Practicing avoidance.

Let’s see if we can do this, OK? Let’s see if we can go one day, just one day, without mentioning The Thing That’s Happening. Come on, let’s try. It’ll be good for our mental health. And I’ll start:

One of the things I did in my midwinter madness this year was re-watch “Mad Men” in its entirety, which of course gave me a powerful hankering for all things mid-century, but certainly the TV of my youth – the commercials, anyway.

So I was delighted to find this Terry Teachout roundup of some of the most memorable spots of the ’60s and early ’70s, including, yes, the flying couple whom Hertz somehow installs in the driver’s seat.

First realization: They’re mostly a minute long. Second realization: You need that long to set up the punch line for the Volkswagen ad, and it would be a crime against a rather lavish production budget to limit Ann Miller to 30 seconds.

Also, while I don’t often look to the Tablet for pop-music criticism, this takedown of Billy Joel is well worth your time. I always appreciate a writer who goes for broke, even when it doesn’t succeed; it’s like watching a waiter run behind a teetering pile of plates:

“From the very beginning,” Alana Newhouse wrote recently in Tablet, “there was a tacit agreement made between this country and its Jews: You, America, give us liberty and freedom from the extreme degradation and oppression we experienced everywhere else and, in turn, we Jews, will gift you with our … Jewishness. With Jewish thinking, and Jewish reflexes. With the ideas and impulses, honed over thousands of years, that could help a country create an unmatched economy, unparalleled creative industries and artistic and literary cultures, social and civic organizations, and more. America, at least so far, has kept its side of the bargain. But we have not.” Instead, we’ve practiced passing, an insidious art few have mastered more than Joel himself. When asked—in Germany, of course—about his Judaism, this is what the lyricist had to say: “I had the snip and I had nothing to say about it. I’m still a little pissed off about that.”

Finally, let’s just confine our commentary on this photo to the fashion it depicts — a prosperous middle-age couple coming back from vacation, relaxed and ready:

Don’t compare it to any recent photos out of Palm Beach or D.C. You’ll jump out a window.

Posted at 8:11 pm in Popculch |

71 responses to “Practicing avoidance.”

  1. brian stouder said on March 6, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Marvelous, marvelous photo.

    Since I shall honor the ‘speak not of what The Thing That’s Happening’ – I have dishes to do.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Glad to live on the first floor. But I do have a steeple . . .

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  3. David C. said on March 6, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    We just got $65million for our books and we’re going to build a beautiful yuge mansion in your head and move in. Suck on that Cheeto Benito. Allahu Akbar.

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  4. alex said on March 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    I was too young to remember Hertz putting people in the driver’s seat, but since you mentioned it, I did have a vivid recollection of this madcap Jack Lemmon movie from 1964 that played recurrently on local television throughout the ’70s when I was killing time after school. It has a splendid sendup of that Hertz ad campaign.

    The premise of the movie is that a woman is about to inherit a vast fortune, but conditionally — she must be married in order to receive it. So she offers a cut to her good neighbor Sam, played by Jack Lemmon, if he poses as her husband. Jack is also an ad man/mad man, hence the Hertz ad.

    Since we’re not talking about the elephant in the room, I’m not going to paste a link here to a great New York Magazine interview with David Letterman, but will suggest that it’s well worth your time for anyone who’s ready to resume fretting.

    Billy Joel… why, he’s a tummler not a troubadour.

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  5. alex said on March 6, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Oh, practicing avoidance is so tough. That’s why I’m still smoking after a heart attack. That’s why I’m posting this giddy ditty. Quite the culti-multural mashup:

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  6. jcburns said on March 6, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    But we’re all in the mood for a melody, and you’ve got us feeling all right.

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  7. BItter Scribe said on March 6, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I skimmed that anti-Joel article. It basically came down to “he squandered his gift,” plus the guy pisses on Joel for…not being Jewish enough?

    I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. How a person relates to his or her ethnic/religious heritage is intensely personal. Besides that, can you imagine going after Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen or any other pop/modern musician for not being Jewish enough? What, should Joel write klezmer music?

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  8. Jakash said on March 7, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Agreed, Bitter Scribe. That Joel take-down was pretty overwrought, IMHO. He’s a pop singer. Singing some great pop songs. Too bad his face isn’t wizened enough for the writer’s taste, but saying he’s a symptom of what’s wrong with America seems absurd. And “Just the Way You Are” is a beautiful song, but a guy who’s been married 4 times would have to be a pretty big fool to not have a rather evolved attitude toward singing it at this juncture in his life, no? Evidently cynicism is fine for reviewers, but not for aging musicians.

