Congress

Please, Congress, Do Much Less

Unpack the assumption behind the stories about congressional productivity, and you find a bias toward statism: the notion that government action is inherently good, and that more government action is inherently better.

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You can't swing a dead cat by the tail these days without hitting a news story about the lack of legislation issuing from the 113th Congress. From CNN to McClatchy to NPR to the L.A. Times, the air is thick with pieces lamenting that the 113th makes "the infamous 'do-nothing Congress' of the late 1940s look downright prolific."

Apparently we're all supposed to feel really bad about that.

Before the holiday break, Congress sent just 70 bills to the president's desk. That compares — unfavorably, we are given to understand — with the 395 bills passed by the 80th Congress, whose supposed indolence Harry Truman ran against. It even compares unfavorably to the 112th Congress, which led to only 231 new laws.

The censorious pieces never stop to explain precisely why Congress should be judged according to the number of bills it passes. That's simply assumed. This is one of those telltale signs of media bias that are always cropping up, if you keep your eyes open. (Here's another: Run a Google News search for the terms "economic inequality" and "economic liberty." The former shows up more than 50 times as often. Guess why.)

Unpack the assumption behind the stories about congressional productivity, and you find a bias toward statism: the notion that government action is inherently good, and that more government action is inherently better — and that this is true as an analytic proposition, entirely separate from whatever a particular government action might entail.

Which is pretty funny, when you stop to think.

After all, the press has spent the past couple of years cranking out endless horror stories about the last major piece of legislation Congress passed — the Budget Control Act, which led to the sequester. It also has written a great deal about the many terrible problems caused by the last major law before that: the Affordable Care Act. Yet now we're supposed to yearn for more omnibus legislation?

Before the Obamacare-disaster stories began piling up, the media cranked out a lot of snark over the House's repeated votes (47 of them at last count) to repeal Obamacare. None of those bills made it to the president's desk. But if passing legislation is the measure of congressional success, then all 47 of them should have — right?

Back in June, the House passed what the AP called "a far-reaching anti-abortion bill … that conservatives saw as a milestone in their 40-year campaign against legalized abortion and Democrats condemned as yet another example of the GOP war on women." If the Senate had gone along with that proposal, would advocates of activist government be more happy now — or less?

When critics of Congress insist it ought to do something, they perhaps do not mean bills like that. What they want, they would tell you, is for Congress to address real problems.

But everybody has a different idea of what the real problems are, which is a problem itself. And even when Congress tackles what most people agree is a real problem, its proposed solution often can prove more problematic than the problem it was designed to confront.

Take online piracy. When counterfeiters sell ersatz versions of software such as the popular Rosetta Stone language-teaching program, they steal money and jobs from legitimate, tax-paying companies — and the people who work for them. Online piracy robs everybody from big-budget Hollywood studios to small indie rock bands. It needs to stop.

Congress' answer? The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA — a 2011 measure that, according to critics, could have shut down entire swaths of the Internet on the slightest pretext. Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, Tumblr, and scads of other online portals fired up protest drives, petitions — even "American Censorship Day" — to oppose the measure. A million blogs erupted in self-righteous fury. Hacktivist groups launched denial-of-service attacks against SOPA supporters, effectively committing online criminal acts to protest legislation aimed at stopping online criminality.

The critics won the day. Given the choice between SOPA and Congress doing nothing, they preferred Congress do nothing. No bill got passed. According to today's conventional wisdom, this was a great loss.

True, the country faces many other pressing issues: Unemployment. Poverty. Health care. Immigration reform. Crime and violence. Educational mediocrity. Crushing federal debt. Soaring college costs. And so on.

But what makes those who demand a more active federal government think it will produce the right solutions — or even stop exacerbating the problems in the first place? Why the apparent assumption that a government which has given us the sequester, Obamacare, SOPA, and so on — a government that thinks subsidizing college will bring the price down; a government that thinks we can change Cuba by imposing sanctions and change Iran by lifting them — will suddenly start doing everything right?

Even a dead cat should know better than that.

NEXT: Colorado's State-Licensed Pot Shops Are Open for Business

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  1. So, I suppose this will be today’s PM links?

    1. Might be best to assume so.

  2. Michael Moynihan has a good article up about the worst articles of the year.

    Also deserving of mention: the sensitive chap who made a rather unfortunate comment on Twitter, calling writer Olivia Nuzzi a “social-climbing mercenary hobag.” His subsequent horror at his own insensitivity, of course, provided fodder for a column! On the environmentalist website Grist.com, he offered an effusive apology, which no one demanded because no one noticed the initial offense: “Looking back on it with a few hours’ perspective, this is a classic outbreak of White Dude Privilege Syndrome. Let’s walk through it and see what we can learn from it.” How about we don’t. This is, somehow, a perfect distillation of online commentary at the close of 2013: a writer being an asshole?possibly a sexist asshole?on Twitter, followed by the same writer coming to his senses and deciding instead to be reflective and insufferable in column form.

  3. The same misguided perception about a ‘productive’ Congress is other side of the coin regarding popularity of Congress as an institution. You hear lots of flack about Congress polling lower than the President, as if they’re comparable individuals. Obviously they are not, but the mainstream takeaway is that low Congressional popularity translates into low Rethuglican popularity, despite the fact half of Congress is run by Clowncrats.

    What would be the most telling poll is one on a guy like Harry Reid, but without any context to the question. Such a poll would reveal, for him in particular, that the biggest plurality would not be for or against him, but have no real idea who he is. And this would be a direct effect of him not being so consistently demonized in the MSM, no press is the worst press as the consultant flacks say.

    1. You might take some comfort from the fact that the 111th was one of the most productive in terms of getting bills passed – and the majority party got their asses handed to them in the mid-terms. Apparently the voters don’t necessarily believe that an active Congress is better than a do-nothing one.

    2. http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/te…..ain_02.tpl

      Congress has been productive enough,I think.

    3. I might be wrong, but I think the job of the opposition is to oppose.

      1. Congress should follow the example of Taiwan’s legislature- beat each other with chairs. In America, they sit around- with a wide stance.

  4. I agree with Mr. Hinckle’s overall sentiment, but with one caveat: I would not mind a Congress that is busy passing laws, laws repealing other laws. This is why I do not think ‘gridlock’ is always and inherently a good thing from a libertarian perspective. Gridlock could be, in the near future, a Democrat President vetoing any attempts to repeal parts (or all) of the ACA, for example. The upshot for this, for me, is that there is no real ‘libertarian position’ on policies like the filibuster which make passing laws generally more difficult.

    1. Laws never get repealed because the pressure groups that got them passed fight to keep them on the books and extend their reach. G.K. Chesterton lamented long ago, “In those days people talked of a “Repealer” as the most practical of all politicians, the kind of politician that carries a club. Now the Repealer is flung far into the province of an impossible idealism: and the leader of one of our great parties, having said, in a heat of temporary sincerity, that he would repeal an Act, actually had to write to all the papers to assure them that he would only amend it.”

      1. In general you are correct, but laws do get repealed (DADT comes to mind recently). Also, there are some laws that are not really repeals that I would welcome passing (a balanced budget amendment comes to mind).

        1. The problem with a balanced budget amendment is that it would be ignored. There is no one to enforce it. As part of a balanced budget amendment would be the creation of another ‘branch’ of government. This would be in charge of auditing everyone else and reporting the results, enforcing constitutional rules on spending and the budget. It would have authority to look at the books of any other part of the federal government. This would have to be a separate branch with no dependence on the rest of the government or it would just be another tool to hide the truth about the debt, etc.

