To your health.

Tuesdays are usually work-at-home days for me, and Monday night I had an exceptional sleep. (They usually follow terrible ones, which Sunday’s was.) Woke up, worked out, felt strong, came home, breakfasted, showered, dressed and worked all day in lipstick. Didn’t eat any junk food, either. To say rest and fuel have an effect on one’s mood is hardly deep-dive science, but man is it ever true.

The older I get, the less I drink. The less I drink, the better I feel. Goddamnit.

But now we’ve established a theme for the day: One’s good health. And with that…

This is an abstract for an academic paper, and I haven’t read beyond it, but I found it interesting, as I did some reporting on telemedicine a couple years ago (helped by our own Dexter, who was receiving weight loss and nutrition counseling via telemedicine at the time). Here’s the gist of the paper:

The use of direct-to-consumer telehealth, in which a patient has access to a physician via telephone or videoconferencing, is growing rapidly. A key attraction of this type of telehealth for health plans and employers is the potential savings involved in replacing physician office and emergency department visits with less expensive virtual visits. However, increased convenience may tap into unmet demand for health care, and new utilization may increase overall health care spending. …We estimated that 12 percent of direct-to-consumer telehealth visits replaced visits to other providers, and 88 percent represented new utilization. …Direct-to-consumer telehealth may increase access by making care more convenient for certain patients, but it may also increase utilization and health care spending.

This is disappointing. I like telemedicine for a number of reasons — it can allow people who live far from excellent doctors and hospitals to enjoy some of their benefits; it can facilitate one-on-one coaching like that enjoyed by Dexter; it makes sense as an efficiency measure at a time when, as we’re told more or less constantly, we all have to find ways to save. And yet, as this study shows, it doesn’t save. Because people need to see doctors, a lot. The more you see doctors, the more doctors you see.

And we’re going to fix this with health savings accounts! Also, tax credits!

Meanwhile, I’m sure this guy is headed for a bright future in politics:

A long-running battle to establish a database to monitor for prescription drug abuse in Missouri — the only state without one — is about to hit a boiling point.

On one side is Republican state Senator Rob Schaaf, who once said that when people die of overdoses that “just removes them from the gene pool.”

This was something else I did some reporting on this year — prescription drug monitoring programs, or PDMPs. They’re computer databases, with monitors in every doctor’s office and pharmacy, that allows staff to check the prescribing history of individuals seeking opiates. Makes sense, when doctor-shopping is a prime driver of the opiate crisis, don’t you think? Every single state, except for Missouri, has one. Most of the Missouri legislature wants to establish one. One guy doesn’t. So far he’s managed to block every attempt to enact one. His latest gambit is to set up a PDMP-like system, but one that wouldn’t talk to other states’. And why does he feel this way, despite the charming gene-pool comment?

“They don’t work. And it’s an infringement upon people’s privacy,” Schaaf said in an October 2016 interview with local television station KSHB. “Most people don’t want the government to have that information and have it on a database in which many people can get it.”

They don’t work, said the one guy in the one state that doesn’t have a PDMP. This reminds me of a story I did a few years ago, about a bill to allow health-care workers to opt out of private employers’ policies requiring vaccines. The sponsor wasn’t interested in considering what might happen when a nurse in a pediatrician’s office opts out of a flu shot; he was interested in the idea that a person could be required to do anything.

No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.

Maybe I should go yell at a TV for a while, and see who’s listening.

Happy hump day, all.

Posted at 8:47 pm in Current events |

61 responses to “To your health.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    We’re having this same conversation on our Mental Health & Recovery board for telehealth on counseling and scrip writing in mental/behavioral health. And hearing the same things — much better impacts than I’d have thought at first, but the demand curve bends up wildly.

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  2. alex said on March 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Prescription databases do work.

