Some snaps.

The American Health Care Act isn’t even seven days old. If they’d done their homework, it could be seven years old by now, more or less, but let’s not quibble. Not when it appears to be a dumpster fire, and the best Paul Ryan can say about it? Insurance can’t work if the young and healthy have to subsidize the old and sick.

I’ve actually heard others say the same thing. If you live long enough, you’ll hear people say all sorts of stupid things, but that one takes at least a big slice of the cake. Over the years, I’ve spent thousands in insurance premiums, protecting houses that never caught fire or flooded, cars that left my ownership with no more dents than they arrived with, etc. As Charles Pierce points out, that is the literal definition of insurance.

Oh, well. It’s nearly the weekend. How’s about some pictures?

Look who I saw in my back yard on Sunday:

He was back today, although I didn’t get a picture. This makes me think he might be roosting somewhere in the neighborhood, which makes me happy, even though my vet once told me not to be. They crow at first light, and not the cock-a-doodle-doo crowing of roosters, but sort of a harsh, hacking sound. So be it. Pheasants. They’re beautiful birds, and cool to have around. My own little wild chicken.

(Please, no cracks about the state of the yard. Alan doesn’t believe in the traditional, Grosse Pointe “fall cleanup,” in which every single leaf is bagged and toted away the first week of December. He thinks old leaves should lay on the flower beds. So far, the spring bloom hasn’t contradicted him. So it’s an ugly yard for us in the cold months.)

A gift from Basset, found in some old files:

Of course it was the Day Of, because the N-S was an afternoon paper, and in those days, there would have been plenty of time — and reason — to rip up Page One for such catastrophic news. I’m more struck that no other story above the fold was local. Back when your evening paper carried the news from everywhere, dammit.

Finally, a sign I see from time to time at the end of an exit ramp:

Not just any cans and pails, but metal ones. And plastic ones. Sold by the Canbys. In a bold, sans-serif font, too. None of this IniTech-type bullshit. I miss businesses like this. I should stop in and buy one of each.

This is it for me for the week. A good weekend to all.

Posted at 5:36 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

88 responses to “Some snaps.”

  1. David C. said on March 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Explaining risk pools to a radical reactionary Republican is like explaining physics to my cats. You can do it, but it’ll never sink in.

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  2. Icarus said on March 9, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I was gonna say explaining the plot of Inception to my dog

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  3. Jolene said on March 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Not only does he not seem to understand the idea of insurance, but he used an example of competition in healthcare that is pretty much irrelevant to the major cost drivers of actual healthcare. His example was LASIK surgery. He argued that, because there is competition in this narrow category of healthcare, there were incentives for innovation that have improved procedures and reduced cost over time. He is likely right about that, but he ignores the idea that this procedure permits a kind of shopping that is infeasible in much of healthcare.

    First, to the best of my knowledge, LASIK is a procedure that many people find highly desirable, but is fundamentally unnecessary. You won’t die or suffer any major ill effects if you don’t have it. You’ll just have to wear glasses.

    Second, you have as much time as you want to choose among providers. People don’t get LASIK surgery to relieve suffering or prevent death, but, aside from basic preventive care, that’s why most healthcare is administered. People do not get healthcare because they enjoy it. They get it because they need it, often urgently. When, as I once was, suffering from an ankle that was broken in three places, there is no time for shopping. Ryan might argue that he is arguing that he wants people to be able to shop for insurers and providers, not for specific instances of care, but even that ability is limited. The information we have about what healthcare we will need when we purchase insurance is highly imperfect.

    Third, LASIK is, relatively speaking, a simple procedure for a well-defined problem whose results can be readily determined. Does vision improve? Do innovations in technology produce better results with fewer errors or failures? Many episodes of healthcare begin with problems that are poorly understood and, even if the problem is well-defined, the patient is not qualified to determine which treatment is likely to be most effective or which providers are best qualified to provide it.

