Mitt and Barry Agree: It's a Penalty, Wealthy French Contemplate Switzerland's Attractions, Syria's Torture Centers: P.M. Links

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  • Even dead, I could still kill you with this stylish neckerchief.

    Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree with one another, and disagree with the Supreme Court, that the money people will have to pay for not satisfying the requirements of the new health care law is a penalty, not a tax. Republican veep prospect Chris Christie says the court is right and it's a tax. Well, that clears things up.

  • The federal government admits to spending $11 billion in an often-leaky effort to protect its secrets. That's double what it spent a decade ago, and doesn't include its super-secret costs to shield really secret secrets.
  • You wish you protected your money from the government as well as Mitt Romney has protected his.
  • Having been targeted by their new, socialist government, high-income French citizens are poised to enjoy a comfortable tax-exile status in neighboring Switzerland, and the Swiss quietly encourage the exodus.
  • The Syrian government runs "an archipelago" of 27 torture centers as part of its fight to survive a popular uprising against authoritarian rule, says Human Rights Watch.
  • The victory in Mexico's presidential election of Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party hasn't exactly thrilled the many Mexicans who fled to the U.S. to escape that party's authoritarian and corrupt policies.
  • Why does France so often seem a little … soft? Because the entire country's supply of tough was channeled to Count Robert de la Rochefoucauld. The one-time parachuting secret agent who escaped execution at the hands of the Nazis, twice, then was kicked out of Indochina for being too gung-ho, has died at the age of 88 — after, rumor has it, kicking the Angel of Death in the nuts. (HT Brian Combs)

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  1. Oh. My. Gawd. It’s not even noon here in the all-important Eastern Time Zone. Where do you live, Tuccille? Nova Scotia?

    1. I think he’s trying to get a jump on the 4th…get the hell out of DC before the rest of the workaday horde punches out.

    2. Good God, man. Are you hacking our servers? I set that to publish at 4:30ET!

      1. It’s just a jump to the left!

      2. FoE is actually Skynet. He’ll decide your fate in a microsecond.

        1. Hey just what you see, pal.

          1. Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?

              1. Your clothes. Give them to me.

            1. FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!

              1. With these weapons…I don’t know.

      3. You should be checking on the squirrels’ stashes – some may have been bribed.

  2. …high-income French citizens are poised to enjoy a comfortable tax-exile status in neighboring Switzerland, and the Swiss quietly encourage the exodus.

    I’m sure Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey are willing to lend the Frogs a copy of their Ex-Patriot Act. The Socialists can tax those rich, retreating Frenchmen into poverty on their way out the door.

    1. I am reliably informed by lefties that high-income people don’t leave because of taxes, so nothing to worry about.

      1. Not just the Swiss. The British Prime Minister said the following “partly in jest:”

        “When France sets a 75 percent top income tax rate we will roll out the red carpet and we will welcome more French businesses which will pay their taxes in Britain. That will pay for our public services and our schools.”

        http://news.yahoo.com/frances-…..15793.html

        1. There’s something like 300,000 French citizens in London, and yes they’re mostly the high-earning or young, entrepreneurial French people who like the economic freedom

          1. There’s something like 300,000 French citizens in London, and yes they’re mostly the high-earning or young, entrepreneurial French people who like the relative economic freedom

            FTFY

  3. Chris Christie says the court is right and it’s a tax. Well, that clears things up.

    The state is taking your money for not engaging in commerce with private companies. They might as well make up a new word for that, since we’re no doubt going to be seeing more of this new state power in use.

    1. How about theft? Oh, wait, that one’s taken already.

    2. It’s called corporatism – amp it up to 11 and you get fascism.

    3. Penaltax.

      C’mon, people, I’m trying to start a new meme here. Tow the damn lion, already!

      1. Penalty? Tax?

        Gillespie says fuck that noise.

