America Wins Darwin Award

God Bless Corporations.

American life expectancy is ranked 47th in the world. Our infant-mortality rate ranks 43rd. We spend twice as much on health care per capita than any other country. Half our bankruptcies are due to medical expenses. Medicare operates with a 3 percent overhead, compared to 16 percent for nonprofits and 26 percent for private insurers.

And yet we love our insurance companies.

We love them for the coverage they deny us. We love them for their refusal to pay the claims we file. We love them for jacking our premiums 87 percent since 2000. We love them for the enormous profits they make, instead of wasting that money on our health.

We love our insurance companies to death.

The purpose of the Darwin Awards is to celebrate people who, by dint of their own stupidity, remove themselves from the gene pool. Although we do not control the nominations, we nevertheless proclaim a special collective 2009 Darwin Award for the American public. You may collect your trophy at your local town hall meeting. Careful you don’t get hit by a bus.

Health Care Statistics in the United States [HealthPAConline]

DEVELOPING HARD: Somewhat encouraging jobs report. Job creation for July was still FAIL 247,000, but the rate of loss has gone way down since the fall and winter and has been decreasing month-on-month. (519,000 lost in April, for example.) And the unemployment rate, for what it’s worth (not much) dropped a tenth. The ship may — just may — be turning around.

A screenwriter friend of mine tells me flat out that Republicanism is a mental disorder. Stuff like this makes me sometimes thinks he’s right.

Brilliant. Why isn’t this kind of pure logic being shoved down the throats of the public by Democrats?



@RomeGirl: They do feed from the same trough (aka money from insurance companies).

I would also like to start a Facebook group for all of the conservatives/teabaggers whose new favorite phrase is “I have a friend in Canada…”

@homofascist: So, what, no one actually wants healthcare reform, and we’re all just jerking off because it’s a slow summer? Or do Democrats just fucking suck at soundbites? When is someone going to step up to the plate?

@homofascist: Like any fucking Canuck with two brain cells would be friends with these morans, AND like any of these morans have ever left the U.S. It’s up there with “Some of my best friends are [gay/black/Hispanic/Asian].”

w/r/t the post – I love the sign. These meatheads go on and on about “choice” in medicine but are more than happy to control the reproductive rights of the lady-folk.

What a bunch of ass-hats. Better the Darwin Awards at work than Idiocracy come alive.

Sadly, there are some that only have one brain cell. I, unfortunately, know a couple including someone who walks around with a “George W. Bush, Freedom Fighter” T-shirt in an unironic fashion.

@RomeGirl: Its inherent in soundbites, that they cannot convey intelligent ideas. Bumper stickers and country songs are great for conveying simple falsehoods, but not complex truths. The pigfucktards have an inherent advantage. Ronaldo the Reagan said it outright, in one speech I still remember for the shock I felt at hearing the words: “Some people will try to tell you there are no simple answers. Well I say, there are.”

T/J: CNN reports that Sen Mel Martinez (R-Gusano) is resigning, in the tradition of Repub idol Sarah Palin. Fla gov Charlie “I’m not Gay” Crist gets to name Mel’s successor.

@Dodgerblue: Wasn’t Crist running for Senate? He can appoint himself and not have the messiness of a campaign.

@SanFranLefty: Yes, no messiness. And you know how fastidious gay men are.

I think there is a big emotional component to this disorder, since so many of them seem to have the emotional maturity of five-year-olds. At best. Combine that with their love of cognitive dissonance (“don’t let the gub’mint take over Medicare!!!”) and you get a perfect tea-bagger.
Does anyone have a copy of the DSM IV so we can see what the “official” name of Republicanism Disorder is? Maybe it’s Borderline Personality Disorder?

Somewhat related Etiquette of the Tubez Question:
One of my FB “friends” (i.e. someone I went to high school with whom I haven’t spoken since H.S.) is mobilizing people on FB to go protest tomorrow against “socialized medicine” at her congressman’s town hall meeting. She’s also a fan of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, disputes the existence of global warming as not settled, is a born again Christian, and has squirted out enough kids for a basketball team. Her last status update was that “Gun owning white conservatives need to stand up for America and tell our Congressman we don’t want Obama ruining our country.”

