Early Morning Open Thread: More Wine Foil Art!

Balloon Juicer Cathyx turns out to be a very talented wine foil artist. She made a snake!

And a lamb!

I constructed the following gator:

Discuss whatever.






80 replies
  1. 1
    amk says:

    barclay’s bob fucking diamond is out.

  2. 2
    danielx says:

    Already putting me off my appetite, the latest swill from David Brooks, reasonable conservative, while bemoaning the ACA decision:

    Capretta and Moffit lay out the basic Republican principles: First, patients should have skin in the game. If they are going to request endless tests or elaborate procedures, they should bear a real share of the cost. Instead of relying on the current tax exemption that hides costs, the Republican plans would offer people a tax credit for use to purchase the insurance plan that suits their needs. The tax credit could phase out for the wealthy.

    Right. David thinks this plan is the cat’s ass, of course. Dave – can I call you Dave? – let me clue you in.

    1. Patients don’t request endless tests, and neither do doctors. For that matter, doctors are the ones who order – not request – tests, not patients. If they work for an HMO or even PPO they’re rewarded for holding down costs, so it’s not like they order two MRI scans when one will do. Three of my in-laws and more than a few friends are docs, I know whereof I speak.

    2. Considering what medical tests cost, what’s a “real share”? What may be a negligible cost to you, as you write checks for the redecorating of your $4 million home, would be mighty expensive for your average citizen, particularly if they’re paying a mortgage, trying to save for retirement and college, and feeding a couple of teenagers with appetites like timber wolves. This applies also to…

    3. Elaborate medical procedures. This may be news to you, but just about every medical procedure these days past setting a broken arm is an elaborate medical procedure involving one or more specialists. Heart catheterization, hip replacement, delivery of a baby with any complications at all – we’re talking elaborate, and that means megabucks by most people’s standards. What’s a “real share” of a $40,000 hospital bill? Ten percent? Twenty percent? I know four grand is the price of a new couch for you, but for most people it’s a lot of money…you clueless fuckstick.

    4. Tax credits – leaving aside the amount of the tax credit, which is a big question – do you seriously believe that a tax credit would be phased out for the wealthy under a Republican plan? Really? If so, please supply me with a list of the medications you’re on so that I can hoke up some symptoms for my family practitioner and get some, because you’ve clearly got some good shit.

    And these are the idiocies upon which you expound in the first of six points about why a Republican health care plan would be superior. If it’s so damned superior, why wasn’t it proposed in detail, oh, a year ago? Show a little Hayekian modesty and cease bloviating on topics about which you clearly know nada, zip, zilch, jack shit. I know this is a futile hope but hope springs eternal, among mine being the hope that you will be struck on the head by a meteorite which will knock some sense into your cotton candy-filled head.

    Damn, 7:10 in the morning. I’m seriously pissed off already and that’s after not being able to get back to sleep after tending to my spouse at 3:45 am – speaking of hip replacements.

  3. 3
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @danielx:

    And how is the hip recipient?

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    I hate talented people. They make me feel inadequate.

    @danielx:

    David Brooks’s plan is too liberal. The only truly conservative health care plan is leeches.

  5. 5

    Yay! Just felt a 7.0 earthquake here in the North Island of New Zealand.

    It was located 120k NW of Wellington, but 230k down under the Tasman Sea.

    RV

  6. 6
    Linda Featheringill says:

    If Brooks and/or his buddies truly had a health care plan, why didn’t they bring it out three years ago?

  7. 7
    Cmm says:

    Day off from work last night. We have had 3 homicides in one week, which is pretty crazy for our city. I am beat and needed a longer weekend to recuperate. I have an agenda of crafting, movie watching and book reading planned.

  8. 8

    I’m still trying to absorb the fact that one of my comments here at BJ may change the course of history. Or maybe Mickey is just trying to butter Cole up and get a few goats sent his way.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @danielx: Nice rant!

