Thursday, November 21, 2013


Joining John Birch and Joe McCarthy in the pantheon of conservative martyrs is Nicole L. Hopkins' mom, who is forced by the Kenyan Pretender to have free health care via the hated Medicaid -- disguised as Washington Apple Health, "the mawkish rebranding of Medicaid in Washington state," but everyone will know she's reduced to taking poor-people medicine, especially since she complained about it in the Wall Street Journal:
"How has it come to this?" she asked in one of our several talks over the past few weeks about what was happening. When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family. "How have I fallen this far?"... 
"I just don't expect anything positive out of getting free health care," she said. "I don't see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise." In paying for health insurance herself—she won't accept help from her family, either—she was safeguarding her dignity and independence and her sense of being a fully functioning member of society.
I sincerely do not get this. If Uncle Sam decided to send me food stamps, notwithstanding that I have a job, I wouldn't look for a national newspaper to amplify my cries of outrage. This is not because I am a moocher or a socialist, it's because I'm not nuts. Free food? Thanks, Obama!

But Mom is outraged, her daughter says, that she's been "in effect, ordered to take a handout." Well, we've all got our problems. Maybe don't use it, I guess? What am I missing here?

UPDATE. At RedState, Some Guy takes a study showing no significant change in measured health outcomes over two years of Medicaid to mean that nobody who was sick got better under treatment (bet Some Guy got his MPH at Trump University), and suggests we just get rid of the damn thing and put all paupers on the Pay or Die system. Well, at least Nicole L. Hopkins' mom would be spared some indignity.


  1. Glock H. Palin, Esq.12:20 PM

    When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family.

    It's almost like job security and the certainty of decent benefits took a giant fucking hit in the intervening years or something...

  2. chuckling12:31 PM

    Well, that story is far from the norm. I'm currently on an extended stay in Rurality and see a lot of conservatives in real life. Take for instance, the tea party sympathizer living rent free in my sister's basement. Can't hold a job, has just gotten food stamps, trying for disability while he's not particularly disabled, yet angry all the time about Obama and those other lazy people just wanting handouts. I've spoken at length with him and several others who are similar but in one kind of dire straight or another not of their own doing, and the common refrain is that all politicians are crooks, that they vote for the person, not the party, based mostly on how they look. As I know firsthand from long experience, these people are not idiots. They are profoundly uneducated, either not paying attention at all or at least a foot deep in the conservative hate machine cesspool. Of course I blame Obama for this state of affairs. Not entirely, but as he is the leader, he does merit a good deal of the blame. There is no Democratic party outreach to these people. There is no effective messaging about health care options or any other remotely progressive policy with the possible exception of gay rights. Obama, especially after he was elected, could have filled stadiums throughout the south and other so-called red states and burned in an intelligent, progressive message, but the opposite has happened. The Democrats have totally abandoned the 50 state strategy, which in real terms means my sister's ex boyfriend living in the basement and her friend who's husband is waiting on a liver transplant which will take all his social security if he gets it and my friends who really are disabled and suffer horribly and on and on and on mostly because Obama and the Democrats either have their heads up their asses or their heads up the asses of their corporate sponsor. If there actually were a progressive party with even a halfway competent messaging machine, the 5 percent of the wealthy Americans would achieve something like the 5 percent of the vote they actually merit. Unfortunately, however, the Obamas and the Democrats have simply abandoned the 20 or whatever percent of the population whose vote wouldn't do them any good because they live in Republican districts even if they did understand what was going on and vote. Sick, short sighted strategy that also pockets them a lot of money from special interests.

  3. Is there anything in the law compelling her to actually use those detestable Medicaid benefits if she is so opposed to them? Isn't she free to simply ignore her chest pains and shortness of breath until she drops dead on the street?

  4. I get the impression that this woman thought all the money she put into paying for her & her family's health insurance went specifically to pay for any medical issues they had and no one else's or that no one else paying for insurance paid for any of her health care because otherwise why would she say "I don't see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise."

  5. you're actually not too far off: if you look at a lot of the historical language around american white supremacy/patriarchy, there is a strong, abiding theme which signals the porousness of white identity and/or white male identity - that contact with the black other (or for secondary examples, the feminine other or the non-hetero other) will contaminate the otherwise uncorrupted essence of "normalcy." there's some precedent for this in the 1960s, when a lot of the big civil rights lege was passed; the imagery that tea party activists and pols about things getting shoved down their throats or being "taken over" aren't just crazy talk.

  6. Gromet12:51 PM

    So...I guess her beef is that the ACA has failed to make time stand still for her.

    I gather this is the beef that most everyone who votes GOP has with the world. "Why isn't everything just the way it was in 1959, which I remember imperfectly?! Must be someone's fault, and we can't possibly blame the team that waves the biggest American flags!"

  7. KatWillow12:55 PM

    Her beef is that the Gov'mt is taking away her independence and self-respect by giving her taxpayer supported medical insurance! The SWINE! They've made her -Her!- into a MOOCHER!

  8. "Of course I blame Obama for this state of affairs. Not entirely, but as he is the leader, he does merit a good deal of the blame."

    That is a joke, right?

    Are we doing a Ron Fournier imitation competiton today and nobody told me?

  9. Gromet12:59 PM

    It's so weird that this lady is never going to turn the coin over and see the ACA as granting her more freedom -- maybe to work a job she enjoys slightly instead of the brutal one that has better benefits, for example. Or finally, lady, you can open that etsy shop you've dreamed of instead of working OT every night. I mean, right? Ugh.

  10. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps1:00 PM

    This is why I'm always wary of people saying that conservatives just need to experience what their own policies subject on people. Instead of realizing "hey, maybe regular people just like me sometimes need government assistance, and there's nothing shameful about that" or "that old insurance plan I had must not be very good if I can get the same thing for free", she demands she be left alone in her grief now that the Obummer's forced her to become a welfare queen. She's internalized that stereotype so thoroughly that she doesn't sympathize with everyone else, but now gladly puts herself up to be mocked.

  11. Jay B.1:13 PM

    Come on IM, clearly a tea partying basement dweller will respond positively to anything Obama has to say. Once again chuck has an interesting premise ruined by his unfailing ability to fundamentally misconstrue the underlying issue.

  12. Ed Crotty1:20 PM

    What will she do when she turns 65 and has to take Medicare and Social Security?? How will she stand the shame??

  13. Jay B.1:21 PM

    "I don't see why other people should have to pay for my care, whether it be through taxes or otherwise."

