Re: Rationing

1

Seems to me it diminishes the hoarding mentality. In a lot of shortages, if people just maintained their standard usage, the shortage wouldn't be so bad. But because supply chains are close to just-in-time these days, when people change their habits for an irrational reason (fear that everyone else will buy gas before them) it can result in supply problems.
Now obviously in this case there's a more significant shortage besides people being assholes and filling 5 jerry cans in addition to their car, but the marginal change of preventing panicked buying might help things recover faster.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:55 AM
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Of course you wouldn't understand, being in Texas where the sinks faucets are hot, cold, and unleaded.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:56 AM
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It reduces gas lines by forcing people to plan slightly. I don't think there's any econ 101 argument on net consumption. As a form of advertising and influence, it might help. Also, if gas lines are steady and predictable, panic buying might be less frequent.

For a while I have been meaning to read Amartya Sen about the economics of famine-- not like this, which is just basic panic-driven hoarding.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:59 AM
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It reduces gas lines by forcing people to plan slightly.

I can see that, sort of. We buy gas maybe once a week, so it's kind of hard to see every other day as a meaningful restriction.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:01 AM
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This discussion brought to mind something I learned from (IIRC) Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Roosevelt: the rationing of gasoline in the U.S. during the second world war was not so much motivated by desire to conserve fuel, which was not in especially short supply, but to extend the life of automobile tires, because all available rubber was needed for the war effort.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:19 AM
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5: To get a gas rationing card, I think you had to swear you only had five tires.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:23 AM
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JK Galbraith was undersecretary of centrally-planned price fixing in the US during WWII. That's why he was enthusiastic about planned economies, he saw from the inside that they work pretty well in wartime.

Albert Speer had approximately equivalent responsibilities in Germany.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:28 AM
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This does seem very odd--I'd assumed the rationing was actually rationing, so that, in being limited to buying gas on even or odd days, you were actually limiting people to a fixed amount like no more than 20 gallons every other day (which is way more than most people would need, but could prevent some panic hording). But... it seems like that's not the case? You can buy all you want, just every other day? Weird.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:32 AM
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Albert Speer didn't have nearly enough gasoline.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:32 AM
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panic hording

Sorry, I meant panic hoarding. Or maybe panic whoring, I'm not sure.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:33 AM
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When they did this in the 70s also using odd and even numbered license plates my uncle had lucked out by being mistakenly issued one of each by the DMV.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:34 AM
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panic whoring

I encourage this behavior wholeheartedly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:37 AM
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I hope people with vanity plates aren't allowed to buy gas at all, but I suppose they just turn the letter into its numeric position using either the ordinal position in the alphabet or the Bible Code.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:37 AM
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Everybody whose last name starts with A-L whores on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; M-Z on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Sundays are first come first serve.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:39 AM
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panic whoring

What'll happen when they start rationing cucumbers?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:40 AM
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In the Seventies the odd-even rules reduced the length of lines, the number of cars sitting in them with their engines idling, and prevented some people from going postal. We also planned our trips a little more carefully. As I remember, it wasn't a big deal for us.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:43 AM
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Does it reduce lines? At first I thought it obvious, but now I'm just confused. Does assigning people days differ from assigning people stations (obviously there would be practical problems with the latter, but let's assume sphereical people and frictionless gas stations)?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:43 AM
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panic whoring

Do catastrophes increase the whoring supply or its demand? Or both?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:44 AM
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18: It seemed to. It distributed the lines somewhat more evenly. For example, I observe out here in LaLaLand that lines at Costco are longest on Friday and Monday, people plan other things for Saturday and Sunday.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:46 AM
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Can you get whores at CostCo anywhere but the Starbucks?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:47 AM
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check out the travel section.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:50 AM
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17. Consider the limiting case of preassigned appointments. Reducing predictable lines at peak usage periods (either predictable or in response to rumor-induced demand spikes) would be the main benefit, I'd guess.

14. So Adrien Brody and John Hamm on the same days. Who sets prices?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:56 AM
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Shouldn't you be able to get them at the panic mongers?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:56 AM
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Consider the limiting case of preassigned appointments.

