A.M. Links: Snowden Says NSA Ruling "the First of Many" Victories, Japan Approves Plan For Increased Defense Spending, Support For Obamacare Falling


Credit: Corporal Steve Follows RAF/wikimedia
  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that yesterday's ruling that the NSA's metadata collection program is likely unconstitutional is "the first of many" victories.
  • Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is moving to New Hampshire, where he may seek the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014.
  • Opposition to Obamacare has dropped. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 49 percent of Americans now oppose the law, down from 57 percent last month. 
  • Researchers claim that there is evidence Neanderthals may have practiced intentional burials.
  • North Koreans are marking the second anniversary of Kim Jong-il's death.
  • It is unlikely that the Yemeni parliament's vote banning drone strikes will change U.S. policy. Shocker.
  • Japan has approved a plan for increased defense spending.

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NEXT: Poll: Opposition to Obamacare Falling

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  1. Which

    state has the worst drivers?

    The latest such survey is from Car Insurance Comparison, a website for people to compare

    features of various automobile insurance companies. For its worst drivers rankings, the website

    compiles data on fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled, citations for failure to obey traffic

    signals and seat belt laws, DUI infractions, and tickets for speeding and careless driving. It

    collects data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Motorists

    Association and MADD.

    And the winner is ? drumroll, please ? Louisiana.

    1. Hail Humungus! How does Wyoming lead on tickets issued? Do state police just pull everyone over on 80?

      Actually I think my personal bias trumps this data and the result is effectively meaningless. I *know* where the worst drivers are. It’s the individuals that count, not the aggregate.

      1. I actually paused, waiting for FoE to get in first.

    2. I have to vote for a tie between Ohio, Alabama, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

      1. You forgot West Virginia and Indiana.

        1. I’ve driven in every state outside the Pacific Northwest. It’s Florida, hands down. Everyone is driving either 15 MPH over the limit or 15 under on the same road at the same time.

          1. That is reasonable as long as they lane sort properly.

          2. But most of them don’t have FL plates.

          3. ^^^^^^^YES. It depends on location, but driving city areas are a lot like playing Twisted Metal complete with firearms . Especially Semoran blvd in Orlando.

            I’m also curious what factor DUI plays into the score. Drunk driving in NOLA was described as a literal activity done with the enthusiasm of intramural sports.

        2. In my experience, WV drivers are better than OH. We have a lot of both in southwest PA.

          1. I-79 in WV is prettiest much the manliest road ever. Curves, hills, no trucks ‘cuz they can’t handle the grades. You can’t drive it and continue to suck.

          1. I don’t understand this. After growing up and learning to drive in IN, moving to TX was quite the experience. I had to learn that all lanes are passing lanes, turn signals are optional, headlights are optional, and mid-90’s crappy domestic cars need to be avoided at all costs.

            Going back home is quite the experience. Everybody lane sorts, and they don’t swerve around. I love driving back home!

            1. People in Indiana don’t understand that if you’re in the right lane, you can’t merge in to the left lane in order to pass a truck and not go faster. I’ve been egregiously cut off by fuckwit drivers in Indiana who refuse to raise their speed above 65 dozens of times on two trips.

      2. I’ve found that Connecticut drivers are a vile cocktail of the worst elements of MA and NY drivers.

      3. It’s Ohio.

        The left lane is for passing you numb-nuts! Get the hell out of the way!

        1. Yep. That is one of the.most annoying traits of.Ohio drivers.

        2. This is the same problem I’ve had in WV.

        3. This happens because they have way too many left lane exits.

      4. I hate passing on the right.

        However, when I see an Ohio plate hanging out in the left lane, I immediately right-side pass, as I know they will NEVER be getting over.

        1. And I see that the monocle beat me to it.

        2. Ditto for Louisiana

    3. In my experience it’s 1)North Carolina 2)Maryland 3)Ohio 4)NY/NJ/PA

      1. You cannot lump PA in with NY and NJ. Those two states’ drivers are a toxic.combo of incompetence, hubris, and assholery.

    4. I’m shocked, shocked that Michigan didn’t make it. Of course I spend most of my time shaking my fist at these aggressive bastards. Or maybe I need a more powerful truck.

      1. Rubbin is racin.

    5. Ah yes, the I-10 drive from Houston over to Florida is full of lunatics.

      1. Its those idiots doing 65 in the Houston to Orange construction stretch that fire me up. Narrow lanes and semi-trucks are no reason to suddenly start obeying the speed limits!

    6. I always assumed it was Florida. Perfectly flat, 4 lane roads with a wide median, still see wrecks every few miles.

  2. Good Morning!

  3. Expert: ‘Panda porn’ effective for giant pandas of both sexes

    Huang Mingxiang of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China’s southwestern Sichuan province said male pandas are often shown videos of giant pandas breeding because they have not had the chance to see members of their species have sex in the wild and often show little interest in their appointed mates, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

    Huang said Ke Lin, a 5-year-old, captive-bred female at the facility, was the first female to be trained using the videos. Huang said watching the “panda porn” videos seemed to help Ke Lin mate naturally with male panda Yong Yong.

    1. That’s because the females haven’t been shamed out of watching it by their girlfriends.

    2. Perpetuating the Pandiarchy!

  4. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is moving to New Hampshire, where he may seek the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014.

    Dumb move. New Hampshire isn’t any warmer. There still won’t be many organic opportunities to go shirtless.

    1. Pathetic election tourism. You can’t win where you live, so you move. ref: Bush, Clinton, etal.

      1. In all fairness, it’s Massachusetts where Rep. hardly get a real shake.

        I mean, they elected the populist, left-wing Indian for crying out loud.