    @Royston Vasey: Hopefully there is no damage.

  10. 10
    Raven says:

    Blade Runner!

  11. 11
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Royston Vasey:

    Earthquake:

    Do you think it might cause some surface disturbance, as it’s centered under water?

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @danielx: Didn’t you know? Purchasing healthcare is exactly like buying a car. If you’re one of the poors who is unlucky enough to have a sick baby, you’ll just have to get care at the local “Buy Here, Pay Here” clinic…

    @Royston Vasey: Yowza! Stay safe!

    @Cmm: Whatcha watching / reading / crafting?

  13. 13
    danielx says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    The hip recipient is coming along nicely, although tired of sleeping in a bed in the living room – the half bath on the first floor is inaccessible for a person using a walker. Logistical difficulties, don’t you know. It takes a while and it hurts a lot, but I’m told the payoff for the procedure is one of the best returns you can get in terms of better quality of life. Although I don’t know how people in their 70s get through it – my spouse is very young for the procedure, aggravation of an old hip injury – and she’s having a hell of a time.

  14. 14
    jeffreyw says:

    Henry at Crooked Timber put up a reading list that forced me to buy a few more for the Kindle.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    Day two of vacation week and the excitement never ends! Day one was an event packed day, what with laundry and getting my car inspected to the tune of $600. Today is grocery shopping and making 72 devilled eggs for the niece’s graduation party tomorrow. Half will be traditional and the other half a more sophisticated version with no mayo, but lots of herbs, some capers, and a binding agent of evoo.

    If I believed in reincarnation, I’d be thinking I must have been a real asshole in my previous lives.

  16. 16

    @Linda Featheringill: A good old long shake where I was. No reports of damage, probably as it was so far down.

    The shakes that happen in Christchurch (still, 10,000+) are a lot closer to the surface – around 5-10k down. This one was 230k down and 120k out at sea (but 60k from the South Taranaki coast.

    Safe, so I’ll try and get some sleep. Just gone 12:04am Happy 4th of July!

    RV

  17. 17
    bemused says:

    @danielx:

    Brooks also loves the idea that Republicans would welcome Medicaid recipients into the same
    private health insurance markets as their fellow citizens. Lucky duckies.

    I don’t remember who recently said here that Brooks resembles a wood chuck but that was genius. Now I see an upper class wood chuck twit in a smoking jacket wearing a monocle every time Brooks is mentioned.

  18. 18
    the Conster says:

    @danielx:

    You are on a roll this morning. Between the previous post’s delicious rant and this one, that’s a lot of coherent information processing for this early in the day. Good thing BJ’s here for you to share it all.

  19. 19
    the Conster says:

    @geg6:

    Love, love love devilled eggs. What herbs are you going to use?

  20. 20
    Keith says:

    @danielx: Good lord, I am so tired of hearing pundits throw around the phrase “have skin in the game”. And for healthcare, even moreso, as once your health goes south, you – by definition – have skin in the game. Us non-Burkeans call it our lives.
    My kidneys failed last year, and regardless of the costs (which right now have gone over $100k for dialysis and transplant listing) my skin in the game was lying in bed hearing my heart roll around in my chest like a Harley motor, having fluid-filled lungs, a months-long hangover, and holes going up my arm from multiple large needles going in 3 times a week. Mr. Brooks, *that* is skin, you arrogant, detached fuck.

    (I know I should probably just post this over at the NYT, but I’m not signing up just so I can talk to David Fucking Brooks)

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @the Conster:

    I’ll mix the yolks with evoo, chopped capers, garlic, parsley, basil and terragon. And the more I think about it, I may try a third kind with steamed spinach, Parmesan, butter, and a tiny grating of nutmeg. Maybe.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    @danielx: Good rant. I was going to make your point #1.

    Patients may ask for a test, if know of one that seems related to their symptoms but it is the doctor who actually orders it. And sometimes they order a specific test so they can rule something out as a possible problem. (As I prepare to go to the clinic for a follow-up visit.)

