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191 replies
  1. 1
    gnomedad says:

    Via LGF:

    Switzerland gunman kills three in Daillon in Valais

    Eyewitness Nathalie Frizzi told local daily Le Nouvelliste: “At first I didn’t realise what was going on. I thought children were shooting at cats and I called out for them to stop. I am still shocked that I could have been hit by a bullet.”

    See, if kids could practice shooting cats in this country, we wouldn’t have these mass shootings.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    It was so cold last night that the battery for my outdoor thermometer transmitter died. On the other hand, -20F used to be normal in January so maybe I’ve just gone soft.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    Is Boehner going to be re-elected Speaker? When’s the vote?

  4. 4
    Served says:

    We are painfully close to Marriage Equality here in Illinois, just two years after Civil Unions were approved by the legislature (thanks to some huge momentum post-2012 state victories). It stumbled yesterday because all of the supporters hadn’t arrived to the special session yet, but a committee vote should take place today. If you live in Illinois, call your Rep/Senator, please!

    (I have a bottle of non-Cook’s champagne ready at my apartment. This is a rare thing for someone in their 20s.)

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @Violet: Yes and the vote is around 12:45 according to tpm.

  6. 6
    Violet says:

    @JPL: Thanks for the info. Dammit, I’d hoped that there would be some kind of coup attempt.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    I am going to kill my computer.
    I am going to kill it dead.

  8. 8
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Violet:
    I trust that Nancy Pelosi has already held his feet to the fire for some Dem votes.

  9. 9
    The Red Pen says:

    Today’s favorite post on Free Republic was by a Freeper explaining why as a hunter and target shooter, he needed a 30-round magazine.

    Shorter:

    * I have terrible aim and have to fire off a few shots if I have any hope of actually killing my prey.

    * Reloading is inconvenient and I am lazy. Same for everyone I know.

    Why aren’t these guys losing the argument?

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    @Violet:

    Yes, but Cantor is going to swing from the dome in a pirate suit.

  11. 11
    The Red Pen says:

    @Violet:

    I’d hoped that there would be some kind of coup attempt.

    There will be a coup attempt. It is just expected to fail. This will be better. Look at all the latent anger still boiling from the failed Confederate coup attempt.

  12. 12
    Face says:

    -20F used to be normal in January so maybe I’ve just gone soft.

    Minus 20F is the normal? Where do you live, Barrow?

  13. 13

    @The Red Pen:

    Why aren’t these guys losing the argument?

    “I’m an incompetent piece of shit” is apparently a valid excuse for endangering others, now.

    “Hey, I’m such a shitty driver that it’s hard to stay on the road! I need to get on the sidewalk sometimes! Pedestrians need to stop being so selfish!”

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Link please re this “sportsman.” Ta.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Violet says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I hope so! NANCY SMASH is so awesome. I want to see her back in that Speaker’s chair.

    @General Stuck: Ha! I hope C-Span covers it.

    @The Red Pen: Is it going to be a visible coup attempt or will it all have happened before voting begins. I want to see some action on the floor!

  17. 17
    Mandalay says:

    Some truly uplifting news:

    Though most of the new Congress will look the same as the old, the next session will boast a record number of women — 20 in the Senate and 81 in the House — and will be more racially diverse, with more black, Latino and Asian lawmakers. For the first time, a Hindu, Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), will take office in the House. And Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono (D) will become the first Buddhist senator.

    The first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), will be seated, as well as the first openly bisexual member of either chamber, incoming congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    The closer Congress reflects the population the better off we will be. Put another way, we have far too many white Christian males in Congress.

  18. 18
    dr. bloor says:

    @Violet: Nah. Boehner effectively called Cantor’s bluff with the test vote on the fiscal cliff bill, and no one else is stupid or drunk enough to want the job.

  19. 19
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    “I’m an incompetent piece of shit” is apparently a valid excuse for endangering others, now.

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches: Yes, this is one of those things I’m seeing in society that makes me feel like a cranky old man yelling about clouds, but it is true.

  20. 20
    Shinobi says:

    John should get excited, that Leap thingy he likes just got a deal with Asus!

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gnomedad:
    Per the BBC, the cops say the shooter was using an old carbine and a hunting gun, of which I presume neither was full-auto or semi-auto. He’s a drug addict and former psychiatric patient who’s had guns confiscated in the past. I wonder if he was allowed to have guns again — or if not, where he got his new guns.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @Face: Not quite Barrow, but northeast Vermont. The average low temp for January is 1F, which is now unusual, while we used to be able to depend on at least one extended cold snap every winter with nighttime lows in the -20 to -30 range and highs only around zero. We haven’t seen this type of “normal” weather in the past five years or so and last night’s cold temps seem to be a one-time event this year (not that I’m complaining about this).

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Mandalay: The group of Democrats in the House are < 50% white male.

  24. 24
    greennotGreen says:

    @Mandalay: No, we have too many white men who claim to be Christian. Do you seriously believe “Love your neighbor as yourself” is central to anything the Republicans do?

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Why aren’t these guys losing the argument?

    Because they’re the majority.

  26. 26

    @The Red Pen: Lazy and not bright electorate. Beholden and/or terrified officeholders. And an amoral, greedy industry more than willing to exploit both.

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: @Violet: Pelosi will not be Speaker until the Dems have a majority. Moreover, it would do little good for her to have the gavel if she doesn’t have the votes behind it.

  28. 28
    Punchy says:

    The Other Reid is in the news….to the Chiefs, apparently.

  29. 29
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The group of Democrats in the House are < 50% white male.

    Wow! I am pleasantly surprised. When all of Congress is ~36% white men and ~36% white women we will be in a good place.

    And throw in a couple of open atheists also too.

  30. 30
    muddy says:

    @beltane: I was living in North Hero in the 80’s, I remember a few times we got -40* and the windchill was -80*. Couldn’t open the car doors, they were stuck shut. Just as well, I doubt the car would have started anyway.

    It never gets like that anymore. And as you say, not complaining!

  31. 31
    Trakker says:

    This has been bugging me for awhile. Can we admit that the vast majority of Americans are generally good, honest, and generally trustworthy? And yet would you let a stranger take your child to the park to play while you are busy cleaning out the garage? Of course not. Why? Because we know that the consequences of that stranger being a rare nut case could be dire, even resulting in the horrific death of our child.

    So why do we as a society let perfect strangers in some states hang around playgrounds fully armed? How crazy are we?

  32. 32
    PaulW says:

    @gnomedad:

    Note how the pro-gun people were saying “Hey look Switzerland’s got guns, they don’t have mass shootings!”

    …argument no longer valid. Have you gun nuts considered using Somalia as a comparison…?