          1. Could the courts not enforce it? How are states that require balanced budgets policed?

            1. The states cannot print money.

              If a state wants to continually spend more money than it collects in taxes, it has to borrow it.

              And if it keeps that up long enough, the lenders will either refuse to lend at all or demand very high interest rates.

              There is an inherently limiting mechanism on states that does not exist for the federal government.

            2. You would be surprised how politicians can interpret “budget” and “balanced” if it were a law.

        2. …laws do get repealed (DADT comes to mind recently).

          DADT wasn’t a law – it was a DOD directive.

          1. It was both. The DoD directive would not have existed if 10 USC ? 654 did not make homosexuality grounds for dismissal from the armed forces in the first place.

      2. Machiavelli wrote about this two, when he talked about the difficulty of reform

    2. I would not mind a Congress that is busy passing laws, laws repealing other laws.

      I think most here would agree. I wonder if the average voter thinks that Congress is regularly repealing laws? They are not. As a matter of fact, I believe the process is to pass a law on top of the previous law, rather than repeal. Which is not to say that they never repeal laws, they just don’t usually.

  5. As Twittermeister Iowahawk put it, A ‘do-nothing’ congress is sort of like a ‘do-nothing’ arsonist.”

    1. More than sort of.

  6. You know who else made a proposal to congress?

    1. Bill Clinton after a couple of drinks?

  7. Both of These Comments are by Michael Moore, and Incredibly Both Are in the Same Article by him

    “TODAY marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up. Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful.”

    “Obamacare is a godsend.”

    Of course the upshot is “Let’s not take a victory lap yet, but build on what there is to get what we deserve: universal quality health care.”

    Reminds me of the old joke: this meal is so terrible, and such small portions!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01……html?_r=0

    1. Moore is what is disdainfully called an “emoprog”. Nothing will ever make him happy. He will just moan and bitch the rest of his life because there is some perceived injustice somewhere.

      1. Oh well, my #1 wish for the new year obviously didn’t come true.

        1. Were you wishing that Aaron Rodgers was gay?

          1. No, that kind of sounds like you projecting your wishes onto me. Like Phil Robertson, I don’t understand how a man could prefer another man’s anus to a vagina. My wish was that you would get run over and killed by a drunk driver.

  8. Named: The United States men’s Olympic hockey team

  9. All I want for Christmas is a Congress who can only do things in reverse, IOW, repeal laws.

  10. You have the right to petition your government for redress of grievances, but there’s nothing saying they have to listen or do anything about it.

  11. Put me down for more gridlock.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month on a better outlook for hiring and overall growth, supporting other signs that show the economy could accelerate in 2014.

    The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in the previous month. November’s figure was revised up from 70.4.

    Consumer confidence is nearly back to where it was before the partial government shutdown in October. Steady job gains and a surging stock market have made Americans more optimistic about the economy and hiring both now and in the next six months.

    Consumer confidence was 38.6% when Obama was sworn in Jan 2009.

    1. So, your point is that after 5 years with Obama screwing things up, consumer confidence has gone from being in the toilet, all the way up to well below average?

      Compare this to Calvin Coolidge turning a sharp recession into a vibrant economic recovery in about a year.

      1. A recession is just a blowoff of excess inventory build that results in temporary negative GDP.

        We suffered credit crashes in 1929 and 2008 of epic proportions. So epic they reverberated around the world. Credit writedowns are still occurring today five years later.

      2. Compare this to Calvin Coolidge turning a sharp recession into a vibrant economic recovery in about a year.

        Or even the Bush recovery. He had the dot com bubble and then 9-11 and things were cooking again by early 03. 2 years.

        1. You can’t compare the recession at the end of Clinton’s presidency to the severity of the housing crash.

          Coolidge is a good example though. The economy was absolutely atrocious after WWI and the total failure of progressive economics. Coolidge fixed things pretty much immediately.

          1. Coolidge came into office in August, 1923 during a recession which began in May and ended June of 24. What do you think he did in that time which fixed things (granted the best thing he may have done might be nothing)?

            1. (granted the best thing he may have done might be nothing)

              Yeah, maybe that was like, almost the entire fucking point.

          2. Slight nitpick – the economy fixed itself. Silent Cal just had sense enough to get the hell out of the way, and to tighten the government’s belt along with everyone else’s.

          3. You can’t compare the recession at the end of Clinton’s presidency to the severity of the housing crash.

            Sarcasm?

            Seriously though, did the great depression and recession last as long as they did because of the severity of the situation or because the same socialist “recovery” policies were applied?

            1. We had munerous recessions and depressions the two that lasted the longest were the ones where business was hamstrung by uncertainty caused by ‘socialist “recovery” policies’

            2. We had munerous recessions and depressions the two that lasted the longest were the ones where business was hamstrung by uncertainty caused by ‘socialist “recovery” policies’

    2. Is there any point that you can try to make that doesn’t end up being a cheer leading session for your dear leader?

      Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      1. I post FACTS and you just think I am “cheer leading”.

        1. Your only apparent mission in life, at least for the last few years, is apparently to publicly boast about your desire to kiss the derriere of your hero progressobot moron.

          I will believe otherwise when you can prove it, by stopping to unquestionably, beyond reason, prove me right.

          Hyp

        2. Statistics are data, they aren’t facts. The degree to which they describe reality varies wildly. And also depends a lot on the reality in which you choose live.

  12. http://jezebel.com/justice-sot…..1492659568

    Jezebel reacts to Sotomayor’s injunction against the contraception mandate. They are more angry than sad, but its still a fun comments thread.

    If they lose this, man will those be some yummy tears.

    1. Are you SERIOUS?

      Thanks for putting religion before your own sex. Nothing like a bunch of nuns to really tell you whether or not contraception is important. This is something that the rest of the government worked out a compromise for. I don’t see how it is the place of the Court to step into that.

      Now that’s funny.

      That is a load of bullshit. US law has limited what Mormons, Pagans, Native Americans, and more can do.

      Christianity is a leech upon society and needs to be banned

      Tell us how you really feel.

      1. Banning Christianity has been so effective historically

        1. But sanctioning it as Constantine did in 315ad didn’t work out so well for Rome either. In fact it led to the ruination of Roman Empire.

          That is why I am a secularist – the bane of conservatives everywhere.

          1. You’re a moron. Christianity had nothing to do with the decline of Rome. If anything Constantine’s reforms extended the life of Rome in the West while founding a Christian empire in the East that would last another 1000 years.

            1. In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776?88), Edward Gibbon famously placed the blame on a loss of civic virtue among the Roman citizens. They gradually entrusted the role of defending the Empire to barbarian mercenaries who eventually turned on them. Gibbon held that Christianity contributed to this shift by making the populace less interested in the worldly here-and-now because it was willing to wait for the rewards of heaven.

              Wikipedia (sourced to Gibbon)

              Get down, bitch!

              1. And of course no other significant histories have been written on the subject.

                I mean, did you seriously cackle to someone “Get down, bitch”? Is this Opposite Year?

              2. Edward Gibbon? Seriously? What, do you also believe in phrenology too, retard?

                Gibbon’s attack on Christianity has been completely discredited by modern historians. There is simply no actual evidence to support the idea that Christianity made Romans too lazy to defend themselves from the hordes of barbarians migrating to Europe.

