There is ample money to be made Uncle Tomming in the conservative media; there's no quicker way to a book deal, columnist gig, or TV appearances than to be something other than a white male. Flap-jowled white guys are 90% of the intended audience, and they love nothing more than being able to feel like they are totally not sexist/racist because, look, a woman/black person just said it! Thomas Sowell says there's nothing racist about George Zimmerman! Ann Coulter says women are responsible for getting raped! See? It's totally OK for us to say it if they can say it.

The market is highly competitive, though. The number of female writers, for example, willing to whine on behalf of men that it's really, really hard to be a white male in America is not small. They struggle to stand out by tripping over themselves to declare just how oppressed men really are. They can all stop now. We have found the winner, the writer with absolutely no dignity, willing to say anything, and with no limit to how wide her unhinged jaw opens. I have no idea who Suzanne Venker is (her tagline identifies her as the author of the hit book How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage, which I honestly didn't make up) but oh my god does she take the cake. We're about to examine her opus "Men – The New Second Class Citizens." If this is liberal trolling, it's almost too obvious. If this is a real person writing a real thing intended to be taken seriously, there is no god.

Are you ready? You say yes, but just wait.

In November of last year, I wrote an article for Fox News called The War on Men (which I subsequently expanded to an eBook). To keep it pithy, in the piece I focused on one effect of this war: the lack of marriageable men.

1. adj. Concise and forcefully expressive
2. adj. Containing much pith (of fruit or plant)

By the end of this piece you will agree that she is likely referring to the second definition here.

But there’s so much more to it. The truth is, men have become second-class citizens.

"Hey guys did you like my last exercise in pandering? Well you have seen nothing yet, absolutely nothing. I can pander even harder! It felt pretty good when I told you that you're not married because women are bitches or society won't let you hit them or whatever insipid red meat I threw at you, but there's more! You're an actual second-class citizen, not unlike pre-Civil Rights African-Americans! Look, you even have separate bathrooms, just like they did!

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The most obvious proof is male bashing in the media. It is rampant and irrefutable. From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot to biased news reports about the state of American men, males are pounced on left and right. And that’s just the beginning.

Well, that's settled. Are you convinced? I'm convinced too. It's irrefutable, after all. Sitcom dads are dolts, whereas the other characters on sitcoms are really complex, intelligent, mature, and multidimensional. Also, biased news reports. Always biased news reports. Bias bias bias. People probably think fire burns things because of bias.

This is the laziest shit I have ever read. She is not even trying. She just throws out, like, three keywords in one paragraph without even the usual feeble attempts to justify them. Since EVERYONE KNOWS these things we can just throw them out there and move on.

The war on men actually begins in grade school, where boys are at a distinct disadvantage. Not only are curriculums centered on girls, rather than boys, interests, the emphasis in these grades is on sitting still at a desk.

So let's just get this straight: The argument, if we can be generous and call it that, is that boys are at a disadvantage in school. That's what we're gonna go with? I feel like a sympathetic blackjack dealer watching a nice customer try to hit on a hard 17. I'm looking over my shoulder to make sure the pit boss isn't looking, then I whisper "Nah, you don't wanna do that."

He tries to hit again. Once again, I give him the little "Dude, seriously…stand" face. Still trying to hit. OK, fine, here's your Jack of Clubs. Nice job, Stu Ungar.

Plus, many schools have eliminated recess. Such an environment is unhealthy for boys, for they are active by nature and need to run around. And when they can’t sit still teachers and administrators often wrongly attribute their restlessness to ADD or ADHD. The message is clear: boys are just unruly girls.

Boys are "active by nature". Straight from this 1913 Madison Grant textbook on Human Nature. Boys also have a preponderance of concentrativeness according to these skull measurements!

Actually, Dr. Venkman, schools are cancelling recess because of shortages of non-academic staff (THAT MEANS BUDGET CUTS) and constant funding-dependent pressure to perform on standardized tests. You're in favor of bigger education budgets and less emphasis on testing, right?

Oh, and Ritalin makes boys girls. When I was 8 the Rialto Theatre in Joliet, IL had a show on its marquee called "Boys Will Be Girls" and my dad had to explain the idea of a drag show, which in hindsight I bet was pretty funny. But now I wonder if it wasn't a show about boys on Ritalin. Which makes them girls.

This gets worse, folks. These are, comparatively speaking, the good arguments.

Things are no better in college. There, young men face the perils of Title IX, the 1972 law designed to ban sex discrimination in all educational programs.

This has turned into a journalistic Sharknado at this point. Come on. Is this even serious? THE PERILS OF TITLE IX. Male readers, do you remember THE PERILS OF TITLE IX during college? It was basically all I thought about for four years.

Boy it sure would be funny if she had no goddamn idea how Title IX even works. But that can't happen, what with this being a professional writer for a major media outlet.

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Under Title IX, the ratio of female athletes is supposed to match the ratio of female students. So if not enough women sign up for, say, wrestling and ice hockey, well then: no more wrestling and ice hockey.

That is not even a tiny little bit how it works. Not even close. This is like writing, "One of the big disadvantages to being female is sexual harassment" and then continuing to explain that sexual harassment is when a woman is catapulted into a barn.

The total number of athletic scholarships must equalize under Title IX, so ice hockey for men could be offset by women's gymnastics, for example. Or the teams could operate without scholarship athletes. But according to Venkelmeyer, schools that have 50 male football players on scholarship can only have a football team by giving 50 football scholarships to women and WHAT AM I EVEN DOING HERE, PEOPLE? AM I ALIVE ANYMORE? WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? HELLO? IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SEND LIQUOR. SEND ME LIQUOR.

What was once viewed equal opportunity for women has become something else altogether: a demand for equal outcomes. Those are not the same thing at all.

*scratches ass with keys*

Yeah, that follows logically. Just do whatever you want from this point on. I'll just amuse myself with these jacks.

Title IX is also abused when it comes to sex. In 1977, a group of women at Yale used Title IX to claim sexual harassment and violence constitute discrimination against women.

Where did they get the idea that things like rape and domestic violence constitute a discriminatory environment for women? Boys are active by nature! They need to rape! After all, look at how these college girls dress.

I don't even know who's writing this response anymore, I shot myself a few paragraphs ago. Now I'm reading a BuzzFeed piece called 17 SIGNS YOU'VE BEEN SHOT IN THE HEAD OR TORSO. It's really funny. Lots of movie stills from The Sandlot and 1990s Nickelodeon shows.

Genuine harassment and violence should be punishable offenses, obviously.

Well that's big of you!

But the college campus is a breeding ground for sexual activity, which makes determining wrongdoing (and using Title IX to prove it) extremely difficult. Sexual misconduct does not necessarily constitute harassment—and women have as much of a role to play as men do.

You all knew we would get here, right? I mean, you saw this coming. You read the first paragraph or two and you were like, Jesus tittybanging Christ, this isn't going to end without her explaining how men are victims in sex crimes. You just knew. You shall not be disappointed. In a certain sense of the term.

Here again men are in an impossible situation, for there’s an unspoken commandment when it comes to sex in America: thou shalt never blame the woman. If you’re a man who’s sexually involved with a woman and something goes wrong, it’s your fault. Simple as that.

"and something goes wrong"

Don't you hate it when you're dating a woman and "something goes wrong," guys? You think the relationship is going well and then you slap her around a little and suddenly everything is all like BUT OFFICER… and everyone's making YOU the bad guy? How's that for fair.

Note the passive construction: the male doesn't do something. Something happens. You're a victim of external forces. When things, uh, "go wrong."

Judith E. Grossman shed light on this phenomenon in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. A former feminist, Grossman concedes that in the past she would have expressed "unqualified support" for policies such as Title IX. But that was before her son was charged with "nonconsensual sex" by a former girlfriend.

Oh cool, so she was a "feminist" until her son raped someone. She sounds credible. When parents change their tune to excuse and defend the behavior of their Precious Snowflake children, that's usually a sign that they have the intellectual and moral high ground. LET'S LISTEN TO HER, EVERYONE.

"Title IX has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice. On today’s college campuses, neither "beyond a reasonable doubt," nor even the lesser "by clear and convincing evidence" standard of proof, is required to establish guilt of sexual misconduct," she writes.

Those would be really relevant points in a courtroom. Isn't it a shame how some universities don't follow the standard sexual assault trial script of putting the victim on the stand and talking about how she dresses like a whore and is a giant whore and whores all whore-y like? Oh, the horror of an environment in which there are fewer (BUT STILL PLENTY OF) loopholes to escape trouble when you bang someone who isn't conscious.

Being a man is hard.

When men become husbands and fathers, things get really bad.


In family courts throughout America, men are routinely stripped of their rights and due process. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is easily used against them since its definition of violence is so broad that virtually any conflict between partners can be considered abuse.
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Well technically that's after a divorce, not "when men become husbands and fathers."

And come on, anyone who knows anything about our legal system knows that it's really, really easy to get a man charged with and convicted of domestic violence and my god, I read all of Going Rogue and Atlas Shrugged and an essay by Stephen Baldwin and yet this takes the cake as the absolute dumbest goddamn thing I have ever read. This is like trolling the "Men's Rights" forum on Reddit, but worse. It's as if a council of 15 year old boys, convicted rapists, and apes with serious head injuries wrote this by committee.

"If a woman gets angry for any reason, she can simply accuse a man and men are just assumed guilty in our society," notes Dr. Helen Smith, author of the new book, "Men on Strike." This is particularly heinous since, as Smith adds, violence in domestic relations "is almost 50% from men and 50% from women."

Yep. I have nothing to add – that's how enforcement of domestic violence laws works. This is correct in every way.


Not really, given that none of this is true, cubby!

If so, that’s in part because the media don't believe men can be victims of domestic violence—so they don't report it.


They would rather feed off stories that paint women as victims. And in so doing, they've convinced America there's a war on women.

Well then I guess the best solution is for the media to report less about domestic violence, amirite?
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What kind of recent events in various state legislatures could lead people to the crazy notion that there's some sort of "war on women"? Must be all that reporting about domestic violence.

