The Widdershins

Colette, where’s my swooning couch…

Posted on: June 29, 2012

Morning Widdershin friends — here’s hoping your Friday is a great one!

To be honest, I’m just a little hacked off today.  Since prayer hasn’t seemed to replenish my ever thinning pate of mouse fur hair that people charitably refer to as, well, “mouse fur,” yesterday I was watching the teevee machine and I was tuned into that intriguing infomercial “Alyssa Milano Uses Wen Hair Care,” and after that the nice teevee man had promised me shocking, I’m telling you shocking, tips on reducing belly fat when all manner of healthcare broke out.  If you are anything like me, I needed a swooning couch straight out a Colette novel before the battling bobbleheads were eight minutes into their coverage.

Use liberally in case of Supreme Court rulings.

Here you had CNN and Fox who couldn’t break eggs on their collective faces fast enough by reporting and bannering “Healthcare Act Unconstitutional” based upon reporters who were actually standing out front of the Supreme Court moving their lips as they silently read.   While MSNBC got it right, they cut away to some guy who had found a $20 crumbled up in an old leisure suit, registered his name as a website, and breathlessly began an audition to be hired as a Romney spokesmorman.

The real journalistic croque-en-bouche was CNN cutting to a reporter in a Stockton, California coffee shop talking to a bunch of 80-something dyspeptics about healthcare.  These codgers had last been happy when they hadn’t soiled themselves the last time they’d broken wind — beyond that who knows when a smile had crossed their scowling faces.  And you ask, “Why was CNN chatting up these guys before their coffee kicked in?”  Best I can tell, CNN had a satellite truck and a reporter in Stockton with little to do because covering a municipal bankruptcy is akin to covering a Manitoba molasses race in the dead of winter.

So what’s any different here than any ordinary day’s news cycle — wait for it — wait for it — nothing, absolutely ze-freaking-ro nothing.  We have entered the sweatbox of philosopher Leszek Kolakowski’s Law of Infinite Cornucopia, “There is never a shortage of arguments to support any doctrine one wants to believe for whatever reason.”

All this is bound up in the simplest of psychological constructs, we as humans want to belong to a group, therefore we engage in “motivated reasoning.”  Motivated reasoning is a political science concept that basically says a person will refine any argument without regard to facts in order to conform to the shtick of one’s tribe.  We can’t help it — we want to belong and therefore, we “go a little crazy,” but tell ourselves like the Matchbox Twenty song, “we aren’t crazy, we’re just a little unwell.”

I’m not crazy, just a little unwell…

This healthcare-apoloosa is a perfect example of motivated reasoning since just about everyone hates Obamacare, but confusingly upwards of even 80% of Republicans and Independents support major portions of the Act.  Nope, I haven’t mis-typed or suddenly gone unwell — here’s a great article about what happens when people are asked about something they actually understand.

We have traveled a long and winding road to get where we are today.  From President Nixon introducing employer mandated coverage in the late 60’s to the conservative Heritage Foundation coming up with the individual mandate in 1989 to the Clintons’ hybrid employer/employee plan in 1994 to the Affordable Care Act — it has been a tortured journey.  A journey that is far from over, but a journey where we are coming to a fork in the road.

This year’s election will offer two directions — either continuing to hobble along the path of the Affordable Care Act or the reduction or elimination of healthcare to an estimated 50 million Americans by whatever “Repeal and Replace” turns out to be.  The estimated fifty million is the product of eliminating 31 million people from gaining coverage through ACA and the additional 14-19 million who would lose coverage by the Romney Medicaid state block grant and cap proposal.

Healthcare is an issue, when stripped away of all the “motivated reasoning,” that is understandable and concise.  Michael Cannon sums it up nicely — Cannon is the director of health-care policy at the conservative Cato Institute and has formed the Anti-Universal Coverage Club, whose members, “reject the idea that government should ensure that all individuals have health insurance.”  Survival of the fittest is an argument after all — although it runs headlong into creationism, but I digress.  Ezra Klein asks the question in this great article.

