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Sheriff Richard Mack

I don’t normally post about the situations of individual people because I just don’t find those stories very useful in understanding the big picture. I’ve always maintained that anecdotal stories are not evidence of anything other than what someone perceives they saw at a specific moment in time. More often than not, they’re completely fabricated bullshit, created to advance a narrative that can’t be advanced by using facts. That’s why I always insist on data.

I imagine that by now you intuit a story of an individual that I’m going to share with you in order to advance a narrative. You would be correct. There will, however be no hypocrisy on my part if you stick with me.

So there’s a retired sheriff in Arizona who has fallen on hard times. He and his wife both suffered some major medical issues within weeks of each other. At this point, you should be thinking, "Good thing they’re in Arizona, where the medicaid expansion component of Obamacare was embraced by the governor, resulting in a 4% drop in the rate of uninsured because affordable coverage is now available to Arizonans." Yes, being in a state that took the medicare expansion would be a good thing, if you weren’t opposed to Obamacare, and didn’t get yourself any insurance.

Here’s what the hero of my little story had to say about Obamacare;

The States can stop every bit of it! That’s right, the individual States can stop "Obamacare" and all other forms of out-of-control federal government mandates and "big brother" tactics. If Arizona, Hawaii, New Hamshire, Texas, etc. want nothing to do with National Healthcare as proposed by Barack Obama or Congress, then all they have to do is say "No!"

So now he’s a massive pile of medical debt that’s growing, and a long road to recovery ahead of him but thank god he didn’t let big brother force him into taking responsibility for himself!  So what do you do when you’re an irresponsible man in his 50s or 60s who didn’t think that insurance was a thing that you might need? Panhandle on the internet, of course! He set up a Go Fund Me page to beg people to donate to his irresponsible ass so that he can pay those medical bills he didn’t have to incur. He’s raised a little over 16k in almost five weeks. I’m pretty sure he’s nowhere near raising what he needs to pay for just his heart surgery, let alone the hospital stay and ongoing care that he needs.

We’ve seen this movie before with Ron Paul’s freedom loving campaign manager, Kent Snyder who was in exactly the same situation. He also tried to panhandle his medical bills away, subsequently leaving his mother with $400,000 in medical bills to deal with. So it seems like the panhandling thing doesn’t really work as well as insurance does.

This jackass former sheriff, like Ron Paul’s campaign manager has a higher profile than most people, and can therefore raise more money than the average middle aged couple can. The jackass sheriff is an oath keeper so he’s got a community of racist vigilantes he can tap, and an active member of the ammosexual community so he also has those whackadoodles to hit up. And all of that community activism probably hasn’t raised enough money to pay for just the medications that were administered to him in the hospital. To be fair, I don’t know that for sure, but I’m making an educated guess based on medical bills I’ve seen posted online.

So either his kids, who clearly won’t be going to college will be paying his and his wife’s medical bills for their entire lives, or everyone else in Arizona will be paying them. But yay FREEDOM! No jackbooted government thug told him he had to do the responsible thing by getting the affordable insurance they made available to him, and that’s what’s important here!

I did a quick search for plans in Arizona. I looked in Phoenix, which should be the highest priced area in the state. I put in a household income of $80,000 for a family of four (that would be 30k above the median household income, but I’m trying to get the highest premiums I can). I was trying to put in an income that didn’t qualify for a subsidy but apparently an income of 80k for a family of four still gets you a premium subsidy of $146.05 per month so we’re going to go with that. The cheapest plan is a bronze level HMO which costs $541 per month after the subsidy. So that’s $6,492 in annual premiums. This plan has a $10,000 annual deductible, with an annual out of pocket maximum of $13,200 (the maximum allowable by Obamacare). So had the jackass sheriff gotten himself some insurance, he and his wife would have been on the hook for a total of $19,692 for her medical issue and his heart surgery.

