Unspoofable

Via Sullivan, this:

“We are in the early stages of the Reid/Obama/Pelosi recession and nothing they are even talking about doing will help.”– Grover Norquist, writing in the National Review Online, 6 February 2009, three weeks after the inauguration

You. Can’t. Spoof. These. People.

They have no shame. None.

*** Update ***

Just so we are clear how brazen and shameless and amazing this is, the NBER has determined that the recession started in December 2007, thirteen months before the Obama inauguration. As I write this, there have been sixteen posts, and none of the other authors there have corrected them, although Ramesh Ponneru took issue with a different aspect of his post.

The whole Republican barrel of apples is rotten.

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153 replies
  1. 1
    SGEW says:

    You. Can’t. Spoof. These. People.

    Can we call Poe’s Law on the entire Republican party?

  2. 2
    Dreggas says:

    spoof no, mock the shit out of yes….also.

  3. 3
    Mark-NC says:

    Newsweek called Afghanistan "Obama’s Viet Nam". That didn’t take long either.

  4. 4
    mapleh23 says:

    These people are shameless!

  5. 5
    DonkeyKong says:

    Grover Norquist

    D list Bond villain!

  6. 6
    gbear says:

    Grover Nordquist drowned his sense of shame in a bathtub a long time ago. It was so small that he didn’t even break a sweat in the process.

    Grover Nordquist is an absolute shoe-in for the asshole hall of fame. He’ll get the votes first time he’s nominated.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    @gbear: I think this is just the website to start an annual ballot for the Asshole Hall of Fame.

  8. 8
    Tropical Fats says:

    No, this is the Grover Norquist recession.

    Hey, as long as we get to just make stuff up, I’d like to blame him. I’ve never much liked him, and he seems like the sort of guy who would cause a recession just out of spite. So screw him. It’s all his fault.

  9. 9
    Ugh says:

    Crap, I should have saved this comment for Norquist.

  10. 10
    Keith says:

    By that same token, hemorroids are known as "Norquist Syndrome"

  11. 11
    demkat620 says:

    I like O-Dub’s word assclowns. That’s what they all are.

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    We are in the early stages of the Reid/Obama/Pelosi recession and nothing they are even talking about doing will help.

    And don’t come crawling back to the GOP for tax cuts in 2010, either. Cause we might not even be in the mood to give them to you.

  13. 13
    SGEW says:

    @Ugh: Too late, Ugh. Thune it is, and forever shall be.

  14. 14
    Awesom0 says:

    After watching the Republicans these past 8 years, I can confidently say that I now know why countries have civil wars. I’m serious.

  15. 15
    jcricket says:

    Norquist has negative 1000% credibility on any and all economic issues. Any paper that employs him, any TV station that has him on as a talking head, should be as ashamed as if they put up Lyndon Larouche, David Duke, Father Coughlin, etc.

    He’s a clear and present danger to America.

  16. 16

    Dear Mr. Norquist,
    Thank you for your submission. However, we must regretfully inform you that we’ve already adopted Rush & Flush as our new policy wonks/talking point generators.

    Regards,

    The G.O.P.

  17. 17
    Feebog says:

    I like the fact that George W. Bush seems to have completely disappered. It’s like we went directly from January 2001 to January 2009. Zap, eight years down the memory hole.

  18. 18
    JL says:

    @John Cole: The way the repubs are going, you might consider doing a weekly list.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    Off the specific topic of Norquist, but on the general topic of the unspoofable.

    I was once a member of the Federalist Society, and they have never purged me from their email list, so today I get an email informing me that John Yoo will be the lunch speaker at the meeting of the OC chapter of FedSoc on March 10 in Irvine.

    Jeez, all that comedy for thirty bucks, and I can get an hour of CLE credit for it, too. How can I say no?

  20. 20
    Joshua Norton says:

    They’ve been trying to call it the "Obama Recession" since last June. Now that he’s been inaugurated they’re going full press gonzo wingnut fantasia with all the stuff they’ve been saving since it became apparent that McCain was going to lose.

    Has anyone started another anti-ACORN rant yet? I didn’t realize that the bulk of the stimulus bill was going to them. Thank gawd the wingers are there to keep me informed.

  21. 21
    Rick Taylor says:

    Yes. So what else is new?

  22. 22
    demkat620 says:

    I don’t know how Obama puts up with these people. God, the level of stupid you would have to deal with has got to be excrutiating during something like this. I couldn’t do it. I’d be on so many drugs to prevent me from doing a mischief I’d be incoherent.

  23. 23
    BDeevDad says:

    The way the repubs are going, you might consider doing a weekly hourly list.

    Fixed

  24. 24
    Stuck says:

    Grover Norquist.

    A funny thing happened on his way
    to drown the Federal Government.
    He slipped on a metaphor
    And bumped his noggin.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    How many times did I say it?

    The moment Obama became President, most of the past 8 years of George W. Bush Jr. failure would simply disappear.

    There was Jimmy Carter who surrendered to Iran and who forced banks to give free houses to black welfare mothers, and then came Ronald Reagan who saved our economy and defeated the Soviet Union, and then some other guy for a few days or something, and then there was Bill Clinton destroying the military and having sex with children and pardoning Mark Rich, and then Al Gore tried to steal an election, and then George W. Bush Jr. kept terrorists from attacking us after 9/11, and then somehow or other our troops ended up in Iraq, and then in 2006 Nancy Pelosi stole the election for the Democraps, and the Democrats tried to kill U.S. troops by not supporting THE SURGE, and then Barney Frank forced the bank industry to lend money to illegal aliens to buy mansions with no downpayment and no job and Chuck Schumer caused our giant financial crisis by mentioning that a bank might be bankrupt, and finally Wall Street failed when they realized that Obama would be President because the Democrats made fun of Bristol Palin.

    And that will be history, and the media will go along with it.

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:

    The things I’d like to do to Grover Norquist can’t be repeated, even among this foul-mouthed crew.

  27. 27
    Tom Hilton says:

    We are in the early stages of the Reid/Obama/Pelosi recession

    Soon to be replaced by the Norquist/Limbaugh/DeMint depression.

  28. 28
    woody says:

    Can we call Poe’s Law on the entire Republican party?

    What you need is "Woody’s Corollary"

    "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Neo-Con Rightardedness that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing."

  29. 29
    demkat620 says:

    Here’s your first nominee John:

    Haley Barbour, Republican Governor of MS, just now on Hardball. Wants this stimulus bill to fail cause a couple more people in MS might get UC benefits. Seriously.

  30. 30
    The Populist says:

    Note to the right: Those of you who post here and say things like the left are very negative, blah, blah…what do you think of this nonsense? If it’s not about winning versus coming together to solve a problem, what is it exactly?

  31. 31
    DonkeyKong says:

    Isn’t Norquist, Finnish for dried turd?

  32. 32
    SGEW says:

    . . . as ashamed as if they put up Lyndon Larouche, David Duke, Father Coughlin, etc.

    In all fairness, if a TV station booked a Father Coughlin appearance the novelty factor alone would be worth any shame they might receive, as Charles Coughlin has been dead for thirty years. ;)

  33. 33
    The Populist says:

    Haley Barbour, Republican Governor of MS, just now on Hardball. Wants this stimulus bill to fail cause a couple more people in MS might get UC benefits. Seriously.

