Friday, June 23, 2017

And On The Lighter Side...

The most important and incomprehensible story in today's news is the release of the Republicans' plans to kinda sorta replace Obamacare with something which seems just about as complicated and convoluted, but will save billions in tax dollars for the evil rich by declaring "mass graves for the poor" to be a legitimate medical option.

At least, that's how the ever-rabid mainstream media is reporting it. Seriously, the Holocaust got more favorable press coverage. We're guessing the actual plan is significantly less draconian than it's being portrayed and, at least possibly, better than the current system which is crumbling before our eyes (as it was meant to do by the Democrats).

With nothing else to say on the topic just yet, we've decided to look at "the lighter side" of the news - by which we mean the stories which we'd like to take a lighter to, if not an actual flamethrower. Starting with...

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Contrary to a number of bone-headed tweets, Donald Trump has now admitted that he has no secret tapes of his conversations with fired FBI Director James Comey.  Despite this, we don't believe Trump was lying. We believe, as we always have, that the guy is at least sporadically nuts.

We also wonder, under the GOP health care plan, what a double thumbectomy would cost - because we know a certain Twitter addict who could really, really use one.

And speaking of Oval Office residents, we found this story interesting...

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LA would be renaming a 3 mile stretch of Rodeo Road, which makes us hope passionately that the rodeo clown who infamously wore an Obama mask while dodging bulls will do the ribbon-cutting.

By the way, let us be quick to distance ourselves from the racially insensitive joke told above by our ersatz Nick and Nora Charles. We can only guess that they were under the evil influence of coffee at the time...

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According to a scientific study which was, in a glaring bit of oversight, not funded by our tax dollars, researchers determined that psychopaths are more likely to prefer their coffee black.

Which is really only logical; if you dawdle around in Starbucks waiting endlessly for your barista to make a Veni-Vini-Vici-sized half-foam hazelnut creme arabica cappuccino with sprinkles and a dusting ("Only a dusting!") of nutmeg, it gives the cops way too much time to catch up with you.

Which isn't why we prefer our coffee black. We just like something that matches our mood in the morning.


Mike L said...

I figure that Trump thinks that with all the phones, cellphones and other devices with microphones in the white house that NSA is recording everything said in the white house. Goes right along with ending press briefings. Let the press depend on their NSA leaks.

james daily said...

Great column. I haven't laughed this much in a while. (Since my buddy said if Pelosi gets one more facelift, she will get a Van Dyke beard free of charge.)

Pete (Detroit) said...

I kinda figured Trump was just yanking chains at the time.
If *I* were da Preezy (gawd forbid) or other Person of IMPortance, I'd have a recorder going 24/7.
Period. And if I needed to wipe it, well, what evs...

As for the fookin' Bummercare EVEN Lighter the Senate came out w/...
Thank God for Cruz, Paul, Lee, and the other guy for putting the kaibosh on this out of the gate.
This is NOT "repeal"
This is nothing LIKE repeal
When the plane is headed for the ground at Mach 2, changign the trajectory from 90 degrees to 70 will NOT prevent the disaster, merely change who gets the blame.
1) define terms - Health "insurance" is not health "care"
2) Bummercare is imploding. Repeal it, or don't. Dicking around is NO help. On this note "it will throw millions off health care" should be replied to with 'and when it collapses, it will throw EVERYONE off
3) When did we lose the debate on 'Government is responsible for our health'? When the hell did we HAVE that debate? On what planet is that a GOOD idea?
4) Redefine the problem, re-evaluate the solution. 20M people not having insurance and using ER as primary health *is* an issue. Now, let's work as solving that. Maybe we sponsor urgent care units in poor areas. Maybe a subsidy to purchase basic private insurance in the private market... There is a HUGE diff b/n helping those who CAN not provide for them selves, and those who WILL not.

This is NOT rocket science, I know, I've studied that.
This *is* fixable.
It does NOT require the Fed to take over 1/6 of the economy....

Jim Irre said...

