Results tagged ‘ Health Care ’

They Said the Same Thing When the Expos Left

canada health care.jpg
And boy, you showed ‘em who’s boss, right, Washington?!?!?

Happy “Health-Care-Less” Friday!

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of BuzzFeed)

Tea Leaves, Tarot Cards and Other Tools of the Punditry

murtha.jpgThe Democrats just can’t catch a break these days.  First it was the embarrassing loss in Massachusetts.  Then it was the realization that nearly a year’s worth of work on overhauling the health care system will probably go out the window.  And now, with John Murtha’s death, the Democrats have lost one of their more moderate members and someone who gave them the “national security” credentials they seek so much.

It remains to be seen what will happen.  The Democrats are in no danger of losing their majority in the House despite the special election but every time one of these circuses takes place, the press start chatting it up as a bellwether for the fortunes of the parties.  It’s like using a team’s record at the All-Star break as an indicator of their final standing.  Pretty much every year we see how ridiculous that is.

But, that doesn’t mean that pundits won’t continue to draw meaning from these useless statistics.  Sure, sometimes they point you in the right direction.  But more often than not they’re an anomaly or based on some fortuitous happenstance.  If you play a four game series with the Pirates heading into the mid-way point of the season, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be riding a four game win streak when you hit the break as well.

John Murtha is gone.  The Democrats have been making a pretty poor showing of it recently.  But there are nine months before the mid-term elections so there’s probably not a whole lot to read into at this point.  If you want a prediction, though, I have one for you.  I’ll go out on a limb and say that Murtha’s home state of Pennsylvania will not be sending it’s Pirates to the World Series this year.  Remember, you heard it here first.

-A

Waffle House

Belgian_Waffles.JPGAfter spending the last three days in Brussels, it isn’t a stretch to say I have waffles on the brain. Frites and moules, too, of course, but mainly waffles. I mean, if you can’t get a good waffle in Belgium, where can you find one?

Well, after further consideration of that question, there are two answers that pop into my head. Major League Baseball and American politics. Let’s start with politics.

Of course we all remember the 2004 election and John Kerry’s famous non-answers that led to his being described as a waffler. I’m no fan of George Bush but right or wrong or just plain misguided, at least the guy could give you an answer. Kerry was so far inside his own head he practically turned inside out.

And even more recently, Joe Lieberman seems to have taken up the mantle with his seeming indecision on the necessity of a “public option” in the health care bill. Despite proposing a de facto public option in the past, he said he couldn’t vote for the bill this time around with the plan in it. Of course he attempted to parse his words in true Clintonian fashion but at the end of the day we all saw him for what he was. A waffler.

Those two guys don’t have anything on Bud Selig, though. He has been getting away with murder on his watch. Like a modern-day Nero, he’s fiddling (or waffling) as MLB is burning. The whole PED debate? It never should have been a debate. If MLB under Selig’s not-so-watchful eye had simply instituted a testing program similar to what other pro sports were doing, there’s no way that guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa would have ever gotten away with their shenanigans. And more than that, we wouldn’t have to argue about the inclusion of asterisks in the record book.

Here’s what it all comes down to. Waffles may be delicious, especially when topped with whipped cream, strawberries and hot chocolate sauce, but they aren’t so great when they affect our lives and the things we care about. I’m pretty sure even a Belgian could agree to that.

-A

A Miracle on Capitol Hill

nancy_mrT.jpgWhile the east coast continues to dig out from the 20 inches of snow that fell over the weekend, Congress is doing its part by expelling as much hot air as possible to aid in the recovery. This isn’t exactly something new for our esteemed parliamentarians but debates like this ongoing health care discussion seem to bring out even more bloviation than usual.

The worst part is that we all know it’s just a dog and pony show since the bill is going to pass once Joe Lieberman finishes lobotomizing it. And when it’s all said and done, it will be up to President Obama to gloss over the facts and say that this lump of coal given him by a Congress all dressed up in a Santa suit is exactly what he had on his Christmas list.

If it was me sitting on this pseudo-Santa’s lap, I’d turn and punch him right in the face. This isn’t Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street replacing a drunk Santa Claus and making a little girl believe in Christmas. This is Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa getting drunk, pissing himself and all but sodomizing little children. Come to think of it, that’s not too far off the mark when it comes to describing Congress anyway.

So, how about it ladies and gents of the Congress? This could be our Christmas miracle. America wants it, you can make it happen and more than that, wouldn’t it be nice to give your constituents some sort of assurance that if they get sick, they will be taken care of? Too bad that instead you seem hell-bent on making the same kind of joke out of health care that Nancy Reagan made out of drugs.