    I’m sorry to spit in the soup, but I gotta say, NN, linking to an article comparing a pop star to HeWho and then showing us a swell picture of the First Couple Emeritus seems like an odd way to practice avoidance. ; )

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  9. Suzanne said on March 7, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Well, I didn’t even know Billy Joel was Jewish until just now. Never even thought about his religious/ethnic background. I think he’s a marvelous song writer and he’s one of the few singers/bands from my younger years that I might actually pay money to see.

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  10. ROGirl said on March 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Let’s unpack this a bit. Yes, Billy Joel is a jerk, and always has been one. And other Jews can critique his cheesy artistic path as it relates to the idea of passing. Whatever his motivation, his music is middlebrow and mass market. But the article says he was asked about his Judaism in Germany, so maybe he was reacting to that question posed by someone in that country.

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  11. coozledad said on March 7, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Congenitally evil, stupid, and ass-ugly to boot.

    He’s just resistant to change, is all.

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  12. Andrea said on March 7, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I am surprised so many did not know Billy Joel was Jewish — Neil Steinberg did not know either. But I guess none of you were Catholic schoolgirls when “Only the good die young” came out and did not hear the dire warnings of the nuns about “that Jewish singer” and how we should avoid his music….

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  13. Suzanne said on March 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Andrea, not Catholic schoolgirl but Lutheran school. We were only warned about Dark Shadows because some kid (supposedly) came to school and said it was no big deal that Jesus rose from the dead; Barnabas Collins does it every day! Panic, panic!! So, they weren’t worried about a Jewish guy when there were vampires attacking.

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  14. brian stouder said on March 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

    My friends and I used to watch Dark Shadows, because Angela was hot!

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  15. alex said on March 7, 2017 at 8:42 am

    That’s Angelique, Brian. And even I thought she was hot.

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  16. nancy said on March 7, 2017 at 8:47 am

    OK, guys: I’m lifting the ban. We have a health-care bill to discuss.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Yes please to a pause. Too much stress in the rest of my life right now.

    Billy Joel has been married four times and has how many drunk-driving arrests? How about Mick Jagger? Mel Gibson? It seems to me that as a society we give permission to our entertainers to live larger than life. Some can’t handle it, and some waste their talent as a result. But it doesn’t negate the talent that existed in the beginning.

    Probably no one else here listens to classical music; if you do I’d encourage you to look up Joel’s Fantasies and Delusions for solo piano. It shows off his classical training and I’d love it if he wrote more like this. I listen to it frequently while working–I’ve learned that classical piano focuses my brain when working on finance in a way that nothing else does. So is he a jerk? Maybe, but I like his music.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Ack! Too late!

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  19. Deborah said on March 7, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I tried to comment twice on Billy Joel and they didn’t go through, then I realized I typed my email wrong.

    Don’t get me started on healthcare. Little Bird has hers through Medicaid expansion and we know that”s going away. At least she isn’t in a life or death situation, like many are who will lose coverage.

    I’d like to hear what the Republicans in our midst think.

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  20. john (not mccain) said on March 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I didn’t realize B Joel was Jewish, either, but I do remember the Only the Good Die Young controversy. A local priest declared, more in sadness than anger, that it was too bad Billy Joel’s career was ruined. Even at 13 I knew to laugh out loud.

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  21. basset said on March 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Well, Mrs. B just applied for Medicare part B so we’ll see how that goes… I know it’s not supposed to change, but I don’t believe that. Gotta take care of the rich folks’ tax cuts.

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  22. coozledad said on March 7, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Post-punk and post-post punk continue to deliver a small group of string composers. A lot of the best songwriting of the past four or five decades has come from female artists, from Joni Mitchell, to Kate Bush, Joanna Newsome and here Rachel Zeffira from Cat’s Eye’s performing her Albinoni/Handel influenced theme from “The Duke of Burgundy”

    This theme gets spun out in a variety of ways through the soundtrack, which is as good as Stravinsky’s reimagining of Pergolesi’s thema for Pulcinella.

    Here’s one of her pop songs that employs sixties girl-group style vocals set against an English pastoral string arrangement

    Billy Joel has a knack for melodic pop, but his lyrics are a fat sweaty drunk guy in a T-shirt trying to start a fight somewhere in Long guy land.