I want to know when the insurance companies are going to start pulling out of private markets.

REM1875 said...

Thanks Doc for explaining why I like my coffee Black

Emmentaler Limburger said...

I personally believe Trump's tweets indicated that he believed Comey had recorded the conversations. Didn't the tweets come out around the time Comey was fired and his office was seized? Hadn't finished searching through all his stuff yet...

Geoff King said...

I drink Taster's Choice coffee crystals. Black, with lots of sugar.
Evidently that means I can be sweet one moment, but turn on you in an instant.

Unknown said...

I've been drinking it black since the 4th grade...

RE: Recording - I'd bet dollars to donuts that Comey did record their conversations. It's just too easy to do these days with all the electronics people carry. He just didn't get anything worth leaking.

TrickyRicky said...

@Pete- Agree 100% on the health insurance clusterfark. Health care costs and availability could be largely fixed with a few common sense actions.

1)Tort Reform.
3)Allowing insurers to compete across state lines.
4)For those 20 million who are uninsurable due to serious health problems, just pay for them out of the federal budget.

I believe all of these points were presented by Republicans during the Obummercare debacle, but of course The Won and the dems would have no part of it. They crafted a Frankenstein's monster absolutely designed to fail and usher in "single payer".

BTW, I prefer my coffee "special".

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm in the minority when I say I love Trump's habit of tweeting. I don't think his loosey-goosey tweets reflect anything negative as far as how he's actually going about the job of President. In fact, it's refreshing, and it shows just how arrogant and filled with hubris most politicians are... elected officials aren't better than us, at all, yet they act all offended by Trump's "regular guy" way of doing business. The more they bleat, the more he should tweet!

Sortahwitte said...

I have always imbibed my coffee in it's blackest form. If you want to dilute it's basic essence and doctor it, fine. Just don't block the pot while you make a cake. Especially if i'm seeking my first cup of the day.

American Cowboy said...

Take one pound of grounds,
one quart of water,
boil on the stove top until it is the color and consistency of roofing tar.
Spoon into a cup, ENJOY!

Okay, maybe not quite that strong, but I like it strong and dark enough you cannot see through it. None of that colored water that looks like it was what you used to rinse out the pot for this cowboy.

jlw said...

@ American Cowboy
i once read a similar recipe (from a cowboy)

One pound of grounds
one quart of water
bring to a boil and throw in a horse shoe

when the horse shoe floats, it's ready

AmyH said...

This is exactly what I have been saying. I do not understand why not a single person in Congress or Senate has mentioned it or be very vocal about it. Did we really elect a bunch of morons (I know those with a D are)?

John the Econ said...

Another great example of "fake" news. Actually @Stilton, at least in the New York Times, the Holocaust DID get better coverage!

As for the GOP's answer to ObamaCare, I'm sticking with what I've been saying for the last 8 years: ObamaCare was designed to destroy what was left of private insurance and care in America in order to make us acquiesce to the long-sought Progressive dream of "single payer". It's now long since succeeded at that. "Repeal" is pointless; the insurance and doctor I liked are long gone, and are not coming back. Most of the "fixes" for most of the problems with health care in this country that I proposed 8 years ago will no longer work.

I don't yet know what's in the new GOP plan any more than the New York Times really does, but I can't imagine it being anything better than ObamaCare was; a complex, unworkable, economically and fiscally flimsy kludge to an already terminally sinking ship.

"Single Payer" is inevitable, and unless you are significantly wealthy, buckle up for an experience previously reserved for Medicaid recipients and our veterans.

Trumps Tapes, or the lack of them: Although these kinds of games may have worked well for him in the rough-and-tumble world of New York real estate, I really don't think they translate well to the world of government.

Obama Drive: I'm not big into amending the Constitution, but one I would consider would be that no street, public building or monument can be named after any living person.

Coffee: Wouldn't know.

CDH said...