        1. She won because people hate the banks and she tapped into that hatred.

          That type of populism actually spills over into the right wing of the USA. Even GOP ‘John’ (Red Tony) here is a bank hater.

          I think they all are full of shit personally. If you sign a contract with a bank and default it is your fault and not the banks.

        2. yeah I get that, so does he love Massachusetts as it is or does he just love the idea of Scott Brown, Senator?

          1. The idea of Scott Brown, Senator is me!

          2. Prolly the latter.

            Warren ain’t from Massa. so same for her.

            They all care about their own asses.

      2. I doubt the Free State Project people who also moved there to influence elections will be voting for him.

      3. I’m amazed when voters buy into this…AND their opponents don’t better capitalize on it in the campaign.
        That would be the first test for me…and he fails it.

      4. He’s moving to stay with his constituents. When they all flee to New Hampshire, so should the senator!

    2. Aren’t “real” New Hampshire people angry about the Mass takeover of their state? I guess it doesn’t matter because the Massholes pretty much outnumber them. Fucking Nashua.

      1. Yes. Don’t get me started.

      2. Apparently this is so. But so are libertarians.

        NH has no sales tax.

        That will change soon enough once the lefties get in and fuck everything up.

        1. Actually, I think that that is one thing not likely to change. No sales or personal income tax is very popular and a big selling point of the state.

    3. Scott Brown is one of the “good” Republicans.

      1. He either gets elected or not. What’s the problem with carpet baggers? Dennis Kucinich thought he could set up residency in Western Washington and get into Congress, and even the far left nutjobs out there sent him packing. New Yorkers could have turned down Hillary back in the day.

    1. If only they’d stolen small business’ ideas about health care.

    2. “I have never seen anything like it,” says Hnatio, who is a retired federal government official.

      Either he knows what he’s talking about or he could have an ax to grind. This totally sounds like something the current bureaucratic juggernaut would do though.

    3. “Nice little idea you got there. Shame if something were to happen to it.”

    4. Hnatio claims the government has put his company, FoodquestTQ, nearly out of business by stealing his firm’s software that was designed to be licensed to the Food and Drug Administration to monitor food safety.

      I have no sympathy for this man.

  5. Hey look, Tallahassee PD officers who beat the fuck out of a woman accused of DUI cleared of excessive force complaint by IA. Apparently, you can beat the hell out of a mouthy woman, but not allowing her medical treatment after arrest is worth 2 weeks unpaid vacay.

    1. “I regret Mrs. West got hurt in police custody ? that is certainly something we try to prevent,” he said. “But unfortunately we have a lot of arrest situations every day and sometimes the arrestee and the officer may get hurt.”

      I’m sure during my arrest if an officer gets hurt I will be docked two weeks pay instead of doing jail time.

      1. I love the passive use of “got hurt” as if nature conspired to hurt her instead of being intentionally abused by a cop.

      2. Oh sweet passive voice, absolve us of our responsibilities.

      3. I wonder if he’d say the same thing if it was his wife or daughter.

      4. Nice use of the passive voice. Way to take the focus off the officers. Let’s see: How’d she get hurt? Slipping on the floor? Eating the food?

  6. Lack of preciousss vitamin made Gollum a loser

    Think kindly of the dragon Smaug. Shed a tear for Gollum. And give an orc a hug.

    If only they had tucked into the occasional quiche and salad or a touch of smoked salmon, or had a few sessions on a sunbed. How much kinder history would have been to them.

    So suggests an offbeat study, released on Sunday, which concludes that the evil characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” lost their battle against men, elves and dwarves because they suffered from vitamin deficiency.

    1. I hear having an angel on their side and being fantasy heroes in general also help in those situations.

      1. Sure but wasn’t Sauron a dark angel of sorts? And don’t forget the turncoat angel Saruman! It’s really a miracle that the good guys won.

        1. Of course it was. The whole story was allegory by an arch-Catholic. He apparently wrote later that Gollum’s fall into the lava was the result of direct intervention from the story’s equivalent of God.

        2. “I’m bad, and that’s good.
          I’m not good, and that’s not bad.
          There’s nobody I’d rather be than me.”

          1. Great flick!

            1. Yeah.

              Except that I’ve had to watch it about 15 fucking times over the last week.

    2. I thought Gollum caught fish, no?

      1. Yes. But he did hate vegetables.

      2. Yes, lots of wriggling fish and the occasional stray goblin.

    3. And here I always figured it was the steady diet of hate.

    4. Or, you know, he’s a fucking fictional character.

      1. Does that mean we can stir up some controversy by suggesting that they depict Gollum as black next time?

        1. An all-black Lord of the Rings sounds fun, actually. Taye Diggs as Aragon, Oprah as Mount Doom, George Zimmerman as The Balrog…

          1. Eddie Murphy as all of the Hobbits.

            1. Hey Gandalph, look mighty cute in them jeans.

              1. Gandalph would have to be Morgan Freeman, as he’s the closest you get to God in the series.

                1. Denzel as Boromir. Eminem as Legolas.

            2. Offline comment from a friend: Forest Whitaker as The Eye of Sauron.

              1. Denzel Washington as Elrond?

              2. Offline comment from a friend: Forest Whitaker as The Eye of Sauron.

                Bullshit, Nutra Sweet. Everyone knows you’re incapable of having friends.

                1. [runs away crying]

            3. Walken as Gandalf.

            4. Mr. T got be in there somewhere.

              Clubber do have message for Sauron, before the upcoming battle.


