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Messages - meepmeep


not sure if typo or if... :hmm:
Here's some more of that wonderful softening!

Senate Republicans are expected to revise their health bill early next week, adding in a provision that could lock Americans out of the individual market for six months if they fail to maintain continuous insurance coverage.
how many times do we have to go over the pre-existing conditions thing and how it's meaningless if you gut EHBs
fortunately, they've had to soften it a bit to get it passed.  combined with the delayed implementation, there may be opportunities to reverse this giant leap backwards before it hurts too many people
What exactly are the "softenings"?

mitch mcconnell's jowls
It almost blew my mind to find out he's against the bill. He just thinks that normal conversational civility rules apply also when millions of lives are at stake in a greedy scheme redistribute money to the already rich...

Well, you know, if you're at a fancy pants dinner with a well known surgeon who's talking about how he shows up to the OR drunk half the time, on purpose, and how he plans to just not ligate some blood vessels here and there because what the hell it'll make things go faster and it'll be cheaper!, it'd be super rude of you to point out that a patient might actually die as a result of his deliberate actions. The proper course of action under conversational civility rules is to inquire as to whether his sutures will still be evenly placed. Object to his plan, yes, but go into the details instead of throwing out this offensive rhetoric about :airquote: killing people :airquote: .

It's revealing that this moron thinks an appeal to civility is warranted in this case. I think every person who is not a total fucking moron recognizes that when someone crosses a line, conversational civility is no longer warranted.
hi guapo can i come live on your far off distant fantasyland planet

That was cathartic.

Reminds me of all the fucking people who try to sweep fights between family and friends under the rug by saying "it's just politics, sheesh."  Like for instance, I'm supposed to shrug it off and say it's just politics and not re-evaluate my relationship with someone who talks trash about immigrants or whatever because there are more important things in life than people around you thinking that people like you are garbage. Well, not you personally, just everyone who is otherwise exactly like you but doesn't happen to be precisely you. Yeah, okay, fuck off.
look at this remarkably dumb motherfucker:

hmm, yes, poor person with cancer, the real problem is your tone and phrasing when you complain about how you're going to die look at me i'm such a smart, serious person
Two of my friends' young children were born with chronic, life-threatening illnesses. One has cystic fibrosis, and the other has some brain disorder so rare that I can't even remember what it's called, but it causes seizures and is going to require lifelong, intensive treatment. One of those friends himself has an autoimmune genetic disease that popped up at the same time his son's illness was discovered.

The lifetime caps will likely bankrupt and kill both the children and my friends' families at relatively young ages. Sen. Warren is right. This is literally blood money. I'm not going to be shocked if more people snap as they or their loved ones die so that we can give the wealthy another fucking tax cut.

One of my relatives had a baby with holoprosencephaly, which is basically when your forebrain fails to develop into 2 lobes. She was kept alive for about 8 years or so but required christ knows how many surgeries just to keep her living and as comfortable as someone with that condition could be. In and out of the hospital for years. She required full-time care pretty much around the clock, so her mom couldn't even work. Without state assistance, she wouldn't have survived very long at all after birth. Of course, other people in the family who were sad at the funeral voted for Trump.

My niece was born with pulmonic stenosis that left her turning purple when she cried for more than a minute or two. They had to wait until she had grown to address it surgically, so at about 10 months of age, she went to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for balloon valvuloplasty, which involves inserting a catheter into the femoral vein, feeding it up into the heart, and inflating a balloon at the tip of the catheter to push the valve wide open. That they were willing to do this procedure on a baby less than a year old should make it obvious that she would've died at a very young age if she didn't have access to treatment. My brother is a mechanic, and his ex was a part-time hairdresser. No way in fucking hell would they have been able to afford this on their own. I don't know what the cost of the procedure was, but there's a good chance it could've met a lifetime cap or brought her close enough that another moderate illness would put her over the limit.

But, you know, it's really important to me that we repeal the tax on tanning beds and make sure the top 400 earners get billions of dollars in tax cuts.
The footage of protester after protester with that group of advocates for the disabled was really upsetting.

So is knowing this asshole is going to vote yes because, well, the wealthy need tax cuts, and Obama is Satan incarnate:

Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
Don't underestimate how fucking cheap and petty rich people can be.
It is hard to try to remain sympathetic to people that continuously vote aganst their own best interest, would follow Trump off a cliff, and think they have cornered the market on patriotism.

