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FoxTrot by Bill Amend for December 09, 2018

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FoxTrot by Bill Amend for December 09, 2018

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deezil
16 hours ago
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Louisville, Kentucky
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Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for December 09, 2018

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Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for December 09, 2018

Source - Comics RSS - Patreon

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deezil
16 hours ago
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GODDAMNIT. Why is my face leaking?
Louisville, Kentucky
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Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for December 08, 2018

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Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for December 08, 2018

Source - Comics RSS - Patreon

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deezil
16 hours ago
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YES
Louisville, Kentucky
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Mitch McConnell is personally denying Donald Trump a win that nearly everyone would celebrate

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The one and only decent idea to emanate from the Trump White House — a bill that proposes reforms to the nation’s archaic criminal justice system — is about to die in Congress’ lame-duck session because of one man: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

True to the form of our hyper-dysfunctional politics, McConnell is openly defying the president as well as a large contingent of GOP senators by refusing to bring the measure to a vote before the current session ends.

The irony of McConnell’s spiking the only idea that has a sliver of merit from the White House is a bright-line example of just how dysfunctional Congress has become. Even though this criminal reform legislation is favored by President Donald Trump and key White House insiders, a significant number of GOP lawmakers, and nearly all of the Democrats in Congress, its chances of passage are doomed because the Senate’s top Republican doesn’t like the bill.

“Each passing day they get less,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Politico earlier this week, speculating on the odds of the bill’s passage. “We’re still lobbying Sen. McConnell. He has all the power to allow it or not allow it.”

The legislation — popularly known by its acronymic name, the FIRST STEP Act — is a package of policies intended “to help reduce the risk that prisoners will recidivate upon release from prison.”

In particular, the bill would reform mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent repeat drug offenders and eliminate the three-strike required life sentence provisions. Additionally, the bill would encourage individuals in federal prisons to receive educational, vocational, and therapeutic assistance and offer time-off credit for the successful completion of such programs. It would also increase the use of home detention, post-release transitional, and electronic monitoring programs.

In order to sweeten the legislation and help ease some Senate opposition, the bill’s sponsors recently agreed to changes that reduced the likelihood that people convicted of violent crimes would qualify for the bill’s benefits.

It’s a remarkable and rare example of bipartisan legislation. Its most notable feature, according to The New York Times, is the way it has brought together an unlikely coalition of advocacy groups from the left and the right, including conversative billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, in calling for its passage.

What’s more, Trump both likes the bill and understands its virtues. “This is a true first-step in creating a fairer justice system by reforming mandatory minimums, which have created racially discriminatory outcomes and increased overcrowding and costs,” the White House said in a statement of support for the legislation.

Despite all that, the legislation is unlikely to pass the Senate this term because McConnell stands in its way. According to various news reports, the majority leader has told fellow Republicans he does not envision bringing the bill to the floor for a vote, preferring instead to push through judicial appointments and the passage of legislation to fund the government.

“[McConnell] doesn’t like the bill,” Republican donor Doug Deason, a key White House ally, said recently in an interview with The Washington Post. “He’s a (former Attorney General) Jeff Sessions-style, lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key kind of guy.”

It’s all so unfortunate — and undemocratic — that one lone, arrogant senator can gum up the will of the public, preventing the passage of a public policy that has widespread support. Criminal justice reform is long overdue and broadly popular among voters and lawmakers. What’s more, a whip count of senators this week found that up to 30 Republican senators and 49 Democratic senators were likely to vote of the legislation.

“We have the clearest path forward that we have had in years,” said Holly Harris, the executive director of the Justice Action Network, which supports the legislation, told The New York Times. “This would be the first time that these members have voted on a piece of legislation that turns away from the lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-keys policies of the 1990s. That is groundbreaking.”

Well, it would be, if only McConnell would get out of the way and bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote.




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deezil
4 days ago
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Mitch, you no-good felchbucket, be a human. Please.
Louisville, Kentucky
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Welcome to Our Modern Hospital Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself

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Welcome to America General Hospital! Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick “heads up” — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me explain a hospital to you: we give you medical care, then we charge whatever the hell we want for it.

If you don’t like that, go fuck yourself and die.

Honestly, there’s no telling what you’ll pay today. Maybe $700. Maybe $70,000. It’s a fun surprise! Maybe you’ll go to the ER for five minutes, get no treatment, then we’ll charge you $5,000 for an ice pack and a bandage. Then your insurance company will be like, “This is nuts. We’re not paying this.” Who knows how hard you’ll get screwed? You will, in three months.

