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Tilting at Windmills

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January 15, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

STEALTH BUSINESS INTEREST PANDERING....The Wall Street Journal reports today that the FDA is considering a rule that would allow federal law to pre-empt state law in the area of medication labeling. If approved, it would give pharmaceutical firms protection from suits in state courts as long as they follow the FDA's guidelines on its labels:

Other federal agencies have made similar moves toward helping to shield businesses from certain forms of legal action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last August proposed a new rule on car-roof strength that would grant legal protection to car makers that adhere to the safety standard. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a sweeping regulation in early 2004 that said federal banking laws take precedence over a number of state consumer-protection statutes when applied to national banks.

This is a good example of how George Bush's business pandering instincts are considerably stronger than his conservative instincts. After all, liberals are the ones who usually support federal-level regulations, while conservatives believe such things should be left up to the states as much as possible. This is not a fundamentally conservative proposal, it's just a sop to a K Street campaign contributor.

As usual, though, the whole issue is a bit trickier than it seems at first glance. The fact is that federal rules probably make a lot of sense here, for the same reason that federal rules make a lot of sense for anything related to interstate commerce. What's not so obvious, however, is what happens when you move issues into the federal court system without expanding the federal courts to handle the increased load: it doesn't simply rationalize the rules surrounding liability suits, it makes many of them impossible if you accept that "wait five years while hemorrhaging your client's money" is frequently equal to "impossible."

And of course that's the whole goal. This is not stealth conservatism so much as stealth business interest pandering. And it's what the Bush administration specializes in.

Kevin Drum 2:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (61)

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Comments

I work for the business interest.

So I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies.

Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about.

But trust me.... You don't.

I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you dont know what you are talking about.

This is how bad info gets passed around.

If you dont know about the topic....Dont make yourself sound like you do.

Posted by: Lowtax Looper on January 15, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Aaahhhh... Always good to see republicans caring so much about states' rights...

Owaitaminute... That's only when it comes to keeping those uppity negroes out of their pretty white, evil-hearted schools...

In the words of the great Rosanne Rosannadanna:
Nevermind!

Posted by: cdj on January 15, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Federal law relating to interstate commerce is an effective way to prevent states from 'racing to the bottom'. Therefore states can decide their own minimum wage - but nobody gets to make it $1.

California has been fighting automakers over the right to set higher standards for pollution/fuel efficiency for years. Automakers have been arguing that federal guidelines set the precise level, as opposed to the minimum level, and therefore tightening the standards is a violation of federal law (in the same way that loosening them would be).

A wicked and spurious argument; sad to see the administration generalizing it to other federal statutes.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on January 15, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

In the words of the great Rosanne Rosannadanna:
Nevermind!

That would be the great Emily Litella.

Posted by: Leslie on January 15, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Does someone pay the trolls to respond to Kevin's posts as soon as they appear, so that the threads are contaminated from the outset.

Hmm, if Kevin is paid to blog,

and the trolls are paid to respond instantly with ad hominem attacks

and companies pay workers in boiler rooms in India to click on internet ads to ring up access charges against their corporate competitors.

we are truly in a virtual economy.

In a different thread a troll asked why no one makes movies about the communists and their atrocities anymore. Shucks, how can you allude to Karl Marx if your movie audience cant identify the "means of production" anymore?


Posted by: troglodyte on January 15, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be waiting with baited breath for the succession of lawsuits from conservative legal foundations seeking to strike down these federal regulations as violations of the Commerce Clause. And I'll also be waiting for Samuel Alito to declare such regulations as unconstitutional expansions of federal power.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 15, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

"The words of the great Rosanne Rosannadanna were:

"It just goes to show, its always something."

Posted by: Joel on January 15, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

The radical Republicans gave up pretending that their opportunistic federalism was anything like a principle when they went to federal court after the 2000 election and after the Felonious Five on the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the state Supreme Court to steal the election for Bush. Since then they have violated any alleged federalism principle time after time.

Republicans believe in nothing but power and money.

Posted by: The Fool on January 15, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Huh. Coulda sworn it was Rosannadanna on the SNL news...

