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Cato Comedy Classics

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So what’s the funniest thing about this?

  • The fact that former Cato interns wanted no part of the troofer lawsuit;
  • The title implying that Politico hacked into Cannon’s email, rather than the massively more likely possibility that the email was provided by one of the recipients, or
  • Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as “right-leaning.”

I’d say they’re all winners.  Like any great comedy routine, the elements build on each other.

[Via here and here.]

…thanks to Malaclypse in comments, LGM can offer as a worldwide exclusive the text of Cannon’s letter:

REQUEST FOR URGENT LEGAL RELATIONSHIP

FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. THIS IS BY VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND ‘TOP SECRET’. I AM SURE AND HAVE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF THIS GREAT MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIIMUM CONFIDENCE. FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED, JUST NOT THOSE FUCKERS AT POLITICO.

WE ARE TOP OFFICIAL OF TOTALLY NONPARTISAN THINKS TANK WHO ARE INTERESTED IN STOPPING ISLAMO-SOCIALISH SHARIA HEALTH CARE LAW. IN ORDER TO COMMENCE THIS BUSINESS WE SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE US TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT THE SAID TRAPPED HEALTH CARE.

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THIS BUSINESS WITH YOU AND SOLICIT YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IN THIS TRANSATION. PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER USING THE ABOVE TEL/FAX NUMBERS. I WILL SEND YOU DETAILED INFORMATION OF THIS PENDING PROJECT WHEN I HAVE HEARD FROM YOU.

YOURS FAITHFULLY,

MICHAEL F CANNON

…a very useful follow-up from Richard Mayhew. 

 

 

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  • Peterr

    From the email:

    Feel free to forward this email to others who may be interested.

    So someone took them up on their advice, and yet they complain? I guess you just can’t make some people happy . . .

    • tsam

      So someone took them up on their advice, and yet they complain?

      Yeah! Whatever happened to liberty???

      • “People don’t even say ‘whoops’
        When passing their gas.
        Whatever happened to class?”

        • tsam

          Liberty took over. Farting at the dinner table is next on the hit list.

        • KadeKo

          Is that one of the long-lost couplets to “Anything Goes” which musicologists have been searching for for years?

          • rea

            Some years ago a whiff of farting
            Was looked upon as barely starting
            Now heaven knows
            Anything goes . . .

            • ChrisTS

              Nicely done, to All.

          • It’s from Chicago. Class.

  • sleepyirv

    How dare they call a group conservative named after a man who has been dead for about 2,050 years.

    • Hogan

      Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power.

      • ploeg

        Obviously Cato was named after Cato Fong, Inspector Clouseau’s servant in the Pink Panther movies.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA8QrOAghZ0

        • tsam

          I can’t say Cato to myself without pronouncing it Ceeeeeeehhhhtooooooooo?

          And SURPRISE! I get attacked by some Randian furious derp.

          • Captain Haddock

            Randian furious derp

            Sounds vaguely like an epithet for a Lovecraftian Great Old One.

            Ctheeto Fa’art, The Randian Furious Derp, a colossal worm with a single red eye and a trail of slime, supposedly male.

            • Noah S. McKinnon

              I went the other way: to me Randian Furious Derp sounds like a low-key synthpop band with one dude who can rap.

              • tsam

                Daft Furious Derp. Yes, please.

                • Noah S. McKinnon

                  We’ve come too far to still be who we are
                  so let’s drop the bar and our fees to the stars

                  . . . yeah, somehow Libertarian Pharrell seems lacking.

            • ChrisTS

              Actually, Ctheeto Fart sounds like a handle for a gamer gator.

              • Bufflars

                Surely that handle has been reserved by Jonah, no?

              • MAJeff

                I’ve been fighting a head cold all week. Even on the recovery side, the nose explosion this caused was messy.

        • JustRuss

          Love Cato Fong. I used to work with a nephew of Bert Kwouk, the actor who played him.

      • Nubby

        And Friedrich Engels “Conditions of the Working Class in England in 1844” showed just how great being free from the excessive power of government worked out.

        You were free to die in a mine. You were free to die in a machine shop. You were free to die in a textile mill. You were free to die in the street. I would hazard to say there wasn’t a feature of English geography and architecture where one wasn’t free to die!