  33. 33
    The Red Pen says:

    @Elizabelle: Link to “worst extended magazine argument evah”: http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....4514/posts

    I think this guy is a retired military chaplain. Kinda reminds me about a veteran friend who said he wanted to shoot all but one of the chaplains assigned to his unit. It was a Mormon chaplain who — unlike the other fire-breathing fundies — didn’t act like he assumed everyone would automatically believe all the same things he did.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mandalay:

    When all of Congress is ~36% white men and ~36% white women we will be in a good place.

    Nah, because by then whites will probably be a minority in the country as a whole.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know that. Doesn’t change what I want. I want the Dems to have the majority and NANCY SMASH! back in her rightful chair. As far as I’m concerned, that’s her chair and gavel and Boehner is the Orange Usurper.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    CSPAN will cover both the Senate and House starting at noon.
    Since I assume Boehner will win, I’ll watch the Senate cave on filibuster reform.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I expect no such thing. If he cannot get enough votes for speaker, from the republicans, he ain’t gonna be speaker.

    I expect zero votes for him for speaker from democrats.
    That is the way both parties roll on this vote.

  38. 38
    👽 Martin says:

    My son turned me on to Kerbal Space Program.

    It’s basically a little NASA rocket simulator, but for little green men. You design and launch rockets, landers, probes, try to land them on moons and other planets. Do docking rendezvous, EVAs, and so on. It’s still quite early in development, so there’s just a sandbox mode and no career yet, but it’s quite a lot of fun if you’re of the geek mindset. The physics and controls are quite well done as are the graphics (all 3D and shit with lighting and so on), but it doesn’t model proper 3-body systems, so there are no lagrange points to park things at. That aside, building a rocket that can get something to the moon is pretty challenging. Building one that can get to an outer planet is very challenging.

    It’s about $20, Mac and Windows. An old version is available as a trial. They’re pushing out new features/bug fixes about every 2 weeks, and there’s a modding community developing to add new parts and so on. Fun.

  39. 39
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    The propaganda will soon hit our shores. NYT leading the charge showing a success story.Latvia.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01.....wanted=all

    Didn’t Charles Pierce say it best; “Fuck the Deficit. People got no jobs, no money”

    The cuts are coming. Gird your fucking loins, People.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @muddy: “Couldn’t open the car doors, they were stuck shut.”

    That only happens on the first cold night in october – and it rips the door liners off — aaargh. (I then tell myself that NEXT year I will spray on silicone before the freeze. Then forget.)

    On really cold days, they do not stick, no moisture around that is not already frozen.

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): And Dean Baker at Beat the Press eviscerates that NYT claim. (If you start out by dropping down 20% and work your way almost back to even, that is not as good as only dropping 5% and working back above even – which is more like what the US has done.)

    I also agree that Charlie Pierce is right. Ritholtz blog has had some good posts to the effect that: “If we get unemployment down below 5%, we will not have a deficit problem.”, with charts and all.

  42. 42
    Hill Dweller says:

    Looks like Schumer undercut Reid’s effort to reform the filibuster. He was also the leader of the group of Dems who undercut Obama on the $250,000 cutoff for the tax cut.

  43. 43
    Anoniminous says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Latvia has also lost 13% of it’s population from declining birth rate (can’t afford kids) and immigration to other EU countries (to find work.)

  44. 44
    Face says:

    @catclub: I cannot see anyone but Boehner being elected. Republicans dont like change, and abhorr surprises.

  45. 45
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @catclub:

    Latvia with a 5-10% emigration rate, 14-17% unemployment and 30+% extreme poverty number is touted as the gold-standard of austerity schemes and neoliberal economic policy. You can’t make this stuff up. And this is what passes for journalism; as success story

  46. 46
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @The Red Pen: That wasn’t snark? Seriously?

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Ouch.

    So will the country be empty in 10 years?

  48. 48
    cmorenc says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Today’s favorite post on Free Republic was by a Freeper explaining why as a hunter and target shooter, he needed a 30-round magazine….Why aren’t these guys losing the argument?

    Because a fiercely passionate single-issue voting block, especially a well-financed one, always has disproprtionate leverage over voters whose loyalties are more dilutely spread over a number of different competing considerations and affiliations. Because the NRA is not financed only by its members, but by its lobbying partnership with the firearms industry; what business interests are even remotely focused on financing the gun regulation lobby? The NRA isn’t really at all about winning an “argument”, it’s simply about winning a “fight” by whatever means necessary.

    Perhaps if an organization analogous to “Mothers Against Drunk Driving” could get off the ground big-time; “Mothers Against Gunned-Down Children”.

  49. 49
    Jamey says:

    @gnomedad: Did the Swiss gunman shoot people full of holes? Because that would be terrible, yet somehow amusing.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):
    Sure, but they seem to have done it without raising taxes on the rich, which everyone knows is the real measure of success.

  51. 51
    The Red Pen says:

    @Mandalay:

    Wow! I am pleasantly surprised. When all of Congress is ~36% white men and ~36% white women we will be in a good place.

    And throw in a couple of open atheists also too.

    Oh boy, identity politics! There’s no way we can lose popular support with that!

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    The woman who enshrined women’s rights into the Japanese Constitution has passed away at 89. I feel terrible, mostly because I had never heard of her before. I was also unaware just how feminist the Japanese Constitution is.

  53. 53
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    If I didn’t know Judith Miller went to work for NEWSMAX, I would say she is Minister of Propaganda, again.

  54. 54
    dr. bloor says:

    @Hill Dweller: This should surprise absolutely no one.

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Oh boy, identity politics! There’s no way we can lose popular support with that!

    It seems to work great for the party of white people.

  56. 56
    JoyfulA says:

    @The Red Pen: Recognizing the problem of whacko right-wing chaplains, my United Church of Christ has instituted a program at one of its seminaries (Eden in Missouri) to encourage its students to become military chaplains.

    I don’t know how it will turn out, but I’ve heard a lot of complaints about obnoxious chaplains (and occasional officers) from parents of current military.

  57. 57
    flukebucket says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Are any of you left wing gun guys familiar with this guy?

    Supposedly he is an avowed liberal that loves guns.

    I really got a kick out of one of his pro high capacity magazine arguments. Long story short he is of the opinion that since magazines can be swapped out so quickly then it is useless to limit a magazines capacity. In other words if a psycho killer had 5 magazines that hold 9 rounds then having 5 magazines that hold 30 rounds would not aid in raising the body count.

    Or something…

  58. 58
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @catclub:

    So will the country be empty in 10 years?

