Don’t Fool Yourself. It’s Winkin’ At You.

So many things. Let’s start with this.

This is a training week at work. As such, one’s eyes wander, and mine today noticed the following sign on a co-worker’s cubicle:



I keep seeing articles on the Interwebs like this one at Vox saying, essentially, oh no, Mr. Bill, the Republicans are finally going to destroy the Affordable Care Act. Look out.

Here’s the thing, kids. They already have.

See, President Obama understood a fundamental thing about health care reform in these Untied States. He understood fundamentally that legislation alone was not enough to affect reform. He understood that the legislation would only be effective as the policy it manifested. “Obamacare” understood, for example, that you can’t demand that insurance companies stop screwing with people with “pre-existing” conditions unless the policy worked to make the pool larger, and that the only way to do that was to bring younger, healthier folks to the table. Thus the mandate. Plus, you had to offer the insurance companies a bridge to walk until transition happened from this pool to that pool. Thus, the vital corridor payments, which were meant to provide certainty to these corporate persons, to pay out to those who took too many cuts because they can no longer screw people whose only crime was to have a cancer or a sneeze before trying to become insured.

Marco Rubio killed the risk corridor payment.

Plus you had states out-and-out refuse the Medicare expansion and participation in the exchanges, which was stupid and drove free money out of those states, and lack of participation in the exchanges led to a heavier load on the federal Web site for registering people, which led it to fail, but did you see President Obama tweet about the “losers” who were slapping the ACA’s ass to pinkish? No. You did not.

So the risk corridor payments ended. And then you saw companies leave the exchanges and raise rates. And then the Republicans began claiming that the ACA was “imploding.”

The Affordable Care Act would have been an excellent reform had it been allowed to work. It addressed not only the law but the policy that followed. That is what made it so smart. That is what made its potential to work so powerful.

It was good policy. Therefore, Republicans hate it.

You can’t just make a law that says that you get to keep your kid on the health care dole until they are 26. You don’t get to dismantle the whole infrastructure of “Obamacare” and keep the things people like. You don’t get to do those things unless your legislation is backed up by policy. Anything the Republigoats pass here won’t do that. The ACA did that.

That is why the Senate Republigoats won’t let it see the light of day.

Because all they have is a “repeal.”

They don’t have a “replace.”

They never will.

Wrist-watch. Crisco.

Driving for Democrats

If you have to canvass for your local political entity of your choice, always have a driver.

It makes the work much more light. If you’re driving yourself, you have to drive, navigate, and plot the next course all at the same time. If you have a driver, you are free as navigator alone. It makes for a more effective campaign overall.

I know this because I am the driver.

My Dad is active in his local Democratic Party. You may recall I was tapped by him to march recently in their parade, touting Mendon Town Board candidates Erin Kehaley-Corr and Terry Daniele. During that parade, one of them told me how highly she thinks of my DOD for the work he does and for the man he is. I wholeheartedly agreed.

My Dad has always understood the importance of this work; something he learned from his Dad. I mean, it’s just 20 signatures for town board today, you might think. But this is the important work. This is where rubber meets road. And I’m glad to be chauffer for it.

Especially these days. Did you hear him?

“He’s new to government. So he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI, and White Houses. He’s just new to this,” said Paul Ryan.

Sorry, pal. Your man does not get a pass on that, not when he went around the country screaming bloody murder over President Clinton’s tarmac summit with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. I mean, if it’s true that the Preznit is such a screw-up because he’s “new to this,” sit him down next weekend to binge-watch season one of “The West Wing.”

He’ll learn everything he needs to know.

I find it interesting how many people echo a reflection I’ve had regarding the passing this week of Adam West at age 88.

That Adam West was “my Batman.”

I think when I first saw the “Batman” show of the late sixties, it was at my friend Jason’s house. I was probably five or six years old. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I mean they opened up the bust like it’s a Pez dispenser and push a button, then they run back to the poles and slide down them and, somehow, by the time they reach the bottom, they’ve CHANGED CLOTHES?

Now I was always a Superman guy. Until I saw West and Burt Ward on the TV, I didn’t have much use for The Batman. It was these guys, and probably Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman and definitely Yvonne Craig’s Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, cha-cha-cha, that got me into the Bat.

Here’s to Adam West, the greatest to ever don the cowl.

Here’s a mind-blowing fact for you: Was visiting adopted grandparents today. Harry had switched to The Drew Carey Show. The episode centered on Drew’s girlfriend Nikki’s concerns that she was getting fat. I kept looking at her face and going, I know that face. I know that actress. I’ve seen that face emote some pretty heavy things. Who is she? Who is she? Who is she?

That was Kate Walsh.

Also known as Dr. Addison Montgomery (Shepherd) on Grey’s Anatomy.