Personally I think Trump was trolling the Dems. He carefully worded his recording claims. "Comey had better hope no tapes exist" or something like that. I sure wish he was above this kind of petty BS. It does taint the good things he is trying to get done.

Paul D Garber said...

I drink my coffee black because it's the way I like my women...Hot & Black which my wife of 46+ years has heard about a billion times. By the way, my wife is still hot but was never black.

Colby Muenster said...

Yes, I wish Trump would filter his Tweets a bit more, but totally understand why he still sends them out. He will NEVER get fair (hack... koff!) "press" coverage, so I sort of like the direct communication, despite the occasional covfefe. Having blathered that, I agree with CDH above. Trump was totally trolling Comey and his backers (you know, the people who wanted his head on a stick last year). I think this move forced Comey to not tell any whoppers during his testimony; he dared not if there was the slimmest of chances Trump would zoom in with damning, contradictory recordings.

Healthcare law draft number 357b... These congressional turdheads still don't get it. Repeal the effing ACA, and get the gubmint totally out of our healthcare. That is what us non-snowflakes want, and that is why we voted for guys like Trump, Cruz, Paul, Lee, and such. This is why Democrats continue losing elections like Georgia despite the horrendous spending.

How many times has the free market proven to lower prices? It is really, really sad that the congress critters who say they support free markets, don't.

I enjoy going to the Starbucks and ordering a plain coffee. They ALWAYS ask what I want in it, and I ALWAYS say "coffee." Then they ask, "Will that be tall, grande, venti or trenta?" To which I respond, "En Ingles, por favor." They hate that.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Mike L- Who the heck can say what the NSA is tapping and leaking these days?

@James Daily- Thanks! It really is my goal to deliver a laugh or two whenever possible.

@Pete (Detroit)- It's possible that Trump was "just yanking chains," but the downside is a serious loss of credibility.

Regarding the Healthcare plan, I've got mixed feelings (well, "bad" and "worse" is mixed, right?). The Wall Street Journal says that if it fails, then Obamacare will be unstoppable...and the GOP will be forced to continue bailing it out. On the other hand, this plan still stinks in a lot of ways because it offers benefits that people are now demanding but aren't really financially sustainable.

Nothing short of single-payer will please most people anymore...and even those people will be in for a rude awakening when they finally get their wish.

@Jim Irre- I wouldn't be surprised to see it.

@REM1875- That's not what your other personalities said.

@Emmentaler Limburger- That sounds as plausible as anything. Granted, that's not a high bar to clear anymore...

@Geoff King- I'm going to pretend I didn't just hear you admit to drinking instant coffee (shudder).

@Tracy Evans- Since 4th grade?! Geez, just like little Rhoda in "The Bad Seed."

And yes, I wouldn't put it past Comey to be wearing a wire at all times. Or one of those "hard to find" anal microphones.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- Good suggestions on healthcare. Of course, Obamacare was never about "health" - it was about wealth redistribution and power.

@porkyspen- I know a lot of people like his tweets, but I'm not in their number. Oh, SOME of them are funny or on point, but too many just muddy the waters and make people (like me) question his mental stability. I will say that I like the full frontal manner in which he attacks the media, even if I don't much care for what he's saying.

@Sortahwitte- I'm with you. Maybe it's part placebo effect, but I want my coffee to taste like COFFEE. Oh, I'm willing to buy flavored coffees like Hazelnut or Mocha, but other than that nothing goes into my mug but the actual java.

@American Cowboy- No eggshells? Another myth bites the dust...

@jlw- Bonus points for not specifying a clean horse shoe.

@AmyH- I think there's ample evidence to support your theory about morons.

@John the Econ- Yup, yup, yup on your comments about Obamacare. I agree that single-payer is now inevitable (and regrettable).

Regarding Trump, his shenanigans don't translate well to the Oval Office. It's just not a good venue for capricious nonsense.

I think your suggestion about renaming streets is a good one. Although in fairness, allowing communities to rename streets after Obama might draw some of the crime away from the many streets renamed for Martin Luther King Jr.