          2. Samuel L. Jackson as Boromir.

            1. One does not motherfuckin’ walk into motherfuckin’ Mordor!

            2. Say “Mr. Frodo” one more god-damn time!

            3. Elvin, motherfucker, do you speak it.

              1. This must be at least as old as the movie.

            4. I think he’d be better as Elrond though I would rather see him in the movie more…

              1. That was acctually my thinking. He needs more screen time than Elrond gets.

                1. Laurence Fishburne as Elrond. Kerry Washington as Eoywn. Iman as Galadriel. Aisha Tyler as Arwen. Lou Gosset Jr as Denethor?

                  Fun exercise.

                  1. Tyler Perry as everyone. You’re welcome.

    5. I guess the next big thing in Nannyism will be mandating fictional characters eat a balanced diet…

      1. I guess you haven’t heard about Cookie Monster.

    6. I am still wondering how a bunch of Hobbits in 3000 BC Europe got potatoes.

  7. Another bloody public servant on the public tit:

    Classical liberal made a Freedom Commissioner to protect traditional liberties by Australian Government

    God I’m feeling conflicted

    1. When in doubt, hate and be cynical, lest your optimism allow you to be hurt.

    2. When you have the need to create and appoint a ‘Freedom Commissioner’ you know you’ve lost the plot.

      Same strange, evil thing happening up here where we have a Minister of Democratic Institutions. If that doesn’t send a sickening, shiver down you spine, I don’t know what will.

      1. Yep. When you need a special government office to regulate Freedom, the doublespeak has set in permanently.

        Any time a legislature makes a law to “protect” something, that law is guaranteed to limit and eventually destroy the thing.

  8. Edward Snowden has said that yesterday’s ruling that the NSA’s metadata collection program is likely unconstitutional is “the first of many” victories.

    It’s fascinating to see that Russian culture has actually made a person more optimistic.

    1. What is really amazing is that this sort of thing was ruled on in the 1970s as unconstitutional. I suppose giving it a different name requires a new SCOTUS ruling.

  9. Warty’s Grandfather?

    Bullet hits Florida man in the head, bounces off

    While Walter Santiago was driving after picking up his sick 13-year-old granddaughter from middle school, something flew in through the open driver’s side window and hit him in the head.

    It turns out it was a bullet.

    The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office believes the shot was probably fired from long range and that the bullet that struck the 62-year-old grandfather in the head just above his left temple came from a high-caliber handgun.

    “Fortunately for me the bullet was losing velocity when it hit me,” Santiago said. “I feel very fortunate and very angry that this happened.” He received six stitches after the incident.

    1. I had a bullet come down from the sky.and bounce.off.my shoulder once. Of course I was at a machinegun shoot and it was a ricochet…

    2. It happened to me Aunt. She was shot in the temple, it barely broke the skin, she bled a drop or two.

      It had passed thru two walls before it hit her.

      1. So you’re telling me now that KY is full of random bullets flying from the guns of crazed rednecks?

        1. Nope, IL. She lives in Chicago.

          This event occurred in late 60s or early 70s Chicago.

  10. The X-37 space plane, now in space for one year. Just waiting to sabotage the Iranian monkey program.

  11. Opposition to Obamacare has dropped. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 49 percent of Americans now oppose the law, down from 57 percent last month.

    Even in the face of persistent failure, the American people remain on the fence.

    1. The pollsters just learned who to ask to get the results they wanted.

      1. The pollsters just learned who to ask to get the results they wanted.


  12. Opposition to Obamacare has dropped.

    Perhaps. However, mocking of Obama’s Obamacare sign has increased.

    1. At least Ted Cruz’s photoshopping was funny.

    2. Why would the WH have Obama do something that will leave him open to this sort of ridicule?

      Doesn’t he have enough problems and hasn’t he peddled his law enough?

    3. +1.

  13. Fed’s $4 Trillion Assets Draw Lawmaker Ire Amid Bubble Concern

    The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is poised to exceed $4 trillion, prompting warnings its record easing is inflating asset-price bubbles and drawing renewed lawmaker scrutiny just as Janet Yellen prepares to take charge.

    The Fed’s assets rose to a record $3.99 trillion on Dec. 11, up from $2.82 trillion in September 2012, when it embarked on a third round of bond buying. Fed policy makers meet today and tomorrow to decide whether to start curtailing the $85 billion monthly pace of purchases.

    1. They’ve “considered” curtailing the bond buying every couple months or so.

      I don’t see them stopping just because $4 trillion is a conveniently round number.

      Crystal ball says “full steam ahead.”

      1. CPI came in at 1.2% and 1.7% this morning – just about perfect. With no signs of inflation/deflation for years the Fed can afford to be a little loose with money supply.

        1. The CPI is bullshit.

  14. Apple, Twitter, Netflix, Google, Facebook, Yahoo ? a phalanx of top executives from leading tech companies meets Tuesday with President Barack Obama to discuss the impact that his controversial spying programs have had on online commerce.

    Obama will host the group in the Roosevelt Room of the White House one day after a federal judge decreed that NSA bulk collection of telephone data likely violates the Constitution.

    The White House is billing the get-together as a chance “to discuss progress made in addressing performance and capacity issues with HealthCare.Gov and how government can better deliver IT to maximize innovation, efficiency and customer service.”


    Crony capitalist! Socialist! Fascist!

    (Peanuts in unison)

    1. seems Obama’s agenda and that of the techs are not aligned.

      1. Let’s say, you help us with this shitty website we have…we, well, you don’t get fucked with as much.


      2. Sounds like Obama’s having a come to Barack talk to get them back in line.

        How do you say ‘plata o la muerte’ in keynesian?