    Unclear on the entire concept of insurance, eh? Color me gobsmacked, you free-riding stupid person! When she inevitably ends up bankrupt and her craven insurance company tries everything in its power to deny her whatever meager benefits she has, at least she'll suffer like Real American, defiantly ignorant and in thrall to a corrupt capitalist practice. And then of course, us taxpayers will have to swallow the costs of her catastrophic care.

  14. Shorter version of Chuckles’ screed:

    President Obama, I think you're a socialist commie whose ideas and policies are anathema to my country and everything it stands for. I believe you're not even a genuine citizen, that you're a secret Muslim, that you want to socialize this glorious country and that you are the worst president ever. I spit on you, your party and anything you do as a government. My vote and voice are fully behind the opposing
    political party that rightfully does everything in its power to block any
    measure that would make my life better because it comes from you.

    Plus you won't fix me, and others who think like me. Which makes you double-plus terrible. So there.

  15. I just don't expect anything positive out of getting free health care

    It sure as hell beats expensive non-delivery of healthcare.

  16. Buffalo Rude1:30 PM

    Clearly, someone is upset they didn't get their Obama Unicorn.

  17. chuckling1:30 PM

    Exaggerating a bit, but the Obama years have been catastrophic for progressive policies. Haven't you noticed?

  18. Buffalo Rude1:30 PM

    You obviously do not understand FREEDOM!!!11! and liberty.

  19. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, because the creditors took everything.

  20. chuckling1:34 PM

    Well, not exactly. If I were more conspiracy minded I might think he was some kind of Tea Part Manchurian candidate. Reality mostly supports that thesis. He's certainly done a great job of destroying any hope for a decent healthcare system for at least another few election cycles. The Dow's setting records, the rich are getting much richer and the poor much poorer. Gays are approaching equal rights, which is a good thing, but the movers behind the Republican party and care about that about as much as they care about the deficit.

  21. chuckling1:37 PM

    That's a problem with elitist snobs such as yourself J. Some of the Tea Party basement dwellers, and the majority of the not-paying-that-much-attention masses are generally intelligent and reachable with effective messaging. Yet all the nominally progressive power structure does is snicker at them rather than engage them in intelligent discussion about the things they care about.

  22. Gromet1:38 PM

    In January 2009 I fully expected Obama to carry out chuckling's 50-stadium plan. Having made hundreds of phone calls for Obama I was all hyped up, feeling Now what can I do? How do I keep helping to make America better?? I was full of energy... and it dissipated as he became a real president and had real president things to do. I suppose we can blame him for that -- to some extent...

    But think it through. Even if he'd hit just 5-6 stadiums per year to bring his message directly to The People, it might have won him more grief than benefit for two obvious reasons:

    1) The rightwing anti-Obama machine was up and chugging even before his inauguration, and by February 2009 it was in third gear. By summer it was already overheating. So imagine every time Obama speaks and energizes the 40,000 people in the stadium, the intensity of hate triples among 40 million people who hear about "this showboating, vain orator who doesn't do anything except read a teleprompter and bask in the adulation of losers." And then of course it's he who is divisive, because every time he speaks, talk radio hosts inform Real America that the speech Eroded America. "The Destroy America Tour continued in New Orleans today, and thousands of unemployable hooligans descended on the Superdome clamoring for a ticket to see their savior," you can practically hear Rush burbling. So speaking to advance the cause per the chuckling 50-stadium plan would have increased opposition to the cause -- and distracted him from all the nuts and bolts work of it.

    2) If the guy in the basement who desperately needs government assistance -- and accepts it -- is still angry that it exists and that the "wrong people" get it... how is one more speech going to change that? How is any speech going to lift that guy out of his bitterness and ignorance, when he is so busy ignoring his own personal experience and all the evidence surrounding him in his actual real life? So busy making himself the tiniest, angriest victim he can be? I realize that basement guy has some intelligence... but you can't appeal to that if you can't get past his weird cognitive dissonance, paranoia, and longing for a lost golden age of frontier heroism.

    In conclusion... the ACA itself is massive "outreach" to these people. There is not much more the President can do than call for the ACA, push it through, sign it, run for reelection on it, and talk about it almost every day for three years. But your basement guy is bombarded with hateful voices telling him the ACA will destroy God's favorite nation, and he chooses to heed those voices instead of the rest. It's hard to give the president serious blame for this.

  23. if you look at a lot of the historical language around american white supremacy/patriarchy, there is a strong, abiding theme which signals the porousness of white identity and/or white male identity - that contact with the black other (or for secondary examples, the feminine other or the non-hetero other) will contaminate the otherwise uncorrupted essence of "normalcy." maybe the last best example is during the 1960s

    You don't have to go back that far.

  24. Clearly, some people don't realize that 'slightly less evilism' is the <a href=">New Coke</a> of politics.

    Reaganism with an FDR veneer will sell, if only you push it hard enough!

  25. The election of an openly socialist candidate in a city council race in Seattle should inform third parties- work hard to win on the local and state levels, and spend less time on quixotic, "swing for the fences" presidential runs every four years.

    The Green Party needs to expend more effort locally. The 'baggers and fundamentalist loons run aggressively even for school board and dogcatcher positions.

  26. Jay B.1:49 PM

    So, your brilliant-ass solution for the "not-paying-that-much-attention" crowd is "messaging", as if the guy you are bitching about hasn't campaigned on THIS VERY THING, TWICE and won the national vote twice based on it. Health care is central to people's lives, Obama has compellingly made the case, won elections and gotten legislation passed that address this central issue, but then the administration steps on its own dick by rolling out a website from 1995. I know you don't see it and don't understand it, but Obama has, in fact messaged the shit out of health care. I don't give a flying fuck if the idiots you know hate it or like it, just that when they need it, it works. Successful implementation is the entire message at this point -- because, again, it's been voted on a billion times.

    We can't have intelligent conversations because you are really so obtuse that Obama has been "catastrophic" to progressive policies, like...what? Health care? Civil rights? Fewer wars? You've been wrong on this site for years now, why change?

  27. Gromet1:50 PM

    Good guess. I've also heard the ACA's approach described as "a ponzi scheme" because it depends on healthy people taking care of the unhealthy. Obviously that represents a huge failure to recognize how ALL insurance works, and it really troubles me to think this is what we're up against. It's the same with taxes -- the people most upset about "class warfare" have been (I've found) completely misapprehending how tax brackets work, and they simply don't acknowledge any explanation that doesn't let them stay angry.

  28. No. I mean compared to the Bush years oder the Clinton years or...

    The small progress progressive policies made during the Obama years is the most achieved since the liberal congress of the early seventies or so.

    That is sad state of affairs, but hardly Obamas fault.