My bad - thanks!

Posted by: cdj on January 15, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ah - I see - I'm running together all things Gilda Radner in my head...

Posted by: cdj on January 15, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Most of our beloved trolls fall into the category of the new word which was the winner of the 2005 Mensa Invitational - In the contest, members were asked to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter and supply a new definition.

Therefore, each of our trolls is an IGORANUS:
"A person who is both stupid and an asshole."

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 15, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be waiting with baited breath for the succession of lawsuits from conservative legal foundations seeking to strike down these federal regulations as violations of the Commerce Clause. And I'll also be waiting for Samuel Alito to declare such regulations as unconstitutional expansions of federal power.
Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 15, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that the FDA is assuming for itself this authority when it has not been granted this authority by statute. I guess power grabbing is not limited to the executive branch.
:0

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

IGNORANUS

I must be suffering from BOZONE - The substance surrounding stupid people that stop bright ideas from penetrating.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 15, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

In an effort to turn the conversation back toward the topic....

Is it the case that we want multiple labelling structures? Is it the case that we want pharmaceutical companies to only put out products with zero risk? If there is a risk, what do we want to be done about it?

Looking at these questions might get us somewhere.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on January 15, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Does someone pay the trolls to respond to Kevin's posts as soon as they appear, so that the threads are contaminated from the outset.Posted by: troglodyte on January 15, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

This question has been asked before..numerous times, in fact. The trolls never respond to it lest they give away their game plan. The answer is "of course". In fact, if you watch the patterns, they toss around straw man arguments and personal jabs at other posters with the intention of making the conversation so ugly that people leave the thread. All in the name of 'debate', of course.

It's best to ignore most of them. Some posts are so egregious that they must be responded to with facts (including references).

It is best to remember that trolls for the most part are not true personalitires expressing their thoughts. They are cogs in the right-wing slime machine that is doing its best to infect the whole of political discussion with their disease. Those who cannot be infected, they hope to destroy.

Troglodyte, your use of the word 'contaminated' is quite apt.


Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Every post here on health care includes at least one call to "standardize" things in the health industry so there aren't multiple methods of bookkeeping and other things across the country. Just mentioning it.

It's also worth mentioning that many liability lawsuits seem to be less about protecting and helping an injured client than they are about looting some deep pockets and dumping a large fraction of that into the lawyers' own pockets. Kline and Specter are not exactly unknown in that regard.

A little protection for the industries would be appropriate, or at least a consistent set of rules.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe they are just looking for a commerce clause test case that is palatable to the public. Rule these type of statutes unconstitutional and with the same stroke "unintentionally" open up all sorts of holes in the clean water act. I have no clue, I can't begin to get into the convoluted mind of Scalia.

Posted by: B on January 15, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, why can't they do something useful with the interstate commerce clause like standardize AC adapters or low-end inkjet printer cartridges.

Posted by: B on January 15, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

PRESENT DAY THINKING AND SRATEGY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS FATHERED BY P. T . BARNUM. BRASS MONKEY

Posted by: BRASS MONKEY on January 15, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

>Is it the case that we want multiple labelling structures? Is it the case that we want pharmaceutical companies to only put out products with zero risk? If there is a risk, what do we want to be done about it?Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on January 15, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK,

All of life -each day - carries elements of risk. Risk by itself should not be the issue.

One of the recent revelations of pharmaceuticals is that the risks have not been entirely disclosed either to the FDA, the medica profession, or the public. (I give you Merck and Vioxx.) And there is the difference.

If you go back and read the WSJ article (the link is in Kevin's post) you will read an interesting line about how the FDA, as part of their establishing this 'rule' would require all pharmaceutical companies to turn over all their date to the FDA upon requesting Federal approval for marketing. Now, why would the FDA offer such a rule in exchange for research data? Wouldn't a reasonable person expect that the FDA currently demands all data? Is this the FDA trying to get the public to somehow rationalize that the rule is good because it means that data submitted to the FDA is not cherry-picked in favor of approval to market?