    New rule: If he doesn’t want it and it passes, then we don’t give them anything. What pisses me off about Haley Barbour is that my tax dollars, living in California, subsidise that state. For every dollar I provide to the feds, California only sees a fraction of that. Maybe he can help and stop taking any federal money altogether.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    former capitalist says:

    Only my dearly departed father could string together sufficient anti-Republican profanity to rise to this occasion.

  36. 36
    woody says:

    We are in the early stages of the Reid/Obama/Pelosi recession

    I’m surprised he gave Harry first billing.

    Unfortunately, he’s right.

    This won’t be remembered as the "Bush" recession, just like Ike gets none of the blame for Vietnam, though he started the US intervention there right after Dien Bien Phu. It’s Johnson’s war. And this is gonna be the "Obama & The Dims" recession (if we’re lucky)…

    Just as the collapse, when it comes, will be blamed on Obama and the Dims.

    That is just the way it is…

  37. 37
    gbear says:

    @Joshua Norton:

    Has anyone started another anti-ACORN rant yet?

    Joshua, I don’t have a link but apparently a senator was going off about ACORN during the stimulus debate today. Again, you can’t spoof them. Sorry I don’t have backup handy.

  38. 38
    JL says:

    Let’s remember that if the tax cuts worked, we’d all be rich and happy and Bush would be touted a genius. The stock market would be at 16,000 and Greenspan would be praising the banks for running a successful ponzi scheme.

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    @ The Populist: Agreed.

    If you GOP fucks from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, etc., are so god-damned offended by the notion of the fedrul gubmit handing out money for jobs, then stop taking your god-damned federal subsidies to keep your shitty backwards redneck Republican states running.

  40. 40
  41. 41

    If what Norquist says is true – if Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi have brought about change that will cause us to go into a plain old recession – then they will be remembered as perhaps the greatest economic geniuses ever to occupy the White House, the Senate Majority Leader’s chair, and the Speakership.

    Man, wouldn’t it be awesome if we just had a recession, and that’s all?

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @JL:

    Tax cuts didn’t fail. They were failed.

  43. 43
    Joshua Norton says:

    The whole Republican barrel of apples is rotten.

    Not only that, today is St. Ronnie of Reagan’s birthday. I guess the wingnutz couldn’t get it moved to Dec. 25 like they wanted to.

  44. 44
    Zifnab says:

    @burnspbesq: CLAP HARDER DAMNIT!

  45. 45
    flywheelgrinding says:

    I, Flywheel Q. Grinding, do hereby forswear any and all "true believer" stances I have taken and opinions I have expressed in the past.

    I see now the errors of my ways and know that they would have led me into the Burning Forest of Mendacity From Which There Is No Escape.

    Other than that, I would like to have Grover, a sawhorse, a sex toy and some time to enlighten him as to his true nature. Heh.

  46. 46
    The Populist says:

    Just as the collapse, when it comes, will be blamed on Obama and the Dims.

    No…because Bush is still viewed as an awful President who helped create this mess. Nobody believed the 2000 recession was Clinton’s doing.

    Yep, the public may be dim sometimes but I think they clearly see the mess Bush made. If the money Obama spends FAILS to right the ship, he may get poked at but I think most people will see he did what he could to fix it.

    Compare Obama now to Bush during Katrina or months ago when the mess got deeper. People see the difference. If we go down, the right will have a lot of explaining to do.

  47. 47
    The Populist says:

    Can we now change the name of Reagan Airport back to Dulles? The Reagan Revolution is a failure of a gigantic magnitude.

  48. 48
    Rick Taylor says:

    The whole Republican barrel of apples is rotten.

    Yup. And?

    You obviously haven’t been a Democrat long enough. :)

    Just so we are clear how brazen and shameless and amazing this is, the NBER has determined that the recession started in December 2007, thirteen months before the Obama inauguration.

    To be fair, Norquist attributed the recession to Democrats capturing the house and senate, which occurred well before December 2007. That’s probably why Obama doesn’t get top billing, he was only a senator at the time.

    Also, Ramesh Ponneru may be addressing this part of the post obliquely; he’s saying that it’s implausible that the recession was caused by the Democrats into power, which undermines the whole justification for calling it the Reid-Obama-Pelosi recession.

  49. 49
    Stuck says:

    CNN is reporting a tentative deal with dems and Susan Collins for getting her support. No details but would trim the bill to 780 billion. I must say, I feel so much better now that Sue Collins is the lynchpin in getting this and future bills passed. It’s like Daffy Duck goes to Washington and saves the democrats from jaws of doom.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    The whole Republican barrel of apples is rotten.

    I recommend shoving them all down a garbage disposal set on frappe and selling tickets to the event.

  51. 51
    The Populist says:

    I now suggest a way for us to fix our national budget. Any state that lives off of the federal dime has to lose one Senator. Why should the rest of us foot the bill so Wyoming or Mississippi can have two? I mean these people don’t give two shits about the Constitution, so why should I?

    Cut the lame states off if we are so worried about spiralling national debts. If we truly cared about debt, why did the GOP LED CONGRESS let Bush have everything he wanted? Forget that the Dems went along for the ride because whenever they tried to fight anything, they were shut down by parliamentary nonsense enforced by the right.

    Let’s see…Mississippi gets one Senator, they can keep their congressional delegation since it’s decided by population. They can stop taking federal earmarks and pork since their Senators are so avidly against spending money to fix THEIR mess.

    Let’s see the people of Mississippi love that idea, eh? If they are so vehemently opposed to the federal guvmint, why not prove it?

  52. 52
    The Populist says:

    Susan Collins is proof that there may be sane people in the GOP. Compromise? Really? Wow.

  53. 53
    JL says:

    Once a bill passes the Senate and then goes to conference, can that bill now be filabustered? I don’t think so but .. Anyone know for sure.

  54. 54
    Broken says:

    Of course the 3.5 million jobs lost in 2008 is the fault of the Democratic Congress. The election of Obama and socialist-fascist dictatorship through his ACORN thugs spearheaded by Bill Ayers has caused the economic collapse. Cutting taxes on the top 0.0001% is the only hope!

    Signed,

    Astroturf Spam-bot

  55. 55
    The Populist says:

    Once a bill passes the Senate and then goes to conference, can that bill now be filabustered? I don’t think so but .. Anyone know for sure.

    My understanding is they will hash it out for as long as it takes to get it right. I don’t believe you can filibuster a bill that has passed both houses.

  56. 56
    JenJen says:

    On another board, I just wrapped up a crazy-ass debate about SCHIP. Namely, the wingnuts (WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY SCREW THEM WHAT WHAT?!? WHAT!? OUTRAGED! SARAH 2012!! OUTRAGED! I’M NOT PAYING OUTRAGED! HUSSEIN OBAMA!!) didn’t realize the thing is funded by an increase on the federal tobacco tax until I made that clear, and then they just started sputtering and spinning out, the way your Koopa-Troopa Mario-Kart Wii does when it gets flattened by a lightning bolt.

    What was that yesterday about anthrax and tire rims? Exactly.