    Fourth, the people shopping for LASIK surgery can pretty much be presumed to have their faculties intact, but soooooooo much healthcare goes to people who are unable to communicate their needs or make choices for themselves. My now-departed parents were among the most capable people I have ever known. With no education beyond high school, they were highly productive people, pillars of their small community, providers for a large family, and widely loved and respected. They worked hard, made good decisions, were blessed by good luck, and, over time, became fairly affluent, But none of that prevented them from, in the last years of their lives, needing considerable medical support for problems that they were no longer able to describe, much less seek appropriate treatments.

    The idea that consumer choice in healthcare is the panacea that Ryan and his ilk describe is a fantasy. So much more to say, but I’ll leave it there for now.

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  4. basset said on March 9, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    We bought three used 55-gallon plastic barrels from a similar place a few summers ago and toted em home in the Subaru wagon, one inside actually and the other two tied on top. They had previously held chocolate syrup and vanilla extract, the car smelled amazing.

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  5. Charlotte said on March 9, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    The Ryan footage is insane — as you all noted. And the shopping analogy breaks down even further when you’re in rural places like ours — your choice is Deaconess (Bozeman or Billings) — or St. Vincent’s in Billings — but the 2 systems have split the specialties between them, so there’s really no choice — if you have a preemie you’ll be at St. V’s because they’re now the only ones with a NICU — if you need gamma ray surgery in your brain you’ll be at Deaconess. What you do look out for when buying coverage is what larger regional systems they cover — if you get a scary cancer can you go to Mayo? To Seattle?

    But as someone pointed out — the GOP plan is really “Don’t Be Poor.”

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  6. Deborah said on March 9, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I spent yesterday and a day a few weeks ago cleaning up the yard around the condo building in Santa Fe. Little Bird and I do most of the work like that for the building, even though we rent and nobody pays for it. During the fall our landlord told Little Bird not to do any of the yard work because she was having a feud with one of the other owners. He’s selling his condo and our landlord thinks he should pay someone to come in and clean up the yard. That makes no sense to me, she doesn’t pay either, the condo association occasionally pays a guy to come and work but not nearly enough times a year to actually have it look good. So we do it so that it isn’t embarrassing to have people over to our apartment. Anyway since it hadn’t been done before winter it was ankle deep in leaves and winter sludge. I distributed the leaves over the planters etc but there were so many I ended up bagging lots so they wouldn’t end up blowing back in the yard. Back breaking work, all the stooping and bending, then hauling the bags to the dumpster. Glad to be done.

    And speaking of wind I read that it’s been extremely windy in the Great Lakes area and the North East. It’s been windy in northern NM too. Climate change.

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  7. Deborah said on March 9, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I should have said our landlady, not landlord.

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  8. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Ryan said it more directly and clearly today, but anytime he’s talked about repealing Obamacare, he’s talked about how unfair it is for the rest of us to pay for the sick. That’s how he talks about the high risk pools, that the GOP plan will take the people with those pre-existing conditions who cost all the money out of the system so that everybody else doesn’t have to pay so much, and the people who need all that health care will be covered by high risk pools run by the states, which were working great prior to Obamacare, he’ll tell you.

    I don’t know what Republicans want people with chronic conditions to do. Lots of those conditions don’t kill you very fast, but would be considered too high risk for their healthy person pool. They’re pro-life, so they’re opposed to suicide. I guess you’re supposed to spend all your money on health care, and then starve to death.

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  9. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Paul Ryan is one of a narrowing group of human figures whose stupid pride has blinded them to the fact they “will be changed to a pool of water. To a worm, a fly. And a wind will blow the fly away.”*

    *Hilary Mantel The Giant O’ Brien

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  10. susan said on March 9, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I bet that pheasant was coursing through your yard because the yard hadn’t been “cleaned up” to suburban standards. They are ground foragers, and there was probably something for him to forage.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 9, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    If you follow Ryan’s logic, then I shouldn’t be paying any taxes for the fire department, because I’ve never had a house fire. That I might need them in the future doesn’t matter, right? It’s inane.

    The R’s whined about the ACA for the last seven years and voted to repeal it over 60 times. Yet when it was their turn to design a health care plan, they’re like the kid who waited until the night before his 15 page paper was due and just threw in a bunch of stuff without any real research or thought. I give it an F.