-A

A Healthy Solution

As the health care bill moves to debate on the senate floor, partisans on both sides are gearing up for what is expected to be an epic battle. The conservatives, exhorted onward to ever greater paroxysms of religious (and irreligious) indignation by Glenn Beck and his ilk, decry the very thought of doing away with the current system that has failed so miserably. Meanwhile the liberals turn every which way but loose making a perfect hash out of what should have been the easiest sell in the history of sales pitches. And who suffers? Just the millions of Americans without coverage.

However, we here at RSBS may have come up with a perfectly libertarian solution which even our friend Jonestein could be proud of. Take a look at this video and pay special attention to the chorus:

There, did you catch it? “Have a baby by me, baby, be a millionaire.” It’s the answer to everything. What we need right now is for all the wealthy people in our country, be they entertainers, moguls, crime lords or even baseball players, to have babies by other women so they can then pay their doctor bills. It’s foolproof!

I understand that some people will have a problem with this solution, especially the people who have to get the ugly girls pregnant. But the United States was built on sacrifice. Besides, that’s what we have ugly guys like Vincente Padilla and Bud Selig for. And they need to get on it now. Trust me Bud, it’s going to be just as bad for the girl who’s stuck with you as you think it is for yourself.

Now, we could also follow the more difficult but ultimately more sustainable path described by David Goldhill recently in The Atlantic. But, let’s be honest. Americans are incapable of that much patience and this idea would require a rationality that is light years beyond our elected representatives. And that’s why we come back to 50 Cent. He let us know that it was all right to party like it’s our birthday and now he’s solving the health care problem. If only “Candy Shop” offered some sort of solution to global warming.

-A

Scott Boras Tactics on Capitol Hill?

When you have the right cards and you know you are going to win the hand, it’s natural to hold out and sweeten the pot the best you can, while you can.  The concept is as ancient as it is common: supply and demand; buy low, sell high… all those stock economic catchphrases.

We see this in sports all the time — in baseball in particular — most notably with the high profile clients of Scott Boras. 

Sure, we were all initially excited about the Matt Holliday show in St. Louis last July; but we also knew that despite its quaint, warm appeal, it would ultimately end like this:

http://www.liveleak.com/e/afe_1258501713

Naturally, our nation’s elected leaders are not immune from similar Boras-like tactics. 

You want that health care reform bill to pass the senate?  Give my home state of Louisiana an extra $300 million in federal dough.  Credit Sen. Mary Landrieu with that walk-off homerun to end the game (but not the series).

scott boras thinking.jpgDo that 59 more times (they need 60 votes to move this thing) and we’re looking at an extra $17.7 trillion we need to set aside to get a multi-billion dollar plan in place. 

Or senators could just vote according to their constituents.

Now there’s a thought.

Somehow, considering how much money is involved in motivating people to do… well… anything, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong. 

I am skilled.  I am intelligent.  I have good ideas and I perform well.

But I only have about $345 of liquid assets to hold me over until payday and there’s a lot of beer that must be consumed before then.

I wonder if Boras would be interested in representing a linguist.

Hate me ‘cuz I am willing to sell out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Canadians!

canada.jpgHoly maple leafs, dear readers!

On Friday I fulfilled a lifelong personal dream!

I got to meet Larry Walker!!!

Actually, that’s a lie.  I didn’t meet Larry Walker; but I did meet a very nice Canadian couple wandering the streets of Chicago looking for restaurant suggestions.  The man’s name was Larry.  And since all Canadians look alike, I think we can assume there isn’t much difference between the two.

All fooling aside, let it be known that Canadians are awesome!  Awesome as in “awe” inspiring.  They’re so friendly.  They have funny accents.  And they speak French!

Larry and his wife were so excited to talk to a real life US American (me) that once they got to talkin’, they started revealing all sorts of dark Canadian secrets — information I certainly shouldn’t be privy to.  Oh well.  Part of being a US American is not shying away from free enterprise.  I’m sure Larry and his wife will understand.  So here’s what I learned:

There Are No Death Panels
“We do have to wait in line sometimes for our x-rays and such,” said Larry, “but they certainly don’t make us wait in line during life threatening circumstances.  And if you’re well off like we are, you can go to your own doctor on your own time if you want.  The Canadian system of health care is great.”

Terrance & Phillip Characterizations Are More Accurate Than One Would Think
“We eat a lot of the same things Americans eat,” said Larry’s wife, “but the lower temperatures seem to wreak havoc on our bowels.  We try to avoid Mexican food all together.”