  29. Jaime Oria2:10 PM

    I'm not usually the gambling sort, but I'll wager your basement-dwelling acquaintance, and the others like him who you seem to insistently valorize, is just fine with Gitmo, the NSA, drone strikes and the entire national security state as long as it's in the service of targeting them and keeping him safe.

  30. Gromet2:10 PM

    "If Obama were any good at his job, Trayvon Martin would still be alive!"

  31. Jay B.2:11 PM

    You do realize that Guantanamo can't just close by magic, right? And that he was the first president since LBJ to get health care passed. And what on Earth does he have to do with Travon Martin? This is stupid even for you. You are looking for Superman, it's a child's wish.

  32. chuckling2:16 PM

    Right, the commander in chief is powerless, unless he's a Republican, in which case he has dictatorial powers. And where was the progressive opposition to the stand your ground crap? Not looking for superman. Would definitely like to see progressives put up a fight though. Best defense is a good offense, that sort of thing.

    But why are you always making exudes, Jay? And attacking people who expound in favor of progressive policies. Seems you've become the mirror opposite of the Bush dead-enders of yore.

  33. chuckling2:20 PM

    No, or maybe, but mostly they just have lives to live that aren't centered around politics. The right wing has demonstrated that they're reachable. The left just makes fun of them, for the most part.

  34. Yabbut, she EARNED that Medicare! It's not something for shameful poor people, like Medicaid.

  35. Jay B.2:24 PM

    What the fuck are you talking about? What on Earth is Obama supposed to do about "stand your ground" except to, once again, piss off your "reachable" tea partiers by being agains it? A commander in chief has to do with the military and their rules, not your laundry list of Things Chuckling Doesn't Like. He's weak on civil liberties and he sucks on Wall St.

    And I'm not making excuses for Obama, it's more that your utterly stupid prescriptions for advancing a progressive agenda (Obama is catastrophic for progressives because of the fucking Florida legislature and because your idiotic roommate who hates the President's guts hasn't heard one of the approximately 200,000 speeches Obama has given on the benefits of his health care plan) are useless.

  36. Mark_Bzzzz2:27 PM

    It could be that it's just too damn cold to leave the house.

  37. Mark_Bzzzz2:28 PM

    Letting people die in the street is FREE!!!1! And it's freedom, too!

  38. it's because universal healthcare has left us so spiritually broken we can't get out of bed in the morning.

    And here I thought it was embarrassment over Toronto.

  39. "What's the difference between New Coke and the PPACA?"

    "With the PPACA, a large number of people previously without health insurance will have coverage!"

    [Ba DUM tsh]

  40. Bigby2:38 PM

    Just yesterday people were complaining on our neighborhood homeowners association FB page about 'our money' going to pay for 'special, more anti-rat' trashcans for Those People. The city decided to disburse these new cans to the worst, rat-infested hoods FIRST (we'll get ours next, I already have a perfectly rat-proof can I bought at Lowe's 12 years ago for $20, thanks...not to mention the city gave away plain black lidded cans about 7 years ago so I actually have TWO).

    Golly gee! I wish *I* could a) not make enough money to afford a trash can, or taxes, b) and live in one of the more rat-infested parts of town! Those People have it so makes me sssssooooo maaaaad!

  41. Ed Crotty2:38 PM

    "shameful poor people" - Why is this country so stupid? People are poor for lots of reasons, and many of those reasons can be temporary if you don't lose your home or your health. Most of them are arbitrary and just bad luck. Why we attach such a moral judgment that rich=good and poor=shame instead of rich=lucky and poor=unlucky. Unfortunately, I know the answer is > 50% racism.

  42. chuckling2:40 PM

    My utterly stupid prescriptions? You mean better messaging? If the messaging's so great, how is it that he's given 200,000 speeches and most people have no clue what's up with health care?

    Or my prescription that we show respect for those less educated about politics than we, like my "idiotic" roommate or our friend who's husband is waiting for a liver transplant and will be financially ruined if he gets it?

    But maybe you're right, J. Everything's hunky dory in progressive land and anyone who doesn't agree with you or know what you know is an idiot worthy of nothing but insults and ridicule. If you're angling for a show on MSNBC, you're on the right path. More likely you're the liberal equivalent of a ditto head.

  43. Ed Crotty2:42 PM

    Tea party basement dwellers are only a few beers away from Klan rallies. They are not against government benefits for themselves, but they are against benefits for people who are not white. They hate Democrats (of all colors) because we don't hate like they do.

  44. Ed Crotty2:43 PM

    You're a troll, right?

  45. chuckling2:46 PM

    Do you know any personally? You're just guessing, right?

  46. Gromet2:47 PM

    Your friend will not be financially ruined by the liver transplant, thanks to Obama, and the messaging on that has been 100% clear. Weird how you missed it.

    And the Dems' messaging has shown a lot more respect for the less educated than, say, the Republican party, which has leaned toward a "Death Panels" mode of communication that treats the less educated like panickable paranoids to be stampeded in whatever direction suits their worst elements.

  47. chuckling2:48 PM


  48. Jay B.2:53 PM

    Your solution to what's wrong with progressiveland is also what you point to as its main problem -- the President. That's idiotic. Messaging doesn't fucking work when people don't want to listen to it to begin with. So it's not the President's fault that you and other people don't listen to what he says and has said ad nauseum about ACA. Millions more people have heard it, there was a national referendum on it and he won the election, but you were listening, as always, to the anecdotes that seem more real to you, no matter what objective reality says.

  49. chuckling2:54 PM

    Theoretically, but I've actually spoken with health care workers out here in Rurality who are tasked with helping people sign up for the ACA. The most successful out of an office of six managed to sign up 8 out of over 300 applicants. Now, and for a long time to come, conservative assholes can run on the "Would you trust the Government with your healthcare?" meme and a whole hell of a lot of people will answer "hell no!"

    Of course if there was a progressive party, everyone would know that there are numerous examples in the world of governments effectively handling health care at about half the cost of what we pay.

    But we can't talk about that, eh? Because realpolitik.

  50. chuckling2:56 PM

    Nah, I'm probably the longest tenured commenter left around here. Though maybe Jay B or Aimai predate me.

    Haven't seen you around. Does that make you the troll?

  51. chuckling2:59 PM

    It's not working. That's my point.

  52. crosspalms3:05 PM

    If the only people being hurt by the ACA are people writing for MSM editorial pages, isn't this a two-fer for the GOP?

  53. Still, in 2012 he collected measly million of voters here, a pitiable million of voters there,

    and suddenly he was reelected.

    can't be that bad at that messaging thing.