Yet it is males who suffer in our society. From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced. Unlike women, however, men don't organize and form groups when they've been persecuted. They just bow out of the game.

OK, this is fake. This cannot possibly be real. It was fun and you had me going for a while, but you got greedy with "His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced." You blew your cover. Fun while it lasted, though.

"His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced."

I yield. This has broken me.

America needs to wake up. We have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction – from a man's world to a woman's world.

Yes, which is why America is controlled, top to bottom, by women.

Friends, one criticism I receive often is that I ignore the substance of an argument in favor of mocking the person making it. And my defense is that some arguments are so goddamn stupid that it would be excruciatingly boring to waste time refuting it. This is a perfect example. Can you imagine anything less interesting than explaining in a serious tone that this is not correct?

That's not equality. That's revenge.

Fuck you.

No, wait, let's do the Scooby-Doo ending.

*pulls off mask*

WAIT A SECOND! Suzanne Venker is actually…Marcel Duchamp!

Do your best, Coulter and Malkin wannabes – you will never, ever top this. This is the Sistene Chapel, the Led Zeppelin IV, the Citizen Kane of pandering to an audience of angry white men. I'd be in awe of it if I didn't have such a splitting headache from stupid right now.


At some point Megan McArdle has to get fired. We're accustomed to reading her arguments and thinking, gee, that makes no sense whatsoever – "no sense" as in, her logic is faulty. Apparently she has moved on to writing things that make no sense in the most literal meaning of the term. She is stringing together words that do not belong together to construct confusing sentences that appear to be arranged in no particular order. With "Why Gay Marriage Will Win, and Sexual Freedom Will Lose", we get the rare opportunity to watch a human being completely disintegrate into incomprehensible gibberish right before our eyes. It is not pretty, my friends.

Here but for the grace of god go we all.

In some sense, it doesn't really matter how the Supreme Court rules on the gay marriage case it's hearing today. The culture war is over on this front, and gay marriage has won. Even if it loses at the Supreme Court this term, it will win in the legislatures . . . because it is already winning in popular opinion. Few people much under the age of sixty see a compelling reason that straights should marry and gays should not. For that matter, my Republican grandfather is rumored to have said, at the age of 86, "I think gays should marry! We'll see how much they like it, though."

Hmm. This is remarkably sane. It's what we would expect from someone who calls herself a "libertarian conservative" and it appears to grasp reality – namely that the tide has turned and the legalization of SSM is imminent.

At this point, it's just a matter of time. In some sense, the sexual revolution is over . . . and the forces of bourgeois repression have won.


That's right, I said it: this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality. Once gays can marry, they'll be expected to marry. And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats.

Welp, given that this is only "expected" of straight people who think it's 1950 – not a huge share of the population – I hardly see why it would be expected of The Gays.

I believe we're witnessing the high water mark for "People should be able to do whatever they want, and it's none of my business." You thought the fifties were conformist? Wait until all those fabulous "confirmed bachelors" and maiden schoolteachers are expected to ditch their cute little one-bedrooms and join the rest of America in whining about crab grass, HOA restrictions, and the outrageous fees that schools want to charge for overnight soccer trips.

I believe we're witnessing a bad writer vomiting words and writing a column in one take before submitting it without proofreading.

Three questions. 1) What in the hell are you talking about? 2) "Expected" by whom? 3) No seriously I will give you one American dollar to tell me what you're talking about.

Is this, like, a cry for help? McMegan is trapped in this nightmarishly banal life and she thought everyone else must be too, but then she realized that a lot of us don't do any of that and now she wants us to rescue her?

I know, it feels like we're riding an exciting wave away from the moral dark ages and into the bright, judgement free future. But moral history is not a long road down which we're all marching; it's more like a track. Maybe you change lanes a bit, but you generally end up back where you started. Sometimes you're on the licentious, "anything goes" portion near the bleachers, and sometimes you're on the straight-and-narrow prudish bit in front of the press box. Most of the time you're in between. But you're still going in circles.

Victorian morality was an overreaction to the rather freewheeling period which proceeded it, which was itself an overreaction to Oliver Cromwell's puritanism. (Cromwell actually did declare a War on Christmas, which he deemed to be sensuous paganism.)

That track metaphor is stretched so awkwardly that it may be walking funny for the rest of its life. This is the essence of McMegan's shtick; her expensive upbringing taught her how to make the Right highbrow references, which make her appear intelligent (particularly to dumb people or anyone easily impressed by modestly arcane historical references). This is intended to disguise the fact that what she is saying is incredibly stupid. It doesn't work.

We've been moving away from the Victorian view of marriage for a long time, which means that we're probably due to circle back around the prudish front that drove Charles Dickens to lie when he left his wife for another woman.

Nope. It does not mean that at all. Not even a little.

The 1970s were an open revolt against the idea of the dutiful pair bond, in favor of a life of perpetual infatuation. The elites led the way–and now they're leading it back.
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Compare Newt Gingrich or John McCain to the new generation of Republican hopefuls. Jindal, Ryan, Christie, Rubio . . . all of them are married to their first wives. Jindal met his wife in high school, Christie in college. By their age, McCain was preparing for his first divorce, and Gingrich was just a few years from his second.

Oh, give the younger guys some time before we start applauding their commitment to dutiful betrothal. I'm sure more than a few of them will be trading up for Calista Gingrich types before too long.

Meanwhile, it's becoming increasingly impossible to ignore the disastrous collapse of marriage outside the elite.


I thought gays were going to be expected/pressured to marry. But…now…you're saying that marriage is less popular as an institution than ever before? So…why exactly…will they be pressured to re-enact Leave it To Beaver like the article just stated, like, three paragraphs ago?

If any readers out there can concoct an answer to that question please share it in the comments and be sure to let Megan know as well.

It turns out that there aren't a diverse array of good ways to raise a child, as the progressive academics of the 1970s had suggested. Or at least, if there are, they don't include having children with an array of men you're not willing to marry, and who will subsequently drift in and out of your life. And that, in post-sexual revolution America, is increasingly the norm in many areas.

mmhmm. mmhmm.


Yes, I see.


So…this would be an argument in favor of marriage as opposed to other ways to raise a child, yes?

Even as we're understanding it, we're losing the reasons to be suspicious of the old marital norms. When traditional marriage, with its expectations of monogamy and longevity, no longer means excluding gays, expect it to get more popular among affluent urbanites.

Seriously, is any of this making sense to anyone out there? This is like a rudderless ship careening from one unrelated idea to another. Is she in favor of gay marriage? Is she against it? Does she think marriage is a positive thing? A negative one? Irrelevant? Does she think anything at all, or is she just barfing out her contractually obligated word count for the week?

To be sure, it's already popular–affluent urbanites are now quite conservative in their personal marital habits. They've just been reluctant to shame those who don't follow suit. But with marriage freed from the culture-war baggage, we now have an opening for change. Think it can't happen? Consider the cigarette. It was shocking for a woman to smoke on in public in 1880, nearly mandatory in 1940, and increasingly shocking in 2013 (for either gender). I wouldn't be surprised to see out-of-wedlock childbearing follow a similar course.

The neo-Victorian morality will protect who you want to marry–male or female, or maybe even something in between. But the wider open marriage is, the less necessary it becomes to defend the right to carefree sex–or children–outside of marriage. One can imagine a Republican politician fifty years hence ruining his career when he throws over his husband and children for a younger man.

Ah, yes. Affluent urbanites are good examples of people who respect the institution of marriage. They're quite conservative about it, as evidenced by the analysis and survey data published in recent issues of Science and the American Journal of Sociology.


If I had to guess, I'd also put late marriage on the endangered list. I married at 37 myself, so I'm not judging, here. But if we want childbearing to take place inside marriage (and I think we do), then the average age of first marriage can't get higher; it probably shouldn't even stay so high. As that average age rises, you get two unwanted phenomenon on the tails of the distribution: babies born to unmarried parents at the low end, and couples who want children but can't have them on the high side. So the current upper-middle-class tendency to push marriage later and later while people finish their educations and get settled doesn't seem very stable to me–even before we consider the difficulty of finding a mate to match your settled life, which Keith Humphreys has dubbed The Problem of Grandma's Lamp.

About ten years ago I was on the phone with an older gentleman – a client of my then-employer – as he began to suffer a stroke. He began to slur words and say things that were comprehensible but made no sense.
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Immediately I knew something was wrong. I was glad to be on the phone with him so I could contact an ambulance. Luckily, he would go on to recover.

It rattled me. It was a scary moment.

This paragraph is a pretty good representation of what he sounded like.

Of course, predictions are hard, especially about the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, Megan McArdle: Professional Writer. She gets paid to write this, people. She makes more money than you or I, too.

Most of us would recognize her job and her lifestyle as something out of our dreams – get paid a lot to work very little and hobnob with famous and important people.

To write things like this.

Predictions are hard. Especially about the future.

There is no god.

Nonetheless, here is mine: whatever the Supreme Court decides, gay marriage will soon be legal throughout the land. But this will not mean that we drive ever onwards towards greater sexual freedom–rather, it will mean quite the reverse. The sexual revolution is over. And the revolutionaries lost.

The way this sounds, I imagine her hitting "send" to her editor, turning slowly away from the desk in the well-appointed office of her opulent Georgetown home, and looking wistfully out a window for a moment before jamming a Cato Institute letter opener into her abdomen to begin the ritual of seppuku.

She seems like a terrible person, but I'm worried about her well-being nonetheless. Someone should give her a call. Check on her. Otherwise we might have to wait a week until the neighbors notice a funny smell coming from the ol' Suderman mansion.


Kathryn Jean Lopez (aka K-Lo) over at America's Shittiest Websitetm was flabbergasted – just flabbergasted, I tell you – to see Beyonce's scandalous outfit during the Super Bowl halftime show. She rushed to her keyboard as soon as she finished her Reagan prayers on Monday morning to voice her displeasure while letting us all know that she's totally not a prude or a wet blanket – she just doesn't understand why everyone is such a whore all the time.