Ever been do a doctors office that significantly overschedules? Preassigned appointments aren't going to reduce lines if there aren't nearly enough appointment times for everyone who needs one (yet you assign a slot to everyone anyway). So I'm not sure how that helps, if the fundamental problem here is that only 25% of the gas stations are currently operating (which isn't nearly enough).


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:01 AM
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It prevents the visible symptoms of shortage, which themselves spur panic. Quiet seething at having to wait because of overbooking will leave you more civil than (say) trying to get on the last bus which is being rushed by a crowd carrying chickens and goats.

It's a public order measure, I think.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:04 AM
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panic whoring

It works out well for the gas station attendants, I think.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:06 AM
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Panic whoring does induce bank runs I suppose.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:07 AM
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You have to buy whores in bulk at CostCo.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:11 AM
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Odd that there's argument about this. It seems obvious: In a shortage/panic situation, everybody wants gasoline, and wants it now. Limit the number of people who can get in line and you limit the number of people who do get in line.

So lines can be cut dramatically without a dramatic change in consumption. Every available gallon gets sold in either scenario.

For those who didn't notice the difference, I think the distinction between half-mile lines and quarter-mile lines is going to be lost on many people, especially if they don't wait in one of each.

We were lucky/smart. We don't drive much and The Missus filled the cars before the storm. I still had a quarter-tank when I filled up yesterday.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:18 AM
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You have to buy whores in bulk at CostCo.

They just have really old whores there. That's how they keep prices down.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:24 AM
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29: Oh yeah, that's the way to think about this. Slotting reduces the number of people who wait in line and don't get gasoline. The number of people served stays constant, and the number of days spent waiting in line until being served is cut.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:37 AM
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The only real life whore I ever encountered was elderly and spoke French in a German accent. Weird.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:42 AM
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I'd heard that odd-even gas days actually made shortages worse, because people would gas up at least a day earlier than they would normally (to avoid running out on the off day), so more gas was in car tanks at any given time.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:10 AM
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All I remember from the 70s gas lines is the joke about farting in a jar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:22 AM
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And you just can't close the lid fast enough for that to work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:24 AM
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30: That, along with stocking mostly cheap plastic whores from China.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:28 AM
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You almost can't buy an American-made whore any longer. Fucking NAFTA (insert great sucking sound joke).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:28 AM
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29/31: Which would imply that it doesn't actually save gasoline, aside from that saved by having fewer people idle in their cars. It provides a benefit, but not the benefit of rationing gasoline.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:33 AM
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so more gas was in car tanks at any given time.

And then the cars are carrying more weight and get worse mileage!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:34 AM
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Why the fuck is the schedule at my doctor's office 8:30-11:30, 1:30-4:30? I mean, for there to be a receptionist who answers the phone.

I'm sure I'm failing to be compassionate blah blah blah minimum wage.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:37 AM
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40: In civilized workplaces, everyone must take lunch at the exact same time, and no one eats at their desk where they can answer the phone. This used to be the norm for high end industries like medicine and banking.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:43 AM
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I don't have a problem with a lunch break. Why is it a two-hour lunch break?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:45 AM
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43

Maybe limited hours mean lower or no benefits.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:45 AM
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38: I think that's right. There might be minor effects, like people carrying more (although that might not be a bad thing in a disaster area), idling, or different driving habits.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:46 AM
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My guess was that they're short-staffed, and so the person who answers the phones needs to do other tasks from 11:30-12 and 1-1:30. WHAT A BITCH.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:46 AM
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42: If it is like retail, the two hour break takes her off the clock for lunch and may keep her from hitting full time hours (i.e. no benefits).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:46 AM
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47

Didn't see 43. Ooops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 10:47 AM
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48

In one of his classes, Delong mentioned that this actually increased hoarding, because you might as well get as much gas as you can on the days you're allowed, and store it in your garage, so you don't run out of gas on the other days. IIRC, he told a story about some economist having to run out of a meeting at the White House because the fumes caught fire and burnt his house down.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:19 AM
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49

In this situation, hoarding isn't a problem. It's not the total supply that's limited, just the rate at which it's delivered.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:34 AM
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50

I'm assuming, of course, that there are strict limits to how much one can buy at any given fill up.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:36 AM
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Now I'm not sure if 49 and 50 made any sense. Also, I'm suspicious of 48, because it sounds like one of those tenuous chains of reasoning economists use to show that interventions in the free market that seem to have benefits end up having some counterintuitive cost.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:41 AM
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Also, I'm peeved at Delong for not publishing one of my comments on his site, just because I described one of his paragraphs as confused and possibly dishonest.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:42 AM
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In this situation, hoarding isn't a problem.