  57. 57
    JL says:

    @The Populist: That’s what I think so what ever comes out of conference only needs fifty votes. (I’m assuming that MN will not be resolved. )

  58. 58
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    That is the plan folks, just like the good old days of yore, the Rushublicans are rewriting history once again. Nothing a Rushublican does is ever wrong and there is always a Democrat in close proximity to be blamed for any their failures. Chimpy took over a mess left by Clinton and Obama created the mess we are in. RayGun inherited the disaster wrought by Carter and Clinton inherited a growing economy when he took office. Rushublicans never make a mistake, never! It just doesn’t happen. Perfect people can’t make mistakes because it’s the imperfect people (Democrats) that cause problems for them.

    While I want Obama to show that he is reaching out to the Rushublicans, I hope he calls them out in public when it is clear that they will not negotiate in good faith. People are making the mistake of assuming that if our nation is in trouble then both parties will set aside their differences and do the right thing for us. It ain’t gonna happen folks. Now we are seeing firsthand the kind of problems that confronted FDR when he was trying to clean up the messes of his time. He too was blamed for everything that went wrong, just like Obama is now.

    The Rushublicans can’t ‘do the right thing’ for our country because it will make the Democrats look good (which is bad for any Rushublican). Cooperating won’t help them regain control of government, agreeing/voting with Obama and the Democrats will not either. Their only hope is to wind up the Mighty Wurlitzer and start cranking out the propaganda that everything is the fault of Obama and the Democrats, and everything would be perfect if only the Rushublicans were in control again. With corporate media behind them, the Rushublicans control the airwaves and are saturating them with negativity and blame for everyone except themselves. The Mighty Wurlitzer is cranked and blaring its discordant music that confuses people and obfuscates the truth.

    If there is anything close to an enemy in our own government, at this time the Rushublicans fit the bill. They want Obama and the Democrats to fail so they can succeed. They have reached the point of no return. If they give in now, they lose later. If they can fuck things up and successfully blame it on Obama and the Democrats then they stand a chance to regain the reins of power.

    You must be filled with all kinds of suck when your only hope of winning is to make everyone else, including your own people, suffer needlessly. Rushublicans are the EPIC FAIL party. They have embraced the failure of our nation as the salvation for their party.

    Rushublicans: Party Ideology First, Nation Last

  59. 59
    Stuck says:

    @JL:

    Only a Budget Bill can’t be filibustered. And maybe the defense bill. So, yes, it would be filibusterable, unless it can’t be, maybe, maybe not……

  60. 60
    JL says:

    @JenJen: They should finance tarp with cigarette taxes too.

  61. 61
    Joshua Norton says:

    What was that yesterday about anthrax and tire rims? Exactly.

    Sam Seder read that piece today on his internet/radio show. It would have been funny if Mark Maron had stopped yammering long enough to let the point sink in.

  62. 62
    DougL says:

    Hands up! Who thinks Grover Norquist needs to be drowned in a bathtub?

  63. 63
    Stuck says:

    A filibuster can take place at several stages during the legislative process in the Senate. Before a bill is even introduced, a senator can place an anonymous hold on a bill through the majority or minority leaders. A hold is simply a threat to stage a filibuster if the bill comes up for a vote. A motion to bring up a bill can be filibustered. Amendments to a bill can be filibustered. Appointments to conference committees with House members to consider the bill can be filibustered. Conference committee reports on the bill can be filibustered.

    It’s the big reason senator are so puking nice to each other. Anyone of them object to anything the others do. and cause a 60 vote filibuster cloture vote.

  64. 64
    Samuel says:

    didn’t realize the thing is funded by an increase on the federal tobacco tax

    Yeah…because THAT makes it a worthwile adventure. The health care of our children financed by the hope that their parents keep smoking. Great. Given that about 30 cents of every dollar the government collects gets used for the actual benefit its trying to finance…this should be fun.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @DougL: Full of what?

  66. 66
    JL says:

    @Stuck: Since a bill is not up for debate after a conference, can it still be filabustered?

  67. 67
    JenJen says:

    @DougL: Waterboarding is torture. That being said, when it comes to Grover Norquist, all hands and paws in my household are enthusiastically UP!

  68. 68
    JL says:

    @DougL: According to the FORMER Bush Adminstration waterboarding isn’t torture. No prob. Grover didn’t have problems with tanking the economy and washed down the tub.

  69. 69
    Stuck says:

    @JL:

    Conference committee reports on the bill can be filibustered

    Yep. And even if cloture succeeds, it will trigger 30 hours debate before the final vote. So even if it has the votes to pass at 60 votes, wingnuts will likely filibuster it, so they can bloviate some more about how it’s the end of America and we’re all gonna die.

  70. 70
    Zifnab says:

    @The Populist:

    No…because Bush is still viewed as an awful President who helped create this mess. Nobody believed the 2000 recession was Clinton’s doing.

    Except that, in many parts, it was Clinton’s doing. His Department of Energy and SEC sat on their hands while Enron made a killing by raping the energy market and scuttling out of town when the house of cards collapsed. In many ways, 2000 was a microcosm of 2008.

    But Bush committed two rather vile sins in 2000. He let the bad guys get away. And he encouraged the system to get worse over the next 8 years. What was originally a minor tech bubble ballooned into a massive banking bubble, and all built on the same principles of obfuscating what equity was really worth.

  71. 71
    KCinDC says:

    The shocking thing to me is that not only did Ponnuru’s post make sense, but Andy McCarthy also wrote something sane today, about Judd Gregg’s ridiculous recusal.

  72. 72
    Indylib says:

    OT The CEO of Netflix must have missed a few "Masters of the Universe" meetings.

  73. 73
    Zifnab says:

    @Samuel: Said the chain smoker to the uninsured kids.

  74. 74
    JenJen says:

    @Samuel: Oh, stop with the hyperbole already. People smoke. It’s a decent piece of legislation for a damned change.

    Of course I suppose we could just take the Bush route… tell the states they’re on their own, and force them to offset the cost by, I dunno, maybe laying off some Highway Patrol Officers.

    Or, we could just do nothing. That’s OK, kiddies, don’t worry, you can skip all that silly preventive care and go to the emergency room when things get dicey, and the rest of us will pick up the tab. Never you mind!

    At any rate, the bill was signed and SCHIP is law. The GOP can try again in 2012 to take health care away from millions of children. It’ll make an awesome bumper sticker!!

    (DISCLAIMER: I have been known to enjoy the occasional cigarette, much like the President. I’m doing my part.)

  75. 75
    Stuck says:

    Oh, and if cloture succeeds, and it gets the 60 votes, then after the 30 hours debate, the final vote will then be a simple majority vote.

  76. 76
    Crusty Dem says:

    I haven’t been commenting much lately. I can’t help but feel that snark is insufficient to capture my feelings towards the idle, vain, fatuous, hate-filled, America-hating stupidity that is the Republican party right now. So to Grover Norquist and his friends, I can only say:

    Dear Grover,

    DIAF

    Sincerely, Crusty

  77. 77

    […] usual, John Cole is doing a great […]

  78. 78
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    While I am for SCHIP I am against the way it is funded. Put the load on the backs of everyone, not just smokers, otherwise it is just a bullshit ‘feel good’ ‘sin’ tax. Got something that is unpopular to fund? Fund it off the backs of people who are unpopular.

    Bullshit.

    If some correlation can be found between all of the children on SCHIP and the smokers who are being taxed, produce it. Otherwise it is theft from some for the benefit of others. Fund SCHIP from the general budget or start taxing all fast foods to provide health insurance for the all of the uninsured in our country. At least poorer people eating cheap, crappy fast food has some correlation with their health, unlike the non-connection between uninsured children and smokers.