                1. There is simply no actual evidence to support the idea that Christianity made Romans too lazy to defend themselves from the hordes of barbarians migrating to Europe.

                  Especially given the fact that a far more heavily Christianized Eastern Roman Empire managed to last for another 1000 years after the fall of the West.

                  What, did the enervating effects of Christianity only hurt the Western Romans while leaving the Eastern Romans alone?

                2. Lead poisoning then? Smallpox? Deforestation? Military overspending?

                  1. How about an overextended Empire, currency debasement, barbarian tribes forming alliances, and the rise of the Roman dictatorship?

                    The overextending of Roman boundaries resulted in the Romans having to train members of various Germanic tribes to serve as occupying forces because the Romans simply didn’t have enough men. The person who sacked Rome in 410 was Alaric, a Visigoth who had actually been trained in the Roman army. Since you’re so fond of Wikipedia here’s an article on him.

                    He sacked Rome after tens of thousands of Goths defected to Alaric after the Romans massacred their families. The Romans trained their own assassin and gave him his army through the oppressive actions of the Roman dictatorship.

                    Isn’t that a more likely explanation than some nebulous and already refuted claim that Christianity sapped the Romans of their martial spirit?

                    1. Isn’t that a more likely explanation than some nebulous and already refuted claim that Christianity sapped the Romans of their martial spirit?

                      It is plausible.

                      Obviously we don’t know the extent the new religion had on Rome. If they all took Christ at his word and all became pacifists then Christianity no doubt was the cause.

                      “All” is highly unlikely though. ‘Most’ could be the case instead.

                    2. If they all took Christ at his word and all became pacifists then Christianity no doubt was the cause.

                      Do you ever experience a hint of cognitive dissonance when you blame Christian pacifism for the fall of Rome, and then blame Christian militarism for the barbarism of the Middle Ages?

                  2. Lead poisoning then? Smallpox? Deforestation? Military overspending?

                    Taxing the living crap out of everyone to pay for bread and circuses and and an overextended military and lavish living for the Emperor, until fleeing to the barbarians became a better option, played a big part of it

              3. If the only historian that believes something dates from 1788, there’s a good chance he’s simply wrong.

                Edward Gibbon was a great writer and an interesting historian, but he let his personal biases completely overwhelm his scholarship.

                1. Look at Jonestown. The mass euphoria that follows Christianity can be deathly.

                  1. Look at the Soviet Union. The mass euphoria that follows socialism can be even deadlier.

                  2. The People’s Temple was a left-wing, agrarian communist organization with some Christian beliefs.

                    Since your average church—of any denomination–does not condone mass suicide, I’d say we can blame fanatical communism for Jonestown

                    1. Former People’s Temple member’s have said publicly that Jones often said his Christianity was used as a fig to cover and make more palatable to some his socialism.

                    2. Christianity itself is a “left-wing, agrarian communist organization” – have you ever read the teachings of Christ?

                      Seriously? I can quote Christ on the rich, money-changers, and the poor and meek and you would call him a Marxist.

                    3. Read it many times. Socialism would is opposite form what Christ called for which was _voluntary_ acts of chairty. Socilaism is theft, in that the ‘betters’ use the law (baked up by guns) to plunder one (undeserving) group in order to line the pockets of a second (deserving) group.

                      You fascinate me, first you want to single out Christians for oppresion, and then you claim Christ to be a Marxist such as yourself?

                    4. Wrong! The money-changers story is a rant against religious corruption. It’s really straight forward in the text.

                  3. I dont believe Jones was a christian. He was definitely a marxist-communist though, and you are definitely an idiot.

                    Jim Jones, another lefty monster the left tries to disassociate with while they cheer on a new crop. But hey, they promise it will work this time.

                    1. On youtube there is a recording of Jones singing the Soviet National Anthem in front of his “flock”, it’s fuckin’ creepy.

                    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_Temple

                      Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as “fly away religion,” and rejected the Bible as being white men’s justification to dominate women and enslave people of color…He stated that the Bible only contained beliefs about a “Sky God” or “Buzzard God,” who was no God at all.

                      Jones’s ritual of throwing Bibles down in church, yelling, “This black book has held down you people for 2000 years. It has no power.”

                      By spring 1976, Jones openly admitted even to outsiders that he was an atheist. Despite the Temple’s fear that the IRS was investigating its religious tax exemption, by 1977, Jones’s wife, Marcy, openly admitted to the New York Times that Jones had not been lured to religion because of faith, but because it served his goal of social change through Marxism. She stated that, as early as age 18 when he watched his idol Mao Zedong defeat the Nationalists in the Chinese Civil War, Jones realized that the way to achieve social change in the United States was to mobilize people through religion. She admitted that “Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion” and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling, “I’ve got to destroy this paper idol!”

                      A real Christian for sure.

                  4. It’s not Christianity per se, but the human tendency toward idolatry while seeking transcendence. Jesus never advocated drinking poison kool-Aid. But we too often find people of all education levels drinking proverbial Kool-Aid like progressiveism. Blaming Christ is just a cop-out. It’s human idiocy, instead.

              4. “Gibbon held ….”

                Which proves exactly diddly squat.

          2. Worshiping Barack Obama does not make you a secularist.

          3. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

            In fact it led to the ruination of Roman Empire.

            What led to the fall of the Roman empire was the fact that there were was no more plunder to be obtained, which led to the debasement of their currency and heavy taxation. Christianity had nothing to do with any of this.

            Besides, seems like you forget that the Bizantine empire (which lasted longer than the Roman empire) was very much Christian and suffered only because of an expensive war with Persia and the arab incursions into her territory. Again, NOTHING to do with Christianity.

            The reason the left hates Christianity so much is because it is an individual’s religion, not a collectivist one.

            1. Byzantine shmyzantine. C’mon Ol’Mex, you have to admit it is very telling that no Christian empires or great powers ever arose after Rome fell.

              Jesus, Shreek sure can step on his own dick like nobody else.

              1. Ever heard of the British Empire?

          4. But sanctioning it as Constantine did in 315ad didn’t work out so well for Rome either.

            A perfect analogy for what’s happening here, where contraception is being banned by the government on the authority of the Roman Catholic church.

            Why wait a minute, that’s not what’s happening at all! It’s almost as if your analogy is a blithering non-sequitur. Which would be totally out of a character for your usually-cogent analyses.

      2. “Christianity is a leech upon society and needs to be banned”

        Wouldnt it be more fun to put them in a ring with….say, lions, tigers and bears?

        Wow.

    2. The comments were mind-numbingly stupid. I’d never followed a Jizzerbelly link before. Never again. Never.

    3. That is some grade A stupidity. It’s nice to see the comments arguing in favor of banning Christianity though. Watching as our opponents slowly admit they’re a fascist movement has been really entertaining.

      1. It’s fascinating. They literally cannot fathom the idea that people who voluntarily work for a Catholic organization are agreeing to abide by that organization’s rules for compensation.

        1. Yup.

          The result would be very similar if the issue were an alcohol mandate.

          More to the point, why do these people support mandates? Whatever happened to being pro-choice.

          1. Choice for me, mandates for thee.

          2. They’re only in favor of choices approved by the hivemind.

  13. Best Gallery all year
    50 years of Pirelli calendars

  14. DOOOOOOOOM

    Even before marijuana became legal, the effects of the drug were apparent in everyday life in the city I now call home. The work ethic in Boulder already leaves something to be desired. I imagine it only will get worse once pot is legal.

