Late Night Open Thread: We’ve Made Progress, Despite Everything

There’s been lots of change for the better just in my lifetime — too much for the Angry White Men fronting the Republican party right now.

I keep reminding myself, our job is to resist going backward, so that the rising generation will never have to be grateful for a world where the N-word is considered more socially toxic than the F-word, and phrases like ‘sexual harassment’ or ‘domestic violence’ aren’t odd jargon beyond the understanding of all but a few ivory-tower academics…

91 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    He’s a physician

    CNN‏Verified account
    @ CNN
    HHS Secretary Tom Price says it should be up to states to regulate whether immunizations are required

  2. 2
    Aleta says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He has cold blood.

  3. 3
    patroclus says:

    This is just a watered down version of a comment I made five weeks ago, but my intent is totally different.:-) We shall overcome.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Smiling Mortician says:

    84 and many more.

    Happy Birthday, RBG!

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Have you seen transcripts? A diploma/degree certificate? AMA membership? He says he’s a doctor…

  7. 7
    MomSense says:

    Stephen Colbert just Rachel Maddowed his opening. So funny.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: No, Trump wants to end the funding that includes some of the funding for Meals on Wheels. Congress determines the budget and the specific appropriations. Now is the time to get on the phone with your Congressperson and Senators and tell them not to support this budgetary request. But it is important to remember that this AHCA thing is going to suck up all the time on the Congressional calendar between now and the Summer Recess. Remember there’s a big Spring Recess in their as well. Once Summer Recess hits, the 2018 campaign is underway for all members of the House and those Senators up next year. The most likely outcome is that you’re going to see a CR passed sometime before September that maintains this year’s funding levels with a slight bump for DOD and that puts off the next deadline until, at least, after the 2018 primaries. These folks have had 2 years of majority control in both chambers. The GOP majority in the House has not been able to produce a budget or appropriations in that time. The GOP majority in the Senate, after getting tired of waiting for the House last year even though that’s required, couldn’t get their own take done either.

  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    HHS Secretary Tom Price says it should be up to states to regulate whether immunizations are required

    Wow. This is a crazy game. Can anyone play?

    “Secretary X says it should be up to states to decide whether to have sanitation and sewers.”

  10. 10
    amk says:

    @Adam L Silverman: pfft, aqua buddha started his own college to get his degree. that’s how the real menz do it.

  11. 11
    MARCION says:

    As a med student this guy gives me hives

  12. 12
    NotMax says:


    Just for grins, another glance at her show’s look at lesbian vampire Maddow. Good times.

    Also, too the highlighter bit.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: No. Not true.

  14. 14
    Lizzy L says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s a pimp and a liar. At a town hall this evening, a woman asked him “how low-income women could continue receiving healthcare services” if the organization they depend on is defunded through the Republican legislation. She was, of course, talking about Planned Parenthood.

    Price responded that the bill has tried to address widespread concerns about federal tax dollars being used to perform abortion services. He also promised that the GOP legislation would “increase money for women’s health services.”

    I call bullshit on the claim of progress. Okay, polio is gone. And women are still fighting for the right to make decisions about their own bodies, and black people are still being legally gunned down in the streets. Oh, and Jeff Sessions is the Attorney General of the USA. That doesn’t feel like progress to me.

  15. 15
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The most likely outcome is that you’re going to see a CR passed sometime before September that maintains this year’s funding levels with a slight bump for DOD

    I thought the sequester has to be broken before the funding for DOD can even get a bump over domestic non-mandatory.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lizzy L: How were things in 1950? We have made progress.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Threw me a curveball, AL.

    Would have guessed tonight we were going Dutch tweet.


  18. 18
    efgoldman says:

    @Mike J:

    Trump ending Meals on Wheels.

    I said in an earlier thread, for all that he gulls the WWC rubes, he has the actual political instincts of an angry scorpion. Every fucking thing he has proposed in his “budget” (dead on arrival) would croak the RWNJ/Republiklown core constituencies.
    If he were not so stupid, I’d think he was a saboteur in disguise.
    But it’s just a proposed “budget” and even the kkkrazy kkkaukus knows where their votes come from.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Just saw a clip of trumpy bragging about the size of his

    twitter audience. “I can reach a hundred million followers…. ninety million…. eighty million… whatever…”

    So I checked. He has about 25 million followers.

    Obama has over 85 m. No way trumpy doesn’t know that.

  20. 20
    MomSense says:


    Those are the bites of a vampire.

    Oh my. That highlighter bit was cute.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: They can agree to waive it, which they’ve done several times. Also, they can just do the bump in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.

