A.M. Links: Reports on Obamacare Site Contradict Medicare Chief's Testimony, Rand Paul Responds To Claim Speech Included Section From Wikipedia Article, Red Sox Win World Series

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Credit: Gage Skidmore/wikimedia
  • Reports that healthcare.gov was tested just prior to launch contradict testimony from Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has responded to claims that his recent speech at Liberty University included sections lifted from Wikipedia, saying "Nothing I said was not given attribution to where it came from," and that Rachel Maddow, who pointed out the similarities between the speech and a Wikipedia article, has "been spreading hate on me for three years now."
  • NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander denies that the agency he runs illegally accessed Yahoo and Google servers.
  • A United Nations officials has said that the campaign against Al-Shabab militants in Somalia has "ground to a halt" and that 4,400 more African Union troops and U.N. assistance is needed in order to break the current stalemate.
  • The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that Syria's declared chemical weapons equipment has been destroyed.  
  • The Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night.

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  1. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has responded to claims that his recent speech at Liberty University included sections lifted from Wikipedia…

    Plagiarism? That just means he’s qualified to be vice president to a clean and bright and articulate empty suit.

    1. OMG, he used Wikipedia! For a speech!

      I guess I fail to understand the controversy.

      1. He should be depending on far more reliable and accurate sources than Shitipedia.

        1. He should be depending on Encyclopedia Dramatica.

        2. If Jackass in Chief used Wikipedia, he would have known there were 50, not 57 states.

          1. Or that it’s pronounced ‘corpsmen’ and not corpse-men. Or that Austrian is not a language.

            1. You know who else would have spoken Austrian if it were a language?

              1. Carl Menger?

              2. Schwarzenegger??

              3. Erwin Schr?dinger and his penchant for pussy…I mean cats?

        3. I think they’re good enough for references to movie plots for a speech.

          1. Yeah, didn’t the Wikipedia article plagiarize Gattaca first?

        4. He should be citing my blog!

          Rickshaws- The Future of American Transportation?

          http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..rican.html

          1. Are they powered by the homeless?

            1. Dear god, I sure hope so…

        5. He shouldn’t be using Hollywood’s imbecilic economic ideas as presented in a movie to buttress any political argument.

          I’m appalled that anyone who knows Misesian economics would think Gattaca anything more than doing to genetic engineering what Armageddon did for astronautics.

          1. Politicking is about persuading dumb assess not an economics seminar.

    2. It’s such an obviously pathetic attempt to distract from the Obamacare nightmare and all of President Zero’s other fuck ups. Too bad Paul didn’t point that out.

      1. Yeah, over here we’ve got a guy who’s been caught in the act of destroying our healthcare system…

        But over there we’ve got a guy who’s accused of “plagiarizing” Wikipedia?

        What’ll they accuse him of next? Texting to avoid having to talk to someone?

        1. If that’s a crime, lock me up and throw away the key.

        2. Is it even possible to “plagiarize” Wikipedia?

      2. True. I just figured they have absolutely nothing better to criticize him on. At least he got the Civil Rights Act crap out of the way a few years ago.

        1. Oh that will be back if he runs for POTUS. Don’t worry.

      3. It’s a weak troll, They’re so focused on evil-Ted (eater of children) right now, that they cannot be bothered to give Randy any more than an honorable mention over at the slimeworks of MSDNC…

    3. The thing I don’t get is he is summarizing the plot of a well known movie. Since there is no original analysis in a plot summary how could any plot summary not sound “suspiciously” like every other plot summary out there?

    4. That just means he’s qualified to be vice president to a clean and bright and articulate empty suit.

      Paul Ryan?

  2. Survey: How many admit to having sex while driving?

    A new online survey measures just how much actual living goes on in cars — whether it is eating, applying makeup, flirting or having sex.

    As a result, according to the Harris Interactive survey conducted for a company called Scout GPS, drivers are still distracted despite all the attention paid to the risks.

    The survey finds that 11% of the the 1,832 U.S. adults participating in the survey admit to “having participated in a sexual activity while driving.”

    1. Define “sexual activity”. Getting BJs? Touching your partner’s junk?

      1. Thinking about sex can certainly be distracting.

      2. Does it have to include a partner?

      3. Listening to the “Fifty Shades” audiobook?

    2. I have gotten a hummer and had PIV sex while driving. The sex was pretty stupid, but a hummer isn’t a big deal unless you’re one of those freaks that pass out after ejaculation.

      1. Someone who passes out because he either has or hasn’t had a Coke today has no business calling other people freaks.

        1. Someone who passes out from drinking a big gulp probably shouldn’t be calling others freaks.

          1. Pancreas privilege is being able to drink a Big Gulp of Dr. Pepper and not going into a coma.

    3. I prefer to characterize it as driving while having sex.

    4. Or you know maybe “distracted driving” really isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as they want you to think.

      I mean if your odds of having an accident start off 1 every 100,000 miles but distracted driving lowers it to 1 every 40,000 miles it makes distracted driving 2.5x more dangerous as normal driving but still means an drive who was distracted 20% of the time would only have on average about 2 extra accident in their lives compared to one who was never distracted

      1. The problem is that you don’t know whether or not those 2 extra accidents will involve fatalities. The first extra accident could potentially eliminate the possibility of the second extra accident.

  3. NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander denies that the agency he runs illegally accessed Yahoo and Google servers.

    Maybe he gets the same briefings Obama gets and is simply blissfully ignorant. Who could blame him? (Literally.)

    1. No, he’s just a liar who thinks he’s telling noble lies.

    2. They probably accessed them via a foreign country to make it legal.

    3. so he’s waiting for the story to appear on television, too?

    4. They don’t think the access is illegal.

      1. “When the president’s underlings do it, it’s not illegal.”

      2. ^This^ They seriously believe what they are doing is legal, and given the ugliness that is the Patriot Act, it might be. Maybe some brave legislator could file legislation making it expressly illegal.

        1. Government takes the opposite approach in its own behavior as it does to the behavior of its citizens.

          For us, everything that isn’t expressly allowed is forbidden, yet for them, everything that isn’t expressly ruled as verboten is legal.

          It’s sick.

        2. Of course it doesn’t matter what the fucking Patriot Act says, the Constitution says it’s illegal.

          1. The Living Constitution says it is legal. Your dusty, old parchment of a Constitution is a dead letter.

            If the President does something, then it is legal unless the Supreme Court determines that, under the evolving norms of justice, it is not. Then the Supreme Court can use its army to enforce its ruling. Since they don’t actually have an army, the Chief Justice has to invent some rationale that finds whatever the President does to be within the evolving norms of justice.

            If the lackeys of the President do something with his tacit consent, that’s legal, too.

    5. “illegally accessed”

      Key word, illegally. He’s not saying they didn’t do it, he’s saying that he believes what they did was legal

    6. Now that he has publicy denied it, I await Snowden’s latest presser of a photo of Alexander illegally accessing a Yahoo! server.

      1. Snowden’s quite possibly one of the most successful LOL farmers to ever harvest a ROFL crop… truly the gift that keeps on giving. The secret to the exceptional LOL and ROFL yields, is plain old government bullshit, quite possibly the finest fertilizer ever invented, and this administration is swimming in it…

  4. Ok. Fist. You’re fast.

    1. Who are you, my ex-girlfriend?

      1. Ew.

          1. Who cares?

            1. That attitude was probably the problem.

          2. I’m guessing she must not have felt anything?

            1. Is it in yet?

              I hear Fist’s comeback when she asked him who he was gonna satisfy with that little thing was a brilliant “ME!”…

  5. Miss Bumbum rocked by bribery claims

    A bitter row has broken out amidst allegations of bribery in the massively popular annual search for Brazil’s most beautiful bum.

    With a fortune in endorsements and fame at stake, the 2013 Miss Bumbum competition has turned nasty.

    Two contestants are accused of paying thousands of pounds in bribes to judges, reports the International Business Times.

    1. I volunteer to check to make sure all the contestants are …. worthy.

      1. Seriously. You’re a judge at a hot ass competition, and the bribes you take are not sexual?

        1. It’s Brazil. Wall-to-wall smoking hot asses in thongs. No big deal down there. It’s very likely to be harder to get cash than bikini models in Brazil.

    2. Two contestants are accused of paying thousands of pounds in bribes

      If I were a judge for this contest, I would not accept cash bribes.

      1. You think “pounds” was referring to a currency here?

      2. How else can you tell if the inside muscles are as fit as the outside ones?

  6. “Nothing I said was not given attribution to where it came from,” and that Rachel Maddow, who pointed out the similarities between the speech and a Wikipedia article, has “been spreading hate on me for three years now.”

    Silly Rand, hate can only be spread by old white rethuglican teapartier cisgendered males.

    1. The left is like Kirk Cameron: When they do it, it’s love speech.

    2. When leftists spread hate it’s called being tolerant.

      1. “When leftists spread hate it’s called being tolerant checking *your* privilege?.”

    3. God, can the commenters at Raw Story be anymore idiotic than, say, Huff or Kos? Why even bother linking to those hosers?

    4. How is Maddow “hating” on Rand Paul? That is a pussified response.

      1. Needz moar Christfag.

      2. Speaking of which….

        /kneels.

  7. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that Syria’s declared chemical weapons equipment has been destroyed.

    All hail Vlad Putin, World Go-Getter and Problem Solver Extraordinaire.

    1. Wow. That is impressive if it actually happened.

        1. Sure, because it isn’t like the Syrians could re-develop 19th Century technology. We put that genie right back in that bottle!

    2. Syria? Something going on there?

      1. Gas leak, that’s all.. nothing to see… move along.

  8. Cops Buy Own Uniforms, Bullets, In Cash-Strapped Detroit

    http://detroit.cbslocal.com/20…..d-detroit/
    You mean, like every other fucking job on the fucking planet, they have to buy their own uniforms and tools? Oh the horror!

    1. They should be charged $5000 per bullet.

      /Chris Rock

    2. Imagine if they had to buy their own vehicles too. No way anyone can afford a vehicle, clothing, and tools for their job.

    3. Let me know when they have to buy their own liability insurance. It will be a good day.

    4. Can I buy a uniform and claim to be a cop?

      1. Only if you want to get shot.

      2. It’s Detroit. Would anyone notice?

        1. After a while the smell gets pretty bad.

    5. Hey this could be a good thing, buying their own ammo will make them less likely to start shooting

  9. Report: Snowden gets tech support job in Russia

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article…..job-russia
    Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na

    1. “Is the power cord plugged in? If so, have you tried rebooting?”

      1. “Is the power cord plugged in? If so, have you tried rebooting… YOUR CONSTITUTION?”

  10. Mean girls: Scientists say women have evolved to be ‘indirectly aggressive’

    An authoritative study published by the Royal Society has explored the scientific basis for “competition and aggression” between women, and found that they have most likely evolved to be mean to one another.

    Dedicating a whole journal issue to the theme and inviting international evidence from across disciplines, the research found that the “constraints of offspring production and care” meant that it favoured the female of the species to resort to low-risk forms of aggression.

    1. No shit.

    2. offspring production

      Sounds like someone’s passive-aggressive description for ‘motherhood’

    3. This shouldn’t be a surprise to the scientists.

    4. No kidding. I have a daughter. She’s eight. I have no clue how to raise a girl. The intricate complexities of how they behave goes right over my head. My wife is constantly schooling me. The direct approach has its limits.

      1. My daughter is 9. She terrifies me.

        1. I’ve got an eight-year-old daughter, too. It’s amazing how different she is from her twin brother.

          1. my twins are right behind yours. Sounds like I have a lot to look forward to. Not to mention they live with their Chicago democrat mother.

            Me: “Obama is President of the United States.”
            Son:”I thought Obama was king of the world”
            Me: He may think he is, but he isn’t.

            1. My older sons turned out ok with a Catholic Democrat mother. They’re at least quasi-libertarian, although one is in law school — so I could still lose him to the Dark Side.

        2. Got a laugh out of that one. Same here.

      2. Looks like we got a generation of libertarian women on the way, boys. It gives me hope.

        1. Drink up!

    5. The head of the study team, sheila jones, said theyd completed their work faster than a rival team in canada headed by lilly brown.

      “Lilly tries so hard,” said jones. “I really feel sorry for her.”

      1. What is she trying to say, that we suck?

        Yeah well.

        Curling. Pick the time and date so we can kick your ass, Sheila.

      2. OH YOU BITCH!!

      3. Lilly Brown responded by saying that her study team was “amassing our data carefully and not simply rushing to conclusions the way Sheila rushed into marriage with her deadbeat first husband.”

  11. NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander denies that the agency he runs illegally accessed Yahoo and Google servers.

    To me this translates to: “Yes, the NSA in fact did illegally access Yahoo and Google servers.”

    1. exactly. Anytime this guy speaks, just substitute ‘admits’ for ‘denies’ and you’ve decoded his top secret message.

    2. if the government does it, it’s not illegal.

      1. I first saw that phrase back in the late 1980s on a wall somewhere in the backstreets in Montreal and always stayed with me – because it’s accurate for the most part.

  12. Deputy who shot and killed toy gun-carrying teen, 13, opened fire before his partner was even able to get out of patrol car

    Erick Gelhaus, 48, shot dead teenage Andy Lopez earlier this month
    Gelhaus has received death threats after the incident that sparked outrage
    The FBI is investigating the fatal shooting of the 13-year-old in Santa Rosa,
    Lopez was spotted carrying a toy gun by cops in Sonoma County
    Ordered him to drop his weapon and opened fire in less than 10 seconds
    Witness: Deputies continued to shoot at body even after he had fallen

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..l-car.html

    Police also revealed that Lopez had his back to the deputies, so they didn’t realize he was so young.

    One sign reads “SINCE WHEN IS DISOBEYING A SHERIFFS ORDER A DEATH SENTENCE?”
    Since officer safety and fuck you that’s why.

    1. Shooting until the gun is empty is actually police training, according to cops I’ve talked to. They are trained to make sure once they use lethal force that it is actually lethal. I took a concealed carry course taught by an off-duty PA cop and he recommended continuing to shoot until the target is on the ground and beyond.