  54. Jay B.3:14 PM

    Of course if there was a progressive party, everyone would know that there are numerous examples in the world of governments effectively handling health care at about half the cost of what we pay.

    It's a conspiracy I tells ya! Thankfully, there are still enough communists in the US, that the information has managed to squeak out here and there, like when noted Marxist Warren Buffet brought it up:

    "Well I think it’s the right decision, but I think that the health care problem is the number-one problem of America and of American business. If we have 17 or 18 percent of our GDP going to health care and we’re competing with countries that have 10 percent."

    Or when the obscure outlet NBC News did a story on it.

    Or when some Kenyan talked about it in a fucking speech unveiling his program at the AMA's annual conference:

    ""Today, we are spending over $2 trillion a year on health care -- almost 50 percent more per person than the next most costly nation. And yet, as I think many of you are aware, for all of this spending, more of our citizens are uninsured, the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren't any healthier. In fact, citizens in some countries that spend substantially less than we do are actually living longer than we do."

  55. Ellis_Weiner3:17 PM

    A thousand times this. It's one more on the list of reasons why health care is unlike any other good or service. The list includes, but is not limited to:

    a. You are essentially compelled to buy these goods and services (medicine, procedures, tests, operations) when a third party (a "doctor") tells or advises you to.
    b. Much, if not everything, is at stake when you do, (i.e., your life).
    c. You are completely unable to know, on your own, whether you need these goods and services.
    d. The more effective many of these goods and services are, the more they will embody the most recent technological discoveries and inventions, and thus their cost will continue to rise, although--
    e. --no average consumer is able to judge, OR IS ALLOWED TO KNOW, how much they actually cost.

    I'm sure there are others.

  56. Ellis_Weiner3:19 PM

    --for Freedom?

  57. Tell me, Chuckles, does the Republican party and their incessant messaging/posturing/governing about how everything Obama does/proposes/implements is the worst fucking thing ever, does any of this register at all in your pathetic little pity play? Or do you prefer ignoring the enormous elephant shitting all over the room because it doesn't fit your narrative?

  58. chuckling3:21 PM

    A few drops of water against buckets of rain. Most people know nothing about it and don't believe it if you tell them. Are you seriously saying that the Democrats have made a coherent and sustained argument for single payer health care that has been received and dismissed by the majority of Americans?

    C'mon Jay, drop the nonsense and admit what you know to be true.

  59. Ellis_Weiner3:24 PM

    "if you look at a lot of the historical language around american white
    supremacy/patriarchy, there is a strong, abiding theme which signals the
    porousness of white identity and/or white male identity"

    Might that be the result of projection? Of "idealization" of the Other, or at by ascribing qualities to the Other that the subject craves but cannot consciously accept? You make a straw man, and then live your life afraid of having your "identity" harmed, attacked, or dissed by all those straw men out there because...well, you know how THEY are.

  60. Ellis_Weiner3:28 PM

    But she'll have the handsome consolation prize American society awards the poor: she'll be called "proud." Never mind that pride is one of the seven deadly sins. (How would it sound if every miserable schmuck victimized by our system were complimented by being called "slothful"?) They all do it, left and right. "He grew up eating dirt and living in a refrigerator box, a proud Kentuckian with a dream..."

  61. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps3:31 PM

    Why do you keep calling it "Rurality" like it's some foreign country none of us have ever visted?

  62. Jay B.3:34 PM

    Nice goalpost moving. Since you evidently can't read what you write that's not what you said — you said no one knows that the civilized world pays half what we do because the awful, awful Democrats don't tell them — but those "small drops" took me about 3 seconds to find. It's not hard, and liberals talk about it all the time but again, you pretend not to hear it. However, if you want to talk single-payer, great. It'd be a great idea. And it literally IS the socialized medicine your reachable, benighted tea partiers have been dreaming Obamacare is, now sell them on it. Expand Medicare to 50+ or Medicare for all. That was a proposal you know. Democrats since FDR and Truman have pushed for it, Teddy Kennedy was a pretty high-profile universal health care guy, but I guess you must not have heard of those guys. Because Democrats are just like the other guys, am I right?

    I'm sure it's just a few smart words that'll get Congress and the tea party to see the rational case behind single payer. Messaging. That's the key.

  63. Gromet3:46 PM

    I occasionally listen to the rightwing radio that it seems you imagine is great at messaging, and it always puts me in a bad mood. For one thing, that's what it intends to do; for another, almost nothing said is accurate. There is not a fact those radiomen won't twist or obscure in order to make their case, as they feel much less responsibility to facts than to their commitment to oppose the other side in all things. This is a choice that only people constituted a certain way will make, and I'd argue that people constituted that way more often situate themselves rightward.

    I also remember Radio America, or whatever that "leftwing" station was called 7-10 years ago. I remember one morning the DJ got very worked up, quoting a GOP politician and citing stats. He was really spewing, and I found it repellent; one reason I'm not a Republican is that I don't enjoy the angry approach to issues. But, I supposed, this was the kind of messaging the station had decided was needed. Well, he took a break for commercials, and when he returned he was subdued. He apologized. He said that during the break he'd looked up some more info and discovered that in context the politician's quote made sense, and his own stats had come from a dubious source. Well, that made me laugh. Jiminy Christmas! Classic liberal.

    "Messaging" isn't done as easily by the "left" I think, because (generally) we can't love propaganda more than accuracy. It's part of what made me switch parties at age 19, anyway -- I liked the party that tried harder to talk about real details. You seem to state that the left is ineffective in messaging because they're less respectful of people. But if you and your basement pal deem fact-inspired apologies to be less respectful of you than red-meat-hurling fury, I don't really know what to say. I guess you've made your choice in life. And if you've decided the party whose message is "47% of Americans are moochers" respects you more than the party that moved mountains to get you affordable health care, then what the hell kind of messaging DO you think would work for Obama?

  64. Clio's Bitch3:58 PM

    I do agree that it *would* be nice if we got some mass movement representing a supermajority of Americans against the depredations of postindustrial capitalism.

    But that's not going to happen. Yes most Americans are operationally liberal but that breaks down when you add the far more potent and primal codes and signals of tribalism, authoritarianism, etc.

    In essence, it doesn't really matter what Chuckling's roommate thinks. Only that him and his political fellow-travelers are marginalized to a point where my agenda can pass.

    That's it. I care about getting his roommate healthcare. If he wants to bitch about it, good for him. So long as we're outhustling his people, slowly stripping away the reactionary rules built into the system (like the filibuster) and slowly taking over the Democratic party with an active and engaged vanguard then demographics, the insanity of the opposite party (which works to constructively radicalize our own people) then we're going to win.