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  23. Danny said on March 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

    In the spirit of avoidance, the wife and I were delving into the catalogue of Judy Collins this past weekend. Particularly her renditions of the Joni Mitchell song, “Both Sides Now,” which is a great song. But we both became mesmerized by photos of Judy. My, what a stunning woman. She has aged beautifully. And I never knew that Stephen Stills wrote “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” about her. Which is kind of interesting because a couple of weeks back we were watching an extended interview on French television with Veronique Sanson who was married to Stills for awhile.

    And out of avoidance mode, we were watching an interview with some republican congressmen last night who were being asked about the health care plan. Their response to how wil the poor be taken care of was that we needed a “safety net” and “Health Care Savings Accounts” to which we were yelling at the screen. Even if you are upper middle class, HSA’s cannot fill the gap for any but the most minor medical expenses. Much less for the poor… because they have no money! Geez.

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  24. Peter said on March 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I think I’ve said it before, but I guess it applies to Billy Joel as well – an old boss told me once that he likes Jews, but he can’t stand Jews like Bob Greene who will do anything to hide the fact that they’re Jews just so some dumb idiot doesn’t think they’re a Jew, to which I replied “Bob Greene is Jewish?”, and he said “SEE?!?”

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  25. Deggjr said on March 7, 2017 at 9:27 am

    About commercials, this Continental Airlines commercial built around ‘Boo Hoo’ is hilarious. The singing and dancing might not match the staging of the Ann Miller soup commercial but close.

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  26. Danny said on March 7, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Cooz and I posting at about the same time with references to Joni Mitchell. Worlds collide! Lol

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  27. Suzanne said on March 7, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Ok, I had no idea that Bob Greene is Jewish, either.
    But then, as a young person, I was sheltered in white,Christian world and was shocked, shocked I tell you! to discover Barbra Streisand is Jewish. C’mon! She sang Silent Night beautifully on one of those gas station Christmas albums that you could get for next to nothing with a fill-up. She’s singing Christmas songs! How could she be Jewish? And Little Joe on the Ponderosa??

    I’ve been reading about the GOP healthcare plan. God forbid you get laid off in your mid-50s and can’t afford continuous coverage. That $4000 tax credit will go a loooong way if you can live long enough to collect it. How did Ryan ever become known as a policy wonk? He’s an idiot.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Coozledad, the Requiem is beautiful. To me, it has more of Fauré vibe than Handel or Albinoni.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on March 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Suzanne, most of the best Christmas albums were recorded by Jews.

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  30. Danny said on March 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Everyone weighing in with their surprise to find out many pop culture icons are/were Jewish somehow brings to mind Jim Morrison’s lyrics from American Prayer.

    Did you know madmen are running in our prison
    within a jail,
    within a gale,
    within a white-free protestant maelstrom?
    We’re perched headlong on the edge of boredom
    We’re reaching for death on the end of a candle
    We’re trying for something that’s already found us

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  31. ROGirl said on March 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Guess who wrote white Christmas, easter parade, the Christmas song (chestnuts roasting), rudolph the red nosed reindeer. Not Christians. Pa cartwright, too.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on March 7, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I find diving back into bare, essential punk rock is soul cleansing in these troubled times. Not just the classic stuff (Clash, Ramones, The Damned) but newer acts like Bad Religion, which remains a kick ass band 30 years after debuting in L.A. “American Jesus” is a classic. Lyrics follow.

    I don’t need to be a global citizen
    Because I’m blessed by nationality
    I’m member of a growing populace
    We enforce our popularity
    There are things that seem to pull us under
    And there are things that drag us down
    But there’s a power and a vital presence
    That’s lurking all around

    We’ve got the American Jesus
    See him on the interstate
    We’ve got the American Jesus
    He helped build the president’s estate

    I feel sorry for the earth’s population
    ‘Cause so few live in the U.S.A.
    At least the foreigners can copy our morality
    They can visit but they cannot stay
    Only precious few can garner the prosperity
    It makes us walk with renewed confidence
    We’ve got a place to go when we die
    And the architect resides right here

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  33. Snarkworth said on March 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Growing up Unitarian, my congregation included a lot of people who came from Jewish backgrounds, and I was never taught the codes about figuring out who was what. Unless you wear a cross around your neck or put a menorah in your window, I’m not going to take a guess at your religious identity.

