The Revolution Was Televised

Okay, we’re cheating — this is a newsreel, not NBC. But ya work with what ya got, and what we got here is a report produced five days after the fall of Havana on January 1, 1959. Viva La Revolución! Or Cuba Libre! Whatever’s your style.


Rum and Coke with lime? A little early, but what the hell. Thank you.

I’ve fallen in love with my bartender. She gives me free drinks. What does that mean?

@WonkRefugee: She likes you. And you should always go to that bar and overtip.

@SanFranLefty: Loved the following passage. Where did they do the “mixed” research that showed people don’t drink more when the economy is bad? Utah?

While the research is mixed, some scholars say that poor economic conditions can lead to heavier drinking, and some retailers attest to such a trend. Mr. Adams said, for example, that spirits sales —especially vodka — skyrocketed in October, as the market plunged.

@Mistress Cynica: Yea! that’s what I’ve been doing but my wife is getting suspicious. I think she’s checking the level on our bottle of Astroglide.

@SanFranLefty: They can have my Stoly when they pry it from dead broke hand.

@blogenfreude: Have to admit, I’ve downgraded from Jameson’s to Bushmill’s to save five bucks. And I drink more hard liquor now because $25 of whisky gives me way more bang for the buck than $25 of wine.

@WonkRefugee: Ha! Cheers for the first Stinque lol of the year.

This is an appropriate post to rant about my turning off the Rose Parade in disgust a few minutes ago. The commentator (not Roker; I was watching it on a local Chicago channel) made some comment about how despite these tough economic times, it was so nice of these major sponsors to spend shitloads of money importing exotic flowers to build the floats simply to brighten our day and make us happy and god bless ’em! Yeah, thanks so much for the circuses, multimillion-doller corporations, go ahead and continue taking away our bread! Fuckers!

@blogen: They can have my Stoly Bombay Sapphire when they pry it from dead broke hand.

@flippin eck: Mr Cyn was ranting last night about all these bowl games being sponsored by financial companies that received billions of our tax dollars because they were on the brink of failure. BTW, the only famous parade I’ve ever been to, and only parade I really liked, is the Rose Parade. What took me by surprise was the scent of all the flowers — it was just beautiful.

@flippin eck: Half a bottle of BS sitting on the bar now … gets cracked open only for guests. Next time you’re in NYC you can polish it off.
@Mistress Cynica: And fucking Shittybank is still coughing up $400 million dollars for naming rights at the new Mets stadium. Mr. Cyn’s tax dollars at work!

@flippin eck: Look for the Philly Mummers parade. City couldn’t afford to foot the bill this year, so it is funded entirely (I think, but should check) on donations. Plus, they have Shriners in little cars.

@Mistress Cynica: That would be really lovely…but that parade has lots of horses too. Doesn’t that kind of set up a not-so-pleasant counter-odor?

T/J. How 2008 ended for me.

I was in our local pharmacy. Very nice people, family business, known them for years, etc. While I waited for a prescription to be filled the man ahead of me, in his mid-70s I’d guess, was watching with growing dismay as the total on his order mounted. He stopped the clerk. Asked why some of the drugs (new to him) were so expensive. Then he started going over his list to see what he could do without. Then he called his wife to see what she could do without. And the clerk stood witnessing this (not for the first time, I’m guessing) as the man, on his cellphone, went through his basket of prescriptions with his wife to see what they could afford.

From the narration on the video, “Six years of surface prosperity and government corruption while repression and police brutality fed explosive discontent…” Why does every word sound so eerily familiar?

@Benedick: I have a friend who is a pharmacist who got upset and tired of watching scenes like that play out, that he quit to go work at one of the mail-order places filling bottles so that he wouldn’t have to tell people that their insurance didn’t cover something.

@Benedick: Another day in George W. Bush’s America! No medicine for old people, no body armor for soldiers, but many dollars for rich people.

@Benedick: I just had to refill my scripts for the first time without insurance, and I was a nervous wreck until I got the total. When I saw my doctor in Sept, I had him switch everything to generics that were close to what I’d been taking, and refused the cholesterol meds he wanted me to take (frankly, massive coronary would be my preferred way to check out). I was prepared to do without the drug for acid reflux, but the anti-depressant is non-negotiable–I quickly become suicidal without my chemical helpers. I almost wept with relief when I found out the generic celexa was only $16.50. My mother, who lives in Germany, has numerous health problems and spent five months in the hospital last year (over a month in ICU in a coma) and another two months in a rehab facility, before going home with a truckload of prescription drugs. Total cost? $0. In the US, the whole family would be in bankruptcy now.