I'd say something about you not drinking coffee, only I'm still struggling to understand how that's possible.

@CDH- I agree that Trump weasel-worded his tweet not to get caught outright as a liar, and also agree that it is "petty BS" of a king that isn't helpful.

@Paul D Garber- After using that line on your wife for 46 years, I'm surprised your eye isn't black. (grin)

@Colby Muenster- I'll concede that the threat of recordings may have kept Comey more honest, but I won't necessarily concede that Trump had thought it through.

On Healthcare, I agree with you - but sadly, I don't think we're going to see it happen. I'm a big free market man; most of my prescriptions are cheaper than dirt - NOT because of any government programs (or insurance, for that matter) but because of competition.

Regarding Starbucks, I avoid them because I feel like an alien in there. I don't know the ritual of ordering or the Starbucks code language. In the rare event that I've left home without having enough coffee, I'll hit a 7-11 the way God intended.

Unknown said...

@Stilton Jarlsberg

Yes, the 4th grade - That'd be when my Dad shipped out for Viet Nam (entire family was supposed to go, but they pulled all dependents out so his orders were changed to just him). So coffee in my house was Sanka.. My Mom made it by the pot, not a cup at a time. My Mom was a slave to convenience...

Swanson TV dinners on collapsable TV trays in front of the Philco...

Shelly said...

If Trump's bluff made Comey squirm and then testify under oath he leaked a private conversation he had with the president, then job well done, Mr. President.

Anonymous said...

With all of the hoopla about illegal voting how about a sign with an arrow saying "VOTE HERE" in English and, under it, the same thing is Spanish?

Dan said...

Regarding naming streets, etc.:
None for living people.
Naval vessels named after places and things (states, cities, geographical features, battles, etc.), decorated military personnel (starting with medal of honor, work your way down). Can also name them for themes such as Liberty, the Constitution, etc., and also previous distinguished warships.
No naming something for a person until at least five or ten years after death (they had that rule for images on coins but I think they changed it for Kennedy).
Rename anything named after the politician that sponsored the funding (e.g. all the Robert Byrd stuff in West Virginia).
Currency: No real people. Instead, go back to Lady Liberty, effigies of Indians, founding Fathers (or Mothers), pioneers, geographic features, etc.
And get off my lawn.

JustaJeepGuy said...

Of the few things absolutely forbidden in my house, coffee tops the list. I cannot abide even the stench of the stuff. I once worked with a guy who asked me nearly every day for 3 months, "How could you have spent 5 years in the navy and never learned to drink coffee?" I always told him "I could never get past the smell!"

pgm1972 said...

"... and a dusting ("Only a dusting!") of nutmeg..."

"I distinctly said "a dusting", and he's gone and tracked mud all over the place." :-)

Geoff King said...

New info on the USS Fitzgerald collision:

Evidently the cargo ship was on autopilot and the crew was asleep when it hit the destroyer. Some wonder if maybe the autopilot was hacked and the collision was planned.
That, however, does not explain why the highly advanced radar aboard the Fitzgerald along with on-duty lookouts on the bridge failed to see the 730 foot long, 29,000 ton, likely well lit container ship approaching on a clear night.

Rod said...

I just checked and yes he's still alive. Well-known author and very long time newspaper columnist in Houston Texas, Leon Hale, wrote long time ago about "Twice-Made" coffee. He has written on a lot of great topics. He tkes coffee crystals on the road to fix the stuff bought at quick stops which contribute the cup, hot water, some color, and maybe a small dose of coffee. He's 96 now so I think he's on to something about coffee.

WalrusMN said...

RE Black Coffee: Make mine un-decaffeinated, please.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@pgm1972- Good catch! I was indeed quoting Niles Crane.

@Geoff King- I'm still waiting for a real explanation.

@Rod- Considering the expert opinion of a 96 year old, I may rethink my position on instant coffee if it's ADDED to coffee.

@WalrusMN- True fact: anything decaffeinated isn't coffee.