        What glorious freedoms have been proscribed by government overreach! Oh let us return post haste to the golden days of that libertarian paradise!

        • tsam

          50 Shades of Glib. That’s some good Cato fap material.

        • Linnaeus

          In this interview with Elias Isquith at Salon, David Boaz from Cato doesn’t think corporations have real power:

          What about the idea that libertarianism focuses so much on government coercion that it doesn’t see where there’s tyranny in the private sphere, too? How do you respond to that argument?

          My main response is that we should be clear on what power is. Power is the ability to force people to do things they don’t want to do. I don’t think corporations have that kind of power. Corporations can offer a Coca-Cola or Facebook … but they can’t force me to use any of those things.

          Government, on the other hand, can arrest me for running a lemonade stand, for carrying a pocket knife in my pocket … for demonstrating against the president, for smoking marijuana; all of those kinds of things are real power. And so, absolutely, libertarians are fundamentally concerned with the problem of controlling [government] power.

          Libertarians are just misunderstood!

          • ColBatGuano

            I’m sure he’ll enjoy the fresh spring water I bottle just downstream from my tannery.

            • ChrisTS

              Ahh, but you can’t force him to drink it. You can fool him into thinking it’s safe, of course, but that ain’t coercion. He needs to accept personal responsibility.

              • tsam

                If you want clean water, install a lab in your home and test it all. Stop trying to impose onerous safety regulations on job creating Americans.

                • Aimai

                  There is a fascinating book called Perfection Salad by Laura Shapiro. It covers the rise of the first cookbooks and cooking schools in the 19th century as well as the home ec. movement. One of the issues for upper class and urban women was that in the transition from a subsistence/farm economy to urban living and industrial mass production and transit of food families had no way of knowing whether the food they were purchasing on the open market had been adulterated. Home Economics originally included a large portion of “home science” training with the object that the housekeeper/woman would be able to assay the products that were coming into the house in the absence of any meanignful regulation

                • That sounds like a neat book. And I have to suppose that the less educated or wealthy folks were in a much worse position to read books and learn how to assess foodstuffs.

                • tsam

                  Home Economics originally included a large portion of “home science” training with the object that the housekeeper/woman would be able to assay the products that were coming into the house in the absence of any meanignful regulation

                  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. On the one hand, there was no such thing as some of these preservatives and HFCL, but on the other hand, you have no way of knowing if the fish you’re buying came from a stream full of mine tailings and are loaded with heavy metals (air guitar) and other smelter chemicals.

          • Derelict

            More like Libertarians are just (willfully) misunderstanding!

        • ChrisTS

          I particularly object to having never experienced first hand the joys of sewage running in the streets and being flung out windows. The Glory Days of Yore.

    • JMP

      And who was also a right-wing creep who opposed any plan to aid the poor of Rome, or allow them any political power over the aristocrats, and who made the first recorded use of the filibuster, which he may have invented.

      • Aimai

        Yes! Having just finished re-re-re-reading McCollough’s series on Rome I can honestly say that Cato (Elder and Younger, that is Uticensis) were awful, awful, people. Cato Uticensis was an absolute shit devoted what he thought was the sterling example of his horrible grandfather, the mos maiorum and the priviliges of the Senatorial class. Nepotism, corruption, obstructionism were all just fine as long as the right people were doing it for the cause of the aristocracy.

        • rea

          And you know, Cato the Censor, as indeed the title implies, was really big on government regulation. How libertarian are sumptuary laws?

        • burritoboy

          Well, I think there’s a problem here. Cato was defending a highly problematic republic. Nevertheless, it was a republic. Everybody at that moment was well aware that either the republic needed to change, or the republic would be ended by some form of one-big-man military dictatorship. Which is likely a lot worse regime than an aristocratic republic, however degenerate that republic was becoming.

          You or I might well be stuck in the following situation of that time: some reforms need to happen, but the most of the reformers are inherently untrustworthy. And the reforms have strong opposition, so any reformer, no matter how principled, carries a lot of baggage and carries along a lot of unsavory supporters.

          I think Cato was in the wrong, but it’s a very difficult conundrum that nobody else of his era figured out either.