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  34. Deborah said on March 7, 2017 at 9:57 am

    My three favorite Joel songs were Summer Highland Falls, New York State of Mind and Angry Young Man. Angry Young Man describes my ex perfectly, because when I first met him he was angry about the right things (racism, the war in Vietnam etc) but after I married him I realized he was angry about absolutely everything. “He’ll go to his grave an angry old man”, and I’m so glad I don’t have to witness it.

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  35. Suzanne said on March 7, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Pa Cartwright!?!?! Well, not Hoss. I’m pretty sure he was Lutheran.

    But seriously, that show. Three grown men who have to have toupee-wearing Pa step in and get them out of trouble while not a one of ’em could find a woman to save their lives. Not a one.
    I grew up watching that show. No wonder I’m a little warped.

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  36. coozledad said on March 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Maybe by the time West Virginia is paved with corpses, white dipshits will recognize they’ve been dicked, and who dicked them. This is what happens in a Republican state.

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  37. ROGirl said on March 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Snarkworth, to members of the tribe it’s Jewdar

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  38. nancy said on March 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I guess most of you aren’t up on your Jewish surnames, of which Greene is a pretty well-known one. My old Jewish boyfriend Bruce schooled me to a decent amateur level, but sometimes they slip by me.

    And I won’t say anything else, because I already feel like Steve Bannon just for pointing this out.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

    William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy showed us that Judaism has a bright future.

    And I rise from the dead every morning after the second large mug of black coffee.

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  40. nancy said on March 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Snarkworth’s point is very valid. I’m thinking of one of Alan’s colleagues, who has two Jewish names, a Semitic nose, a delightful sense of humor and lives in Oakland County, and is…Unitarian.

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  41. Mark P said on March 7, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Ragging on Joel because he isn’t Jewish enough? Because he doesn’t write the kind of songs he likes? I think it says more about Leibovitz than Billy Joel that it’s so frigging important to him that he’s going to have a coronary about it. I can’t wait to hear how he feels about the color blue.

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  42. Heather said on March 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I grew up in a majority Jewish community so my Jewdar is strong. My favorite part of growing up there was learning all the Yiddish expressions. Which are helpful because today’s news is fakakta. Thanks Paul Ryan, you gonif.

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  43. Kirk said on March 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I second the motion of the Letterman interview. The guy remains hilarious and insightful. Wish he were still on TV.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Health care policies: what gets forgotten is that we’ve had an ongoing discussion of a national coverage plan since at least 1971, when good ol’ Tricky Dick proposed a national health care strategy, with a key role for what we’d call today Medicaid expansion. He and Teddy Kennedy took a second shot at this in ’74, but the White House got bogged down in some other matters and the idea dropped . . . but had a brief life walking the halls of Congress as not quite the walking dead.

    Then we as a nation passed The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986. As a national health care strategy it was thin gruel, but it was a further assertion that we had to have some kind of federal baseline for care and coverage: EMTALA simply said that emergency departments had to offer basic medical screening and through that, any necessary lifesaving care in any hospital that receives Medicare money (i.e., all of them).

    What we’ve been debating the last twenty years, in hospitals and communities and statehouses, is that this basic level of federal health care guarantee IS NOT morally damaging to independence and autonomy, or even that it harms the overall system of medical care, research, and innovation, but simply that the EMTALA/COBRA system is both too expensive for what it delivers, and inefficient in both humane and economic terms for the providers and patients alike.

    It’s infuriating to keep hearing GOP spokespeople keep talking about medical care guarantees and national health care policy as simply a new governmental intervention from the left. In modern technologically advanced societies, it is as much a necessary public good as much as clean water or efficient sewerage. I read local histories about the patchy history in the late 1800s into the first two decades of the 1900s about voluntary societies and business groups and some municipal governments trying to put together, at first as a paying concern, occasionally as an outright for-profit company, water and sewer systems. 120 years ago, one of the most hotly debated matters on the sidewalks of Granville, Ohio was whether or not government had any business being involved in piping clean pure water to private homes or closing down privies in backyards and channeling everyone’s waste into a single disposal & treatment system. Across our area, it wasn’t until the 1920s & the infrastructure push of the 1930s that this became simply an accepted norm.