    2. After this meeting, you will notice a lot more ads on Healthcare.gov. And half of it will not run on Android.

      1. Why is the Reason Foundation providing web developers for Obamacare?

      2. Will I be able to sign up for my free health care on my $100/month smartphone?

  15. ObamaCare’s Troubles Are Only Beginning
    Be prepared for eligibility, payment and information protection debacles?and longer waits for care.

    On the supply side, medicine will become a far less attractive career for talented young people. More doctors will restrict practice or retire early rather than accept lower incomes and work conditions they did not anticipate. Already, many practices are closed to Medicaid recipients, some also to Medicare. The pace of innovation in drugs, medical devices and delivery is expected to slow significantly, as higher taxes and even rationing set in.

    The repeated assertions by the law’s supporters that nobody but the rich would be worse off was based on a beyond-implausible claim that one could expand by millions the number of people with health insurance, lower health-care costs without rationing, and improve quality. The reality is that any squeezing of insurance-company profits, or reduction in uncompensated emergency-room care amounts to a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars extracted from those people overpaying for insurance, or redistributed from taxpayers.

    1. They said the same thing 15 years ago when HMO’s began replacing partners practices.

      1. Weren’t ‘they right?

        I thought the whole reason for O care was that health insurance was getting progressively (derp) worse, leaving people behind.

        And now you say that’s all lies??

        1. Give it a break, it only knows how to repeat talking points and shriek “BOOOSHH!!!!!11!!!

        2. VG,

          Itsokay. He “thinks” he’s a classical liberal.

  16. Is IFH laughing, or should we feel sorry for her?

    New Zealand’s kiwi probably started out an Aussie, study finds

    Palaeontologist Trevor Worthy of Adelaide’s Flinders University said fossilised remains suggested the flightless bird did not evolve from the extinct giant moa, as has long been assumed.

    Instead, he said an ancestor of the kiwi dating back 20 million years discovered in the South Island was more closely related to another giant flightless bird, the emu, which is still common in Australia.

  17. Woman dubbed ‘the Grinch’ for stealing a neighbor’s Christmas decorations sentenced to 70 Years in prison

    Dana Brock, 43, was arrested last December after she was caught on surveillance video stealing lights from outside a family’s home in Aledo while they were sleeping.

    She was arrested again in May after she stole a weed killer and a power washer from another person’s garage.

    Brock shook her head as the judge read her 70-year sentence.

    1. This is what happens when you don’t have a drug charge to cop to. Always make sure when you get arrested for a real crime, you have some drugs on you so you can take a plea deal on the drug charge and get.off with rehab or.something. prosecutors love getting drug convictions.

    2. I suspect the 70 years is because

      stolen laptops were found in her Aledo home and she was charged with theft of property between $50 and $500. She has a number of previous convictions including an assault charge against a family member [and she] has also spent time in prison for solicitation of murder and two assault with bodily injury convictions.

    3. Meanwhile, jury recommended 6 years for this guy.

      1. Mother of victim: “Because he was a law enforcement agent — I really believe it played a huge part in this situation.”

        Umm, yep.

  18. Opposition to Obamacare has dropped.

    What’s the effect on the public’s sentiment toward polls, though?

  19. “I want to create a presence for those like myself who feel Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are out of touch with the American people,” King, R-N.Y, said. “This is highlighted by the government shutdown, which was one of the worst political disasters we’ve ever had.”

    I believe, he is the one out of touch.


    1. I want to create a presence for those like myself

      I guess Paul and Cruz won different kinds of elections than The Peter King. Or maybe Narcissist gonna Narcissize

    2. Hey King, you and your ilk won, so why don’t you calm down. You should know that because it just happened and you were there, you stupid motherfucker.

    3. “I want to create a presence for those like myself who feel Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are out of touch with the American people,” King, R-N.YIRA, said.

      Fixed it for them.

    4. “This is highlighted by the government shutdown, which was one of the worst political disasters we’ve ever had.”

      I typed something out, but decided to delete it and replace it simply with “Fuck that guy.”

      1. Yeah, in under a year, the Obamacare mess will be so bad, Paul and Cruz will be able o run on the idea they tried to “shut down the government.”

        1. I wish i was such an optomist

    5. I so want to see Rand or Ted call this asshole out as a terrorist supporter during a republican debate.

      1. Drop the word supporter.

        If you fund them, you are a terrorist.

    6. one of the worst political disasters we’ve ever had.

      I keep hearing this from the statists, but I don’t see any evidence for this.

      1. They’re referring to the part where people realized how unnecessary most of the government is, and how spiteful and vindictive they are toward those who pay their salary.

  20. Japan to bolster military, boost Asia ties to counter China

    Japan will boost its military spending in coming years, buying early-warning planes, beach-assault vehicles and troop-carrying aircraft, while seeking closer ties with Asian partners to counter a more militarily assertive China.

    The planned 2.6 percent increase over five years, announced on Tuesday, reverses a decade of decline and marks the clearest sign since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office a year ago that he wants a bigger military role for Japan as tension flares with China over islands they both claim.

    1. Yeah!!!!!!. Does this mean that the US taxpayer will no longer have to spend billions a year to defend Japan and US can remove its Aircraft Carrier, Destroyers, Fighters etc from Japan?

      Or is 2.6% increase over five years a pathetic amount and the US will still be spending money it does not have on the defense of Japan?

      1. We were going to move the Third Marine Division to Guam but some our brightest leaders were concerned it might tip over.


      2. Of course not. Expecting our wealthiest allies to pay for their own defenses why thats crazy.

        Next you’ll be calling for pulling troops out of Europe just because the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore, and because we’ve expanded NATO all the way Russia’s ass.