  22. 22
    efgoldman says:


    As a med student this guy gives me hives

    Don’t go to him. He’d probably prescribe a light hydrochloric acid bath.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Mulvaney wrote the budget.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: That explains what happened to the jacuzzi at Bannon’s rental in Coral Gables.

  25. 25
    randy khan says:

    @Mike J:

    This is a perfect example of a stupid cut. I doubt that even 10% of the population thinks that using federal money for Meals on Wheels is a bad idea, but probably 80% thinks that taking food away from Grandma would be awful. (I mean, think about how easy it is to do an ad on that.)

  26. 26
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: the fact my fear of being a Black man in Southern Louisiana of being disappeared by a KKK roving band (or similar) for being on the wrong side of town is diminished to near zero is proof of progress.

    One of the greatest flaws to me of the left is defining our progress by distance from the [moving goalpost of an] endpoint instead of distance from the starting point.

    Why are we always self-flagellating ourselves, when it does nothing but feed pessimisim and ultimately defeatism?

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Snakes that large require some chemical assistance in shedding their skin, don’tcha know.

  28. 28
    NYCMT says:

    Price is an orthopod, a specialty whose members are not renowned for either their bedside manners or patient empathy. Dad’s a rural internist (Catskills) with fifty years experience, and Price’s comments regarding vaccination, continuing Medicaid care and access, and his cold snake response to the woman about Planned Parenthood got him cursing and he doesn’t curse.

  29. 29
    Mike J says:

    @amk: He didn’t found a college to get his degree. He founded something called the “National Ophthalmology Board” and said he was board certified, since they said he was.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NYCMT: He does now!

  31. 31
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @NYCMT: Heaven will shower favor upon the righteous with wealth and good health, and the wicked with poverty and disease.

    No matter what these so-called Christians claim to belive, this is what I perforce of their true motivation.

  32. 32
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BlueDWarrior: I don’t know. But I do know that you are still more likely than me to be shot by a cop. It isn’t right, but we have made progress. Just not enough.

  33. 33
    MARCION says:

    I’m pretty sure all the former jocks wind up in orthopedic surgery. IDK what it is

  34. 34
    Lizzy L says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re right. I’m just exceedingly cranky. We are fighting on fronts I’d thought we’d won, territory that I thought we could hold easily, and it makes me angry and very tired to think we have to take this ground back from them again.

    But damn — clean air & clean water? I remember the air in NYC when I was a child — 1950, in fact. It was awful. Dangerous, if you had lung disease or if, for example, you had been born with under-developed lungs — as I was. It seems insane to me that we should have to re-fight these battles, and that we could lose.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Whereas arthropods have adapted to life in both wet and dry environments, orthopods have adapted to life only in operating rooms (ORs). This explains why orthopods consult everyone known to man outside of the OR: they would perish on their own through natural selection. Arthropods account for more than 75% of the world’s known species of animals, but orthopods account for an impressive 100% of the world’s known hip and knee replacements.
    Insects are a subgroup of arthropods that are pesky and annoying. Interns (orthopodinos) are a subgroup of orthopods that are also pesky and annoying. Cockroaches and tarantulas are pretty unpleasant, but nothing compared to the bolus of consults for orthopedic patients with absolutely no medical problems. Source

  36. 36
    Olivia says:

    The problem with the Angry White Men fronting the Republican party is that they have no fucking clue what life was like before LBJ. They were in kindergarten or not even born yet. Anything they know about St. Ronnie has no resemblance to what actually happened during the Alzheimer asshole’s reign.

  37. 37
    amk says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: winning bigly = lying bigly.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: He also was certified by the regular board until he got into a libertarian fight with it. Fucking with him about his competence as an MD is a dead end.

  39. 39
    NYCMT says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He was the medical director of an upstate county Medicaid clinic for twenty years and never stopped seeing people even though he was assaulted by angry drug-seekers twice. Price is a kind of doctor who gets his dander up bigly.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lizzy L: We only lose if people don’t go to the polls. Get people there.

  41. 41
    efgoldman says:


    all the former jocks wind up in orthopedic surgery.

    It’s the specialty with which they’re most familiar.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:


    orthopods have adapted to life only in operating rooms (ORs).

    mrs efg and I go to that rare orthopod who will try every treatment, even non-traditional ones, to avoid cutting.

  43. 43
    NYCMT says:

    @NotMax: sometimes they’re nice in their personal relationships, but even those orthopods bomb out of private practice or look at a hip like it’s an Audi tranny job and not a anguished person’s agony.

  44. 44
    Lizzy L says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Planning to. Working on it.

  45. 45
    divF says:


    Price is an orthopod, a specialty whose members are not renowned for either their bedside manners or patient empathy.