    I think that’s exactly where we are in a national health strategy: we’re really just debating how to pay for it, and who pays how much. Given that employer shares in payment of health insurance for employees are still in the 75 to 80% range, it’s going to be a huge part of tax policy reform as well, so we can’t even being to assess the proposed changes in the ACA until we see what’s to be done with the tax code as well.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Speaking of which: good thoughts and supportive prayers to MichaelG. Hope you’ve got a good meal ahead to tell us about when you get the chance. I’m having ramen noodles and frozen peas today for lunch, so I need your narratives for seasoning!

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  46. Joe K said on March 7, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Here is a suggestion for the writer of the Billy Joel piece, you don’t like him fine, don’t go see him, sounds simple to me.
    Going to find myself flying into Willow Run Wednesday about 7:30 am and not leaving till 10 pm, need a suggestion from Miss Nancy on a good used bookstore in the Ann arbor, yipsalanti area.
    Also maybe something to do to kill some time.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. ROGirl said on March 7, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I shop at local middle eastern grocery stores and people speak Arabic to me. When I was in France and Italy I would be stopped on the street and asked for directions. I grew up in a waspy suburb, had a catholic neighbor who wanted to convert me.

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Zingerman’s Deli is always a good place to while away some Ann Arbor time… 422 Detroit St.

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    • nancy said on March 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

      And bring all the cash from your recent kidney sale. What? You haven’t sold your kidney? Then you can’t afford Zingerman’s. Although the food is beyond excellent, in the best way.

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  49. BItter Scribe said on March 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

    The I-didn’t-know-he-was-Jewish comments are reminding me of a gag from an old Simpsons:

    Lisa: “No, Dad, that’s Hebrew. Krusty must be Jewish.”
    Homer: “A Jewish entertainer? Get out of here!”
    Lisa: “Dad, there are many prominent Jewish entertainers, including Lauren Bacall, Dinah Shore, William Shatner, Mel Brooks…”
    Homer: “Mel Brooks is Jewish?!”

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  50. coozledad said on March 7, 2017 at 11:42 am

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  51. jcburns said on March 7, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I’m kind of liking the #wealthcare hashtag, courtesy of Jon Favreau.

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  52. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    The Ryan bill is as if they picked up off the floor a liberal caricature of a terrible GOP plan and said, hey, looks good, let’s go with this! Jason Chaffetz says people should just give up that iPhone and pay for their health care instead. (What is it with Republicans and their obsession with other peoples’ phones?)

    Ryan and his cronies want to push this through without a score from the CBO, which would undoubtedly lay bare just how bad,this bill is, in terms of how many people would lose coverage and how much the deficit would blow up. For all their sky is falling talk about Obamacare, it brought health care costs and the deficit down. The first thing Ryan’s bill does is get rid of the taxes that paid for everything. My favorite, it also gets rid of the penalty on health care companies who paid their CEOs more than $500k.

    Time to pick up the phones and rally around the offices again, since I suspect the Republican reps aren’t coming out for town halls anytime soon.

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  53. Jeff Borden said on March 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm


    You won’t be able to reach Paul Ryan. He has bravely turned off his telephone and fax machines in D.C. He’s such a worthless punkass.

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  54. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    There’s something bigly wrong with Paul Ryan, who seems to believe his own koolaid really is the blood of Christ.

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  55. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I suspect that most employers, aside from moral concerns (some really do believe that provide health care for their employees is a moral imperative), given the economic choice, would find it much cheaper to provide their employees top of the line phones and data plans than insurance.

    But Jason Chaffetz gests to use the Office of Attending Physician in Congress for his care, for only $600/year.

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  56. Jeff Borden said on March 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Among the many problems facing our nation is the complete disconnect between Congress and its constituents. They never face the same dilemmas as those they serve and, if they do, have ample resources on which to call. They make far more money in salary than most Americans and do far less work. And they have an absolutely platinum health care plan. And when they are tired of passing laws, of course, they can upgrade to K Street and really make some cash as lobbyists.

    If only they were made to live on the same amount of money as an average family. And if only their health care was roughly analogous to the middle- and lower-class. Perhaps they would feel a bit more empathy.

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  57. coozledad said on March 7, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Azerbaijan too?

    What a foaming slurry of a mobbed up whore our president is!

    The Trumps partnered with relatives of a guy named Ziya Mammadov, the Azerbaijani transportation minister who makes $12 grand a year, and is also a billionaire. Totally normal Suze Orman story! As Davidson reports, WikiLeaks has released cables from a U.S. diplomat who called Mammadov “notoriously corrupt even for Azerbaijan,” and Foreign Policy has previously nicknamed the family the “Corleones of the Caspian.” They seem nice! Anyway, the company the Trump Organization contracted with is led by Mammadov’s son, Anar, and Elton Mammadov, Ziya’s brother and a member of parliament, was the one who signed all the documents for the Trump deal. Also too, Davidson reports that pretty much everybody in Azerbaijan knows that Ziya Mammadov is the one who really runs the company.