Mind blown.

People Are Strange

I walked into Marketview Liquor to buy some groceries. When you walk in there, you see a big weird styrofoam Jack Daniels guy and I sometimes rub his head for luck. Luck for what I don’t know. I’m in a liquor store.

Right when you walk in there the first thing you see is the bubbly on the far wall. It’s the do-it-yourself bubbly, anotherwords, it’s not cold. You buy this warm and take it home and process it yourself in your chill chest. And so there there’s a couple, he’s an older white dude and she’s a younger white girl, and they’re eyeing up the bubbly. She’s saying hun, you don’t like it too sweet. He’s like eyeing the spermati and he’s like yeah hun I know. And I’m wearing a funny hat and sunglasses; some have told me in this getup I’m almost a blues brother, they told me that just at work, Irish was like dude, where’s your harmonica.

Left it at home brother

next time. I danced a little dance and Irish was okay with that

So I thought I’d give this happy couple the secret to perfect bubbly. I did a U-Turn with my cart and I told them the secret


The broad made a goofy snark laugh at me and they kept walking.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a telephone in front of me. I make a living sounding credible on the telephone.

Yeah, that’s it. Maybe I needed a telephone headset on. Because everything these a-holes were saying they wanted said PRESECCO. Not too sweet. Somewhat savory. Bubbly. Yummy.

Presecco, dummy. You want Presecco. They just looked at me and said YOU LOOK LIKE A RABBIT and walked on.

The only explanation I have for it is that the galaxy is a baren lonely place and we are fortunate to even exprience it for a moment.

Or 48 years.

Go on. Drink your whatever rot-gut you ended up with, you two a-holes. Prosecco. You missed it.

He Ain’t Heavy. He’s My Brother.

Apparently the Neil performed in Rochester tonight. This I learned from my Twitter.

Neil Diamond was among the small list of artists who captured my ear as a young sprout and, indeed, who is among those responsible for my endearing love, nay, obsession, with music. With songs like “Childsong” and “I Am the Lion,” how could the album Tap Root Manuscript not have filled my young head with earworms?

So here is the story I sat down to write. Among the songs on this fine album is Diamond’s cover of “He Ain’t Heavy; He’s My Brother.”

The song reportedly originated from parable:

In 1884, James Wells, Moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland, in his book The Parables of Jesus tells the story of a little girl carrying a big baby boy. Seeing her struggling, someone asked if she wasn’t tired. With surprise she replied, “No, he’s not heavy; he’s my brother.”[3]

In a 1918 publication by Ralph Waldo Trine titled The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit, he relates the following anecdote: “Do you know that incident in connection with the little Scottish girl? She was trudging along, carrying as best she could a boy younger, but it seemed almost as big as she herself, when one remarked to her how heavy he must be for her to carry, when instantly came the reply: ‘He’s na heavy. He’s mi brither.'”[4]

The first editor of Kiwanis magazine, Roe Fulkerson, published a column in September 1924 carrying the title “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, the first use of the phrase exactly as it is rendered in the song title.

In the 1940s, the words, adapted as “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother”, were taken as a slogan for Boys Town children’s home by founder Father Edward Flanagan.[5]

When I was a child and I would listen to the song—and, bear in mind, I only became a sibling when I was 27 years old, my life previous was as an only— and I would think, that’s weird. Why would one man carry another grown man upon his back?

I never imagined it was about an older sibling carrying an infant or a toddler.

I didn’t have the context.

Childrens’ imaginations are wonderful and I wish we never had to shut them down.


I don’t like shoelaces.

This is one of the odd clothing preferences I have come to by my middle age–the most recent addition to this is a preference for suspenders over belts, but we can discuss this another time. But the simple fact is that I don’t like shoelaces. I don’t understand the point.

I put my shoes on. Why do I have to do more stuff?

This preference is easy enough to address for day-to-day shoes. My current workaday shoe is a nice Tommy Bahama loafer. I have a pair of Rockports, too, which offer better support, but through the day they get itchy. The Tommy Bahamas are the preferred pair for my workday.

This is a generally more difficult preference for shopping for the athletic shoe.

It is, it’s difficult to find a nice walking shoe without laces. I mean, I’m a walker. I’m not going to be sprinting. Probably not ever again. I don’t need whatever support laces allegedly offer. And so I knew today I was going to be walking in a parade, so it seemed like a good day to go shoe shopping. But I knew what I was up against.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has a wall of shoes, and all of them have the laces. Except this pair of shoes. This one pair. I asked for a pair in my size. I tried them on and walked around.

The Skechers Go Flex Walk is the greatest walking shoe known to people.

I just wanted to mention it. Mom.

Here’s the only nice picture I got at our parade. Go, Mendon Democrats!

Mendon Democrats on parade