’t take up much more space than that!

  16. Sounds like a very good plan to me dude. WOw.

    1. I never knew Anonbot was a Rand supporter. Way to go, Anonbot!

      1. At least Anonbot makes real comments.

        1. Oh, and that comment’s not meant to be antagonistic or accusatory.

  17. I propose that we require all bills to be hand-written by persons holding elected office, using a quill pen, on parchment, in a style designed to match that of the founding documents. Each bill would first be checked for spelling, penmanship, and grammar, with errors resulting in summary rejection of the bill.

    To obviate the question of post hoc judicial activism, the constitutionality of all bills is to be judged prior to passage. In doing so, it is at the court’s discretion to hand down, along with any rejection of a bill, civil and/or criminal penalties to be assigned to the authoring senators. Likewise, enacted law later found to be unconstitutional may result in penalties both for the original authors of the law, for the judges who previously judged it constitutional, and for any legislators who tendered a yea vote in its passage.

    Lastly, all new and existing laws are to be put up online, where they may at any time be nullified by a simple majority of the people. Law may not be proposed by direct democracy, but it may be repealed by that mechanism.

  18. “Sullivan told Cooper that public figures revealing their sexuality still matters, even if most people are no longer startled by the news.
    “We still have pastors calling for the death of gay people, bullying incidents and suicides among gay kids, and one major political party dedicated to ending the basic civil right to marry the person you love, ?”

    And a president who is ‘evolving’. Watch out: he stands a good chance of ‘evolving’ another 180* if the polls look right.
    Regardless, A. Cooper now claims to be a gay twit; is that better than being a straight twit?

    1. When I see you write A. Cooper I think his first name is Alice.

  19. It no longer matters if they read the bills.

    Even if they read the bills, Chief Justice Dadaist Roberts will simply spring down from his toadstool and decree, “This line where it says ‘highway’ secretly meant to say ‘shrubbery’. So you must all bring me a shrubbery or I will say ‘Ni’ to you again!”

    1. Fluffy, I wanted to let you know, I read De Bello Lemures last week and enjoyed it quite thoroughly.

      1. Thanks a lot, db!

  20. OT: This is completely insane.

    When a Southern conservative talks about “losing his liberty,” the loss of this absolute domination over the people and property under his control ? and, worse, the loss of status and the resulting risk of being held accountable for laws that he was once exempt from ? is what he’s really talking about. In this view, freedom is a zero-sum game. Anything that gives more freedom and rights to lower-status people can’t help but put serious limits on the freedom of the upper classes to use those people as they please. It cannot be any other way. So they find Yankee-style rights expansions absolutely intolerable, to the point where they’re willing to fight and die to preserve their divine right to rule.

    1. It does say “This first appeared on Alternet”, so the thing speaks for itself, yo.

      1. Jaysus – from Alternet to Salon, what a fucking trajectory.

    2. *barf*

    3. So if we’re living in “Plantation America,” doesn’t that make Obama the Massa’?

      1. No, no. Apparently, Obama’s one of the “good” elites. See, you can tell the “good” elites from the “slave owning” elites by the fact that they have a “D” by their name. At least, that’s the only difference that’s readily apparent.

    4. I didn’t read the whole thing, but the writer seems to be offering the false dichotomy of:
      A) Freedom is only earned by fulfilling duty to the state.
      B) Freedom is only gained by restricting others’ freedoms.

      Nowhere did I see a statement that personal freedom is a given and required neither of those trade-offs.

      1. Don’t bother. The writer is suffering from a large number of delusions along with an inability to think logically.

        1. Those delusions are nothing that couldn’t be properly adjusted by a thirty or forty whacks with a baseball bat.

    5. “Sara Robinson is a trained social futurist…”

      I think that translates to ‘bullshit artist extraordinaire’.

      1. Or failed science fiction writer.

      2. Other translations include but are not limited to; “large doucher” and “currently unemployed“.

      3. Missed that sentence, but I can only add ‘a *TRAINED* bullshit artist extraordinaire’
        Whoever gets paid for that training has to rank with Deepak Chopra in the All Star bullshit-slinging game.

      4. social futurist

        As far as I can tell, it’s a degree only that’s only offered at the University of Houston.

        1. Classes taught by Profs Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

  21. You get to vote on a bill once you’ve sworn under oath that you’ve read the entire bill.

  22. OT:
    Interview with a drug czar.

    This is the most sycophantic bullshit I’ve read today.