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  12. Dorothy said on March 9, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I haven’t commented or read much here lately but you all know this is my favorite ‘net hang out. It’s with extreme joy that I share with you that my granddaughter is now 12 hours old! It’s been a thrilling day and I’m heading to bed since I’ve been up since two. Baby and mom are doing just great. If you’re friends with me on Facebook I can send you a pic in private message if you’d like. For now the parents haven’t shared any photos. I’m following their lead on Facebook.

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  13. susan said on March 9, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Oh hey Paul Ryan, why should I pay property taxes that support public schools when I do not have kids? I have paid tens of thousands of quatloos over the years, all for naught for my selfish self. Oh wait. That’s right. The Pissant Party doesn’t want to pay property taxes or for public schools. Nevvvv-errrr mind. And fuck you.

    However, I do want educated people in this community. And libarries. And roads. All these years I have never minded paying for all of that because that’s what it means to live in a cohesive, altruistic society. Oh, and fuck you, Ryan, you ignorant pissant.

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  14. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    The Republicans have been promising a great, so great it will make your eyes water, properly conservative, freedom supplying, doctor keeping, job saving, much better than that no good, very bad, terrible Democrat health care plan for decades. The truth is, of course, that they are fundamentally opposed to government health insurance, because taxes and regulation. Their plans have been nothing but smoke screens, ever, because they don’t want government providing benefits.

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  15. coozledad said on March 9, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    they don’t want government providing benefits.

    The only function they see in government is the military arm of their handful of mores. They’re basically a small set of murderers with a handwashing compulsion.

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  16. Jolene said on March 9, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Congrats, Dorothy. By all means, send me a pic. I promise I’ll find her adorable.

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  17. Deborah said on March 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    Oh Dorothy, I’m so excited for you! It must be hard not to put photos of your beloved first grand baby out there. I’d love to see her too.

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  18. brian stouder said on March 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Congratulations and all the best for Dorothy’s people, and the new human being!

    (and – I won’t call you ‘granny’, or whatever!)

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  19. Sherri said on March 9, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Congratulations, Dorothy!

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  20. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Maybe it’s not just the political news affecting my mood:

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  21. Suzanne said on March 10, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Paul Ryan so much reminds me of a pastor that used to be in our area. The people that loved him thought he was do great, so smart, and so godly. I met him a few times and thought him a strange, socially awkward, smarmy man who was not all that intelligent, but he had about half his congregation convinced that he had a direct line to God. A great many of the other half transferred to other churches or just zoned out or quit showing up.
    I’ve never understood the hold people like this have on people. Like Ryan. I hear a pretentious little twit when I hear him speak, not an intelligent policy wonk. Am I hearing the same guy?

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  22. ROGirl said on March 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

    My power went out the other day from the high winds, spent one night in the cold and dark. Luckily, it was on yesterday when I got home from work, but a lot of people are still out.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on March 10, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Suzanne, you just described one of our former pastors.

    Dorothy, blessings to your newly expanded family. I can only imagine what a thrill it must be. Have you already been sewing baby clothes?

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  24. Dorothy said on March 10, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Thanks friends. Julie I have made several zippered ‘sleep sacks’, knitted a tunic and a sweater, some wee pairs of socks, a hat or three, one finished quilt and one nearly done (just the border is left). So yeah, I’ve been stitching in some fashion or another since July when we found out she was on the way!

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  25. alex said on March 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Suzanne, conservatives tout Ryan as a brainiac just like they hailed Dan Quayle as a rock star. With discernment that far off kilter, it’s no wonder they’re so amenable to “alternative facts” and regard objectivity in news as a bias.

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  26. Jenine said on March 10, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Old leaves are good for the ground, I’m with Alan.
    I want a gender neutral term for landlord. Am I stuck with ‘property owner’?

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  27. Jenine said on March 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

    @Susan: exactly. I want to invest in schools and community resources so that in ten or twenty years there are educated, healthy, responsible people living in my community. I can’t understand those that want to grab theirs and leave the future to go hang itself.

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  28. coozledad said on March 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Pro-life my ass. It just means anti-woman, as well as being a smokescreen for segregationist policies:

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  29. coozledad said on March 10, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Alex: Ryan’s “intellect” is like McCain’s “independence” or Chuck Grassley’s “gravitas”: it exists only in the minds of the staff at NPR.