        1. Penaltax? Taxalty?

        1. Penistax?

          1. I wanted to keep the “penalty” while implying the “penis” as well.

            1. Penisax.

              “By this ax, I rule.”

              1. Is that some sort of musical instrument?

                1. blow on it and see if it makes sweet noise

                  1. If I could do that, I wouldn’t leave home.

          2. would that be flat rate or progressive?

            1. Regressive.

                1. Explosive?

            2. Hockey-sticked

            3. hockey-stick shaped.

                1. Expansive!

              1. does it point to the left?

          3. PENIS TACKS! Watch out for the penis tacks.

        2. Health-a-tax

        3. Now that’s what I call stimulus!

      2. How about, “I Can’t believe It’s Not A Tax!”

      3. You’ve got your penalty in my tax.

      4. Penaltax.

        Sounds too much like an intimate male hygeine product.

    4. Extortion? The “X” makes it sound cool.

      1. No, it sounds pornographic. Which is actually still appropriate since we are getting fucked over here.

      2. There’s nothing wrong so long as you let Bender wet his beak.

        1. “So, anteater number one. Are you covering for someone? Is it anteater number two? Don’t stick your tongue out at me. I need a name!”

          1. I killed one person on impulse. Then I had to kill another, and another!

            1. “Hey, what’s this? Hermes’ dreadlocks, and his arm? Leela, I’m shocked! Food goes in the disposal, hair and flesh go in the trash!”

              1. My next clue came at 4.15, when the clock stopped. And another came two hours later at 4.15, when I discovered the murdered body of Amy’s dead, deceased corpse.

                1. This one time I pounded a guy into the ground like a stake with a shovel.

    5. Plunder?

    6. The state is taking your money for not engaging in commerce with private companies. They might as well make up a new word for that, since we’re no doubt going to be seeing more of this new state power in use.

      How about buggery

      1. My president was a relentlessly self-promoting bourgeoisie pwner from Kenya with low grade narcissism and a penchant for buggery.

        1. Not bad, but

          a relentlessly self-promoting apparatchik poser from Harvard, with a narcissist streak and a penchant for buggery

          is a better fit.

  4. The federal government admits to spending $11 billion in an often-leaky effort to protect its secrets.

    And most of that was spent fighting lawsuits to release Obama’s birth certificate and college transcripts.

  5. Meh, Romney.

  6. You’ve GOT to read this. This poor woman waxes romantic about how the evil US wouldn’t pay for her expensive treatments, and how only by having UK citizenship was her life able to be saved.

    She then concludes with a line indicating that being heavily taxed is actually the greatest form of freedom.

    http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com…..16411.html

    1. No thank you.

    2. I’m aware that others being taxed buys me disproportionate freedoms.

      FIFY

    3. If I were a net consumer of government services, I probably wouldn’t mind being taxed either.

    4. If treatments are expensive, shouldn’t we find a way to make them cheaper instead of having other people pay for it?

      1. It doesn’t get cheaper than stolen.

    5. Are you saying that work will not make you free?

    6. A system that allows me to pursue my potential earns my talent as an asset of the state. An economy cannot gain health by laying waste to latent skill.

      I think you overestimate your utility, Ms. O’Connor.

      1. an asset of the state

        Bitch you ain’t gonna like it when you become a liability.

  7. The Syrian government runs “an archipelago” of 27 torture centers as part of its fight to survive a popular uprising against authoritarian rule, says Human Rights Watch.

    I blame Bush.

    1. Exactly, while Bush created a system of expensive torture centers requiring long airplane flights the innovative Syrian government has opened a easy to access “archipelago” of torture centers so that Syrians can get serviced at anytime or place.

      1. Another argument for high speed rail!

  8. Nancy Pelosi has nuts?

    1. You sound surprised.

      1. I figured they were under lock and key at DARPA.

        1. dude, you’re been gagging on them for so long you’ve stopped noticing

  9. You missed this one:

    USDA combats ‘mountain pride,’ self-reliance to boost food stamp rolls
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/07…..z1zasuE5Vq

    One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more ? in many instances working to overcome Americans’ “pride,” self-reliance or failure to see a need.