The question we should be asking is: What kind of data is the FDA currently settling for, if not all research data?? Or perhaps, it is the FDA wishing to insulate itself against malfeasanace liability as it is supposed to require all research data, but in practice, has not been. Perhaps if this is looked into at any depth, we will find that there has been more than incompetence involved.

Not paranoid or anything....just becoming jaded at how the federal powers-that-be turn a good thing into a mockery of our trust in the system.

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Gilda , we hardly knew ya.

Posted by: Michael7843853 GO in 08! on January 15, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

This is increasing centralization, exactly what Drum and gang have been screaming for, more central government intervention in the private sector. What is the bitch?

Posted by: Matt on January 15, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

"A little protection for the industries would be appropriate, or at least a consistent set of rules.
Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 3:29 PM |"
Industry can "protect" itself quite nicely by not knowingly doing harm. Nobody forced McDonalds to serve their to-go coffee at dangerously high temperatures in inadequate containers; in fact, they had been repeatedly urged not to. Nobody forced Ford to make Pintos explode when hit from behind in a certain way. Etcetcetc.
Righties are supposed to be all about "responsibility." Funny how that goes out the window when the responsibilities of large corporations are put up against the responsibilites of individuals with limited access to the facts -- especially when those large corporations, when sued, make NON-disclosure of the relevant facts a term of settlement.
And before you give the obvious rejoinder, tbrosz, of course ANY system will occasionally be subject to abuse. But the courts, in general, are pretty good about identifying truly frivolous lawsuits and dismissing them in early stages -- as well as identifying overlarge settlements and reducing them on appeal.

Posted by: smartalek on January 15, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

A followup.
In so many cases, rightwing ideology boils down to one simple commonality -- an utter inability to put themselves in the position of another. This goes a long way to explaining why it took the support of Sen. Bob Dole, himself "differently abled," for us to have an Americans with Disabilities Act.
What I don't get, is how far that failure extends. Do righties REALLY think they, and their loved ones, will never be on the receiving end of corporate malfeasance -- or if they are, that their wealth and influence will be sufficient to ameliorate the damage?
My best friend, a highly successful I-banker living in SW CT -- rich-Repub Central -- has told me that among his crowd, the incidence of birth defects of all kinds (but especially autism) and cancers of all kinds has skyrocketed. He admits that he is aware that there are environmental contributors to both the above. Yet he still STRONGLY supports Republican politicians and policies. I just don't get it.

Posted by: smartalek on January 15, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

matt: "This is increasing centralization, exactly what Drum and gang have been screaming for, more central government intervention in the private sector. What is the bitch?"

Republicans don't believe in good government. They believe government is the problem. Republicans also believe that greed is good. So when Republicans decide to increase central government intervention in the private sector, citizens can be 100% sure that the Republican goal is not to "promote the general welfare."

Republicans are just more sophisticated than purse snatchers and other petty criminals.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on January 15, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

> Does someone pay the trolls to respond to
> Kevin's posts as soon as they appear, so that the
>threads are contaminated from the outset.

IMHO, yes. From about September 2004 there has been a small force of paid trollers hitting all the liberal blogs. I would estimate 3-5 writers, backed up by 1-2 linguist/rhetoricians and 2-3 web programmers/script writers. I would further guess that several of the writers are British, as the Brits tend to be far better than USians at snarky political put-downs and pot-stirring.

In other words, someone is paying $2-3 million/year just to spin the blogsphere its way. Which tells you something about the scope of their (Mellon-Scaife at a guess) operation.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 15, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Spending $2-3 million/year and the best they can send out is the likes of rdw, conspiracy nut, GOP Gregory, cheney, Patton, Lowtax Looper, etc.?

I think we get the last laugh here.

Posted by: snowy s.o.b. on January 15, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Whichever party/parties are out of power at a given level are the ones championing delagating power to the next lower or higher level they control at least in part.

Posted by: jefff on January 15, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

is what happens when you move issues into the federal court system without expanding the federal courts to handle the increased load: it doesn't simply rationalize the rules surrounding liability suits, it makes many of them impossible if you accept that "wait five years while hemorrhaging your client's money" is frequently equal to "impossible."