  79. 79
    JL says:

    @Stuck: F@#K
    They cut some decent stimulative programs and added some tax cuts that aren’t stimulative. I was hoping that it would be resolved in conference.

  80. 80
    JL says:

    A reporter is on TV very politely calling Repubs idiots. He actually said that calling tax cuts and road building not spending and extending unemployment spending is pure craziness.

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    Can we now change the name of Reagan Airport back to Dulles? The Reagan Revolution is a failure of a gigantic magnitude.

    Dulles is still Dulles, named after a couple of Eisenhower-era wingnuts. You’re thinking of Washington National, which I never referred to as Reagan National no matter how many times I used it.

  82. 82
    oh really says:

    Just so we are clear how brazen and shameless and amazing this is, the NBER has determined that the recession started in December 2007, thirteen months before the Obama inauguration.

    Yes, but well after the Democrats took control of the Congress in January 2007 and also long after Obama had begun his run for president (which began the day he was born).

    George Bush, Republicans, and their policies had nothing to do with this recession. As we all know, they were fully occupied trying to drown the US government in Grover’s bathtub. Unfortunately, it appears the rest of the country was attached.

  83. 83
    JL says:

    @Samuel: My son went to college paid by the GA Lottery and guess what, I buy maybe one or two lottery tickets a year.
    Children’s health care is important. Unfortunately, some of children’s health care is caused by smokers.

  84. 84
    JenJen says:

    @Conservatively Liberal: SCHIP isn’t unpopular. It received wide bipartisan support, especially in the House, just as it did in 2007 when Bush stomped his foot and vetoed it.

    Besides, tobacco companies respond to tax hikes in cigarettes by issuing increasingly-generous coupons to smokers in order to offset the price increase. C’mon, everybody knows this. Beside the fact that cigs are totally addictive, it’s primarily why we don’t see dramatic decreases in tobacco consumption as tobacco prices increase.

    Again, I smoke. Also, I don’t have kids. So I’m part of the solution, I guess. And it doesn’t bug me, not one rip. I certainly don’t speak for everyone, but I do feel that this is a good piece of common-sense legislation, and in essence the point is moot until we get a new presidential candidate who feels that de-funding SCHIP is the kind of campaign slogan we can believe in.

  85. 85
    Svensker says:

    @DonkeyKong:

    Nope. Swedish.

  86. 86
    Reverend Dennis says:

    There are a couple of problems with funding the S-CHIP expansion with a tax on cigarettes. First, tobacco sales have historically gone down during economic hard times. Second, many states have already piled their own sin taxes on cigarettes. Last time I noticed, cigarettes were around $4.50/pack here in California. Pushing the price over five bucks is going to cause a decline in sales and thus a decline in revenues to S-CHIP. While having folks quit or cut down smoking is a nice consequence the decreased revenue will have the effect of rationing health care to S-CHIP enrollees. As Conservatively Liberal observed, this is a "feel-good" measure: it will fail those who need the benefits unless additional funding is provided.

  87. 87
    KCinDC says:

    Just heard economist Susan Lee on "Marketplace" arguing that the stimulus won’t work because even if they get more money people won’t spend it but instead will save it to pay the taxes that they know will be going up several years from now to pay off the new debt.

    Sure, that conforms well to human (especially American) nature. People are going to avoid spending now in order to save money for taxes that may be happening years in the future. That sort of thing happens all the time in the real world, doesn’t it?

  88. 88
    Stuck says:

    @JL:

    It likely (maybe) will, because dems have the majorities for markup votes. The problem will be house dems who may bow up and demand their pet projects be reinstalled from the senate cutting them out. And Collins, Snowe, and B, Nelson rebelling and withdrawing their support. But I don’t think this will happen, due to the seriousness of the situation. But then again, who knows?

  89. 89
    headpan says:

    well my snark is fucking useless widout the strikeout function never mind

  90. 90
    bvac says:

    Why don’t they just go ahead and have a cloture vote on this thing, and force Republicans to filibuster? Let them all speak, one after another, against providing funds to state and local governments and against creating however many jobs the bill would create, and let them obstruct for weeks if need be. Let the American people watch these clowns whine about tax cuts on TV every night as the economy sheds tens of thousands of jobs every day.

  91. 91
    JenJen says:

    @Reverend Dennis: Cigs are only $4.50 in California? Damn. I need to relocate.

    The last Surgeon General’s report showed that a 10% increase in cigarette prices resulted, over the course of four years, in a 3% to 5% reduction in cigarette consumption, in line with what one would expect to see occur naturally, without a price increase. In most states, the new SCHIP tax doesn’t amount to a 10% increase, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. At any rate, although I would agree with you that one would expect to see sales drop dramatically, in fact, they don’t. Data does not bear this assumption out, at all.

    Probably because a) smoking is wicked-addictive and b) tobacco companies routinely respond to increases in cigarette pricing by issuing generous coupons to end-consumers as a way to offset the tax hike.

    Also, cigar smokers get hit harder than cigarette smokers in the new legislation, to the tune of $0.52/cigar. Do you think cigar aficionados will abandon their habit, or pay the increase? I don’t know.

  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    @KCinDC:

    Susan Lee is not a step up from Amity Shlaes. Eight pounds of economic illiteracy in a five-pound bag.

  93. 93

    […] I think we might have a new competition/award around these here parts. Start thinking of nominees, and maybe we will have our election in a week or […]

  94. 94
    Martin says:

    Yeah…because THAT makes it a worthwile adventure. The health care of our children financed by the hope that their parents keep smoking. Great. Given that about 30 cents of every dollar the government collects gets used for the actual benefit its trying to finance…this should be fun.

    Your statistic is shitty. For some government programs it’s over 95%.

    And one thing Cali has gotten right is offsetting some of their health care costs through prevention. Our smoking rate is lowest in the nation – 12% – mainly due to taxes, restrictions on where people can smoke, and good anti-smoking campaigns. We’re starting to see the effects of it. Raising the cost of smoking is good policy since smokers directly raise the cost of health care that taxpayers need to offset.

    So a lower smoking rate would lower health care funds, but it would also lower health care expenses. What’s the problem?

    Besides the fact that cigs are totally addictive, it’s primarily why we don’t see dramatic decreases in tobacco consumption as tobacco prices increase.

    Actually you did in California. The taxes far more strongly impact teens than adults. They simply can’t afford a $5 or $10 per day habit, so the habit never develops. Our teen smoking rate is almost half of the national average. The effects of the taxation are pretty seriously delayed because of who is most impacted, but it does work.

  95. 95

    […] delayed, and some guys like Grover “drown the government in the bathtub” Norquist have the nerve to blame this mess on the new administration. Yeah, cause Obama totally wrecked the economy in less than 3 weeks.  Way to […]

  96. 96
    LItlebritdifrnt says:

    OT – and hope it doesn’t get lost in the ether but this bill was introduced in NC recently, basically it would extend NC law to the ENTIRE WORLD… kind of a scary thought (and the PUMA websites and some of the wingnuts would be sued out of existence in three days)

    http://projects.newsobserver.c.....l_on_blogs

  97. 97
    douglasfactors says:

    @Mike in NC:
    I believe the full name is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

    National, for short.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Jeez, all that comedy for thirty bucks, and I can get an hour of CLE credit for it, too. How can I say no?

