Andrew Breitbart, RIP

As readers of this blog know, I have somewhat of a following among the libertarian right.  I don’t really understand it except that there is a deep part of me that distrusts centralization, whether in academic bureaucracies, corporate headquarters or in government institutions. So I guess I was not surprised when a couple of people wrote me this week and asked me to say something about the death of Andrew Breitbart. I know my liberal friends are going to be angry with this post, but so be it.

I had met Andrew for the first time two months ago over dinner in a Santa Monica steakhouse. I had come at the invitation of a conservative friend who wanted me to see that Breitbart was not the demon that I had depicted him as, during the Shirley Sherrod fiasco. When I left the restaurant after a large meal and multiple bottles of red wine I had a couple of impressions that stayed with me. First was that Andrew was a somewhat charming provocateur, much in the spirit of Abby Hoffman. Like Hoffman, I was never sure Breitbart really believed half the shit that came out of his mouth, but his main purpose seemed to be a social irritant.

The second impression from the dinner was that Andrew was sick at heart about the prospects of beating Obama in 2012. He called the current Republican field “pygmies” and I actually believe he felt that Sarah Palin would have been a far better candidate. I laughed at that. He truly despised Obama, and in some weird way I think he felt that the election of 2008 had been the culmination of an era of political correctness, which he considered to be the main source of evil in the modern world. Just why Barack became the focus of his anger, I couldn’t fathom, but I came to see this loathing as something that was not connected to a rational process, but rather something more from his “reptilian brain”. This kind of anger is not kind to your heart.

So how ironic that the day of Andrew’s passing that Rush Limbaugh, a far less charming angry man of the right, chose once again to dive into the deep pool of misogyny that has defined his career since he first used the term “Feminazi”.  Limbaugh’s assertion about Susan Fluke being a “prostitute and a slut” are so unhinged that one can only believe he is back on the “hillbilly heroin” (OxyContin) again. So Limbaugh may be just a drug-addled “entertainer”, but what is Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s excuse for that same attitude— believing we have been on the road to damnation as a country since the pill was introduced and Rock and Roll eclipsed Frank Sinatra? In my book, Outlaw Blues, I quote Sinatra in 1956 saying that Rock was filled with “sly, lewd and dirty lyrics”, performed by “cretinous goons”. Of course Frank was pissed off at Elvis, but why is Rick Santorum still angry about the sexual revolution fifty years later?

In some weird way I hope that Rick Santorum does become the standard bearer for the Republican Party. I have said from the beginning of this campaign that I would really like a showdown between President Obama and a Tea Party Conservative. If Romney wins the nomination, he will weasel back to the center so fast it will make your head spin. The fact that Romney is unwilling to denounce Limbaugh proves what a spineless toad he is.

But not Rick. With him as the candidate it will be “a choice not an echo” and in my view will be a total repeat of Goldwater’s 1964 drubbing. The country will come to the realization that we are not a hard right society and that the Tea Party is a minority cult. And then maybe, with some real breathing room after an epic victory, the Democrats might reexamine some of the ideas of subsidiarity and decentralization that might realign some of the anti-war libertarians and the true liberals in a new progressivism.

Which brings me back to Breitbart. He wanted a choice election too, but not the choice of “pygmies” like Romney, Santorum or Gingrich. Although he liked Limbaugh, he despised Glenn Beck. Over the course of the dinner I kept saying that I was a classic Liberal. I believed in liberty and equality of opportunity. And he kept saying that he believed in those things too, but that “liberalism” had been demeaned by the Left. If we had had time, we might have come to some meeting ground. But it was not to be.

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38 Responses to Andrew Breitbart, RIP

  1. Terence Winkless says:

    You were much less generous to Breitbart than you led us liberals to believe you’d be. Enjoying the blog, please continue.

  2. John Papola says:

    On Santorum… he’s no “tea party” anything. He’s a big-government, invasive, anti-liberty conservative. What makes the tea party distinct from conservatives writ large is the narrow focus on our fiscal problems. It’s a fairly libertarian movement. Not perfect. There’s some gross stuff and some war-mongering among the ranks. But the actual platform is libertarianism. Hence Rand Paul is a real “tea party” winner.