In this case, I don't think the predominant demographic voted against their interest. Upper class white people's main interest is taxes, and Republicans cut taxes, so they're naturally inclined to vote Republican. I think Trump didn't do as well in the district because he is Trump, but Handel is not Trump. She maintained a bit of distance between herself and Trump, enough to make it easy for voters who don't like Trump to vote for her anyway because, what the hell, who cares about the rest of that bullshit as long as she's going to cut my taxes?

The thing about Republicans not liking Trump is that many of them take issue with his style more than his substance. If he stopped tweeting and learned to keep his mouth shut and listen to his handlers, they'd support him completely.
I will destroy you.

Also it's worth noting that Obama did worse than Clinton so maybe this Ossoff underperformed compared to Clinton take isn't exactly the right framing. Maybe it's Clinton who overperformed.

And it's funny how "is Republican and not the other side" is more than enough for a Republican to win an election in a district that's heavily Republican but the real problem is the Democrats haven't convinced enough Republicans to vote for them because the Democratic candidate wasn't far left enough. Lol.
Yes, now that I have the election results, it's so obvious which races we should've focused on! Boy, everyone else is such a dummy.

I doubt a populist campaign would've helped. Wealthy white people who settled in the suburbs because of the blacks don't give a single fuck about a living wage, so that comment was never going to hurt  Handel. Maybe mentioning Trump more could've helped but it also could've backfired.

As for the money, if he had won by a single vote, everyone would be talking about money well spent. And let's not forget that Handel's campaign spent considerably more.
Am I missing something or is this take super dumb? (eta there are 2 more tweets there, click to see)

It seems pretty obvious to me that ruralness per se does matter. Being further removed from government services alone absolutely affects your view of what government does and doesn't do. Not having much contact with people who are different from you absolutely affects your view of what those people are like. This seems like pretty fucking basic shit.
Politics and Current Events / Re: Removing Assad
Not surprised at all but, still, holy shit:

An investment group that U.S. authorities say is run by Russian mobsters and linked to the Russian government sent at least $900,000 to a company owned by a businessman tied to Syria's chemical weapons program, according to financial documents obtained by CNN.

The company allegedly tied to Russian mafia was called Quartell Trading Ltd., and the U.S. Department of Justice claims it is one of the many vehicles into which millions of dollars of stolen Russian taxpayer money was laundered a decade ago in connection with the so-called "Magnitsky affair," perhaps the most notorious corruption case in Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Balec Ventures is owned by Issa al-Zeydi, a Russian whom the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned in 2014 for his connection to the Scientific Studies and Research Center, the hub of Syria's nonconventional weapons program, including its manufacture of Sarin and VX nerve agents and mustard gas.
So you're saying there's more racism and xenophobia in white rural American enclaves where they rarely even encounter anyone who isn't exactly like themselves? Astonishing!
My brother's friend grew up in rural Iowa. Two things he didn't see in real life until he moved to Chicago in his mid 20's: shrimp and black people.

That is so weird to me. The first town we lived in here in the US is technically considered urban, but it was more like a crowded suburban place where everything is close together because the town was founded in the 1700s. I went to school with kids of lots of different backgrounds even though the majority were Irish/Italian Catholic/Jewish. It seemed like every other one of my classmates got to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, and I was kind of jealous. There were black kids, East Asian kids, Indian kids, Pakistani kids, Latin American kids. Immigrants and native born.

We ended up moving to a more whitebread town. I actually met up with 3 of my old friends last week because one of them had a baby shower at her mom's house, and we talked about this a bit. One of them is black, and she always used to joke about being the token black friend since there were so few black students at school. She ended up going to college at Columbia and she said she was so relieved to be around more people like her and a bunch of weirdos who were okay with everyone being their own kind of weirdo. And she said that being in an environment like that made her look back at some of the shit people said to her in high school and realize just how ridiculous it was. Like the time when these white girls were arguing with her that they were more black than she was because they listened to rap and she didn't. lol okay sure.

But yeah. I'm glad I grew up in a more diverse place. That unease you feel when you're obviously the outsider is a really unpleasant feeling.

The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey of nearly 1,700 Americans -- including more than 1,000 adults living in rural areas and small towns -- finds deep-seated kinship in rural America, coupled with a stark sense of estrangement from people who live in urban areas. Nearly 7 in 10 rural residents say their values differ from people who live in big cities, including about 4 in 10 who say their values are "very different."

That divide is felt more extensively in rural America than in cities: About half of urban residents say their values differ from rural people, with about 20 percent of urbanites saying rural values are "very different."

"Being from a rural area, everyone looks out for each other," said Ryan Lawson, who grew up in northern Wisconsin. "People, in my experience, in cities are not as compassionate toward their neighbor as people in rural parts."

Yes, but, what if your neighbor is a black or a queer or Jewish?