    Don’t forget to bring a shoe (or two) to throw at him.

  99. 99
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @JenJen:

    I never said SCHIP was unpopular Jen, please point out where I said that if you could. Smokers get coupons to offset the cost increase?! What fucking planet are you from?! I am the only smoker in a family of four. My wife and kids don’t smoke, I don’t smoke in my house or in the cars and while I support SCHIP I think people like you should put your money where your mouth is and support it too.

    It is a good idea for the many implemented at a cost for a few. Common sense legislation implemented in a senseless manner. It is not the fault of the smokers that some kids don’t have insurance, why make them pay for it? I am glad you want to be unfairly taxed and that is your choice, I disagree with you.

    SCHIP good, implementation bad. It is that simple. The pols dumped it on smokers because they are a minority that most people have no problem despising. It was a weak move on their part to score some easy political points. That’s all it is.

  100. 100
    Reverend Dennis says:

    It seems like only yesterday that the Senate Republicans were whining about getting an up or down vote on Bush nominees and threatening to end the filibuster. I’m sure that they’ll forgo filibustering the stimulus bill. And, should they do so, Harry Reid will be certain to make them actually hold the floor. Sure he will.

  101. 101
    JenJen says:

    @Martin: Yes. According to that same Surgeon General’s study I cited earlier, teens and lower-income voters are three times more likely than the general population to quit smoking as the price of smoking increases. Still, the overall decrease is 3% to 5% as prices rise 10% above pre-tax prices. I imagine the group we’re talking about make up the bulk of that percentage.

    Again…. especially for the reasons you cite vis-a-vis California, I think the SCHIP legislation is full of win.

  102. 102
    JenJen says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    Got something that is unpopular to fund? Fund it off the backs of people who are unpopular.

    My bad if I thought you were referring to SCHIP when you wrote that, in direct response to my post about SCHIP.

    I’ll reiterate… I’m a smoker. So I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to SCHIP. You’re free to feel that the tax is unfair. I don’t. Sometimes, people disagree about stuff. No big whoop.

  103. 103
    Trolhattan says:

    @ElCid #25

    Kan I haz tshirt with your concise re-history printed on it? It would be very helpful in cutting down the bleating frequency from the whingers I’ve been running into the last few weeks.

    "It’s all…somebody else’s fault!"

    Maybe Grover and Dick can go huntin’.

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    @Trolhattan: I haz no such T-shirt, but you are welcome to make one. If you can figure out how to make it legible.

  105. 105
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @JenJen:

    My reference was regarding the actions politicians take when it comes to unpopular legislation. Taxing smokers for SCHIP is ‘feel good’ funding. Everyone who doesn’t smoke (the majority) get to fund a program on the backs of a minority. No cost to them and kids get to be healthier, what’s not to like? The pols get points and the majority are happy. The smokers? Screw them. Why should we all pay for something good when we can get a few to fund it for us? Never mind that most smokers are blue collar workers, so they are taxing the poor to cover the poor. Great plan if you are rich and a non-smoker!

    If SCHIP is good (which I believe it is) then everyone should bear the cost. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. If it is good enough to make me pay for it then it is good enough for everyone else to pay for it.

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    The smokers? Screw them

    Yes, that would be my sentiments in a nutshell.

    Think of it as my middle finger to every smoker who drops their butts as litter, out of the car and causes me to suffer as my allergies are triggered by people smoking while ignoring the prominent no-smoking signs and repeated requests to stop smoking here.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to admit, I do agree that funding S-CHIP out of a tax on cigarettes is a bad idea. It turns S-CHIP into a luxury funded by luxury goods, not a necessity that ensures that our country will have healthy citizens.

    I could see a tax on cigarettes going towards health care for indigent smokers, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for it to go for children’s healthcare.

  108. 108
    Roger Harrison says:

    Didn’t he die a couple months ago…
    Or was that Paul Weyrich?
    Norquist is the one who struck me as looking like a bloated pedophile, I think.
    I don’t know, I can’t keep them straight.

  109. 109
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I see that your solution to assholes is to be one? Oh well, simple minds, simple solutions. I am sorry that people throw their butts out the window, but I don’t. I am sorry that others smoke around you, but I don’t. I am considerate of non-smokers and never light up around anyone who is not smoking. Hell, if I am out walking I roll the cigarette in my fingers to drop the cherry and put it out with my foot, then I put the butt in my pocket. I see cigarette butts along the roadway and cuss right along with you. But to you all smokers are to be flipped off because your intellectual laziness leads you to paint people with a broad brush.

    One thing I learned as a child was that two wrongs don’t make a right. Hell, a right and a wrong, as in the case of SCHIP, is not right. Hopefully you will figure that out one day.

  110. 110

    I must admit that I’m bothered by increasing the taxes on smokers, who, in my experience, are generally lower-middle class to flat out poor.

    Especially when a $50/ounce tax on marijuana would raise billions (were it as legal as tobacco).

  111. 111
    Steve says:

    @Indylib: Those Huffington Post commenters are painfully stupid.

  112. 112
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @flywheelgrinding:

    Other than that, I would like to have Grover, a sawhorse, a
    sex toy pneumatic hammer and some time to enlighten him as to his true nature. Heh.

  113. 113
    JenJen says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko: Well, hell, legalize weed and tax the hell out it. I couldn’t agree more. That would be so full of awesome, and everybody wins. Especially farmers! And me! Oh, damn, did I say that out loud?

    As far as cigarette smokers being generally lower-income, maybe. Cigar smokers? Doubtful. The tax hits them the hardest, however.

    @TenguPhule: Not all smokers are asshats. In fact, some of us are rather considerate and have gone a bit out of our way to accommodate the changing world. Watching "Mad Men" still freaks me out. People used to smoke in grocery stores, doctor’s offices and banks! Wow.

    Considering how much the GOP is squealing over the stimulus package, I can only imagine how they’d react to an attempt to tax everyone to fund kids. Maybe I’m in the minority around here, especially as a smoker who doesn’t mind the extra tax. We’ve made so many concessions through the years, what’s another one, especially if it meets a decent end? Hell, maybe I’ll go buy a carton right now just to fund the Octuplet Litter-Bearing Freak. ;-)

  114. 114
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Considering how much the GOP is squealing over the stimulus package, I can only imagine how they’d react to an attempt to tax everyone to fund kids.

    And there is the reason for my complaint about the funding of SCHIP: It was a chickenshit move on the part of Democrats to get some of the Rushublicans to go along with it. As anyone knows by now, if the Republicans are for it then you know it is a bad idea. It funds a program that Rushublicans will not fund in any other way and the Democrats obviously want the bragging rights for the program. It’s an easy solution for a tough problem, which should tell you that it is wrong.

    If you think rich cigar smokers are going to pay more in tobacco taxes than poorer cigarette smokers are, you are clearly not a smoker.

    How about instituting a tax on health? If you smoke, ding! If you are overweight, ding! If you ride a bike in heavy traffic, ding! If you drive an older car (higher emissions, less safety gear!), ding! If you don’t exercise, ding! If you don’t brush your teeth three times a day, ding! If you drink alcohol, ding! If you bungee jump, ding! If you parachute jump, ding! If you fly planes (or fly on planes), ding! If you paraglide, ding! If you cliff dive, ding!