    Nor are they known for their intelligence, according to Madame Dr. divF. They have the skillset of a mediocre rough carpenter (bones heal, wood doesn’t), and not much else.

    ETA: Madame Dr. is an internist, like your father – geriatrician in fact. We are having to titrate her dose of Trump / AHCA news, to keep her from blowing a gasket.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s a fuckin’ quack.

  48. 48
    MARCION says:

    They also work like psychopaths which doesn’t leave much time for expanding their intellectual horizons

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    @Lizzy L: Was it your dog (or maybe cat?) that wasn’t doing well earlier today or maybe yesterday? I hope everything is going okay. Apologies if you’ve addressed it earlier. I’ve been busy today and out tonight at a meeting.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I think people here like dogs. You should watch this video.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:


    I’ve been busy today and out tonight at a meeting.

    No excuses! Remember your priorities!!

  52. 52
    Davebo says:

    Back to LBJ, it really was incredible.

    They say only Nixon could go to China.

    Only LBJ could have pulled of the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

    The man knew how to twist arms.

  53. 53
    Yarrow says:

    @MARCION: Surgery is a tough specialty to go into. Takes a ton of time and doesn’t allow for much of a life outside of it. Maybe things have changed more recently but I knew plenty of medical students who loved their surgery rotation and decided not to go into surgery because of the brutal hours and the fact that their attendings would all boast of things like not having taken a vacation day in seventeen years. The lifestyle is just a killer.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @efgoldman: I know! How dare I have a life outside of Balloon Juice? Crazy talk.

  55. 55
    GregB says:

    Today has been a rough day for the world fascist movement. Trump stumbles after getting rebuked on his Muslim ban yet again. Geert Wilders loses bigly. Russian government hackers indicted and now word that impeachment papers filed against Duterte in the Philippines.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @GregB: Woo Hoo!

  57. 57
    NotMax says:


    Number of MDs per 100,000 population in the U.S., after rising steadily for a time has been dropping for decades and now is back down to around the ratio it was in the mid-1970s.

    Partially culpable for limiting the number of med students is the AMA.

  58. 58
    Lyrebird says:

    @MARCION: He could give the rest of us the mumps as an add-on. Criminal mal-something!

  59. 59
    Zinsky says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe we should leave it up to the states to regulate human sacrifice in religious rituals too? What other nut bird ideas that endanger public health do you endorse?

  60. 60
    Lizzy L says:

    @Yarrow: It was. Thank you for asking. He continues to not do well, despite meds. Tonight he refused most food — he would only eat boiled chicken, and only when I hand fed him. He is very much not happy. He’s asleep now, because I gave him two Tramadol. I think he’s in discomfort, and very tired, and ready to say goodbye. Thirteen and a half is a good dog lifetime, and he’s had a loved and happy life. I will miss him horribly.

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: I’m aware. What does that have to do with medical students deciding what area of medicine they want to pursue?

    In recent years the most competitive residency to get matched for has been dermatology. They’d only take the very top students. Why? Because the lifestyle is good. No call or very little call. Get to do procedures so you can bill but don’t have the crazy hours of a surgeon. Plus can get into cosmetics, which means bigger income since it’s usually or often not covered by insurance so they can set their own price.

  62. 62
    efgoldman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He’s a fuckin’ quack.

    Surprised he’s an orthopod. Most of the misogynist woman-hating RWNJ congresscritters are ob-gyns.

  63. 63
    Davebo says:

    @Yarrow: I’ve gotta call BS on this.

    Surgeons, especially orthopedic ones schedule their operations and generally they aren’t immensely time sensitive. If they face brutal hours it’s because they choose to do so. The fact is that most orthopedic operations are scheduled at a minimum weeks in advance.

  64. 64
    Lizzy L says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, thanks for checking. (FYWP ate my comment, so it’s possible there’s a response to this floating somewhere in the aether that will show up in due time.) Theo the dog is no better, despite meds. He’s refusing all food, except boiled chicken, and he will only eat that if I hand feed him. He’s in discomfort and I think he’s really tired. We’ve been close companions for thirteen and half years. It could still turn around — but I don’t think it will.

    I will miss him dreadfully.

