They’re down, they’re out, what’s next?

I guess the big talker in the WashPost today had to be this story, another deep dive into the murky pond of Trump’s America. The tl;dr: Seventy-four percent of McDowell County, W.Va. voted for Trump. About that same number needs the various benefits of the Affordable Care Act just to make it to their next birthday. What is the disconnect? Well, it’s pretty cavernous:

Another patient comes in: Carolyn Hodges, 68, who tells Keisha that she’s been feeling dizzy. Carolyn has Medicare, the public health insurance for the elderly. Medicare doesn’t cover all health-care costs, which is why Carolyn is as worried about the price of her medications as the fact that she’s been bumping into walls.

The last time she went to pick up her husband Roger’s insulin, Carolyn tells Keisha, the pharmacist said it would be more than $600, instead of the $100 or so they usually pay. That was when she learned Roger was in the Medicare prescription “donut hole,” which means that the cost of his medications had exceeded his limit for the year, and he would be forced to pay far more for prescriptions until the year ended and the tab started over. One initiative of the ACA has been to close that hole incrementally, but Carolyn, unaware of that, sees the bills piling up and thinks she knows who must be to blame.

“Thank you, Obama!” Carolyn says, throwing her arms in the air.

A week does not go by that I don’t read a story like this, or yet another tweetstorm from some poverty tourist with a laptop and a Medium page, telling the world how rough things are in Trump country, and how much they’re a-gonna suffer, etc. etc. And I’m getting tired of them. They knew precisely what they voted for, and now they’re getting it. How much sympathy are the rest of us required to have for someone like this?

Heartburn is just the latest problem for Clyde, a patient Keisha sees every three months. Like so many in this corner of Appalachia, he used to have a highly paid job at a coal mine. Company insurance covered all of his medical needs. Then he lost the job and ended up here, holding a cane and suffering not only from heartburn but diabetes, arthritis, diverticulitis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Because of the ACA, Clyde’s visit is covered by Medicaid. Before the law, most West Virginians without children or disabilities could not qualify for Medicaid, no matter how poor they were. The ACA — better known here as Obamacare — expanded the program to cover more people, such as Clyde, who can depend on Keisha to fix his heartburn without having to worry about the cost.

As for the other problems in his life, he has put his hopes in Trump, who came to West Virginia saying he would bring back coal and put miners back to work. When Trump mentioned repealing Obamacare, Clyde wasn’t sure what that might mean for his Medicaid. But if he had a job that provided health insurance, he reasoned, he wouldn’t need Medicaid anyway, so he voted for Trump, along with 74 percent of McDowell County.

Love that word choice: “he reasoned.” He “reasoned” that a blowhard said he could command a river to reverse its course, and then his raft would no longer be drifting toward that waterfall. Good to know.

Clyde! Listen up! The reason you lost your job is, coal is over. Natural gas, produced in abundance through fracking, ran coal off the road. Lots of environmentalists worked hard against fracking, too, but I expect you thought of them as limp-wristed hippies and special snowflakes and all the rest of it.

I take a few deep breaths when I read stuff like this. I am empathetic, really I am. I understand what it means to be ignorant, and stuck in a shithole, and grasping for straws. I blame a lot of people for how things are turning out, including the cable-news executives who shoveled free airtime at Trump like Clyde shoveled coal down in the mine. But my patience is wearing thin.

I don’t think I’m alone, either. David Fahrenthold, a WashPost reporter, posted this story on his Twitter twice, asking people just to try to understand. The replies were pretty brutal. People do understand. They’re just not feeling nice about it.

How was y’all’s weekend? This was mine:

Yes, Patti Smith’s 40th-anniversary “Horses” tour. My young friend Dustin (who took the picture) got a plus-one for his review ticket. Not bad at all. I go back and forth on Patti; at her best she’s a truly interesting art-rock artist — sorry, I reject that she’s ever been “punk” — and at her worst, just a big bunch of pretension. But she’s aged into an interesting senior citizenship (she’s 70), and maybe I’ve mellowed. It was a very nice show, complete with that new wrinkle in rock shows, at least by the Olds: Bringing one’s kids out as part of the backing band.

After that we swung by the Old Miami to hear some friend of Dustin’s spin, as they say. Equally enjoyable, as she was working a fun mashup of ’90s hip-hop and newer stuff. Biggie’s “Hypnotize” never gets old, does it?