  23. 23
    danielx says:

    @bemused:

    I cannot tell a lie, t’was I. Always happy to snark (sic) up credit when due – it was the picture of ol’ Dave at the recent Aspen Institute proceedings that did it for me. Almost like David Brooks parodying David Brooks. If there was a definition for ‘clueless shithead’ in the dictionary there would be a picture of David Brooks over it, just like there would be a picture of George Will over the definition of ‘pompous asshole’.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....-the-deep/

  24. 24
    bemused says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    After hearing several Republicans pushing the meme of “patient-centered healthcare” this week, I got interested in reading Frank Luntz’ 28 page ‘how to talk about healthcare’ homework from 2009. Dave Wiegel had a couple of good posts. Of course, Luntz co-opted “patient-centered healthcare” for Republicans to use against ACA.

    In Luntz’s healthcare spin manual, I noticed he advised Republicans to say this, “Waiting to buy a car or even a house won’t kill you. But waiting for the healthcare you need–could. Delayed care is denied care”. There’s some bitter irony in that considering the 30 million uninsured are “not the issue” for Republicans. Delay care, deny care is the Republican healthcare plan and should be on a bumper sticker.

  25. 25
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Keith:

    I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. You obviously have some rough times ahead.

    We here at BJ can appreciate a good rant so if you feel overloaded, feel free to come on board and vent.

    Not really my business, but how old are you?

  26. 26
    jeffreyw says:

    Another day dawning, folks. Let’s get busy!

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    @danielx:

    Hatts off to you on a hilarious comparison. I will forever see that photo and think wood chuck.

  28. 28
    cathyx says:

    Thanks Betty Cracker, I’ve got two more foils waiting for me to be creative.

  29. 29
    shortstop says:

    @the Conster: What Con said, danielx.

  30. 30
    Mino says:

    I’m waiting for my asshole governor, Mr. Perry, to confirm my expectations that there will be no Medicaid expansion for you, poors. If 3 mil are estimated with the 10 govs already in front of the cameras, Texas might triple the number left out.

  31. 31
    Keith says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Thanks for the words. I’m thirty-six, which is young for kidney failure (caused by neglected hypertension). I still have residual function and feel fine now (and am getting tested soon to see if I can stop dialysis and hopefully go off the transplant list, as the last transplant team I dealt were awful)

  32. 32
    the Conster says:

    @geg6:

    Wow, very nice. They’re like little works of art too, when arranged and garnished beautifully. That’s a lot of eggs though.

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    @bemused: The third baseman used to call him Brooksie the Beaver, but woodchuck is much more accurate.

  34. 34
    Mark S. says:

    I was thinking of Bobo and his Springsteen column the other day and it made me wonder: Do people singing along to “We Are Family” realize they aren’t related to Sister Sledge?

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    It’s just ’cause he’s hot. It’s not ’cause he’s a dick.

    NYT website front page: illustrated with a pic of Chris Christie:

    As the Sun Bears Down, Officials Get Grumpy

    Have a question for the governor of New Jersey or the mayor of New York? Might be best to wait for cooler temperatures.

    The wine foil creatures look more calm and collected.

  36. 36
    bemused says:

    @shortstop:

    I agree.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    Probly already covered, as the process in vetting the Mittster proceeds toward a full description of the manclown.

    Vanity Fair looks into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow Mitt Romney to skirt tax laws.

    “The assertion that he broke no laws is widely accepted. But it is worth asking if it is actually true. The answer, in fact, isn’t straightforward. Romney, like the superhero who whirls and backflips unscathed through a web of laser beams while everyone else gets zapped, is certainly a remarkable financial acrobat.

    “financial acrobat” with “whirls and backflips” through tax loopholes. HOLY BATMAN!!