What about whoring?

Also, 8 to 50.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:44 AM
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You should have placed the comment in a tweet that links to a tumblr that links to a blog that links to a news piece that called his paragraph confusing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:45 AM
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I'm not aware of any problems with the whoring supply, nor their rates. But I haven't shopped around.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 11:49 AM
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||

I keep seeing things of the form: "⌒♡ღ‿ღ♡♡ღ‿ღ♡" used all over the place as like...email signature flourishes and it keeps amusing me that the Georgian letter ღ has found such fame abroad.

|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:01 PM
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Well, it's rationed at home.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:04 PM
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I'm sure you can get good bulk whores at BJs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:05 PM
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58: as well as the reverse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:07 PM
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And then I decided that was more of a facebook status type of pointless observation and posted it there. Carry on.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:09 PM
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Carry on not saying anything.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:18 PM
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My own thread, all to myself, just as I've always dreamed of!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:18 PM
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Three comments in a row? That's nothin'. If you can get to twenty without anybody noticing, now, that's a good feeling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:19 PM
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Perhaps I will get a bunch of bottled water and a shotgun and live in this thread.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:20 PM
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And then shoot the water with the shotgun?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:20 PM
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Back off, Tweety! I have bottled water, and I'm not afraid to use it!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:20 PM
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rock>paper>scissors>shotgun and none of them do much good against pwned-ness.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:21 PM
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Could you make a shell loaded with ice shards, shoot somebody, and have the projectile melt away after being able to do damage? I'd google it, but I'd had to have that come up on my computer if somebody around me had some sort of unexpected mortality.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:23 PM
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Mythbusters says no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:25 PM
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[nytimes crossword spoiler alert] Today's puzzle had "icicle" as an answer for "Temporary spear." Is it me, or is there a little bit of WTF in that?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:26 PM
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IIRC, meat bullets are also out.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:27 PM
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Annals of Internet Credulity:

So, there's this story from March, apparently originated by Fox News, about Bloomberg refusing to accept food donations at homeless shelters because they couldn't be evaluated for healthiness. Is there any independent confirmation that this story (a) was even true, or (b) reflects current policy, post-Sandy?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:35 PM
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71: Maybe people should try zipping up their fly then.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:36 PM
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56: It's a very pretty letter.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:42 PM
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70: It's a The Lovely Bones spoiler.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:43 PM
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72: Appears to have been true at some point
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/bloomberg-strikes-again-nyc-bans-food-donations-to-the-homeless/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:46 PM
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UPDATE (3-20, 7:20 p.m.): I received an email from Samantha Levine, Deputy Press Secretary for the Office of the Mayor, that states:

76: Maybe not.

"[C]ontrary to NY Post column that ran yesterday, there is no NEW policy (nor has there a change in policy) around food donations to NYC homeless shelters. The Department of Homeless Services actually NEVER took donations: the shelter system is very heavily regulated--even beyond the City's nutritional guidelines--with specific requirements around food handling and serving that leave little room for donations.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:50 PM
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77 is misleading. I didn't receive an e-mail from Samantha Levine. The Examiner reporter did, back in March.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:52 PM
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In civilized workplaces, everyone must take lunch at the exact same time, and no one eats at their desk where they can answer the phone. This used to be the norm for high end industries like medicine and banking.