    In this respect, I completely agree with Grover Norquist. Leninism is and always shall be the quickest and soundest road to power. Whip up your supporters. Learn to get them out in the lowest-turnout election scenario if necessary. Crush the opposition.

    P.S. And the point about local organizing is well-taken. The American Right has absorbed the political lessons of the Bolsheviks. It's time the Left reclaimed its patrimony.

  65. chuckling4:04 PM

    Ummm, yes, duh. Seems it's not me ignoring that particular elephant but you all who get so upset when I point out that they're winning that battle decisively while Obama, Democrats and most progressives just sit around and snicker about how stupid those hicks are to fall for that shit rather than craft and deliver an effective message to counter it.

    And crafting an effective message to counter it really shouldn't be that hard now, should it?

    Inquisitive minds might wonder why it never happens.

  66. crosspalms4:05 PM

    Maybe if we send George Zimmerman to Guantanamo it will restore some karmic balance.

  67. BG, finally feck free4:07 PM

    I suggest this woman stop using all the services that "other people's taxes" pay for.

  68. ADHDJ4:19 PM

    I wonder if there's some kind of imaginary cab driver exchange program where cabbies from chuckling's mythical "Rurality" (I suppose Yoknapatawpha County is a bit too much to type) go drive Thomas Friedman around the Kandahar in his head, and vice-versa.

    Chuckles been mansplaining poverty and how "the little people" think and act to us for years with the sort of tone-deafness that makes Peggy Noonan look like she's got her finger on the pulse of the common people. You just have to learn to live with it, I guess. Wish he'd just save it up for a book -- call it "The Rusted Out Pinto and the Hangin' Tree: Understanding Greenlanternization"

  69. Jaime Oria4:21 PM

    "The Rusted Out Pinto, the Camaro on Blocks and the Hangin' Tree -" FTFY

  70. XeckyGilchrist4:21 PM

    "I was able to pay for college with a paper route in 1963, so fuck you moochers who whine about your student loan debt."

  71. Christ I'm glad you wrote this. I literally just this minute dropped a hard copy of hte WSJ from my nerverless grasp in a seizure of rage from reading this piece. I just couldn't even.

  72. chuckling4:23 PM

    What kind of messaging might work? Accurate and respectful, as you say. Don't know where you live, but round here I'm not seeing much of that. Especially the respectful part, as most of this thread (present company excluded) unfortunately demonstrates.

  73. For christ's sake her daughter could step the fuck up and pay the enormous premiums for her mother to have the "better" ACA insurance, couldn't she? What's that you say? She doesn't want to?

  74. Inquisitive minds might wonder why it never happens.
    Well, carry on with your inquisitiveness, then. Meanwhile anyone with even a modicum of intelligence will tell you that no amount of first-class messaging can puncture the titanium dome of disgust the right holds for the current president and his policies. Or did you not fucking notice what happened in the senate today?

  75. PersonaAuGratin4:30 PM

    I just don't expect anything positive out of getting free national defense. I don't see why other people should have to pay for my national defense,
    whether it be through taxes or otherwise. Just give me a shotgun, a case of ammo, and a couple of grenades, and I'll take my own chances with the People's Liberation Army and Al Qaeda.

  76. chuckling4:47 PM

    Ah, so you're saying resistance is futile because the 47 percent or whatever are too stupid and filled with hate. I can see how you'd get that from paying attention to the news and blogs. But I get out a lot and meet a very wide range of people and I find a much more nuanced situation that what typically gets reported. Those brainwashed and highly agitated by hate radio and fox news are the minority. The problem is more the passive, decent people who don't pay that much attention but when they do get either no coherent progressive message or one of contempt for them and/or people they know. Of course my experience is anecdotal, but I'll trust it over what the shouting heads tell me on the tv or blog comments sections.

  77. Gromet4:56 PM

    I'm sorry, but you're simply not making a case that the party of "You're a bunch of moochers" and is more respectful and accurate in its messaging.

  78. "Get off the road, Mama Hopkins!"

  79. (How would it sound if every miserable schmuck victimized by our system were complimented by being called "slothful"?)

    My dear fellow, the miserable schmucks victimized by the system are called "slothful" on a daily basis.

  80. Jay B.5:22 PM

    Accurate and respectful? Obama bends over backward to be respectful and is usually pretty accurate (sometimes, he lies too). And "progressives" like you ignore it completely while 45% of the country fucking hates him anyway. I'm not pro-Obama so much as anti-anti-Obama because the people who don't like him offer up terrible arguments (like, oh, I don't know, "Robamney" and "Travon Martin") in opposition. I mean seriously, if you don't find him accurate on health care, or respectful on just about everything, you really haven't heard a word he's ever said. Or it's just completely disingenuous.

  81. chuckling5:25 PM

    It's certainly true that I'm not making a case that they are more accurate. Seems to me that they are superficially more respectful, though far, far far from sincere. They're not making the argument that "you're a bunch of moochers." They're making the argument that those other people are a bunch of moochers. But ultimately, the observation I'm making is that they are much more effective and the scoreboard supports that contention.

    And I think this goes back to the arguments about Howard Dean's 50 state solution in which he argued, and put the party's money behind it, that all races should be contested even if there was no chance of winning in order to educate more and more people with facts that support progressive policies. That, by all accounts I've ever read, was working, but Dean was deposed and the Democratic party went back to ignoring large geographic regions of the country. That, in itself, I think is disrespectable, among the many ways it's problematic. But as you can see just from this thread, the disrespect for regular people shown by a few in this forum is genuinely nasty and one gets that all over the progressive media. Sure, we care for their situation and would like to help them and of course respect them in principle, but when we deign to talk about them they are a bunch of irredeemable idiots.

  82. Gromet5:32 PM

    Holy crow, I just read the article. It ends with this: "I'm proud to see the spiritedness and resolve that bears my mother up
    even now. Such character does not draw attention to itself: Its spark
    only catches the eye when oppression seeks to snuff it out."
    Never mind this is the same writer who 200 words earlier implied she dislikes being "mawkish" -- can we talk about how Free Health Care = Oppression Snuffing Out the Spirited? Because that is just goddamn bananas.

  83. TGuerrant5:47 PM

    Blah people were happy in 1859 so fuck you liberal troublemakers who whine about Jim Crow.

    Oh, wait. Did I get the date wrong?

  84. Is firebagger nonpareil schmuckling finally done trolling this thread? I'm not coming back til he's gone.

  85. mrstilton6:00 PM

    It's time to start the countdown to "Chuck Not Leave Democrats, Democrats Leave Chuck!". I give it six months, tops, till he's outraged at Chappaquidick.