    Santorum has been the most vocally anti-libertarian candidate in recent memory. He really goes out of his way to bash libertarians and assert the role of government as moral and national arbiter of good. As a Pennsylvanian, I’m disgusted by him. In some ways, I hope he gets the nomination and loses so that social conservative politics can finally die.

  3. John Papola says:

    Then again… maybe I’m completely wrong. I exist in my own little quasi-academic world of idealism.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed that only 30 percent of tea party supporters likely to vote in the GOP primary have a favorable opinion of Paul. That’s compared with 79 percent who view former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) favorably, 64 percent who look favorably at former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and 49 percent who say the same of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R).

    Gross. If this is representative of the Tea Party, then forget them. I haven’t registered to vote yet in Texas. Maybe I won’t bother.

  4. John Papola says:

    @John Papola

    Put another way. If this is the “tea party”, the tea party isn’t libertarian. It’s just plain old conservatives. My guess is that they will become more party-line as the election draws near. And the Grown Old Party will collectively flip the bird to the only candidate and intellectual force energizing young people: Ron Paul and libertarianism. Move over Whigs. There’s another party ready for retirement.

  5. Fentex says:

    Then again… maybe I’m completely wrong. I exist in my own little quasi-academic world of idealism.

    I find it hard to resist (because that’s a straight line just begging for it), and are surprised (coming home from a trip to a friends wedding) to not see anyone jumping all over this opportunity to suggest isolated, quasi-academic, idealism is a common problem among libertarians.

  6. JTMcPhee says:


    “Ideal-ism,” or “Idea-ism?”

    There’s all kinds of Ideas floating around out there. One of my favorites, reduced to practice, is the EpiLady. A looped coil of stainless-steel screen-door spring, motorized to run at a high speed, placed against the skin to rip out “offending” body hairs on various sensitive and visible areas by the root. A perfect “As Seen On TV” product — just $19.99, and as a personal-care product you could not even take it back for a refund after that first surprising (!) application. A Salvation Army store I frequented in Seattle had a shelf of these things, maybe 12 feet long and stacked 18 inches deep and ten inches high, marked $1.00.

    You can bet that the inventor got the idea for the gadget via personal experience, bumping a hairy arm against the spring on some cottage screen door…

    Kind of like the “ideals,” those notions that happen to resonate with a particular kind of brain chemistry and wiring, that are dreamed up, “perfected” and then peddled by quasi-academic people here, there and everywhere… As Seen On TV, And In Videos.

    And Jon Taplin, Hannibal Lecter and John Foster Dulles might be charming dinner companions too, with whom one might feel an urge to find common ground…

  7. John Papola says:


    Idealism is common among libertarians, Fentex. No question. But to call idealism a “problem” unto itself is something I’d take issue with strongly. I’m a very pragmatic person in my personal affairs. But I see ZERO reason to be “pragmatic” in my political beliefs. My beliefs can’t change the outcomes in politics, so why compromise with ideas I find to be false? Who, exactly, am I negotiating with? What, precisely is gained? I see nothing.

    On the other hand, I see muddled, “moderate” politics to be little more than a conservative endorsement of the status quote, which is broken. And we learn nothing from it.

  8. Morgan Warstler says:

    So many things here to unpack:

    1. I told you for years and years that Drew was nothing like you imagine.

    Jon, you won’t really let this sink in, but you have a very generalized short hand about what you imagine your opposition thinks and why they think it. You HARDLY explore it at all. Indeed in this post alone, you insist on a OBVIOUSLY shitty weak argument, rather than having the guts to answer what your opponents ACTUALLY say.

    2. Don’t call women sluts. Ok fine. Rush was wrong, who cares? I have two daughters, they can have as much sex as they want. I still listen to Rush Limbaugh the same way I listen to Bill Maher.

    The gotcha stuff is kinda fun making them apologize etc. but generally speaking, I KNOW the real argument being made by Rush, and the slutshaming stuff ain’t it.

    The real argument which you are AFRAID of dealing with is this:

    1. religious freedom in america is as close to absolute as we get. it is right there with free press and speech.

    2. whether or not employers are the normal way that health care is provided is YOUR PROBLEM, it is mine too, but right now is this argument, it is YOUR PROBLEM.