A post office branch in my town does this and shuts down the counter for a half hour in the middle of the day. Very annoying/inconvenient for the unknowing would-be postal patron.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 12:58 PM
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||
NMM to Petraeus's political aspirations.
|>


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:07 PM
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Probably another Argentinian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:15 PM
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He's an appointee, not elected. There's probably something more than just a regular affair.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:23 PM
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The link suggests that the affair is a problem because he's head of the CIA specifically -- that working in intelligence means you're not allowed to have any guilty secrets.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:25 PM
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that working in intelligence means you're not allowed to have any guilty secrets

What about a guilty fondness for The Secret?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:27 PM
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Don't army people get court martialed for adultery? I think it is against actual rules.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:28 PM
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I didn't think that an uncomplicated affair (i.e. nobody is foreign or works for anybody else or is putting up billboards calling you out) would be enough to cause a problem but I didn't know the army had specific rules.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:30 PM
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Completely OT, I love it that the Romney Campaign had a get-out-the-vote IT system called "Project Orca" and that it was apparently a total failure. Advantage: Lion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:37 PM
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83: When I was looking at potentially getting a Top Secret clearance the security guy told me that the issue is having anything that can be used to blackmail you.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:40 PM
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87: Awwwwww yeah.

Funnily enough, I *was* born in Kenya.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls, L/on | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:42 PM
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88- so no one here will ever have a clearance then?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:44 PM
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And I don't think his political career is over- he's still only at a half Gingrich.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:45 PM
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In Manila there was for a while a rule that you could only drive on certain days of the week, depending on whether the final digit of your license plate was odd or even. People who could afford to just bought an extra car. People who couldn't afford the whole extra car just bought an extra license plate (allegedly).


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:48 PM
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90: Only the scrupulously presidential.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 1:49 PM
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Isn't it odd that he announced the affair? Right after the election, a lot of appointees will retire; it's normal. The only straightforward reason I can imagine is that the administration worried people would think he was taking the fall for Benghazi (pro tip: they'll think that anyway.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:08 PM
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Was he still a commissioned officer, or did he resign that to go to the CIA? I believe he had special legal obligations as an officer that precluded a quiet resignation.

I'm more amazed by Mike Brown's job loss, of course.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:15 PM
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Wiki says he's retired from the Army.

Possibly the explanation for the resignation is that the story is more interesting than a simple affair -- that we're in the live-goat/dead-boy-or-girl realm. But I haven't seen any details.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:19 PM
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93: surely the opposite --- if you tell everyone the guilty secrets, not really blackmailable are you?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:39 PM
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My conservative fb friend is asserting that he's doing this to avoid testifying on Benghazi. Does he not have to testify now?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:40 PM
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97: Good point. I recall reading about a cold war era diplomat (US or UK) who was caught in a honeypot blackmail scheme and when the KGB dude showed him the hidden camera pictures asked for copies to show his friends. Being shameless is the best defence.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:44 PM
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I really hope the woman's name is Benghazi.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:55 PM
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Could someone please post some juicy rumor and innuendo about what actually happened here? The internet has so speeded the news cycle that the buzz from an initial story fades after about 20 minutes and I find myself wanting a new revelation. Push the story forward! Is there a Petraeus sex tape? Possibly with a woman in a burka?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 2:59 PM
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to avoid testifying on Benghazi

Jesus Christ, is the right wing deep inside its own bubble about Benghazi.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 3:00 PM
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Someone on Twitter was pointing out that P's nickname at West Point was "Peaches" and that he was a member of the French Club. Wonder what they are trying to imply????


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 3:05 PM
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Adultery provides protection from everything, even disease. It is the best thing you can do for your partner, whether strategic or domestic. The military has a term for this: fucked up beyond all depositions.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 3:07 PM
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I do find it interesting that this and the fact that Iran fired on a US plane last week both came out a few days after the election. I'd totally fuck with the minds of conspiracy theorists if I had the power.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 3:07 PM
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Oh, it's his biographer? I saw her on the Daily Show, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 4:02 PM
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So the "embedded" journalist who wrote a book called All In was sleeping with him. I refuse to believe this. The universe doesn't provide pre-written jokes that easily.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 4:35 PM
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The Daily Show clip, in retrospect, seems dripping with subtext. ("He loves serving, he loves to be in the arena..." IYKWIM.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 4:39 PM
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106: oh! I saw that. Also her husband was on. Awkward turtle is awkward fucked up.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 4:47 PM
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102: Jesus Christ, is the right wing deep inside its own bubble about Benghazi ass about everything.