    If you want to tax smokers for their nasty habits then get ready for other sin taxes because smokers like me are going to be pushing to ‘spread the pain’. If you want to tax my risky behavior then it is only fair that you get taxed for your risky behavior. If what you do endangers your health then you should pay to help everyone else stay healthy, right? Because that is what you are saying when you support the way SCHIP is funded.

    How about we tax all of the bad habits? Is that fair?

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    ’. If you want to tax my risky behavior then it is only fair that you get taxed for your risky behavior.

    Your risky behavior endangers everyone else around you.

    Now, if you agree to smoke only in self-contained breathing apparatus I might reconsider.

  116. 116
    The Populist says:

    Except that, in many parts, it was Clinton’s doing. His Department of Energy and SEC sat on their hands while Enron made a killing by raping the energy market and scuttling out of town when the house of cards collapsed. In many ways, 2000 was a microcosm of 2008.

    Zifnab, good point. Thanks for the clarification. I do accept that Clinton had a hand in the 2000 mess, but Bush did nothing, so I see him more at fault. If Bush had tried to fix it in good faith and was the compassionate soul he claimed to be, I’d be giving him props.

    The only props I can give Bush is that he didn’t pardon Scooter.

  117. 117
    The Populist says:

    It seems like only yesterday that the Senate Republicans were whining about getting an up or down vote on Bush nominees and threatening to end the filibuster. I’m sure that they’ll forgo filibustering the stimulus bill. And, should they do so, Harry Reid will be certain to make them actually hold the floor. Sure he will.

    Me too. These fucktards are complete hypocrites. Next thing you know they’ll want to repeal the Patriot Act since it gives the evil executive/socialist powers that no preznit should ever have!

  118. 118
    The Populist says:

    Dulles is still Dulles, named after a couple of Eisenhower-era wingnuts. You’re thinking of Washington National, which I never referred to as Reagan National no matter how many times I used it.

    Sorry, my bad. I don’t know why I thought they dumped Dulles for Reagan. Oh well…he shouldn’t have an airport named after him. If they want to name it after a Republican try Roosevelt (1), Lincoln or Ike. Maybe even Goldwater since he became the enemy of these ideological tards with his stances on gays, freedom and religion.

    I think if Barry were around today he’d be the one filibustering the stupidity that was the Defense of Marriage act. He’d probably be for legalizing pot, shouting down Bush on this religious nonsense and totally against Iraq.

  119. 119
    JenJen says:

    It was a chickenshit move on the part of Democrats to get some of the Rushublicans to go along with it. As anyone knows by now, if the Republicans are for it then you know it is a bad idea.

    It’s not like it got huge ginormous GOP support… what, 40 Republicans in the House and 9 Senators? Something along those lines. Less than in 2007 to be certain. John McCain would probably say, "How dare you call the bill bipartisan?"

    We could go around and around about how people who eat McDonald’s and people who bungee-jump don’t hurt others in the vicinity of their eating and cliff-diving. Can’t say the same for smoking. It’s just a fact.

    At any rate, it’s an exhausting argument, and the bill is now law. I’ll say it for the tenth time… I AM A SMOKER AND PAYING MORE TO FUND HEALTHCARE FOR CHILDREN DOESN’T BOTHER ME. I AM SMOKING AS I TYPE THIS. I do not feel as though I an aggrieved class. Your mileage apparently varies. Perhaps "smokers like you" will pursue "spreading the pain." Whatever. 4 Million Kids who didn’t qualify before now do, at our expense, and I don’t find that painful. No big whoop. The entire point is moot.

  120. 120
    John S. says:

    @JenJen:

    One of my best friends did his thesis in Finance on how much money the US government (he web to U of Toronto) stood to make from controlling marijuana like alcohol. The figures were staggering, and he wrote that shit in ’98.

    I can’t even fathom what kind of revenue it could bring in now.

  121. 121
    Laura W says:

    @JenJen:

    Hell, maybe I’ll go buy a carton right now just to fund the Octuplet Litter-Bearing Freak.

    Winner.

  122. 122
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I smoke on Saturday night, after the kids are in bed and before SNL comes on. It’s the only break I get from working all the time and going to school too. (Night school for TV Pundits.)

    And Christ, SNL is funny.

  123. 123
    Mike in NC says:

    Norquist is the one who struck me as looking like a bloated pedophile, I think.

    Pretty much nails it. I think he is/was also a major player in the Reagan Legacy Project, the one that was dedicated to naming something after Ronnie in each and every county across America. Talk about a cult of personality. At least we won’t have to worry about that when it comes to Dubya.

  124. 124
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    How about mountain climbers who have to be rescued? Are they not endangering those who have to come to save them? Some Oregon ANG rescuers plowed a helicopter into Mount Hood and were put at risk for a hobby of others.

    What about pilots? If their plane crashes into a school…

    What about people who drive around in older cars with outdated drum brakes? If their car can’t stop fast enough…

    What about people who are too fat to turn around and look out their back window when backing up? My neighbor hit a parked car last summer doing just that and said that was the reason ("I couldn’t turn around to see. They shouldn’t have parked their car directly across from our driveway!").

    How about taxing fat people or people with fat kids to supply money for food banks for poor kids who are malnourished? Wouldn’t that be a good thing to do?

    If you think this will stop with smokers then you haven’t been paying attention to the way our government runs. Once your hobby or vice becomes unpopular, get ready to pay for it. There are lots of ‘bad things’ out there and once you clear the way for taxing one ‘bad thing’ you better be ready when it is your turn to get your ‘bad thing’ taxed. Taxing ‘bad things’ is politically expedient, thus your support of taxing smokers gives politicians cover to do so.

    First they came for the smokers but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker.

    Then they came for the…

    This too will become a reality.

    Our fat epidemic seems to be resistant to this taxing of ‘bad things’ now because there is safety in numbers and the numbers of fat people are growing every day. Don’t worry though, one day our pols will decide that being fat is a health choice and will start taxing accordingly. But this will only happen when it becomes politically expedient, so you fat people are safe for now.

    I will not bother to directly respond to the fool as it is a waste of my time. You can’t reason with a fool.

  125. 125
    Indylib says:

    @Steve: T

    those Huffington Post commenters are painfully stupid.

    I wouldn’t know anymore, I haven’t read a comment thread on HuffPo since the middle of the primaries. I couldn’t stand the racism and total inanity from half the commenters.

    I check out the headlines in the top 1/3 of the page and click on what sounds interesting. I don’t even read the blog posts anymore, except for Jason Linkins Sunday Roundup of the Sunday pundit/idiot fest. He’s so snarky he could comment at BJ.

  126. 126
    Laura W says:

    @Indylib:

    except for Jason Linkins Sunday Roundup of the Sunday pundit/idiot fest. He’s so snarky he could comment at BJ.

    I heart that dude big. He’s beyond-funny.
    Do you think he has an audio book I could buy?

  127. 127
    jcricket says:

    I will not bother to directly respond to the fool as it is a waste of my time. You can’t reason with a fool.

    You have an incredible sense of self-awareness. Oh wait, you weren’t talking about yourself? Shoot.

    Seriously, dude, chill out. I think most people here agree that overall taxes should come from a big pool of progressive income taxes spread out over the whole population. Then it should be doled out to the various needs.