          • Aimai

            Would Caesar’s reform of the republic really have been “a lot worse” than the degenerating republic that they had when Cato the Younger was opposing him? The choice wasn’t between corrupt republican virtues and military dictatorship–it was between an ossified, faux republican set up that no longer worked for an empire because it was based on factionalism, traditionalism, aristocratic privilege, and incompetent rotating leadership and something else.

            • burritoboy

              Aimai,

              I didn’t think I would see you arguing the monarchist side here. The question for anyone of the time is that all or almost all the reformers have hidden agendas, personal ambitions, hoards of unsavory supporters and so on. It becomes difficult or impossible to disentangle who was really a reformer and who was using reform for their own purposes to overthrow the republic permanently. Therefore, yes, it’s plausible to come down against Caesar’s reforms – Caesar is hardly a player with unstained hands or pure motives. I view Julius Caesar’s public policy as largely correct, but Caesar himself as both too ambitious for his own advantage and too contemptuous of the laws to be the right man to push that agenda.

              I think Cato was in the wrong, but I also think the situation is a lot more unclear than you’re portraying.

              • rea

                Burritoboy says Caesar was ambitious.
                And Burritoboy is an honorable man . . .

              • I think that’s fair. Caesar was such a fascinating person that it’s difficult (for me at least) not to sympathize excessively with him.

                The perennial appeal of the fall of the Republic is IMHO that it *is* a tragedy. If Caesar or Cato or Pompey or Cicero had, any of them, been 100% right or 100% wrong, it wouldn’t be so interesting.

                • Aimai

                  I guess I don’t see the fall of the Republic as much of a tragedy. Because it wasn’t a democracy–it was a Republic where most rights and benefits acrued to a militarized caste of aristocrats who dispensed some to the equestrian/banker order. It couldn’t hold together because it lacked continuity and was designed for a smaller polity than it ended up controlling. Cato and the others wanted free space to live out their own destinies and enjoy their own liberties qua wealthy senators–they didn’t stand for any kind of lower class rights.

                  In such a system, from the point of view of the masses, slaves, or women, you have as little interest in the forms of government as mice do in Elephant hierarchies. Your only interest is in avoiding getting crushed. I’m not arguign the monarchist side–I’m just not seeing any particular “side” in the debate which is truly populist. Certainly not the Catonian side.

                • “I guess I don’t see the fall of the Republic as much of a tragedy.”

                  Which is totally sensible. None of them, Caesar included, was an egalitarian. Whatever happened, the masses weren’t going to benefit except very indirectly … the Augustan peace was better than civil war, but that’s about it.

                  But in that case there’s not much reason to admire Caesar, who was at best a pragmatist.

                  You may’ve read more Roman history than I have, but I’d recommend strongly Brunt’s Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic if you’ve not read it — a short gem of a book by a superb historian who was somewhat controversial at the time for arguing that social issues did indeed underlie the fall of the Republic.

                  (I was just rereading it this a.m., may be why I’m so jumped-up on this thread. Mille pardons.)

                • rea

                  There is a lot of history in which the monarch has been better for the common people than the aristocracy would be. To the extent we can figure out what was actually going on in Roman politics back then: (1) Caesar was a Populare; Cato an Optimate, and (2) Caesar was more reality-based than his opponents. It’s by no means an exact fit, but Caesar’s politics were closer to ours than Cato’s

                • LeeEsq

                  Julius Caesar strikes me as more competent Antiquity equivalent of Juan Person. A military officer with a taste for political power that is will use the promise of reform and social justice to gain power.

              • Rob in CT

                To play Caesar’s advocate for a moment:

                Consider the fate of the Gracchi.

        • Cato the Elder was at least a good family man, for a Roman senator.

          He used to say that the man who struck his wife or child, laid violent hands on the holiest of holy things. Also that he thought it more praiseworthy to be a good husband than a good senator, nay, there was nothing else to admire in Socrates of old except that he was always kind and gentle in his intercourse with a shrewish wife and stupid sons. After the birth of his son, no business could be so urgent, unless it had a public character, as to prevent him from being present when his wife bathed and swaddled the babe.

          Plutarch

          … McCullough’s interpretations are interesting, but she’s writing novels (and has an understandable crush on Caesar … as do I). No substitute for the sources.