That’s enough about this irresponsible asshole. Let’s get back to what’s really important: me. I promised you that I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite by sharing the type of anecdotal story I always reject from others. This story demonstrates the foundation for how and why Obamacare works for all of us, and is therefore not anecdotal. It’s one of the actual data points used in the mathematical analysis upon which Obamacare is based.

The subsidies that some claim they’re paying for would total $1,753.00 per year for jackass sheriff. The lowest estimate I’ve ever seen for the premium surcharge on everyone with insurance, to cover the uninsured is about $400 per year, for an individual or $1,000 per year for a family. The smaller the number of uninsured becomes, the smaller that hidden tax placed on those with insurance gets. That’s where the savings are coming from, and that’s how it’s possible for you not to be paying for anyone else’s insurance coverage. Those surcharges cost more than the subsidies do.

This freedom loving asshole is going to foist a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills on every single insured person in the country. The good news for Moochy McFreedom is that he can still get insurance to cover future bills, since he can’t be denied insurance for his preexisting insurance. Thanks to Obamacare, even being an irresponsible dumbass won’t prevent you from obtaining health coverage.

I don’t know if this asshole has reflected on the error of his ways or not, but I wanted to share his story to serve as both a cautionary tale, but also to let you know that Obamacare is the best way we have at this point, to insure that you’re not paying for anyone else’s health insurance. Well, anyone other than Sheriff Richard Mack and his family of freedom loving deadbeats.  


Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and 2016

As most of you know, on Tuesday night, Rahm Emanuel became the first incumbent mayor of Chicago to fail to defeat a primary challenge. Followers of this blog or my social media pages know that I was delighted. I think Rahm is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the democratic party today.

He’s the very picture of the "republican lite" bullshit that democrats tried to foist on us in the 2014 election. He’s a republican minus the batshit. And that’s something that no one wants. Republicans don’t want their candidates to lack the batshit that makes a republican a republican. Democrats certainly aren’t excited by "republican lite" candidates, and since democrats aren’t like republicans, they’re not going to show up to vote for any piece of crap with a "d" next to their name. Simply removing the batshit from the republican isn’t going to excite and mobilize democrats to vote.

You wanna know what excites democrats? Progressive candidates. Elizabeth Warren wasn’t ever supposed to be able to beat the senator from Wall Street. She was never supposed to raise more money than Scott Brown. And yet, a progressive ground swell put her in that senate seat, which she will keep for as long as she wants it. Bill de Blasio was never supposed to beat Mike Bloomberg’s heir apparent. I started volunteering for his campaign when he was polling in fourth place in the primaries. He subsequently succeeded in getting enough votes to avoid a runoff all together. Zephyr Teachout, who ran as a third party candidate in New York’s last gubernatorial election took 35 points away from Andrew Cuomo. She literally only had tens of thousands of dollars, versus his millions of dollars. Fourteen days before the election, her campaign hadn’t printed out a single piece of literature to hand out, and didn’t have lists of registered democrats to call during phone banking sessions. And yet, she still managed to take 35 points away from Cuomo on an essentially word-of-mouth campaign.

Every time a progressive dark horse wins, or leaves a serious mark on an election, we are sending a message to the DNC. Not only that, but we’re motivating more progressives to run. I don’t live in Massachusetts, but I donated hundreds of dollars to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign because I knew that helping to get her elected was good for progressives all across the country.

This mayoral race in Chicago may be more significant that the Warren victory, whether you live in Illinois or not. Defeating the former Chief Of Staff to the president, and high profile career politician will send a very loud message to the party and to progressives who are considering getting involved in politics. This would be a huge national progressive victory because of who Rahm Emanuel is.

This mayoral race is important to progressives all across the country. It’s not just about Chicago. It’s about 2016, and the slate of candidates that the democratic establishment ends up supporting. Nothing will shake the DNC to its core, like seeing one of their golden children crushed by a relatively unknown progressive candidate. We all have a vested interest in this election.