    I can tell you anecdotally that in the last few years since our state has had one, the Doctor Feelgoods have been put out of business and the doctor shoppers must be lying in the gutter with needles in their arms because they’re not filing bogus lawsuits just so they can keep the opioids coming. Gone are the days when I could look at a plaintiff’s medical history and see his/her daily rounds at all the local hospitals, an allegedly sprained ankle here, a rotting tooth there, a blown rotator cuff or a bum knee, all just to score Vicodins and Percocets, along with multiple lawsuits alleging various personal injuries, all of which needed constant doping.

    As for telemedicine, the only thing I’ve seen is radiology. They don’t need people in hospitals and clinics to read x-rays and MRIs anymore. They just send them out for an opinion. (And get sued when these folks fail to diagnose serious injuries.)

    And trigeminal neuralgia is apparently the new fibromyalgia. Haven’t seen too much fibromyalgia the last few years, but there has been an explosion in trigeminal neuralgia. Before three years ago I’d never heard of it. Now it’s all the rage. Every woman with an intractable migraine is getting diagnosed with it.

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  3. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Maybe the demand curve bends up wildly because we’ve been wildly under serving medical/mental health needs so badly in this country. I’d suspect the cost of providing more telemedicine would still be cheaper than providing the unnecessary surgeries that are performed, but those are a profit center.

    Second truancy board meeting, second family with alcoholism. Less optimistic about this one; kid is smart and depressed, and that can be difficult. He just quit coming to school, and there’s always a reason why some plan to change things didn’t work that isn’t a lie, per se, but is bullshit nonetheless. Smart depressed kids scare me, because they can always find a reason not to do the thing that helps them.

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  4. Sherri said on March 7, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Who among us doesn’t like to shake their wife over her nixing Steak and Shake? I’m sure it’s a total coincidence that the official he wanted to shake was a woman.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 7, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    When you meet your first kid who’s just skipping school to flout authority and sit at home because they like TV better than classes, and that’s all — let me know. Ten years and I haven’t met one yet.

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  6. Deborah said on March 8, 2017 at 12:15 am

    So here is another side to the opioid drug issue. This video was made by the mother of our upstairs neighbor in Santa Fe. He is actually in the video too describing what life is like for his father. He is 25 now, was 9 in the video. Basically what it’s about is how people who legitimately experience chronic pain have a hard time getting the medication they need to function because of the widespread opioid addiction problem. I can’t remember what the name of the disease is that the father has (it’s in the film) that caused him so much pain, but the son, our neighbor, has the same condition. The father died from the condition when our neighbor was still a kid. His mother, who made the film, is a Kennedy cousin, a Skaekel (spelling?), that;s how she was able to afford to have the film made. Anyway, it’s interesting to me because it shows that there are always two sides to every story. Also, as an aside the mother of our neighbor, the one who made the film, died in a plane crash a few years ago. Tragic family.

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  7. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 12:41 am

    One of my fellow board members is in his 70s and I think perhaps has less experience with substance abuse and mental health issues and kids, asked our coordinator if it was a coincidence that both the cases we’ve seen involved alcoholism. I think he was expecting to see more of the mythical kids you’re describing, or kids who had undiagnosed learning disabilities, or something. The coordinator told him, no, it wasn’t a coincidence, that most of the truant kids she dealt with involved alcohol issues in the family.

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  8. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 12:51 am

    There is some reason to suggest that marijuana is better at treating chronic pain than opioids, and much safer, but federal drug policy makes that difficult to study. It is true that in states with legal medical marijuana, opioid fatalities are lower.

    But only bad people use marijuana, according to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the racist liar.

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  9. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Oh, and one final note about my truancy board experience today-we decided we couldn’t require the kid to sign up for an online course because it cost money mom doesn’t have since the divorce. We could get the kid a computer, we could get internet access, but there was no means at this high school to cover the couple hundred dollars it would take to sign up for an online class through BYU, the cheapest option. Some of the high schools in the district have funds set aside for situations like this, but not this one.