It's been scary for awhile now; it's going to get scarier. This kind of racial anxiety, the kind that's warranted, as the levers of power won't be worked wholly by white men, is f'reals. You were the one who warned about an uptick in political violence. I think we're headed for a very ugly period in our history (as opposed to all the others, which were just terrific).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:02 PM
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111: shorter vw -- how's a guy with a limp gonna keep ahead of the angry mobs?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:03 PM
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78: That's kinda what I was wondering about on the way home -- I was under the impression that a lot of homeless shelters did not serve any food at all -- like, no kitchen, no food storage, that's what you go to the food bank or the soup kitchen for.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:04 PM
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That interview is hilarious. 'Is he awesome or is he awesome?' 'Well he's a very high energy guy' or 'What's it like, do you pinch him?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:05 PM
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This kind of racial anxiety, the kind that's warranted, as the levers of power won't be worked wholly by white men, is f'reals.

Yes, it is, and it's overlaid with a (also legitimate) sense of stark and irreconcilable religious/cultural differences.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:08 PM
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PETRAEUS OR BOI-OI-OI-OINGGG?!


Posted by: OPINIONATED NAUGHTY MOVE ON | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:09 PM
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a (also legitimate) sense of stark and irreconcilable religious/cultural differences

Yep. And when, during the election coverage, Mike Murphy, among other Republican operatives, kept referring to "the Hispanic problem", I found myself wondering if the GOP has been contemplating a solution or a final solution. No shit, it was very creepy to keep hearing the same word -- "problem" -- in reference to shifting demographic trends.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:20 PM
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:The FBI is investigating Paula Broadwell, author of the biography "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus," for improperly attempting to access his email, law enforcement officials tell NBC News.

From Politico, which, when you copy-and-paste straight article-text, automatically includes a malformed link back to the article.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:24 PM
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Yeah, I wonder what his wife thought of the Betray-us ad. You don't know the half of it, kids!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:26 PM
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So maybe if we wanted to take a very cynical, long game type of action, it would make sense to work on providing better prenatal and neonatal care resources for Spanish-speaking mothers?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:27 PM
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stark and irreconcilable religious/cultural differences

As much as I've enjoyed the schadenfreugasm, this has been at the top of my mind. Enough people have been led to believe insane right-wing fantasies that there will be more political violence. Did you guys see this video from the Heritage Foundation PAC? It's basically incitement (although probably not legally so), and promises a very ugly few years to come.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:30 PM
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119.--That makes sense on its own merits, so sure!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:31 PM
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We're lucky the right wing is getting older. Geezers are less prone to violence, and they're less effective if they do.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:34 PM
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121: Yes, well, I do like babies.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:36 PM
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do s/b commit violence, or something.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:37 PM
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On the other hand, you have awesomeness like this, from the president of Fordham (sorry, long):

University Statement on Ann Coulter Appearance

November 9, 2012

The College Republicans, a student club at Fordham University, has invited Ann Coulter to speak on campus on November 29. The event is funded through student activity fees and is not open to the public nor the media. Student groups are allowed, and encouraged, to invite speakers who represent diverse, and sometimes unpopular, points of view, in keeping with the canons of academic freedom. Accordingly, the University will not block the College Republicans from hosting their speaker of choice on campus.

To say that I am disappointed with the judgment and maturity of the College Republicans, however, would be a tremendous understatement. There are many people who can speak to the conservative point of view with integrity and conviction, but Ms. Coulter is not among them. Her rhetoric is often hateful and needlessly provocative--more heat than light--and her message is aimed squarely at the darker side of our nature.

As members of a Jesuit institution, we are called upon to deal with one another with civility and compassion, not to sling mud and impugn the motives of those with whom we disagree or to engage in racial or social stereotyping. In the wake of several bias incidents last spring, I told the University community that I hold out great contempt for anyone who would intentionally inflict pain on another human being because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed.

"Disgust" was the word I used to sum up my feelings about those incidents. Hate speech, name-calling, and incivility are completely at odds with the Jesuit ideals that have always guided and animated Fordham.

Still, to prohibit Ms. Coulter from speaking at Fordham would be to do greater violence to the academy, and to the Jesuit tradition of fearless and robust engagement. Preventing Ms. Coulter from speaking would counter one wrong with another. The old saw goes that the answer to bad speech is more speech. This is especially true at a university, and I fully expect our students, faculty, alumni, parents, and staff to voice their opposition, civilly and respectfully, and forcefully.