    Meaning, if catholic entities do not want to PAY FOR abortions, contraceptives, sterilizations, etc.

    Then you have a CLEAR AND UNDENIABLE moral path – you must end the employer based healthcare system AND (in order to please my libertarian side) you must do it very likely within the boundaries of the free market.

    I’m SORRY that in order for Fluke to get her abortions etc covered, you have to actually DISMANTLE and do battle with the REAL PROBLEM.

    Employers should not cover health care. That is a clear undeniable fact. Even the most idiotic of liberals and social conservatives understand that fact.

    You stupid argument is one of truly shitty moral ends / means.

    SINCE right now employers provide healthcare, and changing that is tooooooooooooooooooo hard for you – it is just so hard!!!!!!!! FUCK RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, fuck the rights of the employer.

    No Jon, that’s not how it goes.


    1. you go the long route, and you organize all those who want healthcare separated from employment. I’ll join. Breitbart would join. Papola will join. Ron Paul will join. Mitt Romney will join.

    2. Once individuals have to go buy insurance for themselves, you as a CIVIL RIGHT assert the state will pay for abortions.

    And I’ll SUPPORT YOU there too.

    And while I doubt that Breitbart, Paul, Romney etc will support that piece, mark my words they will still support you on #1.


    Look, Andy was one of my real friends. I rooted for him in his career because his heart was in the right place. Mistakes get made, for the very reason you Jon prove above.

    Sometimes a person doesn’t make a real effort to understand the other side. Andy made that effort, he truly took the time to GRASP what his opponents were saying.

    Having had the opportunity to listen to Drew go on at length on a subject in private, I knew the nuances, so when he’d get a camera pointed at him and have :60 seconds to make his point in an often hostile situation, I was able to see that other side just wanted a stilted snapshot – with Breitbart clarity was not liberals friend.

    The first time he did radio, I listened anxiously, sending IMs – and afterwards on the phone tried to get him to practice not saying, “and I go” over and over and over.

    Jon, if you were a student I’d assign you a topic and make you do 1500 words exploring it:

    Rick Santorum is the opposite of the Tea Party.

    That you WANT to insist it, rather than accepting the FACT it is not true, keeps you from really furthering the conversation on your end.

    A couple weeks ago when Drew was in Michigan we were laughing that Rick Santorum was kind of the Michelle Malkin of the race. His big issue with Gingrich was Callista – she’s our age, but instead of showing off a side clad in Converse and just being Gingriches younger wife, she’s done up in 50’s garb.

    And yep, Drew really thought Palin would not only have won against Obama, he thought she would be a great President.

    The point is there’s A LOT there, lots of nuance, lots of things to agree on.

    Your problem Jon, is that you are afraid of that nuance, because if you own up to it, to many apple carts might get turned over.

    As said above:

    “You were much less generous to Breitbart than you led us liberals to believe you’d be.”

  9. len says:

    Condolences on the loss of your friend, Morgan. Politics not withstanding, it’s a sad loss.

  10. John Papola says:

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. len says:

    John, that third category epitomizes the Republican campaigns for the last 25 years, or as the Old Man said, “Well, there you go again.”

    I’ve told my friends in the talking head business that while I am glad for the super-pac money washing over their stations (Southern Strategy Tsunami arrived last week on the stations here in Alabama – tres ugly), at the first syllable of TheOtherGuyIsAnEvilSOB coming from the tube, I immediately hit the mute button and may not reset for several minutes so I am also missing the other advertisers. If enough of us do this and make a public noise about it, the super pac money may have to be spent more ‘liberally’ and we will turn off even more of the TV time. After awhile, they’ll have to rent space on Facebook and there we are already trained to ignore them.

    Let the dum dums die.

  12. John Papola says:


    I see no difference between the party bigs, Len. It’s a difference without a distinction.

  13. len says:

    @john: One of them IS the President and behaves accordingly. The rest are wannabes and behave accordingly. The question is is that a difference that makes a difference. I suspect it is. That Rick Santorum can be where he is for the money he has spent speaks directly to the lack of any center in the Republican Party. That Obama even feels challenged by this pack of parade hogs speaks to the lack of conviction in the Democratic Party. For all his personality deficits, Obama is doing the job and no one seems to notice. Weird.