    Now, if these people are “notoriously corrupt” and full of extremely shady money, what does that matter for the Trump Organization? Well!

    The sustained back-and-forth between the Trump Organization and the Mammadovs has legal significance. If parties involved in the Trump Tower Baku project participated in any illegal financial conduct, and if the Trump Organization exerted a degree of control over the project, the company could be vulnerable to criminal prosecution. Tom Fox, a Houston lawyer who specializes in anti-corruption compliance, said, “It’s a problem if you’re making a profit off of someone else’s corrupt conduct.”

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  58. Scout said on March 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Can I just say that Barack Obama is probably the sexiest man alive? Can I get an AMEN?

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  59. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    My favorite part of the Ryan health care bill is the contortions it goes to make sure that low income lottery winners get dumped from Medicaid pronto. Like yesterday.

    That just fits in with the two things I believe to be true about the GOP:

    1. GOP policy is really unpopular.
    2. The only way in which the GOP is popular is by hating the right people: brown immigrants, Muslims, black people, women who have sex, women who want to be treated as equals, people who get something they didn’t “deserve” or “earn” (getting it by birth seems to be okay), people who aren’t Christian, gay people, weirdos, liberals, etc.

    That’s why trump is going nowhere. Pence can’t keep the base riled up against those people like trump can, letting the GOP Congress pass their unpopular agenda. Pence is a true believer with no charisma; he might start talking about the agenda and people might notice how much they’re being screwed.

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  60. brian stouder said on March 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Scout – Amen!

    And – forget about Barry; Michelle is a super-star!

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  61. Heather said on March 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Is anyone here taking part in the Women’s Strike tomorrow? I’m on the fence. I would do it but I’m going on vacation for a week starting Thursday, so my employers will be pretty mad if I don’t get stuff done before I go. On the other hand, showing how much they rely on women’s labor is part of the point, so . . .

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  62. Judybusy said on March 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I am not participating. No one’s talked about it here–which is kinda odd, becuase we talk about political things all the time. As a social worker, my clients rely on me too much. I hadn’t planned to take the day off, so don’t want to leave folks hanging.

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  63. Icarus said on March 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    “My favorite part of the Ryan health care bill is the contortions it goes to make sure that low income lottery winners get dumped from Medicaid pronto. Like yesterday. ”

    I mean really, how often does that happen that we need to account for it? Could we have a corresponding clause that says if you are descendant from a rich family, you also get dumped from Medicaid even if you have been cut off from the trust fund?

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  64. Jolene said on March 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Barack Obama sexiest man? Let’s see. Intelligent, witty, compassionate, has a great smile, sings to his beloved, looks great in jeans. Yup, that pretty much covers it.

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  65. Bruce Fields said on March 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    “Guess who wrote white Christmas, easter parade, the Christmas song (chestnuts roasting), rudolph the red nosed reindeer.”

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  66. Charlotte said on March 7, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    538 has a pretty good rundown on the shitshow that is this bill and the SEVEN different constituencies on the left and the right who will oppose it:

    One of these says AARP is planning to push back — does this mean I have to join?

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  67. LAMary said on March 7, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Pa was Jewish and so was Little Joe.
    Billy Joel is from the Great Neck part of Long Island. I always assumed he was Jewish. My knuckle dragging relatives who live in the part of LI where there used to be very few Jews were big Billy Joel fans until they found out he was Jewish. One sister in law adored Paul Newman until she found out he was Jewish. I was the one who told her.

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  68. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Your latest reminder that Facebook was a bad company long before Uber existed, and continues to be one:

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  69. alex said on March 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    One of the things that struck me about that old Hertz commercial (and has been rattling around in my head all da)y is that you could finance the one-time use of a rental car for 20 months! People really did that? I thought they saved up before their vacations and paid cash for them. Let Hertz Put You in the Poor House.

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  70. Deborah said on March 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I agree Obama is one cool dude and Michelle is fantastic too. I’d say they surpass Kennedy and Jackie too.

    I have avoided joining AARP for years, but if they’re going to push back on the repeal, I will totally, finally join.

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