    This makes less sense than anything they’ve done. I always thought you need the poor around so that the middle-class keeps going to work, out of fear. Who is going to buy stuff?

  59. 59
    Cassidy says:

    @JoyfulA: I couldn’t stand my chaplains. I always hated the pep talks we got before deployments, missions, etc. and the bible verses. I always thought, we’re about to go do bad things to people, possibly including death, please stop trying to justify that shit to me with the bible. Fucking assholes to a man; never met one that didn’t creep me out.

  60. 60
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Yutsano:
    Damn, what a woman. What a human.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @General Stuck:
    If yours is anything like mine it will die pretty soon on it’s own.

  62. 62
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): My guess is that it’s not the poor per se who are migrating.

  63. 63
    Mandalay says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Oh boy, identity politics! There’s no way we can lose popular support with that!

    You want to sneer at the idea of having Congress reflect the population?

  64. 64
    Paul in KY says:

    @greennotGreen: I think some of them secretly hate themselves. Look at it in that way.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Red Pen:

    His argument is pretty much “because I want one and because I say so.”

    Points to him for working “glitterati” into a gun post.

    LOL.

  66. 66
    JoyfulA says:

    @Cassidy: Which is probably why only the fundamentalist/evangelical clergy are enthusiastic about careers as military chaplains, and why PFCs have no one to listen to them.

  67. 67
    Cassidy says:

    @flukebucket: I scanned through his thing and will go back and read it more throughly later. T answer your question re: hi-cap magazines, he’s being disingenuous. Swapping magazines, like anything takes practice. I can’t begin to remember the number of times I’ve seen magazines go in upside down or people try to put them in backwards in the heat of the moment. So, in theory, he might have a halfway decent point, but not really. TBH, the only good thing about a hi-cap magazine in his train of thought is that they tend to jam more.

    My inititial impression is that he’s making a big deal out of how the guns look aspect of the AWB. I’ve had the same problem, whereas his is mocking and mine was that it wans’t really addressing the issue(s) associated with aftermarket accessories, the same weapon regardless of stock type, etc.

  68. 68
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Elizabelle: as well as varmints and critters

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    @JoyfulA: I’ve had chaplians get pissed at me because I wouldn’t refer my Soldiers to them with issues. I was always blunt about it: you can go see the chaplain to talk or we can go somewhere else and get some real help and they’ll have counselors to talk to as well. I called out another chaplain at a post in-briefing when he said that he [and the chaplains] were the only people on post who could guarantee confidentiality if spoken too. Being medical, I started asking questions about HIPPA, etc. and he wasn’t real pleased. I then called IG to complain about it the next day just to give him shit.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    @The Red Pen:
    Chaplains in the military was one of the reasons that I became an atheist. Later when I was in the military and met a couple of chaplains, I was even more convinced. One of them was telling us that it was alright to kill because our enemy was communist. And they didn’t believe in god.

    For my own safety I kept my mouth shut about my beliefs. Or lack thereof.

  71. 71
    The Red Pen says:

    @Mandalay:

    You want to sneer at the idea of having Congress reflect the population?

    Yes, I do. It’s not a zoo, it’s a representative body. As long as it succeeds in protecting the interests of the population, I don’t really care if it’s entirely comprised of Oompah Loompahs.

    Scratch that. An all Oompah Loompah congress would be awesome.

    Yes, for practical reasons, an all-white-male Congress would have difficulty representing a diverse population, but I don’t think I have to argue very hard that a Congress full of Alan Graysons would be better for American women than a Congress full of Michele Bachmanns.

  72. 72
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cassidy:
    Thank you for putting that into words. There was a time when I was in the business of doing terrible things to people whom I didn’t even know and I’d been transported a few thousand miles to do those things. Having some sky pilot come in and explain that it was okay because… just made the sorrow and the guilt worse for me.

    It was who I was then, it was what I did. I didn’t want to be absolved or excused. I have to own it lest it own me.

  73. 73
    red dog says:

    In my military days, early 60s, chaplains were all creepy loners who served no purpose except for getting his signature for emergency leave when a family member back home needed help.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Red Pen: A wish for a legislature that more closely reflects its population =/= identity politics.

  75. 75
    The Red Pen says:

    @flukebucket:

    I really got a kick out of one of his pro high capacity magazine arguments. Long story short he is of the opinion that since magazines can be swapped out so quickly then it is useless to limit a magazines capacity. In other words if a psycho killer had 5 magazines that hold 9 rounds then having 5 magazines that hold 30 rounds would not aid in raising the body count.

    I skimmed the article. He makes some good points, but a lot of it seems to fall into the “gun critics don’t know guns so they’re arguments are invalid.” He loves him some logical-fallacy-pointing-out but employs a few himself.

    As for that particular point, I think it’s been well-established that shooter who have been stopped have been stopped when they have to reload, so reality is kinda not on his side there.

  76. 76
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Battleground Next; Social Security versus Pentagon spending. This may be old, but no less true.

    As of this writing, government actuaries estimate that Social Security surpluses will, unless there is an economic collapse, rise to the trillions before the inevitable downward trend when the Baby Boom generation begins to retire in the 2010s. The constant danger, of course, is that an administration faced with the hungry demands of the Pentagon will begin reneging on the deal with the old folks.

    http://www.american-buddha.com.....sts.17.htm

  77. 77
    Schlemizel says:

    @Face:

    We get -20 here in Minnesota every few years. I wouldn’t call it regular but it does happen. I remember one stretch when I was in middle school when for 3 days in a row the temp while we walked to school was below -30. It happens

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I swear I cringe every time I hear that trumpet and walls story, and it’s always the same god damned one trying to tell you just how righteous we were at blowing shit up.

  79. 79
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Red Pen: A utube video of an all oompa-loompa congress would be awesome! All business done in chants and with silly dances.

    Would probably represent the American people better as well.

  80. 80
    The Red Pen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A wish for a legislature that more closely reflects its population =/= identity politics.

    Right, because identity politics is bad, therefore this must be something else somehow.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cassidy:
    It seems to me that the real distinction should be made between weapons with internal magazines and those with removable magazines. There’s little legitimate need for guns that can shoot more than about 5 rounds anyway, so it shouldn’t be a major inconvenience to people who want guns for hunting or home defense. Collectors and people who want to blast away with a high capacity weapon should be able to buy them but only keep them at a firing range/gun club. The handful of people who genuinely need a high capacity weapon outside of target practice can then apply for a permit that has strict testing for need and ability to handle it safely.

  82. 82
    danah gaz says:

    What?! No clever lead in or naval gazing on the front page post?

    Mistermix, have you no work ethic?

