Morning Links

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
  • Some of the worst polluting cars on the road inelligible for Clunkers program.
  • He blames gay marriage.
  • DEA/FBI participate in two medical marijuana raids in California.
  • Bill to legalize online poker introduced in the Senate.
  • Sculptures in motion.
  • Kenosha, WI alderman wants to fine people for swearing at police officers.
  • This will blow your mind.
  • Indiana congressman says town hall protests are “political terrorism.” Maybe I should start pitching my “Support Dissent” gear to the right, and it’s lefties who will give me dirty looks when I wear my own shirt in public.
  • The lawn chair wars continue!
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  • 92 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #46 J sub D

      If the government insurance option is not subsidized by tax dollars, i.e. entirely paid for by premiums collected (including salary and benefits for administraors, electricity, office space and other business expenses) and required to conform to all laws that govern private health insurance providers, go for it.

      It’s not subsidized aside from that trillion dollars over ten years.

    2. #2 |  J sub D | 

      It’s not subsidized aside from that trillion dollars over ten years.

      Then I have a trillion problems with it.

      C’mon Obamaniacs, you won’t have to pay your executives obscene salaries, you won’t have to waste money on bureaucratic inefficiencies, you won’t have to even make a dime.

      How hard could it be?

    3. #3 |  Joshgeek | 

      Radley, thanks so much for the link to the Kenosha story. the more people who hear about it, the more national coverage it gets, the better. I was in disbelief when I heard about something so horrendously ignorant of our rights. And it’s not that I support swearing at cops or would ever in my life recieve such a ticket. It’s that this could be just the beginning in terms of the disregard of our rights by municipalities. It could set a very dangerous precedent if it goes on unopposed. Kudos to all the fine work u do here at!

    4. #4 |  flukebucket | 

      If I don’t like the policies my Congressman is planning to pursue, if I want to show up wherever he is and yell at him, that’s part of the price he pays for being a Congressman.

      Yeah but the problem is that you are the one that is going to look like some kind of dumb ass. Kind of like sticking your fingers in your ears and say lalalalalalala. It is definitely your prerogative. I just can’t figure out why any rational person would choose that course of action.

    5. #5 |  perlhaqr | 

      The C4C program also requires the dealers to destroy parts I could use to make my “unqualified” car *get* better mileage. The fuel injected motor out of a ’99 dodge pickup would fit right into my ’72 Satellite.

      But instead the Feds are spending money they taxed from me to buy parts I want, and destroy them. Fuckers.

    6. #6 |  Michael Pack | 

      I think it’s about time people get mad over the government trying to control such a huge part of the economy.There’s so many thing in the budget that were never meant to be allowed I’m afraid it might be to late.As for one example,the price of sugar is going through the roof and it’s due to price controls that benefit a few growers in this country.Government has no business providing health care,or farm payments or for that matter the drug war.

    7. #7 |  JS | 

      Dave Krueger “Actually, if Bush had proposed the exact same health care plan, the roll of the two parties would now be reversed. The ideas don’t matter to the two parties. The only thing that matters is whose ideas they are.”

      Well that one is going in my collection of brilliant Dave Krueger quotes!

    8. #8 |  supercat | 

      //Some of the worst polluting cars on the road inelligible for Clunkers program. //

      That’s because the purpose of the program isn’t to destroy real clunkers, but rather to destroy decent used cars that would otherwise have replaced real clunkers. The authors of the legislation couldn’t have come right out and said that, of course, but every rusted-out 1972 clunker they destroyed would be one less nice car they could trash.

      I’m flabbergasted, though, by dealers’ willingness to destroy the old cars before they receive payment for them. Anyone gullible enough to trust the government deserves to lose money.

    9. #9 |  newshutz | 

      Dave Krueger “Actually, if Bush had proposed the exact same health care plan, the roll of the two parties would now be reversed. The ideas don’t matter to the two parties. The only thing that matters is whose ideas they are.”

      Bush did make several health care reform proposals after the medicare drug benefit. The democrats in congress were not willing to engage in a dialog.

    10. #10 |  James D | 

      newshutz is right. Bush had a great proposal (one of the best his administration ever had) for ‘Personal Health Accounts’ or whatever. The problem there is that dreaded ‘personal responsibility’ part scared the people away.