I haven't read the whole proposal, but - generally speaking - state courts are competent to resolve federal law questions unless there is some specific rule prohibiting them from jurisdiction over that subject matter.

Several days ago, I said that in the exercise of ordinary care, liberals should have taken steps to strenghten other instututions in society besides the courts and the federal courts, in particular.

This is one more illustration of why this is so.

Posted by: Thinker on January 15, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'll be waiting with baited breath for the succession of lawsuits from conservative legal foundations seeking to strike down these federal regulations as violations of the Commerce Clause. And I'll also be waiting for Samuel Alito to declare such regulations as unconstitutional expansions of federal power.

Posted by: John M. on January 15, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent ploy - The Twigs are very interested in packing the Supreme and Appellate Courts with very conservative Justices and Judges - they are not as interested with paying for more federal court staffs - So they pass laws which force more cases into an already overworked system, especially with drug cases. They then can blame the Democrats for blocking nominations of Judges to ease the blockage; their conservative law firms can make a ton of money defending suits which may never make it to trial; more money flows back into the RNC, in this case, from the Pharmas who do not have to defend themselves in a possible "hostile state court system".
Well, done again, Karl.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 15, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The radical Republicans gave up pretending that their opportunistic federalism was anything like a principle when they went to federal court after the 2000 election and after the Felonaious Five on the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the state Supreme Court to steal the election for Bush. Since then they have violated any alleged federalism principle time after time.

Posted by: Dan H. on January 15, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

> he best they can send out is the likes of
> rdw, conspiracy nut,

I understand your point, but if you take a survey of the liberal blogs when an important issue pops up you will see that the trolls do manage to deflect and pretzel-ize discussions, get otherwise solid commentators tied up in responding to nonesense, and plant a few seeds of doubt in the those who have a bit less strength of mind. They also refine arguments that later pop up in Radical blogs and even occasionally in Rovian talking points.

But indeed, that is part of my point: it is a very low-return, long-range endeavour. Yet _someone_ has the money to think that such low probability paths are worth blocking off.

Cranky Observer

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 15, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Lowtax: you sound like the very person you're critisizing. back it up with some facts.

Posted by: Chris on January 15, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

But indeed, that is part of my point: it is a very low-return, long-range endeavour. Yet _someone_ has the money to think that such low probability paths are worth blocking off.

The money or the personal passion + free time. I'm not as convinced as you are, Crank, that many of these people are something other than true believers who think that no sacrifice of personal time is too great to benefit the cause. But I'm not suggesting you're wrong about this being a formal counterblogging operation. The fact that you include "linguist/rhetorician" among the job descriptions tells me that you're paying attention to some of the same details that I am. And you are absolutely right about some of this coming from the UK...and a couple other non-US places as well.

It's all very interesting. It seems to be a hit-or-miss approach. Most of our regular trolls can't sustain the kind of reaction they're looking for, but we have three or four who are remarkably successful at derailing the discussion and redirecting the energies of what you call solid commentators into drawn-out travels down pointless byways. I've fallen for it, or at least been led willingly, more than once...although I wouldn't argue that my name should be counted among the list of solid commentators here.

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK


CRANKY OBSERVER: In other words, someone is paying $2-3 million/year just to spin the blogsphere its way.

How much of that money does Kevin get?


Posted by: jayarbee on January 15, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

B:

BTW, why can't they do something useful with the interstate commerce clause like standardize AC adapters...

I'd be happy if they just labeled the damn things as to what electronic gadget they go to. I've got a nice collection of generic unmarked black power boxes that I have no idea what piece of equipment they attach to. In recent years, I've been smart enough to label them on my own.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

At times, they appear to be a slight cut above those who attempt to infest HuffPo. However, they seem to suffer from another Mensa winner, and that is GLIBIDO: All talk and no action.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 15, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky:

From about September 2004 there has been a small force of paid trollers hitting all the liberal blogs. I would estimate 3-5 writers, backed up by 1-2 linguist/rhetoricians and 2-3 web programmers/script writers. I would further guess that several of the writers are British, as the Brits tend to be far better than USians at snarky political put-downs and pot-stirring.