    The ads being run here both for the local Republicans and the national Republicans are pot-boiling kettles of fish. I haven’t seen any Democratic ads here and likely won’t. I’m sticking to the plan: mute the TV and be sure to let other advertisers know that the should reconsider their ad budgets in a time when their messages are being swamped in a BSBlizzard. Until the super-pac money is shown to hurt the economy and the media outlets are forced to face their addictions to the ever-more expansive election cycle monies, no one will stand up and call this pig what it is. Citizens United will only be rolled back when media decides it must be and for that to happen, they have to get hurt in the pocket book.

    At least today Anonymous now knows for sure the serious minds weren’t wrong: no one is beyond reach and being able to hack a web server doesn’t make them better qualified to judge foreign policy. My guess is Julian Assange is looking at a prison stretch and should be nervous about sharing a cell with anyone in the employ of the Saud family.

  14. Rick Turner says:

    Just found the blog again after a strange year and a half or so.

    A couple of quickies:

    Thank goddess for MediCare…for which I’ve paid a lot of dough in over the years; it’s NOT an entitlement, it’s Medical Insurance, folks… April 12, 2011…Prostate cancer sugery via Da Vinci robotic surgical assistant… I’m fine. Universal health care under a single payer system can work for all. It does in practically every other country in the so-called civilized world. Our current system is breaking us…along with our seeming need to kill people in foreign countries at an ever increasing cost per victim. Hell, just ship some boat loads of money over to the Middle East and pay them all to sit at home and watch Jersey Shore.

    Rush… What a self-destructive idiot. And the progressives just don’t seem to have the guts, brains, or balls to point out that Rush is the guy who got detained coming back from that noted sex vacation paradise, the Dominican Republic, with a couple of bottles of Viagra in someone else’s name in his luggage. What did Rush need Viagra for on a non-marital vacation? Vaginal or anal sex with someone of an indeterminate sexual orientation? For masturbation? Or maybe he was taking so much oxycontin that he wasn’t waking up hard anymore and missed that… What the Rush thing is really about is the old thing of sex for fun is for boys, but sex is only for procreation for girls. Complete and utter bullshit from a bull who should simply be vasectomized so there is no hope of his reproducing.

  15. Rick Turner says:

    I think a discussion of “socialism” might be interesting here. Where do you draw the line where suddenly socially responsible governmental functions (start with police, fire, streets, parks, libraries, schools, and….) become the “S” word. Hey, sorry libs, but we live in a society of fellow citizens, and therefore, we live socially. There are functions that should be best done with all in mind both on the receiving end and the paying end. We are all “socialists” in this country. Get over it and get better at it.

    I consider myself to be a libertarian socialist. I do believe that capitalism as practiced in the US and much of the “free” world is such a gamed system that it is rotten to the core. I do not believe that as a society, we are advanced enough not to be regulated. There have to be rules to encourage socially responsible behavior and rein in the worst traits inherent in humans. We’re not all smart enough to be good libertarians. The brightest of the bright, including Mr. Breitbart, seem to ignore the fact that the baser human tendencies need to be firmly brought under societal control, and those base tendencies are not limited to the dregs of society. Are you reading this, Mr. Murcoch? Mr. Limbaugh?

  16. len says:

    I’ll read it when my eyes are working better, but gawd, it’s good to see your sig, Turner. Hope you are well.

  17. Rick Turner says:

    Well, the fingers go where they want. I meant “Murdoch” of course… And now I wonder if I’m wrongly identifying the dregs of society. L & M ARE the dregs of society; their apparent popular and financial success masks who they are quite effectively. How is it that facile minds can be so misdirected and perverted? And that question is at the core of my basic issue…that, unfortunately, we need to be protected from ourselves in that lizard-brained aspect of greed and sperm superiority over all others.

    And Len, I’m doing fine. Life is weirder than ever in some amazingly creative ways; more difficult than ever in some aspects; and the future looks so bright that I’ve got to wear shades. Thank you, Timbuck 3…Pat McDonald…a line worthy of Dylan…

  18. len says:

    That’s good to hear, Rick. I’d been worrying about you. No free lunch at this time of life fer sure.

    How is it that facile minds can be so misdirected and perverted?