Query: Is it rude to “unfriend” someone with whom you disagree so vehemently? Is it rude to “unfriend” ALL of the bigots I grew up around or will they notice? Or should I keep the connection if nothing else as a reality check?

It’s a lot of things. The five year old bit aka arrested development is definitely there, but also the authoritarian streak (giving or taking orders), a strong sense of entitlement of because who and what they are despite any real accomplishment, and an inability to adapt when facts don’t line up with their reality.

It’s a personal theory of mine that people go nuts when their internal view of themselves doesn’t line up with the actual reflection they see in the mirror. In their minds, these folks (not necessarily GOP) think they’re the greatest of all time at whatever, but the reality says otherwise. A former friend of mine, has some abilities but these are crushed by his overwhelming insecurities that make him an insufferable prick and a major cause of him getting the boot from many many many jobs.

I can relate because I was there once. A source of the black dog aka depression, for me. Once I could accept who I was and what I can do, I felt a lot better and less prone to the black dog. It doesn’t mean that I like what I do sometimes, but I don’t go into a nasty tailspin emotionally over it.

I have people I want to unfriend (none of you at Stinque) but don’t. I just choose to ignore them.

@ManchuCandidate: Yes, the discovery last week of the “Hide” button on the Twitter stream was a revelation to me.

@ManchuCandidate: Yeah, I refrained from commenting “Don’t forget the rope for the nooses” on her status because I was afraid she wouldn’t catch the irony.

@SanFranLefty: I unfriended someone for her membership in a racist European anti-Muslim group. I didn’t want her hate on my pages. Do not hesitate to dump.

@SanFranLefty: @redmanlaw:

I agree. In fact, send her a note tell her why you are dumping her, and then do it. These people need to know that we’re out here too.

@Tommmcatt Floats:
We’re much too passive aggressively mannered where I come from to have direct confrontation. I post my anti-Palin and pro-gay rights things and my “friends” like her are polite enough to not comment or argue, and so I think I need to provide the same polite silence and not engage and to ignore and to quietly unfriend. For all I know I’ve been hidden from their streams of consciousness. It’s a little awkward because my H.S. reunion is coming up and so I am included on quite a few threads of discussion about that with these people, and that is the only reason why I’m still virtually connected to them. (Not that I’m going to the reunion, for that matter – who goes to Texas voluntarily in August?)

@Promnight: Here are some choice bumper stickers I’d like to see:

“If surviving infancy and living longer equals socialism, how do you define a democracy?”

“My baby has a better chance of surviving in CUBA? Thanks, American Healthcare!”


“The health reform debate raised my blood pressure. Now I can’t get health insurance!”

“Fine, keep your private insurance – marry me?”

“You’re against healthcare reform? Why do you hate your fellow Americans so much?”


“Not wanting your fellow Americans to live long, healthy lives is Un-American”

“What do insurance companies and terrorists have in common? They don’t want Americans to live for very long!”

“Wait two days to get an operation for free, or get one now and lose my home.. wait, let me think…”

“With universal healthcare, at least the person who comes between me and my doctor will be AMERICAN!”

“I already have someone between me and my doctor – my HMO!”

“Insurance companies and terrorists: We love killing Americans!”

@RomeGirl: I’d love a variation on that last one, if we could find a statistic to back it up:

“Insurance companies have killed more Americans than Osama Bin Laden.”

@RomeGirl: I’m battling my health insurance company as we speak about coverage for something so these are quite timely. I like the next to last one best.

Cognitive dissonance is the response of a person who has attached their sense of self to some concept or idea or ideology, and they are confronted with evidence that contradicts or proves wrong that concept or ideology. The criticism of or refutation of the idea or ideology is perceived emotionally as an attack on their self, their being, because their sense of self is so entwined with what they beleive.

The response is what is referred to as cognitive dissonance, sputtering anger and simple refusal to admit what is before their eyes. “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you,” and O’Rellly’s famous “SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP” are good examples.

Authoritarian personality types are attracted to the certainty and comfort of clearly defined rules, strong authority figures, and easy answers.