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  30. Michael said on March 10, 2017 at 10:16 am

    I was a newspaper carrier (you know, paperboy) for the afternoon Detroit News on that day. The papers were very late in arriving at the station. But we got them on all the front porches before dark. I still have my copy.

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  31. brian stouder said on March 10, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Jenine at 26 – I’d go for ‘superintendent’

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  32. alex said on March 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

    it exists only in the minds of the staff at NPR.

    Really? I thought they were just being patronizing.

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  33. BItter Scribe said on March 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I’m beginning to think that, despite his accession to the speaker’s chair, despite the rivers of ink spilled to describe what a “policy wonk” he is, Paul Ryan just isn’t all that bright.

    What kind of grown man takes Ayn Rand’s novels as a guide to governing?

    Julie @11: This post at Gin and Tacos is an amusing elaboration on the “paper written at the last minute” theme.

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  34. Julie Robinson said on March 10, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Yep. Here’s the money paragraph: “The other thing I realize with time is that the same student who slaps a paper together at the last second is unlikely to produce a paper much better by starting the assignment earlier. The person who cares so little about what he or she writes that the assignment is left until hours before the deadline is not the kind who will devote greater attention to it just because more time is available. In other words, if you’re gonna half-ass the paper at the last minute you will probably half-ass it whenever you do it. The problem isn’t the time you have available; the underlying problem is that you half-ass things.”

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  35. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Remember when Newt Gingrich, the dumb man’s idea of a smart man, and his band of Visigoths were going to produce a plan that was going to be so much better than the monstrosity of HillaryCare? Remember the plan they came up with? Yeah, me neither, because they don’t want a plan, they want an anti-plan, a plan designed to fail.

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  36. Suzanne said on March 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Sherri, more & more I truly believe the plan is that those who don’t have the money for good healthcare will die off and bingo! Problem of what to do with them is solved! What a great plan!

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  37. Scout said on March 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

    David @ 1: I’m stealing that for a tweet.

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  38. coozledad said on March 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Nouveau gauche- the hallmark of tinpot absolutists.

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  39. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Suzanne, Ruben Bolling says it better than I can:

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  40. Deborah said on March 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Coozeldad, that link about dictator design was hilarious. The head design director at the last place I worked always wore very stylish clothes, for his 50th birthday the rest of us design directors gave him a joke book which was extremely tongue in cheek about how dictators dress. It was funny too.

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  41. Jakash said on March 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Nobody’s posted this here? What Twitter is best for! A professor doing a live TV interview from his home office. Kids enter room, hilarity ensues…

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  42. 4dbirds said on March 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Congratulations Dorothy. Girl power.

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  43. LAMary said on March 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I got stuck on the picture of Paul Ryan doing a power point presentation. He has his sleeves rolled up. Did he want to look all old school when he told some admin assistant to assemble a power point for him?

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This should both amuse Pilot Joe, and work for many as a metaphor for the first 50 days of the Trump administration.

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  45. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    An old Tom Scocca column points out the absurdity of the Ryan insurance argument, made by a psychotherapist complaining about Obamacare in 2013:

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  46. Joe K said on March 10, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Nice Jeff,
    I was in willow run Wednesday when u of m basket ball team went off the runway, didn’t see it happen but talked to some who were on the plane.
    Pilot Joe

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  47. coozledad said on March 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Deborah: One of the things I remember about that Dictator Style book is Ceausescu and his wife’s collection of “age defeating” water therapy equipment. A whole room of hot tubs and water massagers and god knows-probably devices for hosing out their colons after a day stripping Romania of cash and raw materials.

    It makes me wonder if Trump has a shiatsu massager for his big ass. He definitely has his own Praetorian guard, which is another unacceptable deviation from American norms, and a good reason he should be shitcanned not next month, not tomorrow, but right the fuck now. I would’t be surprised if they have to perform some blood oath ceremony.

    That’s straight up schutzstaffel shit.

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  48. coozledad said on March 10, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Jumped on my cousin down in Ten-uh-see
    she had to drop a oxy ‘fore she’d cousinfuck me
    but I’m as straight as my family tree
    had me some wives, one plus three

    Donny, Donny Barber! whuch relative you goin’ ta fuck now?

