Saturday, February 04, 2012

"Lawsuit: Defendant Breached a Duty Not to Shoot Bottle Rockets Out of His Anus"

This sounds a lot like Fraternity Row on Langdon Street in Madison back in the glory days of the 1970s. Well, I mean, so I've heard. I think I read a magazine article about Madison in those days.

Follow the link.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Big-Government Republicans

Andrew McCarthy gets it right:
The problem is the GOP. Republicans are simply not interested in limiting government or addressing our death spiral of spending.
Even more pointedly here:
As if to prove that Obama has not cornered the market on cynicism, the GOP apparently feels the need to insult your intelligence while it helps our latter-day Robin Hood take from the unborn to give to the insatiable...

...Now in control of the House and with near parity in the Senate, Republicans were in a position to stop the madness: to decline to authorize more borrowing and thus force spending cuts.

Instead, they did what they always do: They caved...

..There was no credible threat of default because revenues remain vastly higher than what it costs to service the government’s bonds. The real threat — the threat too terrible to contemplate — was that our elected representatives might be forced to make hard, accountable decisions about what spending would need to be cut in order to live within their $14.3 trillion limit...
McCarthy ends with the big, ugly, question no Republican wants heard:
The debt is America’s existential crisis. For a dozen years, Republicans have been more its cause than its solution. In 2010, they were given a new lease on life based on their assurances that they had changed. But nothing has changed. So remind me what we need them for?
My answer: So we have the third ingredient for the constitutionally protected performance art involving tar and feathers.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Department of Oops: FBI Executes No-Knock Chainsaw Raid on the Wrong Apartment

What could go wrong with a simple drug raid?
Judy Sanchez woke Thursday to the sound of heavy footsteps in her stairwell, followed by a loud motor. She got to her kitchen in time to see the blade of a chain saw rip through her front door....

The people sawing through her door were FBI agents, looking for a gang member suspected of trafficking cocaine. But they went to the wrong address.
As I said in the comments:
There should be no professional immunity for screwed up no-knock raids. These guys should be prosecuted for felony armed home invasion, conspiracy to commit felony armed home invasion, and felony assault.

And they are damn lucky the woman behind the door didn't have a shotgun loaded with slugs, or a deer rifle. So far as I am concerned, if she had been armed, she could have legitimaterly fired when the chainsaw blade came through the door.

Michael Hartwell has the story here.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Regulatory Capture. Also: DC Gun Control Laws and the Heller Decision.

How's that for an elegant title?


I had read about the manufacturers of CFL light bulbs advocating for energy efficiency regs to wipe out their competition, but not about the washing machine manufacturers. The polite modern name is "crony capitalism", but I prefer the older one: Fascism.

Thanks to Tom Palmer for the lead. He may not remember it, but we briefly worked together on the Libertarian Party's 1980 Ed Clark for President campaign. He seemed like a good guy then, and even better today.

Tom was also one of the original complainants (see here, under "Lower Court Background") in what became known as the Heller Decision which, so far rather futilely, struck down the DC ban on handguns.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Obama and Our Debt

Nancy Pelosi has posted a chart purporting to show the different rates of increased federal debt under our last five presidents. There are two unfortunate aspects to it: The chart itself is both misleading and utterly wrong, and it has gone viral.

PolitiFact says of the chart:
• Debt vs. debt as a percentage of GDP: Some economists will tell you that it’s not the size of the debt per se, but rather the size of the debt relative to the nation’s gross domestic product. This helps minimize the complicating effect of economic cycles and inflation. So how do those numbers stack up? Using OMB statistics, here’s what we came up with, using public debt figures not adjusted for the president’s time in office:

Reagan: Up 14.9 percentage points
George H.W. Bush: Up 7.1 percentage points
Clinton: Down 13.4 percentage points
George W. Bush: Up 5.6 percentage points
Obama: Up 21.9 percentage points (through December 2010 only)

So by this measurement -- potentially a more important one -- Obama is the undisputed debt king of the last five presidents, rather than the guy who added a piddling amount to the debt, as Pelosi’s chart suggested...

...We rate it Pants on Fire.
Nancy Pelosi: Does she ever tell the truth?

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