      1. Didn’t Camus write a novel based on this premise? Isn’t it in fact completely sociopathic?

        This is all about the BULLSHIT doctrine of “officer safety”. You want to be safe? Don’t be a cop. Otherwise, fuck you and take your bullet for society like you are paid to. Fucking assholes.

        1. If I was honestly in fear for my life I would empty an entire magazine into an attacker. I don’t think the issue here is how many bullets they shot the kid with, but that they shot the kid at all.

          1. It wasn’t even they. It was he. One cop never had a chance to exit the vehicle.

          2. If you are in fear for your life, sure. But this kid wasn’t actually attacking anyone or anything. He was standing there and the pig shot him repeatedly. The cop just went with his “training” and erroneous assumption that “officer saftey” trumps the safety and rights of the public.

            Fuck him.

        2. What do you expect when you have doofus cops like the guy in Boston being made into a hero?

          I’d love to see THAT guy in a similar situation. Judging how he attended to Tori Hunter, I’m guessing he’s not that all diligent in his work.

          1. It’s a jobs program for bullies and washed up high school jocks.

      2. They are trained to make sure once they use lethal force that it is actually lethal.

        Dead people can’t sue.

      3. Terrible idea. Your assessment of opponents going in to a situation may be faulty. What do you do then?

    2. Did the kid even have time to obey?

      When someone is yelling at them who doesn’t turn around and look first?

      1. I’m thinking that he saw someone with what looked like an AK, and saw his chance to do what every cop dreams of doing: killing someone. The shouting was just a formality.

        1. Exactly. He shouted it out so the other cop would hear it and it would be recorded on the dash cam or on his radio. Procedures were followed.

          And as the jackboots at PigOne would say, “good shoot”.

          1. Is “good shoot” really a common saying with these people?

            1. Yes. They are sociopathic.

        2. Absolutely right. From my military and other training, shooting first, while shouting things that make it sound like you’re the victim, is part of the training. More advanced techniques go into manipulating your target into appearing to be aggressive for a visual CYA as well.

  13. The Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night.

    Woooooooo.

    1. The walk Ortiz strategy came a tad too late for St. Louis. Too bad last night was a blow out.

      1. I was surprised that they didn’t do it last game.

    2. It is sweet, especially after the last two seasons and the naysayers at the start of this year.

      1. What’s with the ‘woe is me’ attitude Bostonians have taken on recently? My friend from Boston is always bitching about how everyone hates Boston teams.

        I keep telling him, “dude, Boston teams win. You’re gonna get hate and you shouldn’t be complaining!”

        1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “woe is me”. I think most Boston sports fans recognize extreme good fortune of having so many championship teams and contenders. But, the collapse in 2011 was unprecedented and the following season was just a joke, so it is sweet.

          Plus, anything that pisses off Noo Yawkah’s is just a bonus.

          1. Unprecedented? How long have you been a Red Sox fan?

          2. It was beautiful though seeing the Yankee strategy of overpaying stars past their prime put them a hole.

        2. dude, Boston teams win

          Well, unless they run into the Blackhawks

          /17 seconds

        3. They hate waking up in the morning and realizing that they’re no different than Yankee fans.

    3. The long national nightmare that is the baseball season is over!

      1. I like baseball. But my God, can we please shave off at least 62 games? Can we get by on just 100?

        1. Sports emperor CPA also says, basketball and hockey must be played in cold weather. No more will we be watching hockey in fucking June.

          And the NFL will remain at 16 games, forever.

        2. I would be fine with shaving off the first and last months. It’s nice to have something over the summer, but when the hockey playoffs or NFL regular season are going I wouldn’t miss losing it. Plus it’d make the remaining games more fun to watch.

      2. But there’s still football.

        Here’s a suggestion to all the football fans. Find a thread that no one is using to discuss important things like libertarianism, pizza, beer and the proper way to deal with trolls to pollute with your 50 comment football discussions.

        1. It’s the AM Links. This is the official free for all thread.

          1. Zeb wants an AM links with only 50 comments.

        2. Dude, come on. There is nothing more interesting than raging over quarterback ratings.

        3. Here’s a suggestion, Zeb, read what you want to read and butt out of the things you don’t.

    4. As a Cards fan, I think the Sox deserved to win. Mostly because we couldn’t hit. Also, I’m not too concerned about the Cards getting back there. Did you see our young’uns?

      Also, if Ortiz is gonna hit .700, whatareyagonnado?

      1. Walk him.

        1. Agreed. I think you walk him on 4 pitches every time starting about the 3rd inning of game 5. But by then he’s already won 2 games that were otherwise out of reach. And it sure wouldn’t have saved them in game 6.

          1. You put him on base with an HBP, not a BB. 😉

            1. I’m not sure Nick Wacha has that part of Bob Gibson’s repertoire down.

            2. Just because he’s outplaying you? That’d be quite petty.

              It’s also a good way to get to your bullpun extra quickly.

              1. Pun intended?

                1. No, I Johned it.

              2. Yeah, deliberately throwing at the head of your rival team’s star hitter means everyone in your lineup, especially said pitcher, better be damned nervous when they get in the batter’s box.

                Retaliation is a bitch.

        2. Walk him goood.

          Problem is, Boston had Victorino, Pedroia and Napoli each capable of dramatic hitting.

          St. Louis had their chances in the 4th and 7th but just couldn’t get it done.

          1. They’ll be back.

  14. Google chief outraged at latest claims of NSA snooping that allege agency ‘broke into Yahoo and Google data centers to obtain millions of records’
    In 30 day the NSA is said to have gleaned 180 million records including text, audio and video – and who sent it to whom and when they sent it
    NSA: Claims that we collect data this way are not true

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..cords.html
    Suuuuuure, NSA. Whatever you say.

      1. he’s not saying they dont have all that data. he’s saying thats not *the way* they get it. so whatsa problem?

  15. http://www.whitehousedossier.c…..-counting/

    Has Obama surpassed Bush in terms of scandals? And if these are ‘fake’ scandals how are they any more or less so than Bush’s scandals?

    1. because Booosh. And teathuglicans. Come on, man.

      1. …assuming the position for my re-education.

    2. Fake Faux News scandals.

    3. Read my lips: You can keep your insurance. (I know, wrong Bush, but still…)

      1. It works.

    4. The three biggest scandals in my lifetime were Watergate, Iran/Contra, and the Monica BJ.

      That should tell you everything about how each party views scandals.

      1. If Obama were a Republican the NSA and IRS scandals would measure up equally with Watergate and Iran/Contra.

        If you were a true classical liberal you would recognize this.

        But you aren’t. You are just a TEAM BLUE! hack and Obama fluffer.

        1. Exactly, Restoras.

          Classical liberal. I still laugh at that. You’re funny, Palin.

        2. Bullshit.

          Thanks to repeated Bush-era legislation the NSA spying is perfectly legal. Yes, I know then Senator Obama voted for that shit.

          IRS is nothing but a few rogue agents who were sick power cops.

          1. Watergate was nothing more than a few rogue operatives too. So was Iran/contra for that matter.

            You are so lame and disingenuous. It’s just sad.

          2. IRS is nothing but a few rogue agents.

            Talking point been debunked already, Plugs.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/…..a-johnson#!

        3. Fast and furious is a big fucking scandal, it’s an actual act of war to send weapons to groups that are at war with a country’s government.

          And the illegal activity that was being covered up in Benghazi is a big fucking scandal too.

          1. Gunrunning predated Obama by years.

            Quit trying. You reek of desperation.

            1. I noticed Obama and Holder didn’t stop it.

              That makes them guilty too.

      2. The three biggest scandals in my lifetime were Watergate,

        huh. That would mean you are at least 40. I sure never would have guessed that.

        1. If it is old enough to actually remember Watergate as a scandal I’d put it closer to 55.

          1. UGA grad. I have said that several times years ago. I was there when little SoCon Ralph Reed was booted off the school paper for plagiarism. I saw REM 20 times before they hit fame.

          2. PB is Deep Throat! That explains everything.

        2. Really? He always struck me as an early Gen X’er (about my parents’ age). He argues a lot like how that generation learned to argue.

          1. Then it can’t claim Watergate as the biggest scandal in it’s life though I am sure he was taught about in college by some left-wing loon polisci professor.

      3. Actually no, the biggest scandal was Al Gore committing treason by selling nuclear missile technology to the Chineese while he was VP but that one was swept under the rug by a compliant media willing to do anything to continue the Clinton Legacy.

        Watergate was a true scandal but in the grand scheme of things a relatively trivial event.

        Iran Contra never should have been a scandal as every president in history has done similar things and it is highly questionable as to whether the laws supposedly violated were actually consitutional

        Monica’s BJ should not have been a scandal had Bill Clinton been smart enough to be honest for once in his life but lets not forget the BJ only became an issue because he was being investigated on charges that he raped at least 1 and possibly 2 women while he was governor and Monica only came up in context of that investigation.

        1. I suspect this “technology” Gore sold was fairly meaningless. But since I have never heard of it I can’t prove otherwise.

          1. Technically he didn’t sell it, he facilitated the sale for a campaign donor and the technology was basically rocket guidance parts for the Chinese “civilian space program”, aka their strategic missile program and the technology basically allowed them to double the accuracy of their ICBM’s (cut in half the CEP).

          2. I suspect this “technology” Gore sold was fairly meaningless. But since I have never heard of it I can’t prove otherwise.

            Plugs, predictably uninformed.

            In an amazing coincidence, a big Clinton donor (Loral Corp.) who was already under investigation for disclosing technical info to the Chinese, received a waiver from the Clinton administration to sell satellite technology to the Chinese that just happened to have “dual-use” military applications for nuclear ICBMs.

            Naturally, nothing else happened.

      4. The three biggest scandals in my lifetime were Watergate, Iran/Contra, and the Monica BJ.

        That should tell you everything about how each party views scandals.

        That should tell you more about how the press views scandals.

        Watergate: A Republican POTUS gets caught having operatives bug the phones of a handful of political opponents.

        Result: Press hounds POTUS until forced to resign in disgrace.

        NSA: A Democratic POTUS gets caught having government employees reading the emails, listening in to the phone calls, capturing the tweets, and god knows what all else forms of spying on not just every single goddamn American, but foreign leaders too.

        Result: Press hounds the person who revealed that all this spying was going on, because that made POTUS look bad.

  16. Reports that healthcare.gov was tested just prior to launch contradict testimony from Marilyn Tavenner…

    And reality.

  17. No tears here! Smiling Heather Graham, 43, shows off her bare midriff as she ominously carries an urn on the set of her new comedy My Dead Boyfriend

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..riend.html
    I can’t believe I sat through an entire Austin Powers movie in hopes that she’d show some more skin.

    1. I figured out your constant fuss over Lou Reed.

      You were covering up for your true anger, which was finding out Olivia Wilde is pregnant.

      1. SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MINE! MINE I TELL YOU! MINE!

    2. Just watch Boogie Nights again.

    3. Boogie Nights.

    4. That’s midriff baring? It’s barely an inch and mostly covered by sweater. Boo. Boo you, DM.

    5. Is this thing set in the early 90s or are horrid plaids coming back?

      1. Where have you been? The 90s are back in full force.

          1. If God would send the 90’s back, just because you said “Feck” to Bishop Brennan, imagine what He’ll do when He finds out about all that money you stole…

    6. Crazy eyes

  18. Coast to Coast in under 29 hours: Mercedes CL driver sets new record by averaging 98mph in car he spent months fitting with gadgets to keep eye out for police

    Atlanta Lamborghini dealer Ed Bolian used a souped up a 2004 Mercedes to speed into the record books October 20
    Midtown Manhattan to Redondo Beach: Bolian and two friends took the classic route first taken in the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash of the 1970s
    Bolian’s time of 28 hours 50 minutes beats the previous record set by Alex Roy in 2006 when he made the trip in 31 hours 4 minutes by over two hours
    With a distance of 2,813.7 miles, Bolian and his two-man team did the Cannonball Run at an average of 98 miles per hour

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..olice.html
    Meanwhile I’m sure that prosecutors across the country are scrambling to figure out how to lock these guys up for life.

    1. That is awesome. It took me the same time to get from San Fransisco to Denver. I was so fatigued in the wee hours I set cruise control to 65 because after 16 hours or so driving fast is mentally exhausting.

      1. 16 hours straight? You’ve just given me a target. Leaving for Florida next week on a long, lonely drive. Going to meet the Missus and kid.

        1. It was a total of 28 hours straight, finally stopping to sleep in a motel along 80 in Nebraska. Under non-masochistic conditions my longest drives are typically less than 16 hours. I actually like driving long distances alone especially to unknown places. Makes me feel like a space explorer.

          1. San Fransisco to Denver

            Nebraska

            What?

            1. I kept going. The goal was to get to Denver, but since I was driving all the way to Pittsburgh I decided not to waste the whole day. I stopped for a few hours in Colorado so I don’t count it as continuous driving.

          2. I used to drive from NYC to Nashville (or back) in one shot around 4 times a year. Around 900 miles, I’d try to get er done around 10.5 hours or so, which isnt’ crazy at all except for the end bit. You’d hit the smoky mountains after 9 hours of doing 90mph down 81, and suddenly be in fog-drenched curvy roads at night with fucking tweaked out truck drivers playing road games with you. There’s a 2-way, 2-lane road that runs like 150 miles between Knoxville and N’ville and is all steep hills and curves the whole way, and you have to be like fucking white-knuckle glued to the wheel and begging the truck drivers to stop tailgating you @ 85mph with the brights on. One time two trucks squeezed me bumper-to-bumper between them and didn’t let me out until just outside town. Going 80+ the whole way. (I think it was the NY license plates that did me)

            I used to tell people about the aggressive truck drivers and the fog and no one believed me until one time a guy came along. It was like a Stephen King movie… some blend of Maximum Overdrive, Carrie, and maybe Deliverance. There was a truck stop where I swear everyone was an identical twin. Like 9 of them. Right near Dollywood. Good bbcue.

            Maybe the other longish drive I used to do a lot was NYC to Bar Harbor, ME. About 17 hours. Maine is fucking huge. You’d get to the border and think ‘almost there!’ No. 7 more hours. Nothing but trees and moose signs.

