Monday, January 11, 2010

Burying the Lead while Dating the Metal (and doin' da Foxtrot with Ma "Half-baked Alaska" Kettle)

Burying the Lead

My buddies at the oh-so-unbiased Wall Street Journal are doing their level best to fan the flames of outrage over the admittedly far - FAR - from perfect health care reform bill. Well, well, well. Big surprise. Typical left wing propaganda from the Murdoch-owned paper (we all know Rupert is a commie pinko given the well known liberal leanings of his Fox News).

The latest headline from the Journal screams: Married Couples will Pay More for Health Insurance Under New Bill! Way down in the gooey center of the article hiding in the shadows of that screed lurks a toss-off noting that "more" only applies to the new insurance exchanges and does not affect those who are currently insured.

Venture deeper down into the dark and damp ink stains of this piece and you'll trip over still more "minor details" explaining that a couple would pay more only if their combined income serves to push them over the poverty line. Well, that's not fair but alas tends to be the way things often work (in government and private sector alike). The article doesn't - but should - add that those exchanges are not even an option for these same couples currently. Today, married or single, these fine folks would be paying quite a bit more for private insurance - more even than the "more" WSJ is up in arms about - or live with none at all. But why let the truth get in the way of a good headline?

In my opinion the health care bill in the form that most probably will be signed into law will contain some good but a shitload of bad along for the ride. Almost all the badness can be divided into two steaming piles:
  1. The compromises to the right made to appease the fear mongers and gain at least limited Republican support (of which none was provided in the end).
  2. State-specific pork that often has little or nothing to do with health care reform but was nonetheless stuffed into the bill in typical beltway fashion. It's the manifestation of the tax-and-spend stereotype aimed (often rightly) at liberal members of Congress but which is in fact practiced by both sides in an institutionalized manner that - God please - shouldn't outta be there but will very likely never go away.

Are the small diamonds in the dogshit of the health care legislation enough to justify the thing? I think so. But only with some big bright red warning stickers spelling out the must-haves:
  1. Strong enough provisions to ensure private insurance companies don't jack their rates up out of fear they'll lose customers
  2. Strong enough provisions to ensure people who can afford private insurance pay for it rather than latching onto the government dole. Or rather I should say the government supplemented dole, since the public option was removed out of misguided fear over impending socialism, death panel hokey and whatnot - this will be the death rattle of the bill probably.

Ahh, let's just face the facts that we don't have the national fortitude to do this thing. Fuck the poor. If they want medical attention, they can get off their asses and make some money. Clearly they don't want/need such luxuries. Need a pediatrician, kid? Then start stitching me up some Nikes! It's a win-win solution: we won't have to pass off our hard earned sneaker money to some third world sweatshop once we reinstate these fine institutions back into the economy of the good ol' U.S. of A. and the poor kids will be able pay for their whole family's health care! "Problem solved from your end," to paraphrase Office Space.

Dating the Metal

And now for something completely different (but with some oddly indirect parallels)...

Seems the geeks in the lab have knocked out a bang-up next generation companion for those who cannot - or prefer not to - connect with a real-life sweetheart. This isn't your father's blow-up doll, gang: it's fully electronic and comes with customizable personality in addition to the usual "bells and whistles" (and whips and chains, if you like). Mmmmm. For those saavy investors, this might well be the next big thing: the electronic pimp industry. Get in on the ground floor. Never under estimate the number of lonely and social awkward people there are out there or the fact that these qualities are often proportional to the disposable income these folks have at the ready, just looking for a Roxxxy the Sexbot (or Wild Wendy, Mature Martha, Frigid Farrah and S&M Susan - get 'em while supplies last).

Sista Sarah goes Foxtrotting

No big shocker this. Our Dull Eyed Lady of the Ice Land (apologies to Sara Dylan) signs on with Fox News as their sort of roving (rogueing?) commentator and the defacto Poet Laureate for the network. Though sadly no sign her interpreter Bill Shatner will be enlisted by Fox to jazzercise her sonnets like he's done so successfully in the past, putting a beat to her tweets. Pity. Perhaps he'll freelance as he's been known to do. I look forward to the work. From both of them. And now Tina will have plenty of television footage in the years to come when she will no doubt dust off the glasses 'n goofy smile and sashay forth back onto the SNL stage for the cameos we so loved last fall.

Enough Already

I swore I'd clam up until Friday and so now I will (unless I can't and then I won't). I figure this post has enough vitriol, bombast, smarmy sarcasm and commie-pinko socialist broadsides to piss just about everyone off in one way or another. If so, well then my work here is done.