      3. You can’t have an empire without garrisons in the ‘provinces’.

  21. Scientists ‘incredibly concerned’ for fate of banana

    And, compounding the tragedy, people actually *laughed* at the notion of placing condoms on bananas.

    1. Wish they figure out how to splice a banana with strawberry. It could be quite tasty.

    2. This has always been an issue with bananas since they are basically all clones. The standard banana was a different variety until the 50s when disease wiped most of them out. Bananas are a lot more interesting than one might think.

      1. they are radioactive too.

    3. “I can tell you with near certainty that climate change is behind these pests,” she said.

      Um, because it’s getting colder?

      1. Was it also behind the pests and disease that made the gros michel banana not commercially viable in the 50s?

  22. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that yesterday’s ruling that the NSA’s metadata collection program is likely unconstitutional is “the first of many” victories.

    There’s no reason to bring the present perfect into this.

  23. Why the GOP Shouldn’t Count on an Obamacare Collapse

    That ramped up competition and spending highlights just how important the new Obamacare marketplaces could be to the industry. A recent analysis by consumer finance website ValuePenguin.com found that the 45 million uninsured Americans could be worth $92 billion or more in annual premiums to insurers. Obamacare requires that 80 percent of the value of premiums be spent on health care costs, but that still leaves as much as $3.6 billion in profits out there for the taking in the long term, according to the website’s calculations.

    Those numbers may be high. The Congressional Budget Office had projected that 7 million Americans would sign up for coverage through the exchanges by the end of March and some 25 million by 2018; the near-term target, at least, appears to be well out of reach. But the potential for profits, particularly with younger, healthier consumers is very real ? and clearly appealing for an industry undergoing massive shifts with the introduction of the new exchanges.

      1. “”””But the potential for profits, particularly with younger, healthier consumers is very real ?”””

        So Obamacare is just a way for insurance companies to squeeze profits from younger healthier consumers by overcharging them?

        1. higher profits opens the door to increased campaign contributions.

        2. But the potential for profits

          I don’t think the insurance companies will come out of this flush with cash either. The analysis gives specific $ figures for increased premium revenue, but vaguely says “potential profit.” My guess this is a typical progressive shell game in which they ignore all the increased costs and only analyze the revenue side.

          1. A recent analysis by consumer finance website ValuePenguin.com

            Credible source, no?

          2. Maybe someone could run an office pool on the date when the first insurance company asks for a bail out.

      2. I’m super. Thanks for asking. All things considered. I couldn’t be better I must say. I’m feeling super. No, nothing bugs me.

    1. A recent analysis by consumer finance website ValuePenguin.com found that the 45 million uninsured Americans could be worth $92 billion or more in annual premiums to insurers.

      $1 trillion to implement a healthcare law that increases healthcare costs and insurance premiums AND increases revenue for the insurance companies.

      If we had the option, I’d prefer just writing them a check and skip the ass pillaging.

      1. Wouldn’t you prefer someone on the street just pulling a gun on you and stealing your wallet?

        Isn’t it a far more honest transaction? I mean at least the mugger doesn’t insult you by pretending he’s doing it for your own good.

      2. $1 trillion implementation?

        You mean $1 billion.

        1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

          1) the website build cost over $1 billion

          2) but since you’re a sock puppet, you know that there are much bigger ticket items then overpaying coders and web designers, don’t you?

          It costs $1 trillion in taxes over 10 years and who the fuck knows how much additional debt it will create in that time.

          1. Direct quote, dumbass.

            $1 trillion to implement a healthcare law

            I know the full cost over ten years.

            1. I know the full cost over ten years.

              Your ability to make predictions is not in question. The validity of those predictions, however, most definitely is.

    2. Obamacare requires that 80 percent of the value of premiums be spent on health care costs, but that still leaves as much as $3.6 billion in profits out there for the taking in the long term, according to the website’s calculations.

      Yep, Obamacare’s always been a willing fascist partnership between the health insurers and the federal government.

      That’s why proglodytes like Shriek love it so.

  24. The public apparently trusts those nasty teathuglicans over the Anointed One for “handling the economy.” At least some people had enough sense to say, “Neither.”

  25. Isn’t it about time we give Japan its balls back?

    1. We need a new expression. “Surveillancebullying”, perhaps?

    2. Oh my eyes. Could have least showed Sara Silverman’s pic. What a fine piece of Jew ass.


    3. “It’s not about whether you absolutely intended to do it,” he told CTV. “It’s really looking more at what’s the impact on the victim. The fact that you didn’t really intend to be malicious is not necessarily a form of defence.”

      Oh for fuck’s sake

  26. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is moving to New Hampshire, where he may seek the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in 2014.

    Net substantive gain for Constitutional Republicanism and freedom: zero.

  27. I am becoming convinced that Americans don’t care anymore what the solutions are to a problem, just that something.is being done. Whether.or not that something is mindbendingly stupid matters not. They.just want their elected representatives to.agree to something. Doesn’t matter if that agreement will have terrible.consequences.

    1. COEXIST

  28. Painting by George Zimmerman Nears $100,000 Bid on eBay

    “First hand painted artwork by me, George Zimmerman. Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors 🙂 I hope you enjoy owning this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. Your friend, George Zimmerman.”

    Orlando, Fla., cable television station News 13 reported Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., confirmed the painting is the real deal.

    1. SANFORD, Fla., Dec. 16 (UPI)…painting of an American flag by stand-your-ground shooter George Zimmerman

      UPI is openly baiting Sullum, aren’t they?

    2. The painting’s a lot better than I thought it’d be. I’m sure his defense team is glad he’s bringing in some money. Assuming the bidder actually follows through with it of course.