    But careful analysis of his financial and business affairs also reveals a man who, like some other Wall Street titans, seems comfortable striding into some fuzzy gray zones.”

    “Striding into some fuzzy gray zones”. In a galaxy far far away, they call them “criminals” “hucksters”. On planet America, they are just tryin’ to make a living.

    And A former Bain employee laments the fuzzy gray zone experience working for the Mittster

    “He was nice, he was fair, he was logical, he said what he wanted … he was really encouraging.” But Bain and Co., the person recalls, pushed employees to find out secret revenue and sales data on its clients’ competitors. Romney, the person says, suggested “falsifying” who they were to get such information, by pretending to be a graduate student working on a proj­ect at Harvard. (The person, in fact, was a Harvard student, at Bain for the summer, but not working on any such proj­ects.) “Mitt said to me something like ‘We won’t ask you to lie. I am not going to tell you to do this, but [it is] a really good way to get the information.’ … I would not have had anything in my analysis if I had not pretended.

    This is going to be fun, when Romney drops to his knees and begs the FSM to make it stop.

  38. 38
    Redshift says:

    @PurpleGirl: Also, it’s an especially pernicious lie because our current for-profit fee-for-service system allows some doctors or hospitals to own the companies doing the tests *and* decide whether to do them. So Brooks’ beloved “free market” drives them to order those “endless tests”, not the patient, *and* the ACA changes that.

    So other than the fact that pretty much every problem Brooks purports to address is the exact opposite of what he says it is, I’m sure his plan would work great!

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @danielx:

    OK, just this.

    Brooks’ stupidity is exceeded only by his Versailles Courtier arrogance.

    A tumbrel ride for him is long overdue.

  40. 40
    Redshift says:

    I’m about to head to my first meeting of Neighborhood Team Leaders for the Obama campaign. I’m halfway between “woo, exciting!” and “I’ve signed up for a whole lotta work again, haven’t I?”

  41. 41
    jurassicpork says:

    Guess what? Even though I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years, yesterday was Welcome Back to Pottersville’s 4th anniversary. Four years, 1000 posts. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

  42. 42
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Keith:

    Great news! Life after transplant can be very difficult, as you probably know. [I did a stint of transcription for a transplant center. That’s the extent of my knowledge.]

    At any rate, I wish you many years of happiness and joy. :-)

  43. 43
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Boy, CBS is reporting some really HOT weather back east, followed by a nasty hurricane. But that’s not the worst, Godzilla is coming afterward.

    I hope the folks back east survive this because the weather for the rest of the week looks great!

  44. 44
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Redshift:

    Good for you! [takes hat off as a sign of respect]

  45. 45
    Ash Can says:

    @danielx: Preach it.

    @Royston Vasey: Yeesh. Glad to hear it (apparently) turned out OK.

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @Redshift: Based on my observation of our own Neighborhood Team Leader, it does involve a lot of paperwork, but it’s the kind of paperwork you can do at home. Also, I have a feeling that you can delegate some of the paperwork too (our leader doesn’t like to do that because she’s particular about how it gets done).

  47. 47
    Mark S. says:

    Instead of relying on the current tax exemption that hides costs, the Republican plans would offer people a tax credit for use to purchase the insurance plan that suits their needs.

    Goopers love their tax credits, but this wouldn’t help people in the bottom 60% or so who don’t pay a lot of income tax. And getting rid of the employer tax exemption would result in a lot more people not having any insurance.

  48. 48
    rlrr says:

    @Mark S.:

    And getting rid of the employer tax exemption would result in a lot more people not having any insurance.

    To conservatives, that is a feature, not a bug.

  49. 49
    General Stuck says:

    And so it begins

    Romney Campaign Declaring Cease Fire on Health Care

    This disappointing of the GOP base, with every new day, will likely bring another Benedict Arnold day and another surrender. Romney is smart enough to know, with his history of individual mandate approval, had no choice but to drop health care, or get beaten to a pulp over it by Obama.