    I run into these sorts of situations in other contexts; I’ve spent the last 27 years living in two very affluent areas, in the richest country in the world, yet run into situations where an amount of money that I would spend on a nice dinner and not think twice about is blocking an attempt to help someone and requires much scrambling around.

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  10. David C. said on March 8, 2017 at 6:10 am

    We had telemedicine in our health plan a couple of years ago. It was structured to replace trips to an immediate care center for simple things like ear infections, sore throats, etc. I used it once and it was fine. I think it only cost $25. It only lasted a year, though. They dropped it because very few were using it.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Yep. That’s how I started panhandling for the money to buy my alarm clocks, and inadvertently shamed the judge into putting them in the budget. Took five years, and it’s only $400, but when the judge heard someone joke about one of his staff hitting people up for contributions to his clock fund, he was embarrassed. Sometimes, if you can get the ear of the superintendent (not the principal/building admin, who is always kept on a short leash) they have access to little random pots of money that no one else does, with discretion. If there’s anyone on the team with a connection in the district office, ask them to just send a short message up to them: “hey, we have a kid we think we can do wrap-around on and get to graduation [key phrase, that], but we need to find a funding source for one online class. Any ideas?” It’s not always ringin’ the bell, but I’ve gotten more money that way that I would have thought.

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  12. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Government by Amway. It sucks to watch dumb motherfuckers get fleeced, especially since poor white is literally bred for crime. But they voted for a hosing, and they’re going to drown in it:

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  13. alex said on March 8, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Deborah, the new state laws regarding opioid restriction have some kinks to work out. As an example, I have a friend who for many years has been prescribed Valium to use on an as-needed basis for anxiety. Patients who are prescribed opioids must now submit to regular drug screens to ensure that the prescribed drug is being taken by the patient (and not being sold on the street). Well, if you take Valium only as needed, it won’t be in your system when you undergo a drug screen and you can be presumed to be “diverting” and cut off. That’s the thanks you get for not abusing it.

    On the other hand, if you’re prescribed potent painkillers and they’re not in your system, and you didn’t sell them on the street, it’s presumed that you ran out early because you abused them instead of pacing them out as prescribed, and you’ve managed to go without them completely for some time until you were due for a refill, thus raising the question whether you really need them for pain or you have an addiction problem.

    Pretty much anyone who has been on these drugs for the long haul has an addiction problem, including those who legitimately have chronic pain, and one of the things they’re attempting to do is get people to wean from the drugs and try alternative therapies such as exercise and anti-inflammatories.

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  14. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Trump is already in his second childhood. He’s trying to figure out how to get hold of Joe Mannix. Republicans sure do have a hardon for dementia stricken salesdouches.

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  15. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Pretty much anyone who has been on these drugs for the long haul has an addiction problem, including those who legitimately have chronic pain, and one of the things they’re attempting to do is get people to wean from the drugs and try alternative therapies such as exercise and anti-inflammatories.

    I’ve seen this. A guy I know with chronic back pain is now being treated for chronic back pain/opiod addiction. You’ve got to start questioning some of the protocols when they gave him FENTANYL, and this after he told them he was addicted to oxycodone.

    He’ll be going back to uninsurable status pretty soon.

    I got through a broken elbow with acupuncture, yoga, and whining a lot. It makes me think disociatives or anti-psychotics might be a better choice than opiods.

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  16. Suzanne said on March 8, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I think my insurance has a telemedicine option but it seems kind of strange to me. I guess I think of what the doctor on the screen can’t see so won’t diagnose, but then, I am not a medical person, so really don’t know. It would just seem strange to me to log on to my computer & show a doctor my swollen ankle or talk about my sore throat.

    And the GOP healthcare plan, from what I’ve read, looks like a disaster. Some GOP Congressman on the radio was waxing eloquently this morning on how it would bring market forces to bear on the healthcare industry. I wanted to scream!! I guess we will, in the future, have to wait on our stroke or diabetic coma until there is a sale on treating those procedures so we can decide to purchase something within our budgets.