    The real damage will be to Colorado’s youth. Young brains are especially vulnerable to marijuana use, with studies showing that becoming drug-dependent is far more likely among people who start using marijuana in their teens. Drug-related school suspensions are a major problem in Colorado ? with more than 5,000 occurring in the last year for which there are records.

    Colorado is already the butt of many a Rocky Mountain high joke, but the issue is a serious one. Marijuana legalization is likely to make Colorado a less desirable place to live, work, study and raise a family. But by the time Colorado voters figure that out, the damage already will have been done.

    Stupid voters.

    1. Young brains are especially vulnerable to marijuana use, with studies showing that becoming drug-dependent is far more likely among people who start using marijuana in their teens.

      How vulnerable are young brains to getting smashed by a police baton during a home invasion?

      I’m just wondering.

    2. Young brains are also vulnerable to the disease called statism.

      Ban public schools!

    3. The real damage will be to Colorado’s youth. Young brains are especially vulnerable to marijuana use, with studies showing that becoming drug-dependent is far more likely among people who start using marijuana in their teens. Drug-related school suspensions are a major problem in Colorado ? with more than 5,000 occurring in the last year for which there are records.

      He’s got a point. There’s bound to be problems in 2014 when, for the first time in history, young people smoke marijuana.

    4. The real damage will be to Colorado’s youth.

      With pot remaining illegal for people under age 21, and considering that illegal pot has never, ever been available to underage kids in the past, clearly this law is going to destroy our precious, precious (20 year old) childrunz!

  15. In November, federal drug enforcement authorities raided several Denver dispensaries and growing facilities with suspected ties to foreign drug cartels. It turns out the establishments that were raided weren’t just growing and selling marijuana; they also were stockpiling weapons and trading harder drugs. And banks, which are regulated by the feds, won’t set up accounts for businesses that are still considered criminal enterprises by federal statute. What’s more, several political jurisdictions in the state have banned recreational pot stores within their boundaries.

    SEE? Cartels. Murder. Rape. Cash. GUNS.

    DOOOOOOOOOM

  16. P Brooks, one problem with legal weed: our shared alma mater will become even more insufferably smug.

    And I say that as someone who enjoyed quite a bit of the devil weed in Loomis and Bemis

  17. Dear Campus Community,

    Colorado College is dedicated to providing the finest liberal arts education in the country, and to achieve this mission, we seek to foster a healthy learning environment. We believe marijuana use conflicts with this mission. The college has a long-standing policy against drug use on campus and within the college community, and that policy does not change with Colorado’s adoption of Amendment 64. Additionally, the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act disallows the use of drugs including marijuana; if the college fails to comply, it could become ineligible for federal funding and financial aid programs for its students. The college’s policy also does not allow the use of medical marijuana.

    Colorado College may prohibit marijuana use within its community despite permissibility under state law. Amendment 64 says that “nothing in this Section shall prohibit a person, employer, school ? or any other entity who occupies, owns or controls a property from prohibiting or otherwise regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property.”

    The college’s policy does not allow the use of marijuana, whether on campus or off campus. If a student violates this code, he or she is subject to disciplinary action through the college’s judicial process.

    1. This makes perfect sense, but they could have strengthened their argument by adopting (or reminding students of the existence of) a corresponding policy toward alcohol, tobacco, or other legal substances. As they did not, their message gives one the impression that they are closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, and chanting “nyah nyah nyah nyah … no because we say so!”

      1. Note also:
        “We believe marijuana use conflicts with this mission.”
        Yeah, well, you can keep your bleefs to yourself.

        1. Given the sheer number of pot heads at that school, this is a blatant CYA

          1. AuH20|1.1.14 @ 8:00PM|#
            “Given the sheer number of pot heads at that school, this is a blatant CYA”

            I remember the first sexual harassment lecture we had; guy from Corporate legal shows up, we collect 40-at-a-time in the large meeting room and he starts spouting.
            Anyhow, after he finishes, he asks ‘does everyone understand why we had the meeting?’. Buddy says ‘We’ve been Marandized and the corp is now held harmless?’.

    2. The college’s policy does not allow the use of marijuana, whether on campus or off campus.

      WTF? How could they possibly enforce what I do off campus? Unless this is just some sort of “code of ethics” nonsense.

      1. That is a common college policy, it is, for example, how they subject students alleged to have committed ‘sexual assaults’ on other students off campus to disciplinary hearings even where law enforcement declines to bring charges.

        1. I think there is a federal law that requires schools to conduct their own independent investigation apart from law enforcement.

          1. Here’s to the rise of online education eschewing all that “college community” crap for those who don’t want it.

            1. We should encourage the use of online education for grades K-12 as well.

              I do find it disturbing that schools would be required to conduct their own sexual assault investigation. Most university administrations would have as much competency in that field as they would operating a fission reactor.

  18. As stated, “the Student Code of Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at college-sponsored events or programs, and also applies off-campus, when the administration determines that the off-campus conduct has a direct impact on the educational mission and interests of the college. Colorado College students studying in off-campus contexts or participating in college-sponsored programs remain responsible to uphold the Colorado College Student Code of Conduct and the laws relevant to their location. The Student Code of Conduct also applies to conduct that takes place at any time from the date that a student is offered admission to the college until the student has completed graduation and includes summers and between semesters.”

    Colorado College’s policy also prohibits faculty, staff, guests, and visitors from using, possessing, or being under the influence of marijuana while on campus or during college activities.

    For more information, read the frequently asked questions at http://www.coloradocollege.edu…..ide/faqs/.
    Sincerely,

    Jill Tiefenthaler

    1. How could anyone consider smoking pot on a college campus? I went to the first Marijuana Day concert at Penn State (hat tip to Rob Kampia, still have the T-shirt). There were people smoking pot everywhere! At a Marijuana festival! The horror!

  19. Additionally, the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act disallows the use of drugs including marijuana; if the college fails to comply, it could become ineligible for federal funding and financial aid programs for its students.

    A dollop of left wing nannyism, a gallon of economic self interest.

    Eye of newt to taste.

    1. Well, if authortlity says it, it must be right

    2. Same shit they pulled with highway funds for states that initially declined to raise the drinking age. Coercers gonna coerce.

      1. National Minimum Drinking Age Act

        -Introduced in the Senate as S.AMDT.3334 to H.R.4616 by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) on June 26, 1984

        -Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 17, 1984

        Those were the days of bipartisanship!!!

  20. their message gives one the impression that they are closing their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, and chanting “nyah nyah nyah nyah … no because we say so!”

    It’s a display of supercilious authoritarianism which puts a glaring spotlight on the hypocrisy of a school which wants to portray itself as some sort of cutting edge hotbed of enlightenment. Aggressive, in-your-face queer militarism is encouraged, but OMFG not teh POT!
    Marijuana’s bad, children, mmmmkay?

    1. “It’s a display of supercilious authoritarianism which puts a glaring spotlight on the hypocrisy of a school which wants to portray itself as some sort of cutting edge hotbed of enlightenment.”

      Or, could it possibly be that they felt the need to clarify their policy about pot on campus, and not tobacco or alcohol, because a significant and much covered change in the overall legal status of the former in the state recently occurred?

      Or is pointing that out the nit-pickings of a troll?

      I do not fault the school on this, but the federal government, as the school’s statement notes “the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act disallows the use of drugs including marijuana; if the college fails to comply, it could become ineligible for federal funding and financial aid programs for its students.”