    (Oh, and, note to Chuck: no, you're not; not even remotely.)

  86. Well then by all means carry on, Chuckles. Your inability to hear why your conclusions are nonsense is in perfect harmony with the wilfuly obtuse you're so eager to defend.

  87. satch6:26 PM

    Obviously, they need a better class of rat.

  88. AGoodQuestion7:09 PM

    Is Nicole Hopkins' mother being harmed here? Well if you take her word for it she believes that "taking government handouts is shameful." So I guess that since she was cleared for Medicaid, and then of course she had to Facebook about it, and after that her daughter was forced to write about it in the Wall Street Journal... Well, all of this would be pretty embarrassing. A person might even die of embarrassment.

    OH MY GOD! The death panels are real!

  89. AGoodQuestion7:14 PM

    I need to go check if my own healthcare plan covers glurge poisoning.

  90. XeckyGilchrist7:17 PM

    Yes, all they've got now is those Norwegian Brown ones.

  91. XeckyGilchrist7:18 PM

    Maybe the number, but not the sentiment.

  92. XeckyGilchrist7:19 PM

    And the kind of character that avoids drawing attention to itself in the pages of a major newpaper.

  93. AGoodQuestion7:19 PM

    The thing is that new experiences, as much as new information, require a framework to make sense of them. And for a lot of people that framework is a constricting ideological one constructed with help from dishonest brokers like Rush, Hannity, etc.

  94. XeckyGilchrist7:21 PM

    That would only be shameful if those were government programs.

  95. mortimer20008:04 PM

    If she qualifies for Medicaid in Washington state then her maximum income is around $12,000/year. If the article isn't total bullshit, then she was paying almost $3400/year for her previous insurance, leaving her only $7600 for all other expenses, which she supposedly preferred. I also sincerely do not get this.

    One of the commenters to the article worried that her being "forced" to receive benefits could now make her sick. It's okay, though, she's not on food stamps yet so Paul Ryan says she can still dream, maybe about a country without the burden of Obamacare.

  96. KatWillow8:06 PM

    How has it come to this?" she asked in one of our several talks over the past few weeks about what was happening. When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family. "How have I fallen this far?".

    She could be saying the exact same thing without health care, sitting in her cold nearly empty apartment, dying of cancer because she can't afford insurance, dying of cold because the Electric Co shut off her power, dying of starvation because no food stamps...

  97. KatWillow8:07 PM

    You know, I BET that "lady" was made up, and her story too.

  98. JennOfArk8:18 PM

    Ummm, just curious...but how do you expect competent messaging to reach a group of folks who have been conditioned by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to regard with suspicion any news source that is not unabashedly conservative? The best messaging in the world can't reach people who purposely insulate themselves from ever hearing it or having to think about it.

  99. redoubt8:19 PM

    Woman, Child Discover They Are Not Special Snowflakes, Hilarity Ensues

  100. redoubt8:22 PM

    "Pride goeth before a(n uninsured) fall."

  101. XeckyGilchrist9:12 PM

    And the naked hostility toward uppity knowledge-havers?

  102. redoubt9:27 PM

    I do. Someone who is, like me, African-American. He chose to go Tea Party; he wasn't raised to have contempt for his own people, but has it he does.

  103. j_bird9:41 PM

    She talks about "carrying health insurance" like it's a 20 lb. sack of potatoes. When it reality it's now (or was until recently) a 50 lb. sack of potatoes that can get heavier, go rotten, or wink out of existence depending on your employment status and possession of chronic health conditions.

  104. washingtonlocal9:43 PM

    "'How has it come to this?' she asked in one of our several talks over the past few weeks about what was happening. When she was a working mother and I was young, she easily carried health insurance for our whole family. 'How have I fallen this far?'"

    Ms. Hopkins fails to mention one little fact: that when her mother was working, she was a drug dealer. Interesting fact to conveniently leave out. Some people will do anything for attention.

  105. I dunno, those high-end Wall Street rats can destroy a whole economy.

  106. BigHank5310:19 PM

    I certainly hope she doesn't put off digging her own grave until it's too late and she's too feeble to heave dirt out of a six foot deep hole. Imagine how humiliated her kids will be. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to pay out of their own pockets for a place to sling the old bat's corpse.

  107. Captain Ambiguity10:34 PM

    So, as for that RedState article . . . how is it he takes a research paper that asserts "Medicaid improves health outcomes and should be expanded" and uses it to argue that Medicaid is useless and should be eliminated?

  108. rnegron10:46 PM

    I seems to me that they already have a better class of rat, those just live in the parts of town without the regular kind of rats.

  109. Its so overwrought that it ought to have been scored by Montovani, and illustrated with weeping and mourning fairies.

  110. That caught my eye too. Such an interesting image: young mother carries enough health insurance for four children. Speaking as an old mother I find a lot of stuff gets heavier to carry, as I've gotten older. The whole thing reads like some massive metaphoric overload for a woman who has been averting her eyes from her own desperate, age related, poverty.

  111. chuckling1:38 AM

    That's a genuinely sad, ignorant and atrociously snobby comment, Aimai. More often, they are normal decent people either born into a bad situation or who have had a bad situation thrust upon them; or even in many cases made bad decisions and are entirely responsible for the mess of their lives but are still deserving of empathy and respect. For the most part you and the other country club liberal snobs in your clique are just judging caricatures of people that exist mostly only in your petty little minds. For one thing, who, exactly, are you to judge anyway? For another, is it any wonder that country club liberals such as yourself are so widely despised by the very people who would benefit most from the policies you so wisely advocate? Your contempt for those you pretend to care about is palpable.

  112. Gromet2:14 AM

    Aimai is a country club snob? Like well-known liberal icon Judge Smails?? And she and her "clique" construct ambitious laws like the ACA and Social Security and the Voting Rights Act mainly as a means of pretending to care? Yeah, sounds about right! Spot on, chuck, you champion of accuracy and honesty you.

  113. I gotta say that this hits on one of MY biggest befuzzlements with modern Murika--that nearly all the negative aspects of society that these assholes lament are obvious and direct consequences of generations of uncontrolled corporatist feeding frenzy, and yet the ignorant assholes continue to carry water for the Capitalists and fear/hate the very folks who are trying to improve matters.

    Are they really that blind? Or are they just so far invested in the delirium that they've just given up? Why does the battered wife defend and cling to her asshole abuser?