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  49. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I can’t decide who is worse, Arthur Brooks for saying this about poor people, or Kai Ryssdal for agreeing with him.

    Arthur Brooks: Yeah. Not everybody did, but there’s this kind of a scary statistic for people like me who are really interested in the free enterprise system, which is that something like a third of the American population is starting to express pretty grave doubts in their ability to earn their success in the United States. You know, one of the things that I ask when I’m in front of audiences is to do a little thought experiment: What would happen if all of the poor people in America just disappeared? Would you know it if all the poor people in America suddenly disappeared? I daresay that most people listening to us today wouldn’t even know about it immediately. They have no emotional or moral connection to them.

    Ryssdal: Which is a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible thing, but probably true.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Oh, c’mon — Arthur was talking about social inequality and isolation and separation. He was decrying it, for pity’s sake. We would not, in his dystopian scenario, miss neighbors and people we were regularly in contact with . . . because of the amount of socio-economic distance we’ve added to residency and school districts and employment.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Sherri, @ #45, that Gottlieb story is just another reminder that single-payer of some sort is the only way we’re going to resolve this with health care. Even still, so many people from all sorts of angles just don’t understand how insurance works in general. It’s like the older couples who come to community forums saying insistently that “we paid for our kids’ education, and now we shouldn’t be asked to pay/pay anything more” for kids today. You can spend long minutes trying to explain to them that no, their property taxes during Junior’s 13 years in the district did not, in fact, cover his education, that it was the community then, before, and now . . . but no.

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  52. Judybusy said on March 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Sherri, I gotta say I might agree that many privileged people don’t have a connection to the poor. Unless they have poor relatives or work in a job which deals with a wide swath of people, they don’t interact with the poor. Sure thye pass them on the street or maybe notice them cleaning their office, but I do think the poor and their problems are really not noticed by many middle-class and upper-class people. cf the vast majority of Republicans and I’m sorry to say not a few Democrats. How many of them have sat down with poor people and asked them about their lives? I’m not alone in wishing policy makers could live life as a poor person for just a week. And in that week, I want them uninsured and dealing with a serious health issue such as diabetes. BS goes down to 45, and they’re in the ER feeling like crap because they can’t afford care. Good luck!

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  53. Suzanne said on March 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Middle class people know some poor, often, but they are bad if they aren’t related to them.
    I have relatives with ne’er do well children (drugs, psych problems) who have intermittent jobs and have spent time in homeless shelters or in half-way houses or jail, but those kids do have smart phones, which their parents excuse because “it’s the only way we can keep in touch with them.” And then my relatives will go on to complain about how often they see people buying groceries with food stamps while they talk on their smart phones and how ridiculous that is. “Why should my tax money go for food stamps when they can afford a nice phone like that!?”
    Another relative has a son who was in and out of jail for a few years and she was complaining a few years ago about the ACA. “Why should my insurance (employer-sponsored, mind you) go up to pay for some lazy person who just needs to get a job!?” Well, why should my taxes go up to keep her lazy, stealing son in jail?
    Oh, but that’s different…

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  54. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I think Brooks and Ryssdal are simply blind to what “poor” is, or maybe the high cost of living here changes things. They wouldn’t notice if the people working in their grocery stores, restaurants, stores disappeared? Maybe they don’t have an emotional connection to the minimum wage workers maintaining their lives, but if they don’t have a moral connection, haven’t even given a passing thought to how their lives are supported on the backs of the poor, then yes, I think that’s awful.

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  55. David C. said on March 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Scout @ 37. I’m honored.

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  56. Judybusy said on March 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Sherri, I’d encourage you to email Ryssdal about that. In the podcast, Make Me Smart, he and Molly Wood appreciate listener comments and they seem willing to dialogue about things.

    Ending a good week here on an up note: talked to an actual person at the social security administration who was pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful with a client problem. They were going to stop paying out a client’s SSI because of erroneous info that he was in jail last summer. I was able to track down documentation showing he was on electronic home monitoring. Yay! The family will be able to pay their rent. It’s these wins that keep me coming back for more.