Of one thing I am sure, with insurance premiums having risen 100% in the last ten years, something has got to give.

America has been working this issue for almost 50 years — it’s time it was settled.  As the silly season of political hyperbole gushes forth and will be beamed into our homes by the billions unleashed by Citizens United, we will get to watch all those who are following the admonition of Colette, “You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

This is an “all skate” open thread.


47 Responses to "Colette, where’s my swooning couch…"

Interesting. I had not considered the inherent Conservative conflict between the ambient theory of self-care with their absolute rejection of Darwinism.

It is quite clear to me where the GOP stands on the issue of healthcare.

They are for it before they are against it after they are for it but then not so much.

Oh, and anything that Obama proposes is a definite “no” even though it may be something they originally stood for but now oppose.

Clear as mud!

I could use a swooning couch myself. Today I turned on the AC and a terrible smell started coming out of it. Something probably died in there. I think it’s our future!

@2: It may be moldy. Is it a central or a window unit?

Another excellent post, Prolix. Bravo!

May I suggest we follow the advice of a great sage and philosopher, Yogi Berra, and take that fork in the road? Just be sure to wash it off before using.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m having an attack of the post-SCOTUS decision vapors and need to lie down.

LOL, DYB! Proceed with caution.

We call it a fainting couch in these here parts. My grandmother had one.

@8: Here as well.

The AC is a window unit. It ran fine about a week ago during our heat wave. So something happened in there within the last few days! I’m hoping my super can figure it out as we have 95 degree weather this weekend!

Also, did you see that Fredster’s favorite governor (Jindal) says he will not implement Obamacare?

DYB, I hope you can get your AC fixed quickly. This heat is dangerous.

It’s “only” 97 degrees here now, with a heat index of 110. The actual temp is expected to reach 105 again later today. Who knows what the heat index will be? No relief in sight. Oy.

DYB – what Beata said, get it fixed stat.
Prolix – another terrific post. So tell me, have you been to the Manitoba molasses race in winter? If so, are you crazy – Manitoba in winter?

HT, I don’t think Prolix is crazy. “Eccentric” would be a better word.

Prolix, do you enjoy taking your pet anteater for walks? Curious minds want to know.

Thanks for the laugh Beata – I needed it.

@11 and 12 — LOL HT and Beata — Nope no Manitoba molasses winter races, but I did use a sled team of anteaters once to mush through the Yukon.

Y’all made me laugh — thanks.

As we watch the talking voodoo dolls who happen to have offices on Capitol Hill, there are a couple of fun facts to know and tell that I didn’t put into the post. Just for good measure I thought I would share them as ammunition to shoot down this baseless tripe that will undoubtedly be infesting our teevee machines on Sunday.

1. Healthcare is killing small business hiring. Biggest of all the lies I think — the ACA doesn’t affect any business that has less than 50 employees — why do you think they call them small businesses? For the record, that’s 96% of all the “small businesses” of which these little pinheaded voodoo dolls are whining. The truth of the matter is that the ACA will make it easier for individuals to get better, more cost effective coverage through the exchanges, thereby decreasing the costs for small businesses that currently provide insurance thus making it a good deal for everyone — better care, lower prices, and I’ll be to Dublin before ya.

2. The IRS will send black helicopters to air space near you if you don’t get insurance beginning in 2014. Lie, Lie, Lie — and this is a favorite of, as Chat calls him, the pre-cog prodigy, Marco Rubio. Fact: There is a specific provision in the ACA that says the IRS can’t levy against a taxpayer who fails to have insurance — meaning that the IRS can’t attach land or bank accounts. The IRS could take a refund or take someone to court to capture the “tax,” but let’s be realistic here — from a practical standpoint, there aren’t enough law schools in this quadrant of the galaxy to churn out that many attorneys.

@9: Try this first: Most window units have a drip tray underneath. Pull it out carefully, and see if there is moldy water. If that’s what it is, empty it and put it in the sink with water and some bleach and clean it out. Dry it thouroughly, and put it back in. Ditto with the filter.

