Wacky Democrats

So today I received a “One question poll” on which Democratic accomplishments make me the most proud. Let’s examine these a little more closely.

Health Care Reform: You mean Romneycare 2.0? I concede that Obamacare is an improvement over what we had. However, it still “fixes” the problem by forcing us to do business with the very profitable corporations that got us into this mess. I’d feel better if there were a public option. I’d feel a lot better if there were some concession that kids can’t control coverage: they don’t have employers to provide it and they don’t have a way to make their parents able to afford coverage. Don’t tell me this can’t be fixed, because Howard Dean DID. By the way, it’s not in any way health care reform, but rather health care insurance reform.

60 Straight Months of Private Job Sector Growth: Tell that to JP. If the there’s so much job growth, how come there’s no wage growth? How come Forbes has to promise it will start any minute now? How come underemployment is such a huge problem?

Rescuing the Auto Industry: Yeah, I guess they did that. Of course the corner that used to have a HUUUUGE Chevy dealer in town is now a vacant lot.

Reforming Wall Street: Big reform. Now the bankers have to be more careful how they screw you. Too Big To Fail still exists, banks still only follow their own rules, very few corporate criminals have ever even been charged let alone convicted, and the attempts to water down an already watered down law continue.

Historic Action on Climate Change: Really? Activists had to work too hard to kill Keystone XL, the gas industry still markets itself as “clean,” and we’re all excited about a “target“?

Expanding Equality: I have not the faintest idea what they’re talking about.

So six items, all but one done at best halfway. I am not proud at all.

In closing: my mom would have liked that manager; still an awful idea; not all ideas are equal.


Ok. There are some people — millions of them to be honest — who are unhappy that their insurance policies are being cancelled. The policies were reasonably priced, the consumers argue. What these consumers fail to understand is that they were crap policies that were inexpensive because they didn’t actually cover much of anything! If any of these people ever actually had a claim, they would have discovered just how bad those policies were, and would probably be far less satisfied. Obama’s claim that if you liked your insurance you could keep it? That assumed you had coverage rather than an insurance fig-leaf.

So getting mad at the government for forcing predatory insurance companies to stop issuing “insurance” that didn’t actually cover much of anything is like getting mad about a crib recall notice because after all, your kid didn’t die.

And for the record, the real way forward is still Medicare For All.

In Closing: cars; problem; recession; some choice NSA, spying, and privacy links; statins; Republicans; Geometry; poor babies; Iran; Too Many Secrets; debt; trash; and an awesome art collection.

“Oh No, Say It Ain’t So, Joe”

B000444Today, I got a letter from Joe Biden. I was kind of excited when I saw it. He asked about my family and how my classes were going… No, not really. He wanted money for the DSCC, “the only organization solely dedicated to electing and reelecting Democrats to the Senate.”

So in short, here’s my reply: Sure, Joe, do you want me to make that check out to Democracy for America or MoveOn? Because the DNC, DSCC, DNCC, and other ‘official’ Democratic groups aren’t getting any more of my money until you start representing my interests!

Want my money? Well Joe, you’re the head of the Senate. Make those idiots actually stand up and talk when they threaten filibuster. You don’t need Harry Reid’s permission to do that, do you?

Here’s another place you can start: Throw some support behind Senator Warren’s bill to revive Glass-Steagal! Heck, Sandy Weill said almost exactly a year ago that it needed to be done, and he was the guy who forced the Feds to repeal it. Funny how we didn’t have a financial catastrophe in the decades it was law. You don’t suppose….?

Maybe you could personally use some of your “pull” in the administration to at least slow down the mad acceleration towards a police state. For example, if we stop spying on citizens, then we have noting to fear from guys like Anonymous or Ed Snowden (btw, you do know that trying to prevent him seeking asylum is kinda a violation of international law?). Another example, maybe get the “Justice” Department to back of marijuana prosecutions in places where voters have decriminalized it? Instead, maybe “Justice” could start prosecuting employers who hire undocumented workers, often violating other labor laws in the process? You don’t even have to pass an immigration “reform” bill to do that! We do have millions of Americans out of work who — assuming those jobs actually pay a living wage (yeah ha I know right?) — might like to have those jobs.