    11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      “If you have a mob at Town Hall, you might just deserve a mob at Town Hall…” — Me

      I stand by my statement. I won’t raise a gun (only a pen and a ticket out of the country) against the state when fascism/collectivism rules, but I sure will understand the position of those that do. All actions have consequences and constantly claiming moral superiority (I’m looking at the Mid-East here) doesn’t save your hide from the lunitics wearing white/blue or black/white/red/green.

      Just to be blunt, I’ve stated that the USA is not ready for the liberty most on this site hope for. There’d be riots (IMHO) if the free cheese stopped from those that are generations of thought away from getting off the mailbox. Yes, this is condescending on my part. Meh.

      You (Congress) ignored the voters and gave your buddies trillions. You ignored the voters and fought useless wars, raised taxes forever, expanded government to “Everything”, blew snot on the Constitution, lied, killed, ruined, imprisoned, and pretty much dry ass fucked everyone and every ideal in some way, shape or form. Yes, finally, a couple angry old timers are raising their voices and wagging their fingers at you when you try to shovel more ass manure at them about how they’ll be OK when they see you reaching for their mule and bending them over yet again.

      Heroes? Town Hall Mobs. Put a screaming grandpa on a t-shirt and wipe the bum with Che.

    12. #12 |  JS | 

      Great post Boyd! The ticket out though might become increasingly more difficult in the coming days:

    13. #13 |  Andrew | 

      RE:Medical marijuana raids

      It’s too bad a governor with some balls wouldn’t stand up to the feds. Prohibit law enforcement in his state from cooperating or interacting with the DEA. Prohibit the DEA from possessing firearms or making arrests in his state. Prohibit the DEA from even operating in his state and require their offices be closed and their personnel leave the state. If they refuse to do so send in the state police and national guard to remove them by force.

    14. #14 |  justaguy | 

      Heres one of a guy just sitting on his porch, and the cops just walk up and taser him. It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.

    15. #15 |  Sam | 

      I wondered when I saw all the comments…too bad this degenerated into simple name calling. Besides Dave’s ubiquitously correct “it ain’t the program, it’s the guys on the other side they’re fighting against” message, there are a number of items worth addressing. One of the most downrated posts was pretty spot on until it hit the “righties are crazy” button and everyone ignored what came before.

      So, just for a recap of my thoughts…the people on the extreme left *and* right are a bit mentally loose, aggressive, and looking for a reason to kill you to secure their righteousness victories. You still need to listen to them long enough to catch the important things they say you would have missed otherwise. Corporate influence isn’t all fluffy bunnies and government influence isn’t all bad, but you can’t go crazy with defining your system of rules…there is no set of rules so accurate that someone can’t figure out a way to game it nor is there a way to game the system so deviant that someone won’t do it once they figure it out. Set some basic rules for *everything* so we all know where we stand, back off and adjust as necessary on the fly (NOT with new laws).

      I really do think universal health care is a good idea. Period. It can also be a back door to socialism, communism, fascism, and all the other -isms that we’ve already got and no one wants to face up to just like every other program ever put into place…I mean seriously, we take the whole “interstate commerce” thing with a straight face these days…

    16. #16 |  Sam | 

      Oh, and as to why an NHS style system is ok in my book: It works better than you think if you haven’t used it (yeah I’ve spent time in London). If you’re worried about all the irresponsible idiots draining our system of money then you’ve already missed the boat. It’s already happening and our current system does nothing but try to pretend it doesn’t exist. When you’re sick and broke you go to the emergency room…they’re required by law to treat you to a certain extent but the gray area means you get kicked away for smaller cheaper problems that become bigger more expensive ones later. All of those expenses for problems small now or big later come to us tax & insurance payers already. Installing a system to manage that may piss you off but it beats the hell out of closing your eyes and humming real loud so you don’t have to hear your bank account emptying.

    17. #17 |  Sam | 

      Town meetings: yeah, the angry mob has some good reasons to be upset…they also have really really bad ones. The complete inability to figure out the whole euthanasia thing boggles my mind. There are some pretty shitty people out there doing some pretty shitty things, but if you think that they’re trying to “kill off the old people” you’ve stretched and broken your connection to reality.

      Never mind the part where insurance companies do, literally, already try to let old ppl die, or the truly useful question about how the successes and failures of medicare or the VA should mould our discussion about gov’t run health care. Yelling that you don’t like it doesn’t help. I don’t like it when my cat gets run over but I’m the dumbass that let him out.