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  17. nancy said on March 8, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Telemedicine can be used in lots of imaginative ways: A single nurse can see multiple patients and do the BP/throat/ear check, etc., and report to a doc remotely. A psychiatrist can interview someone via camera/monitor. In Dexter’s case, he had a fancy scale with wifi that uploaded his daily weigh-ins to the regional VA hospital — there are also BP cuffs that will do this — and he’d check in with a nurse. And so on. It can’t replace in-person medicine, but if you’ve got a patient having a psychotic break in the Upper Peninsula, I imagine it’s a lifesaver.

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  18. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 9:02 am

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  19. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 9:34 am


    Trump brand whores!

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  20. Icarus said on March 8, 2017 at 9:37 am

    @Suzanne, Telemedicine wouldn’t replace doctor exams, they would supplement them. If it were possible to list everything one goes to see a doctor for, you can put them into buckets like “only the doctor can do it”, “a nurse practitioner could do it” “doctor just needs to talk to you, not touch/examine you” etc.

    This country has such an issue with marijuana, it’s as if the name itself invokes prejudices.

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  21. Peter said on March 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Cooz, Cooz, Cooz, Trump is already in his second childhood? You’re being much too kind, unless you meant it is his second childhood since inauguration. That I can buy into.

    Oh that guy in Michigan – I just love it when he brings up the Steak-n-Shake analogy, JUST IN CASE the mopes on the committee didn’t catch his drift the first time he talked about shaking a state employee.

    Shaking aside, I have to stand with the missus on this one – I love Steak-n-Shake, but it doesn’t love me.

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  22. BItter Scribe said on March 8, 2017 at 10:00 am

    There’s one reason I’m leery of this whole look-at-prescription-patterns approach to opioids: My sister.

    She has had chronic, severe, undiagnosable and untreatable pain for going on 40 years. And when I say “undiagnosable and untreatable,” I mean she has been to every type of medical professional you can imagine, from neurologists to acupuncturists.

    The only way she can possibly function is to take massive doses of hard stuff. I’m talking enough morphine to stun a moose. And the hoops she’s had to jump through just to maintain those meds are, IMO, outrageous.

    She has to regularly take urine tests to prove she’s using the meds and not selling them. Whenever she goes to the hospital, the doctors and nurses refuse to believe she needs that amount of morphine and refuse to allow her to have it. The last time she was in the hospital (after falling out of bed and shattering her hip), I had to smuggle her meds in to her—an act for which I could have been arrested if caught.

    One of the biggest obstacles, of course, is finding a doctor to furnish her with the prescriptions she needs. She found one who treated her for about a year. Then the DEA swooped down. They had this guy’s license pulled for no other reason than that he wrote scripts for large doses of painkillers. His plea that his speciality was palliating untreatable pain fell on deaf ears. (The DEA is the most useless federal law enforcement agency this side of the TSA, in my opinion.)

    So this approach of “let’s bust doctors who write a lot of opioid scripts” has the potential to harm a lot innocent doctors and, especially, their patients. To me it’s just another manifestation of the ham-handed, law-and-order, lock-’em-up approach that has given the U.S. the largest prison population of any democratic country.

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  23. jcburns said on March 8, 2017 at 10:09 am

    The problem with telemedicine in extreme rural areas (like most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) is broadband and telecommunications—there ain’t much.

    Despite efforts and in the aftermath of stalled initiatives, the average rural family might get slow-speed, throttled, measured, laggy internet via satellite, but nothing like cable or DSL unless they’re within 6 miles or so of a sizable town.

    Cellular data is starting to change that, but it’s not being offered at anything like all-you-can-eat prices either.

    The little town across the lake from our summer place has a library that was supposed to get a gigabit-speed fiber optic connection to the internet over this winter…can’t wait to see what that does to that world.