          • rea

            Plutarch is writing roughly 250 years after Cato the Elder, and trying to put together a morally uplifting narrative. I wouldn’t stake to much on the notion that he’s accurately recreating Cato the Elder’s family life.

            • Well okay. But god knows, Plutarch had access to sources we can only dream about.

              If you have some specific reason to think he’s making any of what I quoted up, other than you can look up dates on Wikipedia, please share.

            • And for that matter, I’m not sure what you mean by “morally uplifting narratives.” Like this part?

              At the outset, when he was still poor and in military service, he found no fault at all with what was served up to him, declaring that it was shameful for a man to quarrel with a domestic over food and drink. But afterwards, when his circumstances were improved and he used to entertain his friends and colleagues at table, no sooner was the dinner over than he would flog those slaves who had been remiss at all in preparing or serving it. 4 He was always contriving that his slaves should have feuds and dissensions among themselves; harmony among them made him suspicious and fearful of them. He had those who were suspected of some capital offence brought to trial before all their fellow servants, and, if convicted, put to death.

              Plutarch is not William Bennett.

          • Aimai

            Its true that she sees Caesar–and Augustus–as being sincerely interested in good government while she represents Cato the younger, Brutus, et al as basically being interested in factional power. Is that wrong?

            • Define “good government.” Cato, Cicero & co. saw themselves as the guardians of the Roman constitution, which Caesar was going to tear up for his own advancement.

              They weren’t entirely wrong. Look e.g. at how Caesar & his faction treated Caesar’s co-consul Bibulus. Okay, Bibulus was a reactionary asshole. But that’s how the system worked: both consuls had to agree, or else nothing changed.

              Compare the US Senate, which is unrepresentative as fuck AND even moreso because of the filibuster. It’s deeply frustrating. But would that justify the President’s simply disregarding the Senate and doing what he thinks best?

              Rome was caught between its deeply conservative constitution and its new position as an empire. No one knew what to do. Caesar won the civil war, and then threw up his hands and packed up to go conquer Parthia. As one of his friends said after the assassination, if Caesar with all his gifts couldn’t find a way out, who can? We now know the answer, to the extent that Augustus – every bit as much an asshole as Cato the Younger – provided one.

              • Aimai

                Isn’t Bibulous essentially playing the role of McConnell and Boehner, and Casear’s response to him no more than Obama issuing executive orders when his co-parceners in government simply refuse to function?

                Also I think we have to avoid words like “conservative constitution” when what we mean is simply the mos maiorum. I know you don’t mean conservative in our modern sense but its tricky to even have this discussion given how different their beliefs and goals were from our modern political elites. Not only was the constitution not conservative, but liberty wasn’t liberty either. I just can’t get all teared up about the priviliges of an aristocratic faction.

                • Obama IMHO stays within constitutional bounds. Caesar? Since I’ve got Plutarch’s life of Cato the Younger pulled up, here:

                  many men outside the senate supported [Cato] out of displeasure at the strange conduct of Caesar; for whatever political schemes the boldest and most arrogant tribunes were wont to practise to win the favour of the multitude, these Caesar used with the support of consular power, in disgraceful and humiliating attempts to ingratiate himself with the people.40 2 Accordingly, the opponents of Cato were alarmed and had recourse to violence. To begin with, upon Bibulus himself, as he was going down into the forum, a basket of ordure was scattered; then the crowd fell upon his lictors and broke their fasces; and finally missiles flew and many persons were wounded.

                  Any humor we see in the attack on Bibulus has to be weighed against the recent history of Roman political violence – the fate of the Gracchi, the Marian and Sullan massacres and proscriptions.

                  Caesar’s policies may have been wise, but was resort to violence so wise?

                  I’m certainly not a fan of the optimates, and I’m being a bit of a devil’s advocate here, but there *were* two sides (at least) to the issues. It won’t do to regard Caesar as the hero and the optimates as the villains, tho that makes a good novel (or HBO series).

                • burritoboy

                  Again, you don’t see yourself as taking the monarchist side – but that is what you’re doing. We shouldn’t be confused about this.

                  The Republic absolutely was an aristocratic republic. But it was a republic – and one that existed for a very long time before it declined. If Republican Rome isn’t compelling for you, I don’t see how you find anything else particularly compelling before the early 19th century. Perhaps Periclean Athens for a few decades, but perhaps not.