    But that’s proven damn near impossible (thank you Grover Norquist, Prop 13, Ronald Reagan, etc.) so in the short run, raising sin taxes is convenient, and further discourages at least some behaviors we want to discourage (smoking, drinking, etc.) and provides more tax revenue. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind inclusion of the true cost of stuff (driving, eating poorly) priced into the food. We’ve got things backwards in a number of areas.

    Frankly there isn’t a single tax, with the occasional exception of tolls on roads, that goes specifically to a single purpose. Property taxes don’t go just to fund property/real-estate related needs, gas taxes don’t cover all the road issues, etc.

    So until we eliminate most "point of use" taxes and replace them with a much larger income tax (perhaps one that taxes capital gains as regular income, and inheritances too), this kind of stuff will continue.

  128. 128
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Oh I know my bitching is for naught but if I am being soaked for this then at least I have a right to bitch about it, especially when I see idiots praising it as a great idea for dumping it on the smokers. This is one of the reasons I quit the Democratic party. Rather than stand their ground and fight for fair and equitable funding for a good idea, hanging the ‘these guys hate children’ sign on the Rushublicans, they prefer to find a way to get it done by scraping off a few Rushubs to get it to pass. If they stood their ground on general funding and let the Rushubs wear the ‘I Hate Children!’ signs long enough to shame them, they would win the battle.

    No, they took the easy and spineless way out. Again.

    Is there any way to selectively cross-breed some Democratic politicians with some Repubs and end up with a Democrat that actually has a spine? It’s a shame that the party of bad ideas has a spine and the party of better ideas has none.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    What about pilots? If their plane crashes into a school…

    And there’s the fatal flaw in your argument.

    "If"

    Not

    "Does"

    Smoking is a certainity when it comes to causing problems for others beside the smoker. All the other examples are only a possibility.

  130. 130
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Not every smoker dies from smoking related diseases/illnesses and they don’t kill everyone they smoke around. Just like climbers who make it back successfully and don’t risk anyone having to come and save them and like pilots who maintain their planes and land safely.

    Try again, or not. You hate smokers and are happy to see them get nailed with this. I get it. I am sure that you support $75,000,000.00 in ‘stimulus’ for smoking cessation plans too, right? Or do you hate smokers so much you want to see them saddled with this tax until they die supporting it? How about cutting out the middle man and just give the fucking $75,000,000.00 to SCHIP?

    Right. This thing has ‘fucking win’ written all over it. Support away!

  131. 131
    Martin says:

    How about mountain climbers who have to be rescued? Are they not endangering those who have to come to save them? Some Oregon ANG rescuers plowed a helicopter into Mount Hood and were put at risk for a hobby of others.
    What about pilots? If their plane crashes into a school…
    What about people who drive around in older cars with outdated drum brakes? If their car can’t stop fast enough…
    What about people who are too fat to turn around and look out their back window when backing up? My neighbor hit a parked car last summer doing just that and said that was the reason

    Are you serious?

    Mountain climbing incidents are rare – and they do pay for permits to access, which funds the rangers and other services.

    Pilots pay pretty significant fees and taxes, and are required to carry insurance in case they crash into a school.

    And people that drive cars, whether outdated or fat, have insurance as well. The problem with smokers is a two-parter. Part of it is just a fucked up health care system that leaves the majority of smokers uninsured, mainly because they are guaranteed bad risks and as a result require absurdly high premiums. The situation for individuals only gets worse as the number of smokers declines because it becomes easier for insurers to levy the full cost of insuring a smoker on the individual rather than have it subsidized across the entire policy pool – and smokers have always been heavily subsidized on costs – I have health care executives in the family. But the other part of it is that if you are a smoker you don’t have the same risk of incurring significantly higher health care costs as a pilot has of crashing or a mountain climber of getting stranded – you are virtually guaranteed to incur significantly higher costs. If mountain climbers were half as likely to get stranded as smokers are to incur major health care costs, we’d ban mountain climbing in an instant.

    And people keep talking about how smoking is more common among blue collar and low income people. So what? If you don’t like the tax, then stop smoking. It’s a luxury. It’s not food or shelter. It doesn’t get you to work or help the kids get a good career. If someone levied a high tax on iPods or ceiling fans or Pixar DVDs, I may not like it, but I can very easily avoid the tax.

  132. 132
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    If you don’t like the tax, then stop smoking. It’s a luxury.

    Fuck you. I am out of here.

  133. 133
    cass says:

    re: funding SCHIP w/cigarette tax. i’ve just lived thru 8 plus years of ‘social control’ foisted on my poor neighborhood, complete with bible thumpers praying for us and telling us that God will solve what imprisonment didn’t. Now, i get "social engineering’ .. got a clue for you lawyer types …. my neighborhood is about as functional as Fallujah in 2004 …… at least let me have a dang cigarette while the gun is put to my head.

    seems to me that both the bible thumpers and the ‘social control’ fanatics and the ‘social engineering’ fanatics … how about turning your attention to the top 1% that just put the entire world economy down the drain?

  134. 134

    My nomination for the Asshole Hall of Fame is Peter Orszag, who, in my opinion, bore key false witness on one of the largest scams in human history.

    On this subject, I have developed a theory on tractors and credit bubbles.

    The Great Depression was the result of tractors. Tractors revolutionized agriculture in the 1910s and 20s, producing productivity gains that everybody thought would last forever, and didn’t.

    Our little pickle is the result of loosening credit standards, HBD denial, and the belief that the housing price increases witnessed from 1998-2005, would last forever, and didn’t.

    The difference between the 1930s and today is that we had a gold-backed currency in the 1930s. Today, the Federal Reserve is buying Treasury Bills.

    Count me on the side of the smokers, for the record.

  135. 135
    Martin says:

    Fuck you. I am out of here.

    Mmmmkay. What am I missing here?

    The tax on alcohol varies from $1.50 to $20 per gallon depending on state. I’ve have never heard anyone remark on alcohol taxes, but cigarette taxes are somehow like a tax on freedom and apple pie or some shit.

    In California you have to pay a recycling fee on electronic displays, up to $25. No outrage. Fees for buying a home vary substantially – thousands of dollars. It can cost upwards of $1000 to register an automobile in some states. $8 in others. What’s so special about cigarettes?

  136. 136
    TenguPhule says:

    The Great Depression was the result of tractors.

    Unspoofable!

  137. 137
    Rome Again says:

    Well, here’s one for you (purely anecdotal):

    My father, who rarely smoked (never cigarettes, occasionally a pipe or cigar) died of cancer. He also rarely drank.

    My mother chain-smoked three packs a day and drank very heavily, both habits lasting more than 40 years. She never got cancer, she died of liver failure instead.

    I grew up in a smoke-filled home, I have no medical problems from such.

    Smoking doesn’t make one inebriated, doesn’t put them at risk of poor judgment when driving and the cost of cigarettes keeps going up.

    Drinking does make one inebriated, sometimes causes deaths when someone drinking gets behind the wheel of a car and the cost of booze stays fairly the same, year after year after year.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  138. 138
    handy says:

    the cost of booze stays fairly the same, year after year after year.

    Hey, you leave my $30 bottles of Jack out of this, pal!

  139. 139
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Norquist is the one who struck me as looking like a bloated pedophile, I think.