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  24. Charlotte said on March 8, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Telemedicine has been a lifesaver in the more remote corners of Montana — but as I understand, it’s most often used from Clinic to hospital — so you go to your clinic on the High Line and you and your doc can consult with a specialist without anyone doing the six- to eight-hour drive.

    I have a cousin who has had untreatable phantom pain in the tailbone they removed 25 years ago who lives on a steady diet of opiods. With them, she’s totally functional, without them, she’s in bed. On the other hand, my mother had surgery a few years back and had to hide her meds from the caregiver — and then there’s my cousin who lost her 26 year old a year ago to an opiod overdose. So I have no fucking idea what we do with this problem, but perhaps the “market based” solution that kicked it all off — that is selling opiods to everyone for everything — wasn’t such a great idea.

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  25. Deborah said on March 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

    A couple of days ago I got a splinter under my left index fingernail. It was excruciatingly painfull. It kept me awake, it throbbed all night long and forget trying to do anything with my left hand. That such a stupid little thing could cause that much discomfort was ridiculous. I was finally able to dig it out, and wow was that an excruciating procedure. I’ve had kidney stones and I’ve been in childbirth labor so I know pain, but that damn splinter was awful. I can sympathize with people who have chronic lifelong pain, I can’t even imagine what that must be like.

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  26. nancy said on March 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Good point, J.C., and I should probably add: These interactions between U.P. patients and downstate docs take place in clinics, with high-speed internet already in the building. For HIPPA reasons, you can’t do telemedicine over FaceTime or Skype or other unsecure systems. So you still have to get to your local clinic, which is often a pain in and of itself, but that’s where you get your “care.”

    Broadband is a persistent issue up north, and impedes economic development, too.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on March 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Family members living in rural Leo can’t get broadband or anything very fast. They call theirs Amish internet.

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  28. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Jeff(tmmo), I mentioned several potential area to go rooting for funds to the coordinator, and we’ll see what happens for this kid. For the more general problem, I’ve still got good enough contacts in the district and on the board to drop a note to about the issue. I’ll also be at the annual luncheon for the schools foundation next month, and since I was a founding board member, getting some attention from the ED won’t be a problem.

    Broadband is as necessary as a utility, but isn’t regulated like a utility. The reason there was phone service everywhere was not because telcos wanted to put it everywhere, but because they had to.

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  29. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    On the latest Wikileaks dump, reporters should stop taking the Wikileaks spin uncritically. The WaPo story does talk to some experts who provide a better overview of what is really going on, but the first few paragraphs are too much Wikileaks. Especially in light of Wikileaks’ role in the election, the first question about a Wikileaks dump ought not to be what’s in it, but rather, why are they dumping this now?

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Nothing like shaking down a recalcitrant administrator between the seating and the dessert table! They’ll say anything to get past you and grab the last Boston creme pie, including “uh, sure, my office can pay half of that… excuse me!”

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  31. coozledad said on March 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Republicans can always drink a dick. They don’t need water like the rest of us.

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  32. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    No, Jeff(tmmo), we’re coastal elites. No Boston cream pie on out dessert table. All desserts are required by ordinance to either have fruit or be French. There’s a special gelato exception.

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  33. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout. I’m impressed.

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  34. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Machine learning has the potential to be transformative, but there are problems with letting an unregulated marketplace make the decisions about deployment.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    [cues up arugula joke, shrugs, turns off player]

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  36. Danny said on March 8, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Did someone say quiche?!?

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  37. Sherri said on March 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    By the way, Jeff(tmmo), your name always corrects to Jeff(T-Mobile) on the device I shouldn’t have bought so I could invest in my healthcare instead.

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  38. brian stouder said on March 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    (I think Sherri just snuck in a Thread-Win!)

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 8, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    It’s been nine years since Goeglein and his more excitable friend named Jeff were presences here. I guess it could be time for me to become simply Jeff. But then there’s cousin Borden . . . gotta make sure we’re not confused. I could be Chicago-exile Jeff. Just don’t make me be Buckeye Jeff.