    IME, fear is the base emotion that enables us to respond to stimuli so abhorrent we have to dress it up in patriotism and religion, thus perverting the best of our instincts to serve the worst. Are you familiar with a poem from the Nag Hammadi collection of Coptic texts, “The Thunder: Perfect Mind”?

    It isn’t an answer as much as a means to shake the mind loose as if a koan. Some call it a meditation on the role of the feminine divine in a world of violence. Until we are able to shake loose from the fear, it is difficult moment to moment to see clearly what that role can and should be. We are being driven to think only moment to moment and to believe that there is nothing between those moments worth considering. Yet as musicians we know that the time between the breaths is when the divine makes itself heard, or as the Muslims might say, al Bari, the Evolver, makes the choice of the next breath apparent to one attending. Attention is the currrency of directing evolution. By denying ourselves contact with that divinity, we give ourselves up to the forces of violence that use us to perpetuate their own perverted ends.

    Let Evolution Succeed. Let the Dum Dums die. – The Great Gazoo

  19. Flint Dille says:

    I gave up Facebook for lent (actually, after lent started) and have been writing my own piece about Andrew. Probably won’t surface anywhere, but I’ll send it to Susie and the boys at Its mostly personal stuff and Im not a journalist. The following is a ramble about that dinner, Andrew and my speculation on what he would have been saying about Sandra Fluke.

    My recollection of the dinner is that it was a little more fun than you thought it was. The big moment was this. The big take-away I had was when he said, ‘yeah, if this is about handicapping the election or the candidates, I’m not that guy.’ And he wasn’t. And he certainly wasn’t about Sandra Fluke’s sex life. Andrew had no hard right religious gene in his body. Zip, zero, nada. He was pretty libertarian on that stuff.

    Oddly enough, his politics were pretty much identical those of every transformational genius I’ve ever known (Gary Gygax, Frank Miller, John Warden, Chris Metzen, John Kobylt to name a few). Everybody who has utterly changed a medium or, in fact the world. Kind of a strain of Libertarianism which mostly wants to be left alone and fights oppression from wherever it comes.

    I remember leaning over to you in the middle of the dinner while Breitbart was talking about something and saying, ‘not what you expected, is he?’ And you agreed. He was a much more complex animal than certainly the mainstream media would give him credit for. It showed even in the more honest and informed obits from the left. Lawrence O’Donnell and Arianna Huffington serve as good examples (and, both actually knew him).

    The other fascinating thing about Andrew is that there was nothing phony about him. Zero. As he put it, “I’m deadly serious about what I’m serious about, and the rest is fun.” Or something like that.

    And I think that the thing that was most menacing about him to the PC left was that he wasn’t some hick who crawled out of some Red State who could be easily dismissed. He was a Jewish kid from Brentwood. He saw the beast from the inside and grew to loath it. Oddly enough, the Clarence Thomas trial was his turning point. So much for the usual racism issue.

    My guess is, that had he lived to see the Fluke case unfold, he probably would have been thinking the same thing I was. Forget her gender, she’s 30 years old. Adults without grievous afflictions are not only supposed to be able to no only take care of themselves, they’re supposed to be able to pay a little extra for others.

    Its a reasonable position.

    And, in the most vulgar possible way, he would have been wondering the same thing I was, ‘where the hell is her boyfriend?’ He’s the beneficiary of the sex. He’s the one who faces the child support payments if she doesn’t have the abortion. Why isn’t he reaching into his wallet? She’s got to be worth $3 a day, or whatever it comes to. Who is that loser? Assuming the boyfriend is age appropriate, what kind of turd can’t or won’t pick up his share?

    That’s the real argument. Forget her. What’s the deal with the guy?

    And as far as the Ted Kennedy justification for the vile comments after Andrew’s death (Andrew called Ted Kennedy ‘human excrement’ after he died). Ted Kennedy was a lifelong stain on the American left. Here’s a 1%er of a 1%er who got away with, at best manslaughter, at worst murder through the use of wealth power and privilege. And there’s no washing it clean. The entire system watched it happen and a well-crafted speech and a cynical high life espousing liberal causes does not grant absolution. Agree or disagree with Andrew, he had a legitimate position. (By the way, his tweet about Ted Kennedy being the Fredo Corleone of the family was my suggestion. Andrew wasn’t up on his Godfather. I was kind of proud of that.)