I don't want to linger on this,

Of course you don't. And we won't. In fact, we'll probably never hear of this as long as what you say about it isn't incredibly stup…


but last night's Super Bowl halftime show was ridiculous

Really? A halftime show? At the Super Bowl? At an event known around the globe for its taste, restraint, and understated appeal to the better angels of mankind's nature?

I can't believe it was ridiculous, after we entrusted it to continue the tradition of previous halftime performers like Prince and the Black Eyed Peas.

— and gratuitously so.

Oh, I get it now. By "ridiculous" you meant it enraged the 1940s schoolmarm that you try to pretend you aren't. That's why you always have to tell us that you're Hip, right before launching into one of Granddad's favorite lectures about hemlines or the rock music or Paul Harvey or whatever.

Watching Twitter, it was really no surprise that men made comments about stripper poles and putting dollar bills through their TV sets, was it?

When men say sexist shit, it's women's fault.

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Also, Twitter is a good place to go to see intelligent commentary. Like the former director of the South Carolina GOP, who used the occasion to tweet "This Super Bowl sucks more dick than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money." followed by "I agree that Trayvon Martin was a dangerous thug who needed to be put down like a rabid dog."

Why can't we have a national entertainment moment that does not include a mother gyrating in a black teddy?

Let me get this straight…the NFL and CBS conspired to make one of the sexiest women in the history of the universe wear something revealing in the interest of ratings? To keep people from turning to Puppy Bowl IX? To hold viewers' interest during halftime when they might ordinarily retreat to the kitchen, expel urine from their bodies, or step outside to smoke? To appeal to a wide range of non-traditional football viewers?

This is all just staggering. To someone who was frozen in 1951 and reanimated minutes before this game began.

The priceless moment was Destiny's Child reuniting to ask that someone "put a ring on it." As I mentioned on Twitter last night, perhaps that case might be best made in another outfit, perhaps without the crotch grabbing.

Yes, if you're ever going to sing about marriage or discuss the subject with a man, you can't be wearing anything sexy. You need a good, respectable Muslim Chastity Cloak or something along those lines.

It seems quite disappointing that Michelle Obama would feel the need to tweet about how "proud" she is of Beyonce.

Bill Kristol: "Did you manage to work in a dig on the Obamas?
K-Lo: "Yes, master."
Bill Kristol: "Good. Good." (hands her a Pupperoni)

The woman is talented, has a beautiful voice, and could be a role model. And she is on some levels — on others she is an example of cultural surrender, rather than leadership.

This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Seriously, the second sentence is just an amalgam of words, and if she's not a role model then who cares what she does, ever.

Here's the outfit, by the way.


Essentially a one-piece bathing suit, plus a little extra fabric.

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Would one wear it to church? No. But I've seen more "scandalous" things at the average Halloween party. Not exactly NC-17 material here.

When I saw the first lady's tweet, I couldn't help but think of the president talking about abortion in terms of his daughters' freedom.

"I couldn't help but engage in this complete non-sequitur to make some sort of pro-life statement, as I am contractually obligated to do in every single thing I write, in a column about a woman showing some titty during a football game. What were we even talking about?"

I so want the Obamas to be leaders on building a culture of marriage and fatherhood and human dignity.

Why can't Obama be more like Rick Santorum? I'm ever so disappointed. I totes thought he would be, and I am not at all concern trolling.

Their actions seem to be telling me to get over my delusion.

I wholeheartedly agree that you should get over your delusions, but maybe start with the real ones instead of the one you're faking so you can pretend to be outraged and disappointed.

We need to raise our standards. Is it crazy to think we can, even at the Super Bowl?

This is what drives me the craziest about right-wing opinion columnists and K-Lo in particular – they're just such bad writers. Ignore the content and ideology, and you are basically reading a high school sophomore's writing assignment with these people. Look at that again. That's what she closed with. In fairness, I suppose just about anything will do as a closer – the purpose of which is to wrap up and put an exclamation point on your argument – when you write a mess of half-baked ideas that have nothing to do with one another.


It did not take a team of psychics and supercomputers to predict that we would see some epic right-wing pant shittings on the internets in response to Tuesday's election, but I could only dream of finding one as, uh, layered with gems as the spectacularly (run-on) titled and subtitled, "The end of liberty in America: Only course of action now is to fight back, electoral politics not working: Time to tell any Democrats you know to fuck off and die" by "Libertarian Republican" Eric Dondero. I do not know who Eric Dondero is – nor do you, I assume – because as you are about to see he is a very bad writer, not-so-bright, and possibly mentally ill. If you relish the chance to see a pudgy middle-aged white guy lose his shit in the feeblest way imaginable, boy do I have a treat for you. Let's go!

This may be my last post here at Libertarian Republican for quite some time, possibly forever. I had a long discussion with my friend Jim "Right Guy" Lagnese last night. He has agreed, tentatively to take over this website. (prattle about blog contributors redacted)

Try to tell me with a straight face that this does not begin exactly as a suicide note, martyrdom video, or anonymous credit-claiming letter to the FBI would.

Now, that said. Firstly, I was wrong (Ed: about Romney winning). I was fantastically wrong. We were crushed last night at all levels, most especially in the Senate races.

Maybe stop nominating candidates from the I Have Some Ideas About Rape Caucus.

There is virtually no good news from last night's results for the libertarian wing of the GOP. I apologize Tom. I hope you can see fit to accept my apology.

Suicide notes are often filled with apologies when not lashing out at perceived enemies. "But Ed," you say, "he hasn't done the latter." This is what we call foreshadowing.

Secondly, today starts a new course for my life. I've soured on electoral politics given what happened last night. I believe now the best course of action is outright revolt.

Of course you do, Eric. You believe that revolt is the best course of action like the Hamburglar believes that hamburgers are the best course of action.

What do I mean by that?

We read it as a hollow threat / cry for help from a person who is slowly starting to realize how little he and his beliefs matter.

Well, to each his own. Some may choose to push secession in their state legislatures.

That sounds likely to succeed.

Others may choose to leave the U.S. for good (Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, Hong Kong, Israel).

Nothing says "I hate taxes and socialized medicine" quite like Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, and Israel. Or Hong Kong. You know, the one in China.

Still others may want to personally separate themselves from the United States here in North America while still living under communist rule the Glenn Beck, grab your guns, food storage, build bunkers, survivalist route. I heartily endorse all these efforts.

Ah, "separating" oneself from the U.S. while staying in it and enjoying its benefits. I think there's a word for what that makes you.

I'm choosing another rather unique path;

Of course you are, Eric. I would have asked for my money back if you didn't.

a personal boycott, if you will. Starting early this morning, I am going to un-friend every single individual on Facebook who voted for Obama, or I even suspect may have Democrat leanings.

So apparently this guy is 14, since the first step in what he describes as a revolt is to un-friend people on Facebook. I also hear you can save children if you change your profile pic to a comic book character, and Kony 2012 or something. And Connor says that bitch Amanda called me fat during homeroom, I'm totes gonna un-friend her.

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I will do the same in person. All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them.

I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted 'O'. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste.

Are you in a happy relationship?
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Clearly you should get a divorce on the advice of this brooding, socially maladjusted bedwetter. Trust him. If anyone knows the key to long term happiness, it's Eric.

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He's the guy I turn to for relationship advice, assuming that literally every other person on Earth and most trained circus animals are unavailable.

Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.

Anyone get the sneaking feeling that the Dondero family long ago vowed – or perhaps secured a court order to this effect – to avoid family functions at which Eric would be in attendance?

Do you work for someone who voted for Obama? Quit your job.

Have clients who voted Democrat? Call them up this morning and tell them to take their business elsewhere.

I am starting to think Eric Dondero might not be the world's best businessman. Maybe he opened a frozen yogurt stand with Susan Brown's brother.

Have a neighbor who votes for Obama? You could take a crap on their lawn.

Look, I don't claim to be a genius and no reader should blindly accept everything I say as the truth. The following, however, is the inerrant truth and should be accepted without question: If someone gives you advice that involves shitting in public, do not listen to anything that person has to say.

Then again, probably not a good idea since it would be technically illegal to do this.


But you could have your dog take care of business. Not your fault if he just happens to choose that particular spot.

So far we have 1) Facebook de-friending, 2) cutting off contact with relatives who probably can't stand you because you're the kind of ranting, spittle-spraying lunatic who reads with great interest the website of Eric Dondero, and 3) a dog pooping on your neighbor's lawn. WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!

Thirdly, I believe we all need to express disgust with Obama and Democrats in public places. To some extent I already do this.

Oh boy! This is the part where he tells us how he acts like a crazy person in public.

Example: When I'm at the Wal-mart or grocery story I typically pay with my debit card. On the pad it comes up, "EBT, Debit, Credit, Cash." I make it a point to say loudly to the check-out clerk, "EBT, what is that for?" She inevitably says, "it's government assistance." I respond, "Oh, you mean welfare? Great. I work for a living. I'm paying for my food with my own hard-earned dollars. And other people get their food for free." And I look around with disgust, making sure others in line have heard me.

OK, so are you getting a mental image of who we're dealing with here? Yep, he's That Guy.

"Making sure others in line have heard me," as though random strangers will be inspired by his puerile "wisdom." Just imagine the amount of eye-rolling and laughing that is going to ensue when he does this…while waiting in line at Wal-Mart, where paying by EBT and/or being an old person dependent on the government is practically a prerequisite for admission.

I am going to step this up. I am going to do far more of this in my life. It's going to be my personal crusade. I hope other libertarians and conservatives will eventually join me.

This sounds less like a revolt and more like a sad, lonely man no one can stand throwing a hissy fit. My eight year-old niece is capable of more frightening behavior than this. And she's a good kid. We read this article together and concurred that Eric Dondero is a stupid person who would not succeed in 4th grade.
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What I plan to do this week, is to get yard signs made up, at my own expense, that read, "EBT is for Welfare Moochers." I will put the signs out on public property off of the right-of-way so it's entirely legal, in front of every convenience store or grocery store that has a sign out saying "EBT Accepted Here."