                  And that’s actually counter to the founding of modern-day liberalism’s own order. Folks like Machiavelli or John Adams or John Locke or Montesquieu did find regimes like Republican Rome or medieval Venice very instructive examples.

                  While I don’t share the eighteenth century acclamation of Cato, we simply can’t dismiss it, because the people in the eighteenth century who thought Cato so great were the founders of our own current political systems.

                • Aimai

                  The Republic was violent–what happened to the Gracchi? I don’t see what happened to Bibulous as anything out of the ordinary. Marius and Sulla were both normal parts of the Republic too. Proscriptions and executions happened–hell even Cicero executed Roman citizens. I just don’t get this romanticization of Bibulous or of the Optimate side. They were just as craven, just as likely to kill, just as violent as Caesar’s forum buddies.

                • The Republic was violent–what happened to the Gracchi?

                  But that was just the thing – nothing like that had happened for a very long time.

                  Likewise, Marius & Sulla were *not* “normal parts of the Republic.” They were examples of its decline.

                  Absolutely I’m not romanticizing the optimates – hell even their label stinks. I’m countering vs. romanticizing Caesar, which as I’ve conceded is very easy to do.

                  Was it really worth tearing down the Republic to avoid exile and disgrace? I have much the same question about Luther.

      • ChrisTS

        None of the ‘republican’ upper class gave 2 cents about small government. Cicero bemoaned the loss of laws that limited the number of weeks a widow could wear mourning clothes, for chrissake.

        • Sev

          Presumably this kept her off the marriage market- restraint of trade. Perhaps he really was a libertarian.

  • rea

    Cato ain’t right-leaning, it’s full-fledged right.

    (I’m not sure which of the two nasty old Romans they named themselves after, but both were extreme pieces of work, and not notably Libertarian)

  • mds

    Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as “right-leaning.”

    I agree with him. “Cesspool of reactionary mendacious shits” is much more accurate.

    • c u n d gulag

      That also pretty much covers The Heritage Foundation, and every other conservative “Think Yank Tank.”

  • brugroffil

    Proof that Cannon is more likely to actually be dumb enough to believe his own arguments than just using a cynical legal challenge he know’s is really bullshit.

    • mds

      using a cynical legal challenge he know’s is really bullshit.

      Yeah, that part is Adler’s job.

      • timb

        Nailed it. Adler’s the smart one and huge liar and Cannon is the true believer

  • Jonas

    Why would anyone assume that an organization originally named the Charles Koch Foundation would be right-leaning?

    • Nubby

      I would assume it’s a horcrux.

      • JustRuss

        Can’t be, horcruxes–horcri?-are well-hidden.

        • Horcruces, I think. Also, if it was supposed to contain a bit of Charles’s soul, he would have had to have been endowed with one.

  • calling all toasters

    Cato is no more right-leaning than the Costa Concordia.

  • osceola

    It reads like spam:

    “Need quick cash? Be a part of this exciting opportunity!”

    All that’s missing is asking to forward SSNs.

    • Malaclypse

      REQUEST FOR URGENT LEGAL RELATIONSHIP

      FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. THIS IS BY VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND ‘TOP SECRET’. I AM SURE AND HAVE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF THIS GREAT MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIIMUM CONFIDENCE. FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED, JUST NOT THOSE FUCKERS AT POLITICO.

      WE ARE TOP OFFICIAL OF TOTALLY NONPARTISAN THINKS TANK WHO ARE INTERESTED IN STOPPING ISLAMO-SOCIALISH SHARIA HEALTH CARE LAW. IN ORDER TO COMMENCE THIS BUSINESS WE SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE US TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT THE SAID TRAPPED HEALTH CARE.

      WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THIS BUSINESS WITH YOU AND SOLICIT YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IN THIS TRANSATION. PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER USING THE ABOVE TEL/FAX NUMBERS. I WILL SEND YOU DETAILED INFORMATION OF THIS PENDING PROJECT WHEN I HAVE HEARD FROM YOU.

      YOURS FAITHFULLY,

      MICHAEL F CANNON

      • brugroffil

        lol

      • Romanes Eunt Domus

        *Charles Foster Kane applause.gif*

      • Aimai

        Did you hack into their PAC solicitations? Because I’m pretty sure this is a straight up tea party solicitation for funds.