      1. If you get caught smoking pot on campus, your punishment is write a 2,0000-word essay or get spanked. Your choice. Would that be complying?

  21. I am starting to believe in… ok, I didn’t just start thinking about this, but I am thinking more about it.

    We have to take money and power completely out of politics. I was previously against term limits, because the vote is supposed to provide that, but now…

    Anyway. How about something like this in Libertopia:

    1 term in any public office of no more than 4 years, for life.

    Minimum pay for term in office… say medium wage, maybe 40k per year.

    Any form of cronyism punishable by the harshest penalties available by law, such as life in prison.

    That’s a good start.

    1. One term only works if you have a way to keep the politician accountable to his constituency. I also think there is something to be said for giving the shitbag a few years to get his feet under him. So here is how I’d do it…

      Extend the terms in office a little, say 8 years for a Senator and 4 years for a Rep (lengths negotiable). But you hold votes of confidence every two years (obligatory) and the ability for the constituency to call for a vote of confidence at any time (via petition). This way, the POS can be booted at any time, but isn’t running against anyone except his own record. Two thirds of the voters say you’re a shitbag, you are out immediately with a special election to follow.

      Critter must tow the lion with the constituency, yet has only one term and NO NEED for campaign contributions.

      1. Pretty sure those confidence votes would amount to campaigns.

        1. Against whom, the public record?

          1. I am sure that “independent groups” would have their say.

            You don’t think theatre the NRA/NEA/AFL-CIO/ACLU/NARAL would have something to get on the airwaves about?

            You do realize that even judges do some campaigning in retention elections, right?

    2. You can’t take money and power of politics. It’s what politics is. If there is a public budget, a pile of money etc. expropriated from others, then there is money and power involved in its dispensation (redistribution).

      The only technical fix towards your goal is an absolute minimum of politics itself.

    3. Those are the same basic tenants of the OWS movement.

    4. My problem with term limits is it reeks of progressive mentality: ‘you voters just do not know what is good for you and the overall society, so even if you want to re-elect your politician you can not. It is for your own good.’

      1. Except progressivism is all about Top Men making all the decisions. Term limits are built into the system, not Top Men telling you anything.

        1. How is ‘the system’ different than ‘a law passed by top men?’

          1. Well it does require acceptance of term limits as part of the foundation of our law – i.e. adding it to the Constitution.

    5. Ideally, you would have a vote of confidence for the incumbent. If he lost, he could run again but not in the replacement election. If he won the vote of confidence, the percentage needed for the next vote of confoidence would increase. The first time would be 50%, then 55%, etc. (The actual numbers are not set in stone.) I think this would be better than hard term limits.

    6. Anybody who wants the job is automatically the wrong type of person for the job. Why not make serving in congress just like jury duty? Given the psychopathic idiots we currently have, it certainly couldn’t be any worse.

    7. Firing squad with anti-aircraft guns would be appropriate.

  22. If the federal government got the laws right in the first place, we wouldn’t need to many new laws. But if they couldn’t get it right last time (or the time before that and before that), why should we think they’ll get it right next time (or ever)?

  23. Given the sheer number of pot heads at that school, this is a blatant CYA

    A little further googling turned up a report from the Princeton Review naming The Colorado College as collegiate dopesmoking institution numero uno.

    So, that whole thing is either a “wink wink nudge nudge” admission that the Code of Conduct is a complete sham or evidence of an utterly clueless and ineffectual administration.

    Or both.

  24. Conservative claims that “five million” will lose coverage due to Obamacare wildly inflated: (Washington Post)

    10,000 is more realistic for the insured who can’t replace their policy at a lower/equal price.

    A crucial GOP line of attack against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that millions of people will supposedly lose coverage thanks to shifting requirements on the health insurance exchanges ? a flagrant violation of President Obama’s infamous “if you like your plan, you can keep it” proclamation. The truth has always been more complicated, of course. Republicans are constantly blurring the line between people who lose a plan and people who lose coverage. That is, many people might lose a particular insurance plan but immediately be presented with other options.

    Now, a new report from the minority staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has destroyed the foundation of that particular GOP claim. It projects that only 10,000 people will lose coverage because of the ACA and be unable to regain it ? or in other words, 0.2 percent of the oft-cited 5 million cancellations statistic.

    Someone here told you Peanuts that O-Care would not be a big factor in the midterms.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..are-claim/

    1. PB, the claim about the ACA ‘being a factor in the midterms’ is a political one. It is becoming increasingly unpopular, regardless of the veracity or relevance of these kinds of statistics you cite.

      1. Yes, polls show that the ACA has become more unpopular. Polls that were taken when the full-on anti-ACA media blitz was taking place.

        The public is notoriously fickle though. When the dust settles very few will be negatively affected by the ACA.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|1.1.14 @ 8:28PM|#
          …”When the dust settles very few will be negatively affected by the ACA”

          Yeah, you lying piece of shit, those 4m in CA that had their policies canceled must be even less than “very few”.
          Go fuck your daddy.

        2. When the dust settles very few will be overtly negatively affected by whatever the administration deems to be the ACA.

          FTFY

        3. OH, and let’s take a look at one more example of shreek’s mendacity:

          Palin’s Buttplug|1.1.14 @ 8:28PM|#
          …”Polls that were taken when the full-on anti-ACA media blitz was taking place.”…

          What “blitz” was this, turd? Do you mean some few papers and news orgs finally admitting that Obo is a slimy a liar as you are?
          Or maybe I missed it; let’s see some cites for this “blitz”, shit-pile.

    2. Ahem:

      “The report is somewhat speculative, of course, since there is no central repository of data on the individual health insurance market.”

      Because of course it is.

      In any case two things remain: one, the president LIED and people are being forced to change plans when they were happy with their previous plans. That’s something that would piss many people off, especially if the ‘better’ plans make you pay for stuff you don’t want.

      Two, we have still yet to see what effect the employer mandate will have on people who get insurance through their work. If another clusterfuck of dropped and switched coverage happens, combined with people on the cusp of full-time getting their hours slashed, that will have a negative effect on public opinion of the law.

    3. …”It projects that only 10,000 people will lose coverage because of the ACA and be unable to regain it”….

      What a sleazy turd.
      Yeah, 5m have had their insurance canceled, and now some lefty paper guesses that most of them, if the scramble around, can find something close to what they lost.
      And to lying piles of shit like you, that’s just fine.
      Go fuck your daddy.

    4. You’ve got to crack 10,000 eggs to make an omelette.

    5. What it doesn’t say is that policy you might have the option to get at the ‘same price’ might now have a $5,000 or $10,000 deductible, when your deductible was $1,000 before. And that your co-pays might be $50 per office visit when they were $20 before.

      But, hey! the monthly “cost” is the same, so quit whining everybody. And quite lying that you hate what Obamacare has done to you! Love Democrats instead!

      Signed,
      the always impartial Washington Post

      1. Fucking THIS. What a retarded statement. “Well they didn’t lose coverage – they can always pay more money for a policy that covers less shit”. That was kinda the point of the criticism.

    6. From Buttplug’s article:

      Now, a new report from the minority staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce has destroyed the foundation of that particular GOP claim.

      So, a bunch of Clowncrat flacks on a committee having nothing to do with healthcare have a study? Touted by Greg Sargent, who essentially is Buttplug but paid to play that part?

      Yawn.

      1. Oh, wait. Not Greg Sargent. But George Zornick? Who the hell even is that? Greg’s Lady in Waiting I presume.

    7. Re: Palin’s Buttwipe,

      “10,000 is more realistic for the insured who can’t replace their policy at a lower/equal price.”