The College Republicans have unwittingly provided Fordham with a test of its character: do we abandon our ideals in the face of repugnant speech and seek to stifle Ms. Coulter's (and the student organizers') opinions, or do we use her appearance as an opportunity to prove that our ideas are better and our faith in the academy--and one another--stronger? We have chosen the latter course, confident in our community, and in the power of decency and reason to overcome hatred and prejudice.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:48 PM
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Whoa, that was really long. Double sorry.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:48 PM
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127

125 is really lovely.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:51 PM
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Tee hee. That's great.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:52 PM
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Classy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:59 PM
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On the plus side, there is some acknowledgment that Obama is not the Antichrist.

"I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he's not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."

Antichrist 2016!


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:00 PM
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122: Heh. In some respects, yes, in others, no.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:00 PM
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125 is great.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:02 PM
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Coulter event canceled.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:17 PM
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Per 133, it's really a mistake anyone could make. Ann Coulter's more extreme remarks are quite obscure, and not part of her public image.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:27 PM
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It costs ten grand to get Herman Cain to come talk to you? That's it. I'm becoming a republican, uh, whatever they are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:32 PM
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134: I know, right! And then the university president had to go and be a big meanie about! Even though they'd already canceled it! So unfair.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:33 PM
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Wait hang on the College Republicans were willing to drop ~10k on a speaker? WTF, couldn't they just get some local politician for free and then spend the money on booze?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:45 PM
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130: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist

Okay, I've never been all that interested in parsing the theology of whacko fundamentalists, but couldn't we say the same thing about Reagan, Bush or Cheney? I mean, if the Antichrist is coming, then everybody is paving the way for his eventual arrival, aren't they?

Relatedly, I walked past a fellow who had one of those vans set up as a mobile locksmith's shop, with some very bland name like "Bill's Locksmithing" or whatever, and I thought "wouldn't it be a lot more attention-grabbing to paint your van Slimer-green and call your business 'Gozer the Keymaster Locksmithing?'" Because I am in love with my own cleverness, and hanging out here only makes that worse.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:57 PM
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Because I am in love with my own cleverness, and hanging out here only makes that worse.

There's a lot of that going around and no vaccine available.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:04 PM
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I bet the Antichrist would skew the polls.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:07 PM
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130: Just think about it.

(Actually Obama the Douche shows up for a bit in the middle.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:12 PM
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135: "You don't pay Cain for speaking. You pay him to leave."


Posted by: Opinionated Charlie Sheen | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:33 PM
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I mean, if the Antichrist is coming, then everybody is paving the way for his eventual arrival, aren't they?

From my reading of Fred Clark, probably that lots of leftist or liberal stuff has been identified as what the Antichrist will do (foremost world peace or anything peace-related), so all liberals can be portrayed as paving the way.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:34 PM
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142: And here I thought you paid him not to try to fondle you.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:35 PM
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I think a big part of the appeal of odd/even rationing is that it allows politicians to do something. Even if it's not particularly effective at least they aren't doing nothing while people suffer.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:17 PM
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Back during the odd-even rationing in the 70s, I had to drop out of my car pool for a while, using more gas instead of less. The trip to work took around half a tank (100+ mile round trip), and the authorities wouldn't let you fill up on your designated day unless you were below half a tank, so I would be at risk of running out of gas on my days to drive the car pool unless things worked out exactly right. There were no odd-even restrictions in the rural county where we worked, but one of the guys in the car pool had a hard time constraint at the end of the day due to a class he was taking, which meant there was no time for the car pool driver to wait in line for gas after work. So it turned out to be easier to suspend the car pool for the duration of the crisis, which gave us all the flexibility to fill up before or after work while driving every day. A nice example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:18 PM
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146: When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:33 PM
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The thing I find interesting about the rationing in this context (in which I think this solution is probably the best for the specific circumstances) is that Bloomberg and Cuomo are only doing it out now whereas Chris Christie did it a week ago. Another point in favor of Christie's response to the storm, although I continue to hate him in general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 9:37 PM
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I think the point of odd/even is basically adaptive queue management. You've got a flow of fuel being delivered, a fixed amount of storage in the stations (which is less than you think), and another fixed amount of storage in cars (which is more than you think). If you let the level in the cars rise too quickly, the level in the stations falls and eventually no fuel is available.