The last thing Patti did was slice the strings of her guitar, one by one, and throw them into the crowd. Don’t think Biggie ever did that, though.

I’ll leave you with a shot of Wendy in a pensive pose…

…as we start the week, pensively.

Posted at 6:37 pm in Current events, Detroit life |
 

59 responses to “They’re down, they’re out, what’s next?”

  1. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I’m equally tired of the poverty tourists who think they have a special understanding of trump voters because they’ve spent enough time around them that the racism and bigotry and the misogyny doesn’t seem so loud anymore. Or that the people will stop talking to them if that’s discussed, and then how could they show what empathetic clever people they are? After all, it’s a piece about white people written for white people, so we only need to mention race enough to acknowledge that yes, the subjects are a little racist, but that’s not the point, the point is they voted for someone who is going to screw them, and it’s all your fault!

    No, the point is, they voted for someone who hated all the right people and told them that they were the people who counted the most.

  2. beb said on March 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    It’s increasingly difficult to feel sympathy for all the people on ACA who voted for Trump because they couldn’t believe that Trump meant it when he said he would repeal Obamacare. They never reasoned what Trump would or wouldn’t do, they voted Republican like always.

    Our weekend sucked because we lost power a day and a half AFTER the big wind storm. We weathered the storm fine, then boom — no power. No Heat and just as the temps dropped into the low 30s. It came back late Friday but weekend had already been ruined.

  3. coozledad said on March 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    White poverty porn , as Jesus himself says, will always be with us, as long as it exists as a justification to wage war against minorities.

    The Blacks and the Democrats have long been telling you “Hillbilly meth scrotox elegy” is a streak of liquid shit, but NPR has developed restless leg syndrome pushing that fascist nonsense to the point where I have to walk out of Democratic party meetings before I beat up a goddamn old woman.

    This country has fully lost its fucking shit. It doesn’t aspire to anything. It has made a full commitment to devour its own.

  4. coozledad said on March 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    A college of professional dicksuckers:
    https://twitter.com/politico/status/841071830345629696

  5. Rana said on March 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    What I find annoying as hell about these “But, oh, the poor Trump voters, let us think of how we can reach out to them” pieces is the blithe assumption that they are the only people who are suffering and poor.

    No.

    There are people of all colors and ethnicities suffering too, especially in urban areas, and a lot of what Trump promised was explicitly about making life harder for them, but somehow they are not “real Americans” or somehow if you’re working poor in a deadend service job you’re not “working class,” and if you live in a city and are aware of the existence of other ways of doing things you’re “in a bubble” but these rural twits who’ve never set foot out of their county are not…

    It’s obnoxious, is what it is, and racist as f—.

    Where are the pieces about struggling urban communities and their fears about what this administration is bringing them? The immigrant families who are now split in two because of ridiculous bans? The Jewish families now in terror for their children’s safety? The black neighbors who listen to Trump describing their communities as hell-holes even in the same breath as he supports the Blue Lives Matter people who make it worse?

    Oh, but that’s “identity politics.” Or something. I’m sick of it.

  6. coozledad said on March 12, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Rana: They want you to give a reacharound to the people who made the Civil War, who rioted in Wilmington, Cicero and Boston, and they want you to take them to your heart.
    Because the journalists who write this shit get paid more, and there’s something lacking in an education that fails to tell them what fucking excrescences they are.

  7. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Let’s see some articles on my friends who are US citizens and have lived in this country for decades and are now worried about leaving the country because they’re afraid of what might happen when they return. Yes, if you’re a US citizen, they have to let you in, but that doesn’t mean they can’t seize your laptop and phone and detain you and question you.

    I can’t tell them they’re overreacting, because enough has happened that I don’t think they are. One of my friends is from India, and going to a wedding in Italy in May. He and his American born wife are working out contingency plans to make sure they have a lawyer ready to go on his return. Another friend, born in Iran, just won’t leave the country.

    When the trump voters worried about their healthcare say they’re happy about what trump is doing to secure the borders, they are talking about what he’s doing to my friends.

  8. dull_old_man said on March 12, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic has grandchildren coming out to join the band.

  9. coozledad said on March 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Sherri: When they’re talking about limiting the employment pool to the likes of Trump, Bannon, Pence and Ryan, we know they’re committed to fucking this country up.

    My wife works in tech.The kind of tech that separates us from the third world of Putin’s Russia. Indo-asian people are substantial contributors to America’s dominance in tech. The fact they’ve targeted these people means Republicans are traitors. it’s that damn simple.