      Realistic in what sense? If the question is “How many people had their insurance plans cancelled because of Obamacare?” the answer is going to be “6 million plus.” That’s reality. The rest is just plucking of eyebrows.

      “That is, many people might lose a particular insurance plan but immediately be presented with other options.”

      SO WHAT? That is not what the president promised. That has been the point all along: He made a promise, like 34 times in front of a camera (yes, that stupid,) that he KNEW he could not fulfill.

      Someone here told you Peanuts that O-Care would not be a big factor in the midterms.

      The Democrats that are running for the hills with shit in their pants would beg to differ.

    8. That is, many people might lose a particular insurance plan but immediately be presented with other options.

      The promise was not “If you like your insurance plan you can replace it.”

      1. Well, if shreek can lick the ground where Obo’s walked, that pile of shit will make any sort of excuse he hopes will fly among those as ignorant as himself.

  25. “In the summer of 2011, 19 undergraduates at the University of North Carolina signed up for a lecture course called AFAM 280: Blacks in North Carolina. The professor was Julius Nyang’oro, an internationally respected scholar and longtime chairman of the African and Afro-American studies department.

    It is doubtful the students learned much about blacks, North Carolina or anything else, though they received grades for papers they supposedly turned in and Mr. Nyang’oro, the instructor, was paid $12,000. University and law-enforcement officials say AFAM 280 never met. One of dozens of courses in the department that officials say were taught incompletely or not at all, AFAM 280 is the focus of a criminal indictment against Mr. Nyang’oro that was issued last month.

    Eighteen of the 19 students enrolled in the class were members of the North Carolina football team (the other was a former member), reportedly steered there by academic advisers who saw their roles as helping athletes maintain high enough grades to remain eligible to play. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01…..ation&_r=0

    1. The answer is simple. Let college teams get paid and drop the attendance requirements. It’s ridiculous to maintain the sham of student-athletes when every other aspect of the programs are professional.

  26. Why is it there is still advocacy for congress and the rest of government of which exists only through force and coercion? It’s time they all go home.

    Thomas Jefferson even said “”I have no fear, but that the result of our experiment will be, that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master”. Some seemed to grasp that in order for freedom and liberty to prosper, it would have to be in absence of a government.

    The government was supposed to support and defend the constitution, wherein the Declaration of Independence clearly lays out that individuals have a natural right to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. I wish individuals would look up the definition of freedom and liberty. They would be able to deduce that force, coercion, and theft do not coincide with those natural rights. Taxation is theft, collected and enforced by threats or acts of violence which is clearly antithetical to liberty.

    Governments, along with central planning have failed over and over again. If trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity, then the logical conclusion of government is insanity.

    So over the 200+ years of this republic, where is it that individual rights have increased? What happened to self government without a master? I thought that piece of paper called the constitution was supposed to prevent what has been the incremental loss of freedom and liberty?

    1. The logical conclusion of a political system where the shitty consequences of shitty rules results not repealing the shitty rule, but instead creating a host of more shitty consequence creating shitty rules, is a totalitarian society where every nuance of life is governed by some shitty rule backed with very real threats of organized violence.

      1. a totalitarian society where every nuance of life is governed by some shitty rule backed with very real threats of organized violence.

        That sounds familiar.

  27. It’s time the politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists are peacefully told to go home. How many more times do individuals need to hear “if only the right people” or ” if only there was more money” or “if only there were more programs” while being systemically robbed?

  28. We have to take money and power completely out of politics. I was previously against term limits, because the vote is supposed to provide that, but now…

    I don’t think you can take the money out of politics. Or the cronyism.

    I have been toying with the notion of representatives elected as under the current system, but randomly assigned a geographical area to represent. My THEORY being that representation overall (in terms of the larger national interest) might be improved, based on the need to balance the short term desires of those he represents against the long term interests of those whom he will depend upon for re-election.

    1. I believe that a lottery for “public service” would yield much better result because the people who seek such positions tend to be the scum of the earth, and a random sample would be much better than what we have now.

      1. Do they get stoned at the end of their term?

        1. In Colorado, yes.

      2. Exactly. A random citizen can’t any any worse than one that worries about Guam tipping over.

        Then the problem wouldn’t be the representatives but the staff. If we slap fresh meat in every term, how do we stop the bureaucrats from gaining even more power?

    2. We have to take money and power completely out of politics.

      Then you would have to remove the taxing and spending power from the government entirely. The government’s ability to seize and distribute wealth is the reason government attracts “teh EBIL” lobbyists and other modern-day courtiers.

  29. 10,000 is more realistic for the insured who can’t replace their policy at a lower/equal price.

    Ooh, is that supposed to make me feel special?

    1. I found that to be an obnoxious political statement. It’s a parade, why do you assume we want to see you get married? I’d have the same attitude towards a hetero couple.

      1. There are a number of things about this that are obnoxious. Including the fact that it took place on the “AIDS Healthcare Foundation” float. Nothing opens hearts and minds like associating gay marriage with AIDS!

        1. Don’t worry, in a couple years the Kultur War will move on and we’ll be arguing over the merits of the bestiality float.

          1. As long as it isn’t with cats. GROSS!

            1. Have you ever tried giving a cat a bath? Raping them isn’t gonna happen.

            2. Sure it will be. And the spokesman for the float will be Claude Balls.

              1. LMFAO….

        2. Well, they nixed the heroin addict float.

  30. 4 year old killed by her 2 year old lover, no arrests.

    (From the LA Times)

    http://www.lat.ms/1dz4rXv

    PS – they’re tigers in a zoo.

    1. So Hinkle really was swinging a dead cat. Kinda barbaric and specist but whatever.

    2. Were they gay lovers?

      1. Lesbians. They both liked pussy.

          1. I’m not clicking that.

  31. I believe that a lottery for “public service” would yield much better result because the people who seek such positions tend to be the scum of the earth, and a random sample would be much better than what we have now.

    I agree.

    If nothing else, the government could capture some of the money currently spent on political campaigns by auctioning the spots in the lottery.

    1. I think Mencken suggested something like this – picking legislators like jurors.

  32. To offer New Year’s cheer those who do not live in the Peoples Republic of California, we have this:
    “More than 800 new laws added in California”
    Yep, no moss grows under the feet of the solidly D CA legislature; no issue is so trivial that the government shouldn’t have a say in it! And, of course, the Chron sees this as a sign of ‘progress’.
    I’m sure if the various pronouncements were carefully examined (hey, we don’t have the hag Pelosi here to help!), you really do need permission to go pee.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..105637.php

    1. Look at that army of protesters. That’s front page material!

      1. Hey! Full-color protest signs mean P-1!
        Hand-scrawled ones make the local section and the TV news; see the story about the corpse being ventilated as it de-composes.

    2. Gun control: Eleven new gun-control laws were signed into law in 2013, including a ban on the manufacturing or sale of large-capacity magazine conversion kits. Possession of large-capacity magazines will be banned under that law beginning July 1.

      Oh yeah, that’s really going to be effectively enforced.

      1. Considering that you can get a 30rd AR-15 mag for $10 in OR, AZ, and NV, there is no chance that this will reduce the number in CA. I know I’m not turning mine in.

  33. “I just love when he talks about his family, because he’s so good and he always gives credit,” said Linda Brandel, 67, of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, a volunteer in de Blasio’s campaign. She wore a necklace she made with tokens that had head shots of each de?Blasio family member pasted on.