    There will be more surrenders and betrayals to come. As the stove pipe narrows into plausible and pertinent campaigning that the Romney campaign will have to adopt, or certainly lose. The nativists will not be happy campers, and their participation will only be realized, what flows from their white hot hatred of Barack Obama.

    Left wing disappointment with Obama will pale in significance for what Romney will suffer from his nutter base.

  50. 50
    Culture of Truth says:

    Republican plans would offer people a tax credit for use to purchase the insurance plan that suits their needs. The tax credit could phase out for the wealthy

    So it wouldn’t help poor people, wouldn’t apply to rich people. Genius.

  51. 51
    Redshift says:

    @Mark S.: Shorter David Brooks: The way to solve the problem is to shift from employers not being able to afford healthcare to individuals not being able to afford healthcare.

    (Based on this, I think we can guess what he thinks “the problem” is.)

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t see how Romney’s GOP masters would let him get away with not hitting Obama and the Dems on health care, unless said masters are in such disarray themselves that they can’t agree on what course(s) of action Romney should take. Either way, it’s a popcorn-worthy situation.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    I can’t believe that Obama planned all this in any way. But I am not totally certain of that.

    A Tax Is a Tax Is a Tax

    The wingnuts embracing the tax ruling by Roberts and joined by liberals of the majority, is now being embraced by the wingnuts. I wonder if they realize that by taking this opportunistic stand to wank about Obama raising taxes (Which in reality includes all of about 1 maybe 2 percent of the population who refuse to buy insurance), and taking this stand, they are also agreeing that the ACA was and is constitutional. While their candidate is siding with the hard right justices, that the IM was not a tax and unconstitutional. The mind reels at the posturing of fools.

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @General Stuck:

    And A former Bain employee laments the fuzzy gray zone experience working for the Mittster

    Profit. Loss. Winning. Losing. Sorry, I don’t see any gray area.

  55. 55
    maya says:

    What Conservative, worth his weight in fossil fuel, would want to be buried next to a Librul?

    Republican Only Cemeteries!

    And for their pets: Blue Dog Only Cemeteries.

    Mickey, are you reading?

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    Andy Griffith died.. I grew up watching Pa and Opie..

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @danielx: Bravo.
    Just to add a point about why they did not bring this out when healthcare bills were under discussion. If you put the GOP bits about individuals buying their own policies, together with the regulations on insurers, Obama would have jumped at this with both feet.

    But if you are playing scorched earth politics it does not come up.

    Now let me see if it came up as a suggestion by the GOP to modify the pending healthcare bill in 2009.

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @JPL: I grew up watching A Face in the Crowd and No Time for Sergeants.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Roger Moore says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    If Brooks and/or his buddies truly had a health care plan, why didn’t they bring it out three years ago?

    Because Wednesday morning quarterbacking is way better than getting in the game.

  61. 61
    scav says:

    @amk: poor boys got those walking blues . . .

  62. 62
    JPL says:

    @Raven: It is my annual lock in to the cheapest gas rates. I gave Scana the opportunity to match and although they couldn’t match the rebate, they dropped my therm rate 6 cents lower than their advertised rate. I am a little surprised.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JPL: Oh, sad. I first saw him in No Time for Sergeants.

  64. 64
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Hmm, I didn’t get notice but, damn, can’t wait to get the power bill!

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: “Your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower”!

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    @Raven: This months power and water bill will probably be high enough that I could have shut down the house and gone on vacation.

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    @JPL: I’m going to be thinking about that next week. Of course, the air stays on for the pups!

  68. 68
    Amir Khalid says:

    I just got back from seeing Brave. I loved it. It’s got a princess for a lead, but that’s its only connection to the Disney-princess cartoon tradition.

    so many critics didn’t quite know what to make of Brave because of this. Ebert describes Merida as an “honorary boy”, as though the story’s central conflict were about her boyishness. I guess a lot of critics were flummoxed, as they were with Snow White and The Huntsman, because there’s no prince and no wedding at the end. Well, princesses have other things to do than just fall in love and get married. This one has a relationship with her mother to figure out, who she is, her place in the world. The Disney princess is evolving, as she must.