    1. Keep smiling like Bob Filner.

  29. Sun will ‘flip upside down’ within weeks

    Is there *nothing* climate change cannot ruin?!

  30. It’s not enough that Twitter put their headquarters in a filthy, bum-ridden slum–they must love the slum as well.

    Valleywag is a hilariously vile site. Denton has really outdone himself in shitting exactly where he sleeps.

    1. Know what I don’t get?

      How companies keep throwing serious money at Katie Couric. Millions for what exactly?

      1. Menopausal women find her non-threatening.

  31. I’m sure this was mentioned yesterday:

    Multivitamin researchers say “case is closed” after studies find no health benefits

    After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.”

    “We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

    They went on to urge consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins.

    1. so more consensus? Silly me, but could it be possible that the people using supplements have questions as just how well-nourished they are? The whole point of Vitamin D pills, for example, is because people spent a lot of time indoors and get very little exposure to sunlight.

      1. That was my first thought. What about adults who are not well nourished? There are plenty of them out there. I’ll often take some when I realize I’ve been eating only bread and sausages for three days.

    2. What about those of.us who subsist on a diet or raw sugar, protein shakes, and multivitamins?

      1. How is the Soylent diet going for you?

    3. The first study … looked at vitamin supplementation’s role in preventing chronic disease.

      The next study … looked at cognitive health and whether long-term use of multivitamins would have any effect.

      The third study looked specifically at multivitamins and minerals role in preventing another heart attack, or myocardial infarction

      Seems like a wild, inappropriate leap to go from those 3 studies to “no health benefits.”

      1. C’mon, you’re essentially defending the idea that the average person should take megadoses of things that will never be absorbed or used, except when some other condition has depleted them. Seems to me to support the idea that healthy people don’t need vitamins, and nobody except severely malnourished people need a multivitamin.

    4. if you get no sun light and eat no fish i am pretty sure vitamin D would help you out.

      1. Yup. Doc told me I was low on vitamin D and that’s probably why I felt sluggish most of the time. I started taking vitamin D supplements and actually felt better. Could be psychosomatic though.

    1. I wouldn’t mind an extra wife – really. Because I love being mentally abused 😉

      1. “We have to talk.”

        1. That would sound nice in 4-part harmony.

          1. “Harcourt Fenton Mudd!!!”

  32. “Japan Approves Plan For Increased Defense Spending”

    East wind, rain.

      1. Chinese take out.

        1. I am so going to open a sushi drone delivery service called “Divine Wind.”

          1. KAMIMAZI!

  33. I am becoming convinced that Americans don’t care anymore what the solutions are to a problem, just that something.is being done. Whether.or not that something is mindbendingly stupid matters not. They.just want their elected representatives to.agree to something. Doesn’t matter if that agreement will have terrible.consequences.


    Exhibit A: The Bloombergers this morning are whining piteously about the horrible awful no-good DO NUTHIN CONGRESS! Of course their only concern is “legislation passed” and do not even make a pretense of considering qualitative outcomes.

    1. People have been fed this myth that all of our problems could be solved if “everyone just sat down and was reasonable and did something about it”.

      The reality that many problems are basically insolvable and can only be limited is pretty hard for many people to accept. So they believe in the fairy tail that any problem can be solved if everyone just gets together and puts their mind to it. This is why “bipartisanship” is such crack to so much of the electorate.

      1. “If we can put a man on the moon …, but we *can’t*!”

    2. I wonder if they would celebrate a lot of legislation being passed that dismantled the federal bureaucracies.

  34. Police officer filmed body-slamming woman, 70, face-first onto pavement after pulling her over ‘for drunk driving’

    Kathleen Mary Allegrone was pulled over for drunk driving on St Simons Island, Georgia on December 5
    She ‘resisted arrest as she was pulled from car and clawed at the officer’
    The officer, Kevin Jones, can be seen lifting her and body slamming her to the ground – leaving her with a bloody cut nose in her mug shot
    The sheriff’s office concluded the officer was justified in doing so

    He could have shot her in the back of the head and it would have been justified.

    1. At some point people are going to have to start taking the law into their own hands. It is like the cops who tortured the rape confession out of the guy in Chicago. “Sorry the statute of limitations has lapsed” is not an answer the public should accept. If the government won’t do something, the mob should. At some point that will happen. And until it does this will not change.

      1. You can bet that legislation declaring martial law, curfews, and confiscating all known firearms is already been drafted, just waiting for an opportunity such as the one you describe to be pushed through an emergency session.

        1. And you can bet on a full on insurrection as the government divides over enforcing that. And moreover if you think cops are going to do shit if it involved actually risking their lives, I have a union pension to sell you. If there ever was any actual danger of police being killed in this country 90% of them would just refuse to come to work. You can pass all of the laws you want, but they don’t mean anything without cop to enforce them.

          1. Yep,
            That’s actually happened before in US history. Inner cities in the 1970s for example.

            1. Yes. And there are still areas today cops won’t go into. Indeed, the main reason why they are out terrorizing old ladies and shooting dogs is because doing so allows them to avoid doing things that involve any risk.

          2. It was with great joy that I bought my first boxes of double-ought, 12-gauge ammo over the weekend.

      2. I think you’ll be amazed at just how much bullshit people are willing to tolerate.

        People were more up in arms about a fictional cartoon dog on a shitty television showing be killed off, then they are about this sort of thing.

        1. I am already amazed. But things like this go on right up until they don’t. And no one ever sees the breaking point coming.

          1. I think that we are still pretty far from that breaking point. People are for the most part reasonably comfortable and well fed and secure. Most people aren’t going to risk losing that.