@15> The smell was pretty rancid. I can’t imagine it’s just mold! And the AC worked fine a few days ago. My super thought perhaps a bird dropped an egg in there? Maybe the smell did remind me of a rotten egg, I’m not sure. I’ll have to look for a tray! I’m on the 6th floor and the AC was nailed to the window by the installers!

Prolix @14> That’s good info there.

Beata: I *axed* you last night if you had a workiing a/c when you gave us those heat numbers in Ind.

Oh and same here: fainting couch.

Regarding lil Bobby…nothing the little twerp does or doesn’t do surprises me. Of course he had nooo problem taking that $300 million medicaid fix that Landrieu got for him as her price to vote for ACA. Course lil Bobby never thanked her either. I think that the MS guv also said he wouldn’t participate in the medicaid part of the ACA either, citing the cost although the Feds pay the majority of the add’l costs for a good number of years. Better to have uninsured folks who arrive at the e.r. at death’s’ door.

Oh and Prolix, I knew the idea of national health care or universal health care was proposed by Truman but I swear I heard one of the bobble heads say that FDR proposed it also.

Also, if lil Booby ( I meant that) decides not to go with the expanded medicaid or the health exchanges, perhaps that means I’ll be able to keep my pre-existing plan I currently have. This thing is supposed to be funded through Jan. 2014. As I said on another blog, I’ll worry about later…later.

DYB: DO get that a/c unit looked at! Also, wash and dry your a/c filter for the unit. Although you said you have a window unit, you need to keep it clean. You can get all kinds of funky sh!t from dirty a/c systems.

@16: The tray should be contained within the unit, directly below.

Prolix: If you’re around, did you get the w.p. link I sent you on the *more* tag?

chat@19: I’m sooo in favor of bleach water when it comes to a/c units. I was tempted to tell D to mix up a spray bottle of it and spray everything down after washing the filter. LOL!!

@17: Sorry I didn’t answer you yesterday, Fredster. Yes, I have a working AC! To save money, I keep it set around 80 degrees which is a good temp for me. I’m doing okay. I have my SO and friends to take me to get groceries, etc. because I can’t drive. I’m very grateful for all my blessings.

@16: DYB, please keep us posted on this delicate AC operation. Don’t hurt yourself.

Beata@22: Great! Good the hear about your friends and SO.

Oh! I meant to comment about this part of Prolix’s post:

We can’t help it — we want to belong

Not me! Leave me alone…go away please. Thank yew…thank yew so much. 😉

Oh my Bobby…open mouth, insert foot:

WASHINGTON — OK, maybe it wasn’t the ideal slip of the tongue when you’re auditioning to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. During a conference call Friday with reporters, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was talking about the need to defeat President Barack Obama with Romney, who has promised to begin the repeal of his Affordable Care Act on his first day in office.

Only, Jindal referred to the health care law, which was declared Constitutional Thursday by the U.S. Supreme court, as “Obamney,” instead of Obamacare, before correcting himself, according to the Huffington Post.

“Obamney” is the term that some GOP challengers used during the hotly contested GOP primaries to argue that they’d be a better candidate than Romney in challenging the president on his legislation to increase access to health insurance.

The reference, of course, was to Romney’s signature legislation as governor of Massachusetts, a bill that, like the president’s plan, includes an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Here’s what Jindal said during Friday’s press call, according to the Huffington Post.

Not good for your veep audition Booby, not good at all. 😆

Fredster, nope didn’t get the link, but would be most happy to get it if you want to try again. Thanks.

Yes, you are right — Truman did talk about health care and I’m sure that FDR did too, but in his 13 years, there wasn’t much he didn’t talk about dragging the country out of the Depression. I see Truman’s foray a little differently from the other omnibus proposals since it was immediately post-war, veterans hitting the work force, and price controls on salaries and the like at the time. I started with Nixon because it was the first really “stand” alone proposal to address the problem. One of the things that is most interesting is that the current system of healthcare being bound up with employment comes directly out of the post-WWII era where there was competition for employees because of price controls. Hopefully, the ACA with the exchanges will begin to break the link between employment and healthcare — making portability the norm instead of the exception.