    Show me a piece of white trash that can slide into a job writing programs that write programs.

    Republicans are trying to kick this country in the nuts.

  10. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Writing programs that write programs – exactly one of the things I did in my prior life!

    A KKK banner goes up in Georgia: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-northern-georgia-a-kkk-banner-seemed-to-some-a-sign-of-the-times/2017/03/12/de5a3518-05bd-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html

  11. beb said on March 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Muhammad Ali, Jr. The son of the box and an American citizen has been stopped twice in the last month by TSA for additional interrogation. Being Black and Muslim apparently tops one’s passport.

  12. Sherri said on March 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    The Onion shows us the real value of Wikileaks and the CIA: http://www.theonion.com/article/samsung-smart-tv-owner-learning-about-majority-fea-55493

  13. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Thread, by a documentary filmmaker from Liverpool trying to fly to SXSW: https://mobile.twitter.com/BenjaminZand/status/840679860150390784

  14. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 12:36 am

    So, I have a question for the group. Have the number of choices for buying eggs exploded everywhere, or is it just a coastal elite thing? Cage-free, organic, non-gmo, pasture-raised, free-range, certified humane, hand-gathered, no hormones, no antibiotics, Omega-3, DHA, vegetarian, local, and the topper, duck eggs. The duck eggs are only available at Whole Foods and the local natural market, but all the rest of the labels and options are right there in the local QFC. Sometimes I just stand there, overwhelmed by the whole array.

  15. susan said on March 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Sherri, also, too,Steve Bannon’s rodent problem. Yikes.

  16. candlepick said on March 13, 2017 at 2:25 am

    An aside: Thanks to those of you who may have found Francine Prose’s novel Mister Monkey because I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure the annual Tournament of Books sponsored by The Morning News has ever been touted here: It’s a fun, brackets-style tourney of fiction, judged by literati who write the kind of book reviews that have pretty much disappeared in the Amazon era. (Past winners have included A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Good Lord Bird, The Sellout, and The Sister Brothers. This last is the best book ever about outlaws’ midlife crisis.) The playoffs started last week: Underground Railroad has advanced as expected; a win by All the Birds in the Sky over The Vegetarian was considered a shocker. Mister Monkey faces its opponent March 20. If this is the kind of thing you like, you’ll like it. http://www.themorningnews.org/tob/

  17. Connie said on March 13, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Loved All the Birds in the Sky.

  18. Suzanne said on March 13, 2017 at 7:48 am

    NPR’s Morning Edition just had an interview with right wing radio talk guy Hugh Hewitt. He said that under the GOP health plan, probably 15 million people will lose their health insurance. Oh well, he said. The net overall gain for the country will be positive and so what that older people will have to pay more.
    In other words, if you are older or poorer and especially if you are both, it just sucks to be you. So nice for the pro-life party.

  19. alex said on March 13, 2017 at 8:19 am

    The pro-life party that doesn’t give a damn about the living. The freedom party that wants to be all up in your reproductive business and decide who you can’t marry. The states’ rights party that goes bonkers whenever states actually exercise their rights and vote to liberate themselves from puritanical laws that have no business being on the books. Whenever I hear the term “movement conservatism” it makes me think of a different sort of fire in the belly. And shit, of course.

  20. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 9:54 am

    They’re Fascist trash. Always have been. If it hadn’t been for Roosevelt, they’d have had us fighting on Hitler’s side.
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/this-is-happening

    They’re already starting the preliminary rounding up of people for concentration/labor camps.

  21. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 10:14 am

    This is the only way to speak to Republican garbage.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sean-spicer-tells-apple-store-customer-usa-article-1.2996330

  22. Jeff Borden said on March 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I wonder what the fallout of the ACA repeal will be for those who have briefly enjoyed its benefits. Will they accurately see that the con artist with the spray tan pulled the wool over their eyes with his simple but bold promises to return them to prosperity? Will they notice the new health care law contains a provision that would allow highly paid medical and pharmaceutical executives to pay a lower tax rate, underscoring that this horrific plan is specifically tailored to funnel even more money upward? Will they grasp how the GOP market based solutions to everything mean their medications will continue to rise into the stratosphere?

    I doubt it. They’ll still be blaming President Blacky von Blackenstein and those urban liberals and elites for all their woes. It’s a narrative carefully cultivated by the rightwing media complex and abetted by politicians with no morality who blatantly lie to those they serve.