      • Bruce B.

        Beautiful.

      • keta

        Dearest Mr. F. CaNNon,

        Your urgency is matched by miNe. I’m paNting for the opportunity to discreetly conjoiN and I hereby ackNowledge receipt of this letter and it’s coNfident toNe.

        Does the F staNd for what I thiNk it staNds for? I ask because I too fight the good fight agaiNst our Muslim “presideNt” aNd his efforts to Isalmicate us all. Just so you kNow, I ruN aNd operate the top level “Stop, Islam!” campaigN iN America, and right Now I’m wearing Nothing more thaN aN AmericaN flag oN which GleNN Beck dried his tears, flimsily secured by a AmericaN flag lapel piN JohN BoltoN used to kill NiNe Hamas operatives to death.

        I would like to adore you as much I do this exceptioNal couNtry. Please reply discretely upoN reading this so we can arraNge to meet in one of your secure ThiNks TaNks to thrash out the possibilities.

        Yours iN America,
        P. Geller

    • Randy

      Or an 800-number.

      “Call now! Operators are standing by!”

      • wjts

        976-CATO. Charges and fees may apply.

        • Lee Rudolph

          Calls may be monitored for training purposes. If you know what we mean.

  • Joe_JP

    Cannon complaining about the Cato institute being described as “right-leaning.”

    but, some of the people support things like same sex marriage! Not being 100% wrong about everything is necessary, right?

  • synykyl

    I think the funniest thing is that Politico referred to Cannon as a “mastermind”. But the things you mentioned are funny too ;-)

    • citizen

      To be fair, they did modify “mastermind” with “libertarian”.

      • mds

        Michael F. Cannon
        Libertarian Mastermind

        Wile E. Coyote
        Super Genius

  • Joe_JP

    I’d say they’re all winners.

    by a typical right wing whiner

  • Bruce B.

    I blame Mal:

    This is just to say

    I have revoked
    the insurance
    that you had
    via Obamacare

    and which
    you were probably
    counting
    on for health care

    Forgive me
    it was unconstitutional
    so liberal
    and so Moops

    • Noah S. McKinnon

      William Cato Williams. Poetry as minimalist as Cato thinks government should be. Simply beautiful.

      • rea

        Your health care
        is a southern breeze — or
        a gust of snow. Agh! what
        sort of man was David Koch?
        — As if that answered
        anything

        • Noah S. McKinnon

          so much depends
          upon

          a health care
          crisis

          glazed with tax
          cuts

          beside the Koch
          brothers.

          • Bruce B.

            Darned good work both of you. :D

            • Noah S. McKinnon

              I think it was Max Bodenheim who sponged off W.C. Williams by pretending to have a broken arm, cast and all, for a good two months before Williams discovered the ruse.

              William Cato Williams wouldn’t have even let him in the house in the first place unless he paid upfront.

  • Justin

    Here’s a half-serious question: any possibility of getting traction with a state bar ethics committee by reporting the violations that went into railroading clueless plaintiffs into attaching their name to this thing?

    • postmodulator

      Oh, definitely! Because state bar associations take those sorts of violations seriously. Self-regulating works out awesome. They definitely didn’t keep from disciplining Jack Thompson until he was submitting cartoons as briefs or anything.

  • brugroffil

    So I saw this on Think Progress regarding the Moops Troothers final brief filed yesterday:

    The brief they filed on Wednesday pushes a subtly different narrative — now the plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that “it is irrelevant whether Congress subjectively intended to impose the condition.” Nevertheless, their second brief clings to the idea that the law should be read in a way that uses the threat of lost tax credits to force states to set up their own exchanges. In the new brief’s narrative, the “trumpeted negative effects” that will result if the Court rules for the King plaintiffs does not stem from the law itself. Rather, it stems from the Obama administration’s decision to read the law “to eliminate states’ incentive to establish Exchanges, predictably causing two-thirds to opt out.” “Had the IRS from the start made clear that subsidies were limited to state Exchanges,” the second brief argues, “states would not have overwhelmingly refused to establish them.”

