Nobody Likes Him

So — you know, it’s interesting: [Dr. Fauci]’s got a very good approval rating, and I like that. It’s good. Because remember, he’s working for this administration. He’s working with us, John. We could have gotten other people. We could have gotten somebody else. It didn’t have to be Dr. Fauci. He’s working with our administration. And, for the most part, we’ve done pretty much what he and others — Dr. Birx and others, who are terrific — recommended.

And he’s got this high approval rating, so why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect — and the administration, with respect to the virus? We should have a very high, because what we’ve done in terms of — we’re just reading off about the masks and the gowns and the ventilators and numbers that nobody has seen, and the testing at 55 million tests; we tested more than anybody in the world. I have a graph that I’d love to show you — perhaps you’ve seen it — where we’re up here and the rest of the world is down at a level that’s just a tiny fraction of what we’ve done, in terms of testing.

So it sort of is curious: A man works for us — with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Birx also highly thought of. And yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.

Or because you’re doing a shitty job.

I mean, can you imagine a more pathetic, whiny statement from any other preznit? Gravity crush, that is astonishing.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert (Asshole Party, Texas), who has spent as much time as possible marching around without a preventive face covering, was diagnosed with the COVID. And, he decided it was best to inform his staff in person.

The schadenfreude needs to not be so out of control. I HOPE HE HAS RESPIRATORY ISSUES FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE shhhhh….

Top Five

I wonder if Chris Rock has a t-shirt that says “I Made One Of The Best Movies of 2014* and All I Got Was Three Critics’ Choice Nominations.”

I’ve been talking up Rock’s Top Five to my Dad for a while now after having re-watched it recently. We finally sat down to watch it today, and I could probably put it back on again now and enjoy it just as much.

Top Five features Rock playing fictional comedian and actor Andre Allen, who is tasked to give a-day-in-the-life press availability to “Times” reporter Chelsea Brown, played by Rosario Dawson. Allen, best known for a cop-buddy franchise called Hammy the Bear, is trying to swim out of that current with a serious film about the Hatian slave revolt of 1791. But all anyone wants him to be is Hammy.

Chelsea Brown proves to be an intrepid reporter, chipping away at Allen’s shell until she finds the cracks. This setup launches a movie that is 80 percent dialog and story over action, a difficult presentation to make riveting. But we’re talking about Chris Rock here. Top Five never stops being funny, entertaining, surprising, and utterly smart, even when it’s being a little gross.

Top Five may well be in my top five. It is a good, solid comedy.

And, oh, here’s mine: M.C. Serch, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Chubb Rock, Missy Elliott. If I get a sixth, it’s Earl Sweatshirt.

*Yes, 2014. The same year that Birdman won the Best Picture Oscar. Disgrazia.

Medicare for All is a Bumper Sticker

This will likely stir many people to want me to shred my “progressive” card, but I see many on social media frothing at the mouth because the presumptive nominee for the preznit of these untied states doesn’t support something called “Medicare for All.” And I think that’s a good thing.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

In March 2009, President Barack Obama held a “healthcare summit.” At the table are doctors, insurers, drug companies, consumers advocates and lawmakers.

In July 2009, he is quoted by NPR: “If I were starting a system from scratch, then I think that the idea of moving towards a single-payer system could very well make sense. That’s the kind of system that you have in most industrialized countries around the world. The only problem is that we’re not starting from scratch.”

Among the elements of the ACA: An end to cutting people off from medical intervention due to “pre-existing conditions.” Parents can keep their kids insured through age 26. State exchanges, but with subsidies to help the sticker shock. And, vitally, high-risk corridor payments to help insurance providers roll with accepting less healthy people while younger, healthier specimens are shamed and fined into getting covered.

The ACA was made in a brilliant and ideal way. Call all the stakeholders together. Solicit their ideas and concerns. Obama didn’t just get a law passed. He made public policy, one that was a bit of Jenga. But it was subjectively good, so you didn’t reckon some idiots would come along and start pulling pieces out.

Would you?

Of course, they did. Republican states refused to create exchanges, refused to expand Medicare. Sen. Marco Rubio eventually killed the high-risk corridor payments. The Republicans were out to drown the ACA in acid, despite that it was good public policy that actually did what it said it would do, to provide more people with better coverage.

It fulfills that mission to this day, despite more than 70 unsuccessful votes to kill it with a straight vote, despite countless sabotage efforts, including the current effort in court to outright kill it and throw countless Americans off of their current insurance in the middle of a fucking pandemic. The ACA, like The Dude, abides.

So, what the fuck is Medicare for All?

When Bernie Sanders talks about Medicare for All and how it will be implemented, he basically says, “What we’re going to do is, we’re just going to tell the insurance companies to go fuck themselves with their own neckties, and they’ll just then have to eat those neckties for lunch, and they’ll like it! Screw those karens!”

This is, of course, paraphrased.

That is, basically, the only planning I see for how to implement the policy: Tell the insurance companies to fuck off. And, by the way, have we asked the average doctor how they feels about Medicare reimbursements?

This is bad politics. It’s bad policy. And it’s stupidly redundant considering the decade of spent political capital, face swats, and sweaty brows Democrats have endured to establish what I think analysts will one day see as one of the most successful domestic policy reforms of all time: Obamacare.

Get us a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate and Joe Biden as Preznit. Stop crowing about “Medicare for All” because “fetch” will happen first, Gretchen. Fix it. Improve it. Add a public option. Add a public option. Add a public option.

That we can get done. Medicare for All is a fucking bumper sticker. And it will never happen.

Boyfriend Cliff

Amazon Echo if I have a fan on anywhere in the room:

Me: Alexa, turn on my nightlight.

Alexa: I didn’t quite catch that. Are you trying to jump out of an aeroplane?

So, this is apparently a thing now.

Be careful out there.

Then again, maybe they’re recruiting for the Men in Black.

Dear Fellow Freaks

This was an exchange I had in a Facebook group for Frank Zappa fans. I am copying it here for posterity.

Q: it took me until recently to realize that “weasels ripped my flesh” is a great essential classic mothers record up there with the first 4, but i cant seem to get into “burnt weeny sandwhich”. i enjoy every note of the album in some ways but unlike “weasels” which has “oh no” and “my guitar”, BWS doesnt seem to have anything essential to his conceptual continuity and feels like it was put together without a lot of care. Can someone make a case for it? I want to enjoy it

A: Sure. Put it down for a while. Stop trying. If you’re trying, and you don’t get it, you won’t make it. Listen to “Weasels.” Listen to “Uncle Meat.” Listen to “Apostrophe.” Listen to “ABBA Gold.” Then, put on a nice dress and walk around your apartment in the dress and scream the first verse of Edward Lear’s “The Table and the Chair” at the top of your lungs. Then whisper the second part. Then say the third part like you’re Howard Cosell. Skip the fourth verse. Then sing the fifth verse to the tune of “Oh When The Saints Go Marching In.” Then, look into a mirror and say “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Wait one week and then eat an entire pecan pie. After this, try “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” again. I think you’ll be ready.