    1. Let’s have a fun, late-night game called “Spot the Logical Fallacy”. Gil’s remarks are not in bold:

      At least 50,000 people have been killed in the Mexican drug war. In that country’s elections, two candidates have said that the United States’ appetite for drugs is the engine behind the violence. Why isn’t that part of our national conversation?

      Because the facts do not quite support it.

      You don’t think so?

      No, I do not. I mean, if our cocaine use is down ? and every indication, from overdoses to admissions to treatment, shows it is down by 40% ? and most of the cocaine that enters the United States comes through Mexico, then pretty clearly there would be a reduction in the level of violence in Mexico.

      WTF? Is he serious?

      1. Is he serious?

        Are you Nancy Pelosi?

  23. And one more. This comes to us from LA Weekly.
    The Truth About Broken Penises.

    In the United States, the majority of cases are the result of traumatic coitus, usually from thrusting an erect penis against the symphysis pubis or perineum. In Japan, only 19% of cases are attributed to sexual intercourse, with the majority of cases reported as the result of masturbation and rolling over in bed onto an erect penis. A majority of the cases in Mediterranean countries are the result of patients kneading and snapping their penis during erection to achieve detumescence. In Iran, only 8% of the cases were attributed to sexual intercourse; the remaining cases were due to self-manipulation and potentially fabricated events, such as a donkey bite to the erect penis, a man falling from a mountain onto his erect penis, and a brick falling onto an erect penis. Other rare reports in the world literature include cases resulting from banging an erect penis against a toilet, masturbating into a cocktail shaker, and placing an erect penis into tight pants. –Rev Urol. 2004 Summer; 6(3): 114-120.

    1. “…masturbating into a cocktail shaker…”
      They should really give that guy’s name so that we can all avoid having him as our bartender.

    2. “…masturbating into a cocktail shaker…”
      They should really give that guy’s name so that we can all avoid having him as our bartender.

    3. “…masturbating into a cocktail shaker…”
      They should really give that guy’s name so that we can all avoid having him as our bartender.

    4. Finally, some news we can use.

    5. Finally, some news we can use.

    6. “…masturbating into a cocktail shaker…”
      They should really give that guy’s name so that we can all avoid having him as our bartender.

      1. The squirrels were really shaken by this.

    7. What?
      (couldn’t pass it up, s-b)

    8. Detu-what? And Iran. Really. “A uhh, a brick fell upon my penis. This is what I say to you… a brick, came down upon my penis.”

      “That’s very biblical sir…”

    9. Falling from a mountain onto his erect penis… W…T…F?

  24. Gentlemen, I believe she’s still single.

    1. There’s a broken penis at the end of this story, I know it.

  25. Let’s be honest though – most of these politicians aren’t going to read the bill, ever. They just vote the way their party bosses tell them to vote.

    1. That’s how party politics works–and in part because it’s impractical to force every member of congress to have a deep, technical understanding of every piece of legislation they vote on.

      1. -and in part because it’s impractical to force every member of congress to have a deep, technical understanding of every piece of legislation they vote on.

        Then they shouldn’t be voting on it.

        1. Thank you. I was trying to think of a forceful rant about how, if the legislators are passing laws about the economy that they don’t understand, then those laws are, by definition…

          Then I saw your response. Simple, elegant. Like a 2×4 to the forehead.

  26. They shouldn’t only have the time to read each bill, their rules should require that no bill can be voted upon unless it has been read out loud into the record before a quorum of not less than 80% of the membership of each house.


  27. Ha! In an old box I’ve found one of my earliest exposures to libertarian thinking, Robert Heinlein story and essay collection Expanded Universe I found an online link for the essay below:…..tion_f.htm

    A snippet from a chapter sarcastically telling a young student how to get ahead at USC by avoiding difficult subject matter.

    To take care of “breadth” and also the American history your high school did not require I recommend Science and Pressure Politics, The Phenomenon of Man, and American Country Music. These three get you home free without learning any math, history, or language that you did not already know … and without sullying your mind with science.
    You must pick a major … but it must not involve mathematics, history, or actually being able to read a second language. This rules out all natural sciences (this campus’s greatest strength).
    Anthropology? You would learn something in spite of yourself; you’d get interested. Art? Better not major in it without major talent. Economics can be difficult, but also and worse, you may incline toward the Chicago or the Austrian school and not realize it until your (Keynesian or Marxist) instructor has failed you with a big black mark against your name.

    1. This sounds like my educational plan.

      I got a BA in Econ. Very easy and useless.

      There was one Marxist Prof. He was very fair unlike the other twits.

  28. Go Rand!

    1. who are you?

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