            1. That truck sandwich sounds nightmarish. All my longest drives have been on relatively empty roads. Driving through the night from Nevada to Colorado is desolate. Nothing but tumbleweed and coyotes. As long as you can handle your own company, it’s easy.

              I won’t try the same thing in more populated areas. Too much to watch out for.

            2. My longest drive was a 11,000 mile, approx. 40 state road trip that started in San Diego, went to the Florida Keys, up to Canada, and over to Utah, where I’m at now.

              The drive through the Smokies was beautiful right up to the point where it started dumping rain in heavy fog. The next day, back to sunny and beautiful.

            3. My longest non-stop leg was 13.5 hours from Bah Hahbah, ME to DC, all on 95, in a Ford Escort GT.

              I drive best by myself. No one else in the car to complain about the music, all the windows down or the speed. I have told the wife-unit that if I have to violate my vow to never return and go back to Cape Cod for vacation, she can fly up with the kids to Bastan, take the ferry to P-Town and I’ll pick them up.

            4. One time two trucks squeezed me bumper-to-bumper between them and didn’t let me out until just outside town.

              Best way to deal with tailgaters is to just take your foot off the gas. It takes dedication to stay stuck to someone’s bumper when they are going 15 under the speed limit and dropping fast. (Assuming a two lane road).

              My least favorite drive was probably I-10/I-20 across Texas. A whole day of eye-bleeding boredom in one state.

      2. What really kills you are the stops. Before I had kids I would average about 73 mph when driving a standard 800 mile route that I take, now I average just over 65 mph, because I have to make an extra stop.

        1. The stops are kind of the point of a road trip. Driving through South Dakota, kind of accidentally stumbled across the Corn Palace in Mitchell, which was way more fun than you might think.

    2. Did one of them dress up as Captain Chaos?

      1. +1 Lamborghini ‘n’ tits

  19. Old safe given up for scrap found to be filled with $2.5MILLION in gold and silver coins
    The safe had belonged to a coin collector who recently died
    His family gave it to a man for scrap and he took it to a locksmith for opening
    After 20 hours of work, an estimated $2.5million in coins was found
    The bounty has been returned to the family of the man that originally owned the safe and the coins

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..coins.html
    The sky darkens as the tax collectors circle overhead.

    1. Not that this is the same type of situation, but if I ever had money/gold/jewels fall in my lap like that, I’m not telling anyone. Maybe not even my wife until I knew she could keep her trap shut.

      1. What kind of goodie-two-shoes gleefully announces to the press that they just received $2.5 million in cash income?

        1. The same kind of person who “donates” even more to the IRS?

        2. “The bounty has been returned to the family of the man that originally owned the safe and the coins”

          The kind who returns it to it’s original owners.

          Course that means they have to pay inheritance tax rather than income taxes on it and those are probably much higher

          1. Why would they have to pay inheritance tax?

            IRS: “You owe us money.”
            Coin owner: “No, my father let me store these in his safe. I merely forgot they were in there. Piss off.”

            1. IRS “Fuck you, that’s why.”

      2. Here’s how you play it: The guy who you paid to open the safe will undoubtedly talk, although he probably won’t have a great estimate of the true worth of the contents except “a lot.”
        So you return a small but substantial fraction of the contents to the family, who didn’t know there was anything in the safe.
        You secretly keep the rest, which nobody, including the IRS, now knows you have.
        You’ve up the money, the fame, and no tax bill.

        1. And if the widow is good-looking and grateful, you do her. (I really didn’t have to add that for you guys, did I?)

        2. Here’s how I’d play it:

          I’d keep the coins because they were in my safe that someone sold to me.

          I pay the guy who opened the safe in cash and hope he doesn’t talk to the IRS. If he does, I lawyer up and let the IRS try to prove that I have the coins, which I’ve hidden really well.

          1. Fuck maybe getting laid once by the widow in exchange for a couple of mill. You can buy a really large amount of hooker encounters for that kind of money.

    2. So, you know the person is a collector of rare and possibly valuable things and you just give away a safe without opening it? They are lucky they got the coins back.

    3. In all seriousness the guy has another 2.5 MM of exemption before the estate tax kicks in.

      1. Yeah but what about the guy that received it and then gave it away? I bet the IRS thinks he received the income and is now liable for taxes.

        1. Not just income taxes on his $2.5 million windfall.

          He also owes gift taxes for giving it away.

  20. Raw Keynesianism blows past its point of diminishing returns in China. Also, the CCP is not totally truthful about growth rates (you’re shocked, I know).

    At the start of this year, there had been signs that Beijing was ready to dial back on the huge new flows of credit and public investment that it unleashed to keep China growing at its target rate after the 2008 global downturn. But that course correction was short-lived. By July, the leadership was ordering up a fresh wave of credit and investment to reach its inflated target.

    This approach is not going to produce genuinely sustainable growth. In recent years, China has pumped out new credit faster than any other country, and much of it is going to increasingly shaky investments, not new manufacturing muscle. Five years ago, it took just over a dollar of debt to generate a dollar of economic growth in China, but now it takes four dollars of debt to generate the same growth.

    1. Can you hear the cries of denial from various NYT columnists? Or is that sobbing?

    1. Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the government has a responsibility to prevent media companies from growing so large that they dominate public discourse, upholding a law that could demolish the nation’s largest media group, a leading opponent of President Cristina Fernandez.

      The approval of a 2009 law aiming to reshape Argentina’s broadcast media industry is a huge victory for the Fernandez government, which has campaigned for years to weaken Grupo Clarin. The group will now have to sell off many of the lucrative cable TV licenses that give it nationwide reach and provide the income that funds Clarin’s other properties.

      1. Coming to America!

        1. Unfortunately, the news in America is extremely pro-statist.

    2. Don’t cry for me, taxing authority.

    1. They’ll never penetrate the barge’s defenses.

      1. “Stop hacking us, or the data gets it!”

    2. Enough outrage that they are actively working on encryption to foil the interlopers. Google does not appear to make much of a distinction between the NSA and criminal hackers. Neither do I.

  21. NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander denies that the agency he runs illegally accessed Yahoo and Google servers.

    How can he get away with running the NSA illegally?

  22. Rachel Maddow a ‘hater’ in Wikipedia plagiarism flap, Rand Paul says

    http://www.latimes.com/enterta…..z2jIlOORq6

    Paul tagged Maddow as part of a group of “haters” who have bashed him over the years. “She’s been spreading hate on me for about three years now,” he said, adding that Maddow was not “an objective news source” (that last part seems beyond dispute).

    She’s just being tolerant! I mean, tolerance requires showering hate all over anyone who doesn’t have correct liberal political views! Everyone know that! Rand Paul should stop being so intolerant!

    1. It’s like deja vu all over again.

  23. Time to visit Victoria’s Secret! Candice Swanepoel goes braless in sheer blouse as she struts down the catwalk in Brazil

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..razil.html
    Way to boy-like for John. If it don’t have a double-d chest and an ass that won’t fit into coach, it’s male as far as he’s concerned.
    Oh, and NSFW if you have workmates who are offended by titties.

    1. Those look…spectacular.

    2. It’s sad to see the sharp decline of women like this once they approach their mid-20s. Anyone remember Cameron Diaz in The Mask vs. just a couple of years later?

      1. Biological imperative to ensure survival of the species. It sucks and also explains why women can be so viscious.

    3. What’s with her face?

  24. Feeney, why haven’t you attributed the alt-text to its proper source?

  25. TN’s Southern accent ranked most attractive

    Dating site Cupid.com recently ranked Tennessee’s Southern accent as the most attractive accent in North America.

    Behind Tennessee’s 36.5 percent from greatest to least was New York with 16.5 percent; Western with 13 percent; New England with 10.5 percent; New Jersey and Canadian accents tied with 7 percent; Midwestern with 5.5 percent; and Mid-Atlantic with 4 percent, according to a press release.

    1. What? Not southie?

    2. What, no Philly? No, seriously, thank god!! I work w/ an educated chick who sounds like a complete retard w/ her over-exaggerated Philly/Jersey-influenced accent.

      1. I agree, Jersey’s accent is terrible.

        I mean, they are talking about that one from Central NJ that merges the worst parts of NY and Philly, right (they better be, since it’s the only independent NJ accent there is)? Because nothing says sexy quite like overemphasizing your o’s, dropping your r’s, and turning crayon into a one syllable word.

        1. Long Island. It is simply awful.

          1. You put the ‘g’ on the wrong side of the space.

            1. For a while, I thought that Lon Giland was in Scotland.

    3. For me whether or not I like a Southern Accent depends on gender. For a male voice the Tennessee accent is probably the best. It has all the accent with none of the slow drawl I find annoying. For women it’s probably South Carolina, but maybe that’s selection bias based on qualities other than voice.

      1. being a fast-talking northerner, when I’m in a conference call with slow drawl southerners, I find myself filling in their sentences so we can MOVE THE FUCK ON to business.

        No offense to my southern kin.

        1. You know they do it just to annoy you, right. We actually talk normal speed amongst ourselves.

          1. or else you live in another time frame

            /watching the original Twilight Zone

        2. I have the same problem sometimes. I get on the phone with some southerners and if the subject is not terribly interesting, I start to forget what they are talking about before they finish their sentences.

          1. I was on a support call with a vendor in Georgia and OMFG I could barely understand a word he said despite the fact that it was all coming out very, very, slowly.

      2. Of course, there are differing Southern accents. I find the Paula Deen and Carolinas accents to be atrocious. But the ones further west like the ones featured in Justified are pretty nice. I guess those would qualify as Tennessee-like.

        1. The ones featured in Justified have absolutely nothing to do with reality. It’s a mish-mash of different southern dialects that sounds like shit.

          1. This. I hate fake southern accents more than I hate the Eastern North Carolina accent.

          2. Can’t beat the Virginia accent, although I suspect its getting harder to find as the DC cancer spreads. A real soft drawl, with some Brit-style vowel intonations. Wonderfully classy.

    4. Nothing sexier than a chick from Penticton going down on you saying, ‘I’m gonna suck your cock, eh?’

    5. What’s a midwest accent. I’m from Michigan. We don’t have accents.

      1. agreed.

        Though when my wife was down south – and she has a nice clear midwestern voice – half of the clerks couldn’t understand her.

        “Ma’am?”

      2. Excuse me?
        ~Oregonian

      3. Wait, do you speak generic midwestern or Michigan? Because they are not the same.

        1. Michigan. I asked for a Vernors at a Skyclub in ATL and the bartender looked at me like I was retarded.

      4. “What’s a midwest accent. I’m from Michigan”

        It’s usually called Network Standard English, basically the way they talk on all tv shows where the location is not part of the plot of the show

        1. Everyone has an accent. Saying you don’t have one means you have lived in one place too long.

    6. To be technically correct, these are all examples of dialects. An accent is the influence of your first language on any others you speak.

      1. Are you sure? I think that accents have to do with how you pronounce things (so it could be a foreign accent or a regional one) and dialects are distinct speech patterns and word usages.

        Where’s Heroic Mulatto when you need him?

          1. So if you use the exact same lexicon and speech patterns, but, say, pronounce your vowels differently, it’s still a distinct dialect?

            1. Yes.

              Our formerly very own Mike Riggs in an article about the Miami dialect (which, as a native Miamian, absolutely exists).

              The distinction [between an accent and a dialect] is technical as well as political: Immigrants have accents, natives have dialects; an accent is something you try to lose, a dialect is something you use to define your cultural and geographical heritage.

              And to suggest that people from different regions of the US have the same lexicon and speech patterns is absurd. Have you never heard a southerner say insurance?

              Southerners will say INsurance, while virtually everyone else says inSURance. New Jerseyites say yous, while southerners say y’all. People who are clearly gluttons for punishment say pop, while sane and normal people say soda. There are greater differences between the way that a southerner speaks and a New Englander speaks than simply the way it sounds.

              1. Our formerly very own Mike Riggs

                His post-Reason career does not disappoint:

                http://www.theatlanticcities.c…..evel/7067/

  26. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that Syria’s declared chemical weapons equipment has been destroyed.

    Now they can get back to the important business of killing thousands of civilians with conventional arms.

    1. Now Obama can bomb them.

      1. Doesn’t he need a new “red line” first?

        1. They found that Syria had WMD, isn’t that enough!!!!!!!!

        2. The Assad regime is selling mattresses with the tags torn off!!!

  27. Report: White House exerting ‘massive pressure’ on insurance companies to keep quiet

    “Basically, if you speak out, if you’re quoted, you’re going to get a call from the White House, pressure to be quiet,” said CNN investigative reporter Drew Griffin on Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday night. Insurance companies executives, Griffin said, ask heads of consulting firms not to criticize the Obamacare rollout debacle publicly.

    “They feel defenseless before the White House P.R. team,” Griffin said. “The sources said they fear White House retribution.”

    Prior to the Obamacare rollout, insurance companies issued warnings to the White House about the possibility of mass cancellations, which the administration ignored.

    1. CNN reported this?

      Oh, on Anderson Cooper, where they were confident the public wouldn’t find out.

    2. “Basically, if you speak out, if you’re quoted, you’re going to get a call from the White House, pressure to be quiet,”

      A call from the White House. SO what? IS this like tiny dancer Rahm Emmanuel screaming at someone in a locker room adn it being characerized as ‘tough guy’ tactics? I mean, push back, record it, screw them. Or did they mean a call back from the IRS?

      1. When you’re in a heavily regulated industry, it’s not good business to piss off the regulators.

        1. ^^ This. Especially when regulation of the industry is very subjective and fuzzy. A regulator can go after a specific company.

    3. Now that’s transparency we can count on!

  28. A Prosecutor in Tennessee filed a motion requesting the court prevent the defense from referring to the prosecution as “the Government”. The defense attorney takes that ball and runs it to the end zone:

    Should this Court disagree, and feel inclined to let the parties basically pick their own designations and ban words, then the defense has a few additional suggestions for amending the speech code. First, the Defendant no longer wants to be called “the Defendant.” This rather archaic term of art, obviously has a fairly negative connotation. It unfairly demeans, and dehumanizes Mr. D.P. The word “defendant” should be banned. At trial, Mr. P. hereby demands to be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title “Mister.”