That'll show 'em!

I may even do some sign waving in front of these stores, holding up my "EBT is for Welfare Moochers," sign, and waving to passers-by.

It sounds suspiciously like you have a lot of free time, Eric. It is almost as though you do not have a job.

If I meet a Democrat in my life from here on out, I will shun them immediately.



I will spit on the ground in front of them, being careful not to spit in their general direction so that they can't charge me with some stupid little nuisance law. Then I'll tell them in no un-certain terms: "I do not associate with Democrats. You all are communist pigs, and I have nothing but utter disgust for you. Sir/Madam, you are scum of the earth." Then I'll turn and walk the other way.

And they will think, without exception, "Thank god I never have to talk to that asswad again." They'll high five one another so excitedly they'll need reconstructive shoulder surgery. They'll be like promising young starting pitchers after a few years under Dusty Baker.

Buttons. Boy, you can have a lot of fun with this. I plan to make up a bunch of buttons, and wear them around town, sayings like "Democrats are Communist Pigs," or "Welfare moochers steal from hard-working Americans," "Only Nazis support Seat Belt laws" or "No Smoking Ban: Nanny-Staters go Fuck Yourselves."

The Troika of Revolution: Facebook De-Friending, Shunning, and Buttons. So basically this he wants to look like this:

At least he is smart enough to realize that the more one looks, sounds, and acts like a crazy person, the more likely it is that the public will be persuaded by the message.

There are so many other nasty little things I plan to do against the communists and those who support them. Perhaps I'll keep Jim informed and he can report on my activities here at LR.

Yes, so many pointless, stupid, insignificant things, as befits a stupid and insignificant man. Please do keep us updated; it sounds like this is going to be fucking riveting. "Today I went to the Piggly Wiggly and waved around a sign reading, 'DEMOCRAT PARTY = MOOCHERS AND POO-POO HEADS' for a while, then I went inside and turned all the magazines with Obama on the cover upside down! After that it was pretty much the usual day: quiet sobbing, then back to my tar-paper shack where I enjoyed an uncooked can of generic corn for dinner."

It'll be like reading V for Vendetta.

For now, off to my first assignment: Telling all my friends and family who voted for Obama to "fuck off, don't ever speak to me again you slimeball mother fuckers." Wish me luck!

Yeah, good luck clicking "remove from Friends." I'm on the edge of my goddamn seat over here.

Here's my Facebook Page. Watch me as I get started on my new lifetime crusade.

This is the saddest idea labeled a "crusade" since my great-grandfather Stanislaw died in a hail of gunfire charging toward the White House to demand that the U.S. be moved from the Gregorian Calendar to his own homemade calendar based on the cooking times of various kielbasas. Oh, and notice how Eric hasn't disappeared at all, but is in fact regularly checking his Facebook to bask in the attention his insanity has netted him. Not exactly exiled to Saint Helena, I guess.

This is perhaps the widest range of emotions I've gone through in an FJM, as we transition seamlessly from terror to bemusement to confusion before finally settling on pity. It takes a special kind of defective personality to concoct a personal revenge fantasy in response to impersonal events, and an especially pathetic and ineffectual person to come up with such a pitiable one. Calling people juvenile names and threatening to get some ridiculous signs and buttons made up is the best you can do? Jeez, America doesn't even make right-wing lunatics like it used to.


I've been at this for almost a decade, and over that time my Spider Sense for terrible editorializing has gotten pretty good. It's impossible to explain, but sometimes you look at a headline and author and you just know. So when I saw "Over-Regulation is Choking the Life Out of Business" by someone named Susan Brown ("op-ed columnist, motivational speaker, military family advocate and grief counselor") I had a powerful revelation. The Giant from Twin Peaks appeared to me in a vision and said "Ed, this is going to be based on an anecdote about her own failed business or that of an immediate family member." And when he talks, you listen.

So I honestly began this column by betting myself that I was about to read about Susan Brown's failed business (or that of a close relative) or I'd donate $5 to Santorum 2012. I don't want to give away too much, but suffice it to say that no financial transactions between Ed and Rick have occurred. Alright kids, I hope you're all ready to watch a no-name advice columnist fist logic. Let's roll!

I guess we were supposed to be encouraged last week when the regulator-in-chief pulled out his plastic preschool scissors while promising to cut the government down to size. "The government we have is not the government we need," Obama announced to a group of business owners at the White House on January 13, 2011. Obama promised he'd snip off a scant $3 billion over the next ten years — in exchange for just a little more power.

Meh. This generic tripe portends little more than Norquist-style "drown it in the bathtub" prattle about Big Government. I feel like this story needs some color, a personal touch to offset what I'm sure will be a vast amount of supporting data and research.

Given the increase in the size of government since Obama took office, he'll need an earth mover to make any real difference.

Well, it's no SDI or Medicare Part D, but I guess he did what he could. Lay off the guy for trying.

Next week he'll be selling snake oil in the Rose Garden to reduce the deficit.

Boy, Susan's writing skills are certainly leaping off the page, aren't they? Motivational, but also hilarious.

There are many areas in government to cut, chief among them are excessive regulations,

"Excessive regulations" isn't really a thing. When one talks about the size of government the reader naturally thinks about offices, agencies, departments, branches, or expenditures that might be proposed for elimination. What Susan has done instead is to leap from the size of government to a function of government. That's a poor idea in general, but certainly not aided by the total absence of specifics or examples.


Well this is embarrassing. I just googled it and it turns out that the Department of Excessive Regulations is a real thing. This is its main office building, located in Reston, VA:

regulations, which are choking the life out of small businesses in this country.

Uh, is it possible that small businesses could fail in this alternate reality for any reason other than Big Gub'mint? According to the Small Business Administration, more than 50% of small business startups fail in their first five years. Presumably for many reasons, the foremost of which is not Excessive Regulations.

Awhile back, my brother Pete decided to chase his version of the American dream.

*Runs victory lap*

God this is gonna be good.

He did his homework; purchased quality used equipment via the internet, and signed a lease – in hopes of opening a small mom and pop style yogurt shop near Charleston, SC. He's a smart businessman, who tries to calculate his decisions carefully.

Well, there you have it: according to this objective analysis, the author's brother is a business wizard. He is a Warren Buffet clone. If his brilliant idea – hopping on the trendy Frozen Yogurt shop fad – fails, it certainly could not be his fault. No mention of his previous business experience, which I'm sure is ample and littered with successes.

Nonetheless, it wasn't long before he found himself tangled in a web of regulatory red tape.

Then I guess he didn't do his homework, did he? For opening a small business, such homework would include things like figuring out what local regulations would have to be followed, what equipment/infrastructure would be required, and what licenses and permits are necessary. That's, like, the first thing you would do. If you weren't an idiot.

He was told he needed to purchase environmentally friendly grease trap equipment, although no frying is involved in serving non-fat yogurt.

Does this requirement by any chance apply to, uh, every single food service establishment in Charleston? I'm not familiar with the travails of the FroYo racket in Charleston, but I find it hard to believe that any of this was a surprise revealed only after he opened the business. Good research, bro!

It didn't stop there. Additional environmental requirements like the installation of specialized wastewater drains, and tens of thousands of dollars for more unessential equipment left him watching his hopes of the American dream go down the drain, along with any hopes of hiring new people should his business succeed.

OK. Couple things here. First, let's note that there are currently four dedicated frozen yogurt establishments in Charleston: FreshBerry, YoBe, Yogurt Mountain (!!!) and TCBY in addition to dozens of ice cream parlors that also serve frozen yogurt. This suggests that either the market is completely saturated or somehow these other restaurants manage to survive under the oppressive regulatory reign of terror. Maybe it's easier to succeed when the owner isn't a moron who doesn't figure out the overhead and startup costs in advance.

Upon further research, it doesn't look like the playing field is entirely fair. The author's brother was required to install "specialized wastewater drains" not required of any other business in Charleston. FreshBerry has no drains at all, YoBe funnels its liquid waste into a giant roof cistern clogged with dead pigeons, and Yogurt Mountain simply heaves its wastewater on the street one bucket at a time. My, he should sue.

My brother is not alone;

Time to generalize the living shit out of that ridiculous, unrepresentative anecdote! The plural of "anecdote" is "data" in the conservative mind. Although in fairness we don't even have multiple anecdotes here. Throw me a bone, Brownie.

his experience has become all too common in the Obama administration's new regulatory normal.

So the requirements of operating a restaurant in a given location are set…by…the…White House? Based on my limited contact with the bar and restaurant industry, the regulations are almost entirely city and county. Occasionally state.

South Carolina's Nikki Haley said it best when she recently told Fox News' Sean Hannity, "I need a partner in the White House." Haley claimed the hardest thing about her job had been the federal government intrusion into South Carolina's business. Though she was a Tea Party favorite, Haley endorsed presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Well this sure is irrelevant. Also, Haley is campaigning for the VP slot. That might be worth noting.

She said Romney promised to keep the federal government out of South Carolina's way, so it can create jobs.

You know that acquaintance who is a complete loser and blames all of his failures in life on "affirmative action", like he'd be a runaway success except that only women and minorities can succeed in this country? That's South Carolina. "We'd have super-low unemployment if only The Gub'mint would get out of our way!" Sure you would, Cletus. Sure you would. First in secession, last in everything else. Must be DC's fault.

My brother's experience, along with the Department of Labor's January 7, 2012 unemployment report showing an increase in unemployment by 24,000 over the last week makes it quite clear increased regulation is making matters worse.

An anecdote and a single week's unemployment numbers "makes it quite clear" that…there are too many regulations? I see better logic from freshmen. Not much better, granted, but better than this.

Over-regulation has turned the country once hailed as the Land of Opportunity into a place where opportunity only happens in your dreams.