  23. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

    The people who voted for Trump love being lied to. They’re congenital liars themselves and they admire a porky white saleswipe who can swindle them. That’s how they’re able to pack those giant churches with marks week in week out. Getting boned by some con actually has religious significance for most of them.

  24. Connie said on March 13, 2017 at 11:01 am

    OK, so I haven’t been around to comment much, and have been meaning to tell you…….

    You may recall that two years ago I spent a couple of months home on disability due to medical issues with my foot. Then assorted orthotic gear to assist in healing. In May of 16 I shared with you that after 17 months I had started to drive again.

    That didn’t last long. Things started to get worse and worse and worse and this past August I had my right foot amputated. And have been better ever since. After two years of constant sickness (infection)I have been well and healthy since that day. Especially now that I have mastered Prosthetic Leg 1 and been fitted for Prosthetic Leg 2(Ankle bends!). And have now been referred to a medical driving consultant. So that’s my deal.

    No need to say sorry, as it was truly the right decision. About to move from walker to cane.

    And managed to move into my new library while all this was going on.

    And will again recommend All the Birds in the Sky, one of this librarian’s favorite books of 2016.

  25. Jeff Borden said on March 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I fear you are correct, Cooz. We face terrifying times when a significant percentage of the citizenry refuses to accept facts and data.

  26. BItter Scribe said on March 13, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Too many journalists have been afflicted with Can’t See Racism disease. The earliest manifestation was Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” wherein he spins elaborate theories of why Kansans voted for politicians and policies that literally bankrupted the state, but barely even mentions racism as a political motivator. It’s instructive that Frank went on to become the Wall St. Journal’s resident liberal punching bag. I’m sure a Fox News gig is next.

    Connie, so sorry about what happened to you, but glad to see you’re apparently coping as well as can be expected.

  27. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Frank was one of the Naderites who sunk Harper’s magazine. He deserve’s a kick in the nuts for that alone.

  28. brian stouder said on March 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Connie – you go!!

    And indeed, your story reminds me of a truth we all know, and which many people work to deny: women are (by far!) the strongest human beings; physically, emotionally, and intellectually

  29. Jolene said on March 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Very impressive, Connie. Am sure you’ve had many difficult moments during this long string of events, but it sounds like you’ve triumphed. As we all think about what’s going on with healthcare in our country, I’m glad that you were able to get the care you needed and hope that things continue to go well for you.

  30. brian stouder said on March 13, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Speaking of the care we need, one of the pundits on teevee this past weekend started bandying about the name ‘TRyan Care’ (for the Trump-Ryan deal); I’m thinkin’ simpler than that.

    They wanna junk ObamaCare in favor of TrumpDon’tCare

  31. ROGirl said on March 13, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    What a journey, Connie. Stay strong.

    Patti Smith is reminding me a lot of Iggy Pop these days.

  32. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I’m glad things are getting better for you, Connie. I’m reminded of how often in therapy and recovery I needed to let go of the idea of getting back to the way things were, only fixed, to instead move to a better, different place. Transformation’s a bitch.

    I was reading another article this morning about the terrible problems of another rural salt of the earth type, and the problems were terrible, yes. The piece is written in the normal sympathetic non-judgmental style sure to win kudos among colleagues.

    But I kept reading the article, and he subject’s solution to the terrible problem was to Get Tough, so trump was his man. Regardless of whether trump is really a Tough Guy or not, I’m wondering when has a Get Tough solution ever worked against a social problem? The problem here (heroin OD) was to be solved by the Get Tough solution of manslaughter charges for dealers. Stiff penalties for drug crimes have been tried for decades, and did nothing but fill up the jails, but still Get Tough hasn’t lost its appeal.

  33. Judybusy said on March 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Connie, I am impressed with how you handled your medical issues. It was surprising to hear about the amputation, but it sounds like it was really the best way to go. Way to go!

  34. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Its all over the news today that Steve King is a racist because of his tweet. People, have you not been paying attention?! Steve King has been shouting that he’s a racist for years! He put a confederate flag on his desk. He was a birther. He said putting Harriet Tubman on currency was racist. He’s questioned the contribution of non-whites to civilization. He’s never been subtle about his bigotry.

  35. BItter Scribe said on March 13, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I wonder if the dummies who voted for Trump because they thought it would bring back their jobs in the coal mines will hold Trump accountable when that doesn’t happen.