    The batshit wingnuts dislike him because he courted Arab money. And is married to a Kuwaiti, though the scuttlebutt is that he has two beards. Went straight from being a College Republican to being a $200k/yr wingnut welfare whore. And is a creepy weirdo:

    For a bedside table, Norquist uses a giant green canister for Kraft parmesan cheese. He displays what he hopes will be the world’s largest collection of airsickness bags. At staff meetings, employees say, he holds court while variously sitting on a giant red plastic ball, eating tuna from a can, rubbing his feet against a massager and sniffing hand lotion as he kneads it into his fingers. He excuses himself to go to "the ladies room."

  140. 140
    Martin says:

    Well, here’s one for you (purely anecdotal):

    And it is purely anecdotal. I’ve got C-level health care executives and actuaries in the family. There are few avoidable things that a person can do which has the statistical likelihood of incurring social expense as smoking that we either haven’t banned or tax/fee heavily. Driving is probably the closest, and the safety engineers and policy makers are finally making some real progress on that front as well.

    The argument in favor of cigarette taxes would be FAR weaker if the health care system wasn’t so horribly fucked up causing a lot of people that suffer from smoking related problems to wind up on taxpayer supported health care. If smokers were guaranteed coverage and were willing to pay realistic premiums for their potential liability, then I could see cigarette taxes as unfair.

    Problem is that we don’t live in that world.

    Drinking does make one inebriated, sometimes causes deaths when someone drinking gets behind the wheel of a car and the cost of booze stays fairly the same, year after year after year.

    I just mentioned that liquor taxes are as high as $20/gal in a number of states. Seems to me that there’s nothing wrong with the picture – we’re taxing alcohol against the impact on society in the same way we’re taxing cigarettes, yet nobody is screaming about $4 on their bottle of Jack, why is that? Pick a better vice to contrast against.

  141. 141
    Indylib says:

    @Laura W:

    Do you think he has an audio book I could buy?

    I don’t know, but somewhere in the dark depths of Huffpo archives are some vlogs he did with Ana Marie Cox.

  142. 142
    scarshapedstar says:

    I swear I saw Ramesh Ponnuru eating at Rathbun’s last night.

  143. 143
    OriGuy says:

    I saw Ramesh Ponnuru eating at Rathbun’s last night.

    And his hair was perfect!

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Not enough taxes on booze for SCHIP.

  145. 145

    Per your update: Late in the election some fReichtards did try to claim the very thought of a N!gger Democrat in the White House was causing the economy to tank.

    And no fair citing figures from 2007. Every good fRightie knows the U.S.A. didn’t have a president from mid-January 2001 to mid-January 2009. In fact that entire time period is a Liberal lie. Like evolution.

  146. 146
    El Cid says:

    And no fair citing figures from 2007. Every good fRightie knows the U.S.A. didn’t have a president from mid-January 2001 to mid-January 2009. In fact that entire time period is a Liberal lie. Like evolution.

    No fair — the right is perfectly aware that George W. Bush Jr. was president for a few months after 9/11/2001 when he KeptUsSafe and then again in 2007 when he led the SURGE to save our troops in Iraq (who got there somehow or other) from Nancy Pelosi’s guerrilla attacks.

  147. 147
    Ellid says:

    Cigarettes are an expensive and deadly luxury. 100% taxing would not be out of line IMNSHO.

    And oh yeah – I’d love to see alcohol, especially the cheap stuff that’s directed at the poor, taxed more highly. I like a glass of wine now and then, but the health consequences are too often disastrous.

  148. 148
    Rome Again says:

    I just mentioned that liquor taxes are as high as $20/gal in a number of states. Seems to me that there’s nothing wrong with the picture – we’re taxing alcohol against the impact on society in the same way we’re taxing cigarettes, yet nobody is screaming about $4 on their bottle of Jack, why is that? Pick a better vice to contrast against.

    I can do much more damage on three cans of beer than I ever could on one pack of cigarettes, and it costs less.

  149. 149
    different church-lady says:

    Grover Norquist? Is he still alive? I thought he drowned in a bathtub.

  150. 150
    trollhattan says:

    The tobacco-alcohol vice-lumping is as old as the hills and still problematic. Biggest flaw may be there is no safe amount of smoking and smoking has no benefits of any kind. To the contrary, smoking (and chewing, glurg) is immediately harmful to health, a proven fact despite untold decades of suppression of medical research and aggressive disinformation campaigns by the tobacco companies. (BTW, do tobacco farmers still receive state and federal subsidies and other forms of gummint support?)

    Light drinking has never been proven harmful and may even offer some health benefits. Alcohol abuse, like overeating, is a widespread health problem but cigarettes remain the nation’s largest 100% preventable health issue.

    I’ve always been curious how cigarettes would be received if they were brought to market today, probably in the form of an herbal supplement from Utah.

  151. 151
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And shout:
    "A shoe for Yoo!"

  152. 152
    George says:

    Poor little Democratic hacks. After 8 years of saying "it happened during Bush, must be all his fault", you suddenly see the fault of your rhetoric when the shoe is on the other foot.

    @Zifnab: "But Bush committed two rather vile sins in 2000. He let the bad guys get away. And he encouraged the system to get worse over the next 8 years."

    Yeah, he let Kenneth Lay and all them bastards get away. Except not. The Bush DoJ prosecuted the hell out of them. Even his "personal friend", Lay.

    As for allowing the system to get worse: Bush, McCain, and the GOP tried several times to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, only to be stymied by Democrats on Senate and House Committees, who in fact called Republicans racists for suggesting there was anything wrong going on.

    You know, because their black friends were running Fannie Mae and such, and because Clinton’s buddy Raines had instituted policies to let minorities such as blacks get home loans much easier without all the pesky questions and guarantees of the ability to actually pay.

    Now I read in Bloomberg today that Fannie Mae is once again, right after Obama and the Democrats rule the government, going to start relaxing lending rules.

    I guess Obama and the Democrats have a plan for when that shit hits the fan again like it did this year – spend a trillion dollars borrowed from China and forget about it.

    But yeah, Bush is the one responsible for everything. Everything that happened during his time, and everything that happens afterwards, forever and ever.

    Mr. Cole and the other Democratic hacks will keep reminding you. Meanwhile, the rest of us will contemplate why crap like this keeps happening, and whether or not the wrong person is always getting the blame…

    You’ve all been blaming Bush for everything under the Sun for the past eight years (even things preceding his presidency, and things that have yet to happen) – but how long will this strategy hold? Eight more? For the entirety of the inevitable Obama 8-year presidency? Or longer than that, after the Democrats manage somehow to pass a Constitutional amendment allowing The One to govern indefinitely?

    This is going to be fun, in any case, because deep down, I know that you hacks know you’re being hacks, dishonestly covering for your patron deity, while the country goes in the crapper.

    We applaud your service to our great nation.

  153. 153
    Gridlock Reigns says:

    @douglasfactors:

    You are correct, it is called Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport although their website also refers to it as Reagan National Airport. I have heard it freely called, "National," or "Reagan." I have even from time to time heard people call it, "DCA." And it really doesn’t matter what people call it, "for short." It’s on the Metro so it’s a lot easier for me to get to than Dulles. BWI is just a pain.

    If the name of the airport is the biggest factor for a person, then they really don’t get air travel.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] delayed, and some guys like Grover “drown the government in the bathtub” Norquist have the nerve to blame this mess on the new administration. Yeah, cause Obama totally wrecked the economy in less than 3 weeks.  Way to […]

  2. […] I think we might have a new competition/award around these here parts. Start thinking of nominees, and maybe we will have our election in a week or […]

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