Conclusion well justified by evidence presented. A+++

According to a July 25, 2011 Heritage Foundation article titled "Red Tape Rising: A 2011 Mid-Year Report," the Obama administration has enacted "75 new major regulations from January 2009 to mid-FY 2011, with annual costs of $38 billion." Between October 1, 2010 and March 21, 2011, the administration completed 1827 "rulemaking proceedings," environmental and otherwise, some of which will directly affect private sector start-ups.

The Heritage report found that Obama has outdone his predecessors in that "no other president has burdened businesses and individuals with a higher number and larger cost of regulations in a comparable time period."

A few examples wouldn't hurt, or we could just take the Heritage Foundation's word for it. I mean, they're at LEAST as credible as the tale of Goober Brown's failed FroYo stand. I don't know why I assumed that her brother's name is Goober, but run with it.

And the worst is yet to come when you look at the job-killing, business-quelling regulations under Obamacare's 159 new government offices and programs, the EPA's seven new environmental regulations that will cost businesses $38 billion annually,

1. "Business-quelling"? Is "quelling" the word we want here, guys? This makes sense? OK, according to the editors of TownHall – a 19 year old summer intern from Patrick Henry University and one of Bill Kristol's unemployable kids – this great writing.

2. That same $38 billion figure appears in consecutive harangues. That's one hell of a coincidence, no?

3. Ooooh, scary numbers! Big Gub'mint! These are certainly hard times for the would-be owner of a novelty food service establishment. Hopefully Mitt can lead us back to the frozen yogurt boom years.

in addition to compliance costs of $100 billion, and the 2400-page Dodd-Frank bill the Harvard Business Law Review cites as "the most significant regulatory overhaul since the New Deal."

Yeah, I think the banking and financial industries have suffered from over-regulation for too long.

The cost of overregulation is compounding exponentially, and in the process, is destroying the Land of Opportunity, dream by dream.

Your brother has stupid dreams. Maybe he should be less of a retard and do some research next time he decides that his dream in life is to run a faddish, not to mention seasonal, business.

But don't just take my word for it, ask my brother.

His singular experience recounted in a burst of AM talk show quality anti-government invective would surely persuade all doubters. He sounds like a smart, reasonable person who could objectively evaluate his experience and come to a measured understanding of what went wrong.

This is my all time favorite right-wing logic. If your business fails, it's because there were too many regulations. If you can't afford the lifestyle to which you feel entitled, it's because your taxes are too high. It's never, ever your fault. Party of Personal Responsibility!tm Except when you fail; then it's not merely someone else's fault, but inevitably the government's fault.


In the age of media saturation and shorter-than-ever attention spans, ideas are marketed no differently than products. And much like the release of a new product is carefully timed to coincide with the circadian rhythms of its particular market niche, ideas must be proposed only when they have the best chance to succeed. For example, an idea for a new banking regulation would best be proposed in the wake of a bank failure or market meltdown. Another example of impeccable timing would be proposing the abolition of the National Weather Service immediately in the wake of a major hurricane.

Is "impeccable" the word I want there?

Ranting about abolishing the Departments of Energy and Education is so 1998. I don't think it's too much to ask of our free market worshiping think tank hacks to come up with a new department to abolish every now and again. Get creative! Iain Murray and David Bier certainly did with "Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?" If you ever find yourself looking at a weather forecast and thinking "Gee, I wish there was someone I could pay for this information," keep reading. Santa has the perfect gift for you. Murray and Bier work under the label of something called the Competitive Enterprise Institute – best known for their climate change "skepticism" and a website called, I shit you not, By now it should be clear that you are about to hear some serious weapons-grade free market masturbation here. Ready?

As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, news stations bombard our televisions with constant updates from the National Hurricane Center.

Boy I can't wait to hear why this is a bad thing. It's clearly bad, right?

While Americans ought to prepare for the coming storm, federal dollars need not subsidize their preparations. Although it might sound outrageous, the truth is that the National Hurricane Center and its parent agency, the National Weather Service, are relics from America’s past that have actually outlived their usefulness.

I…I've got nothing. I'm speechless.

It certainly has outlived its usefulness to the for-profit weather industry and companies like Accu Weather! But more on that in a moment.

The National Weather Service (NWS) was founded in 1870. Originally, the NWS was not a public information agency. It was a national security agency and placed under the Department of War.

Cool story, brah!

The Service’s national security function has long since disappeared, but as agencies often do, however, it stuck around and managed to increase its budget.
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Yes, at some point the government got the bright idea that it might be economically and socially useful for people to, I don't know, have some information about the weather.

Today the NWS justifies itself on public interest grounds. It issues severe weather advisories and hijacks local radio and television stations to get the message out.

"Hijacks." It "hijacks" local radio and TV stations to spread "its message," which in this case is…a severe weather advisory.

It presumes that citizens do not pay attention to the weather and so it must force important, perhaps lifesaving, information upon them. A few seconds’ thought reveals how silly this is. The weather might be the subject people care most about on a daily basis.

If anyone can figure out what these sentences mean, please submit your answer in writing along with two color photographs of a shirtless Murray Rothbard to:

Competitive Enterprise Institute
Wacky Word Puzzle Contest
c/o Koch Industries
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There is a very successful private TV channel dedicated to it, 24 hours a day, as well as any number of phone and PC apps.

And they get 99% of their data from…wait for it…The National Something Something. Help me out here.

Americans need not be forced to turn over part of their earnings to support weather reporting.

Right. Let's chop the NWS and get all of our info from the Weather Channel, which will get its information from…

The NWS claims that it supports industries like aviation and shipping, but if they provide a valuable contribution to business, it stands to reason business would willingly support their services.

Logic (~1000 BC – Sept. 1, 2011)
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If that is the case, the Service is just corporate welfare. If they would not, it is just a waste.

Note how they throw in a pejorative like "corporate welfare" to emphasize that these Koch-chugging corporate whores are actually On Your Side.

Fighting for the little guy. Just lookin' out for you.

As for hurricanes, the insurance industry has a compelling interest in understanding them. In a world without a National Weather Service, the insurance industry would probably have sponsored something very like the National Hurricane Center at one or more universities.

"would probably have sponsored something very like the National Hurricane Center". Well, that's good enough for me.

Those replacements would also not be exploited for political purposes.

Sometimes movies remove scenes without realizing that other scenes make reference to the deleted material – like when Han Solo glances at the door of the room where the Wampas are detained in Echo Base as everyone evacuates, knowing that Stormtroopers will eventually blunder into it and be torn apart. Everyone remembers that, right? This is totally like that. I have no f-ing idea what this sentence is supposed to refer to. None.

As it stands today, the public is forced to pay more than $1 billion per year for the NWS. With the federal deficit exceeding a trillion dollars, the NWS is easily overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. It may actually be dangerous.

Oh my god, $1 billion? The amount we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan every 3 days? UNCONSCIONABLE.

Note the ominous teaser…let's learn how the NWS can actually murder you in your sleep.

Relying on inaccurate government reports can endanger lives. Last year the Service failed to predict major flooding in Nashville because it miscalculated the rate at which water was releasing from dams there. The NWS continued to rely on bad information, even after forecasters knew the data were inaccurate. The flooding resulted in 22 deaths.

1. Oh my god…someone got a forecast wrong? A weather forecast?
2. But why did all those people die? Accu Weather, the sponsor of this column, surely issued the correct forecast. Oh wait…

Private weather services do exist, and unsurprisingly, they are better than the NWS.

I'll tell you what IS surprising though – that CEI hacks getting underwritten by the Private Weather Services would come to such a conclusion. As surprising as when Rick Santorum took big campaign donations from the founder of Accu Weather in 2005 and then introduced a bill (which failed to attract a single co-sponsor) to prevent the NWS from issuing any weather forecasts. Coincidence is the lifeblood of free market worship.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the National Weather Service was twelve hours behind AccuWeather in predicting that New Orleans would be affected. Unlike the NWS, AccuWeather provides precise hour-by-hour storm predictions, one of the reasons private industry supports them.

Come on, guys. This is just ad copy from Accu Weather's PR department. I expect better of you.

It is not just random mistakes in crises either. Forecast Watch has found that

We can't trust big government bureaucrats, but I know who we can trust: objective sources of information like a website run by the lobbying arm of the for-profit weather industry.

Forecast Watch has found that the National Weather Service predictions of snow and rain have an error rate 20 percent higher than their private alternatives. “All private forecasting companies did much better than the National Weather Service,” their report concludes. In 2008, they found that the NWS’s temperature predictions were worse than every private-sector competitor including the Weather Channel, Intellicast, and Weather Underground.

This is the most shocking report I have read since the Corn Refiners Association concluded that corn-based sweeteners are nutritious, delicious, and have the ability to cure cancer.

NWS claims to spread information, but when the topic of budget cuts came up earlier this year, all they spread was fear. “There is a very heightened risk for loss of life if these cuts go through,” NWS forecasters said, “The inability for warnings to be disseminated to the public, whether due to staffing inadequacies, radar maintenance problems or weather radio transmitter difficulties, would be disastrous.” Disastrous? The $126 million in cuts would still have left the Service with a larger budget than it had a decade ago.

A federal agency's budget grew? Stunning. It's pretty stunning that the NWS budget has grown $125 million in that time, compared to the $400 billion growth in defense spending in that same timespan.

The massive bloat in government should not get a pass just because it’s wrapped in good-of-the-community clothing.

*slurp slurp slurp*

How does it taste, guys? Remember to breathe through your nose. Wouldn't want you to choke. And for christ's sake, give your jaw a rest now and then.

NWS services can and are better provided by the private sector. Americans will invest in weather forecasting because if there is one thing we can be certain of, people will want to protect their property and their lives.


I'm sorry, I don't know what happened there. The key must have gotten stuck.

Reading this gives our pampered, first-world butts a small taste of what it must be like to read North Korean newspapers and history books. Not being quite so used to it, reading this much propaganda gives me a headache.


It seemed like a good idea to get the requisite Bill Bennett Gambling Addiction joke out of the way up front.