    18. #18 |  OneByTheCee | 

      I am deeply offended and enraged that fucktard, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) would dare refer to this as “terrorism”. Another fear mongering asswipe demeaning and belittling persons who have actually died or have been maimed due to REAL TERRORISM.

      As for the traitor-to-the-American -people-and-their-constitutional-rights, Kenosha WI Alderman Patrick Juliana, I stumbled across something he was quoted as saying in another matter:

      “Alderman Patrick Juliana said …. “There are too many thin-skinned people on this council,”

      Apparently he also believes this includes those really sensitive types: Police and Fire Personnel.

      Deeper and more probing questions should be forcefully put to Juliana (like a taser pressed up against his anus): How much have the PD/FD agreed to contribute to your campaign fund and/or what’s the split on the proposed fines between the City, Police and Fire Dept to make up for budgetary shortfalls, for example, pay raises?

      Noting the marijuana raid, Dave Krueger is truly spot on – free money. The City of Torrance is no where near these dispensary locations. Unfortunately, 100k won’t go very far with all the involved agencies. But there’s still hope: when the LEO’s commence the asset forfeiture civil proceedings long before any meaningful criminal proceedings either commence or conclude.

      TPD has stated they will not allow Medical Marijuana in “their city” regardless of what the “civilians” of the State of CA may have voted for. Interesting side note: The local paper based in Torrance-The Daily Breeze, has not reported on this story. Their crime reporter, (whom, by the way, is unusually adept at deep throating any local PD’s “baton” / version of events) has been mum on the raid. Probably due to “that icky dog shooting stuff.”

    19. #19 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      “It’s too bad a governor with some balls wouldn’t stand up to the feds. Prohibit law enforcement in his state from cooperating or interacting with the DEA.”
      Yeah, especially for a crime that should be State jurisdiction.
      The drafters of the Constitution clearly intended the states to bear responsibility for public safety. The Constitution gave Congress jurisdiction over only three crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations.
      Maybe I am naive, but how did pot selling get sucked into Federal jurisdiction?

    20. #20 |  ktc2 | 

      I’ve yet to see or hear any of these thugish protestors at the meetings actually manage a coherent argument. Everything seems to be, “I’m afraid of Obama!” or “It’s socialism!” or “They’re going to kill my _________ with their Death Panels!” or “Rush / Beck / O’Reilly says . . . “.

      There are plenty of reasons to oppose the plan but these just seem to be empty heads chanting whatever their “leaders” (i.e. the far rightwing nutjobs mentioned above) tell them.

      I’ve also noticed they mostly appear to be of Medicare recipient age so it’s kind of an “I got mine already and you’re paying for it! The rest of you can just die!” attitude toward others in need. No doubt at least fear of losing their current socialized medicine by expanding it or creating something similar for others.

      Ideally this would be resolved by getting the feds completely out of medical care, but we all know that is NOT going to happen this century. So what to do?

      I’ve worked in healthcare for small physicians and large hospitals for the last 15 years. None of the programs currently proposed will get to the root of the problem. They will however provide some coverage for those in real need. There is much that could be done to reduce the actual cost of healthcare and make it affordable for all but the poorest for home programs already exist but none of the congresscritters will allow this as there is too much cash being made, and enough of it rerouted to them through lobbyists. Therefore actual reform that brings down the cost of healthcare will never happen in this country.

      No this is NOT an anticapitalist statement. The US hasn’t been capitalist since approximately 1913 by my reckoning. In a real capitalist society competition would keep prices low, this doesn’t happen here due to government intervention that will never be undone.

      Given the state of our no longer capitalist country it’s just plain stupid to whine about socialism. You’ve been living under socialism, perhaps veiled, for near a hundred years.

      Also, where were all these shouted warnings of socialism when the trillions for billionaire bankers shit was happening? That sure as hell was socialism. Or is it only “bad” socialism when they’re trying to help the average family (who aren’t retirement age)? There were some complaints about that to be sure, mostly from libertarians but these same people violently opposing healthcare reform were mostly in favor of that bit of socialism.

      Sorry for the all of text. Just sick of this shit.

    21. #21 |  Indiana Representative Baron Hill (3rd District) refers to angry constituents as political terrorists, rather than hecklers. | Popehat | 

      […] Via Radley Balko. […]

    22. #22 |  Fluffy | 

      There are some pretty shitty people out there doing some pretty shitty things, but if you think that they’re trying to “kill off the old people” you’ve stretched and broken your connection to reality.