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  57. Scout said on March 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm


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  58. David C. said on March 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I learned a new German word today Backpfeifengesicht. It means a face in need of a fist. If Schadenfreude was the German word for the naughts, Backpfeifengesicht should be the word for the teens. Boy, are we going to need it.

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  59. brian stouder said on March 10, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    What Jeff said at 51; I’ve always had employer-based health insurance, and well before I ever heard of Barack Obama, those rates were LEAPING up, when they weren’t sky-rocketing.

    Mind you – all I saw were jumping co-pays*, really; but it was essentially money out of everyone’s pockets, because we were getting “raises” that we couldn’t spend!

    And our insurance guy? He looked a lot like Rex Tillerson (only his slicked back hair was black), and always drove the latest-model Mercedes 2-door sports car.

    *Pam and I did notice, however, that from the time she gave birth to Grant in 1995, or Shelby on 1999, or Chloe in 2004 – the whole hospital maternity care experience went southward and further southward. Truly, I believe they served her off a menu of superb choices (including dessert) after Grant’s birth; and when Chloe was born they all but booted us out a day early, as her birth came just moments before midnight.

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  60. David C. said on March 10, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    My mom had a knee replaced in January at the same hospital she had her other knee replaced two years ago. In the mean time though, the small city hospital had been bought by Spectrum Health which is the big kahuna in Grand Rapids health care. Mom thought her care was worse this last time and her surgeon happens to be my cousin’s (her niece’s) husband. He hates it. The last time he is allowed to see his patients is when they are wheeled out of the OR. After that, the PAs take over. Not that there’s anything wrong with PAs. I’ve received very good care from them, but cousin’s husband feels like they expect him to feel like the person who puts the lug nuts on the car before it leaves the factory, not a doctor who cares about his patients. I know costs need to be cut, and I’m sure the hospital has reams of data showing it doesn’t make patient care suffer. But they have a patient who wasn’t happy with her care, and a caring and dedicated doctor who is ready to quit in the prime of his life. I’m not smart enough to know the answer because who knew health care is hard, but things are messed up.

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  61. Jolene said on March 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I’m with Jeff on what Brooks and Ryssdal were saying. Consider Brooks’s last sentence:

    They have no emotional or moral connection to them.

    He was, as Jeff said, pointing out that many of the the well-off among us have few personal connections with people whose lives differ greatly from their own. For good or ill, I am one of those people. I suspect many of us are.

    This situation is simply a twist on the circumstances that led so many of us to be surprised that Trump won. The only Trump voters I know are some of the less well-educated members of my extended family. Among the people I actually know and associate with–and the family members I am close to–there are none.

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  62. Deborah said on March 10, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    All of Little Bird’s Drs have turned out to be great, she had a couple she was referred to that admitted up front that her condition was in the area of the outside limits of their knowledge or expertise but they were able to refer her to Drs who knew more and were able to help her. The Dr she had in St Louis when we lived there, coincidentally was the world’s leading expert on her condition and last year her NM Medicaid paid for her to have a consultation with him in person. Well, they didn’t pay for the trip but they paid for her visit. That took a lot of coordinating with her case worker and her primary care physician. It was very reassuring to have that happen. Her’s is a degenerating condition, so constant monitoring is important, to see where she is. Her surgeon at UNM hospital in Albuquerque is terrific. It is going to be a real bummer when this all comes to a halt because of the God damned Republicans. Of course my husband and I will do whatever we can to get her the care she needs, but it was so nice while it lasted, and I know that many people don’t have relatives who can help.

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  63. Deborah said on March 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    RIP, National Endowment for the Arts.

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  64. Jolene said on March 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Not dead yet, Deborah. But I agree that the potential for horrible things in the next budget is immense. I’m particularly worried about the EPA. Pruitt may be the worst of Trump’s mostly awful cabinet.

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  65. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    My point is, to pretend that you wouldn’t notice immediately if poor people disappeared is to be willfully unaware of the jobs being done by minimum and low wage workers in your community whom you encounter everyday. Most of the people working minimum wage jobs are single mothers, and a minimum wage job for a mom with two kids is at the federal poverty level.