    Nah. Fox News will tell them it’s the fault of Obama, or Hillary, or “the deep state,” or Christ knows whatever gibberish, and they’ll believe it.

    As James Thurber said: “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.”

  36. brian stouder said on March 13, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    As James Thurber said: “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but – yes indeed.

    It still amazes me when I read of how upper-crust British were “all-in” with fascists and Nazis in the 20’s and ’30’s – because THOSE were the guys that fought with the Communists in the streets and halls of England (yes – I’m sill pondering the book on the Mitford sisters).

    How must they have felt, when Stalin and Hitler signed their pact, and divvied up Europe?….and then bombs rained on London (et al)?

    And our upper-crust betters (and their lower-crust sycophants) have learned absolutely nothing.

    I guess this is a hard-wired bit of human nature; we ain’t as smart as we think we are, ever

  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Other side of the river, same song, second verse.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/12/us/opioid-epidemic-rural-farm.html

  38. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    It won’t be trump’s fault. They’re already mad at the protestors who aren’t giving trump a chance. It will be our fault, for not letting trump do what he wants, the environmentalists, the Muslims, the poor people, the gays, the brown people, the women. Everybody’s fault but trump’s and the rich peoples’. Remember where they’ll be getting their news from.

  39. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Was the white evangelical Christian vote really about abortion? Southern Baptists are mad that Russell Moore was so vocally anti-trump, despite the fact the Moore holds the acceptable pro-life view. His unacceptable views are on race, refugees, and Muslims.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/13/could-southern-baptist-leader-russell-moore-lose-his-job-churches-threaten-funding-after-months-of-trump-controversy/

  40. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Trump’s election amounts to the endorsement of the concept of racial hygiene by a large swath of American idiots. The whole Trumpian/Republican worldview is rooted in xenophobia and racism, and it’s no accident that Trump is directly allied with a resurgent Russian ethnonationalism that seeks to recreate the paradigm of an antisemitic Orthodox/Czarist state. It’s no accident his foreign policy adviser is a Hungarian fascist, or that the speaker of the house advocates for savage economic Darwinism in access to healthcare.

    One reason Republicans have undertaken a war on the sciences, is because science itself outstripped the 19th century fables Republicans are vested in to this day- race science, biological determinism and the notion of an Aryan culture that is a somehow a model despite the brutal, primitive history of the European psyche when it has access to the machinery of death.

    Or perhaps Republicans in general and Steve King and Donald Trump in particular believe the highest genetic expression of humankind is the einsatzgruppen
    dogsbody smoking a cigarette at the edge of a burial pit, watching for a stray movement of an eyelid, or evidence of breathing among the people he has just machine gunned into a heaped tangle of smashed heads, bodies and limbs.

  41. coozledad said on March 13, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Hahaha.
    https://twitter.com/sarahkliff/status/841381129840164864

    But we’ll “have to wait to see what the tax structure is going to be before anyone knows where this is going.”

    Republicanism is Ryan’s Italian loafers stamping on a human face forever.

  42. Jolene said on March 13, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Here’s the CBO estimate of the effect of the GOP’s proposed healthcare plan: Over ten years, 24 million will lose their coverage, and the government will save $330 billion.

  43. Jolene said on March 13, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    More detail: Significant rate increases too!

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/17/14296108/congressional-budget-office-obamacare-repeal

  44. LAMary said on March 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Very nice picture of Wendy. I bet she uses those doe eyes to get her way sometimes.

  45. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    I suspect these kids will be changed by this experience, even in Louisiana: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_f6f3d43a-041e-11e7-b28e-27b173865675.html

  46. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Lawmakers should always use the Oxford comma: http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/16-1901P-01A.pdf

  47. Rana said on March 13, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    If they do come to accept that it’s Trump’s fault, all that will do is reinforce their perception that politicians are inherently scum, that government only consists of people out to cheat you, and so on.

    Expecting groups like this to suddenly start voting for Democrats in the wake of Republican shit-birding is wasted effort. It’s not unlike all the articles that are of the opinion that if they find something sufficiently damning, then Trump will be impeached and suddenly all will be well. No, stupids, the GOP are quite happy with him where he is, and unless they want to impeach him, there’s no way to make them do it, no matter how compelling a case you make.

