The best thing about the story, via Ben Smith, of the U.S. Mint vs. cable television's Obama coins?

r_1228252724_obamacoin.jpg

The best thing is that it's apparently totally legal to take a real U.S. silver dollar, coat it in plastic (or gold), add Obama's likeness, and resell this modified currency to people who buy such things via cable television advertisements.

In fact, you can kind of hear, in the U.S. Mint's statement on the matter, a grudging respect for the entrepreneurship behind it all:

These advertisements feature genuine United States coins that the private commercial businesses have altered by affixing a colorized image to the coin. Additionally, some businesses have treated the coins by gold-plating them.

These items are not official United States Mint products. Furthermore, these products, businesses, and advertisements are not approved, endorsed, sponsored, or authorized by the United States Mint, the Department of the Treasury, or the United States Government.

The United States Mint does not encourage, endorse, or sponsor products that alter the fundamental images depicted on its coins.

It doesn't encourage, endorse, or sponsor, but it's also not going to do much more than clarify and harrumph! Carry on, capitalists.