    I'm coming more and more to see the Corporatist worldview that there really is a Peasant class, who NEED to have a rigid authoritarian system, which progressive humanitarians just cannot give them. That's a terrible thought, but now that it's in my head, I see evidence of it at all levels of society.

  114. The Right cynically enables the delusions of the bagger-mentality, while the Left regards them as dangerous fantasies? What is the answer?

  115. Oh...snobbery?? Is this something you think can only happen when other people are talking? You don't think there was something pathetically, insultingly, snobby about your own description of this poor man? Or something snobby about your attitudes towards progressives--we aren't all latte snorting elitists, you know. In fact among President Obama's voters are literally hundreds of thousands of the--oh, what shall we call them? Poor? Uneducated? Down on their luck?

    Fuck off you pathetic little joke of a man. If you weren't speaking, interminably, for the imaginary voices in your head you would have nothing to talk about at all. You and your "rurality" are no more real than the rest of us.

    **And, in fact, as you might know if you bothered to find out, the Tea Partiers are wealthier, whiter, older and less down on their luck than the rest of the country.

  116. I'm sure she returned that $600 tax rebate check from George Bush too.

  117. Halloween_Jack9:51 AM

    The likelihood that she and her family received no benefits from dairy subsidies approaches zero. Guess where government cheese comes from?

  118. Halloween_Jack9:53 AM

    Embarrassment? Hey, you never know when Rob Ford might be on the road...

  119. Halloween_Jack9:55 AM

    There's a great book titled All Souls: A Family Story From Southie that brutally dismantles that whole poor-but-proud myth.

  120. Obviously, if Obama were a little bit more respectful of fools who swallow the RW messaging cork and bottle, and who don't bother to find out that the RW radio/tv commentators are lying to them, then chuckling would see his dreams come true.

  121. Mooser12:07 PM

    The Republicans have a built-in messaging advantage because they have adopted, for the framing of their messages, a melodramatic approach, an approach based on stereotypical thinking that enables scripted entertainment to work.

  122. chuckling12:09 PM

    Yea, yea, yea. People who disagree with you are always pathetic little jokes or losers from flyover country or something along those lines. The simple fact is that you've shown yourself to be an insufferable snob many times over many years. You always have a derogatory comment for those less-well educated than you, or who simply don't agree with you on tiny details, or who prefer not to quietly capitulate to the conservatives like you always do in the name of realpolitik on pretty much every issue that isn't sex or gender related. And then when you're cornered, you fall back on your "Well I've got a famous grandfather so that makes me better than you" defense. Sad thing is, your famous grandfather would no doubt be ashamed of you, taking his legacy and becoming little more than a perpetually angry internet commenter and insufferable snob of the country club liberal variety.

  123. Mooser12:10 PM

    "For the most part you and the other country club liberal snobs in your clique are just judging..."

    "Country Club"? Do you really think Aimai belongs to a "Country Club"?

  124. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps12:13 PM

    This is pathetic.

  125. Mooser12:15 PM

    I remember "Country Clubs" from the 50's and 60's. Are there really any left? It's gone, all gone. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that fall on my nose, and eyelashes. Dance bands, Les Elgar, and oh, the cars! The '62 Lincoln? Wild geese who flew with the moon on their wings? What would you give for that? Now the poppies grow in Flanders...

    Crap, brain shorted out. I'll see ya later. I knew I shouldn't have come here.

  126. Mooser12:17 PM

    True, that.

  127. Mooser12:21 PM

    "The right wing has demonstrated that they're reachable."

    Would like some work? Look, I'm sure you have a job, but could you work part-time as my "straight-man"?

    I mean, I got at least a dozen boffo cracks outa that, without even trying, starting with, "Yeah? Maybe with a 2x4!!" and descending thereafter, to snicker-snorts and farting noises!

  128. Mooser12:28 PM

    (women, blacks, poors, jews)

    Jews? Uhhh, sure, if you say so! The facts say otherwise, but at least you put us in company I can be proud of. I don't know what tomorrow may bring (they say the sun will explode in 350 million years! Is that good...) but as of the last 200 years or more, us Jews have had it really good in the Goldenah Medina.
    Why, we've done so well we think we are male, white, and rich!

  129. Mooser12:31 PM

    "How has it come to this?" she asked in one of our several talks"
    Republicans don't suggest getting married as the answer to every women's problems any more? That's an improvement, I guess.

  130. Mooser12:34 PM

    "The whole thing reads like some massive metaphoric overload for a woman
    who has been averting her eyes from her own desperate, age related,

    If I didn't know that her husband died of a lingering illness, I might think she made improvident investments in the real estate market, and then got divorced when bankruptcy approached.

  131. Waffle_Man1:16 PM

    I only drive on roads I've built myself. Why should other people pay for my transportation?

  132. [Surreptitiously draws dotted line on Risk board]

    Why yes, yes it is.

  133. BigHank531:32 PM

    Threw you folks in there because y'all were on the KKK's list. After the blacks and the race-mixers but before the Catholics, if I remember correctly. The point is that whether the excuse is racism, misogyny, religious intolerance, or libertarianism*, the actual outcome of the policies of intolerance is an artificially created underclass.

    *Listen to the tone of voice that's used with the words "taker" or "moocher", and see if you can tell the difference between that and the n-word.

  134. merl12:39 PM

    It's a wonder our military can even function seeing as how them and their families get Government Socialist Healthcare. How do they bear it? My poor dad must have hung his head in shame when I got that free open heart surgery.

  135. Come, come, Chuckling--what make you think that anyone can tell how badly you were educated? AS for "flyover country"--it is you who invented a place, "rurality" which you represent as entirely inhabited by people who need more messaging than an entire two campaigns by a President and a massive media infrastructure can give them.

  136. glennisw3:38 PM

    And now you know why I seldom fly!

  137. chuckling3:46 PM

    Well, the term you used was "morons from flyover country" and you have used many other phrases referring to those less educated and wise than yourself that come of as insufferably snobby. You just don't seem to have respect for the people you claim to (and I believe you do) care about.

    As I've mentioned, I get out a lot and meet a lot of people. I know plenty of Ivy Leaguers and very wealthy people and on the other end of the spectrum I know meth addicts and people barely getting buy in this shit economy. And I know a lot of people in between, many of whom are mostly ignorant about politics and more or less conservative in their voting habits, if they vote.

    And yes, I realize that all my anecdotal evidence may or may not throw any light on national issues, but it does demonstrate one thing which I know is very important and that you fail to understand. That is that there is a lot of nuance in people. They are not the cardboard cutout morons from flyover country or Ivy League snobs or evil billionaires, or any kind of idiot or bad person about most things at all.