    I’m also tired, in other words, of people thinking there’s a magic solution that happens overnight and doesn’t involve probably several generation’s worth of hard, slogging work to correct course and figure out how to unf*ck large chunks of the electorate and prevent the spread of their idiocy and maliciousness.

  48. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    One discussion I’ve been having with friends in the tech industry is the lack of model of what an ethical programmer is. Medicine has the Hippocratic oath, lawyers have an ethics requirement for the bar, engineers have the order of the engineer oath, but there’s nothing at all similar with computer science. Not that such a thing stops unethical behavior, but at least there’s a common understanding of what ethical means.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/13/artificial-intelligence-ai-abuses-fascism-donald-trump

  49. devtob said on March 13, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Garbage followed Patti Smith at Montreux in 2005, and Shirley Manson paid tribute at about 4:10 in this video of their set — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK7hGJ804ho

    Here’s what she said: “It’s wonderful to be here tonight, and as our bass player Adrian mentioned to us earlier on, it’s a hallowed ground to step on, not least because this is the Montreaux Jazz Festival, but most of all, at least for me and my band because Patti Smith just stood here.

    “And without Patti Smith, of course, I don’t know if any of us on this stage tonight would be here, so we would like to extend our greatest admiration, respect and love to Patti Smith and her band.

    “And I look at her perform tonight and I wonder where are all the girls who want to fucking be like Patti Smith. What the fuck is wrong with the world when everybody wants to be like Jessica Simpson?

    “Now no disrespect to Jessica Simpson, because there is of course a place for that. But where oh where are the girls who are going to challenge that whole notion of what it is to be a female in this world today.

    “So I beg of you ladies in the audience tonight, go out tomorrow and start a band, do what you can to be like Patti Smith, of course you’ll never be like her, but you’ll be from her school, you will be her disciple, you’ll preach her word.”

    The lead singer of most bands will say a few nice things about the act they follow at a festival, but Shirley went well beyond that.

    Because Patti Smith.

  50. susan said on March 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Patti Smith was a wonderful Bob Dylan surrogate at his Nobel prize ceremony. Better than Bob Dylan.

  51. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Really, the only thing worth reading about the Middlebury protest: https://medium.com/kang-blog/the-great-liberal-freakout-of-2017-3c4cb93fd0c9#.en49fmf50

  52. Sherri said on March 13, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    A very concrete example of what the difference in health care insurance can mean: 10 year difference in life spans for CF patients in Canada vs. the US.

    https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/13/cystic-fibrosis-canadians-americans/

  53. Sherri said on March 14, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Someone just mansplained the difference between average and median to me, when I was trying to talk about AMI being area median income in housing affordability, not average median income.

  54. Sherri said on March 14, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Re: the mansplaining; it’s been one of those days, where men feel free to treat me like someone they should smack on the knuckles with a ruler rather than a colleague. Very wearing.

    Evidently, I need to remember to be more deferential to men.

  55. susan said on March 14, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Sherri, mansplaining in action. Sheesh.

  56. Sherri said on March 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

    If, as the theory goes, Shadow President is playing super dimensional chess and let Dopey Sir Ryan of Janesville have free reign to design the healthcare bill of his dreams, only to unleash the stashed away audio tape of Sir Ryan denying his trump and leaking that the WH estimates are that Ryancare will kill MORE, then I suppose we shall know soon by how quickly Ryan is abandoned. Quite clever, if the they truly pulled it off- we’re in charge, you puny RINOs, so no more silly talk about Russia or emoluments.

    I’m not sure either side is smart enough to pull off something this clever.

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 14, 2017 at 7:09 am

    You’ll appreciate meeting Sue and Jean. Not everyone in these areas voted for Trump, and can explain cogently why.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/14/trump-voters-michigan-iowa-jobs-economy

  58. alex said on March 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

    You’ll appreciate meeting Hellfire and Brimstone. Not everyone in these areas voted for Trump because of jobs or the economy:

    http://www.salon.com/2017/03/14/americans-are-getting-more-secular-all-the-time-which-is-one-reason-why-trump-voters-are-so-angry/

  59. Sherri said on March 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Chris Arnande is the first name I think of when I think of poverty tourist. Yes, he’s going around and listening to people, but he lacks any context to put what he hears into. Hearing how people feel does matter, but it’s not the only thing that matters, and to listen to Arnande, you’d think it is.

    If there’s always been a reason for people feeling a certain way, but the particular reason they give each time is different, it’s important to understand that, too.

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