    =)

  83. 83
    JoyfulA says:

    @Cassidy: So the chaplains are just as bad as I’ve been hearing elsewhere.

    Maybe the best idea is to do away with the military chaplaincy as an easy way to trim the Pentagon budget. All those officer salaries—

  84. 84
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @gnomedad: Just think, if only he’d had access to an AR-15, he could have racked up American-style body counts and killed some first responders, too.

    There was a very similar case in Gainesville, Florida with a schizophrenic young man shooting people he’d argued with in the last few days, including his father, who was trying to get him committed. Aside from the initial panic when the twitter machine lit up about a spree killer on the loose near UF, it didn’t get much attention because the victims were blah.

  85. 85
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: What non-self defense reason would you ever need for a military style weapon with a detachable magazine, that can shoot in semi-automatic mode?

    Being in a militia ;-) maybe?

  86. 86
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Except, since SS is essentially self contained, these two parts do not intersect. For all of the issues with SS, chained CPI was about controlling the rate of the money coming out. It does not contribute to the debt.

    Now, if you want to argue that we’ll have a fight between Medicare and the Pentagon, I will agree with you, and we will have to be vigilant.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @Paul in KY: I would so totally watch CSPAN all the time for that shit.

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Watching MSBC– did somebody really vote for Colin Powell for Speaker?

    ETA: Ugh. It was that Blue Dog POS Jim Cooper, Powell instead of Pelosi. I’m sure this will get him praise for bipartisanship from the Villagers.

  89. 89
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @dr. bloor: A truly evil right wing insurgency would have caucused with the Dems to pursue Real, Ultimate Power.

    Unfortunately (for the lulz, but good for the progressives), the Teahadis are just a bunch of grifters.

  90. 90
    SatanicPanic says:

    @The Red Pen: They are losing the argument. But winning the argument doesn’t really matter if we don’t win Congress along with it.

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A wish for a legislature that more closely reflects its population =/= identity politics.

    Yes, but having a House caucus that’s 86% white men does. Once again, conservative complaints about liberals are projection. The Republicans are the party of white identity politics.

  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Luoie Goehmert and one of his fellow nutters voting for Boehner but ostentatiously applauding votes for Pelosi.

    I don’t expect this to make a whit of difference in any actual policy. Pure politics-as-spectator-sport, but fun.

    ETA: Goehmert just voted for Allen West for Speaker

  93. 93
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore: Honestly, I think the distinction is simpler than that. Even a Ruger 10/22 is very lethal in the right hands. Someone else has suggested it and I like the idea: a bolt action, or like you’re saying 5 shot internal, a shotgun, and a revolver. That’s it. That satisfies every need in a utility fashion and takes away the sexy accessorization of the weapons. Plus, license, insurance, etc.

    @Paul in KY: To protect yourself from zombies and RW whackjobs losing their shit and starting an insurrection. That’s all I can think of.

  94. 94
    👽 Martin says:

    @The Red Pen:

    As long as it succeeds in protecting the interests of the population, I don’t really care if it’s entirely comprised of Oompah Loompahs.

    If you assume the prevailing theory of Democracy as valid, then the only body that can adequately protect the interests of the population will be a representative one. That’s the whole fucking point of a democracy – it asserts from the outset that any non-representative body will fail. Period. Full stop.

    Let’s be blunt here – we spend a lot of energy around here demanding that the interests of the poor be protected, and assert that the Democrats are better at doing that (they are), but the Democrats get it wrong almost as badly as the GOP does. Our notions of the poor are as wrongly stereotypical as the GOPs are – it’s just that our bad stereotypes are generous whereas theirs are not. But they’re both wrong, and the policy is often wrong, and the reason it’s wrong is that the only way to know what the poor really need, is to actually interact with poor people – which the Dems are even loathe to do. Everyone’s heart may well be in the right place, but the outcomes will still fall far short of where they need to.

  95. 95
    TooManyJens says:

    Some Dem from Tennessee just voted for Colin Powell for Speaker.

  96. 96
    TooManyJens says:

    Did the name of the former Secretary of State who held up a supposed vial of anthrax at the UN just get me put into moderation? FYWP.

  97. 97
    Cassidy says:

    @👽 Martin: Do I have to interact with poor people since I was one? I’m not anymore and I don’t want to get their poor all over me.

    I’m kidding, and I agree with you. I just thought it was funny.

  98. 98
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: This kind of reminds me of one of my pet peeves: some people should be denied the privilege of a driver’s license. They have shown in great detail why they ought to be denied this privilege. The problem is that congressional Republicans refuse to provide the operating assistance necessary to provide these road menaces with alternative access to transportation.

    I read a freaky statistic from three years ago–only 7% of transit riders are elderly. The rest of the elderly are either housebound or frigging driving their boat cars around with their stiff necked gaze through the steering wheel, mixing up the gas and brakes and mowing down the occasional child. Or just wheeling around blind like my great grandmother (who passed the Illinois road test with cataracts) or my great uncle (Oklahoma, you better believe the state didn’t care there).

    Some people who drive for a living shouldn’t be driving. There. I said it. Construction firms should be living in fear of the liability of hiring some jackass who has repeatedly shown reckless disregard for human life to drive a 20K lb – 80K lb dump truck.

    Instead, the NYC cops call it an “accident” and nothing is done and I mean nothing.

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Pelosi would win if they had Tom Price instead of other. Cowards all of them.

  100. 100
    👽 Martin says:

    @Cassidy: Guns really are shit against zombies. You want a good axe and chainsaw. Axe for when the chainsaw is out of gas, and chainsaw for when you’re outnumbered. This business about shooting zombies is bullshit. They’ll get back up – even if you shoot them in the head. Slow them down – yeah, but that’s about it.

    Can we get our fact straight please? I don’t want to be losing this gun safety policy debate because the NRA successfully pushes false info about the effectiveness of semi-auto weapons against zombies.

  101. 101
    Rathskeller says:

    Can anyone explain exactly why the VAWA renewal didn’t happen?>

    I know that Cantor objected strongly to provisions concerning immigrants, LBTG changes, and the jurisdiction changes for rape of Native American women. The reports I read indicated that the native-american changes were the deal breaker.

    I don’t know _why_ this matters so much to the House lunatics when it clearly didn’t bother most of senate GOP folks, including Crapo. Can someone spell it out for me?

  102. 102
    Mandalay says:

    @The Red Pen:

    It’s not a zoo, it’s a representative body.

    But it is NOT representative body at present, and cannot be a representative body while it is predominantly white Christian males. It can only succeed in protecting the interests of the population when it better reflects the population.

    As long as it succeeds in protecting the interests of the population, I don’t really care if it’s entirely comprised of Oompah Loompahs.