    “Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its “Outreach Toolkits” page. “Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food. By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals.”

    Hillbilly pride and independence harms their communities:

    “SNAP is an investment in our future. It offers nutrition benefits to participating clients, supports work, and provides economic benefits to communities,” USDA explains on one of its outreach pages. “However, too many low-income people who are eligible for the program do not participate and thus forgo nutrition assistance that could stretch their food dollars at the grocery store. Their communities lose out on the benefits provided by new SNAP dollars flowing into local economies.”

    1. I guess they’ll just have to come up with a new law assessing a penalty for not using food stamps.

      1. Some of those people might read this shut the fuck up

      2. Is it a penalty, or a tax?

        hmm…

    2. I have a good friend who is a social worker. He runs a privately operated program that contracts with governmental agencies to help families and children that is focused on results. Their internal metrics gauge success on several factors including the recidivism rate of children and families down the road, how long it takes to “graduate” them from the program, and how many clients can be helped.

      The last few years he has been grappling with the statr (PA) which defines program success based on how many “units of treatment” are delivered. In other words, the State doesn’t care if people are helped by or successfully complete the programs, it only cares that so many treatmeny units are delivered. It could be thousands of units expended on one trainwreck of a family or on tens of families who all go on to improve their lives, state doesn’t care.

      Unsurprisingly the State metrics are driven by State operated programs.

      1. The state is all about inputs, and never about results. Don’t want people wondering about results, after all.

        1. The stimulus has created or saved 4 million jobs!

          1. “Hey, man, did you get laid on your date?”

            “Are you kidding, I spent $100!”

            1. “Well, Johnny, how did you do on your spelling test?”

              “I studied real hard!”

      2. I know a few people who go into social work as their degree of choice and on the outside I smile and say “oh, cool” but on the inside I usually hate them. I guess it is technically possible to be a non-governmental social worker though.

        It all depends on how much of a statist they are when they graduate, I guess.

        1. My friend says most people who get into social work have mental problems brought on by childhood abuse or dysfunctional families for one reason or another. He claims they do it more to exorcise their own personal demons and frequently have problems detaching their viewpoints on their clients from their own problems.

          1. The trick for them is being self-aware enough to see when their own experiences are clouding their advice to clients.

            1. In theory, social work could be good as a less elitist psychiatrist or something. But I think that in practice social work amounts to a lot of generalizations about what is the norm, and how the social worker or the people/organization/government he works for can better solve or take care of your problems than you can (e.g., removing kids from pot-smoking household).

              1. But I think that in practice social work amounts to a lot of generalizations about what is the norm, and how the social worker or the people/organization/government he works for can better solve or take care of your problems than you can (e.g., removing kids from pot-smoking household).

                That is exactly what Social Work is.

              2. My sister is in a MSW program right now. She says it’s insanely biased and she sometimes gets heckled for having opinions that are too right wing (she’s actually fairly liberal).

              3. Having friends who are social workers I see that there are differences between the government programs and the private ones. Additionally there are differences of degree in these cases. The descriptions of abuse amd weirdness I’ve heard (always told as case studies, never names mentioned) from my friend give me a windoe into a world I’d never inmy nightmares imagined existing. There are some monumentally fucked up people out there and they do tremendous damage from generation to generation. While I strongly object to taking a chikd away from a family based on parents’ drug use, at least in the stories I’ve heard, the drug use us usally the least of the problems.

                1. I do not condone the State attempting to correct these people’s problems, but even if it were funded entirely by charity and based on people voluntarily seeking help, social work would still exist. You need to separate the good work that social workers do from the hateful systems of coercion the State requires.
                  IOW, hate the game, not the player.

                  1. Well said.

        2. I’m not good at hiding what I’m thinking. Statist can usually tell I’m considering harvesting their organs for the black market from the contempt in my eyes.