      I would say this:

      I don’t believe for one second that anyone involved in creating this bill is consciously thinking to themselves, “Let’s put something in here that allows us to kill off all the old people.”

      But it’s not appropriate to analyze the bill using the intentions of the people writing the bill as your starting point.

      What is appropriate is to look at the bill’s overall structure and say, “Assuming complete bad faith on the part of the bureaucrats who will have to implement this bill, what are the worst possible outcomes?” The reason this is appropriate is because every other bill passed into law eventually degenerates to its worst bad faith outcome.

      End of Life counseling + bureaucratic boards entitled to prioritize care + bureaucratic pressure to cut costs + “bad faith worst case outcome” = system bias towards pressuring old people to stop costing everyone so much money. That’s just the way it will work itself out.

      Radley likes to post stories on this blog about police shooting dogs. When police departments sit down to write policies about police conduct while serving warrants, no one sat there thinking to themselves, “Hmmm…how can I write these policies so that assholes who are pumped to discharge their weapons will be able to finally shooting something and get away with it? I know, I’ll make it OK to shoot dogs if you feel ‘threatened’.” That’s just not what happened. What happened is that policies were crafted largely in good faith but implemented in bad faith, because all state systems are implemented in bad faith. That is what will happen with any health care policy we devise, too.

    23. #23 |  James D | 

      ktc2, you and the other lefties are injecting the Rush/Oreilly/etc crap into the debate … a LOT of these people are DEMOCRATs … so speak your OPINION all you want but stop trying to make it into some sort of “right-wing radio is organizing this” bullshit. Show me some proof …. As can be easily pointed out, it’s the democrats/liberals who are well-organized and have ‘dial-a-mob’ on their speed dials. It’s pretty obvious that conservatives (exhibit A – last years election) can’t organize their way out of a paper bag.

      And as to why there is more outrage to this than the OTHER socialist things happening; it’s because people feel more directly affected by healthcare than “your tax money is being wasted yet again on another stupid government program”. I may think all of that should be protested against, but most Americans just don’t get that involved.

    24. #24 |  Geoff | 


      I completely agree with your view on the ambiguous bill. I fear it will be seen as another, if not the quintessential “living document” of the United States. If it is passed and doesn’t work as advertised, it will be re-interpreted.

      Pieces of this bill are only being explained when leaders are being called out and there are way to many pieces. On, there is not a single easy to read outline or synopsis of the intended operating procedure of the bill. I can see peoples’ personal stories, problems with the system, statistics supporting the ends of the plan, but there are no explainations. All END,no MEANS!
      The only real explanations I see is in all of the debunking literature and articles. If they would debunk the whole Bill, I would be smitten. Thats what I want, and know I will never get.

      Fortunately, lawmakers are beginning to explain that they have no way to read and comprehend all of it, so that if any unexpected consequences arise they can try to wiggle out of responsibility. The conference committee on this bill alone is going to be a nightmare if the bill is passed. The only transparency this Administration has is a huge Ventian blind with a great big smiley face painted on it.

    25. #25 |  ktc2 | 

      Uh no, actually, that’s what I’ve seen and heard these people saying on various news programs on various channels. So they are injecting it, I’m just referencing their comments.

    26. #26 |  ktc2 | 

      I would also question how they are more “directly involved” by giving trillions of dollars to provide healthcare for those in need than by providing trillions of dollars for the comfort of billionaires through a recession and/or for completely unnecessary wars that earn us numerous more enemies worldwide who want to kill us.

    27. #27 |  divadab | 

      This country’s fucked. You’re a bunch of brainwashed unhealthy morons. Fuck you, fuck your authoritarian retard jingoism, fuck your steroidal militarism, fuck your ignorant bullying ways, fuck your complete disrespect for anything, especially yourselves.

      Go disrupt a meeting with your donkey braying. Fuck off and die from cancer without insurance and with the DEA making sure your doctor is too intimidated to prescribe an effective painkiller.

      Keep on supporting a corrupt predatory federal state that is directly opposed to your own interests. Keep feeding the greediest, most immoral people in the world who control the corporations sucking the country’s treasure into their pockets.

      You disgust me, contemptible cowards and weaklings, who can only feel strong in a bullying group. Fascist fucks. Go lick Cheney’s arse again, authoritarian dick worshippers.

    28. #28 |  divadab | 

      Oh ya – Have a nice day! ;>0

    29. #29 |  Aresen | 

      Come on divadab.