So, if you’ve ever donated to a political campaign and can afford it, now is the time to chip in ten bucks to help Garcia beat Rahm, who is about to dump several metric tons of money into this campaign. This race matters to all of us, and if we band together, we can win it.     


50 Shades Of Me Not Caring

So this showed up in my Tumblr feed:



All I could think was, "wasted activism" and "who cares?" We’re spending time in theaters, protesting a movie based on a book that millions of women read? These books weren’t flying off the shelves because men couldn’t get enough. Women made these books a thing. Do these protesters think that women can’t tell the difference between erotic fantasy and oppression?

I’m just irritated by this because this is the type of absurd outrage and over sensitivity that makes it easy for some people to mock liberals. To be clear, I’m a liberal. I think that you should be able any damned thing you want, as long as it affects no one else. And when the things you want to do start to adversely affect the public, we need to weigh your freedom against the public good. But in your home, in your body, and in your freaking bookstore, you can do whatever you damned well please.

These protests are predicated on the same thing the anti-choice movement is predicated on: that women don’t know better. Let me repeat: women were the ones who bought millions of copies of these books. Are these protesters saying that those women are too stupid to know what oppression looks like?

I haven’t read these books. I heard that the writing was terrible, and the word "hack" came up a lot when these books were mentioned. I don’t like poorly written books. I don’t care what the subject is; if it’s poorly written, I’m not interested. I didn’t choose not to read these books because I equate bondage fantasies to oppression. I’m not that stupid and simple minded. I have a well written set of books that apparently take the fantasy and the bondage much further than this trilogy took them (yes, I’m referring to the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice). Fantasies are not oppressive.

Fantasies are normal and healthy, and we don’t need the PC police turning them into something else. Wanna know who has fantasies about being completely dominated? Everyone. Men, women, men who like women, men who like men, women who like men, and women who like women. We’re not all advocating for the oppression of women. We’re being human. I knew someone who earned a living dominating (no, there was no sex) men. Really, really rich and powerful men who paid thousands of dollars to be completely dominated for a couple of hours. Are either she or her customers participating in the oppression of women?

Come on, give me a break with this. Surely there are better things that these people can be doing with their lives, than telling women that they’re assholes for buying these books and for going to see this movie. In the process of "liberating" women, they’ve ended up shaming them. There’s nothing shameful or oppressive about fantasies. Stop making people feel shitty about having them. If we were more open and less obtuse about sexual fantasies, women wouldn’t have to resort to buying sophomorically written books. The fact that these crappy books sold so many copies tells me that women are less oppressed than ever. That’s actually not entirely true. They still have to resort to reading crap. If we stopped shaming sex and sexual fantasies, maybe better writers would start writing what there’s obviously a big market for.

I know that you’re all well intentioned, but I need you to stop shaming people over sex. And most of all, I need you to stop being mockable liberals.    


Rand Paul’s Insane Freedom Turrets

So apparently it’s the 19th century and we’re debating whether these new fangled vaccine thingies are safe. Oh, and also FREEDOM. Here, watch Rand Paul explain (don’t worry, you can stop the suffering at 2:55):

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Sigh. This moron is going to run for president. And in my opinion, right now, at this very moment, he has a better chance than almost any of the other republican clowns who plan on running. Let me be clear: that is not a prediction. I have no fucking clue who the nominees on either side are going to be because I don’t have a functioning crystal ball, and therefore cannot accurately tell you what’s going to happen nearly two years from now. But that’s a whole other post.

This one is about Rand Paul and his simple minded, childlike view of the world. He lives in a world where he and his pet unicorn, Ayn are free to roam about the country doing as they please because FREEDOM trumps public safety. He wants to do this while enjoying all of the perks of living in a developed country, where the roads are built for him, the water is cleansed of all brain eating amoebas for him, planes aren’t crashing on his head, ebola isn’t running rampant, fires are magically being put out, buildings aren’t collapsing, and the internet just spontaneously appeared one day. Oh, and it’s all in technicolor, like The Wizard Of Oz.