    Uh, doesn’t this essentially gut their entire claim? So the statute is and must be umabiguously clear that states who didn’t establish their own exchanges themselves are not eligible for tax credits, but none of the states seemed to bother to read the statute itself and point out this conflict to the IRS or even have any record of indicating it? And doesn’t admitting that it was not clear to the states mean that the statute can’t actually work that way (based on prior SCOTUS rulings)? This seems like an own-goal hat trick here.

    Here’s the exact text from page 13 of the brief:

    The Government emphasizes that subsidies
    help expand the risk pool. If the IRS Rule is vacated,
    it claims, states served by HHS Exchanges would see
    increased premiums, reduced enrollment, and
    ultimately “death spirals.” (Govt.Br.36-38.)
    Even if that were true (but see p.20, infra), these
    consequences are the result of the IRS Rule, not the
    statute. Had the IRS from the start made clear that
    subsidies were limited to state Exchanges, states
    would not have overwhelmingly refused to establish
    them. Indeed, Congress had no reason to doubt that
    all (or virtually all) states would establish Exchanges
    to ensure citizens’ eligibility for subsidies. It is thus
    perfectly “plausible” (Pet.App.25a)—and clearly not
    “quite impossible,” Pub. Citizen v. Dep’t of Justice,
    491 U.S. 440, 471 (1989) (Kennedy, J., concurring in
    judgment)—that Congress intended to condition the 14

    subsidies, even though enforcing that condition now,
    given the IRS’s misleading deception of states, would
    (temporarily) have effects Congress did not desire

    I particularly like that “all (or virtually all)” slight-of-hand. Even leaving aside the stupidity of the claim that Congress had no reason to doubt every single state would and could get their own exchanges running by the deadline, the (or virtually all) again undermines their own claim and asserts that Congress intentionally set out to screw over millions of Americans based on what their state government decided to do. For which, of course, there’s no evidence?

    • brugroffil

      And, shortly after that:

      So there is no basis to infer—under any
      interpretive theory—that Members of Congress who
      read § 36B did not “intend” the limit on subsidies its
      text plainly imposes (and which concededly furthers
      the textually stated purpose that states “shall” run
      Exchanges).

      [emphasis in original]

      So states “shall” run exchanges, except magically when they don’t? Jesus, they can’t even keep a coherent argument together for a single sentence.

      Even if assessing congressional risk aversion
      were permissible, there is far more evidence that
      Congress was willing to take the “high-stakes” risk
      that states would turn down its deal than that
      Congress secretly created a “term of art” whereby
      HHS serves as states’ “surrogate.”

      Of course we never come around to any reason why Congress would take this risk at all, since it appears to offer approximately zero benefits and massive risk of directly undermining their explicitly stated goals.

  • osceola

    MY SISTER WORKS FROM HOME SUING THE ACA ON HER PC. SHE MADE $3000 HER FIRST WEEK!!! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE!

    • tsam

      FUCK THE POOR WITH THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK THAT SCIENTISTS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT!

  • To me the funniest is the evidence that Cannon realized from the outset that there could be no actual plaintiff with standing–somebody who was sincerely upset about being forced to accept government subsidies for health insurance because that might hypothetically be illegal in Virginia, though definitely not in Kentucky (no, PLEASE don’t subsidize my premium, let me pay full price or a fine)–and had to lie to the candidates as to what the case was about. Though he still couldn’t get anybody to bite.

  • Roger Ailes

    “And ‘right-leaning’? Seriously?”

    Shyster, please!

    “Previously, [Cannon] served as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare, and the Second Amendment.”

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  • Roger Ailes

    Actually, the funniest thing is that after printing Cannon’s e-mail in 2013, PoliticHo printed an entire column of Cannon’s lies in “Politico Magazine” in 2014:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/07/jonathan-gruber-the-flip-flopping-architect-of-the-aca-109466_Page2.html#.VOaAcubF_Kg

  • j_kay

    But the Romans were FAR worae for the Republic’s fall, and their Empire even worse stolen from.

    And I’m a Gracchi, get it straight. OK, a wimpy one whom just wants a nice 90% top tax, STILL WIMPY COMPARED TO FDR, whom asked for 100, and got over 90. Truman and even Ike kept over 90, too, though it was done by order.

    I am saddened about Ike against Board. That means he was ONLY right on Egypt, weirdly.

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