    Alternatively, he may be called simply “the Citizen Accused.” This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal “Defendant.” The designation “That innocent man” would also be acceptable.

    Moreover, defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a “lawyer,” or a “defense attorney.” Those terms are substantially more prejudicial than probative. See Tenn. R. Evid. 403. Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the “Defender of the Innocent.” This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent.

    Read the whole thing.

    1. hah! they should also suggest changing the reference to The Prosecution to The Persecution.

    2. WHEREFORE, Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance,
      primarily asks that the Court deny the State’s motion, as lacking legal basis. Alternatively, the Citizen Accused moves for an order in limine modifying the speech code as aforementioned, and requiring any other euphemisms and feel-good terms as the Court finds appropriate.

      This is amazing.

    3. I’d just ask if the DA is representing the government or not. If yes, then they can suck it. If not, then I’d follow up by asking what authority this apparently random person has to make a criminal case against my client.

    4. First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. Except that one. We like him.

      The cherry on top is the lawyer’s name:

      Drew Justice.

    5. Awesome indeed!

      It is telling that the government is held in such low esteem and widely considered oppressive that the government does not want to be called the government.

  29. I saw someone was asking about catalytic converter theft deterrence. I saw one of these on Truck U* once. Of course if you have the right tools, wire rope is easy to cut, but presumably the thief won’t.

    *30 minutes of nothing but product placement, but still a fun, guy-oriented show.

    1. huh – turns out there is a rash of catalytic converter thefts here in my town.
      http://www.woodtv.com/news/loc…..pps-corner

  30. Beware spruikers who just ‘feed the chooks’

    So bear that in mind as you attend your free seminar, buy your apartment off the plan and invest in a US property scheme. There is such a frenzy going on in the ”put your super into property” game at the moment that it is also going to attract hit-and-run, fly-by-night players that won’t care about their reputations, their brands or their corporate existence and certainly not your retirement, because at the end of the play they don’t intend to be around.

    They’ll be gone, leaving the rest of an otherwise ever more professional industry with a similar sort of headache to the one that we inherited, thanks to minority behaviour in the tech boom. Their game is to feed the chickens while they’re clucking, and you lot are clucking, which makes you ripe for plucking.

    1. Appropriately, that link had an ad that says “I want a doctor who speaks my language”.

    2. English motherfucker, do you speak it?!

    3. I thought they spoke English in Australia.

  31. Carry your own A/C on your wrist.

    Although I don’t understand what this is actually going to do besides increase heat strokes.

    1. Just remember son, there isn’t enough makeup in the world to cover up crazy.

    2. A friend of Biden’s previously told the Post she’d struggled with alcohol and pill addiction and even did a stint in rehab.

      It must be comforting to know you have such friends that will sell you out for just about anything.

  32. Thirsty? There’s a global wine shortage

    The industry is experiencing an “undersupply of nearly 300 million cases” a year, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.

    Australia-based analysts Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang say the shortage comes despite the fact that there are one million wine producers globally, making 2.8 billion cases each year. About half of that comes from Europe.

    But that’s not enough to keep up with worldwide demand.

    Global production fell by more than 5% last year – to its lowest level since the 1960s – primarily due to bad weather in France and Argentina.

    1. *looks around in alarm. Makes note to stop and pick up some more shiraz on the way home from work*

      1. *Drinks straight gin. Wonders what all the fuss about wine is about. Wonders if he should switch to straight Scotch for the rest of the evening.*

        1. I am quite in favor of gin and scotch as well!

          Diversity

    2. Three buck Chuck is now Four buck Chuck!

      1. That’s how you end up with peasant wine like Bulgarians drink. The world demands a more sophisticated profile.

        1. You don’t want some nice Rizling? 🙂

    3. These people should be excited about global warming, then. Right?

    4. Don’t ever quote from MattY and his mininions unless it is to mercilessly mock them.

    5. No one comments on “Crystal Wang?” I am disappoint.

  33. Europe looks to make a big splash with toilet reform

    Next week the European Commission will adopt new ecological standards regulating toilets and urinals, designed to stem their environmental impact.

    It’s estimated that up to 25% of household water consumption goes through (or to be more precise, down) the toilet. The average toilet uses about 11 liters (2.9 gallons) per flush. The new guidelines are expected to suggest maximum urinal flush volumes of 1 liter, and maximum toilet flush volumes of 3.5-5 liters. By way of comparison, the 1992 US Energy Policy Act set the American standard for toilet flush volume at just over 6 liters.

    1. Yay! Now the europeans get to enjoy our crappy unhygienic toilets!

      Gaia be praised!

    2. Their toilets are going to be even weaker than our Al Gores? I hope they come with plungers and rubber boots.

    3. Wouldn’t it just be more straightforward to institute a flush tax?

    4. Another one of these crazy one world ideas, just because some parts of the world have water shortages we must save water everywhere. Even though saving water in one place often does nothing to save it elsewhere.

      And they never take into consideration that the sewers in places with lots of water were designed to use lots of water, if they don’t get lots of water they clog up.

        1. Proof positive that low flow toilets were not an idea promoted by an engineer. Shit only runs downhill when it’s floating.

        2. Million Dollar Fecal Jam would be a good band name.

          1. What do you call a Phish concert, Alex?

    5. These are the same idiots who think that urinals should be outlawed because of male privilege.

    6. (or to be more precise, down)

      Then it is broken down at the atomic level and can never be used as water ever again. Oh, wait. That’s the “cars that run on water” fantasy the hippies have held for 40+ years.

    7. So people will now just flush twice and consumption won’t go down. And public bathrooms will smell to high heaven. Soon after the EU will make it a crime to flush twice.

    8. Only the left would worry about running out of something that literally falls from the sky and covers three quarters of the earth.

  34. Man ordered to serve weekends in jail for Athens penis-shaking incident

    A judge last week ordered a man to spend three weekends in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges he ran naked around a westside Athens apartment complex while shaking his penis.

    Clifford Eric Atkinson, 29, of Bethlehem, also pleaded guilty to damaging the car of a woman at The Preserve of Athens and fighting with an Athens-Clarke County police officer.

    You know who else is from Athens?

    1. Pericles?

      1. Testicles?

    2. Kim Bassinger?

    3. Oh, I was gonna say you know who else is guilty of penis shaking?

          1. I would have accepted Epi or SugarFree as well.

            1. Can you shake a point?

    4. That would explain my absence in the Reason football pool.

  35. Black-market monkey operation closed in Miami

    Florida wildlife investigators have shut down a black-market monkey emporium run out of a townhouse in West Miami-Dade.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday that it had closed the unlicensed operation after a two-month investigation. Twenty-eight monkeys, along with a fox and a kinkajou, were seized and relocated to licensed facilities, said FWC spokesman Jorge Pino.

    “This business has been operating for seven years,” said Capt. David Dipre, area investigations supervisor for the FWC in a release. “We have been looking into it and were, fortunately, able to shut it down.”

  36. IBD: The Biggest Lie? ‘Keep Your Plan’

    Deception: In the face of millions of cancellation notices, Democrats want to downplay the president’s “keep your health plan” pledge as standard political hyperbole. It was, in fact, a calculated lie that got ObamaCare enacted.

    To understand why, let’s freshen up on a little health care reform history.

    Too bad nobody called him out on his obvious lies at the time, huh?

    1. Inflammatory bowel disease is a lie?

      1. No, that link is from the Inflammatory Bowel Daily.

      2. I’ve got a 8 inch scar that suggests otherwise. I will fight every IBD denier here.

    2. Hey, he was a miracle worker. Wait, he still is (or could be) a miracle worker.
      /fellating leftie

  37. Sex-Related Injury Not Compensable, Australia Court Rules

    The woman, whose name can’t be published and who is referred to in court papers as PVYW, was in her late 30s when she sought compensation from Comcare, according to court documents. She claimed that while engaged in sexual intercourse with an acquaintance, a glass light fitting above her bed was pulled from its mount and struck her in the face, causing nose, mouth and psychological injuries.

    The human relations worker at a federal government agency wasn’t encouraged to have sex by her employer and as a result isn’t eligible for work-related compensation, the majority of the High Court said in a summary of the ruling on its website.

    1. “The human relations worker “

      So is that what they’re calling it these days

    2. while engaged in sexual intercourse with an acquaintance

      Wow. Not even a “friend” or a “date”. Just an acquaintance.

  38. NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander denies that the agency he runs illegally accessed Yahoo and Google servers.

    “If the government does it, it’s not illegal.”

  39. Would you like to “download” the content of a 500 page book into your memory in less than a second?

    Would you like the NSA to “download” the content of your memory in less than a second?

    1. Yeah. That’s the problem, is trusted content.

    2. Remember, when you stare into Warty’s mind, Warty’s mind stares into you.

    3. “I know kung-fu…”

  40. So I was listening to a backlogged episode of Petersen’s Bowhunting podcast and how activist environmentalist groups continue to play games in court that, despite the best efforts of fish and game depts nationwide (including the USFW) keep placing the gray wolf back on the endangered species list. I was unsure of the guest’s facts (last I heard they had been delisted and were actively being managed by states) so I decided to check up. He was right, but in the comments I found this nugget of derp:

    (cont).

    1. While I agree that this legislation is counter-productive for a lot of environmental and conservationist issues?

      I’d like to address another, often overlooked aspect of this potentially devastating situation?the wolves themselves

      They are, when not being harassed and menaced by humans, perhaps the noblest creatures on the planet?or at least in the top five?

      Often called “nature’s perfect parents” wolves take a communal view when rearing their young. Only the alpha male and female mate?the rest celibate and sharing in raising, feeding and protecting the pack and it’s young. They don’t overkill?taking only what they need (unlike certain species of bear, which will kill hungry or not?especially those coke-endorsing white ones who ARE the most carnivorous creatures on the North American continent?but they get the good PR, while wolves are vilified for their incredibly miniscule impact on cattle and other livestock

      If man was as true to his essential, fundamental nature as wolves are?the world would be a far better place in many ways that really matter?

      Wolves are “noble” because they are communal and limit their breeding in the ultimate right makes right arrangement. In other words, they are natures perfect progressives.

      People like this exist. And their votes count just as much as mine.

      We. Are. Fucked.

      1. From that comment I’m assuming they want Polar Bears eliminated?

      2. Probably an otherkin.

      3. But President Ford was eaten by wolves! He was delicious.

        And what’s with the polar bear comment? Are polar bears only useful to environmentalists when they’re trying to make a global warming climate change argument?

      4. They also mate for life. So not the perfect progressive.

    1. Meh. They be spyin’ on everyone else so why should Bergoglio (Pope Francis) be any different?

      Also, since we recognize the Vatican as a country (LOL), and the pope is its head of state, he’s fair game to the same degree that Merkel is.

      1. The Vatican also punches way above its weight in espionage, so it’s not like the US is picking on some poor defenseless clerics here.

  41. So after much self-debate I have accepted a PhD offer with the university I completed my masters degree at in June. I was really gunning to enter into industry and get out of academia but the project they offered me and the promise of a great coop with the industry regulator sealed the deal for me.

    The project is more an engineering project than a theoretical project, which was a necessary stipulation to me doing the PhD. My results will have direct affect on the nuclear industry here in Canada if I can show positive economic and safety benefits using a slight alteration to the typical CANDU fuel developed by some other grad student.

    Anybody out there who has completed an engineering PhD have any tips for getting through it without wanting to off yourself?

    1. This’ll sound snarky, but: Make sure you know the difference between “affect” and “effect”.

      Just build up your tolerance for pain.

      1. dohhh

        *bows head in shame like Rufus*

        It’s Canadians bowing their heads in shame all the way down.

    2. Unfortunately, my strategy was to do just the Master’s so I could keep telling myself “just another year and you’ll be out of this crap”.

      1. Yup… that was my strategy and I even finished my masters.. but they keep pulling me back in.

        The faculty here is really friendly, the older nuke profs aren’t snobby and the new ones are young enough to have fun with the grad students. Where I did my undergrad was not like that, a lot of profs were stuck up dicks.

    3. If it’s anything like a science PhD, alcohol helps. Also, the fact that you actually love the subject will mean that it’ll be pretty fun =)

      1. Alcohol will be kept in heavy supply at all times.

        The subject matter is very interesting to me, electricity production through fission is an incredible achievement by humans. Fission is the new fire, which I believe will become apparent in the next century.

        1. Now I want to see a new version of Frankenstein, where the villagers keep the monster at bay with softly glowing rods? “Nukes… BAD!”

          1. BUT! BUT! THE NUKES CAUSED THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER!!!

            But unless the rods are underwater they won’t glow (Cherenkov radiation). Well Maybe they will glow if they get to a molten state from decay heat.

            1. Smilin’ Joe, I know the rods won’t glow in real life. This is Hollywood, the rods glow green like in the Simpsons intro, except they should also pulse for no good reason except to show how powerful the “nuclear fire” is.
              There’ll be a scene where the handsome hero-scientist (preferably with a nice Oxfordian English accent) pulls on some heavy gloves (? la ST:Wrath of Khan) and ties the glowing rods to some convenient graphite polls brought by his comely girlfriend (giving him the opportunity to explain to her and the audience what he is doing). They distribute them to the villagers just in time to stop the monster’s attack, except the monster knocks comely GF’s away and grabs her, giving hero-scientist the dramatic scene he needs to save her and stop the monster for good.

              1. I like it. I have already started the copyright process… sucka.

                But, what if we’re the monster and the hero is Krugman and this is all just a metaphor for his eternal struggle to fight off the evil free market teathuglican anarchist monster? Think about it…

                1. Now I’m picturing Krugman trying to fight off EFMTA monsters with Thomas Friedman – Kruggie is doing all the fighting while Friedman is telling some interminably long story about China and the flatness of the earth, etc. until Kruggie finally snaps at him “Friedman, you feckless fool!”

    4. The only thing I have in common with you is that I’m Canadian.

      History major.

      /bows head in shame.

      1. I’m Canadian.

        /bows head in shame.

