Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

Life Is A Neverending Customer Service Hold Session

Cost and accessibility are big issues with health care, of course, but I think what even the Good Guys miss is that life shouldn't be a neverending accounting nightmare.

So I put $2,600 in the account and ADP sent me a debit card. I started using it at the doctor's office, at the pharmacy, at the physical therapist. (I threw out my back this spring, which is a reason I've been a little crankier than usual.)

Then, after a few months, I got a letter in the mail from ADP saying it needed my receipts. Receipts? I thought ADP got those straight from the providers. It seems it does get them from CVS, but not from the medical providers. I was supposed to be uploading those receipts through a website. Instead, I threw them away.

If I had to upload the receipts, then what was the point of the debit card? If the system requires that much paperwork, I might as well be submitting claim forms and getting checks in the mail.

Anyway, now I have to call those providers' offices and get duplicate receipts and upload them and allow seven to 10 days for processing. Until I do that, I have been cut off from access to the money in the account — my own money — that got in the account only because Congress chose to offer a tax preference that I could get only by using such an account.

Who wants to deal with this crap?

Nobody wants to deal with this crap, that's who

And the crap of modern life never ends.

Things That Don't Matter

If New York City - and perhaps the country following - goes into a recession it'll be because the powers that be - mostly Cuomo, but not just - didn't realize that quality of life for the great mass of people who depend on the subway matter a lot more than new convention center infrastructure or expensive bridge replacements for bridges that should never have been built in the first place.

5.6 million people ride the subway every day. You don't have to have The Math to understand that Uber ain't gonna replace that, even if people can afford to take it.

Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded, is a joke, until it isn't.

America's Worst Humans

Erica Greider.

About That Border With the EU

I read this last year and while a lot of it should be obvious to anyone who has thought a few minutes about this stuff, it's obvious the Brexiteers have not thought a few minutes about this stuff, or really anything at all because, politics aside, they are all ridiculously incompetent idiots.

Click here to read the whole thread, as we say...

Just How Does That Happen

It isn't just the money that matters, it's how does a PR operation manage to insert someone into the public debate like this?

As for the money...Well, we all gotta eat, but some of us try to eat without making others eat shit. Though as I grow old and cynical I start to think my biggest mistake was not joining Team Evil early in life. The snacks are much better.

Strong and Stable

Brexit negotiations are going to be such a disaster.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s office tried to downplay a row between her most senior officials over whether Britain should have a transition period as it leaves the European Union, as tensions over Brexit policy emerged.

Brexit Secretary David Davis accused Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond of taking inconsistent positions on whether the U.K. should seek a bridging deal, which could mean remaining in the customs union for years after Britain’s due to quit.

Euroskeptic Davis insisted the U.K. was likely to quit the customs union on the first day of Brexit in March 2019. But speaking in Germany on Monday, Hammond restated his view that a lengthier transition period would be required to help businesses avoid a cliff-edge shift in their trading arrangements.

They all think they can have all the 'good things' and none of the 'bad things' though they don't all agree on which is which and also fail to realize that the EU does not give a fuck.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Late Night

Rock on.

Anyone Have Audiobook Recommendations?

Because I am behind on everything I only realized not all that long ago that you can download audiobooks from your (my) local library to your pocket computer device for free. They're good for certain activities (cooking, walking sometimes, running sometimes), and certainly if I drove more often I would listen to them a lot more, but I do find it hard to find ones that, well, I can pay attention to. I'm not sure I can describe the ones that seem to fit for me. First person narration is out, I think. Also I have to like the book! But some books/readers I just can't manage to pay attention to at all even if I'd probably like the book if I actually read it...any help?

MSNBC, Hire This Man

That Boy Ain't Right

The only people in the country who still get recess

Senate vote delayed until after July 4 recess.

Putting the CON in REFORMICON

Oh, right, forgot to mention who I was thinking of.

So Health Insurance Is Worthless Then

One of the more amusing things in the health care debate is well-insured people asserting that health insurance doesn't really help people. These are usually people who have, in one way or another, sold their souls for cushy jobs that include good health insurance and who would, if necessary, sell their souls just for the health insurance.

Because we all would, because that's where we are right now.

Hopefully someone amends the law so that employer-provided health insurance benefits must be optional. You can take the cash or take the insurance. Then we can see how many people refuse this unnecessary benefit.

(Health insurance is "worthless" in the sense of being a worthless economic activity, adding an expensive layer of middlemen and grifter executives which might destroy the economy, but it is certainly not worthless to have in the system we sadly have).

America's Worst Humans

Chris Cillizza

This whole exchange needs to be savored, and then sent to the alien anthropologists so they understand why our civilization died.

Tuesday Morning Thread

Stupid birds, cheep, cheep, cheep.

Monday, June 26, 2017

There's A Sucker Born Every Minute

Figured Rahm would love this idiocy.

O'HARE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel's long-gestating plan for a high-speed rail line between Downtown and O'Hare Airport got a jolt of electricity Monday with the news that Tesla founder Elon Musk may be interested in the project that the mayor has called "essential for the city's future."


Tickets on an express train — which would zoom from O'Hare to Downtown in 20 or 25 minutes — could cost between $25-$40, according to estimates, while a one-way fare on the Blue Line from O'Hare now costs $5.

Like mass transit, but only for rich people.

Monday Evening

Almost through another one.

No Happy Hour You, Or You, Or You

The CBO score for the Senate Bill is out and it is sooooo much better than the House Bill. Oh wait, no it's not. And all you who are comfortable with Medicare, guarantfuckingteed, if they get away with gutting Medicaid, Medicare will be next.


Taking their queue from the top and decades of media letting Republicans lie about everything, they've realized they can just go on TV and lie about their plan to kill you in order to lower taxes for a tiny number of very rich people.

Reporters will respond "oh, but, we ran a fact check, we pointed out that people disagree..." And, yes, they're right, but the press can collectively turn "lying about important national policy affecting the entire country" into a kind of 24/7 thing they way "Al Gore 'lying' about inventing the internet" was, or they can just shrug it off as just another day in politics. Sure, they lied, but, hey, Hugh Hewitt says they didn't lie...

And, no, individual reporters aren't responsible for the collective, but I think individual reporters too often pretend the collective doesn't exist. Some stories go the Full OJ and some stories don't. No one person has the power to make that happen, but they all can choose whether or not this is, in fact, more important than Barack Obama not wearing a flag pin.

If you can't pay for health care you need in this country, you will probably die. Emergency rooms have to stabilize, but they don't have to treat you. That doesn't do much for, say, cancer.

Some Republicans are so rich that they're mostly right to think that none of this matters for them, personally, but most of them aren't (sure their health insurance is good, but not necessarily that of everyone in their extended families). I don't know how they can be the monsters that they are, apparently thinking no one they care about will ever get sick and face these problems. But monsters they are.

Anyway, call your senators. Call their DC offices. Call their local offices. Call the good ones and the bad ones. Call the Republicans and the Democrats. Be polite, but be direct.

Nothing We Can Do About Technology

All my adult life the narrative has been: changing technology increases inequality, this is inevitable, there's very little to be done but hand wring about it. Whatchagonnado? It's technology, you Luddite! Now the robots are coming - though they aren't here yet! - is the latest round in this. Robots will take all of the jobs (of people who aren't like me). They'll get poorer. Maybe we should think about doing something but not do it?

All bullshit.

America's Worst Humans

Special Agent Bill O'Donnell.