Neither of these things is an illness.

The Paultards, the Randiots, these are the only ones with what I think may be a strong presence of identifiable mental illness, as it were. Their philosophy is narcissistic, openly and overtly. Absence of empathy or sympathy for those less fortunate, self-worship, strong sense of entitlement, exceptionalism, persecution by a world that doesn’t recognize your specialness, justification in breaking rules and hurting people because of the injustice of the world not recognizing your specialness, this is the aspergery-narcissistic personality disorder-sociopath vector that is strong among the libertarian right.

@RomeGirl: They would not work. Too long, require thought. Also, you use the passive voice and negative constructions; “not wanting . . . is un-american.”

Unfortunately, its inherently easier to oppose than to propose, its easier to tear down than build, and easier to present the case for change than to oppose it, thus your predicament.

DEVELOPING HARD: The Taitz motion got stricken, per order of Magistrate Judge on case (PDF’d here).

Easy way out, certainly. But it will have to do.

@SanFranLefty: ““From there, we will continue to work on the process of healing our family,” Ms. Sanford said”

LOL. “In order for our marriage to work, I need to get the fuck away from you.” I heart her.

@Jamie Sommers:

Jenny has some class. Did you check out her outfit this morning?

@SanFranLefty: surprised it took this long.

I have a winger FB friend who works for a sheriff’s department as their press liaison. He and I always got along otherwise despite our completely different political views. I ignore his stuff, he ignores mine. It works. Your mileage may vary — if I didn’t know him as well as I do, I’d probably dump him.

@Signal to Noise: I’ve pretty much lost a fishing buddy and husband of my oldest friend in the world to Rush Limbaugh and the Cult of the Oppressed White Man.


Who is it? Kaiser?

OH Kaiser are teh basturds.

Orly will be screaming on Fox tonight that the judge has exposed himself as part of the ‘brown shirt’ conspiracy to kill all white people with government-ordered euthanasia.

@SanFranLefty: If it adds any additional stress to your world, quietly unfriend them. Life’s to short to deal with bullshit when you don’t have to.

@redmanlaw: god, the behavior of the Oppressed White Man amuses me to no end. Mostly because they expect me to sympathize, and I can’t. It would piss me off, but I’ve got no time to be furious.

“How awfully difficult it must be for you with all that privilege!”

@Jamie Sommers:

It was fabulous. I’m not sure about the hat, though…hold up, let me find a link.

ADD: Here you go:

@Tommmcatt Floats: That was the inaugural outfit, sugar. We forgave her the trespass of the pompoms because she was doing such a good job sticking the knife between Mark’s ribs.

re: HMO – I used to have Kaiser. Oh, the stories I could tell about Kaiser. They killed my grandfather and Mr. SFL’s dad’s best friend and they almost killed me. I am battling HealthNet over what services and medications are “medically necessary.” Apparently in the grand cosmic scheme, nothing is medically necessary because we all die in the end.

@Mistress Cynica: When you said “quietly unfriend” I thought you were talking about the HMO.

@Jamie Sommers: Here’s what she was wearing for move-out day. Check out the “peace out” she’s flashing to the cameras in the last photo in the slideshow.

DEVELOPING HARD: Coroner finds that Billy Mays had cocaine in his system when he died.

I see where the problem was. Because he called his dealer within ten minutes, the dealer tripled the offer.

Too soon?

@chicago bureau: This is so bizarre. I saw this guy flipping channels when I channel and get to see cable television. It is astonishing that anyone would know his name, much less note he died. Infomercials for crap no one every bought? That’s all he did? And he admitted it in civil society?

@chicago bureau:
“Hi everyone! It’sbillymaysforbolivanmarchingpowder!! TheacceleratingaddictiveheartbustingpowderfromLatinAMERICA!!!”
Cocaine. Is. NOTADRUGbutawholemuthafuckinglifestylefueledbybuying… *breath*… the Crap Ipeddle!!!!
Drugs like pot needrollingpapersandmessybongs! With coke, youjustneedamirrorandstraightedge!!!


If you buy it rightnowI’llthrowinafree,no, three free crackpipes! Get YOURS TODAY!”