    But if will NEVER protect the interests of the population if it is entirely composed of a single group. The evidence of that is not hard to find.

    I guess you must be trolling. Enjoy, if that’s what makes you happy.

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Those are people who ride bikes and they dont count, frickin’ hippies. How dare they clutter up the roads with their bikiness.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Red Pen: Look, no matter how much imagination and empathy I have, I will never be able to understand racism the a person of color does, or homophobia the way a gay person does, etc. I don’t see that recognition as identity politics. Also, at the same time, you are correct that mere membership in some group does not automatically make one a good advocate for their rights.

  105. 105
    Tone in DC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Jim, I truly hope you’re bullshitting us. That is just wrong.

  106. 106
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cassidy:
    Brother. One of the things I did was to work through the woods to a genuine Viet Cong encampment near Ca Mau. They wanted this place destroyed because it was a locus for VC tax collectors who, like so many others in Vietnam at that time, were using their bulge to take a few piasters off of their fellow citizens.

    The job was to call in fire from a destroyer loitering off coast. There wasn’t any fast way in and there wasn’t any easy way in. By the time I made it there I had probably enriched the live of a few hundred leeches and the secure comm radio they gave me weighed many more pounds than any reasonable person would want to carry for more than about ten steps.

    You may know the drill; look at the map that now is a very abused piece of paper. “Fire on…” “Up two, over twenty east.” “Fire for effect.”

    I walked through that place afterwards. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @👽 Martin: What zombie movies are you watching? Shooting in the head always works. Haven’t you seen House of the Dead? One minute you’re a college student at a Spring Break bash, next your a fucking ninja double fisting Beretta’s and doing cart wheels and shit.

  108. 108
    Roger Moore says:

    @Paul in KY:

    What non-self defense reason would you ever need for a military style weapon with a detachable magazine, that can shoot in semi-automatic mode?

    I don’t think most people will ever need one. I can imagine legitimate need for private security, people who need to exterminate large numbers of pest animals (e.g. killing geese near an airport), and the like. Those are mostly commercial reasons rather than private ones, but those weapons will still need to be registered and their users licensed.

  109. 109
    👽 Martin says:

    @Rathskeller:

    Can someone spell it out for me?

    The teatards have sovereignty fetishes. It’s why they hate the UN. Reservations have sovereignty, and they’re all afraid that they’ll get pulled over when driving through a reservation and be tried by the tribal court. Anything that moves jurisdiction out of their carefully gerrymandered and influenced local/state legal system scares the fuck out of them.

  110. 110
    TooManyJens says:

    @Tone in DC: He’s not. So far, 2 votes for West, 1 for Raul Labrador, 1 for Jim Jordan, 1 for Cantor, plus 3 Republicans not voting.

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PaulW: The rate is still lower, but so is their overall societal inequality.

    USA has two problems. Extremely lax gun laws that allow people that for whatever reason (adjudicated, whatever) shouldn’t even be getting guns to acquire them, that make it damn easy for criminal gangs to smuggle guns in, that allowing even the ‘law-abiding’ to acquire serious anti-personnel pieces even though in the days when the Amendment was passed, nobody had a working cannon on their roof, so wtf?

    The other problem is massive inequality which is the driving force for the violence in society. This may seem counter-intuitive since violence has dropped while inequality (in some ways) got worse. So there’s this third problem that has mostly gone away–lead poisoning. It damages the frontal lobe which allows you to make plans and sketch out the consequences of your actions. We had leaded gasoline for many years. Since it was banned, lead poisoning has plummeted.

  112. 112
    muddy says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Being in a militia ;-) maybe?

    If they were actually in one.

  113. 113
    bemused says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Ha, I remember -60 in about 1995 in NE MN. Not a good memory. That kind of cold causes brain freeze even without stepping outside.

  114. 114
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    It’s the Propaganda……from the same link.

    But wait. Social Security was not adding to the budget deficit; the Social Security trust fund was running a huge and growing surplus. According to the February 18, 1988, Washington Post, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the surplus in the trust funds (Social Security was the largest of these) was likely to be $97 billion in fiscal 1988, as opposed to a deficit of $245 billion in the nontrust-fund part of the federal budget, or the Federal Funds Schedule. Chart 17-1 shows the role of the Social Security surplus in masking the size of the overall federal deficit and making the black hole look less deep than it is.

    What will the Public Perception be?

  115. 115
    SatanicPanic says:

    @👽 Martin: I’m going with a lawnmower like in Dead Alive.

  116. 116
    TooManyJens says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    So there’s this third problem that has mostly gone away–lead poisoning.

    Which was also linked to inequality, since lo and behold, poorer people were (and actually, still are) more likely to live in places with high lead exposure.

  117. 117
    Cassidy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I honestly cannot even begin to imagine the devastation of a destroyer. I just can’t conceive of calling that in on a living area. The biggest bang I got to see was the 1000Lbs and we got way back for that. I’ve been danger close with 60mm and that was plenty.

  118. 118
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Except, since SS is essentially self contained, these two parts do not intersect. For all of the issues with SS, chained CPI was about controlling the rate of the money coming out. It does not contribute to the debt.

    Not really. The problem is that the Social Security surplus is used to buy government bonds. When the surplus turns into a deficit, there will be a fight about whether we need to raise taxes and/or borrow from the general public to pay it back, or if we should just default on those bonds and screw over Social Security recipients. That’s why Republicans are always talking about the danger point for Social Security being when it goes into deficit, not when the trust fund runs out; they’ve already mentally written off the trust fund because they never planned on paying it back. And CCPI is relevant for revenue because tax brackets are already indexed to inflation, so changing inflation calculations would affect how rapidly people move into higher brackets.

  119. 119
    The Red Pen says:

    @👽 Martin: I agree with your point. It’s completely reasonable to demand that our representatives acquire a practical understanding of the real issues facing the approximately 15% of Americans who live in poverty.

    It’s a totally different thing to state that we don’t have sufficient representation unless 15% of our elected officials were impoverished prior to their gaining a seat in congress. Again, there is no better teacher than experience, but experience is no guarantor of wisdom.

  120. 120
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hill Dweller: What would it take to take out the Legion of Assholes? I think Schumer and Feinstein are the two biggies. Dodd had to get out when he was caught taking bribes receiving lowered interest rates on a mortgage that was worth five figures to him from Tangelo.

    What crime can we catch them at to make them strongly desire to spend more time with their families?

  121. 121
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yutsano: Wow. What an incredible woman.