Speaking of “reform” bills, Joe, I would like to register my disappointment once again in the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Ok, yes, probably better than nothing. Yes, thanks for the no-deductible birth control pills. However, the solution to soaring prices for health insurance was mandatory health insurance with no public option: forcing us to pay up to the profitable companies that got us into this mess. Let me recycle some links from the other day on that, and an ancient post. That’s like doubling down on a pair of deuces. This one is easy enough to fix if you can find the political will: support Alan Grayson’s “Buy into Medicare” plan. What was it you heard when you guys were trying to ram ACA through? “No socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare?” I bet Medicare’s cost per person would go down if young, healthy people were allowed to enroll!

You official Democrats have disappointed me on these issues as well as student loan reform, environmental issues, the farm bill, the Sequester, failing to let the Bush tax cuts lapse, failing to close Gitmo, not even trying to fix the problems the Supreme Court found in the Voting Rights Act or Citizens United, and so many other things I just can’t keep track of them all anymore.

I’ll probably still keep voting for you guys, because I don’t really see that the other party is going to run anyone I can vote for without self-loathing.

But don’t count on my check.

In Closing: Malala is back, and she has a posse!; and didn’t Trayvon also have the right to stand his ground? After all, some strange guy with a gun was following him home!

No Shortie Lives

Ok, just so you know, air quality in Vegas is absolutely awful today because of the massive fire on Mount Charleston. This also means that Vegas’s favorite get-out-of-the-heat spot is closed. So on with the Shorties.

A Few Words on Abortion: Don’t want one? Don’t have one. Don’t think others should have them? Support birth control or admit that what you’re really against is sluts having sex.

Insurance Companies Fixing Things: Heh, Kansas’s plan to let teachers carry guns has effectively been nixed by the insurance company. It makes me wonder if SWAT team tactics might not be fixed by enough insurance claims. Turns out Allstate and those guys have lots of lawyers on the payroll….

Always Low Wages: Walmart threatens to leave DC if they are forced to pay a living wage. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Speaking of Wages and the Mood of the American People: liberty vs security, where’s the outrage, I’m not sure it’s capitalism to blame.

On Health Insurance Reform: “The politicians’ consensus is that health care reform shouldn’t alter or disrupt the way the majority of Americans get their insurance today…. The policy consensus, though, is that the status quo is actually the problem and that it deserves to be threatened, undermined and replaced as expeditiously as possible.” Further, it turns out that when real people are forced to hold their noses and select coverage, they choose the plan that costs the least every paycheck and still pray they don’t get sick because the coverage sucks. I concede that means I was wrong about where cash-pay clinics are headed; we’re gonna need more, not less.

How about Lowering the Danger, then?: Pentagon wants to cut danger pay.

On the Millenials: Matt Bors. Thank heaven we have a better name for them than “Generation Y”.

Miscellany: Banks, Choirs, Sinners, Poor Little Pageant QueenCats, Planes, and freakin hipsters.



Alright, by now everybody and his or her dog has heard the latest about Angelina Jolie, right?

Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.

Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.

On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved.

Needless to say, this has sparked much online discussion. Here’s a featured item on BlogHer by a woman considering the same decision. Here’s one from a Professor of Pediatrics (is he also a doctor of medicine? probably?) who points out that this sort of surgery comes with risks and without promises of a cancer free life.

And do you know what I don’t see mentioned much? Time and money.

Most of us don’t have the ability to be in and out of surgery and recovery for three months — more if there are any sort of complications. Heck, many of us can’t really afford to take 2 days off from work (or school, or taking care of family…). Ms. Jolie is truly blessed that not only could she free up her busy schedule to do this, but also that her loving husband Mr. Pitt was able to be there by her side, and further that they were able to arrange adequate childcare for their six children — ranging in age from 5 to 12 — during this stressful time.