If the fuels system in the US is anything like ours, there is much more storage in the car fleet than there is in the stations, and there is a further constraint that filling the station tanks to capacity is a big commitment of capital for the station owner, especially as the margin is pretty thin. so they tend to run a third full on a normal Tuesday.

When our Minister for the Cabinet Office made a pitifully ill-thought out effort to break a tanker drivers' strike back in the spring, he advised the public on national TV to stock up even before the strike began, although the law requires 7 days' notice of the strike date after the vote to strike, making it pointless as most drivers fill up about weekly. The result was that stupid people rushed out to buy as much petrol as they could, draining the buffer in the stations and causing a national shortage and at least as much disruption as the tanker drivers could have hoped for.

The truckers got what they wanted without actually going on strike. And some poor fool got killed when they lit a gas stove in their kitchen, where they were keeping buckets of petrol.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 6:36 AM
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Trust me, it all makes sense if you model it in terms of TCP queuing.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 6:37 AM
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Re: Petraeus, the second letter in this NYTimes "The Ethicist" column ("MY WIFE'S LOVER") from June of this year.

My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be "true to my heart" and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 6:41 AM
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151: Wow.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 6:46 AM
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Yeah, that's a really badly-formed link.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:06 AM
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Try this.

It is pretty amusing.

If I keep commenting here today, will someone please tell me to stop procrastinating and finish my goddamn grant proposal? Thank you.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:10 AM
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has anyone here been honey-trapped? what's that like?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:10 AM
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153: Oops.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:13 AM
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Happened to me once. The honey makes the ball stick to the sand wedge, making it really easy to make contact but tough to get out of there. I don't recommend those courses.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:18 AM
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Do people really honey trap people nowadays? Do you think it makes the sex better or worse?

Reminds me of a Benny Hill sketch. Benny wakes up next to a beautiful woman, she sez, "you've been honey trapped, Benny Hill. I didna wanna do this at all! But now I can tell everyone about it." Benny Hill makes a happy surprised face at camera, end of story.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:42 AM
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It seems to me the only type of person who could pull off a honey trap -- that is, fuck someone she doesn't really want to fuck for personal gain -- would be a panic whore of some kind.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:46 AM
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97, 99: I still can't work out why he didn't go this route. End the affair, confess it to the CIA, change his email passwords, get his wife's forgiveness -- then he can say "So what?" if it's brought it up as blackmail leverage. Dianne Feinstein is suggesting Obama didn't have to accept his resignation; is she just being ignorant? The swift departure does raise a lot of questions that fan the conspiracy-theory flamers.


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:46 AM
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Or I guess the real definition of honey trap would be a sexual encounter instituted by a spy who was also a prostitute.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:47 AM
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But the real question is: do gas shortages increase or decrease the incidence of honey-trapping by the panic whores?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:49 AM
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My experience with panic whoring -- solely observation, mind you -- has been that it increases over time regardless of gas shortage. No amount of gas can stop it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 7:54 AM
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From your silence I'm guessing that some here have been honey-trapped successfully. I can't imagine what that's like. When she didn't really want to have sex with you, didn't that come across? What was her ulterior purpose?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 8:40 AM
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I still can't work out why he didn't go this route. End the affair, confess it to the CIA, change his email passwords, get his wife's forgiveness -- then he can say "So what?" if it's brought it up as blackmail leverage.

It may be more along the lines of "If you can't even keep your GMail account secure, you shouldn't be running the fucking CIA."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 9:45 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if there's normally a way for such password mistakes to be swept under the rug, not used here because of inside politics and/or/connected to the involvement of the FBI, but it's still objectively good grounds for resigning, so no tears here.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 9:55 AM
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I'm confused, as usual. Is someone here a fucking spy?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 10:45 AM
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that'd sure give me the willies!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 10:48 AM
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One suspects fucking spies are professionally drawn to panic whores.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 1:12 PM
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And honey pots.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 1:22 PM
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You catch more spies with honey than with panic whore.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 1:36 PM
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Manic panic pixie dream whores.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 1:46 PM
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172 The working title of a lost Russ Meyer/John Hughes collaborative screenplay.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-10-12 2:00 PM
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