Contra Ronald Reagan, the government is often a bulwark of personal security and social stability, but it's nevertheless true that the most dangerous words in the English language next to "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" and "think of the children" are "somebody should do something."
Most often that somebody is New York Senator Chuck Schumer. And that something is usually a ban on fun.
However, unlike fellow politician-cum-babysitter Mike Bloomberg, whose penchant for paternalism extends to legislation that appeals to editorial boards and expert opinion but doesn't sit well with a majority of his constituents, Schumer targets causes popular with his middle-class suburban base. Wherever there's a father of two frowning over a local news story story about the kids these days, Chuck Schumer is there. Wherever the words "there ought to be a law," escape the lips of PTA mom, Chuck Schumer is there.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: read the following statements and determine whether the quote is fabricated, or if Chuck Schumer was there…
1. Caffeine inhalers: "I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to over-using a product that allows one to take hit-after-hit-after-hit, in rapid succession."
2. Four Loko: "Parents should be able to rest a little easier knowing that soon their children won't have access to this deadly brew."
3. Prepaid cell phones: "This proposal is overdue because for years, terrorists, drug kingpins and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace."
4. Synthetic marijuana and "bath salts": "Let this be a warning to those who make a profit manufacturing and selling killer chemical components to our teens and children: the jig is up."
5. Metal grill brushes: "Metal bristles are one topping no one wants on their burger this holiday season…Grilling season should be a great time for the whole family, not a time to be worried about an emergency visit to the hospital."
Answers: Surprise! It's Chuck Schumer, all the way down. (Yes, grill brushes.)
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Alcohol, Chuck Schumer, Drugs, Food
The policy and environmental blogosphere is deep into a discussion of an International Energy Agency report weighing the benefits and drawbacks of expanded natural gas production.
On the plus side, natural gas is abundant, inexpensive and less carbon-intensive than coal. At the same time, the process of extracting gas from shale, known as fracking, is fraught with danger. Industry groups refuse to release the contents of fracking fluid, even though a "we could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you basis" response would be persuasive, considering the likely toxicity of fracking chemicals.
But even as environmentalists whine about fracking-induced earthquakes and methane seeps, they're neglecting one key issue that could turn public opinion on this matter…
The brewmeister of Brooklyn Brewery says toxic fracking chemicals like methanol, benzene, and ethylene glycol (found in anti-freeze) could contaminate his beer by leaking into New York's water supply. Unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, New York state has promised to ban high-volume fracking from the city's watershed. But environmentalists say the draft fracking regulations are weak and leave the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States — not to mention the beer that is made from it — vulnerable.
Perhaps not coincidentally (but probably totally coincidentally), the state with the highest number of breweries per capita, Vermont, recently enacted the first statewide ban on fracking. Unfortunately, banning fracking in Vermont is like banning jungle deforestation in Alaska or deep sea fishing in Kansas. Still, it's nice that someone is trying to not frack with our beer.
Photo by Irish Government – Pool /Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Alcohol, Energy & Oil, Environment, Vermont
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Tags: Al Madrigal, Alcohol, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, Video, Virginia
Politics 101: A bunch of drunk obnoxious working class people screaming at each other and fighting in the streets?
Get Joe Biden out there stat! That's his demographic!
Vice President Joe Biden often touts his working-class background, but he got the cold shoulder from some St. Patrick's Day celebrants in the state where he was born, as the crowd booed Biden towards the end of a parade in Pittsburgh.
"A chorus of boos rained down on Biden and his supporters down the last stretch; stil, Biden kept smiling," said Brandon Hudson of the local NBC affiliate.
Oh, I doubt they were actually booing. They were probably just all yelling "Repuboooooooooolicans don't know what it means to booooooooooooe middle class!"
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Alcohol, Joe Biden, Pennsylvania
It's not too late to organize a killer party for the third-biggest event of the year (after Election Day and Arbor Day, duh) — just follow our handy tips for a Super Tuesday bash your guests won't forget, unless they do, in which case you'll know you've succeeded. Speaking of, you might want to start coughing at your desk now, so your boss won't be surprised when you call in sick on Wednesday.
Whom to Invite
There's nothing worse than having to explain Super Tuesday to a room full of chattering n00bs. "Wait, how does the Electoral College work again? Why do some states have caucuses instead of primaries? How come some states have more delegates than others?" Shuuut uuuuppp, I'm trying to watch this Wolf Blitzer special report. The only exception to the no-n00bs rule is if they are attractive and easily impressed by your ability to clarify electoral rules. ("Why don't you sit right here next to me and I'll demonstrate a binding caucus?") Otherwise, you want nerds. Straight-up nerds.
How to Prepare
Rearrange your living room/rec room/mom's basement so every seat has a clear, unobstructed view of the television. Remember, a Super Tuesday party can get rowdy, so move any fragile items or rare campaign posters out of the way.
Tags: Alcohol, Food, Primaries, Republicans, Super Tuesday