@SanFranLefty: @Tommmcatt Floats: @Jamie Sommers: I love how it all looks like a series of concept adds for J. Crew. “Junior Leaguers help BFF move from her cheating husband’s temporary home to fabulous beach house.”

@Mistress Cynica: I was thinking more Talbots than J.Crew. This is the south, after all. J.Crew is more a Yankee thang.

But yes, the gaggle of thin middle aged white women helping her move shit out made me giggle. You would think she would hire a moving company, but then calling the reporters to take pictures of the First Lady carrying her own shit out of the Governor’s Mansion is all sorts of awesome.

oh honey, don’t unfriend her! i love the noose comment! it would give you great satisfaction, trust me. you know i love insulting the deserving.
every so often i post a magnificent zinger on the wall of ratbastards ex girlfriend. it probably goes over her head, but i enjoy it!

i’m awake now because of a nightmare that sent me bolt upright in a cold sweat. i was driving orly to court and prepping her in the car. she was babbling in that fingernail on the blackboard voice and i kept saying STFU! STFU! listen to the *uestion! answer with as few words as possible. yes and no are great answers. can you do that? CAN YOU DO THAT?????? and we were late, and my briefcase was empty. a classic anxiety dream. i just swallowed 2 xanax…..

and they were FREE!!! yeah socialized medicine really sucks..i get to see the doc the very day i call and i’m having my lobotomy done here. 2 week waiting period for elective surgery. murca ranks #47 in life expectancy, israel? #8.

@SanFranLefty: @Mistress Cynica: I was thinking J. Crew as well, especially since the friend is wearing Teva water shoes. On concrete. In the South.

This is not a Talbots crowd.

@Jamie Sommers: Mr. SFL lives in those water shoes, and keeps trying to convince me to get a pair. I may wear clogs every day, but I draw a line at those fugly sandal/shoes which I think are only marginally better than evil Crocs. (And don’t get me started on the fur-lined Crocs).

Nojo, that was SPOT ON. Also, RomeGirl.

This is exactly the thing that has induced my hiatus from political life (if feverishly refreshing Salon, Harpers and Stinque, oh, and blog-commenting, can be called a political life) of late.

Well, that and a whole bunch of other shit involving the IRS (when I tried to pay my taxes correctly by hiring a professional!), close relatives facing mortality, work increasingly becoming work — but in a good way! — and figuring out how to use the gadgets on the new car. I’m sure this too will pass.

Fact is, I expect a health-care reform bill to pass by the end of the year, and I also expect it to benefit the insurance companies more than anyone else.

For me, the Unicorn has repeatedly proven himself to be a tool. I’m done giving him the benefit of the doubt. From now on, I have a negative view of his administration until he does something demonstrably good.

Stimulus package may be one slightly good thing, but you have to balance that against the overt thievery of the continuing TARP clusterfuck and the continual civil rights holocausts His minions continue to perpetrate, in some cases extend against those we have SO wronged.

All the talk about transparency has proven to be just that, talk. Actions speak louder than words in this case, and I’m done with it. It’s up to Him to prove His worthiness to me now.


I was just thinking about you! Good to see you back.

And “honey, if you can’t say somethin’ nice about someone, come sit next to me!”


I had to stop reading Greenwald. He’s like my generation’s Howard Zinn–his work is too depressing to think about.

@Original Andrew: I compulsively read Greenwald because even when he gets testy in the comments section, he’s pretty much always the only quasi-mainstream journalist who gets things right in his opinion (?) pieces. And when he calls out someone in the mainstream media, it sometimes gets (mainstream) attention. That’s one of the few hopeful signs of our times.


Is it opinion if it’s the truth?

Reading today’s corporate stenography–commonly referred to as “American news”–I’m reminded of the tales from the Russians about reading Pravda in the late ’80s, when things were going downhill for them fast, yet the propaganda got more and more ridiculous and flat-out unbelievable.

@Original Andrew:

Economy is stabilizing, Job losses are decreasing. Capitalism is GOOD.

There is no democracy without Capitalism.

Government can’t run any system profitably, therefore Government is BAD.