Imagine the year is 1840 and you are the world's foremost expert on phrenology. You have devoted your entire life to its study and promotion. You have defended it well against its many critics. In just a few years it will be rejected once and for all by the medical and scientific establishment, exposing it as the quackery it is. What do you do? You've spent half a century on something that turned out to be meaningless, ineffectual pseudoscience. So you do the only thing anyone can do in this situation: you double down and continue to defend it with a dated laundry list of ludicrous, discredited arguments. Might as well go down swinging. Admitting that phrenology isn't real is to admit that your entire life has been a complete waste of time. And who wants to do that?

So on a completely unrelated note, here's former 1980s Drug Czar and legendary War on Drugs evangelist Bill Bennett on the Frank-Paul federal marijuana legalization legislation! More specifically, "Why Barney Frank and Ron Paul Are Wrong on Drug Legalization." Call the babysitter and get out the camera, because you are about to see some really good arguments. Ready?

From certain precincts on the left, notably Barney Frank, to certain precincts on the right, notably the editorial page of National Review, we are witnessing a new push to end the so-called war on drugs and legalize drug use, starting with marijuana.

Well we almost made it one sentence without factual misstatements. The proposed legislation eliminates federal penalties for marijuana use, meaning that states would have discretion over whether marijuana would be legal within its borders. This is similar to other issues like gambling (to pick a random example) that are legal or illegal on a state-by-state basis.

Indeed, Ron Paul, Barney Frank's co-sponsor in the latest legislative effort, said recently he would go so far as to legalize heroin.

That's libertarian ideologues for you. That's also called a red herring, as Rep. Paul's opinion on heroin is irrelevant to this legislation.

It's a bad idea. My friends at National Review begin their case by stating the illegalization of drugs has "curtailed personal freedom, created a violent black market and filled our prisons."

My God, that's the most intelligent thing I've seen in the National Review since I cut a bunch of articles out of The Baffler and pasted them in a dog-eared copy of the National Review.

But the legalization of drugs, including marijuana, would exacerbate each of these problems.

Let's read this literally. I can't wait to learn how legalizing marijuana will create a bigger black market (Guh?) and put even more people in prison (Buh?)

Starting with the basics, keeping drugs illegal is one of the best ways to keep drugs out of the hands — and brains — of children.

Oh good, the Appeal to The Children fallacy.

Obscenity, another vice that has inspired jihads from many deeply closeted moral guardians, used to be judged by the legal standard of its potential to "deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall" i.e., children. This derives from Regina v. Hicklin (1868) in British common law and was adapted by the US Supreme Court, until that body rejected it as an unreasonable standard in Roth v. US (1957). That was 54 years ago, Bill. The Supreme Court said, 54 years ago, that "It might hurt children" is a stupid and overly broad argument.

We know three things here: First, children who don't use drugs continually tell us one of the reasons they don't is precisely because they are illegal. For example, since at least 1975, report after report has found that "perceptions of the risk and social disapproval of drug use correlate very closely with drug taking behavior." When those in the drug prevention community ask teens who don't use drugs why they don't, time and again, the answer comes back "because it's illegal."

In what world does "Kids don't use it because it's illegal" a supporting argument for keeping it illegal? Lots of people would stop using anything if it was criminalized. If there is a good argument to be made here, this ain't it.

This, of course, explains why a greater percentage of teens abuse legal substances like tobacco and alcohol over illegal drugs such as marijuana — even when they say marijuana is easily accessible.

Bill, it's a phenomenally bad idea for anyone spouting Nancy Reagan Just Say No arguments about weed to mention alcohol in the same article…especially to point out that while the War on Drugs continues apace, kids are getting shitcanned on Four Loko and smoking themselves to a lung cancer death at 51. Do I need to explain why you don't want to bring this up when preaching the evils of Reefer Madness?

Second, keeping drugs out of the hands of children is the best way to prevent drug addiction generally, as study after study has confirmed that if we keep a child drug free until age 21, the chances of use in adulthood are next to zero.

McGruff the Crime Dog is apparently under the impression that – ignoring self-selection and selection bias – if we could prevent everyone from using drugs before 21 then no one would ever use drugs. Bill, sit down for a moment: the evidence you cite does not mean that. It does not mean that at all.

Third, we don't need to guess at hypothetical legalization schemes. Our experience with legally prescribed narcotics has already proven it, and we now have an epidemic. This, despite doing everything the theorists have asked, from oversight to regulation to prescription requirements.

Wow, who would have thought that opiates would be addictive, especially if doctors prescribe them like lollipops.

Normalizing, de-stigmatizing, and legalizing illegal drugs lowers their price and increases their use. As a recent RAND study on California found, legalization of marijuana there would cut the price by as much as 80% and increase use from as little as 50% to as much as 100%. Just what California, just what our society, needs.

The RAND study in question states that, "researchers cannot rule out consumption increases of 50 percent to 100 percent." I question Bill's interpretation of that, especially given that the study also states that, "there is considerable uncertainty about the impact of legalizing marijuana in California on public budgets and consumption, with even minor changes in assumptions leading to major differences in outcomes." In other words, you can essentially produce whatever estimates you want by playing the Assumptions Game.

As for the current drug policies curtailing personal freedom, the question is: "Whose freedom?" The drug dealers', sure — the drug consumers, no.

It's going to be cool to see how he makes legalization a negative influence on individual freedom…

As any parent with a child addicted to drugs will explain, as any visit to a drug rehab center will convey, those caught in the web of addiction are anything but free.

Oh for fuck's sake.

I'm not going to deal with the substance of this Appeal to Emotion. Instead I want to talk about one of the most wonderful, happiest places on Earth: the alcohol rehab center! Everyone there is truly free. They are happy as pigs in slop. There are ponies. The ponies fart glitter.

And it is not because of their incarceration or rehabilitation, it is because of the vicious cycle of dependency, waste and brain damage addiction and abuse cause.

Still waiting to hear why this is different than alcohol. Come to think of it, how is it different to ANYTHING addictive? Bill, I'm huffing Scotchgard as we speak and let me tell you, I am in a vicious cycle of dependency and brain damage. The cause of said damage, be it the Scotchgard or your column, is unclear.

Let us make no mistake about this, either: Marijuana is much more potent and causes much more damage than we used to know. Today's marijuana tests on average at more than 10% THC (the psychoactive ingredient). We are even seeing samples of more than 30% THC. This is compared to the relatively lower levels of THC most legalizing proponents were more familiar with in generations past (under 4% in the early 1980s, even lower in the 1960s).

OK. I don't even smoke weed and I know that this is beyond wrong. It makes no sense whatsoever. The argument is that marijuana is like alcohol and THC is like "proof", i.e., 80 proof is twice as strong as 40 proof. But 10% THC is not "twice as strong" as 5%. It might get you high faster (as stronger alcohol in equal amounts would) but it can't get you higher. Past a certain level of THC in the body, additional THC will have no effect. Besides, if people knew what they were smoking (Say, because it has a label on it measuring potency) they might adjust their behavior accordingly.

As for the high incarceration rates for simple marijuana use and possession, it is a myth. As government documentation actually shows, over 97% of sentencing on federal marijuana-related charges is for trafficking, less than 2% is for simple possession. Indeed, the only National Review authority with federal prosecutorial experience that I know of backs this point up: "Actual enforcement is targeted at big distributors. People who merely possess drugs for personal use well know they are substantially safe no matter what the statutes say."

Oh good. As long as the people we're stuffing prisons with are dealers rather than users, then it's all good. If only there was some way to eliminate black market dealers of marijuana other than incarcerating them at ass-breaking expense.

We have had a fair amount of experience with legalization and decriminalization schemes.

Don't forget prohibition schemes! We tried the hell out of that. It worked, right?


Citizens are trying to put the genie back in the bottle, from Northern California (where residents have complained that medical marijuana has "spawned crime, drug cartels and teenage pot use")

This is a quote from a single individual with no data provided to support it. Most of the linked article is devoted to people speaking in favor of continued legalization.

to the Netherlands (where drug tourism, use by minors, and border trafficking has increased)

Oh no, not tourism! By the way, which country has a higher rate of recreational drug use and drug-related crimes, Bill?

to England (where apologies have been made for endorsing decriminalization in light of the subsequent growth of teen drug treatment needs)

That's what a conservative takeover will net you. Why not mention Portugal, Spain, Sweden, or any one of a dozen other countries where partial legalization schemes (especially for weed) have been a rousing success?

to Colorado (where easy access has increased demand, "made a mockery" of the legal system, and is increasingly endangering public safety)

In the linked article, the person who gave the "made a mockery" quote is a physician, and the full story says: "She said she would probably favor true legalization but in the meantime is pushing to oust existing pot shops because they're making a mockery of the legal system." Way to misrepresent, Bill. Here's a good knee-slapper from that article, btdubs: "Local law-enforcement authorities are also pushing for a ban, warning that increased marijuana use endangers public safety. Steamboat Springs police arrested 17 drivers suspected of being high on cannabis last year, up from 9 in 2009." Wow, 17! And how many alcohol DUIs? Those local law-enforcement authorities are definitely to whom we should be turning for objective analysis. I mean, what do they have to lose if the War on Drugs disappears?

We have an illegal drug abuse epidemic in this country and it has not been given enough attention. But the cultural messages, as much as the law, matter. When we unified on this, as we once did, drug use went down. When we let up, as we now have, use increases.

Nothing decreased. Not according to the CDC. This is just stupid.

The libertarian experiment promoted as a novel theory by some will only make things worse. More legalization equals more damage, waste, crime and abuse. Not less. That is why it is no time to surrender.

Bill, everyone else surrendered twenty years ago. Reaganite tossers embedded in positions of influence are the only ones yet to get the message.

Let's mention a few things Bill omits in terms of effects of legalization:

1. The lawless narco-state that is Mexico would immediately become 80% less of a war zone, as the bulk of cartel activity centers around that most popular of drugs in the U.S. But, you know, think of the children, man!