    I don’t think he was particularly fixated on Barrack Obama for any other reason than Obama to him is the very personification of the phoniness of the PC left. And the call to Sandra Fluke really was the perfect manifestation of it. Where’s the call to Sarah Palin after Bill Maher called her a cunt and a twat? There’s no wriggle out of that. There’s no slithering around that.

    In fact, where’s the call to Susie Breitbart after the savage things Obama’s supporters said about him?

    There’s no way Obama cashes Bill Maher’s check without looking like a phony.

    And one last thing about Bill Maher, then I’m gone. A couple friday nights before he died, Andrew showed up at my door on his Vespa. He knew he could park without getting a ticket from Michael Dukakis’ lackey parking enforcement team (another story). We were talking about Bill Maher. I asked him why he went on the show.

    He said he liked walking into enemy camps. Duh. “I get that, but why does a guy who owns 21st Century media, engages and destroys the enemy every time out, go on some old format show that’s crawling off to die on HBO. You are today. That’s yesterday. It doesn’t look good to hang out with a bunch of burned out rock stars, gornished comedians and gray ponytails on some spent format.”

    He just kind of looked at me the way he did when he was seriously considering an new thought. At 43, he was still capable of having new thoughts, and that’s unusual.

  20. len says:

    And I think that the thing that was most menacing about him to the PC left was that he wasn’t some hick who crawled out of some Red State who could be easily dismissed. He was a Jewish kid from Brentwood.


  21. JTMcPhee says:

    And Roy Cohn was a Jewish kid from the Bronx.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men?…

  22. JTMcPhee says:

    And for a slightly different view of new thoughts,

  23. len says:


    Those who put it there.

    There should be a word for someone who fails to recognize their own accidental logic. Maybe the Germans have one.

    shadowfraud 😉

    Santorum just left town. I will take the long way home around the Space and Rocket Center where he spoke today and Gingrich two days ago. The people of the party that works hardest to kill the space program sure do like to appear smart in front of the aging rockets. But I’ll take a different route just in case the spirit of neo-conservatism jumps the highway to possess me.

  24. Rick Turner says:

    Flint, you’ve obviously missed the news that birth control pills are often prescribed for other than contraceptive reasons.

    Your point about birth control being a shared responsibility is well taken.

    But the real issue here with that kerfuffle is the continuing double standard re. sex, and the right wing’s amazing hypocrisy about it, and the hiding behind wacky religious beliefs about it all. Gingrich… How does he get the big “Get Out of Jail Free” Monopoly card on his marital infidelities? Rush… Come on now, he wasn’t exactly monastic in the DR…unless you consider the modern Catholic Church’s pedophelia problems to be in a monastic tradition… Why can’t conservatives just admit that they like to get laid just like anyone else, and that women enjoy (and should enjoy) sex at least as much as men, and that most healthy individuals engage in sex for fun, mutual pleasure, and the emotional bonding it fosters in addition to those few times in life when it’s for procreation?

    Here are a couple questions… Do the medical insurance programs of Catholic organizations cover Viagra for men? Or are sexual health issues completely off the table for moral reasons?

  25. Flint says:

    Let’s park the phony issues. We’re talking about birth control, not alternate uses for Birth Control pills. Totally different issue.

    Sandra Fluke’s boyfriend thinks that he should be able to do the squirt and scoot without consequence. Is Obama really recommending that. Is that the kind of guy he wants for his daughters? I don’t think so.

    This isn’t about religion at all. Its about some parasite who is too wiener to pay for his girlfriends birth control. She’s not worth three bucks a ride? I’m supposed to pay it? You are supposed to pay it, come on.

  26. Flint says:

    Pointing your finger at someone who has zero relevance to the argument is specious at best, outright deceitful at worst. Just another tired saw adhering to the old radical campaign slogan “Throw enough mud against the wall, and some of it will stick.” Cohn was no Breitbart.

  27. Jon Taplin says:

    @Flint-you missed the point of my post. I sincerely believe that Andrew would have joined some sort of Liberalitarian coalition in 2014. He was not a hypocrite like Romney or Gingrich (Samtorum is another matter).