  122. 122
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TooManyJens: voting for West probably isn’t even the third craziest thing Louie Goehmert has done today, or at least said. Fucking Cooper might as well have stood up and said “Any Politico or Fox reporters looking for a Democrat to give balance to a “both parties are too extreme and in disarray due to excessive partisanship?’ I’m your boy! I’ll give you my cell number after this vote. That’s Jim Cooper, two O’s! I can give you a ride back to the office if you’re pressed for time! Does anyone know what kind of donuts Mr Gregory likes?”

  123. 123
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rathskeller:

    Can anyone explain exactly why the VAWA renewal didn’t happen?

    The Republicans discovered that it was anti-violence, not pro.

  124. 124
    Rathskeller says:

    @👽 Martin: Thanks, very helpful explanation.

    It’s a strange thing to have a fetish about, but they are consistent in bringing it to the foreground.

  125. 125
    quannlace says:

    Re: Shelving the Sandy relief vote; I guess Boehner and the GOP are now saying ‘Heh, heh, just kidding.”

  126. 126
    👽 Martin says:

    @Cassidy:

    Shooting in the head always works. Haven’t you seen House of the Dead? One minute you’re a college student at a Spring Break bash, next your a fucking ninja double fisting Beretta’s and doing cart wheels and shit.

    See, but shooting in the head shouldn’t work. Hollywood has fucked up zombies by giving the public an unrealistic view of them – just like we did making the Soviets to be these super-villainous supermen back during the Cold War.

    Look, the only way to kill a zombie is through decapitation. That’s it. Other things will slow them, like bullets in the head – that may allow you to escape them momentarily, but you’re just leaving a zombie to later go after your nana. And I’m not going to sacrifice my nana for the sake of some NRA gun argument.

    Edged weapons are what you want. A chainsaw with a good supply of fuel – not one of those homeowner ones with a 16″ bar – but a big fucker with a 44″ or 60″ bar so you can take that head off with a couple extra feet of reach. And a couple of good axes because that saw will run out of fuel from time to time, and a couple of machetes.

  127. 127
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @quannlace: I didn’t see till just today that Christie publicly praised Eric Cantor’s helpfulness. Cantor fucking invented holding up disaster aid, and that preening fuck Christie can’t not know that. NOt that I don’t enjoy Boehner getting pissed on, but Cantor and Christie are still dicks.

  128. 128
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Roger Moore:

    And…that a big part of the argument against means-testing is that it, theoretically will create class-warfare between the very rich and the well-off. There are already a lot of younger folks who resent paying payroll taxes because they feel they will never see the benefit.

    More class warfare is not what we need, but it’s good fodder for the propagandists.

  129. 129
    scav says:

    Large numbers of white xian males have managed good and bad things historically and all the empthy and first-hand experience of an issue doesn’t guarentee one knows how to fix that specific situation. In general a more diverse set of heads working on a problem should be a good thing, but they have to be well-intentioned ones.

    In other words, many dead white guys would outrank Malkin on my my ballot.

  130. 130
    Cassidy says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Edged weapons are what you want. A chainsaw with a good supply of fuel – not one of those homeowner ones with a 16″ bar – but a big fucker with a 44″ or 60″ bar so you can take that head off with a couple extra feet of reach. And a couple of good axes because that saw will run out of fuel from time to time, and a couple of machetes.

    And why do you think I’m trying to be a firefighter? I’m thinking ahead.

    And which zombies? Romero shamblers or virus zombies? The latter aren’t really zombies, but they’re fast as fuck and guns work great on those.

    Seriously, though, have you seen Zombie Tools? They make custom order swords and machetes, knives, etc. Not that I really believe we’d ever need them, but if you wanted to really cosplay a zombie fetish, that’s the place to accessorize. They’ve got a few polearms as well that are pretty cool.

  131. 131
    TooManyJens says:

    Why do people act like it’s a choice between disproportionate numbers of white guys on the one hand and Michelle Malkin or Michele Bachmann on the other? There are plenty of qualified women and people of color, and we’re right to be encouraged when they get elected.

  132. 132
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Edged weapons are what you want. A chainsaw with a good supply of fuel – not one of those homeowner ones with a 16″ bar – but a big fucker with a 44″ or 60″ bar so you can take that head off with a couple extra feet of reach. And a couple of good axes because that saw will run out of fuel from time to time, and a couple of machetes.

    I’d think a two handed broadsword would be a better choice than an axe. It gives you nice reach and a little bit more margin for error if you get the range wrong. Maybe a naginata or a halberd.

  133. 133
    Cassidy says:

    I’d think a two handed broadsword…

    …is a recipe for chopping your own leg off.

  134. 134
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    I too had some rather extensive exposure to Led when I was younger.

  135. 135
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Red Pen: A wish for a legislature that more closely reflects its population =/= identity politics.
    Right, because identity politics is bad, therefore this must be something else somehow.

    The only identity politics I see here is the notion that everyone and anyone ought to identify with old, white, Christian men as their representatives.

    Whereas if our representatives were just sampled RANDOMLY (okay, exclude people under 18), the demographics would look a little different. And if we had that random sample (that “looked like America”) it would say something about where we were as a country.

    Unless you additionally believe some white supremacist notion that old, white, Christian men are our natural leaders and superior and therefore the only meritorious candidates for office.

  136. 136
    The Red Pen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Look, no matter how much imagination and empathy I have, I will never be able to understand racism the a person of color does, or homophobia the way a gay person does, etc. I don’t see that recognition as identity politics

    Representation is inherently inefficient, though.

    Sure, you can’t understand racism in the same way that a “person of color” (I’ll explain the quotes below) does, but you don’t need to. You just need to understand it well enough to legislate appropriately regarding issues of race.

    The reason I put “person of color” in quote above is that experiences of racism vary depending on what color. Indo-Pak Americans experience a different kind of racism than African Americans. Further, when you say “African Americans” you usually mean Americans descended from slaves, and not Americans whose parents fled strife in Rawanda — they have different issues and different racial tensions.

    The important thing is not to have proxies, but to have allies.

  137. 137
    catclub says:

    @👽 Martin: “they’re all afraid that they’ll get pulled over when driving through a reservation and be tried by the tribal court.”

    And that is the nice way to put it. It seems that people who know how bad the jurisdiction problem is, take particular advantage of it to rape Native American women. And the GOP decides THEY are the people who need to be protected, by opposing VAWA.

  138. 138
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rathskeller: But how will they engage in rape tourism now? Go overseas? How gauche.

  139. 139
    The Red Pen says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    The only identity politics I see here is the notion that everyone and anyone ought to identify with old, white, Christian men as their representatives.

    Oh no! Well, you’d better tackle that strawman post haste!