@blogenfreude: Oh, hey, from Calugutard’s point of view, the crime is the oldster who forgot to become dynastically wealthy and just buy a few pharma companies so he could get his meds for free. And remember, free is the first half of the word freedom.

@Mistress Cynica: We both have insurance through unions though I pay for my own now that I’m not working so much as an actor. It’s up to $8,000 a year just for me. But includes drugs and, for some unaccountable reason, pretty good dental for a minimal amount extra. The man I saw in the pharmacy had insurance, it just wasn’t paying enough for his meds.

BTW, there’s an excellent article on doctors and the drug industry in the new Mother Jones. Well worth reading.

While dealing with the OH’s hospital stay I was reminded of how much time one spends dealing with the damned insurance, all the paperwork that is repeated every time one goes to a different room, and all the defense routines on the hospital’s part to mitigate law suits. When my mother was there last year I stood in front of her bed demanding to know what each blood test was for. I managed to stop some of them.

i have no prescription coverage on this rock, however, the cost is less than my american co-pay for some of them. usa! usa!

and the other good news is when i am hit with shrapnel, my medical bills in israel are $0. got word today that my appointment in miami at the israeli embassy has been scheduled fot january12. (after months long process of fed exing scanning/emailing reams of documents) this is it folks, the final roadblock to dual citizenship.
they’ll ask my why i’m doing this.
i have to make something up. free health care and keeping an eye on rat won’t fly, the real reasons.

@Benedick: If she was in a large teaching hospital and hospitalized with a complex issue, it could be that a number of doctors, internists and residents could be asking for the same tests without anyone checking for redundancies. It’s easy for them for ask. It’s tough for a nurse to run an inventory of tests being inflicted on the patient and then rationalize it all and then re-route the results. They shrug. Patient keeps getting stuck.

@baked: Nation states want people to throw into wars, so shriek about defending the motherland or something and they’ll burst into applause. You ever been to a US citizenship swearing in ceremony? Most of it is about the candidates swearing to their readiness and eagerness to bear arms in defense of the United States. For anyone born in the states, service is an option in the (still) all volunteer army. For naturalized citizens, swearing an oath to organized violence in the name of the state is the only way in. . . Good luck to the applicants with a thing about killing. It was weird given that the crowd I saw was not all that young, not all that in shape and some were even in wheel chairs. I thought, wow, if the Quebecois get ambitious or something, and this is what we have defending the border, we’re toast. Or, given that Bush was in his first term, we’re liberated.

happily that won’t be my experiece. the rat went through it already, no swearing anything to anybody, and they certainly don’t want our old asses in the armed forces. he has bidness over there, and found a great house, it will be quite trippy this change in scenery.
i think it’s a good idea…liver transplant? gotcha covered. quadruple bypass? FREE..tip your nurses! 12 hours of nuerosurgery? no prob.
(of course there’s that little thingy about getting blown up)

i’ve been on this beach for 4 years and haven’t paid a dime in taxes on our income, but everything costs 3 times as much (except rx’s!?) all the goodies in israel i get for free (hospital, rx’s, dentist, opthamologist, hebrew classes, yoga classes!) we pay mucho taxes. ain’t no free lunch.

btw, your comment made the rat lol. and he doesn’t laugh.
holy land miracles are happening already.

@baked: It’s the tax trade-off no one in this country is willing to make for healthcare, infrastructure, etc. Mother and her German husband (hmmm, sounds like a title for a volume of the memoirs) paid about 55% income tax when they were both working. They’re more than getting it back now in free healthcare and pension income.

@Mistress Cynica:
exactly. usamericans will trade off health care for defense though.
hmmm. how does israel, germany manage both? (taxes in israel are comparable to US)
they don’t pay themselves and their friends trillions maybe?

Thank FSM the Unicorn was elected or else I’d be signing myself up now on the Israeli liver transplant list. I’d also be trying to find a country to emigrate to as a political refugee right about now.

@SanFranLefty: I think one should always drink champagne from magnums. First off, one bottle is not quite too much for two, so then you are gonna open another, and have leftover champagne, which is a phrase which should never be spoken, to speak the truth. And secondly, its been my experience that a half-filled or even less, magnum, will stay bubbly overnight, even if not corked or sealed in any way, which is impossible and dangerous anyway.

@Benedick: big pharma, bastards. As Chris Rock said, they are not interested in cures or vaccines, people only have to take a vaccine once, a cure, for a short time. They are interested in coming up with ‘medicine” as Rock calls it, medecines you have to take for life.