    Have you ever read Freakanomics? They prove pretty convincingly that birth control and abortion availability led directly to the reduction of crime we experience in the last 15 years. It’s also proven that the making birth control available lowers health costs.

  28. Jon Taplin says:

    @Rick Turner-Welcome back. We have missed your wisdom

  29. len says:

    Sandra Fluke’s boyfriend thinks that he should be able to do the squirt and scoot without consequence.

    Is this a season subplot that introduces us to a new villain, Jon? Cruder than the last one. I guess maybe the audience was starting to empathize too much with Morgan so it’s time for one everyone is sure to hate. That gets the next season opener nicely fitted. Flint? Hmm, well at least he has a villain’s name.

  30. Rick Turner says:

    OK, Flint… Let’s talk sex. Sex for pleasure. What’s the problem with that? Well, there are a couple of practical problems: STDs and pregnancy. Then I guess you can get all religious and “moral” about it, but that’s not my bedroom.

    Men and women can and do get STDs. Condoms, banned by the Catholic Church, can help prevent such. Why ban them? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to prevent STDs than to treat them

    So far, only biologically genuine women get pregnant, and therefore it is in their best interest to have primary control of birth control. If a woman asked me to split the cost of the pill (back before my vasectomy…), I’d have no problem with that. But I also think it should be covered by medical insurance, both from a philosophical point of view (mine…), and from a practical and financial point of view. Unwanted pregnancies are not inexpensive; they’re not good for society; and they’re certainly not good for the mothers and fathers to be.

    And have you seen any interviews with Ms. Fluke’s boyfriend in which he says the words you’re putting into his mouth? I haven’t. But I guess he’s one more person for fantatical right wingnuts to excoriate.

    The sooner conservatives get real about sex, the better off we’ll all be.

  31. John Papola says:

    @Jon Taplin

    I’m not so sure that Steven Levitt’s work should be taken as a proof that abortion reduced crime (I don’t think “birth control” was part of his study, so don’t conflate it with abortion). I don’t have the numbers, but one should probably look toward birth rates in the cities in question which saw crime fall. If birth rates didn’t go down, that would mean that would be a real problem for the Levitt hypothesis. Remember, abortion doesn’t necessarily reduce births. It could. But it doesn’t have to. Instead, an increase in abortion could be met by an increase in pregnancies.

    Beware of correlation vs. causality. That’s my #1 criticism of the “freakonomics” series as a whole.

  32. Flint Dille says:

    Is there any guy on this chain who didn’t go out an buy his own contraception? So why are you holding this turd to a lower standard than you hold yourselves to. I think he’s extremely relevant to this discussion, because if he weren’t a complete wiener, Ms. Fluke wouldn’t have a problem and we wouldn’t be talking about this. What’s wrong with this turd. Yeah. I think her boyfriend is very relevant to this chain, because I’m being asked to pick up his tab.

    And no, just because he’s hiding behind his girlfriend, doesn’t mean he gets a pass. Time to smoke him out.

  33. Rick Turner says:

    Flint, you are going off and off and off on a guy whom you don’t know, whose behavior you don’t know, and who is but 50% of the couple equation here. Do you know the financial and living arrangements between Ms. Fluke and her boyfriend, assuming there is one? Maybe he pays for a whole lot of other stuff. Maybe he doesn’t. Do you have facts to back up your statements about the two of them?

    She has a right to control her own body as she sees fit. In a system where health costs are part of a shared pool…it’s called “insurance”…we all cover each other. Hey, I’d rather not have my health insurance premiums cover diabetes from obesity nor lung cancer from smoking, but I’m part of the population pool, and that’s the breaks. That’s how insurance works. We all get to pay for others’ life style choices. You’re drawing the line at sex. Why? Are you another completely misogynistic religious nut or merely a mean spirited Libertarian? Jeez, a lot of men are so threatened by women’s sexuality… I’m more threatened by overpopulation and others’ stupid risky behavior.

    Also, birth control pills just aren’t all that expensive compared to so many other drugs…drugs being taken to counteract the effects of other lifestyle choices. I’d say there’s a lot of bang for the buck (yeah, pun intended) from insurance covering contraception. It’s a good investment in our healthy future.