Not All Canadians Live In Igloos
“My brother still lives in one,” said Larry, “but he’s a moose hunter and moose hunters are… well, they’re just a bit off, eh?”

Canadians Think US Americans Are Silly
“George W. Bush?  Really?  You guys voted for him… twice!” said Larry’s wife.  “That’s silly to us.  And you’re always scared.  Fearful.  No one’s going to blow up the Sears Tower.  Chicago isn’t important on the world map.  That’s like saying they’ll blow up the Stade OlympiqueWhy would anyone do that?  Yet so many of you Americans are convinced your local Wal-Mart is the next target.  Haha.”

joe carter celebrating.jpgBut the most satisfying thing I heard from this real-life Canadian couple was the following:

I asked them: “What do you think of when you hear the name Joe Carter?”

Larry and his wife looked at each other and said, in unison, “Touch ‘em all, Joe!”

How can we not love Canadians?  Seriously.

Hate me ‘cuz I get all international on you, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right: Canadians are people too.

Peace,

Jeff

Hugo’s White Friends

bat_chavez.jpgFrom the beginning, RSBS has been about both baseball and politics. But, it’s easy to lose track of the politics when the baseball plays out like it did this year. Also, the politics have been sucking. I mean, something needs to happen with health care but I’m sick of talking about it and even more sick of hearing about it.

Luckily, whenever I hit a point where American politics isn’t doing it for me, all I need to do is look south. No, a bit further south. No, not Guatemala. Keep going. Ok, there it is. Venezuela and it’s coffee-swilling chuckle-head of a president. So, what’s happening in the mind of el presidente today?

Hm, a little baseball over in that corner of the brain which makes sense. I mean, he is Venezuelan. Yep, definitely a little crazy over in that corner which makes sense since he’s from the same country as Ozzie Guillen. But those are just sideshows. If you really want to know what’s going on just step into the three-ring circus of Hugo’s anti-American paranoia. It’s a non-stop riot of fire-breathing, wild animal taming and tiny cars full of clowns. And this time it’s all about the war the US is apparently trying to launch against Venezuela from Colombia

Here’s the thing, Hugo. Even if we wanted to start that war (which we don’t because, let’s face it, no one really cares about Venezuela), we don’t have the resources to do so. Cutting off ties with Colombia over this makes about as much sense as the proverbial cutting off of the nose to spite the face. Really Hugo, you need to sit back and take a lesson from someone who understands putting aside differences so we can get along. Deuce Poppi, take it away:

Happy Monday, y’all.

-A

The HOT Hot Stove

Right now, dear readers, you are probably experiencing the same agonizing symptoms of baseball withdrawal that Al and I are.  We are here to remind you that we know: it hurts.  It will continue to hurt… until pitchers and catchers report.  If your symptoms gain in severity, do not hesitate to contact your primary caretaker (for those of you who can afford health care, that’d be your doctor; for those of you who cannot, try calling your congressman.  I’m sure that will work).

Football and hockey can only carry us so far (not very, especially if you’re a jaded Bears fan, or in Mr. Krause’s case: a lowly win-deprived Lions fan), so we are left to rely on the offseason baseball hot stove for our daily fixins.

We like our hot stove like we like our coffee: hot.

And INTENSE:

(Mr. Levin is doing just fine.  His skin graph surgeries were successful — well, most of them anyway.)

Hate me ‘cuz I tricked you into processing that painful imagery, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Evil of the Thriller

craig_sager.jpgWhat could be more spooky than changing locations for a pivotal game 3 on Halloween night? The answer: not much. I think I’d even rather face the terror of national health care than show up wearing Yankees gear in Philadelphia tonight. No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, the fright of getting dropped from your health insurance because of a pre-existing condition or sending Nana in front of a “death panel” because her health is no longer viable sure beats the horror of beer and hot dog wielding phanatics. 

However, no matter how insane Phillies fans may be, I am hard pressed to believe there is anything more scream inducing than listening to Joe “I don’t even pay attention to baseball anymore” Buck doing the play by play. Although they could have made it even worse by bringing TBS and the corneal abrasion that is Craig Sager in on the act. Even Michael Jackson couldn’t make that outfit look good.

What would be really nice is if just for one night they would bring in a voice that could give the World Series the gravitas it deserves. And since it’s Halloween I think you all know where I’m going with this. Exactly. We should raise Vincent Price from the grave and let him do it. Hey, it worked for Thriller:

-A

***IMPORTANT PROGRAMING NOTE***

The World Series of Metaphors continues and there’s still time to make your opinion known here, here and here before the results are announced on Monday. Vote people!

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