Fun story: This one time we charged two parents $18,000 for some baby formula. LOL! We pull that shit all the time. Don’t like it? Don’t bring a baby, asshole.

Oh, I get it: you’re used to knowing a clear price for products and services. The difference is that medicine is complicated and scary — unlike, say, flying hundreds of people in a steel tube across an ocean, or selling them a six-ounce hand-held computer that plays movies and talks to satellites. Anyway, no need to think this through rationally while you’re vulnerable, right? Your head is really gushing, ma’am.

Sure we could start posting prices and discussing our costs, but then it turns into a public debate about transparency, and people get all huffy and self-righteous about $15 pills of Tylenol, $93 to turn on a single goddamned light, or $5,000 worth of sanitary gloves. We’d rather just mail you a bill later for $97,000, full of obscure medical codes you can’t understand. Oh, you like understanding things? Here, maybe this will help:

Hit your head, and talk to a doctor for one minute? $2,500, you idiot.

Want your pesky appendix out? That’ll probably be $33,611. Or it could be $180,000. Shrug. Don’t know. Don’t care.

Need an hour in the ER? How does $15,000-$50,000, sound? Hint: we don’t give a piss how it sounds you stupid fucking helpless human wallet.

Our medical system strikes you as “insane?” Well, you can’t do much about that now. Except of course to go fuck yourself. Yes, ma’am, as a matter of fact, we do have a special room where you can go fuck yourself. Yes, it does cost money to use the room, and no I cannot tell you how much. Want a hint? It’s between $1 and $35,000 per minute. Will you be reserving the go fuck yourself room?

Oh, you think you think we’re cruel and illogical? Well, no one forced you to come here. It’s your decision, you head-injured meatball. Feel free to go out into the parking lot and just die. I suggest you do that out in section F. Try to lean your corpse against a light pole. Our dead body disposal fee is $3.75 and is not covered by your shitty, confusing, out-of-network medical plan.

So, will you be dying in our parking lot today, you pathetic, impotent, walking insurance code? Okay, great! Your husband will get a bill for that soon, and if he doesn’t like it, he can fuck himself too.

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deezil
6 days ago
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Yet again, McSweeney's hits it on the head. (no pun intended)
Louisville, Kentucky
jhamill
5 days ago
That'll be $150 or $15,000. Don't know. Don't care.
iridesce
5 days ago
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nj
angelchrys
5 days ago
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Overland Park, KS
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4 public comments
sarcozona
4 days ago
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I am never ever going back
BLueSS
4 days ago
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Thankfully, dental procedures are the opposite, in my experience. I usually get provided my out of pocket expenses when I'm being told about the work that should be done.

If only medical could catch up to what's done on the dental side...
ChrisDL
5 days ago
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number one reason i might move away from the US.
New York
freeAgent
4 days ago
My wife is having a procedure done that isn't covered by insurance. She was referred to a place that was going to charge $1,600. She shopped around and found a different place that will do it for $4-500. She had to go back to her referring physician to have a second referral for the procedure sent to the other location. On top of that, my wife and her referring physician are coworkers, so it is not as though her doctor was trying to screw her over. Doctors just aren't aware of the costs for procedures or the differences in cost between facilities. That there can be a 3x cost difference between providers, even in the same region, for the exact same procedure is ridiculous.
ChrisDL
4 days ago
thanks for sharing that. I feel like we all have some version of these stories at this point. a dentist that gives you a bunch of care you don't really need. Or an insurance company rep that says something is covered but then it isn't, and there just doesn't seem to be any real recourse unless you feel like litigating. The other thing that surprised me is that it seems a lot of americans don't realize it doesn't have to be like this, plenty (arguably most?) other countries don't have these issues.
diannemharris
5 days ago
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The only thing that is wrong about this piece is that a lot of the time people don't have a choice and are taken against thier will, unconscious or not, and they still get the bill.

PETA says you can’t call yourself a feminist if you eat eggs

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I was not expecting to get so angry at 7 in the morning, but calling me a bad feminist before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee is sure to raise my blood pressure. Scrolling through Google News while still in my pajamas, I came across this incendiary headline: Why Real Feminists Should Stop Eating Eggs. Yes, People…

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deezil
7 days ago
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What in the actual fuck?
Louisville, Kentucky
acdha
5 days ago
PETA are trolls who thrive on attention. The only way to stop them is not giving it to them.
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