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    wrong thread

  70. 70
    cckids says:

    @Mark S.:

    Goopers love their tax credits, but this wouldn’t help people in the bottom 60% or so who don’t pay a lot of income tax. And getting rid of the employer tax exemption would result in a lot more people not having any insurance.

    This. They never seem to get that a once-a-year tax credit doesn’t give you the month-to-month cash to actually BUY insurance. Or the cash to USE the crap insurance that is probably all you can afford.

    Talking health care/insurance with Repubs makes me distinctly stabby.

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @danielx: Has Davie Brooks explained why the brilliant Repubs didn’t put this plan in action during the Shrub years? They had full control of Congress for 6 straight years. What happened?

  72. 72
    cckids says:

    @JPL: Yeah. Between the less than fabulous construction standards here in S.NV, the 105+ heat every day, and the medical equipment we’ve got running 24/7, our electric bills are over $600 a month, June thru September. Ouch.
    Thank FSM our landlord pays the water bill, tho he does bitch about it. He’s the one who planted grass in the desert anyway, which is where most of the water is going.

  73. 73
    Punchy says:

    Andy Griffith, RIP.

  74. 74
    gene108 says:

    @danielx:

    Tax credits

    Ah…the new Republican talking point…

    I know big time network reporters probably make gobs of cash and have fancy accountants to do their returns for them, but at some point they probably had to do it themselves.

    Therefore they should be able to comprehend the fact that writing off $10,000 in medical expenses at a 15% tax rate only off-sets $1500 of the $10,000 spent.

    I really don’t know, why basic math questions can’t be asked to Republicans, when they bring up tax credits as an alternative to actual insurance.

  75. 75
    gene108 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The Disney princess is evolving, as she must.

    The Disney princess is a racket that hooks 3-5 year old girls into princess addicts.

  76. 76
    Whatsleft says:

    After meeting with the pediatric neuropsychologist yesterday morning and the insurance adjuster who was very nice but very concerned that $50,000 wasn’t going to be nearly enough for my 16-year-old’s possible loss of an academic future (she was in an IB program that I had to fight tooth and nail to get her through the last 5 weeks after the April car accident and subsequent head trauma), I’d like to shove Mr. Brooks’ “tax credit” right up past his sphincter with maximum force.

    Being an evil government employee, I happen to have great health insurance, as well as car insurance, as did the others involved. But I am looking at a lifetime of bills, including medical, that ACA will mitigate due to taking off the lifetime cap. How does that stack up against “tax credits”?

  77. 77
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Whatsleft: Holy god. And as you noted, you have GOOD insurance.

  78. 78
    Whatsleft says:

    I send my very best out to Keith as well. I hope your recovery continues apace, and you get to lose the dialysis machine :-)

  79. 79
    Whatsleft says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yes, yesterday was a jolt. It was the first time I was told that she probably WOULDN’T recover her previous brain function, per the neuropsychologist, followed by grim scenarios from the adjuster who specialized in brain injuries involving in-patient therapy for weeks and maybe losing her license. She was the passenger mind you, no other teens involved, no drugs or alcohol, everyone with seatbelts, just someone trying to beat a red light (the other driver). Outwardly she is still the same beautiful girl with no apparent injuries. She just can’t remember any of yesterday’s conversations, or anything she’s read or had read to her since the accident, or how to do multiplication with decimals or any division, after excelling in pre-calc. And she knows she is not the same.

  80. 80
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Whatsleft: Awww man, I can’t imagine. I have a teenage daughter myself, and your last sentence is particularly heartbreaking. I hope the neuropsychologist turns out to be dead wrong.

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