        Good.

        1. No maple syrup for you!

          1. What if he goes to Vermont?

            1. It’s an American conspiracy that Vermont produces maple syrup. Everybody knows all maple syrup is produced by the French. Ask any Quebec native.

              1. So they can respond to my English question in French, then give me a look of disgust before responding in perfect English?

                1. Ahh, I see you have met the French up close.

                2. I was in southern Quebec at a store recently, and I’d only said “bonjour” to the clerk. When I paid for my drink (with a card), she noticed the green money in my wallet and said “bye-bye” as I was leaving.

            2. “Goes”?

      2. While clearly not as rigorous as engineering there is no shame in a history major….says this history major.

        1. Well, if you had proper training, you learn to research, critically analyze, attribute and write. This is a rigorous process in itself; a skill not many people possess.

          So, yeah, despite my self-deprecation, I agree. Few people have the collection of history books/essays/periodicals I possess. It’s, like, a lot. My mother is still screaming I come get the rest of it from her house. Which is funny considering two shrinking people live in a 3500 sq foot house on a 9330 sq foot lot. It’s not like she needs the space. The entire basement is empty.

          1. Very true. Learning those skills are at least as important as the knowledge you gain on the subject matter.

          2. Yes, I use my parents has as my book depository as well…

            I am reading Radicalism of the Americna Revolution by Gordon Wood at the moment. Picked it up when it first came out and am just getting to it now.

      3. I wouldn’t mind studying more history, given it is the right history. There are some historical periods that make watching paint dry an exciting event. Example: most, if not all, Canadian history.

  42. Space plane flies well, but landing needs work

    For the would-be spaceship named the Dream Chaser, everything on the first flight of a prototype went perfectly ? until the craft touched down, toppled on its side, skidded off the runway and wound up in the sand of the Mojave Desert.

    The unmanned test flight, conducted in hushed conditions on Saturday at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California, came to an inelegant end after the left landing gear failed to deploy properly.

    But the creator of the space plane, Sierra Nevada Corp., which is hoping to win a NASA contract to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, found much to celebrate despite the rough landing.

    The vehicle, dropped by a helicopter at 12,500 feet, flew autonomously in a steep dive, pulled up perfectly and glided to the centerline of the runway, the whole flight precisely by the book until the very end, said Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada’s space unit, in a teleconference yesterday.

  43. More lies, revealed: U.S. military commandos fought in Benghazi

    Masked from public view, two of the U.S. military’s elite special operations commandos have been awarded medals for bravery for a mission that further undercuts the Obama administration’s original story about the Benghazi tragedy.

    For months, administration officials have claimed no special operations forces were dispatched from outside Libya to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012, al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission and CIA annex because none was within range.

    1. What difference, at this popint, does it make?

  44. World economic collapse explained in 3 minutes- very funny!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOzR3UAyXao

    1. That’s funny.

      1. That’s old (2010), but still funny.

    2. That’s been a modern classic since it came out in 2009 or so.

  45. I’d like to address another, often overlooked aspect of this potentially devastating situation?the wolves themselves

    They are, when not being harassed and menaced by humans, perhaps the noblest creatures on the planet?or at least in the top five?

    Oddly enough. just a couple of days ago I was looking at a photo on a cellphone of a freshly killed wolf. It was shot by the owner of the sheep it was killing. And don’t kid yourself, that “They only kill what they can eat” stuff is complete and utter bullshit.

    1. And don’t kid yourself, that “They only kill what they can eat” stuff is complete and utter bullshit.

      Yep.

      Though it’s nothing beyond hyperbole to suggest that wolves kill for sport or for fun, they do kill without the intention of eating as a means to teach their young how to kill. It’s in their nature to kill, and their survival depends on it. One can’t fault them for that. But not finding fault in their behavior is no reason to not manage them, and to have states manage them according to the desires and needs of its citizens.

    2. I was looking at a photo on a cellphone of a freshly killed wolf…

      How did the wolf get the cellphone in the first place. No pockets, so…holster? Did the wolf take the photo?

  46. More issues with the ACA from a provider’s perspective.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis……hocomments

    1. I think you intended this link:

      A cornerstone of ACA (Obamacare) is promotion of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) intended to be fully integrated systems, capable of taking patients through a complete continuum of care.

      Allegedly, ACOs would reduce price.

      However, a recent study on the Impact of Hospital Consolidation by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found the opposite was true.

      Nice to see somebody else at Reason reads Mish.

      1. You’re right thanks for the correction. Use Jordan’s link.

      2. Politics has become integral to the health care industry. Obviously, physical therapists have not lobbied as effectively as hospitals and surgeons.

        The Healthcare.gov rollout fiasco is just the beginning of ObamaCare awfulness.

  47. Welfare ATMs

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..-atms.html

    Bill O’Reilly: A Victim of Solvent Abuse?

    http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..abuse.html

    1. Where did you find this blog?

      1. In the attic?

      2. Can’t tell if sarcastic.

        It’s my blog. I like to write, so I write stuff and post it here for feedback.

        I have a BS in chemical engineering, but after working in manufacturing for a couple years, I find I don’t have much passion for it. I figure if I want to be a writer, I should write as much as possible and show it to people. Hence the blog.

        1. I hate BOR too. He is a big drug warrior and “traditionalist” who looks out for the little people and traditional American values – whatever the fuck those are.

          There is no way that jackass would ever admit the black community is victim to the Drug War.

          1. And here folks, is the world’s smallest intersection on a Venn diagram.

            Someone get Guinness on the phone.

            1. Wow, so you have a lot of ideology in common with Tony? Because I don’t.

              1. Oh really?

                Support or oppose the minimum wage?

                I’d bet a mountain of gold against a blade of grass you & Tony both support it.

                1. This is my idiot/prog shibboleth. Anyone who thinks the minimum wage is a good idea
                  has failed to comprehend a very important economic concept.

                  1. Shreeek believes that health insurance is a right. Don’t bother.

                2. What a coincidence! I’m a writer, but whenever I lose my passion for writing I always get involved with chemistry.

                  1. I see what you did there…

              2. Hey, shreek! Tell us how much the US has made on the GM bailout!

  48. This morning there was a woman ahead of me on the highway, driving a Nissan Leaf with bumper stickers about how evil oil companies are, tailgating everyone and going 95+ mph. She was changing speeds so much there is no eay she could possibly have been burning less gas that the folks she was tailgating at less than a half car length.

    1. Mark Levin asks electric car owner where the electricity comes from; hilarity ensues:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTABE0hoepE

      1. I would have said natural gas is quickly replacing shitty coal as the primary source and burns 50% cleaner – then called him a fucking fascist for resisting that market trend.

        1. Fracking for the win.

        2. http://pigroll.com/img/how_fucking_fascinating.jpg

          Electric cars will never be more efficient than ICE, because of the losses incurred when turning heat into electricity. ICE turns heat directly into mechanical energy.

        3. Using nat gas as a combustion fuel (methanol) is a much better idea than using it to produce electricity and then charge an electric batter in a car.

          Personally, I think using natural gas to produce electricity is a waste of the chemical value it holds.

          1. Correction: as a combustion fuel in a vehicles IC engine

            1. Is it? I mean, there’s a reason that large vehicles often use turbine-electric systems, right? Or are you referring to the shittiness of batteries?

              1. Shittiness of batteries plus the losses associated with transferring electricity from the generator to wherever you are charging your vehicle.

                We just aren’t close to being *there* for electric vehicles. IC engines are incredibly reliable and durable. Their travel range and ability to refill almost instantly is another big factor.

              2. Is it? I mean, there’s a reason that large vehicles often use turbine-electric systems, right? Or are you referring to the shittiness of batteries?

                It was my impression that they do that because it is very difficult to transfer the power mechanically through a drivshaft when things got really big.

    2. She wasn’t burning gasoline, that’s for sure. As for coal, natural gas, and a smaller percentage of fission, wind, and solar, you bet. The Leaf is no Prius.

      1. Sorry, gasoline equivalent.

      2. Let’s dispel the myth that wind/solar is anything more than a way to get more natural gas on the grid under the guise of “green energy”. 20% capacity factors that are irregular at best need something to balance the output to the grid, and quick start NG generators are the perfect candidate.

        1. So what you get is really expensive natural gas electricity with no added CO2 “benefits”. In other words: government at work.

  49. I was sitting in a meeting this morning thinking about what a true individual separated from employers health insurance system would look like. And it would look like the individual life insurance market. You can buy life insurance when you are young and healthy and then as you get older or sick the price goes up until you can no longer afford it. The old and the sick generally don’t have life insurance. No one cares about that because old people don’t generally need it and young people can buy term insurance when they are healthy and overpay to ensure they can still afford if they get sick or as they get older. In health insurance that would be a disaster. Old people are the group that most needs health insurance and you can’t sell term health insurance because since there is no way to know what healthcare costs are going to be in the future you can’t price it. So the old and the sick would have no insurance and the young and healthy would have insurance but it would be like car insurance, cheap right up until you started using it and your risk profile went up. If we ever had that situation, we would end up with single payer in about 30 seconds. The only way to fix it would be community rating, but most people would say “why buy overpriced insurance when I can just let the government take care of it?”.

    1. The US has avoided this situation because we mostly get our health insurance through our employers and thus young, old, healthy and sick are forcibly pooled and buy insurance together through their employer. Get rid of that and you quickly end up with the situation above and single payer becomes inevitable. It is no coincidence that the UK and Canada, two countries that didn’t get their health insurance through their employers both opted for single payer.

      Yet, the good little wonks at Cato and Reason sit in their cubicals dreaming of the day when people no longer get their health insurance through their employers and we have a true free, individual market. And they never wonder why the one thing liberal single payer advocates agree with them about is the need to no longer get health insurance through our employers.

      1. John,

        In a free market, the grouping you speak of would happen through fraternal organizations, the way it used to before they made a deal with the progressive devil that legislated them out of existence.

        Turn-of-the-century America offered a dizzying array of fraternal societies to choose from. Some catered to a particular ethnic or religious group; others did not. Many offered entertainment and social life to their members, or engaged in community service. Some “fraternal” societies were run entirely by and for women. The kinds of services from which members could choose often varied as well, though the most commonly offered were life insurance, disability insurance, and “lodge practice.”

        “Lodge practice” refers to an arrangement, reminiscent of today’s HMOs, whereby a particular society or lodge would contract with a doctor to provide medical care to its members. The doctor received a regular salary on a retainer basis, rather than charging per item; members would pay a yearly fee and then call on the doctor’s services as needed. If medical services were found unsatisfactory, the doctor would be penalized, and the contract might not be renewed. Lodge members reportedly enjoyed the degree of customer control this system afforded them. And the tendency to overuse the physician’s services was kept in check by the fraternal society’s own “self-policing”;

        1. That could work in some cases. But the problem is what is the motivation for the young and healthy to join? In order for the system to work, you would have to overcharge young and healthy people. And why would they do that when they could get cheap insurance while they were healthy and then just join when they get old?

          Of course you could have rules that said you have to join when you are young or you can’t join. That might work. But even then young people would have to trust that the organization will still be there when they get old.

          And even if you could do that, it wouldn’t help the old and the sick now. No such organizations exist now. They would have to be created. But to create them, you would have to start with young people paying in and then using it when they get old. If you start with old people you would go broke as old people showed up and took much more out than they ever put in.

          1. Two things- in a health care free market, care would be cheaper. Probably 50% or more. This would mean that health insurance would be cheaper.

            Health insurance would be mostly catastrophic coverage, not a pre-paid buyer’s plan. This would further reduce costs.

            1. Sure it would be cheaper. But it wouldn’t be so cheap that most people wouldn’t still want insurance. There is no way that you could ever make health care so cheap that people would be okay paying for it all on their own and not take single payer. Regardless of how efficient such a system would be, people would never tolerate it. So it is not a viable option.

      2. Maybe you are right, but I can imagine other scenarios where insurers could make money from insuring older people. Maybe something more like an annuity where you pay in for your adult life and have a guarantee of a certain level of coverage when you are old based on how much and how long you paid in.
        You are almost certainly right that selling a new insurance policy to an old or unhealthy person would not really happen in a free market for healthcare. But some sort of longer term pre-payment scheme could work.

        1. Maybe something more like an annuity where you pay in for your adult life and have a guarantee of a certain level of coverage when you are old based on how much and how long you paid in.

          I thought about that. But it wouldn’t work. Annuities work because I can make very accurate estimates of rates of returns and average lifespans of groups of people with similar risk patterns. Annuities than therefore be priced. You can’t do that with healthcare. There is no way to know what healthcare will cost in even ten years let alone 20. What you are suggesting is effectively “term health insurance”. I can’t see it working. Also, to the extent that term life insurance works, it only works so long. No term life insurance policy that I am aware of gives you coverage after you get really old. The only way you can get that is through universal life insurance, which really just a way of saving assets and passing them without paying estate taxes.

          The libertarian response is “well people should just save more then”. And sounds nice. But no way will people agree to that. If the choice is single payer or be forced to spend your entire life saving so you can have health care when you are old, single payer will win every time.

          1. John, life insurance that you just talked about works on the same principles as an annuity. That’s why it’s cheaper to buy in when you are young. They take your money and place it in some kind of fixed investment.

            1. That’s why it’s cheaper to buy in when you are young. They take your money and place it in some kind of fixed investment.

              Yes. But pricing that is very easy since I only have to guess how long you are going to live. Pricing health care is a lot harder. And even those plans eventually end. You can’t get term life insurance into your 80s. You can, but at that point it becomes a universal plan which is just a savings plan. It is easy to say “just tell people to save for when they are old”. But that is not an answer people are going to take as an alternative to single payer. It is just not and no matter how wonderful you think the answer is, there is no point in pretending many people are going to share that opinion.

      3. Or health insurance would be actual insurance rather than a pre-paid health maintenance plan. High deductible, pre-tax HSAs with rollover and you pay out of pocket (and compete on price) for anything less than a true injury.

        You kill a lot of bureaucracy very quickly, and prices go down.

        1. It wouldn’t go down that much. It would never go down to the point that people wouldn’t want insurance and some form of security.