          1. At least you found a good use for them.

            1. In the bodies of monocled industrialist where they belong.

          2. Holy Shit! Why did I never think of that. I just keep dumping the bodies down the old mine. You are a fucking genius.

  10. Financial abortion rights for men.

    It’s hilarious to see feminists make the exact same arguments as the pro-lifers.

    1. Behold the hipocrasy inherent in the system!

    2. I had a really long reddit argument about this, which somehow ended up turning into a IRL argument with a female friend who is prochoice but thinks that the guy shouldn’t have sex if he doesn’t want to deal with the consequences.

  11. Their communities lose out on the benefits provided by new SNAP dollars flowing into local economies.

    Stimulus thinking really is the economic version of a perpetual motion machine, isn’t it?

    1. They aren’t called multiplier fairies for nuthin’.

    1. That was unbelievable. James Bond is a complete wussy compared to him.

      1. The species is definitely getting weaker with each generation. Devo was right.

        1. Devo is always right.

    2. So now you know how to say Chuck Norris in French.

  12. The real question is when did I miss the great introduction day for the Commentariat? I feel like I’m really missing out by not being on a “first name” basis in here. Given, I don’t really post as much as I could. Still testing the waters at work on how much my web browsing is monitored.

    1. Good afternoon Brand. I am Spittle. Although I was Jack for a long time but that change last week after the SC decision. I am now nothing more than a foaming mouth.

      Pleased to meet you.

      1. gB

        I’m Francisco d’Anconia, but after last weeks SC decision I’m considering changing it to Ragnar Danneskj?ld.

        1. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

    2. If you’ll simply attend the monthly meetings in Warty’s basement, you’ll soon be on a first name basis with many of the regulars. If it’s your first time, bring some lube.

      1. No lube the first time, remember? We just instituted that rule last month. Were you passed out or something?

        1. Or something is more likely.

          1. Exhausted?

              1. Wartyhausted?

      2. and a first aid kit. You’ll need the gauze at a bare minimum

      3. And see…I didn’t even know about the monthly meetings.

        I always got picked last at dodgeball too.

        Fuck…I’m just going to go home.

        1. Leave your dodgeball, though. We can use that.

        2. (kicks a pebble. walks away slowly)

    3. First name basis? I try to get them to call me “Dr. theWhite” but they insist on tulpy-poo.

  13. The victory in Mexico’s presidential election of Enrique Pe?a Nieto

    was just in time to maintain the cosmic balance of hot political wives, after the recent eviction of Carla Bruni’s husband from office.

    1. The latin countries will never disappoint.

      I plan on wearing a brown suit and have a sidekick who wears a bee costume. From what I’ve seen on Univision, that gets you unpossibly hot chicks.

  14. The Syrian government runs “an archipelago” of 27 torture centers as part of its fight to survive a popular uprising against authoritarian rule, says Human Rights Watch.

    If rich nations weren’t so stingy with their foreign aid, Syria could afford hundreds of torture centers.

    1. Barbarians gonna barb. Its what they do. Its who they are.

      1. Elmo converted to Islam after spending a bunch of time with Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam. True story.

        1. You seem to have expertise in these thing. I heard Cookie Monster became a Raelian. Is that true too?

          1. No, Cookie became a Moonie. The really crazy thing was when Oscar became a Rastafarian. Totally changed his attitude. They call him “Oscar the Couch” now because all he does is sit on the couch and get baked*.

            (* True story: I knew Caroll Spinney’s godson at Johns Hopkins, and he would routinely tell stories about his parents and Caroll getting baked in the back yard; he usually told these stories when we were getting baked)

            1. family values in action!

        2. Could have been worse. I heard Big Bird was putting him under a lot of pressure to convert to Scientology.

          1. He caved eventually; Snuffleupagus just wouldn’t stop begging him to join.

            His eyes are even more vacant now.