@Mistress Cynica: I had a client, a big burly man, who owned a consstruction company, but he was not a troglodyte, intelligent and worldly, he reminded me of Brian Dennehy, or even John Wayne. He and his family went on vacation to The Netherlands, where his wife was involved in a tragic accident, a bicycle accident, yes, there is a downside to widespread use of bicycles, she was struck by a bicyclist, and suffered brain trauma, was in a coma for some months, and died.

My client came to me after it was all over to clear up the estate. He was an old fashioned republican, not a yahoo, one of the sane ones.

He spent a lot of time praising Holland’s socialized health system. Told me, basically, that he has seen the light, they do it right over there, the difference was night and day. Obviously, she required massive amounts of care, trauma care, months in ICU in a coma. The bill? $0.00. You don’t have to even be a citizen, the eligibility rules in Holland for medical care are: 1. You must be a human; 2. You need care. It just did not matter that she was a tourist visiting.

But what really impressed him was that taking money out of the equation resulted in more real human caring. The other side of the equation, just as the patients are not worrying about money, neither are the doctors. They spend time, he told me, they would spend lots of time, talk to you, they were, he told me, so so much more human and caring and involved than any docs he ever had in the US. His tragedy made him a total and complete fan of socialized health care.

@baked: Germany is not saddled with the cost of trying to be a military hyperpower. Israel benefits from the US paying for it to be the middle-east’s military superpower, and makes a nice profit from arms sales.

Here in the US, we cannot afford socialized medicine because we are spending more on our military than every other country on earth put together, that just might explain the problem. Oh, and hey, some of the biggest defense contractors own the media that tells us we will all die horribly if we don’t spend more and more and more.

@Promnight: i wish i were in holland
Mr. SFL and I each suffered injuries tonight (Mr SFL – major cat attack bites & scratches trying to help a cat off the roof; me – 2d degree burns on hand taking something off the stove that had been in the oven for hours) & we’re self medicating w/ bactican and muscle relaxants lying/laying around the house. we cant afford copays right now. i can also only type w/ rt hand

@SanFranLefty: Double ouch!! Cats are most ungrateful creatures. Hope the hand heals quickly. It’s hard to mix martinis one-handed.

@Mistress Cynica: “It’s hard to mix martinis one-handed.”

tell me about it!!!!

stirred not shaken though the thing of ice is helping my hand, biggest fear now is frostbite from the martini

you make my point.
but you left out the best part of that chris rock big pharma bit.
his dad: “where’s the ‘tussin! broke your arm? pour some ‘tussin on it, you’ll be fine”

lefty, ouchy! try pure aloe vera. cats. mine like to chew holes my clothes while they’re kneeding/cuddling.

re astroglide: la misma razon alguien lo necesita!!!
good for you wonky. i find spit overated, but that may be because the sacred weed gives one negev mouth.

hey, are you i/8 jewish on your MOTHER’S side?
if so, we can share a hospital room in tel aviv.
i had to send the jewish cemetary plots my great and grand mothers are buried in. (they told me they mostly use this method for non jews proving their jewish ancestry) if you are the daughter of the daughter of the daughter of a jewish woman, you will be welcomed with open arms and heal your hand and everything else. no charge!

@baked: So it’s not just the Irish that have lax standards (they would, as I understand it, grant my dad citizenship, because at least one of his greatgrandparents was born on Irish soil).

wasn’t it you who told me the crosby “technicality” screamer?
the jews are all about the jewish vajayjay for immigration purposes and citenzenship eligibility.

@baked: Yes, David Cross, who is, I would argue, one of the finest comedic minds of this generation. I love everything he does, whether it be stand-up, “Arrested Development,” occasional spots on “Colbert Report,” bit film roles (especially “Eternal Sunshine” and “I’m Not There”), or “Mr. Show” (though I don’t know it as well as the rest).

@baked: Dad’s side. but I could get Irish citizenship from my mom’s side.

@SanFranLefty, baked: Hey – Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Lefty’s dad . . . it’s part of the line.

Doug Stanhope does a beautiful bit where he goes into a typical wingnut rant about immigrants, coming into this country by the millions, helpless, lazy, they need to be supported, can’t speak the language, can’t taake care of themselves, expect us to pick up the tab for them, then ends it by saying there should be an immigration checkpoint at every vagina to keep the no-good lazy babies out of the country. He he.

i get such a kick out of reds and prommie knowing more about judaism than i do. i’m still fuming that reds gets to read the plague part at passover. my fave part and i’m always passed over. heehee.
……off to da beach! beach days are numbered!

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