            1. It is rare for people with full bellies to revolt.

          2. Interesting take on the “things go on until they can’t” idea:


            Long-ish piece, but a key para:

            “To find out why [unpredictability] should show up in their sandpile game, [the researchers] played a trick with their computer. Imagine peering down on the pile from above, and coloring it in according to its steepness. Where it is relatively flat and stable, color it green; where steep and, in avalanche terms, ‘ready to go,’ color it red. What do you see? They found that at the outset the pile looked mostly green, but that, as the pile grew, the green became infiltrated with ever more red. With more grains, the scattering of red danger spots grew until a dense skeleton of instability ran through the pile. Here then was a clue to its peculiar behavior: a grain falling on a red spot can, by domino-like action, cause sliding at other nearby red spots. If the red network was sparse, and all trouble spots were well isolated one from the other, then a single grain could have only limited repercussions. But when the red spots come to riddle the pile, the consequences of the next grain become fiendishly unpredictable. It might trigger only a few tumblings, or it might instead set off a cataclysmic chain reaction involving millions. The sandpile seemed to have configured itself into a hypersensitive and peculiarly unstable condition in which the next falling grain could trigger a response of any size whatsoever.”

  35. Couple spend a month in jail after cops refused to believe the white ‘bricks’ in their car were homemade soap and not cocaine

    Annadel Cruz, 26, and Alexander Bernstein, 30, both of New York, were pulled over last month in Pennsylvania
    A search of their car revealed a small amount of marijuana and a powdery white substance they claimed was soap
    A field test came back positive for cocaine – but a lab confirmed one month later that it is soap

    Will anything else happen?

    1. This. I love this. Fuck these people and their fragile sensibilities.

    2. So you’re saying Breaking Bad didn’t make the dingy Winnebago cool again?

  36. Eighties icon Kelly LeBrock, 53 – who appeared in hits Weird Science and Woman In Red – ‘arrested for DUI’


    1. For 53, still doable.

      1. Had a little too much work done. But yeah, still doable.

      2. Never go near Steven Seagal’s sloppy seconds.

        1. now that you mention it – a whole bottle of Ezra Brooks (gag).

      3. Raquel Welch, at 73. That number is not a typo.

        1. So doable!!! 🙂

          1. She had to have work done, but was smart enough to limit it and let her genes have sway.

  37. The sheriff’s office concluded the officer was justified in doing so

    He feared for his life! If beating up old ladies is what it takes to get yourself home safely, swing away.

    1. A sea of orange met my eyes. Overtaken with beauty, I froze.

    2. But the man could be prosecuted under another state’s bigamy laws. I suppose he could live in North Dakota and never leave. But that can happen now if he goes to a foreign country. I don’t see where this is a problem.

    3. I feel like this is one of the first actually interesting things I have read about same-sex marriage in a looooong time.

      1. I concur. A brief flare of diversion on a sea of tedium.

      2. I feel like this is one of the first actually interesting things I have read about same-sex marriage in a looooong time.

        Agreed. And also Exhibit A for why the state shouldn’t be a party to people’s marriage arrangements. All it can do is fuck things up.

    4. Loopholes! Gotta love ’em.

  38. 25 Stats That Prove That The American Dream Is Being Systematically Destroyed.


    1. Whew. 8-(

      *** leaves for coffee ***

    2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvs…..-gown.html

      Abigail Breslin, early bloomer or fat girl waiting to happen? She looks great. But that is an awful lot of curves for a 17 year old girl.

      1. Probably just got on birth control. She’ll slim back down when she doesn’t get anything but horrid ex-girlfriend roles.

        1. I would imagine the sarcasmics who run Hollywood have told her she is a fat disgusting cow and now fit for any parts other than playing the fat girl in some Mike and Molly clone sitcom. She is by their standards at least 30 lbs overweight. The threat of unemployment will probably get her to lose weight at least for a while.

          1. You’re right. But a woman of that size and shape is actually closer to most men’s preferences. The sarcasmics of the world are the minority. From the tit for tat on this site it’s as if some people assume that if you don’t think a girl can be too skinny then you must think a girl cannot be too fat. That’s crazy. I just like women with soft parts that are fun to squeeze.

            You’d think libertarians could appreciate that preferences aren’t a black/white, left/right, two-party issue. Pffft.

            1. I like women too. The day I stop is the day I need to probably be put down.

            2. You’d think so. But see also food, beer and things that hipsters like. And then there are objectivists.

      2. Future ham planet. I give her 2-5 years.

        1. this – reminds me of a GF I had when I was 15. Curvy as hell, but you just knew she was going to become a biggin’. Well, at the time I didn’t know it since I was madly in lust, but I would now.

        2. She’s big boned!

      3. A balloon waiting for air.

        1. Yes Sarcasmic, she is a woman. Not your type. But like I said above, her management will get her to lose that extra 60 pounds and have her looking like a concentration camp survivor in no time.

          1. We get it. You like fatties. There’s no shame in it. Just admit it. Say it. You like fatties. It’s OK.

      4. I’d like to see what she looks like in a non-hideous, non-unflattering dress.

        1. It really isn’t helping her. But I don’t see anything more than the right number of curves showing.

          1. She was obviously going for the bombshell look, but her stylist steered her wrong. She would have done better to study Sophia Vergara’s red carpet looks.

          1. That’s quite a bit better, but the dress doesn’t actually fit her. It’s ruching unattractively just below her ta-tas. A litle tailoring and she’d look really nice in that.

        2. Horizontal stripes puts on weight.

          She is thinner then that dress makes her look.