    And yes, duh, progressives need to do a better job of messaging for people at the lower ends of the economic and educational spectrum. Two presidential elections talking about hope and change and a mainstream media that ranges between outright propaganda and misinformation from the right to false equivalence and horse race politics in the normal corporate media obviously isn't doing the trick. And unfortunately, if they pay much attention to the progressive left, the message they're likely to get is that we think they're all a bunch of morons in flyover country.

    I trust you are not a bad person and probably quite nice and not hardly snobby at all in the real world, but your internet persona does not show enough of that good side of you. But I think you are capable of having empathy and understanding for those less educated and less fortunate than yourself who hold beliefs people like you and I know to be poorly researched and thought out. But they are probably not morons. They are probably not stupid. They probably are good people just like yourself in more ways than not. If you, and big time liberals in general, would focus on understanding them and communicating with them rather than constantly ridiculing them, it would be conceivable to turn this thing around. Facts, as we all know around here, tend to be very liberal. It's all that and much more so out in Rurality. Don't believe me, get out here and check it out for yourself. Turn off the teevee and the computer and get out and meet some real people in socioeconomic situations you're unfamiliar with and I'm confident you'll find that very few of them are the caricatures you believe them to be.

  138. Rurality isn't a derogatory term--its just a stupid one. Rurality isn't the issue. There are poor, badly informed, angry, sad, miserable, sick, people in every corner of this country. There are people who are desperate who aren't in rural areas at all--and of course the vast majority of American citizens are not in rural areas at all, and not in flyover country either. (Technically, I'm in flyover country right now! Imagine that!)

    You don't speak for all those people anymore than I do. And you aren't more concerned for those people than I am. You just have an enormous chip on your shoulder about how you do as opposed to other progressives. You are simply delusional about how other people--myself for example but pretty much everyone you interact with here at alicublog--is somehow isolated from "real people" or doesn't care about "real people" or has never met or dealt with "real people."

    You are so pathetically full of your own self importance that its hard to take you seriously as other than a troll. I get that you don't think of yourself that way--you think you are sincerely progressive or whatever. But the truth is you speak for and about only one class of people: poor, angry, white people in non urban areas. In other words: everyone else who is out there fighting for progressive values, everyone else out there who has an idea for who to talk to, how to organize progressively, how to do electoral politics? They are all fakers, poseurs, and useless because we don't think that appealing to angry white males in basements is the sine qua non of effective political action.

    Its not: its one aspect of getting out the vote to get into power to do stuff. But its not the be all and end all of the work that needs to get done. You can elect yourself captain of the good ship "bitch all lot" all you want but you remain simply a miserable, angry, bystander to the real work that other people--notably our President--has been doing to matierially improve the lives of the people you pretend to speak for and about.

    If you had a little less miserable ego wrapped up in speaking for and about other people you'd have something to add to this conversation. Instead it allways devolves down into how angry Chuckling feels that there are other people in his politics not catering to his angry feelings. Look: there's more to politics than angry white men. You should get out more, maybe in an urban area.

  139. marindenver6:13 PM

    Oh you mean just because all those other stories about the hardships of the ACA have turned out to be bogus? Lieberals are soooo untrusting!

  140. whetstone7:06 PM

    I'm proud to be an American
    'Cause at least I know I'm free
    And I won't forget the men who died
    So I can die in poverty
    And I'd proudly lay down in front of you
    And drop dead here today
    'Cause there ain't no doubt I'll fertilize this landIn my hand-dug shallow grave

  141. billcinsd8:23 PM

    or Bloom County. To be a farmer you have to be able to say "keep your dirty mitts off of my farm, you government goombahs" and "where's my subsidy check" consecutively without laughing

  142. StringOnAStick11:11 PM

    A nice salary was involved, I assure you.

  143. Clio's Bitch2:53 AM

    Ah yes. Fingers. The naturally stern fleshy commissars forcing you to finish a coherent thought. Anyhow, I guess the natural end to that argle barble (maybe I should get a job as a rightblogger) is that the natural factors (demography, historicism vis-a-vis the natural swing of the political pendulum) already favor us so a committed vanguard strategy a la the right (which we have to admit has been very successful despite the angst of the rightbloggers) would be a good move for the Left.

    I'm to the President's Left myself, but OFA is a step in the right direction. Its already started to share its data with local campaigns. The next step is to get even more micro. Run for the local offices. That builds you a farm team and lets you set policy at a level where a lot of good and bad is still done (often over an ambit that the federal/state levels do not quite reach.)

  144. DocAmazing11:37 AM

    I'd say it's Stockholm Syndrome, but they have national healthcare in Sweden.

  145. AlanInSF12:51 PM

    No wonder this woman's unemployed. How was she going to drive to work without using the publically subsidized streets?

  146. AlanInSF12:53 PM

    Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans out of Britain! Pictland for the Pictish!

  147. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person1:44 PM

    I don't support Social Darwinism, except when Life Happens to people who do. I know that's wrong, but I don't care...

  148. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:37 PM

    But if go with an AR-15 style rifle you automatically get a mancard. At least that's what Bushmaster? tells me.

  149. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:37 PM

    And I don't drive on roads at all.

  150. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.4:39 PM

    And that's why you shouldn't casually read even the "respectable" wingnut press. Remember it could happen to you.

  151. Yes, The Authoritarians is my favorite book ever. I think it should be required reading for everyone studying American history and politics. Its way more important, in its own way, than de Toqueville (say) as a guide to understanding our politics.

  152. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.5:01 PM

    To be fair de Toqueville is 170+ years old and pre-Civil War.

  153. That is a fantastic book--and you might put it up with Angela's Ashes.

    Imagine block quote here:

    When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived it all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
    . . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.

  154. Yeah, but I'm just personally irritated with the way de Toqueville "stands in" for something that every educated person should have read about US politics when there are much more insightful works available. You see him name checked all the time but you seldom see things like The Authoritarians referenced when of the two TA is much more provocative, explanatory, and necessary.

  155. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.5:23 PM

    I think it has to with the humanities obsession that there must a canon of classics in which eternal verities are written down, which you absolutely have to read so that you can cultivate a mindset that rises above mere contemporary politics.

  156. Halloween_Jack9:42 AM

    It actually did show up in Doonesbury. ♫"My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of subsidy..."♪

  157. Barry_D1:37 PM

    " And then of course, us taxpayers will have to swallow the costs of her catastrophic care."

    Look on the bright side - her children might be dumb enough to sign all of the forms which her hospital gives them to sign. One of which will require them to pay any unpaid bills from her care. At, of course, the retail rate, not the insurance reimbursement rate.