In other words, someone is paying $2-3 million/year just to spin the blogsphere its way. Which tells you something about the scope of their (Mellon-Scaife at a guess) operation.

Wow...

In short, the people who come on these boards and disagree with the liberals are so damn good at what they do that the assumption is that they have to be paid professionals, with crack teams of linguists and researchers.

I suppose you can get some comfort from this hallucination. The alternative, that you're actually being blown out of the water by someone who pops in during spare moments and does this for fun, doesn't make you look too good.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of paid trolls:

Dan H:

The radical Republicans gave up pretending that their opportunistic federalism was anything like a principle when they went to federal court after the 2000 election and after the Felonaious Five on the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the state Supreme Court to steal the election for Bush. Since then they have violated any alleged federalism principle time after time.

In the original message, clicking on the "a" in "Felonaious" leads you to one of those poker sites.

Again, I wonder how this works. Dan must be a real person. No automated spammer could come up with a message that appropriate to the thread. Does he get paid somehow for people linking to that site? If so, why conceal the link in a single letter? I've seen this gag a couple of times on this board now.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Chris:

Lowtax: you sound like the very person you're criticizing. back it up with some facts.

Agreed. Some specifics would be nice.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Is it the case that we want pharmaceutical companies to only put out products with zero risk? If there is a risk, what do we want to be done about it?

Straw man. 10 yard penalty.

and tbrosz you do well know the difference between the merely conservative (and morally empty) posters and the bona fide right-wing trolls. Stop acting like an idiot.

Posted by: Constantine on January 15, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: you're actually being blown out of the water by someone who pops in during spare moments

The only online forums where liberals are blown out of the water by conservatives are right-wing sites which simply and swiftly delete any posts which don't spew their propaganda.

As for this site, you and your ilk are repeatedly blown out of the water by virtue of your non-response to any comments for which you have yet to receive official talking points. When you make false statements and are shown proof of their untruth, you simply slink away and invade another thread with your lies and transparent spin.

In short, though you're a heckuva blow-hard and adept at furiously fluffing Bush, you're incapable of blowing anyone out of the water.

CONSTANTINE: and tbrosz you do well know the difference between the merely conservative (and morally empty) posters and the bona fide right-wing trolls.

There is no difference, as your parenthetical addendum makes clear. There's barely a difference between the trolls and half the so-called liberals, including our ambitious host.


Posted by: jayarbee on January 15, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, I've seen r-w trolls confuse, lie, misdirect, obfuscate, and insult. I've watched them post comments that were racist, sexist, hateful, misinformed and deliberately misleading. I've been awestruck by their persistence and pigheadedness and I truly can't believe the thick reptilian skins these posters must have.

But, so far, tbrosz, none of them, including you, has blown anybody out of the water.

Posted by: snowy s.o.b. on January 15, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

although I wouldn't argue that my name should be counted among the list of solid commentators here.

It's on my short list. It's on craigie's short list. It's probably even on Tom's short list since he seems to like abuse.

If there truly is a Mellon-Scaife conspiracy I wish they would hire more interesting interns. Nah, I just can't believe anyone would pay Alice or rdw or Al for the drivel they post here. Look at our newest loonie, Lowtax Looper, who can't even use proper syntax. If Scaife is paying for that sort of crap he sould just hire us to snark ourselves. More interesting, more lyrical, and definitely funnier.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 15, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Since we are dropping snigletts, PttO, where do my socks go that don't come out of the dryer? The HOZONE? And what about repeatedly pushing the button to call the elevator? El-Accelleration?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 15, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

The HOZONE?

Nope, that's K-Street.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 15, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

jayarbee:

The only online forums where liberals are blown out of the water by conservatives are right-wing sites which simply and swiftly delete any posts which don't spew their propaganda.