          The bottom line is that if I am 82 years old and am forced to pay based on my individual risk, no insurance premium is going to less than just paying for my health care. The risk is that great. That person is never going to be able to buy insurance or have any security without being able to pool with healthy people.

          1. If people were paying out of pocket, the health-maintenance insurance wouldn’t last very long.

            At this point, I’m not sure there is a way out the health insurance problem that doesn’t involve state coercion. (Like mandating individual HSAs in exchange for companies not being able to drop you, with a single-payer government run system for the truly indigent to hush up the whiners.)

            It’s the typical statist game though. They spent 60 years beating on a economic system with sledgehammers and claim we have no ideas because we can’t fix it an afternoon.

            1. If people were paying out of pocket, the health-maintenance insurance wouldn’t last very long.

              I don’t see how that is the case. I don’t care how much you pay out of pocket, some shit is just expensive. We have a great free market for cars, but a Bentley still costs a fortune. Sure, the price would go down for some stuff. But the bottom line is that paying for a service that requires the specialized services of someone who spent close to a decade of training (a doctor) is never going to be cheap.

              It doesn’t matter that Bentleys are expensive because people are okay with living in a society where they will never own a Bentley. But people are not okay with living in a society where they can never get really good medical care unless they do well for themselves and save a really good portion of their money so they have it when they are old. They just won’t do that. If that is the alternative, they will opt for single payer.

              Even in a perfect market some things are expensive. And health care is not something that people are willing to say “you know if I get old and can’t afford it, that is okay”. Your answer sounds nice. But it is not an answer that will ever beat out single payer no matter how bad single payer is.

              1. I personally think single-payer is inevitable. There’s very little to indicate that we aren’t headed that way and fast. Obamacare is doing exactly what they designed it to and people aren’t getting smart as a whole.

                Hopefully I’ll be dead before it gets too bad.

                1. I don’t think it is inevitable Sugar Free. But I think that the one thing that is keeping it from happening is employee based health insurance. And I find it astounding that CATO and Reason’s biggest issue with the current system is employer based health insurance. It is madness. If we ever untethered health insurance from employment, absent community rating, we are doomed.

                  1. Employer based health insurance caused all this mess, but getting rid of it now without doing anything else is silly.

                    1. No it didn’t Sugar Free. It saved us from single payer.

                      Here is what people don’t get. Before the middle of the 20th century, no one really wanted health care. Doctors were quacks and couldn’t really save you. But around World War II, they started getting better. And they started producing expensive procedures that actually cured people. When that happened, people started demanding health care. But since health care is often life or death, they demanded it in a way that is different than the demand for cars. So they wanted security and to know they could pay for these really expensive new stuff, so they bought insurance. But because you most want health care when you are sick and old, insurance, absent forced pooling of risk, doesn’t work very well for health care.

                      In countries that didn’t tether insurance to employment, they went for single payer. We did and avoided single payer.

                      No amount of free market was going to make health care so cheap that people wouldn’t need insurance. And once they need insurance, you have the problem we have above.

                  2. It’s inevitable. Current insurance market regulations are forcing employers to drop coverage. Personally, I think employer provided insurance was a bastard child of an idea in the first place that has created more problems than it’s solved.

                    The argument is between a true free market for individuals and groups of individuals (non employer associated ) and single payer. And at this point anything is better than the ACA.

          2. Honestly, I don’t think it would be a terrible thing if fewer 82 year olds had expensive medical treatments. I think that medicare and other retirement health care plans have given people unreasonable expectations about the medical care they should receive in old age. I’m not saying people shouldn’t be able to make their own plans to cling to life for as long as they can. But you have to die some day and I don’t want to pay so grandpa can live for another 2 months in a hospital bed.

          3. no insurance premium is going to less than just paying for my health care

            That’s true of all insurance (barring government price controls). The whole point of insurance is to pay a bit more so that you don’t have to worry about possible (but probably not) paying a ton more. Insurance is inherently a losing proposition for the buyers, but they get the utility of less risk in exchange for the extra cost.

            1. That’s true of all insurance

              Yes it is. And that is the problem. Unless you figure out a way to force people to risk pool, you end up with a situation where insurance is affordable provided you don’t really need it.

              Look at life insurance. The old and the sick can’t generally buy life insurance. Why? Because that is the nature of insurance, if you are a bad risk there is no way to insure you. But since health care is not like life insurance in that it can’t be priced ahead of time so that you can over pay when you are young and healthy and it is something the old need the most, that situation in health insurance is not something people will tolerate like they will in life insurance. They will opt for single payer. No amount “well save you lazy bastards” or “that is how insurance works” is going to change that.

              1. But since health care is not like life insurance in that it can’t be priced ahead of time so that you can over pay when you are young and healthy and it is something the old need the most,

                That’s not true.

                They will opt for single payer. No amount “well save you lazy bastards” or “that is how insurance works” is going to change that.

                I agree that we’re going to end up with it. But it’s not because of a problem with the market or insurance. It’s a problem with people. They want shit for free.

                1. That’s not true.

                  It is absolutely true. You can’t have term health insurance. There is no way to tell what health care costs are going to be in the future. And there is no way to tell how likely someone is or even a group of similar someones are to have a long expensive illness versus having a quick cheap death. There is just no way to price it. Life insurance is easy. The actuarial table has two variables, expected rate of return and life expectancy. Such a table for health insurance would have those two plus expected rise in healthcare costs and nature of expected illness. You can’t calculate the last two. So you can’t price it.

                  1. they don’t calculate any of it. They observe and guess that the future will have a similar distribution. so you pricing impossibility conjecture is pretty weak.

                    Also they usually have a maximum payout. so worst case scenario you just need to know probability that maximum payout is eventually made, and some kind of model for how that happens over time.

                    So your attempt to blame this on actuarial ineptitude is obviously barking up to wrong tree.

                    1. It is not actuarial ineptitude Biggens. Some things just can’t be known with enough certainty to insure them. And sure they have a maximum pay out. But that doesn’t help, unless I know when I am going to pay it out. The table is a function of time and money. The time part is unknowable.

                      Again, if such policy could be priced, someone would be selling them

      4. There are other methods other than single-payer, or employee based.

        check out Singapore’s system. Not saying it’s ideal, but it is interesting mix.
        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..williamson

        Singapore’s government operates a system of public hospitals in which 80 percent of hospital care is delivered, with very little waste or fraud. There is no such thing as free health care anywhere, and in Singapore there is not even the illusion of free health care: Everybody pays for doctor visits, hospital stays, insurance premiums, etc. And because the Singaporean government deducts 6 to 9 percent out of your paycheck to deposit in a tax-exempt, interest-bearing, heritable health-savings account (HSA), almost everybody has the ability to pay the relatively high co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses that characterize the Singaporean system. It is not a free-market utopia; to the contrary, it is very interventionist, with subsidies, price controls, and the HSA mandate, but there is a strong element of consumer choice and incentives for thrift.

        1. this is interesting too:

          Both Singapore and Switzerland have systems in which overall health-care spending is lower than it is in the United States but out-of-pocket health-care spending is higher. The shocking thing is this: So does practically every other country. A recent World Bank study finds that in the United States, only 20 percent of health-care spending comes in the form of out-of-pocket expenses paid by consumers. In Singapore, it is 88 percent and in Switzerland 72 percent. But even the single-payer systems of Canada and the United Kingdom feature more out-of-pocket spending by consumers, 49 percent and 53 percent respectively. How is it that in countries with “free” universal health care consumers pay more out of pocket than they do in the United States? The short answer is that treatment in single-payer systems tends to be kind of terrible, which is why a tenth of British subjects use private plans rather than the NHS. And a significant share of Britons who use the NHS must be turning to private care fairly often, since it is estimated that the typical medical specialist in the U.K. supplements his income by 50 percent moonlighting in private practice. In Canada, about 75 percent of people carry supplementary private insurance, and about 28 percent of all health-care expenditures happen in the private sector.

        2. Singapore’s government operates a system of public hospitals in which 80 percent of hospital care is delivered, with very little waste or fraud.

          If the US could create a system of public hospitals delivered care with very little waste or fraud, even I would support single payer. Bravo for Singapore. But I can’t imagine the US ever doing what this sentence is describing.

          1. Yeah, I’m sure being a densely populated and wealthy city state with a strong central government and a population accustomed to fairly strict rules helps a lot.

            1. the caning will continue until the morale improves.

          2. you seemed to have missed the latter part:

            Everybody pays for doctor visits, hospital stays, insurance premiums, etc. And because the Singaporean government deducts 6 to 9 percent out of your paycheck to deposit in a tax-exempt, interest-bearing, heritable health-savings account (HSA), almost everybody has the ability to pay the relatively high co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses that characterize the Singaporean system.

            In this case, remove public hospitals and make them private. More competition, lower prices.

            1. That is an interesting idea. But it would only work if you didn’t have a lot of poor people. What happens to the people whose 6% doesn’t add up to much?

              I don’t think it would ever work here. It might, but you would have to shut down the borders and restrict the labor market and make a real effort to ensure that your society and labor market didn’t have much of a bottom rung. I don’t think people would like that very much or go for it.

              1. yeah, the poor always screw up a good system 😉

                Clinics for the poor would be one answer. Not a politically correct one though. Subsidies, and the political battle for the amount, would be the other.

                One way I look at Obamacare – it’s a system that’s trying to take “poor folk” and give them middle-class access to medical care, without having to do anything for it. I see this same type of attitude with some of the clients that my wife gets with her private law practice. They want good legal representation, but once you ask them for money, they are shocked by the prices. Or they try not to pay at all.

                1. Yeah, I think a two tier system would be the closest politically possible thing to market health care we could get. And of course, people would be pissed when the “free” clinics inevitably treated their patients poorly.

              2. In order to get the overal system you could have a modest means tested subsidy where lower income people get cash put into their account. Not pure libertopia, but way less expensive than the amount being spent now.

        3. That is interesting. Too many people seem to assume that single payer is the only universal coverage option. There are a lot of other systems that, while not good from a libertarian standpoint, are a whole lot better than single payer, and probably better than the turd we have now in the US.

      5. This is a rather simple issue to overcome with the Health Care Savings Account concept.

        Change the tax law such that direct benefits provided by the employer are taxed but deposits into health savings accounts on the part of either the employer or employee are not.

        Supplement employer and individual deposits into HSA’s with government deposits into them for low income households.

        Then the indivdual who controls the account but can only spend the money on Medical expenses decides whether, when, and what type of insurance to purchase.

        When they are in their teens and 20’s they are putting net $4 – $8k into their HSA from all sources (employer, individual, or government) and not bothering with insurance at all. In their 30’s & 40’s the net deposit number goes up to $7 – $12k and they buy a catastrophic plan. By the time they hit 50 and start really needing insurance they can buy a health plan and the net deposits drop down to $2 – $5k.

        They will then hit 65 and after interest is included somewhere around $400 – $500k in their HSA which would be enough to cover their health care expenses for the next 30 years in better than 90% of cases.

        In this model you have market competition and eliminate most of the 3rd party payer issue keeping costs low and health insurance is actually fairly rare because ultimately most people don’t really need it.

        1. What about those poor souls who get cancer in their 20’s, that is where you can make an argument for a government run medicaid program to come in, providing extra monies to treat specfic rare highly expensive diseases, you fund it with a 50% tax on the remaining balance of health savings accounts when the account holder dies (the other 50% is returned to the estate). Of course even there you could make a simple change of allowing people to transfer money from their own to others health savings accounts for charity cases.

        2. Change the tax law such that direct benefits provided by the employer are taxed but deposits into health savings accounts on the part of either the employer or employee are not.

          That doesn’t solve anything and to the extent it does, it won’t be preferable to single payer. First, most people will not be able to save enough to cover their expenses when they are old. I don’t care how much they save, someone who makes 30K a year and dies of an expensive death will never cover their costs or even close to it.

          Second, even if they do, people want security. They are not going to agree to a system where their health care when they are old depends on them both making a lot of money and taking a good chunk of that money and saving it rather than enjoying it. If that is the option, single payer will be universally demanding. Just forget it. No one is opting for such a system. I don’t care how much you claim you are going to make things cheaper.

          1. Except that person making $30k a year with employer provided health care is actually getting $36k from the company, $30k in cash, $6k in health insurance. Combine that with the $2k they are already paying for insurance and $500 they are putting into an FSA to cover out of pocket medical expenses.

            On the other hand their actual expenses average less than $1500 a year.

            So today they are “spending” $8500 to get $1500 in value on their health care, if instead they put that $7k a year into an HSA that earned 2% interest every year from the time they were 20 until they were 50 and then had no net contributions between 50 and 65 they’d have somewhere between $300,000 and $350,000 in the HSA when they hit 65

            According to the NIH average lifetime health care costs are only $316,000 and the average 65 year old will incur on average only $188k in additional lifetime expenses.

            In otherwords with this 60 – 70% of people would easily be able to save enough to cover all of their lifetime medical expenses

            1. In otherwords with this 60 – 70% of people would easily be able to save enough to cover all of their lifetime medical expenses

              And the other 30%? And even if you could get the 70% to say fuck the other 30, it wouldn’t matter because the other 70% would worry like hell that they would wind up in the 30%. That is just not something anyone is going to agree too. In addition, the saving only works if you get sick after you have saved the money. Get sick before that, too fucking bad.

              Moreover, not everyone wants to save. People are okay with spending money now. But the answer can’t be “just save a lot”. It sounds nice to Libertarians sitting at CATO. But it will never be something that would appeal to most people.

              1. “And the other 30%?”

                Hmm, did I say something that might address them?

                ” a government run medicaid program to come in, providing extra monies to treat specfic rare highly expensive diseases, you fund it with a 50% tax on the remaining balance of health savings accounts when the account holder dies (the other 50% is returned to the estate). Of course even there you could make a simple change of allowing people to transfer money from their own to others health savings accounts for charity cases.”

                Why yes, yes I did.