You see, little Rand doesn’t care what your question is because the answer is always FREEDOM! A person who thinks that one answer applies to all (or most) questions is a child, incapable of handling complexities.

When you live in a first world country, you have entered into a social compact. That social compact provides you with millions of things you don’t even realize you’re getting, which is why I made sure to include brain eating amoebas earlier. That’s a thing that no one thinks about, is aware of, and doesn’t realize is being taken care of for them. You are not free to do as you please in that technicolor libertarian dream because you have to give up a little FREEDOM to have nice things.

Obion County Tennessee is a place with the kind of FREEDOM that Rand Paul’s underdeveloped little mind loves. They don’t have their own fire department. It’s a small town who relies on the fire department from a neighboring country to come out and deal with their fires, since they’re too small to viably create their own fire department. So a neighboring town offers them firefighting services for a voluntary fee of $75.00. It’s not a tax, so there’s no one to just take the money. Residents of Obion have to voluntarily send in a check every year if they want firefighters to come to their burning house to put out the fire. Yay FREEDOM, right? Most of you who aren’t afflicted with the libertarian suppression of emotional and intellectual growth disease can see where this is going. But let me tell the story for the unicorn owners. Four years ago, a home in Obion County caught fire. That home owner forgot to send in his voluntary (yay FREEDOM) fee so when he called 911, they told him that they couldn’t help him since he hadn’t paid the fee. The homeowner pleaded with the 911 operator, offering to pay all of the costs of putting out the fire. But that didn’t work, cause FREEDOM means "no pay, no spray". Good news though, the fire department did eventually come out to spray the house next door, who had paid their fee. So that’s awesome for the neighbors whose home was protected from burning down. Of course, they now have a burned down shell of a structure next door to them. But don’t worry, I’m sure that isn’t affecting the property values for all of the homeowners on the block.

So the same thing happened a year later in Obion. Fire…..no fee…..FREEDOM rings….no spray…..everyone watched the house burn down, and their property values with it. But hey, those neighbors should obviously just suck it up, cause [think Big Lebowski] it’s like, freeeeedom, maaaaaaan. So after two of these giant bonfire incidents, Obion county legislators, who still don’t want to raise taxes, have decided that the firefighters should be held personally responsible if:

  • someone is trapped in a deadbeat house and dies because the fire wasn’t put out or
  • the fire department makes a clerical error and refuses to put out a fire because they mistakenly had it on the deadbeat list.

So that’s awesome. Obion county legislators are problem solving while still preserving FREEDOM for their residents. Not so much for the firefighters but hey, it’s like, freeeeedom, maaaaaaan.

Wanna know what the FREEDOM killing, public interest protecting cost would be if Obion County residents paid for fire protection through their taxes? 0.13 (go to page 51 on that link) of a cent on each household. Sure, that doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but that’s another 0.13% of a penny of FREEDOM killing!

And we can’t have that, because Rand Paul doesn’t care what the question is because the answer is always FREEDOM. Why did I go all the way to Tennessee to make my point? Because that’s my favorite of dozens of stories that clearly depict that if you want nice, first world things, you don’t have the freedom to do anything you damned please, at the expense of public safety.

Public safety trumps freedom in the developed country 100% of the time. And that, kiddies, is why libertarians can never give me a real world example of a time or a place in history where the FREEDOM unicorn shit out a rainbow of prosperity and bestowed it upon all the people.

Yes, vaccinations should be mandatory. Your batshit crazy, scientifically devoid beliefs do not trump the interests of public safety. I cannot believe this shit needs to be explained.

Oh, but ladies should know that Rand’s FREEDOM-loving ends at your uterus’ edge. He doesn’t think you should ever be allowed to have an abortion. But good news, when you give birth to the child you may or may not have wanted, you’re FREE to cost your community, productivity, the health of others, and the profit margins of businesses who have to shut down because of the plague your unvaccinated child has bestowed upon them.

Let FREEDOM ring!