    Puke.

    1. Progressives are disgusting. Stuff like this makes you see that it really is nothing but a philosophy built on hero worship and bizarre daddy issues.

    2. “We will require big developers to build more affordable housing. We’ll fight to stem the tide of hospital closures,” de Blasio said.

      Nothing says “change” like doubling down on the same policies that did nothing to address your central platform position the last eleventy times.

      1. “We will require big developers to build more affordable housing.”

        How, exactly, do they plan on doing this? Will they not approve permits unless X amount of rent-controlled apartments are built?

        1. Probably. Which will have the impact of creating even more housing shortages and further driving up the prices of non rent controlled apartments.

          Progress!

        2. Yes. Just like they do in LA.

        3. They already do this. I don’t know if it’s currently enshrined in existing law but public pressure on Big Developer pretty much always results in some number of “poverty level” lottery winners mixed into every new large development. The end result is of course exactly the “tale of two cities” he is claiming to fight.

          1. …”results in some number of “poverty level” lottery winners mixed into every new large development.”…

            In SF, the common result is the new owner of the ‘affordable housing’ can’t afford the HA fees (they’re never stand-alone houses) and either defaults or if they can cover the fees long enough, sells out at somewhat more than ‘affordable housing’ amounts.
            Suffice to say it’s a scam allowing progs and poverty pimps to claim to be ‘doing something’ at the cost of a hidden tax on buyers of ‘market rate’ units.

            1. it’s a scam

              Oh totally and it sickens me that people fall for it every. time.

      2. Just ask Harry Belafonte:
        http://politicker.com/2014/01/…..-rhetoric/

      3. We will require big developers to build more affordable housing

        Resulting in everything else they build being even more unaffordable to pay for the subsidized housing, and less housing being built.

        1. This is exactly what happens in Hawaii. Build a big condo, put in the minimum required number of well below market units, and jack up the prices of everything else.

          1. …”Build a big condo, put in the minimum required number of well below market units, and jack up the prices of everything else.”

            But you left out the part where then you gripe about the cost of housing!
            (see above; ditto SF)

            1. The people who vote for a 90% Democratic legislature mostly don’t make the connection between “affordable housing” and their own reeeeally unaffordable housing.

              Me, I moved somewhere where the housing costs are about half that in Hawaii.

              1. prolefeed|1.1.14 @ 11:12PM|#
                “The people who vote for a 90% Democratic legislature mostly don’t make the connection between “affordable housing” and their own reeeeally unaffordable housing.”

                In SF, our photogenic munchkin (ignoramus) of a mayor has decided to make housing a ‘project’. See, if he just gets a commission of the politically-connected together, why they’ll figure out that housing just shouldn’t cost that much (except *their* properties, of course) and proclaim new housing should be cheaper!
                Oh, and rent control has nothing to do with high rents, since if it was repealed, landlords would raise rents high enough to lose tenants!

    3. “We’ve got the right man and the right family, and I’m proud to be an American again.”

      What is the right *car*, chopped liver?

    4. Are they Oswald-type head shots?

  34. OT: Does anyone think this is racist?

    “I know this is going to sound racist, but what does The UK Commonwealth have against white people? Seriously. I’m a working class person with a modest educational history and I’m trying to escape the sinking ship that is the USA. I’ve looked at pretty much the entire Commonwealth and all of them have such impossible standards when it comes to immigration…

    …Unless you’re a non-white who comes in on a cargo-container with no vowels in your name and can’t speak english to save your life. Then the Crown says you hit the jackpot. Unemployed, illiterate and hostile non-white? Welcome to Australia/UK/Canada!!! Whiter then Frosty the Snowman? Unless you’re a millionaire with a Masters Degree eat S*** honkey.”

    1. I dunno but I’m a little confused that someone is looking to the Commonwealth in order to escape “the sinking ship that is the USA”. Maybe they should look a little harder.

      1. Better socialism done right. Australia or Canada would be my picks. Low populations and places which are still kinda out of the way are things that I find appealing.

        1. Ever been to Toronto? Sky high prices, boring, and fucking cold most of the year.

          Millions of square miles of wilderness not far away, though, if you’re into that.

          1. I like Toronto a lot. I grew up in the Rust Belt on the other side of Lake Ontario so Toronto was always the cool, cosmopolitan place to visit – especially for a 19 year old who wanted to party.

      2. “Maybe they should look a little harder.”
        I’m told it takes a length of 2X4 to get a mule’s attention.

    2. The first part was not racist, the second part was really fucking racist.

      1. Okay, maybe. But what I’m trying to do is square the news reports out of Britain regarding rioting, unemployed immigrants with the very stringent immigration requirements.

    3. I am somewhat familiar with the immigration practices of Canada and Australia, and from what I understand – much like the US – they are more favorable to immigration from certain countries over others, which changes over time depending on whatever “mixture” they’re going for. In other words, it’s based on national origin, not race.

      1. “it’s based on national origin, not race.”

        Okay, so if I pretend to be Wojzjacke Maerzjecewicksj I might squeak in?

        Stupid jokes aside, I still think having two separate standards to be somewhat biased

        1. Well sure, which is why that person should be arguing for free movement of all people rather than wallowing in racial grievance.

        2. I still think having two separate standards to be somewhat biased

          You think?

          However, having done the expat thing, I can tell you that as an America, you have a lot more freedom to travel and reside in different countries than most. The amount of countries we can step foot in an receive a visa-on-arrival is around 80, I believe. For my wife, who is a Thai citizen, the amount of countries that will give her a visa-on-arrival is 15 to 20, if I remember correctly.

          Besides, why the hell would you want to relocate to Canada or Australia when there are tropical paradises out there? Go to Costa Rica!

            1. Costa Rica doesn’t allow visa runs? Still, being eligible for citizenship only after 2 years of marriage to a Coast Rican national is pretty sweet.

        3. SusanM|1.1.14 @ 11:40PM|#
          “Okay, so if I pretend to be Wojzjacke Maerzjecewicksj I might squeak in?”

          With a name like that, you get to be the surprise guest on some weird TV show; the answer to the question no one answered.

      2. much like the US – they are more favorable to immigration from certain countries over others

        Technically our immigration system hasn’t been based on national origin for decades – it primarily emphasizes skills and education, causing pretty much the exact same frustrations this potential emigre is experiencing. If you don’t have a relative in the US and you have anything less than a masters in a STEM field you might as well get comfy because you’ll be in your late 40’s by the time you get approved if you apply out of college – if you make it at all.

  35. You know, I’m beginning to think the people at Raw Story are the absolute worst political commentariat on the internet.

    Example: Arizona man kills son with ax because he thought he was a demon

    Obvious case of mental illness or drug abuse, right? But let’s not miss an opportunity to dump on Christians!

    Darkchylde ? an hour ago ?
    In before RWNJs yelling “Ah-ha! See? We told you guns weren’t the problem!”

    Taleisin ? an hour ago ?
    I have yet to hear of an atheist confusing a child for a demon.

    How would an atheist react to vivid hallucinations of demonic creatures?

    TheRaven ? 2 hours ago ?
    Typical Christofascist Republican. I’m not sure why this is news.

    DriveBy ? 2 hours ago ?
    Religion is mental retardation that loving parents deliberately inflict upon their beloved children….often by inflicting a lot of pain and punishment.