          1. Nah, she’s a big girl.

      5. That booty is going to be huge. Whether she diets/exercises or not.

  39. The politically correct, environmentally approved, chickens are coming home to roost.

    Dow Chemical holds back on investment in Europe, cites climate policies Hydrocarbon Processing

    Europe’s “backfiring” climate and energy policies are adding to high natural gas costs and holding back Dow Chemical’s investment in the region, said the company’s director of global climate change policy.

    European Union proposals to limit the amount of free emission permits in its cap-and-trade program boost industry costs, and are one reason Dow and other chemical makers limited refining capacity expansion in the region for the past 12 years, Russel Mills said by phone from Zurich on Dec. 12.

    That compares with the Midland, Michigan-based company’s $4 billion of US investment planned for the next four years, he said.

  40. There are no widely accepted estimates for how many people could be affected, but even if it’s a relative minority, it won’t matter politically ? because Democrats will once again have to defend the administration’s claims that the majority of Americans who have employer-based insurance won’t be affected by Obamacare.

    “The biggest shocker for the small business community is going to hit in October, which is interesting because it will be prime time for the election,” said Jessica Waltman, a top lobbyist at the National Association of Health Underwriters.

    Here’s why: Next year, small business health plans ? generally those that cover less than 100 workers ? will have to comply with a wide range of new rules, particularly the ones that say employees can’t be charged more if they have health problems. Their premiums will only vary based on their age, whether they have individual or family coverage, what part of the country they live in, and whether they use tobacco ? and older workers won’t be able to be charged more than three times as much as younger ones.


    1. It going to be sight to see. Just think of all the fun we have had over the individual market 15million, and when employer mandate kicks in, we talking 110 million.

    2. One of my vendors is moving all of their W2 employees to 1099s.

  41. I wonder if they would celebrate a lot of legislation being passed that dismantled the federal bureaucracies.

    They spent a lot of time sniveling about the mean old Rethuglitards wasting so much time and energy on pointless repeals of the Obamacare.


  42. I can’t fucking escape fucking Tolkein!! Walk into the office – Tolkein. Come in here – Tolkein. Facebook – Tolkein.

    1. You should get out more. Maybe go see a movie…

      1. I bet if I went to the movie theater, I wouldn’t hear a peep about Tolkein!

        1. You should also try the bookstore.

        2. Yes, some of us do have a bad hobbit of talking about that particular writer, but it’s dwarfed by the amount of comments on other matters. So lift up the chin you’re dragon around, and you’ll find yourself coming out of your hole.

          1. If she prefers, I feel that it’s always temporally relevant for Pro Lib and I to have another couple of hours of khanversation on what the superior dimension for our Star Trek spinoff is.

            1. Star Trek is always relevant, although I haven’t seen Pro Lib around for the past couple days.

              Also, I’d hoped the puns in my previous post were bad enough for at least one death threat, but apparently not.

              1. I haven’t seen him yet today, and yesterday I was still in Florida.

                1. I heard he’s in Canada. Or jail.

                  Honestly, both are bad options.

                  1. At least Canada has non-toilet fermented booze.

                    Of course, they really fucking need it, too.

                    1. SO…Dry Dock wont fill a 3 gallon corny…WTF? I don’t want to pay for 5 gals.

                  2. Perhaps he is in both.

    2. I can solve the problem here: Use reasonable and put Tolkein (and a few other key words, like hobbit or smaug or gandalf) into the filter.

      1. You’d get rid of the poster The Hobbit the, wouldn’t you?

        Also you’d have to use Chrome.

        1. There are separate filters for names and content.

          1. He usually signs his handle in his comment, IIRC.

            1. Oh yeah.

    3. Want to talk about Game of Thrones?

  43. http://mobile.lemonde.fr/econo….._3234.html

    Short, English version – the French have decided that this “competition” thing is just too scary so they’re going to shut it down. These companies offering cheap 4G aren’t going to look after themselves, after all; government knows their business better

  44. “Good old Tolkien. How I hate him.”

    1. + 5 cents

  45. Probably a bit late for the AM links, and I’ll post this in the PM, but I had to get this out there. Check out this spectacular piece of derp from CNN on Detroit.


    1. Good one!
      Yep, that ‘depleted tax base’ will get you every time.
      People just left; no body knows why. It didn’t have to do with sky-rocketing taxes to pay those pensions (and note that the lying POS picks a basket of cherries).
      Nope, nor the rotten city services which couldn’t be upgraded because of the cost of those pensions. Certainly not!

    2. Obviously the rich aren’t paying their fair share, by virtue of the fact that they are rich!

  46. CA billionaire figures ‘what’s another $0.25/gal to me?’, and decides everyone else should pay it:
    “Activist Tom Steyer launches California oil tax campaign”
    The oil extraction tax “should happen. It doesn’t benefit me in any way. We’re pushing to do the right thing, and that’s what we’ve done in the past,” he said.”

    1. Are rich liberals ever interested in paying more themselves, voluntarily? Or do they just all think that we should pay more?

      1. But that is voluntary in the mind of the average liberal. You see, since government is us and we are government, everything government does voluntary. You can’t coerce yourself, and since you are government and government is you, government can’t coerce you either. So it’s all voluntary!

    2. The oil extraction tax “should happen. It doesn’t benefit me in any way.

      The guy who started reason, I forget his name but the artist who founded the magazine and led a rather troubled life, said something very profound once. “The danger is not in people with an interest in a decision making it, it is in people with no interest in the decision making” or something to that effect.

      This is such a great example of what he was talking about. That guy doesn’t give a fuck about the harm it causes. He has no interest in it and thus is willing to do real harm.

      1. That was one of the themes of Atlas Shrugged.

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