I frequent a number of conservative blogs, and I'm not aware of any of them that take comments where liberals are deleted simply for expressing liberal opinions. Maybe the obscenity laden spit-fests that seem so common here don't go over well out there sometimes.

I'm online here, arguing with a much larger number of people who vehemently disagree with me. You're here, posting in a comfortable echo chamber. And you're going to tell me how it is?

So just out of curiosity, who DOES Cranky think is getting paid to post here?

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

"anything related to interstate commerce"

And we know from the Raich decision that is really ANYTHING.

Posted by: lee on January 15, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: I frequent a number of conservative blogs, and I'm not aware of any of them that take comments where liberals are deleted simply for expressing liberal opinions.

Really? Care to put that to a test. The freepers are currently discussing an article entitled, "Socialism vs Capitalism: Which is the Moral System." Probably a coincidence, but, so far, every comment agrees with the conclusions of the article's author, who believes that Capitalism is more moral. Here's a tiny excerpt from the article:
The morality of socialism can be summed-up in two words: envy and self-sacrifice.

Says it rather bluntly, wouldn't you say? Some might think it a bit insulting, but it's an opinion, right? So, okay, here's the test. Go to http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1558277/posts and post this:
The morality of capitalism can be summed-up in two words: selfishness and greed.

Rather equivalent, wouldn't you say? Anyway, I'll check the thread in about an hour and if your post is still there, I'll not make a peep here for two weeks -- provided you agree to the same length away if it's gone. Deal?


Posted by: jayarbee on January 15, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: you may be completely right on this post.

But sometimes I think that conservative thinking about government is so shallow that the shallowness itself is the problem. Once they get power, none of pillars hold, they collapse like sand.

Their entire ideology, or at least the typical conservatives understanding of it, is built on sand. Thus, conservative doctrine is abandoned by folks like Reagan and Bush in a New York second.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 15, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

Lowtax probably, under Twig, has suffered from INTAXICATION: Euphoria at getting a tax refund which lasted until he realized that it was his money to start with.

He possibly has terminal OSTEOPORNOSIS which is a degenerate disease.

However, I still say that he is an IGNORANUS.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 15, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

I love snigletts!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 15, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

jayarbee -- Ah'm noticing that you ain't got no takers on that bet.....

Could be taken as quite telling.

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

GLIBIDO is the best!

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

No automated spammer could come up with a message that appropriate to the thread.

If tbrosz were paying attention, he might have noticed that the spamlinked comment is a duplicate of an earlier comment. Do a search for "The radical Republicans gave up pretending" to see.

Posted by: Calton Bolick on January 15, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

you're actually being blown out of the water...

ah, more bluffoonery.

where do my socks go that don't come out of the dryer?

The Bermuda Driangle. (ooh that's a stretch).

GLIBIDO is the best!

Yeah. It's a difficult one to beat.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 15, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, snick; I see hee-normous potential with "bluffoonery." It fits our Tom to a T.

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

All in the name of 'debate', of course.

The part I love is that the intellectually dishonest Bush Administration water carriers -- but I repeat myself -- invariably justify their straw men, false assumptions, ad hominemsand general bullshit as a duty-bound attempt to break up the "echo chamber."

To which I say, hey, we'd love to debate honest conservatives, but since you guys don't begin to qualify, you can take your bullshit elsewhere.

I agree that their motive is to change the subject from the mendacity and incompetence of Bush and the rest of the Republican Party, but to me they're hoist on their own petard. They may seek to lower morale with their sneering, but in truth it's vastly comforting to know that there's no honest way to defend this Administration's failures.

Posted by: Gregory on January 16, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it's not just moving some matters into federal court from state court. That was the problem with class actions, but preemption by federal regulation is far worse.

There is no general federal personal injury law; these are issues governed by state law. So the drug companies will argue that state law suits are preempted by federal law, then the case has to be dropped because federal law provides no remedy. That's the goal here. There have been a bunch of law suits claiming grievous injuries caused by prescription drugs -- Ritalin, Zoloft, & others -- & the drug companies want to kill these suits in state court without any real ability by those injured to go after them in federal court.

Posted by: dzd on January 16, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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