                Additionally I’m just addressing the 30% of medical expenses paid for by individuals and corporations, the other 70% is currently paid for by government, all that money is still floating around out there to be reallocated, you could take half of it and turn it into a benefit deposited into individuals HSA’s where starting at birth each person gets an extra $2000 a year kicked in by the government so that by the time they reached 65 the average person would have closer to $500 – $600k in their HSA

                1. HSA’s where starting at birth each person gets an extra $2000 a year kicked in by the government so that by the time they reached 65 the average person would have closer to $500 – $600k in their HSA

                  Never work. People are risk adverse. They would never want to risk not getting there. Moreover, they might not want to save the much.

                  This is why Librarians always do so bad politically. They think everyone values efficiency over all else and wind up advocating for things that sound crazy to people who have other values in certain situations.

                  1. “Never work. People are risk adverse. They would never want to risk not getting there. Moreover, they might not want to save the much.”

                    You didn’t pay attention John.

                    They ALREADY spend that much. Saving this much would not impact their day to day budget AT ALL.

                    Furthermore if they are that risk averse they certainly can use that HSA money to go buy insurance

    2. Yes, but why am I forced to buy life insurance for the elderly highest risk (Medicare) while being shut out of the same market for a risk factor like multiple speeding tickets (pre-existing condition)?

      1. I’m starting to become suspicious of the ‘pre-existing’ angle.

        There must be an acturial explanation because the political one is mangling all objectivity.

        1. I think pre-existing conditions exclusion is a bit overblown. There just doesn’t seem to be that many people out there who are not buying insurance because of them. I say that because if there there such people, the media would be telling us about them and how Obamacare gave them insurance. I haven’t seen any such stories.

          When you think about it, most people want insurance and get such before they ever get sick. I think that group is pretty small in number.

          1. Can’t remember where, but a couple of years ago I read that the preexisting provision only really effects a few thousand people per year.

            Regardless, if that was the main problem with this country, there’s no reason why you couldn’t just mandate that insurance companies accept anyone regardless of preexisting conditions, allow them to price it into the patient’s policy, and be done with it. There was no need to turn the entire world upside down over it, it’s just the politically convenient argument because those people are sympathetic and so easy to relate to.

            1. there’s no reason why you couldn’t just mandate that insurance companies accept anyone regardless of preexisting conditions, allow them to price it into the patient’s policy, and be done with it.

              Death spiral.

              1. That wouldn’t cause a death spiral. The moral hazard is less than people think. I can’t get out of all of my health care costs after I get sick. If I have a heart attack or break my leg, I am screwed because I need treatment now and can’t wait to buy insurance.

                For it to cause a death spiral, there would have to be a large group of people who are okay with risk just enough to be okay with risking immediate expenses but not okay with risking the big long term expenses and thus are buying healthcare now but wouldn’t if we got rid of the exclusion. Very few people are like that. Most either won’t buy it at all or will buy it pre-existing or not.

                1. That’s a smart decision for a bunch of people, especially if you don’t outlaw bare bones policies which you could use to cover your immediate heart attack coverage, but not several years of dialysis.

                  1. That’s a smart decision for a bunch of people,

                    Who are young and unlikely to get sick. Once they get old and are more likely to need insurance, that calculation totally changes.

                    And even if you are young, once you have some assets or kids you are not going to be too interested in risking everything you have in hopes you or your kids never have an accident or get a serious illness that has a quick onset.

                    Not everyone is a 20 something with nothing to lose.

                    1. So the 20 somethings leave, which increases the price enough that now the 30 year olds are in the same predicament as before.

                    2. So the 20 somethings leave, which increases the price enough that now the 30 year olds are in the same predicament as before.

                      For sure. And that is why a true individual market can never work.

                    3. You just said there wasn’t a death spiral, but now you agree that there is one, and the death spiral is why a true individual market (except that the government has in this case required existing conditions to be accepted) won’t work?

                    4. You just said there wasn’t a death spiral, but now you agree that there is one, and the death spiral is why a true individual market (except that the government has in this case required existing conditions to be accepted) won’t work

                      Because without pooling risk, eventually everyone loses the ability to buy insurance as they get old and sick. You could do community rating and solve that. But as long as you make people pay according to their individual risk, insurance will be cheap and available provided you don’t really need it.

                2. You get a death spiral with a combination of no pre-existing condition and community rating (which prohibits fully pricing risk).

                  IOW, OCare.

            2. Or let those with pre-existing conditions join Medicare.

              1. *Medicaid* derp

            3. The real issue is the third party payer problem. I know plenty of elderly who rack up massive Medicare fees because they can. When someone else is footing the bill, there is no cost savings incentive.

              I liked my high deductible plan with 100% coverage AD. I was able to budget and plan around it. And there was some incentive to control costs simply because of the high deductible. Monthly premiums were reasonable and I felt assured that if cancer or some other disaster struck, it wouldn’t immediately financially destroy me.

              But do I get to keep it? Nope. New premiums for anything close to it are approaching TRIPLE the monthly rate and give me coverage for maternity and condoms and everything else I don’t need.

          2. Actually preexisting conditions are exceedingly common. By the time they hit 40 most people have one or more, arthritis, mental health, high blood pressure, etc. Even if it was something minor or is not currently a problem you have a preexisting condition, the problem is how do you handle it when you have a preexisting condition and you pick up new insurance.

            Generally speaking absent other government laws they don’t pay for any treatments related to that condition for an extended period of time after a gap in coverage.

            But a nice example of this, 2 years ago I had a 3 month gap in coverage. 9 months after I got new insurance I came down with a blood-borne MRSA infection. Obviously that was not a preexisting condition, if I had that for 9 weeks forget 9 months I’d have been dead, yet the insurance company still initially denied all of the bills for the treatment as “preexisting conditions” because of the gap in coverage.

            Sure they eventually paid the claims but it took a ton of extra legwork and bureaucracy to get through on the part of my wife (I was a bit too sick to do much of anything)

            1. That is an interesting point about the smaller more nagging illnesses. And that will no doubt cause people to get treatment where they otherwise wouldn’t have.

              But, here is the thing with that. How many of those sorts of things are going to come in below or close enough to the deductible to make it not worth treating even if you have insurance? The other issue is that even I have insurance, if I can’t afford the copay or the deductible, I won’t get treatment. So maybe I suck it up and take advil rather than pay the first thousand dollars or whatever to get the good medicine.

        2. Pre-existing conditions is a problem created by the government regulations.

          It’s not legal to sell you a plan the exempts certain coverages like, for instance, your pre-existing condition.

          So now if you have some chronic condition, even a minor and inexpensive one, you can’t get any insurance at all because of the condition. Thanks government.

      2. Because health care is not life insurance or car insurance. It is a different market with different information problems and a good which people value differently.

        And medicare is a interesting case. What was medicare when it was passed? It was single payer for old people who had retired before health insurance became tied to employment and available as a retirement benefit. Had FDR or the Congress or whomever not created the insurance tax break and thus tied our insurance to our jobs, medicare probably would have been full on single payer.

  50. A “coffee club” card is not coffee insurance.

    1. So my warranty on my car is not car repair insurance? Did the dealer give that to me for free Brooks? Or maybe did he sell it to me, even if he hid the costs, based on an actuarial table on the expected maintenance costs of my car?

      If it is the later, that sure looks like zero deductible insurance to me.

      1. “So my warranty on my car is not car repair insurance?”

        Um, no it is not. It only covers you from manufactuing defects not any damage or wear and tear based repairs needed.

        1. It is still insurance. It just doesn’t cover everything. But some warranties do. They are called “bumper to bumper”. If I am willing to pay for it, my car dealer will gladly ensure my break pads and my tires or anything else.

          All you need for insurance, is something, anything, that be properly priced via an actuarial table. That is it.

          The idea that you can’t buy insurance for something if it is routine or just maintenance or whatever is one of the more retarded things people on here say. It is without doubt the most retarded thing not uttered by our liberal sock puppets.

          1. But some warranties do. They are called “bumper to bumper”.

            Even “bumper to bumper” has limits. They cover inherent mechanical problems with the car, not acts of god or your radiator getting punctured by a rock on the freeway.

            1. They cover inherent mechanical problems with the car, not acts of god or your radiator getting punctured by a rock on the freeway.

              They absolutely cover acts of God. It is called auto insurance. A warranty could do the same thing if you wanted to pay for it. It is all the same thing.

              1. The problem is if your “insurance” covers brake jobs, new tires, oil changes, and other things which are not random but entirely predictable regularly occuring maintenance items then it isn’t insurance it is a prepayment plan.

                Insurance is about mitigating risk, regular predictable events are not risks, they are guarantees

                1. The problem is if your “insurance” covers brake jobs, new tires, oil changes, and other things which are not random but entirely predictable regularly occuring maintenance items then it isn’t insurance it is a prepayment plan.

                  No it is not. How do you know how often I will need breaks? How do you know what the price of break pads will be in a year? You don’t. I can insure against all of those risks. You can insure against more than just the event happening. You can insure against when it happens or how often or how much it will cost.

                  It is amazing. People on here just can’t get the concept. It gives me a headache.

  51. “Reports that healthcare.gov was tested just prior to launch contradict testimony from Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.”
    Tough choice here; who do you believe?
    HA!

  52. Forbes list of the most powerful people

    Putin is #1. Obama is #2.

    The Pope is #4.

    http://www.forbes.com/powerful-people/list/

    1. I agree with Prince: You can be the President. I’d rather be the Pope. (You can be the side effect, I’d rather be the dope.)

    2. Bill Gates is…#6.

    3. The most powerful people have the power to keep themselves in the shadows and off Forbes disingenuous list.

      I’m talking about the Koch Bros of course.

      1. Oh, 31.

        I meant out of the #1 spot where they truly belong. TRUTH TO POWER!!!!!

  53. Allegedly, ACOs would reduce price.

    However, a recent study on the Impact of Hospital Consolidation by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found the opposite was true.

    It seems as if the guy from the Cleveland Clinic is on my teevee all the time, talking about how the vast centralized megahospital model is the one we should be pushing. I wonder why.

  54. I can imagine other scenarios where insurers could make money from insuring older people. Maybe something more like an annuity where you pay in for your adult life and have a guarantee of a certain level of coverage when you are old based on how much and how long you paid in.

    This is the model I have been fumbling with. In some ways, similar to that Gerber Life deal advertised on teevee; you get the kid on a plan with a nominal premium early, and it builds cash value over time.

    In order to get young healthy people to buy insurance when they don’t really need it, you have to give them an incentive. That incentive is a plan with an accrued value which they own, and which will by its existence reduce the premiums over time.

    Right now, there is no incentive to pay [insert number pulled from ass] every year in order to get 15% of that value back in “free” health care services.

    1. This is the model I have been fumbling with. In some ways, similar to that Gerber Life deal advertised on teevee; you get the kid on a plan with a nominal premium early, and it builds cash value over time.

      I have been fumbling with that too. But there is no way to price it. Term life insurance works because you can construct annuity tables that tell you how long someone will live and what the expected rate of return of investment is. This allows insurance companies to price their product and know how much to overcharge a person when they are young so that their rates can be lower when they are old.

      You can’t do that with health care. You can’t project health care costs into the future the way you can rate of return. You also can’t project general health the way you can lifespan. I may be able to tell you that a group of ten thousand non smoking 30 year old proper weight males will live on average until they are 80. But I can’t tell you how many of those will get long expensive illnesses and how many will die quick inexpensiveness deaths. So there is just no way to price such a plan. And thus they cannot exist.

      1. You can’t project health care costs into the future the way you can rate of return.

        Why do you think this? It seems to be the basis of your entire argument that the health market is entirely unpredictable, even on a group level.

        Even if that was true, the insurance can always be like life insurance, where you get a specified payout (e.g. a cap on the coverage).

        1. Why do you think this? It seems to be the basis of your entire argument that the health market is entirely unpredictable, even on a group level.

          Health care costs are unstable. They are not like the old projected rate of return. More importantly, it is easy to predict lifespan, but that is not predicting health care costs. Just because I know you are on average going to live 50 years, doesn’t mean I have any idea how likely you are to get a disease that requires a lot of expensive treatment or drop over dead of a heart attack. And even if I could do that, I can’t predict advances in medicine. So something that just kills you now, could be something that 20 years from now you are able to live with provided you get some kind of expensive and continuing treatment. Who knows? No company is going to sell insurance without rock hard actuarial knowledge. Otherwise it is just gambling. And no one is doing that.

          1. You can get the average probability of getting an expensive disease the same way you get the average lifespan.

            Otherwise it is just gambling. And no one is doing that.

            That’s exactly what every insurance company is doing. Just because the odds are in their favor doesn’t mean they aren’t gambling.

            1. No you can’t. You can only get the average if you know what the price is in the future. With life insurance I am just guessing when you are going to die. That is easy and the average is no problem.

              Health insurance I can guess an average, for this year and someone who is of your health. But i have no clue what your health will be next year or the year after. And I have no idea what the costs are going to be or even what treatments will be available. How can I price for treatments that haven’t yet been invented? That is what you would have to do if you were to sell term health insurance.

        2. The maximum is in an interesting point. But since I can’t price, i would have to assume that I paid everyone the entire maximum. But even if I could figure out the average amount of the maximum, it still wouldn’t work because I would have no idea when I would pay it out. Life insurance gets paid in a lump sum. So if the average is pay in 30 years, I can assume I will pay everyone in 30 years and know what I should charge. Can’t do that with health insurance.

          Here is the thing, if such a plan could be priced, someone would be selling it in the individual market. And to my knowledge they are not. And I would be shocked if they are. Maybe you could lock in rates for a few years. But not forever. Even term life insurance doesn’t lock in rates once you get really old.

  55. I finally get the metalwork for my next tube amplifier build. So I can start wiring tonight!
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XeX6….._panel.jpg

  56. So my warranty on my car is not car repair insurance?

    And your point is?

    You’re the one incessantly babbling about how medical insurance is not like anything else in the universe.

    Insurance is a BET. A bet based on the probability and likely cost of some event. To be perfectly honest, I don’t see why an issuer of insurance policies should not be allowed to price his product according to risk. If you’re a drunk, chainsmoking daredevil bush pilot, you should be paying out the ass for insurance; or perhaps not, since the greatest likelihood is you will die instantaneously and incur zero medical expenses. I also see no reason an insurer should not be able to write your policy with a cap based on the amount of the premium; the more you pay in, the more they pay out.