          1. Bert’s conversion caused him to reject his own homosexuality and caused him to break up with Ernie. Since the two of them were basically like adoptive parents to Elmo, this messed Elmo up and he followed Bert into Islam.

            Ernie is now a Wiccan.

            1. Shit! That actually makes sense!

            2. You know, what does this mean? Can men no longer be roommates? At least, without being legally designated as a gay marriage?

              1. Sounds like someone has a male roommate!

                1. Not now, unless you count sons, you pervert.

              2. My dental coverage sucks. Maybe I could get a male roommate with good dental, we’d automatically be gay married, and I’d have good dental!

                Just like you and BP, ProL.

      2. “agents provocateurs”, you provincial meatus.

        1. Zut alors!

    2. ? allegedly by bearded men

      This narrows it down considerably.

      1. ? allegedly by bearded men

        This narrows it down considerably.

        I believe it was this guy.

  15. En route to his execution in Auxerre, La Rochefoucauld made a break, leaping from the back of the truck carrying him to his doom, and dodging the bullets fired by his two guards. Sprinting through the empty streets, he found himself in front of the Gestapo’s headquarters, where a chauffeur was pacing near a limousine bearing the swastika flag. Spotting the key in the ignition, La Rochefoucauld jumped in and roared off, following the Route Nationale past the prison he had left an hour earlier.

    He smashed through a roadblock before dumping the car and circling back towards Auxerre on foot under cover of night. He sheltered with an epicier. From Auxerre, friends in the Resistance helped him on to a train for Paris, where he evaded German soldiers hunting him by curling up underneath the sink in the lavatory. “When we arrived in Paris I felt drunk with freedom,” he recalled.

    Wow, they must have forgotten the part where he had passionate sex with the comely farmer’s daughter during an overnight stay in a barn, then while in disguise, bedded a series of helpful, saucy gypsy women on the country roads to Paris.

    1. Actually there is a part after some victory where he says “girls fell into our arms”. I think he was in London at this point.

      Also, he calls the French cowardly, reporting that after some city was liberated (ie, Germans chased out and relatively safe) he started seeing posers pop up who weren’t really doing any fighting hanging out in cafes with Resistance uniforms and weapons.

    2. Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld is a reminder that occasionally the aristocracy are as badass as they pretend to be. He could be the hero in a George Lucas film….

  16. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree with one another, and disagree with the Supreme Court, that the money people will have to pay for not satisfying the requirements of the new health care law is a penalty, not a tax. Republican veep prospect Chris Christie says the court is right and it’s a tax. Well, that clears things up.

    It should clear things up for some people…

    Just because Barack Obama is our enemy doesn’t mean the Republicans are our friends.

  17. Hot new trend: Transethnicity

    i’m jun/june, a 16 year old autistic pangender asexual demiromantic trans-asian cat otherkin ? i knew that i wasn’t meant to be white ? but i did not know exactly whichethnicity i was meant to be until i was exposed to Korean beings, and Korean culture (albeit a single aspect of it) for the first time.

    1. Ho. Lee. Fuck.

      If that kid actually knew anything about Korean culture, he/she would know that the average Korean would pummel him/her into the ground for just thinking that. Korean culture has a strong obsession with “blood purity”. They didn’t call it the “Hermit Kingdom” for nothing.

      1. No shit. I can’t even get a hooker there unless no one else know’s I’m doing it. They lose their Korean clientele if it’s found out they fucked a white guy.

    2. I’ve always felt I should be a Hittite.

    3. We need to pass some laws to encourage bullying, there’s obviously not enough in our society.

    4. I’m had “enlightened” people argue extensively with me that this isn’t at all like being transgender and is a stupid analogy to make.

      1. I don’t see how they can. If you accept that a persons opinion of themselves is to be the defining metric for how they’re treated, then this is equally viable.

    5. I can understand the experience of feeling more at home in a foreign culture than in one’s own, but this is quite a lot to extrapolate from that.