Another area where Ms. Jolie is truly blessed is money. Many women can’t justify spending the “approximately $3000” to see if she has the 1 in 100 chance of ridiculously higher breast cancer risk. In a time and country where it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much any given hospital service is going to cost, she didn’t have to worry about it. She knew that the money was in the bank. Perhaps she did get her insurance company to pay for it; after all, this has to be cheaper than cancer treatments followed by reconstructive surgery!

Some people simply have more options than others.

In Closing: transparency and accountability, and why big brother won’t work; it wouldn’t be a bad idea to retire these; austerity, unemployment, and job creation (for the record, I am currently not in the workforce and not officially “unemployed,” more on that later in the week); mobility; interesting point; the law of supply and demand (and why we desperately need a public option).

Medical Problem: the Law of Supply and Demand is Still in Effect

As we all know, all too soon we Americans will be required to purchase health insurance from the highly profitable corporations that got us into the health insurance “reform” debacle. Even people who should know better think we just have to have mandatory insurance to abolish pre-existing conditions because after all “people would buy insurance on the way to the hospital!” Clearly people who can say this with a straight face have never attempted to purchase health insurance.

Here’s the problem, as Massachusetts has already found out. All those newly insured people? They are going to want value for their money! They are going to want to see a doctor! We already have a physician shortage — which is being made worse by Baby Boomer retirements. Nevada has had a shortage for a decade, and it’s not getting better (don’t get me started).

Now there is news that — officially — it’s not going to get better for at least 4 years. It seems that even though medical schools are churning out doctors, those newly degreed docs with six figures of student loan debt sometimes can’t find residency programs! No residency, no full license, no insurance reimbursement, no job as a doctor. What a waste. Gee, your doc doesn’t seem so greedy now that you know what bills he’s facing, does he?

Want to bring down medical costs?  You’d better find a way to make more doctors, more ways to train them, and better ways to pay for their education.

In Closing: a couple comics; the cat film festival will return for a second year; oh well then I’ll just try not to look like a dissident; if anybody finds any follow-up on FPS Russia, please let me know; oh the things musicians will argue about; and duh.

ShortWoman.com Supports the International T-Pain Autotune Treaty

Be it resolved that henceforth, only T-Pain will be allowed to use autotune in recorded music. Other uses shall be considered a crime against humanity.

It is further resolved that quotations of Rapper’s Delight may only be made with the express consent and permission of the United Nations Security Council.*

Please, join me in support of this desperately needed performing arts issue. If I had a little more HTML talent, I’d put together a little ad for the sidebar.

In Closing: Mongols; he’s got a point; Rolling Jubilee; delayed; I guess it’s hard to win elections when you piss off 50% of the population; but they’re already part of the United States!; we’re all suspicious; belly buttons; new health plan?; politics and religion; filibuster all you like, but you gotta talk!; and oops! Somebody was very sure he’d win.

* Yeah, I’m talking to you too, Pitbull.

NASA can be cool

…. And not just because some of a geek with a mohawk.

It turns out that in addition to putting robots on Mars, they’re responsible for a lot of things that are making life better right here on Earth. Just keep clicking for more great tidbits.

Welcome to yet another internet rabbit-hole.

In closing: brains and beauty; you don’t need that crap anyway; I was wondering when somebody was going to notice this; pass it on; turns out that harassment is  sometimes a security issue; and Ezra’s still got it.

Music Monday

If you don’t know of these talented and funny ladies, allow me to introduce you.

In Closing: Good enough for Israel but not good enough for you; How many times must I point out that the 9/11 terrorists were frequent fliers??; socialism; tell me something new; yeah; beware of a new scam; and government regulations put fishermen out of business!!! Oh wait, no, it turns out that government regulations made fishermen both safer and more profitable.