    Yes, you may not know them. You may not know their name, know anything about them, where they live, whether they have kids, or any of that. But when Brooks says that we we wouldn’t notice immediately, and that we don’t have a moral connection, I diasagree strongly. I don’t know the person who picks my produce, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a moral connection with him or her. I can’t tell you the name of the person who checked me out at the grocery store today, because he wasn’t wearing a name tag, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a conversation with him, and I don’t think about where he lives and how he gets to work ( I do know he’s an assistant manager, so he’s probably making more than minimum wage.) Hell, I’m an introvert, but I do try to make a point of having a pleasant conversation with the barista when I walk into a coffee shop, and I have asked them about their lives.

    If we’re disconnected, it’s because we’ve chosen to pretend the poor are invisible, not because we wouldn’t notice if they disappeared. We have a moral connection, too many of us have just chosen to ignore it.

    And I live in an area that went for Hillary by 60-40, but I know trump voters. I’m having a hard time with some of them, but I have relationships with them.

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  66. Charlotte said on March 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Wow — that Ryssdal quote makes me grateful for my down-at-the-heels railroad town. It’s gentrifying, and if you come through as a tourist you might not notice, but something like 70% of our schoolchildren qualify for free lunch, the food pantry (which is really interesting and integrating farm-to-school and farm-to-hospital systems) has a very large client base including food bags that go into kids lockers on Fridays so they’ll at least have a box of mac and cheese for the weekend, and a kitchen making, freezing and delivering meals to seniors to supplement meals on wheels. We know our poor. In my case, they live right next door (I have a trust funder on the other side). Doesn’t mean we don’t have snobberies, because we do, but the folks we’re snobby about are our neighbors.

    I’m off to canvass tomorrow for Rob Quist, Montana troubadour (a word I loathe) running for Zinke’s house seat. Came through her this afternoon — a good guy, a true progressive — on climate change and public lands and public schools and women’s rights and Native American rights. So with the hat and the mustache and the guitar, and the really sincere campaign song he wrote, well we’re hoping and praying we can get him in. He’s running against a fundamentalist businessman though, who only lost the Governor’s race by 2%, so it’s going to be a stretch. And who funded a Jesus-and-the-dinosaurs museum up in Glendive where they found all the big T-Rex skeletons.

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  67. Sherri said on March 10, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Got a link for donations, Charlotte? Can’t come canvass with you, but I can throw some money your candidate’s way.

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  68. Jolene said on March 10, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    The other special election that is potentially winnable is the election to replace Tom Price in Georgia’s Sixth District. The candidate is Jon Ossoff. There’s a donate link in the menu in the upper right corner of the homepage on his website.

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  69. Charlotte said on March 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Sure Sherri — here you go:

    Also, DailyKos had a piece about him yesterday:

    He’s a very endearing guy …

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

    Scratch most of the fuckers, and you’ll find a defensive little cur.

    I’ll bet Thrush likes a good caning, too.

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  71. coozledad said on March 11, 2017 at 7:18 am

    What the press corps is normalizing:

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  72. coozledad said on March 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

    This is the Jesus humper they want you to believe is Trump’s conscience. They should share a cell.

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  73. coozledad said on March 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

    It’s not a question of “if” Trump will start killing his political adversaries, but when and how. It’s how this trash rolls. I hope the Ukrainians can manage to slip in and kidnap Manafort, same way the Israelis did with Eichmann.

    This indicates the administration already has a predilection for blood:

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  74. basset said on March 11, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Well, if he wants to be completely invisible he can do what I’m doing right now… wearing my normal winter Saturday outfit (checked flannel shirt, Levis, camo Muck ankle boots, Carhartt jacket, cap advertising Hunters for the Hungry) in the mens’ section of Macy’s in our local upscale mall. Nobody will bother him, or even notice him.

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  75. brian stouder said on March 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Rather like wearing a Black Lives Matter hat into a Hobby Lobby store; or a Give Peace a Chance tee to a VFW cookout; or a Yes We Can visor into a baptist church, I bet

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  76. basset said on March 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Not so strong, but the same general idea, not deliberately offensive though. Mrs. B wanted to get something there & I just followed her; don’t expect much when I’m out of costume.