And as far as “belonging” — you are a large part of the Widdershin tribe — and we are far better for it.

@26 — Bobby needs to learn that it is now time to erase all the “talking points” for the dazed head-nodding tri-corner hat wearers. Purging all the data banks takes more than 24 hours for operating systems running on tea bags.

@27: But they were so perfect for each other!

Prolix: I’ll send the link again.

One of the things that is most interesting is that the current system of healthcare being bound up with employment comes directly out of the post-WWII era where there was competition for employees because of price controls

I had read that and did not realize that’s where the link between employment and healthcare (ins.) started. When I was a kid my father was in the Army and we had health coverage through the military. When we were in nola there was a dispensary-clinic at the base where my father was stationed and then a bigger hospital run by the P.H.S. that we went to for anything more serious. We never thought about whether we were getting “good” care or not, it was what we had. When we were stationed some place where there were no military facilities we had CHAMPUS for those. Of course no one had private or semi-private rooms; if you were in the hospital you were in a ward; unheard of nowadays.

you are a large part of the Widdershin tribe

Hey! Is that crack about my weight? 😆

@32 LOL — it has to do with the weight of your intellectual contribution.

Prolix said: Bobby needs to learn that it is now time to erase all the “talking points” for the dazed head-nodding tri-corner hat wearers. Purging all the data banks takes more than 24 hours

If you mean he is in need of a high colonic I couldn’t agree more! 😆

Beata: Perfect for them.

Prolix@33: You are too kind sir. Wait until you see Monday’s post. I’m gong to attempt a post on this Trans-Pacific-Partnership treaty that does not seem such a good thing for the U.S. and which has hardly been discussed by the M.S.M. Bear in mind I’ve never taken an econ class so this should be uh, interesting, or God-awful, not sure which.

Prolix: Email sent.


I just got the notice for the flood ins. premium so I was writing out the check and putting the statement and check in the envelope and then tried to seal it. Didn’t seal so well. I thought of this and said frack it, I’m taping the damned thing.

I am heartbroken about Tomkat!

Don’t worry about me and the AC! If it gets bad I’ll go and stay with my parents for a few days.

Poor Bobby Jindal. Can’t even oppose Obama correctly.

DYB said: I am heartbroken about Tomkat!
I feel your pain. 😉 Poor Katie; I wonder what the settlement will look like?

Don’t worry about me and the AC! If it gets bad I’ll go and stay with my parents for a few days.

Of course we worry about you! If that odor doesn’t go away, make the super clean that thing out. He can open it up to get to its innards and spray some stuff in there.

Ah, poor Bobby…that will cost him a strike or two in the veep contest, bless his heart.

Jindal’s taken the broccoli hyperbole to infinity and beyond!

On a call with reporters, Jindal said that the decision to uphold the healthcare law as a tax is a “blow to our freedoms.”

“What’s next?” he said, expressing concern for people who “refuse to eat tofu” or “refuse to drive a Chevy Volt” — a popular hybrid car.

The court explicitly said the mandate was not constitutional as a regulation of commerce.

Poor confused Piyush.

dk@41: Well hello!! 🙂

Was that the call where he called it Obamneycare?

John Boehner when he heard there would be no booze at the annual Congressional picnic.

@43: Orange Man’s lookin’ a bit peaked there. Good thing he has that social-eyed medcine from the gummit. Bless his heart.

Beata, I did a bit of cropping. It was a pic of Nancy and Orange Man. I cropped Nancy out. 😆

No wonder Agent Orange looks annoyed!

The good news is the AC is working and no bad smells are coming out. I’m not sure what the super did, if anything. But I’m not smelling anything right now!

DYB@46: Sounds great!

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