2. Legalization would make drug use safer in the U.S. through regulation of its contents, the elimination of violence during the purchase, and the absence of the threat of arrest.

3. Biggest cash crop on the planet short of heroin or the elusive Moon Rock Tree of Mongolia.

4. Apply the Bill Hicks test to the horrors of marijuana usage: if you're at a (concert, ballgame, bar, club, festival) and some bozo is loud, violent, aggressive, and an irritant or even a threat to the people around him, is he A) drunk or B) high on marijuana?

Thanks for playing, Bill. Looks like you're having a great time there in 1986.


Before being inducted into the sacred order of syndicated right wing columnists, aspirants must endure a grueling 12-week course during which he or she must prove to a panel of elders that they do not know any cultural references beyond 1990. Successful applicants will punctuate their logically fallacious, cliched work with phrases like "Where's the beef?" and "dy-no-MITE!" The general rule of thumb is, "If the crowd at a Yakov Smirnoff show won't get it, don't use it." John Ransom, heavyweight public intellectual and Finance Editor of TownHall Finance, finished the course in a mere 9 weeks. They quickly realized that this guy swings the goddamn Wonderbat of dated pop culture references and there was nothing more that the seasoned veterans of TownHall World Headquarters (pictured here) could teach him. That is how he is so seamlessly able to churn out masterwerks like "Obama Goes D'oh!-for-97, 98, 99, 100!" Pro Writer tip: if it's worth saying, you'd best believe it's worth following with an exclamation point. Let's go! (See?)

Mr. Irrelevant, the man formerly known as president,

The reigning Mr. Irrelevant is Rice University's Cheta Ozougwu. regrets the error. It is a lone mark on Mr. Ransom's otherwise ironclad reputation for journalistic excellence.

was in France when news came that the Senate unanimously rejected the Jerry Lewis gag budget that the administration submitted to Congress in February.

Jerry Lewis last had a leading role in a U.S. theatrical release in 1970.

The vote was 0-97 against, with three Senators voting “not present.” Can you blame them? If John Kerry’s misshapen theme was “Reporting for Duty,” Obama’s is: “I’m AWOL: Ha. Ha. Ha. You can’t catch me.”

Yes, "AWOL" on an official state visit to France. Can you believe that? A president. Visiting a foreign country. Get your ass back here, Johnny SkyMiles.

Wait, why does it matter if he's irrelevant? I'm confused, John.

If Kerry’s presidency was still-born, Obama’s died of crib-death.

First of all, nothin' like a good baby death analogy to get the ball rolling. But are you sure it was "crib-death", John? Maybe the vapors? The fan-tods? Bilious colic? Catarrh? Consumption?

Hey, wait. Didn't he accomplish some stuff in the two years before this budget vote? Eh, why let the facts get in the way of a good SIDS joke. The funny part was when the baby died!

Can you imagine any other president in history being satisfied with sending up a budget that couldn’t muster even one vote from his own party?

Jackson. Jackson wouldn't have given two flinty, cashew-laden shits.

It’s fitting that Obama got the news of the vote while in France, a country also well known for giving up without a fight.

Boy, nothing screams "I am a hack right-wing columnist" like immediate recourse to France Surrender Joke. But it's funny, right, because they always surrender without a fight!

Except in WWI, when four percent of France's entire fucking population died fending off a German invasion. That's 1,700,000 people. Maybe crack a history book sometime or google a thing called "Verdun". Or plan a nice family vacation to Douaumont, where they had to shovel 300,000 bodies worth of bones into a giant pit because the corpses were in too many pieces to allow identification. Yes, yes, I know, WWII was not France's finest hour. They took a mere 560,000 deaths in that conflict. You know, about 30% more than the U.S.

Incidentally, John, your biography doesn't list your dates of military service. Please update it. We're curious.

On the budget, the administration was hors de combat, to borrow the French term for being irrelevant, after being outflanked on the budget by the GOP and the mood of the people.

Where to begin. First of all, hors de combat means "out of the fight", like a wounded person or a downed pilot would be. So no, you nitwit, it doesn't mean "irrelevant". Second, you're not too up to date on the "mood of the people" if you think Paul Ryan's "Hey America, Fuck You!" budget constitutes a successful flanking maneuver. Gee, quite a bit of military jargon in here. I can only imagine the amount of Military Channel programming your pasty, chickenhawk ass has watched.

On the Right, the budget was panned for adding over a trillion-and-a-half to the deficit just next year; on the Left, the budget was ripped for reducing spending on community organizing.

Yeah, we're up in arms about Community Organizing. And ACORN, and the New Black Panthers, and Card Check, and every other right wing buzzword of the day for red-faced ranting idiots to post repeatedly in internet forums because they heard it on Glenn Beck.

"Less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law," reported the Huffington Post in February, "President Barack Obama proposed a spending plan to Congress that cuts funding to programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, and expand access to graduate-level education, undermining the kind of community-based organizations that helped Obama launch his political career in Chicago."

One can almost feel filmmaker, author and all-around socialist, Michael Moo- re, adding exclamation points to the HuffPost’s story!!!

Michael Moo-re? Get it? HE'S FAT!!!!!111!!!on!e

God, it was already funny, but the exclamation points sold it. Hey, if you have a minute, can anyone tell me what in the name of christ this column is about? I think John Ransom's weekly feature should be entitled "Whiskey Screams from a Guy With No Short-Term Memory" because this reads like little more than random, free-associative bitching without the stabilizing benefit of being able to remember what he said twenty words ago.

During Mr. Irrelevant’s European tour,

With Odd Future opening! That tour is gonna be cray-cray.

three others added their vote of no confidence to Obama’s absentee, slum-lord presidency.

I'm baffled by these allusions to him being an "absentee" president…because he went on a foreign visit. I mean, he hasn't gone on half as many "vacations" as W, George I, or Reagan. Aim higher, BO! (see? That really sells it.)

The Queen, who knows something about dealing with celebrity, finally got some payback on Obama after a series of very public snubs of the UK- our mightiest, best ally- during Mr. Irrelevant’s term of office.

The Queen voted “not present” by having her band play God Save the Queen over Obama’s toast to her, which the Washington Post reported under the headline Burnt Toast. No one knows how to do an understated snub as well as the Royal Family.

Wingnuts have been banging this "OMG he hates Britain!" thing since quite literally the first week of his presidency. First of all, yeah, they clearly hate him. Second, only a person who stopped time in 1980 thinks the UK is our mightiest, best ally. Seriously, in what Anglo-centric fantasy universe is that close to true? If we had to choose one and only one country to be allied with in Europe, which would it be? Germany. Without a second though every single person in the Pentagon, State Dept., and Treasury would say Germany. Worldwide? Japan. Maybe Korea. Maybe Saudi Arabia. Maybe Israel. Maybe India. Maybe Mexico. I think the UK's only real strength as an ally at this point is its blind willingness to play "Blow Up the Brown People" whenever a Republican president gets bored.

Jesus. How much longer is this piece of…oh, come on.

Even ABC News called the moment "awkward."

It took a little gloss off another sequel to National Lampoon’s Obama Vacation, just like that "awkward" Japanese tsunami did when he traveled to Brazil.

National Lampoon's Vacation was released in 1983. And can you believe this guy doesn't even control the weather? Amirite people?

Out-going defense secretary Robert Gates then took his turn, warning that Obama’s budget would cut the military to levels that could encourage more violence against the US.

Yes, let's hear what Bush appointee Robert Gates has to say about defense spending. The Defense Department is a good, objective analyst of defense spending needs, today and in the future. Right? In other news, I've empaneled a team of meth addicts to recommend a safe level of meth consumption and to give Americans advice on what we should do with our old car batteries and half-empty cans of paint thinner.

"But make no mistake,” Gates said at Notre Dame, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators and terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power—the size, strength and global reach of the United States military."

"If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, that's $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit," Gates told the Journal last year. "We are not the problem," he concluded about America’s budget problems, in direct contradiction to the commander-in-chief.

No, the problem is that the Pentagon budget, with constant supplementals for George and Dick's Middle East Adventures (see? I found a movie from, like, 1990!), is over three quarters of a trillion dollars. Or, you know, half of the goddamn deficit. Plus $250,000,000,000 annually for defense-related interest on the debt. Plus nuclear, which is booked under the Department of Energy. Plus Veterans Affairs. Plus Homeland Security. Plus defense-related NASA projects. When we add it up, the 2012 budget includes more than a trillion dollars for defense, the majority of all global defense spending.

Gates, who has presided over defense reductions already, is speaking out about further budget cuts while engaged in his farewell tour as secretary of defense.

How can we ask them to cut anything when the budget has grown by a mere 150% since 2001?

Then the guy who is still the de facto Democrat President of the United States, Bill Clinton, did the job Obama is supposed to be doing. Obama thus far has outsourced budget negotiations to his rent collector and vice president, Joe Biden.

Yes, Bill Clinton is still secretly behind everything. Whitewater! Vince Foster! Travelgate! Filegate! Gennifer Flowers! It's 1995, right guys? Whoomp, there it is!

Also, can you believe Obama delegated to Joe Biden? Let me check if Bush ever delegated to Dick Chene…oh. Oh I see. Oh dear. Well.

So Clinton spoke up forcefully last week for a compromise on Social Security and Medicare reform, warning that Democrats should resist the urge to gain short term points with seniors by using scare tactics. Instead, Clinton took a novel approach, suggesting that Democrats stop playing politics and get those two entitlements under control.

Yes, how I miss the "novel" Bill Clinton approach, suggesting that the Democrats do exactly what the Republicans want and spend time "working the message" to make it sound like they didn't turn around in front of Eric Cantor, grab their ankles, and yell "Just leave us enough blood to get home!" Ah, where's that New Democrat magic when we need it?

At a forum on the national debt, Clinton even told House GOP Budget Chair Paul Ryan to give him a call if he wanted talk about fixing Medicare. Mr. Irrelevant has become so irrelevant that he doesn’t even seem to know that he’s being disrespected.