    Unless you additionally believe some white supremacist notion that old, white, Christian men are our natural leaders and superior and therefore the only meritorious candidates for office.

    Nicely done. You get a cookie.

  140. 140
    greennotGreen says:

    @Paul in KY: Nah, that would imply some self-awareness, and I don’t see them having any of that.

  141. 141
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Goehmert just voted for Allen West for Speaker

    That is just absolutely fucking beautiful.

  142. 142
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Red Pen: You must be trolling. The lack of social mobility is a massive problem. And while coming from a certain background is no guarantee of not being a wingnut, sometimes practical knowledge can only be acquired one way.

    BT, DT.

  143. 143
    The Red Pen says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    And while coming from a certain background is no guarantee of not being a wingnut, sometimes practical knowledge can only be acquired one way.

    Thank God there are people who are willing to stand up and point out that sometimes there’s only one way of doing things.

    The “only one way of doing things” contingent of humanity is truly our greatest gift.

  144. 144
    handsmile says:

    Only my many years of reading modernist/experimental fiction have enabled me to follow the multiple strands of this thread (e.g., gun rights, House Speaker election, identity politics, weather temperatures, chaplains/zombies et al).

    This has been a classic of the Open Thread genre.

    Also too, Cantor voted for Boehner’s re-election. So that particular coup d’etat/palace intrigue seems to have been suppressed.

  145. 145
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @TooManyJens: Same people that think Obama is a terrible negotiator who dreams at night of new ways to sell us out.

    Some liberals still have some identity-anxiety issues to work out. If you didn’t grow up a white male, this may all seem very strange.

  146. 146
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    More class warfare is not what we need, but it’s good fodder for the propagandists.

    If you think we are avoiding class warfare, you haven’t been paying attention. You’re just choosing to disarm.

  147. 147
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Red Pen: Nice try. You have all but implied that there is nothing wrong with the current makeup of Congress and that desiring–not trying to bring about in anyway, just desiring–a more demographically balanced representative body is a deeply harmful endeavor which will lead to worse* representation.

    If you are serious and not trolling, you need to check yourself, buddy. Hard.

    *unwise, you implied, in fact

  148. 148
    chopper says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Yes, for practical reasons, an all-white-male Congress would have difficulty representing a diverse population

    which is exactly why a congress that more accurately reflects the diversity in the american populace is better. not a hard concept to grasp.

  149. 149
    👽 Martin says:

    @Cassidy:

    Romero shamblers or virus zombies?

    Romero shamblers, of course. We’re talking proper zombies here. Those virus things are, as you note, not zombies. Whole other way of handling them.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Red Pen: Basically, in my opinion, all things being equal, more diversity is better than less. And I am a straight, white, nominally Christian, man of entirely Western European descent.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Red Pen: Whereas the Red Pen has a direct line to God and knows everything from his swivel chair in front of the computer.

    Truly we are blessed by contact with such divine felicity.

  152. 152
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    You’re just choosing to disarm.

    You have noticed my nym, right?

    Or, maybe you meant ‘You’, in the editorial sense.

  153. 153
    Mandalay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    That’s the whole fucking point of a democracy – it asserts from the outset that any non-representative body will fail. Period. Full stop.

    This, many times over.

    There is no “perfect” composition of Congress, but the present composition inherently guarantees failure, and a Congress that better reflected the population is much more likely to represent the interests of the people.

  154. 154
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @The Red Pen: Yes, for practical reasons, an all-white-male Congress would have difficulty representing a diverse population, but I don’t think I have to argue very hard that a Congress full of Alan Graysons would be better for American women than a Congress full of Michele Bachmanns.

    One wonders what these “practical” reasons are. Perhaps the ungrateful masses who doubt what wonders the Alan Graysons have performed for them? Pearls before swine, indeed! For there could be none more wise than Alan Grayson, and nothing more divine than 535 Alan Graysons, holding forth and teaching the great unwashed, bringing the light of wisdom to the bleeding and broken.

    The Red Pen for sainthood!

  155. 155
    TooManyJens says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Basically, in my opinion, all things being equal, more diversity is better than less.

    Not only that, but all things are not likely to be equal. Democrats, though far from perfect, are more likely to elect diverse representatives than Republicans. A more diverse Congress is likely to be a more Democratic Congress.

    But for some reason we’re supposed to ignore that and entertain “what if they’re all like Michele Bachmann?” fairy tales.

  156. 156
    chopper says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    mere membership in some group does not automatically make one a good advocate for their rights

    this is true, and you can point to outliers like allen west as proof, but he’s just that. an outlier.

  157. 157
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    So you are going to shoot geese at an airport with a semi auto pistol?
    You really think that will be effective? That none of the rounds might go stray and cause even the slightest problem?
    Please come up with better examples, this was lame.

  158. 158
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’d think a two handed broadsword would be a better choice than an axe. It gives you nice reach and a little bit more margin for error if you get the range wrong. Maybe a naginata or a halberd.

    Yeah, broadsword, but you don’t just loot the local Home Depot for one of those. Halberd has too small of a blade and too long of a shaft. Something more like a bardiche would be better. You don’t need such a long reach to outreach another weapon, but you want enough blade speed to take that head off – or at least a limb – and a large enough blade to not miss (we’re not experts here – and don’t want to become a zombie before attaining that kind of proficiency).

    Given enough time to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, I’d want a number of well-made katanas as my primary weapon (backups, family, friends, etc). They’re really quite specifically designed for this sort of thing. I’d still want the chainsaw in the event you wake up one morning to find your house completely surrounded. You need to be prepared for that large group encounter. During the HD looting, I’d still go for the axes.

  159. 159
    Elizabelle says:

    Eric Cantor got 1 vote more than Allen West.

    Tee hee.

  160. 160
    Elizabelle says:

    At least, I’m assuming it’s Allen West.

    Could it have been Adam West?

  161. 161
    Dork2013 says:

    I thought the way to stop a Zombie was to unplug his amp or smash his guitar.

  162. 162
    Schlemizel says:

    @bemused:

    Oh its been colder in the cities than -30, though I wouldn’t say -60. I just have never had to go out in that kind of weather often.

    Now if it hits -30 people panic & close everything. We really are becoming delicate little flowers.

  163. 163
    handsmile says:

    The Great Orange Speaker re-elected with 219 votes. After all the breathless speculation of GOP caucus insurrection, only 9 voted to make their congressional lives especially miserable serving under him.

    Our hero Nancy SMASH! also re-elected as minority leader with 193 votes (with 6 miscreants).

    The demonstrable powers of incumbency.

  164. 164
    Suffern ACE says:

    @TooManyJens: O.K. What if your representative body was made up of oversampled Harold Ford Jr?