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  77. Colleen said on March 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    The question I have been asking on social media of late is “why do we hate poor people so much”? Is it so we can distance ourselves and feel more secure in our non poor status? And why would we NOT want to protect the environment? Or have healthy, educated citizens? I don’t get it, and I despair for our nation.

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  78. David C. said on March 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Back when Jesse Jackson was running for President he said we put a black face on the poor. I think that’s right. So a lot of it comes down to racism.

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  79. coozledad said on March 11, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    The SBI has nailed one of its two targets in a wifeswap for cash scheme in my area. Our district attorney hasn’t resigned yet. He’s probably consulting with his lord and his soon to be ex-wife’s attorneys.

    Oh Jeebus, Jeebus, Jeebus.

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  80. Sherri said on March 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I went to a town hall held by my two state representatives, both Dems. Large turnout, mostly friendly, except for one couple who were very much not. Our Reps knew the couple, were not surprised by them or their outbursts, and one of the Reps (Larry Springer) did a very nice job of managing the situation.

    And then the other Rep (Roger Goodman) had to poke the bear. It was totally unnecessary, he had to know that he would provoke an outburst from the guy, but he just couldn’t pass up the chance to feed his ego with the applause he knew he’d get from many in the crowd. There was a question about what the legislature would do to make up for the areas where the federal government seemed to be dropping responsibility, and Goodman made a comment about the “president, whose name I refuse to say.” Predictably, the man of the couple went ballistic, and it took a lot of work for Springer to settle him down and stop others in the audience from attacking him.

    Goodman was quite pleased with himself. I was talking with some people after the event as he left, and we thanked him for coming and holding the town hall, and he made a comment about being provocative, “but it was interesting, I isolated him in the room.” I rolled my eyes at Goodman and told him, don’t poke the bear, and he went on his way. Nobody will mistake me for a civility above all else person, nor do I believe in extending respect to trump when he doesn’t deserve it, but I think what Goodman did was pointless and rude and close to inexcusable to a constituent. That man is never going to support Goodman, but while he had disagreed and been somewhat obnoxious, he had not attacked Goodman personally in any way, and for an elected official to stand up in a public forum and deliberately provoke a citizen just to make them look bad is terrible.

    I’ve voted for Goodman, and I donated money to his last campaign (because his opponent was really sleazy), but I’m ready to start looking for a challenger for 2018.

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  81. Sherri said on March 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve donated to Quist, Charlotte, and I had already donated to Ossoff. I would take special pleasure in seeing Tom Price’s seat filled by a Democrat.

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  82. basset said on March 11, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Anyone here been to the Cayman Islands? Just saw some cheap flights to there, seems awfully touristy though… dock the cruise ship, put the marks ashore to spend money for a few hours, gather em up and move on. I mean, it’s not that Mrs. B and I are NOT tourists, but let’s try & make it a little more interesting than the canned stuff. She does seem interested in the swim-with-the-sea-turtles tour, though.

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  83. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Never been to the Caymans myself, but a friend of mine goes regularly to scuba dive and keeps going back, so she and her husband must like it.

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

    Dictator chic. trump isn’t even original is his decorations choices.

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  85. David C. said on March 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Mitt Romney used to go to the Cayman’s to visit his money.

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  86. basset said on March 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Good one there, Sherri…

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  87. Charlotte said on March 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks Sherri — here’s hoping —

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  88. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I have a rule of thumb about subscribing to online newspapers and magazines; if I run up against the free article limit more than a few times, then I ought to subscribe, because the paper is doing good work I want to read. I even subscribed to the WSJ because I was googling their headlines to read their articles too often. But I have a dilemma. There are a couple of writers still left at the LATimes that I like to read, but I don’t like tronc and what it’s done to the LATimes. There’s still good work going on there, but not like there used to be, it seems like to me.

    So, I’m reluctant to subscribe, but feel bad about still using my cheating methods to get around the firewall, which I hit about once every 4-5 months, when Hitzlik is on fire, or they do a great series, or during football season when I want to read Sam Farmer and Hitzlik too often. It’s at the gray area; not quite good enough to make it easy to overcome my distaste of the owners.

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