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  40. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 12:30 am

    “It’s about two movie stars.”

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  41. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 7:14 am


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  42. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Why’d the PKK get the works?
    That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 9, 2017 at 7:53 am

    John Irving stopped drinking anything but beer in his 60s, and stopped that at 70, said it was interfering the next mornings with his concentration.

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  44. Suzanne said on March 9, 2017 at 8:14 am

    The corruption in the Trump admin just get piled deeper. And the GOP faithful just don’t care.
    I have not been this depressed in years.

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  45. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 8:50 am

    All the GOP faithful care about is the premise that being white entitles you to things you believe blacks shouldn’t have. It’s an infinite regression of insularity and viciousness. They’ve had a hardon for anything that smacks of justice or fairness since their demigod Nixon got beclowned. They used to publicly disavow him while privately regarding him as a martyred saint. The tell is they elected an even bigger lying crooked mobbed-up piece of shit to head their party. Don’t forget, Paul Ryan is their “intellectual.” He came by that because 1) He’s the kind of Reagan doll Republican men dream of fucking,and 2) he is completely unhindered by any ethical constraints.

    What Republicans fail to remember, is that sloping forehead, dog hair, unibrow and colorless eyes are the genetic markers for bog Irish trash, who’ve forgotten how recently it’s been they were on the shit end of the stick, or worse, haven’t forgotten and petulantly decided to visit that evil on others.

    Any way you look at it, Republicans are shite.

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  46. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Oh, and going back to the potato famine, and the Corn Laws that resulted in the dumping of Ryan’s clan (and mine) upon these shores, there’s this: Just substitute “affordable health care” for “provisions,i.e. Corn” and you have the basic equation that the Tories denied in direct contradiction to economic reality. Ryan’s not just a weeping asshole fistula, he’s a traitor to his heritage:

    When provisions are high, the people have so much to pay for them that they have little or nothing left to buy clothes with; and when they have little to buy clothes with, there are few clothes sold; and when there are few clothes sold, there are too many to sell, they are very cheap; and when they are very cheap, there cannot be much paid for making them: and that, consequently, the manufacturing working man’s wages are reduced, the mills are shut up, business is ruined, and general distress is spread through the country. But when, as now, the working man has the said 25s left in his pocket, he buys more clothing with it (ay, and other articles of comfort too), and that increases the demand for them, and the greater the demand…makes them rise in price, and the rising price enables the working man to get higher wages and the masters better profits. This, therefore, is the way I prove that high provisions make lower wages, and cheap provisions make higher wages.

    Read Edna O’Brien on the potato famine sometime, and get a load of what it’s like when you’re insufficiently “white’.

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  47. Deborah said on March 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Wow, Coozledad’s link at #41 is astounding, this is a total kleptocracy now. What can we do about this? The Republicans aren’t going to do anything.

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  48. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Republicans complain about liberal caricatures of them. We can’t caricature them, becuse we can’t keep up. Anybody would have rejected this guy as too ridiculous.

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  49. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Stick a few more flags and ribbons on your car and blow it out your ass, lying traitor scum:

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  50. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Maybe the Gates Foundation is finally coming to a place of humility on public education, after years of being certain they had the magic answer and throwing around enough money to drive policy in public schools,

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  51. brian stouder said on March 9, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Sherri, Ms Ravitch has been updating her email subscribers on that contentious school board race in Los Angeles for the past week.

    It is genuinely troubling, on the one hand; but I think the good guys/gals will ultimately prevail (hopefully BEFORE the money-grabbers destroy the existing public school system there)

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  52. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 11:47 am

    The NYTimes in a story about the impact of Ryantrumpcare, tells the story of a 55-year-old white woman from North Carolina. She didn’t have health insurance until Obamacare; she currently pays about $260/month for her health insurance under Obamacare with a subsidy of $724 making up the difference. Her deductible for the year is $3500, too high, she says.