Profit is only goal make people work Efficiently.

Eternal growth of Economy only way achieve happiness for MOST PEOPLE.

@Original Andrew: @Pedonator: Speaking of Greenwald — since he seems to be on everyone’s mind tonight — I came across an honest-to-gosh Obama worshiper the other day, the type wingnuts warn us against.

It was in the TPM comments, responding to a post referencing Glenn. The commenter was bashing at GG as hard as he could, because the bastard was undermining Obama by speaking the truth. And how could Barry succeed with his agenda if everyone’s sniping at him?

So they do exist. One, at least.


I slipped a report from work in my briefcase on the way out the door today that I’ll have to share with the class if I can figure out how to access an electronic copy.


Oh no, they really are everywhere. They’re the same people that scream that us homos are destroying Obama’s preznitcy by asking him to…um…do the stuff he promised that he’d do for two years on the campaign trail, I guess?

They also display Battered Victim Syndrome, even in the face of each fresh betrayal: He’s tired; he’s got a lot on his plate; he’s cleaning up the mess Bush left (true, but still); we have to make our own change even though we voted Obama into office cause he said that he’d do it; I walked into a door; I fell down the stairs; etc, etc.

@nojo: There are plenty of us sniping against Barry. I think his record so far is terrible. I know plenty of “liberals” in my work and personal life who continually say something like, “Give him a chance, he’s only been in office a few months…”

And those exact people have no knowledge, or any interest in the knowledge of Barry’s many actions so far to undermine the rule of law and protect his predecessors’ transgressions.

So I will snipe and snipe and snipe, until this Unicorn proves Himself significantly different from his predecessor.


“Give him a chance, he’s only been in office a few months…”

AAAAAAARRHRHRHHRGGGGG. Mr. OA handed me that one just the other day.

Even after DOMA Doomsday!

@Original Andrew:

I walked into a door; I feel down the stairs; etc, etc.


@Original Andrew: I understand all those Important Political Calculations they’re making, but when it comes down to it, Republicans will attempt to undermine even manifest successes. So why not just do the right thing?

I know, I know. A half-century spent on this planet, and I remain incredibly naive.

@Pedonator: I’ll give him a chance as soon as he gives me a reason. I remember enjoying Stevie Wonder, and then it’s all been a blur.


Apparently ch-ch-ch-Change is DIY these days.

I’m going to begin drafting my own bills, fly to DC and hand them over to Harry and Nancy myself! Those Senatards and Congressdouches will have no choice but to vote for them, amirite?

@nojo: Bottom line:

This Preznident is the Enemy until proven otherwise. It’s just unfortunate that the right-wing Krayzees share my sentiment for all the wrong reasons.

This is a case where the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend.

@Original Andrew: Are you volunteering to run for Senate next year? You’ve got my vote!

All I know about healthcare is this: About 2 years ago, RomeBoy had a full-on, balls-out nervous breakdown. Within 24 hours he had seen 2 doctors, gone on meds and had been interviewed by a therapist.

Those 24 hours cost us less than a hundred bucks. His monthly medication costs us about four bucks. His therapy sessions cost us 20 bucks a pop. And we’re not even on the health system here – that’s out of pocket rates. We didn’t have to call anyone, or get anything approved – I simply had to go to our regular doctor and point to him shaking and vomiting, and everything was taken care of with only his physical and mental health in mind.

If he had had that breakdown in NY, where we would be living if we weren’t expat slackers, I shudder to think what it would have and would continue to cost us.

@RomeGirl: Wayyyyy back when, I had uninsured appendicitis. Before they operated, I had to sign a loan with the hospital.

But the part of the story I like to tell is the anesthesia: local or general? When I learned a general would keep me in the hospital a few more expensive days, I chose local.

Operations are boring, I learned. Until they dangle that red withered finger in your face. I should have insisted on keeping it. Paid enough for it.

@nojo: I had appendicitis, too. Insured, though. They kept me for 5 days, I believe. This, too, was way back when.

I do worry about not having health insurance, but not so much while I’m living here. I’m terrified about breaking an arm while I’m back in the States next month. It would break ME.

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