  34. Morgan Warstler says:


    1. Fluke was a repo health pol operative who only went to Georgetown to do this. She was handled by Obama’s handlers from beginning to end.

    2. She may have been mentioning one specific woman who needed a very specific expensive treatment, BUT she then explained how that $3K was whole summers work, as if this was a plight for all law students.

    3. If she just meant, “take care of my one friend!” – that’s not she said.

    4. IF progressive want to cover abortions etc. thats fine by me, BUT they have to do it without forcing employers to pay for it. PERIOD.

    Being in charge of your workplace is too big a deal to worry about some girl with a very expensive medical condition, being the ENTIRE argument for forcing religious institutions to cover the ending of life as they define it.

    POO-POO for Fluke.

    The issue here is since unfortunately employers provide healthcare – and that’s REALLY BAD – progressives are too lazy to actually end the bad practice and instead they want to shit on First Amendment.

    Not happening.

    5. Drew, god love him, was pro-life – which drove me crazy, but he was completely willing to let it play out as a state’s rights issue. And he certainly wasn’t going to climb on a cross over the issue.

  35. Rick Turner says:

    There’s this whole weird concept that “employers” get charged for insurance, services, whatever. It’s complete bullshit. Anybody who has employees knows that “employee’s share/employer’s share” is just some kind of shell game made to make workers think that they’re stickin’ it to the man.

    Morgan, I’ve been an employer for most of the past 40 years. Here’s how employers think:

    What is my total cost per employee? Are they making me money? How do I fire the toxic ones as fast as possible and not get dinged for it? How do I make money on the good ones, keep them happy, and keep myself happy? Note question number one. That’s the one that really matters.

    Employee vs. employer it is not. It’s total cost, no matter how you play the semantics. Any other description is political bullshit. If “my” contributions to employee package become too much, then they’re going to get less an hour, simple as that. We’re deep into red herrings, straw men, and shell games.

    And I’d be fine with employees paying out of pocket for birth control, but I’d probably find myself paying for it in increased wages anyway, though that would be nicely hidden like the Catholic Church likes to keep anything connected with sex other than making more little alter boys to rape.

  36. Morgan Warstler says:

    Rick, completely non-responsive.

    You don’t matter. What matters is SOME employer (not you) doesn’t want to pay for ABORTIONS, INFANTCIDE, etc.

    How you think about it means nada. Me either.

    What matters is:

    1. There is a solution. Split employment from health care.
    2. It is hard to split them. Not impossible. But hard.
    3. It is good to split them. It ends debates like this.
    4. Forcing liberals to do the hard good thing before they get what they want is worth it, since…
    5. Freedom of Religion for that freakshow employer trumps Fluke.

    The awesome thing about doing the hard good thing is that brigs together lots of different kinds of folks – and not letting any of them get what they want until they do the hard good thing is great lesson about the rules mattering.

  37. Rick Turner says:

    Well, I’d be fine with splitting medical insurance from employment…if there was affordable insurance available, especially for those in the 50 to 65 year old bracket. In fact, I’m totally in favor of nationalizing health insurance under a single payer plan. My pals in Canada, Australia, France, and England would not accept our system under any circumstances. It doesn’t work. Just look up our ranking in the world with regard to longevity and infant mortality. We’re down in the mid 30s. So much for our wonderful capitalist competitive market place health care. It sucks. My doctors think it sucks. Just the paper work alone has got to be 25% of the cost; it’s ridiculous. I am so glad to be on MediCare. I’ve paid for it. It’s called being a part of society.

    Morgan, I know you don’t like old people; you’d just as soon we all went out on the ice berg and floated off to death, but that ain’t gonna happen in your lifetime.

    I’d be interested in knowing how much you pay for medical insurance and how old you are. If you pay out of pocket, good luck when you hit about 55… When I was 61, just covering myself was close to a grand a month…

    And I have a kid with a pre-existing condition…Marfan Syndrome. Put him on the ice floe, too?

  38. Flint says:

    Man, did I get that right about Flukes boyfriend. When I wrote the first bit, I had no idea that he was going to turn out to be a 1% son of a fatcat donor. I just though he was a cheap weasel doing the dip & skip. No, do we suppose Pres Obama was unaware of who was riding Ms Fluke around when he put in the call? What a phony that guy is.

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