  18. I understand some of you don’t know Sarah Jean, so I’ll tell you a little bit about her. She’s a lesbian, Eskimo, midget albino. She went to college and started the lesbian-Eskimo-midget-albino student union, and 400 people signed up. There they were, hundreds of lesbian left-handed midget Eskimo albinos. Did I mention the fact that she’s left-handed? She’s left-handed all right.

    1. HEY HEY HEY! You can’t use the E-word. Only they can. They’re Inuit to you, pally.

  19. Fark reaction to the reality of the auto bailouts.

  20. How to be a reverse racist.

    This chick is insane. I mean actually insane. I know it’s supposed to be a joke, but to use the examples she did, means she thinks that this stuff is all true in reverse.

  21. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the people who the statists want to run your lives.

    After realizing her error, Carney could be heard on the House floor saying, “”Oh, my God?it won’t let me change my vote.”

    Under state law, lawmakers can change their vote if they make a mistake?unless their vote changes the outcome.

    “There’s a green button and a red button,” House Speaker Thom Tillis told the News Observer. “They should know which one to push.”

    Carney hit the green one.

    1. She panicked because she approved a “solution” to the “CO2 problem” that didn’t involved massive wealth redistribution.

    2. Under state law, lawmakers can change their vote if they make a mistake?unless their vote changes the outcome.

      So, you’re allowed to pander?

  22. Telling the truth is now misogyny.

    In reference to video games:

    “Does Felicia Day matter at all?” Destructoid contributor Ryan Perez tweeted to no one in particular last Friday night. “I mean does she actually contribute anything useful to this industry, besides retaining a geek persona?” Then, he tweeted directly to Day: “Could you be considered nothing more than a glorified booth babe? You don’t seem to add anything creative to the medium.”

    then…

    Wheaton criticized Destructoid for employing an “ignorant misogynist,” and soon, the website cut ties with Perez. “Destructoid has ended its relationship with Ryan Perez, effective immediately. We again apologize to @feliciaday and all others concerned,” the website’s editors tweeted.

    1. Wheaton was concerned about the implications for himself, one must assume.

      1. Yep. He might want to jump onto the newest feminist cause for publicity himself. And he knows he’ll be deserving of exactly the same criticism.

        1. I’m not sure what to make of the first sentence, but certainly he doesn’t add anything creative to the field of gaming as far as I know. He’s sort of a pop culture reference made flesh.

    2. The Guild and Dr. Horrible are both excellent.

      Plus she’s a hot redhead. That’s all she has to add to the world to justify herself.

      1. The Guild and Dr. Horrible are both excellent.

        They also aren’t video games.

        1. The Guild is entirely about video games.

      2. This is in response to a full-court press by the feminist community to change the “misogyny” of video games. As always, just actually buying things that conform to their wants is too much trouble. They want standards imposed industry wide. The comments were a reaction to Felicia jumping on the train.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, the video game community has a great deal of misogyny within it, culturally. But Felicia Day is no Kim Swift. She’s just a spare slayer.

          1. Don’t get me wrong, the video game community has a great deal of misogyny within it

            And short of getting the 12 year olds playing COD some non-insulting female attention, that’s not gonna change. Certainly not through regulation, which seems to be the only tool in the feminist’s toolkit. These guys built this space to be a certain way. There is absolutely nothing stopping the feminists from building another one. The old gripes about boy’s clubs being where the business is conducted don’t apply here.

      3. Yes, the critique was probably too close for comfort – but Felicia Day needs no justification other than being a hot redhead.

    3. Presumably the misogyny accusation is related to the “booth babe” remark.

      While people are oversensitive of course, insulting a woman in a way specific to their gender is going to trigger the misogyny flags every time.

      1. See above. I would call wheaton the same. Is there another commonly accepted group who profits off the video gaming community without contributing to it?

        1. EA?

  23. It’s a tax, all right. If it were a penalty, you’d have due process rights.

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