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Chainsaw – 44 bar min.
    Machete – can work in close if necessary, properly sharpened will take off a limb or head with one swipe. Not double edged so less likely to be one of your own.
    Every thing else is like gold plating the insignias on your Camry. Still doesn’t make it a better car.

  166. 166
    catclub says:

    @👽 Martin: I think the chainsaw-in-the-shape-of-a-bowsaw, would be useful.

    A little lighter than plain chainsaw.

    (I think they were banned for safety reasons.)

  167. 167
  168. 168
    catclub says:

    @👽 Martin: “I’d want a number of well-made katanas”

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Katana

    yes, fleeing rapidly is probably the best solution.

  169. 169
    TooManyJens says:

    @Suffern ACE: What if it was made up of the Master?

  170. 170
    chopper says:

    @The Red Pen:

    The important thing is not to have proxies, but to have allies.

    this isn’t an either-or situation.

    proxies are more likely to be allies than non-proxies are. a black representative is more likely to understand issues and support policies that are dear to the hearts of black voters than a white representative is. same is true for gays, jews, women, you name it.

    in a perfect world an all-white male congress would do just as good a job representing everyone as an actually-representative congress would, but we don’t live in anything resembling a perfect world.

  171. 171
    chopper says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    You have noticed my nym, right?

    oh, your internet nickname. that changes everything.

  172. 172
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cassidy: Get a good buzz, have a good time. Would make that ‘I’m Just a Bill’ educational cartoon even better.

  173. 173
    bemused says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I sure don’t want to experience those temps again. It was bitter cold for awhile too…didn’t get above -20 for days and was -40 at night except for that weekend in Feb when it got down to -50’s to -60. It was square tire cold. Nobody left home except for work or food. It was too dangerous to be out there. When the streak finally broke, we finally ventured out one night for a couple of beers with friends. It was -20 and felt almost balmy in comparison.

  174. 174
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ruckus:

    So you are going to shoot geese at an airport with a semi auto pistol?

    No, but I might shoot them with a semi-auto shotgun with a box magazine. If I’m exterminating pests rather than hunting, I may want a tool that’s designed to kill as rapidly as possible, which is exactly what we’re trying to restrict.

  175. 175
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):
    I meant it more metaphorically – as in, we’re currently in a class war, being waged by the rich on everyone else, and not admitting that doesn’t change it. Not “don’t put your guns away, we might need them to shoot rich people”.

  176. 176
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @chopper:

    Heh, chopper is slang for machine-gun, but I’m sure your firing-pin is missing.

  177. 177
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    I meant it more metaphorically

    Pardon my knee-jerk.:=)

  178. 178
    Anoniminous says:

    Boehner is – barely – re-elected with 220 votes, three more than he needed. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from his fellow GOP’ers.

  179. 179
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Given enough time to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, I’d want a number of well-made katanas as my primary weapon (backups, family, friends, etc).

    And I thought the whole point was preparation, so you were talking about what weapons to buy now so you don’t have to worry about the last minute. In that case, you can think about the ideal tool for the situation rather than what you can pick up in frantic looting. Admittedly, though, an axe is more likely to be cheap, generally available, and useful for something other than the zombie apocalypse.

  180. 180
    scav says:

    @TooManyJens: Rhetorical exaggeration and counter-balence in my case, because it’s just as stupid to insist that it’s impossible for an all fill-in-the-color body to be representative. Focusing on the Pantone numbers of the representatives instead of actual experiences and qualifications is a shit heuristic for choosing representatives.

  181. 181
    handsmile says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Actually, there were only 9 votes cast by the GOP caucus against Boehner’s re-election as Speaker of the House. For comparison, 6 disgruntled/delusional Democrats voted against Nancy Pelosi’s successful re-election as House minority leader. (see my #162 above)

    It’s the rumors that Eric Cantor would attempt a putsch that have rung hollow. Of course, just how “poisoned” Boehner’s chalice will now be remains to be seen. (I’d always thought a highball glass was his preferred drinking vessel anyways.)

  182. 182
    Keith G says:

    Cole, if aggressive filibuster reform is not passed please spike your donations to national Democratic groups until they see the light.

  183. 183
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    If the goal is to kill the geese or other birds, rather than fire off a projectile weapon, how about poison?
    If the goal is to keep the birds out of airplane’s path, might there be some other solution?

    Why do so many turn to guns(of any type) first as the only solution to problems(and some of the problems are only in the head of the person with the gun)?
    We have a gun problem in this country. We may have too many guns but the big problem is that guns are seen as the only way to solve issues, when there are usually other methods.

  184. 184
    Lyrebird says:

    Only click if you have a strong stomach, but I hope that justice is served (with a gavel in this case and not votes) against the local sports stars (steubenville OH) who have (allegedly) drugged and assaulted another young person…

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....rape-case/

    Horrible horrible horrible… but this time I’m thanking the hackers. (Why “this time”? I thought some of the mideast-related WikiLeak leaks were a bit casual about the safety of people in the region, esp citizens of other countries.)

  185. 185
    Paul in KY says:

    @👽 Martin: Good points on zombie killing. I have a chain saw gap at my abode. Must get one.

  186. 186
    Paul in KY says:

    @Roger Moore: The killing geese near an airport. Hadn’t thought of that one.

    Guess that would/could be a legit reason.

  187. 187
    Paul in KY says:

    @👽 Martin: You certainly don’t want your edged weapon getting stuck in one.

  188. 188
    Paul in KY says:

    @Ruckus: Poisons are so indescriminate. Even more so than a gun, IMO.

  189. 189
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cassidy:
    I would guess that you know that most outfits who are engaged in armed combat need a crazy. I had distinguished myself at the time as enough of a crazy to carry out such missions.

    A friend and I and dead VC who was partying with us (He was propped up in a corner with a cigarette in mouth) had a conversation about what I was doing. We agreed that we were there to kill true believers.

  190. 190
    Keith G says:

    @Ruckus:

    If the goal is to kill the geese or other birds, rather than fire off a projectile weapon, how about poison?

    1) Anything else that eats the poison, dies.

    2) Goose eats poison. Flies away. Gets sick. Eaten by predator. Predator (maybe an endangered species) dies.

  191. 191
    J R in WV says:

    Zombies – go to Home Depot and get brush-hooks. Larger longer blades than axes, handles about the same length. But brush-hooks are what used to have a medieval weapon name I can’t remember now.

    I still think a 12 gauge would be a good thing for zombies.

    I don’t really like zombie fiction, I’m more into vampires. Less rotten, more evil. Zombies aren’t evil, they don’t have a soul or a mind, just hunger. Yetch.

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