    She voted for the first time last fall, for trump naturally, because she believed he would make it better. The story doesn’t say, but I’d bet that if you scratched beneath the surface a bit, you’d find that she thinks that he’d make it better because he’d get rid of all those illegal immigrants who are consuming all the resources that rightfully belong to her. I’m guessing she believes that if you put America first, and stopped wasting money on all those other people, there would be enough money for the government to take care of people like her who’ve worked hard all their lives and have earned it, the people who are Real Americans.

    What they never gets pointed out is, those undocumented immigrants pay taxes. They pay sales tax, of course, but many pay income tax, since it is believed to help their chances of remaining in the country. If they have a fake SSN, they pay payroll taxes, without having a chance to collect SS or Medicare later. They do not qualify for Medicaid or food stamps, those US born citizen children can. The taxes paid by undocumented immigrants do more to help people like our North Carolina woman than people like Donald Trump ever have, since he has many ways to avoid not only paying income taxes, but also payroll taxes, as payroll taxes are paid on wage income.

    Immigrants, undocumented and otherwise, aren’t getting in line ahead of Real Americans for a zero-sum pot. They throwing their contribution into the pot to share, and expecting Real Americans to let them have their share. It’s the rich who have been increasingly stingy about adding their contribution to the pot, with the promise that they’re going to take their contributions and give the rest of us magic beans that make our pot Great.

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  53. Danny said on March 9, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Based on records at San Diego Superior Court, Arredondo took a plea deal after being charged with misrepresenting her income level to obtain food stamps and cash assistance for her children between May 2001 and March 2003.

    Arredondo pleaded guilty to the felony. She apparently paid $6,633 in restitution and served five years on probation. According to terms of her plea deal, she was permitted to petition the court to reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor. There were no documents indicating that she did so. ICE’s records indicate that the conviction remains a felony.

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  54. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    More republican traitor filth:

    Nixon’s crew slut Roger Stone.

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  55. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Witless dog-haired cunt. The “brains” of the party is 100% ass.

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  56. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Danny, is that supposed to be some kind of counter to my comment? Just say so, if that’s your intent. No need to be passive-aggressive about it.

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  57. brian stouder said on March 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Cooz at 54 – but the guy DOES look good in a striped-suit…so when they send him off to the Federal Pen, he’ll fit right in

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  58. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    If you hear about a march, try and get to that march. If you hear about an action of any kind on behalf of the people this administration is trying to marginalize, it is incumbent upon you to join that action. Black Lives Matter IS all lives matter. There’s no ultimate distinction. Vicious bastards can make anyone ‘black” they choose, and one day it may well be YOUR ass.

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  59. Danny said on March 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Danny, is that supposed to be some kind of counter to my comment? Just say so, if that’s your intent. No need to be passive-aggressive about it.

    Sherri, a bit of a counter and just anecdotal. I posted it because I had coincidentally just read this story in my local paper right before I read your comment.

    And as far as intent being clear and passive-aggression and all that bs: Someone walked in my office for a meeting and I could not finish. But I thought with the context, you’d be able to figure it out. Looks like you did.

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  60. Charlotte said on March 9, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Charles Pierce on the fact that Paul Ryan seems unclear on the fundamental concept of How Insurance Works:

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  61. Deborah said on March 10, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I finally got to the point this evening that I had to tell my right wing sister that basically I don’t want to be her sister anymore because of what she has said about the healthcare situation with regard to my daughter, her niece, and her own daughter and her daughter’s husband who have pre-existing conditions. It pains me to say this to her because of the history we have together of losing our mother when we were 14 and 15, but I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore and I can’t imagine how she can have the views she has in light of all of that. Our mother died of cancer and her medical bills way back then impacted the way our father was able to raise us and enable us to go to college. He did it, but it greatly impacted his life. It was easier back then, would be virtually impossible now to do what my dad did. Grrrrrr.

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