    But I’m just some delusional libertarian who doesn’t understand the economics of ostentatious empathy.

    1. You’re the one incessantly babbling about how medical insurance is not like anything else in the universe.

      No you half wit. My point is that health insurance is exactly like every other insurance. You know what that means? It means you can’t buy it when you are a bad risk. That is how insurance works.

      The problem is that when say “you can’t buy it if you are a bad risk” to people buying health insurance you are saying “only the young and healthy who don’t really need medical care can afford insurance”. And if that is your answer, get ready for single payer because no one is going to buy what you are selling.

      I also see no reason an insurer should not be able to write your policy with a cap based on the amount of the premium; the more you pay in, the more they pay out.

      I am sure you don’t. But that is because you are fucking moron who doesn’t understand how actuarial tables work and insurance is priced.

      Yes Brooks you are delusional libertarian. You know just enough enough about economic analysis and markets to be dangerous.

      1. But that is because you are fucking moron who doesn’t understand how actuarial tables work

        You’re the one who seems to think predicting costs is impossible…

        1. You’re the one who seems to think predicting costs is impossible..

          No. I am saying predicting medical costs over the course of decades, which is what would be required, is impossible. Some costs are easy. Other costss, not so muchm

          But even term life insurance has a limit. You can’t lock in rates for life. If you buy in your 20 or 30s you can get rates until you are in your 60s. But none of those policies go much beyond that.

          So even if you could price a policy, you still wouldn’t be able to get insurance when you were really old and even if you could, it would be too expensive for most young people to buy. And people are not going to opt for such a system over single payer.

          Your solution would not save the system.

          1. There’s no point in arguing if we disagree on something as basic as the ability to project costs.

            I’m aware that it won’t “save the system”, because there are too many people who want free shit and will use the government to get it.

            1. There’s no point in arguing if we disagree on something as basic as the ability to project costs.

              I know they can’t project costs, because if they could, someone would be selling such a policy. But to my knowledge they don’t. Go find me such a policy and I will agree with you. Hell, for a while I thought this would work too. Until I talked to someone who worked in actuarials and they told me how impossible it would be.

              And more importantly, think about how a true life time policy would work. Eventually you will insure costs because you will get sick and die. So a policy that covers you for life would necessarily involve the insurance company collecting more money from you in premiums and interest than you would cost, at least on average. At that point you are not pooling risk, you are just saving. Indeed, universal life policies are not really insurance. They are a way for people to save assets for their death.

              And yes everyone saving is great. But people are not going to sign up to a system that requires them to save huge amounts of money to spend on health care when they get old. They will take single payer.

              Isn’t employer based insurance a better option?

              1. Isn’t employer based insurance a better option?

                Not when it becomes the de facto payment mechanism for healthcare services. The increasing use of public and private insurance plans to cover every fucking thing from an annual physical to diabetes treatments is a direct contributor to prices that have gone up at rates greater than inflation for over 3 decades.

                That’s not hyperbole, that’s an empirical fact. Just look at the exponential increase in federal spending on healthcare alone since Nixon instituted HMOs. Spending on Medicare and Medicaid are over $1 trillion a year now. That’s not sustainable, and it’s going to get worse because all the Baby Boomers are hitting the Medicare line now, and Medicaid is being expanded thanks to Obamacare.

                People who act as if the pervasive use of insurance plans hasn’t driven up the cost of healthcare really shouldn’t be taken seriously in a discussion of how to fix the real problem, which is the cost of healthcare–especially when they think that $10K for a normal live birth that cost 10% of that for the exact same service 50 years ago is reasonable.

                The only solution to actually decrease costs is to implement a cash-dominant pay system where insurance is used for emergency treatments only. What you’re arguing is that people will go for the “increased coverage” every time, and if that’s the case, then the only thing to do is sit back and wait for the limits to scale to blow the whole thing apart.

                1. People who act as if the pervasive use of insurance plans hasn’t driven up the cost of healthcare

                  Sure it has. I have never said it didn’t. But it may be that there is no way to avoid that. The only way you could avoid that problem would be to make healthcare so cheap people didn’t view it as a risk worth insuring for. And that is not going to happen any time soon.

                  That is what you people don’t get, just because insurance raises costs doesn’t mean it raises them so much that killing off insurance is going to be something anyone but Libertarians want.

                  The other thing you don’t get is that not every market produces perfect efficiency. Sometimes markets can have information problems just like planners do. Sometimes the information just can’t be known. Health care is one of those times. You can’t know with any certainty how much your health care costs will be over your lifetime. So you can’t plan or save for it. As a result, you rationally are going to want insurance so you can fix that cost. And yes, that is going to make things more expensive than they otherwise would be. But tough shit. Sometimes life is like that. Not every market is perfect because reality is not perfect. Libertarians love markets but often have very little understanding of how they actually work.

              2. So a policy that covers you for life would necessarily involve the insurance company collecting more money from you in premiums and interest than you would cost, at least on average

                Right. Because it’s insurance. And that’s how insurance works.

                1. Right. Because it’s insurance. And that’s how insurance works.

                  Yes. And while people happy to live with that when we are talking about cars or homes, they are not going to accept that fact when it comes to health care.

                  What do you do about the 74 year old guy who needs a hundred thousand dollar procedure but for whatever reason has only put in 50 to the system?

                  Your answer is fuck him go to charity. And maybe that is the right answer. But that is not an answer anyone but Libertarians is going to accept. If that is your answer, then you are never going to convince people not to accept single payer.

  57. You can’t project health care costs into the future the way you can rate of return.

    Fucking probability- how does it work?

    1. I can understand the argument that you can’t predict an individual’s health care costs that accurately… But a groups’ is totally doable.

    2. Considering how poorly the pension funds have projected rate of return, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were true for certain people.

    3. Yeah how does it work there Brooks? How do you calculate probability for the costs of treatments that haven’t been invented?

      Thirty years ago, if you got certain strains of cancer, you just died a cheap death. Now, you live on thanks to expensive treatment. How exactly would the insurance companies of 1970s priced for that? Oh I know, probability and averages for shit they had no idea would exist.

      Here is the thing, they could sell these sorts of policies today in the individual market. Yet, they don’t. Why is that? Is everyone just stupid but you Brooks? Or maybe the people who run insurance companies know a bit more about probabilities than half wits like you?

      I am taking option number 2.

  58. In your “extended warranty” there are (at least) two separate and distinct components.

    1) The “insurance” portion, which covers unanticipated catastrophic failure. Example: a bad batch of piston pins gets through, the rod gets away and saws the motor in half as you’re buzzing down the highway at 70mph. The probability of that is low, but the potential cost is high.

    2) The prepaid maintenance portion, which covers routine oil changes, tune-ups, and whatever else. The probability of these things needing to be done is 100%, but the cost is relatively low. It’s a selling point, and that cost is built into the price of the car. Not only that, it relieves the manufacturer of the need to wonder whether your motor sawed itself in half because you never ever checked to see if there was any oil in the fucking thing before you went rocketing out of your driveway.

    1. 2) The prepaid maintenance portion, which covers routine oil changes, tune-ups, and whatever else. The probability of these things needing to be done is 100%,

      So what? All an oil change is is the insurance company paying for me to take care of my car so that it breaks down less.

      In the same way, if an insurance company determines that their insureds getting a yearly mammogram reduces the overall cost of coverage, it makes perfect sense for insurance company to pay for the mammogram as part of the insurance. Doing that, doesn’t mean the policy is not “insurance” or make it a coffee club. It just means that insurers take an interest in preserving the things they insure.

      Please just stop it with this retarded fucking idea that insurance can only cover catastrophic or unlikely things. It is fucking stupid and frankly embarrassing to the board.

  59. But that is because you are fucking moron who doesn’t understand how actuarial tables work and insurance is priced.

    Oh, okay. Insurance should be dirt cheap, unrelated to probability, and pay out in infinite amounts. Thank you, Stephanie Cutter.

  60. They will then hit 65 and after interest is included somewhere around $400 – $500k in their HSA which would be enough to cover their health care expenses for the next 30 years in better than 90% of cases.

    But everybody EVERYBODY!!!!!! gets some horrible lingering disease and racks up hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncompensated medical care. That’s what I hear on the news. That’s what John says.

    1. But everybody EVERYBODY!!!!!! gets some horrible lingering disease and racks up hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncompensated medical care. That’s what I hear on the news. That’s what John says.

      No dumb ass. Everyone has the fear of that. And for that reason they are not going to sign on to a system where they can’t insure once they get old or sick.

      And not everyone has the income to save that much. And moreover, they have things they would like to do with their money than save money in case they get when they get old.

      If your plan is to tell people “well fuck just save 10% of your income your entire life for when you are old and can spend it all on health care”, you not going to find many converts. You are going to end up with single payer.

      Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to just pool and make insurance affordable even to the old? You know, the system we have? But don’t let me stop you. You go right out and tell people that they have no worries about paying health care when they are old. Just save four or five hundred thousand dollars and don’t get sick before you turn 65. I am sure that will be really appealing when compared to single payer.

  61. iConsidering how poorly the pension funds have projected rate of return, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were true for certain people.

    There’s that whole, “You can’t fight the Fed” thing to consider.

  62. Please just stop it with this retarded fucking idea that insurance can only cover catastrophic or unlikely things. It is fucking stupid and frankly embarrassing to the board.

    Right. And when I used to pay a guy to come and mow my lawn once a week, that was grass insurance.

    1. Right. And when I used to pay a guy to come and mow my lawn once a week, that was grass insurance.

      If you paid for it upfront at set rate based on projected future costs, it is. God you are fucking stupid. I expect liberals not to understand how things like insurance works. But for libertarians to not get it is a bit surprising, though it probably shouldn’t be.

      Do yourself a favor Brooks, Google derivatives sometime. You will find out that people are doing all sorts of evil third party payer coffee clubs out there.

      God you are a hard headed ignorant bastard about this subject.

      1. Working on the whole civility thing lately, eh?

        You alienate many of us with the in your face, thundering maledictions. Lighten up a bit – this is a libertarian site, not DU.

        1. Fair enough. It frustrates me that people don’t think these things through. And it frustrates the hell out of me people can’t seem to grasp that “insurance” means more than “things the insurance commission regulates”.

          1. John it is you that doesn’t understand what insurance is.

            Insurance is risk mitigation pure and simple. If something is 100% certain to happen then there is no risk to mitigate you are merely setting up a prepayment plan.

            1. If something is 100% certain to happen then there is no risk to mitigate you are merely setting up a prepayment plan.

              Not true. You can be insuring against other risks, like when it is going to happen or what your income will be when it does.

              I know for 100% certain I will die. But life insurance is certainly still insurance.

              It is just risk, time and cost. That is it. Risk can be 100% and it is still insurance.

  63. Isn’t employer based insurance a better option?

    Of course it is, IF YOU WORK FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    I’m self-employed, so fuck off, slaver.

    1. And you have fun buying insurance when you are old and sick and a bad risk.

      Swear all you want but it is not going to change the way insurance actually works. Bad risks don’t get insurance no matter how much money you have in the bank. And everyone is eventually a bad risk.

      1. And you have fun buying insurance when you are old and sick and a bad risk.

        This is why you buy the plan when you are young and healthy. duh.

        1. This is why you buy the plan when you are young and healthy. duh.

          That is like saying that you want to buy auto insurance before you have those five wrecks and get those two DUIs. When you become a bad risk your rates go up. And if you become a bad enough risk, you become uninsurable. The problem with health insurance is that unlike auto insurance we all will someday become a bad risk.

  64. “Hello, my name is John, and words mean whatever I want them to mean.”

    1. Brooks I buy a ten year lawn care plan. I pay upfront so I can fix my lawn care costs. That is strictly speaking a form of insurance. What am I insuring against? That the price of lawn care doesn’t go up in the next ten years. If it does, they company I bought it from eats the cost.

      That is strictly speaking insurance. We don’t call it that usually. But it is. And it creates the dreaded “third party payer” problem just like health care insurance or any other insurance does.

      All insurance is, cost, time, and risk. That is it. Everything else is just what numbers and stuff you want to put in.

      1. “I pay upfront so I can fix my lawn care costs. That is strictly speaking a form of insurance.”

        Only if the contract guarantees no rate increases.

        But you know what, on average you will pay MORE for that insurance than you would have if you just payed as you went along.

        At the start everyone around you will be paying $50 a week and you’ll be paying $65 for the same lawn work. 10 years in everyone else may be up to $75 or they may still only be at $65 but either way you’re paying more than your neighbors did for price certainty.

        That might be worth doing if you are talking about things with high probabilities of extreme price variations but when it comes to health care that is only true of the catastrophic end of the spectrum. Annual physicals will go up in price with time but they are not going to go through wild price fluctuations even as new treatments are developed.

        You are simply better off NOT having insurance for that.

        1. Sure. But I only give it as an example of what I am talking about. Not as insurance you would actually buy.

  65. Did I really just skim a thread full of hundreds of posts by a bunch of self-styled libertarians who seem to think health insurance is beyond the capability of a market solution AND actually arguing over which government “systems” should be coerced onto the health insurance markets? WTF.

    1. Even libertarians should be able to recognize the limits of scale.

      Assuming that healthcare costs are going to drop if increasing numbers of people pick a comprehensive healthcare plans are ignoring the last 30-40 years of healthcare spending.

    2. You can have a market solution to anything. The market is what it is. The question are people going to be willing to accept the results of that solution.

      The result of a market solution to health insurance where everyone buys health insurance individually priced by their own risk, is people will be able to buy health insurance as long as they are a good risk, meaning as long as they are not old or sick.

      That is the result of a market solution. That is how all insurance works. People who are bad risks pay more money and if you are a bad enough risk, no one will ensure you.

      This entire thread consists of libertarians either pretending that is not true, thinking that the market will make health care costs so cheap people won’t need insurance, or thinking that we can get people to like that result by just telling them to save more. \

      I disagree. I think that the market result in this case is not something people are going to accept. So, we need to think about what to do because pretending they will is not going to work.

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