Does John realize that this is not pro wrestling? That Obama doesn't particularly care if the Queen or Bill Clinton or the Pope or Big John Studd and Hacksaw Jim Duggan have "dissed" him? That his response is not to film a promo next to Mr. Fuji and Miss Elizabeth wherein he wildly gestures at the camera and promises to get revenge this year at SummerSlam? Other than the Democratic donor pool, who really cares what Bill Clinton says or does at some piss-ant academic cluster wank conference on "bipartisan deficit reduction"? He collects his speaking fee and goes home. Big deal.

While Obama toured Europe, stumping for the electoral votes of Irish counties Cork and Offaly, along with the all-important endorsement from the head of the IMF, there’s been a quiet bipartisan effort to make the presidency relevant again.

Shush, though.

Let’s no one tell him until after Hillary’s in the race.

I still can't believe a U.S. President went to Europe. None of the Founding Fatherstm ever went to fruity Europe!

Also, John Ransom is a genius. Clearly Hillary Clinton is going to quit her job, throw together a campaign in a month (I hope it's as well-organized and effective as her 2008 team!!!!exclama!!!tion!) and challenge the sitting president in a primary. Is this the depth of implausibility to which conservatives are sinking to create a positive scenario for whatever stiff they nominate in 2012?

Counting the headline ("d'oh!" being a vintage Simpsons reference originally dating back to 1989) I'd say John did a solid job of limiting his cultural references – and his understanding of history, politics, and world affairs for that matter – to those that would be meaningful and relevant to the average long-term nursing home resident. You do your Order proud, Lion Hearted one.



Hey everyone, grab your flannels and Doc Martens because it's (apparently) 1994 again! Perhaps you should rock the hell out to "Mr. Wendal" or some Candlebox in order to fully appreciate the time-altering experience that is Terry Paulson's masterpiece, "Time for CA Flat Tax." The flat tax? Hey Terry, Steve Forbes called and wants his dad's collection of antique gay porn stale-ass idea back. Anyone want to come over later to watch Melrose Place? OK, I've had my fun with the early 90s jokes. But seriously, the party that hasn't had a new idea since the Taft years has no use for concepts like time. Conservatism is the Rock of Gibraltar of ideologies, changing at a glacial pace, one grain of sand at a time, over centuries. Its ideas are simultaneously old and new, outdated and cutting edge. So why not drag the flat tax out of its stable for one last romp around the track before it takes its final trot down to the glue factory.

Ready? Let's do this.

CA Governor Jerry Brown is pushing for serious budget cuts and a tax extension plan, but Republicans are blocking his efforts to bring his tax plan to a June vote.

Well since they did only get half of what they wanted as the minority party – substantial budget cuts – I can see why they would push back.

They’ve seen what happens to Republican politicians who vote to raise taxes!

Ha ha! Isn't it funny how the party now consists entirely of rabid, teabagging idiots unwilling to listen to anything resembling a reasonable argument and bloated plutocrats playing them like the morons they are? It's like watching Andrew Carnegie and a couple of hobos in a Rolls-Royce on the way to a fried mayonnaise eating contest featuring the works of Vivaldi performed by Insane Clown Posse.

Without such a vote, more cuts will be needed. Instead of trying to get Californians to vote for another "temporary" tax extension, why not try an innovative proposal he once believed in. To be specific, if Gov. Brown wants to get Republicans to sign on to giving Californians a choice that will help balance the budget, let him propose a flat-tax like he did in his 1992 Democratic presidential campaign.

"Innovative" does not mean what you think it means, Terry. But as a shipping magnate and oil baron, I'm intrigued by the idea that a 50% tax cut for high earners could be the answer. Tell me more.

Steve Forbes, author of "How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets are the Best Answer in Today's Economy," was a Republican presidential hopeful in the same year.

Boy was he. How did that work out?

Since then, both men have discussed the flat-tax concept and how it could work in the country and in California. Forbes said, "If done right, it would profoundly and positively change the economy in California. A low single-digit rate would unleash creativity," and boost the beleaguered state economy.

And now we're apparently taking advice from Steve Forbes. What, was Bob Dornan busy? Pete Wilson got deleted from your speed dial? Grover Norquist's mouth was too full?

But why should all Californians vote for such a plan?

This is an infomercial quality setup. Only worse. Terry Paulson is the guy who asks the host "But how can the Magic Knife cut paper-thin slices of this soft tomato right after bisecting a human femur lengthwise?" and looking on in mock amazement as the host explains the revolutionary engineering technology that makes Magic Knife so amazingly sharp, cut after cut.

1. As FDR said, “Taxes…are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.” It’s time for a truly “fair tax” that lets all pay the same “dues” rate!

He was actually paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes, but more to the point what in the hell does that quote have to do with the subsequent statement? And do Real Professional Columnists use exclamation points? Here, let me take a crack at my own Terry Paulson column:

1. As the Marquis de Condorcet said, 'Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.' It's about time we coated our naked bodies in creamy alfredo sauce and played jai alai!

I'm a natural.

With a uniform sales tax, when you buy more, you pay more. With a flat tax, the more you make, the more you pay, but all pay the same percentage!

"Two Magic Knives PLUS the genuine mahogany storage case for just $19.95? Who authorized this???"

Seriously, I'm warning you about the "!" usage. Serious writers do not use those embarrassing Fail Marks to convey enthusiasm. If you need to end it with "!" to get the point across, re-write it.

2. A flat tax replaces itemized deductions with one standard deduction (based on dependents) that is large enough to allow the poorest to pay no taxes and the rest to pay the same percentage on all earned income above that deduction. Although the popular deductions for mortgages or contributions would end, the lower tax rate would leave more for taxpayers to spend and donate.

A plan that allows "the poorest" to pay no taxes…sort of like our current tax scheme? Ah, but the Flat Tax alone has the added bonus of giving everyone in the top brackets a massive tax cut an opportunity to "spend and donate" so much more. Now I see the benefits.

3. Max Baucus said, "Tax complexity itself is a kind of tax." With the hours and dollars invested in figuring out taxes and finding tax-evasive strategies, imagine the joy of filling out your state taxes on a postcard. Simplicity is in! Let’s make taxes simple and lead the way for a national flat-tax.

This argument baffles me. Utter and complete bafflement results.

First, I am a reasonably intelligent non-expert in tax related matters. I fill out a full 1040. It takes me an hour, tops. My wife, prior to marriage, was filling out a 1040EZ. It took five minutes. Unless you are A) functionally illiterate or B) an American partner in a limited liability corporation based in Botswana, this just isn't that hard. FREE computer programs do it for you. If you get anything wrong, the IRS corrects it for you. We are not asked to split the atom here.

Second, how does flat tax = simplicity? We will need the exact same bureaucracy to administer it, unless of course we're going to go on the Honor System for people to report all of their income and assets.

4. Tired of watching special interest lobbyists vying for exceptions and special breaks? Taking away tax complexity makes their involvement unnecessary. Former press secretary and columnist Tony Snow said in a USA Today column, "A 'pure' flat tax–no deduction beyond the standard exemption–would…turn the Washington establishment on its ear. It would guarantee fairness and neutrality by demanding that everybody above a certain income level pay the same tax rate on each new dollar earned. Economists call this the marginal tax rate. It would starve the lobbying community by eliminating its reason for being." This would turn Sacramento on its ear!

I swear to god, one more exclamation point…even the warming presence of former Bush Press Secretary Tony Snow won't be enough to save you, TP.

The goal of taxation is not "fairness" or "neutrality." The goal of taxation is to fund the activities of government. And "fairness", when applied to the idea of treating the poor, working, middle, and upper classes the same, is called SOCIALISM, isn't it?

5. With everyone paying the same flat-tax rate, more voters would be cautious about electing politicians who waste taxpayer money on inessentials. When it’s your money they’re playing with, you pay attention.

I promised my dad I would stop swearing so much on here, but this makes absofuckinglutely no sense whatsoever. None. Are tax dollars currently collected from…someone else?

When it’s your neighbor’s money, why not elect big-spenders!

Again, no sense. Not one lick. Even by Townhall standards this is nonsensical. The logic at work here is the kind I would expect to find upon emerging from the other side of a wormhole, or the kind that would make sense to me if I cleaned my ears with a power drill.

6. If you want private sector growth, vote for a flat tax!


Currently, the more productive people are, the more they’re taxed.

Yep, nothing says "productive" quite like being Sam Walton's kid. Nothing contributes to society quite like trading mortgage-backed derivatives. Wealth and productivity: they go together like peanut butter and Robitussin.

A flat tax removes the penalties for success and encourages everyone to be as productive as they can be. That means new small business growth and more jobs!

I appear to have underestimated Terry Paulson's zeal for using exclamation points.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: if the prospect of the marginal tax on your next dollar of income rising from 30% to 35% "discourages" you from "being as productive as you can be", maybe it's time to stop re-reading Atlas Shrugged and, I don't know, go camping or get laid or something.

Now that getting federal legislators from 49 other cash-strapped states to provide a Washington bailout for California’s fiscal mess is becoming less and less likely, it’s time for bold leadership!

Wow. I guess you still aren't deterred. I'll go home and put on a wing tip. We'll see how exclamatory you feel after that. Also, it's nice to see someone like T-Paul admit that "Washington bailout" is clearly the preferred option.

Proposing a CA flat tax just might unleash bipartisan support in a state known for a never-ending partisan budget impasse. It’s time to let the California Dream soar again on the wings of a flat-tax plan!

Oh yeah. I can just feel the wave of bipartisan support for this thing. It is massive and powerful, like an enraged shark.

This is one of the strangest things I have ever read. It starts from the flawed premise that this is a novel idea and then proceeds to make innumerable ridiculous, unsupported claims using the writing style that seems like a hybrid of the erotic writings of Ludwig von Mises and a Cathy comic strip. I can only compare this experience to the first time I saw Waking Life or listened to hippie jam band music: I have no idea what this was supposed to be, but irrespective of intent it's pretty clear that I am looking at a steaming pile of crap.