Rural Americans express far more concern about jobs in their communities, but the poll finds that those concerns have little connection to support for Trump, a frequent theory to explain his rise in 2016. Economic troubles also show little relation to the feeling that urban residents have different values.

Rural voters who lament their community's job prospects report supporting Trump by 14 percentage points more than Clinton, but Trump's support was about twice that margin -- 30 points -- among voters who say their community's job opportunities are excellent or good. Trump also earned about the same level of support from those who say they don't worry about paying their bills as those who couldn't pay their bills at some point in the past year.

Rural residents are nearly three times as likely (42 percent) as people in cities (16 percent) to say that immigrants are a burden on the country.

"They're not paying taxes like Americans are. They're getting stuff handed to them," said Larry E. Redding, a retired canning factory employee in Arendtsville, Pa. "Free rent, and they're driving better vehicles than I'm driving and everything else."

Wait a goddamn minute, you mean I've been paying taxes all this time like some fucking sucker when I didn't have to? Also where can I sign up for my free rent and nice vehicle?

The poll reveals that perceptions about abuse of government benefits often go hand in hand with views about race.

When asked which is more common -- that government help tends to go to irresponsible people who do not deserve it or that it doesn't reach people in need -- rural Americans are more likely than others to say they think people are abusing the system. And across all areas, those who believe irresponsible people get undeserved government benefits are more likely than others to think that racial minorities receive unfair privileges.

In response to this poll question -- "Which of these do you think is the bigger problem in this country: blacks and Hispanics losing out because of preferences for whites, or whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics?" -- rural whites are 14 points less likely than urban whites to say they are more concerned about blacks and Hispanics losing out.

"The culture and the type of people you see, they're different" in big cities, said Bethany Hanna, a homemaker in Saint Albans, W.Va., who said she visits urban areas on missions with her church. "It tends to be the type of people who are getting more assistance. .?.?. And the way you hear people talking, the viewpoints that they have on certain matters, it leans toward a pretty liberal opinion. Some of it's an entitlement thing. They say 'that's not fair,' or 'I deserve this,' that kind of thing."

I'm shocked that someone on a mission with their church would encounter people who need more assistance. Weird!
Science / Re: Chronic Lyme Disease
Yup, central Jersey. Somerset county.

I grew up knowing to watch out for ticks and look for the telltale bull's eye rash, but it has never been as bad as it is this year. I never found a single tick after being out in the backyard at this house since we moved here in the late 90s, but now my mom is seeing them on the front porch. They have a very narrow strip of wetlands behind the house, but it's been well over a decade since the vast majority of it got removed to build more houses. It's thin enough that you can see the houses on the other side, but there's enough brush there for deer to stop by on a daily basis.

I immediately stopped walking the dog anywhere near the perimeter where the brush starts, but he's still getting ticks. I found one right near his eye after a quick pee run where he was outside for no more than 2 minutes. He's a hound and keeps his nose to the ground, and that short amount of time in the lawn close to the house was enough for him to catch one of those questing little fuckers. His preventative has a remarkably quick kill time (starts taking effect at around 8 hours), so I'm not terribly concerned about him getting sick. Disease transmission takes over 24 hours, though it's possible that the medication could fail. But I do worry about him bringing live ones into the house that could potentially somehow end up on one of the humans.

It doesn't help that my stubborn Spaniard of a dad doesn't listen to me when it comes to this stuff. He says he just crushes them with his bare hands (!!) and, meh, whatever, they're just ticks, "psssh, like I haven't seen one of these things before." Because medicine figured out all it ever needed to figure out when he was young so whatever wasn't a problem in the past couldn't possibly be a problem now. And what the hell would I ever know about dogs or science or medicine or diseases involving dogs?


We see a lot of ticks down in northern VA, too. We had plenty of clients coming in during warmer months to get them removed, so I can't imagine how many more people felt comfortable doing it themselves at home. We also saw a lot of dogs positive for Lyme and Ehrlichia canis/ewingii, and by the time I left, we were seeing a lot more Anaplasma phagocytophilum/platys positives, too. I view our fluffy little buddies as an early (or not so early, really) detection system, a canary in the coal mine. A lot of those positives for all these infections were asymptomatic (or maybe had symptoms the owner didn't notice or waited out, which then resolved), and the only reason we caught them is because we use the 4Dx SNAP test for annual heartworm testing. If it were heartworm alone, we wouldn't realize how much some of these diseases are spreading because there'd never really be cause to test for them in a healthy-looking patient. It makes me wonder whether subclinical infections are common in humans, and if so, how many cases are we not even seeing in the stats?