      Tell us how you really feel.

    30. #30 |  ktc2 | 

      I just got back from the lunchroom where CNN was on the TV.

      First thing I hear is some lady on TV saying, “It’s too much change! He’s scaring us with too much change too fast!”. She was referring of course to Obama and healthcare reform.


    31. #31 |  Mattocracy | 

      Thanks for visiting divadab, you big baby. I like how you pushed all these labels on us just because we disagree with you. Did it ever occur to you that people can dislike universal healthcare and still not support corporate thugary? Or maybe that people can can be oppose universal coverage without worshipping Limbaugh and Fox News?

      But I guess that would make your view of the world too complicated. I guess it’s better to label everyone different from you part of the evil right who all believe the same things because it’s easier for you to comprehend. Bush had a similar black and white world view. Thanks for the hypocrisy, you’ve pretty much reinforced every negative stereotype of the left/right.

    32. #32 |  MNT | 

      We think that your readers will be interested in this article from the “Broward-Palm Beach New Times”, about a man who was left brain damaged from a car collision with a Broward deputy ten years ago, and who still has not received any money from the health insurance company or BSO.

      Here is a link:

      Thank you

    33. #33 |  wunder | 

      So far the people in my office who are OK with the reforms being proposed have this argument, “Well something has to be done.”

      How do you even debate that? When I say, “Yes, but this isn’t the answer, and will only make the problem worse. The government does such a great job of running the other health insurance programs – Medicare and Medicaid – after all. By all means lets give them even more to manage.” They answer with, ” but but but something has to be done.”
      That’s the extent of the argument. Apparently, offering up other solutions besides an absurd increase in the federal government’s meddling means “doing nothing” – unreal. Oh, and it also means I’m an “authoritarion dick worshipper who licks Cheney’s arse.”

    34. #34 |  Aresen | 


      I know that argument all too well. There are two answers:



      Look before you leap.

    35. #35 |  ktc2 | 

      Anybody see TDS last night?

      They had a great bit on Glen Beck. Showing him on Fox ranting about the evils of healthcare reform and how we have the “greatest healthcare in the world” and then video from less than two years earlier on CNN talking about America’s healthcare nightmare and how something must be done.


    36. #36 |  wunder | 

      Oh, Arensen, that’s funny. When I say “Why” it means that I want the status quo, and therefore I want poor people dying in the street. And when I did make the argument that Congress was trying to shove through an 1100 page bill in five days without any real review, the answer I got was “No they weren’t. Well that was then; now they’re debating it and working on a bill, so let’s wait and see what they come up with and really have a debate. And, anyway, something has to be done.” I just laughed.

      Of course, this all started because I have the “Government … If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions” poster outside my cube. I always put this up when they’re busy “fixing” things for us. It went up after the stimulus bill passed, too.

    37. #37 |  Big Texan | 

      “authoritarion dick worshipper who licks Cheney’s arse”

      pics or it didn’t happen

    38. #38 |  Aresen | 


      The response to the “dying in the streets” meme is “What makes you think that won’t happen with government medicare?”

      While one can make an egalitarian argument that everyone should be entitled to medical care – (I don’t agree with it, but the argument can be made if you hold that it is a right) – the simple fact is that resources, including medical resources, are limited at any particular point in time. If you are going to provide medical care to some people who are presently not covered, it follows that those medical resources are not going to be available to someone else and they will die. A capitalist system has an incentive to expand those resources and, by doing so profitably, does so in a way that tends to promote economic growth. Ultimately, this promotes the growth in the total resources available for all purposes, including medical care.

      Big Texan

      I know a few websites that would pay big money for those pics. :)

    39. #39 |  James D | 

      You liberals aren’t even worth my time anymore …. I’ll just wait for the NEXT story focusing on yet ANOTHER ridiculous/creapy/etc part of the bill … which no Democrat apparently has time to read.

      I just hope this whole episode makes Americans hold all politicians more accountable for what is in their bills.

    40. #40 |  Aresen | 


      Did someone see a liberal (in the modern, not the classical, sense) around here. Other than as a troll?

    41. #41 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      This thread started with not much chance of being special, but BRAVO! You guys really kicked it up a notch here.

      Loved it.

      Fuck the fucking fuckers!

    42. #42 |  James D | 

      So are ktc2 and divadab trolls then? Because they certainly can’t be libertarians ….