    Vaughan Galustian ? 2 hours ago
    I’m pretty sure this guy’s problem delves a little bit deeper than religious fanaticism … it’s very likely that he had profound psychological issues.

    Vaughan Galustian ? 44 minutes ago ?
    You’re assuming there is a difference between the two.There isn’t.

    belseth Vaughan Galustian ? 2 hours ago
    Either that or he just watched a Fox News marathon.

    1. Yeah. They’re definitely the worst. The other day they were applauding France’s new 75% millionaire tax, and there were commenters on there arguing in favor of killing rich people.

      They spoke positively about the reign of terror.

      1. I don’t know how you people can read that stuff. Yeah, yeah, “know thy enemy”… but sheesh.

    2. Typical Christofascist Republican. I’m not sure why this is news.

      Sweet Christ, it’s an entire website filled with Shrike’s!

      Taleisin ? an hour ago ?
      I have yet to hear of an atheist confusing a child for a demon.

      How would an atheist react to vivid hallucinations of demonic creatures?

      Yes, when have atheists ever done anything bad?

      1. Standard prog response: well those weren’t *true* atheists, because true atheists are incapable of behaving irrationally.

        I suspect a strong correlation between the arrogance of mocking the religious for no reason other than to demonstrate your own intellectual superiority and the arrogance of thinking that either you or people you vote for are capable of centrally planning and organizing society.

        1. the arrogance of mocking the religious for no reason other than to demonstrate your own intellectual superiority

          There is that. I am an atheist but I grew up and learned a little humility along with how to live with folks who may disagree with me. These people are like children who refuse to grow up.

          1. That describes most people.

      2. Gonna argue re: Marxists/Leninists as atheists and killing as a result.
        They (M/Ls) may have claimed to disbelieve in the Mosaic god(s), but the substitute was bleef in the state; they were no lacking in religion.
        And even worse, Stalin didn’t even pretend to not-believe in the Mosaic god(s), referring to what ‘god would do’ regularly.
        Finally, as per the link, there was no more connection to M/L bleevers killing as a result of disbleef in Mosaic god(s) than there was a connection to that whacko killing his kid as a result of his bleef in the M god(s).
        He was a lone wacko who may have been ‘religious’, Lenin and the rest were certainly religious whackos with divisions.

        1. They (M/Ls) may have claimed to disbelieve in the Mosaic god(s), but the substitute was bleef in the state; they were no lacking in religion.

          I agree, but the people at Raw Story wouldn’t. That’s the point. They see themselves as noble and enlightened atheists, but they have an awful lot in common with atheistic totalitarian philosophies.

        2. This seems appropriate here.

          1. Say what you will about the Soviet Union, it’s still the greatest anthem of all time.
            2nd place.

            1. You chose that over La Marseillaise? Lunacy!

            2. I totally agree. Someone here linked it a while ago and I had to download it for posterity. My favorite bit is that they got rid of it after the Soviet Union broke up but Putin brought it back with different lyrics.

              I love the Brazilian one too after hearing it at so many soccer matches – because it’s so jaunty.

              1. If you like jaunty, you’d like the Thai Anthem, however it takes longer to blink than it does to play that song.

                Also, the music was written by an Italian.

                  1. I’m confused. I thought this was the Pakistani national anthem.

                    1. You know it. Every Cinco de Mayo, muthafucka, which I hear, is a really big holiday in Mexico. Like the biggest.

                  2. Jaunty, with some minor chords adding drama in the middle – I like it. And mercifully brief.

                    1. Mmmm…Jaya Seal. Can you believe that she was in her early 40s there?

    3. Sounds more like the guy was under the influence/ had a psychotic break than “OMG teh powah of Krist compels u!”

      Evidence: “Neighbors also tell me the father was screaming hysterically when police arrested him and that he was yelling about war.

      But let’s not let little things get in the way of the Two-Minutes Hate. Christfags are, after all, the root of all evil in the world and nothing good has ever come from them.

      1. No. The eco-nut who killed a bunch of people at the Discovery Channel when they refused to read his manifesto concerning global warming was mentally ill and needed treatment.

        This guy was religious, evil, and deserved to die.

        1. Yea…I think dad spent New Year’s getting wet, then freaked out and killed his kid.

  36. 7 out of 10 felons identify as Democrats.

    Remember though: It’s libertarians and conservatives who are the scary ones. Democrats, on the other hand, are enlightened and just want what’s best for people.

    1. There’s a prison rape/gay marriage joke to be made there, but I’ll be damned if I’m the one who will do it.

      1. TEAM Blue is pro-love, whether it is between two men, two women, or a man and his prison bitch.

        1. Well, they’re pro-love unless it’s fatherly love between a white conservative and his adopted black son.

    2. What if a President Rand started a program to pardon or commute the sentences of non-violent drug offenders. Could reuniting families and rectifying egregious injustices lead to a voter realignment among poor, minority voters?

      1. Not so long as the Democratic party keeps them on the plantation by lying to them about racism and keeping them in failed public schools.

        The Democratic Party keeps black people poorly educated so that they’re easily manipulated through race baiting. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most pro-teacher’s union, anti-reform individuals are in the Democratic Party. If inner city African Americans got educated they’d stop voting straight Democrat tickets. Therefore, it’s better to keep them eternally ignorant.

        1. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most pro-teacher’s union, anti-reform individuals are in the Democratic Party.

          And it’s rather sad that many of them are Black themselves.

        2. Growing up I was taught that voting democrat was the only choice for black people. I try to talk about limited government with family and friends but most believe the concept is just apart of a racist agenda. Progs have convinced black america that their policies are apart of what it means to be black. If critical thinking was applied they could see that giving more power to people with the same failed ideas will not result in better outcomes.

    3. So only allowing criminals to have guns is a feature, not a bug, of gun control.

  37. But, if you unpack the assumption behind the stories about congressional productivity, writes A. Barton Hinkle, you find a bias toward statism: the notion that government action is inherently good, and that more government action is inherently better.

    AKA American Government for Dummies, 1933-2013.

  38. Sometimes dude you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.BeinAnon.tk

  39. The bills they need to pass should say something to the effect of “is hereby REPEALED”.

  40. Finally, someone said it. This slow, complex system we have is by design. It is the separation of powers in action, the Madisonian construct of “power contradicting power,” a procedure to help ensure the legislation that passes is good legislation which has received vetting and maximum agreement from all corners. For it is the separation of powers–and not the provisions of the Bill of Rights–that ensures American freedom.

    The real problem isn’t that Congress doesn’t do enough, it’s that we expect Congress to do too much. We are attempting to maintain a government that is orders of magnitude larger than the Constitutional system was designed to support.

  41. I’ve wanted to learn more about this so-called government gridlock, but I didn’t get all the answers I was looking for here.

    I sometimes think that Tea Party Republicans and others outside of the establishment should not simply oppose most bills, even if a lot of them increase taxes. They should use what power they have to reach a compromise on these bills, so that bit by bit, they can get the government to spend less.

    Is that a fair point? Or am I to believe that establishment politicians aren’t willing to budge one bit on bills that increase spending? I’d love to read more about this, does anyone know of any good articles/critiques on this subject?

    1. If you want pony, ask for a horse farm. Then getting exactly what you want becomes the “compromise”.

      The “compromise” you’re talking about happens all the time. It’s called earmarking. It’s why Republicans are so loathed by people serious about cutting taxing and spending, because they start out giving the Democrats most of what they want, then settle for giving them all of it, with a little on the side for their own district.

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