  65. 65
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He says he’s a doctor…

    So did Josef Mengele and Hannibal Lecter…

  66. 66
    sukabi says:

    @Mike J: his actual certification from the real board expired and he either couldn’t get recertified or was too lazy to try…so he set up his own “organization” to certify himself….much like claiming you’ve got an MBA from Sizzle U…

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    the trumps are claiming that the ’05 tax return proves he’s a great business man. I looked up the SP 500 return for 2005, it was 4.9%. I’m not a finance guy, but doesn’t that suggest that if he made $150M, a net worth of anything more than $3B echo Warren’s point that he could’ve done better investing his inheritance in an index fund? 2005 was the year he filed the lawsuit against the reporter who questioned his billionaire status– google says at the time he was claiming 5-6 billion. Two banks at around that time estimated worth at 3.5B.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Yarrow says:


    If they face brutal hours it’s because they choose to do so.

    But that’s sort of the point. They seem to be these ultra type A personalities that work all the time and don’t take breaks. I knew a lot of medical students who loved their surgery rotations but saw what the surgeons they worked with were doing as far as lifestyle and felt it wasn’t something they could do. There seemed to be some sort of peer pressure among the surgeons as for who worked the longest hours and who took the fewest days off.

    These were medical students going through general surgery rotations, which wouldn’t include orthopedic surgery. They could do an orthopedic surgery rotation, but it would be an elective after they’d done their general surgery rotation. Various areas of medicine seem to attract different kinds of people. The characterization of the orthopods as jocks is fairly accurate. You could always pick them out of a crowd. But in general the surgeons seemed to be more driven than, say, the family medicine docs, who were a little more laid back.

  70. 70
    TriassicSands says:


    Secretary Y says it is up to the discretion of states as to whether Oxygen or Hydrogen Cyanide is the official gas to breathe.

    Fun game. See how fast you can kill everyone in the country and then the international edition wipes out the entire human race (the deluxe set includes the extinction of every living cell on Earth.)

    You gotta hand it to the Republicans, they really have a sense of humor.

  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @Lizzy L: Oh, I’m sorry. I hope things do turn around, but it does sound like it’s less likely. Keep us posted and be kind to yourself, just as you’re being kind and caring for Theo.

  72. 72
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Lizzy L: the problem is that without constant maintenance, society easily back slides to a feudal state. I think we have to start teaching sociology and social history in a way that avoids talking about finality in social changes.

  73. 73
    efgoldman says:


    I think we have to start teaching sociology and social history in a way that avoids talking about finality

    First, we have to convince about 40% of this fucking country that history, science, and math are actual facts.
    That’s a very, very long term project. Probably won’t be done in my lifetime.
    So many assholes, so little time….

  74. 74
    Bupalos says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    we only lose if we don’t get people to the polls

    I’m going to disagree here, not to be disagreeable, but because I continue to think this underestimates the problem and the work required.

    Our failure is not that we didn’t provide rides to the polls, that we got a little lazy with our inevitable victories. Our problem is that our opponents are always working downhill and we are always working up hill. And that will always be true. There is an ugly gravity in human relations. When people are struggling, when people are “different,” a lot of feet and fists are primed to punch and kick down.

    Trump isn’t the exception. Trump is the rule. Ugliness is more often the majority, and we are always the underdog.

  75. 75
    efgoldman says:


    I’m going to disagree here

    Omnes is right, arithmetically. There really are considerably more of us then there are of them. The geographical distribution could be better, but the math is the math. The difference is they, for whatever reason, probably because they’re older, more hateful and gullible, are more reliable voters.
    Even in losing the EC, HRC got almost three million more votes.

  76. 76
    seaboogie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: OTOH, his genius plan for group health insurance is for a large group of members to get medical insurance via the NRA. Maybe we can haz a smaller group of insurance through the BJ community? BP meds will need to be heavily subsidized, I think.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:


    Sociology: the art of taking a clear concept and rendering it opaque.

  78. 78
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @MomSense: I love RM and don’t usually take mockery of her well, but that was pretty funny.

  79. 79
    seaboogie says:

    @Lizzy L: So sorry, Lizzy…when the pups don’t want to eat anymore, that is a clue that they are done with the earthly existence, and your clue that it is time to help them on their way…very sad, but the message is a clear one, from our beloved companions…

    debit did the same with Walter, who soldiered on in considerable pain for so long, and then – one day it was simply too much for him – and he expressed as much. The sadness of the loss is directly equal to the joy and love of having such fine company…

  80. 80

    Great. Asked the writing site I’m on to allow for the blocking of people who want to use white supremacist avatars. I didn’t want to get them blocked off the site, but just the ability to block them so I didn’t have to look at their crap. The owner of the site says its too hard. Now I have to figure whether I continue to pay for use fo the site or not.

  81. 81
    Dog Dawg Damn says:

    Home remodeling sucks. Especially while living upstairs.

    This week we’ve
    1) laid tile in bathroom
    2) made 4 runs to Home Depot to pick up 4 doors
    3) wasted a day chasing down a deal on a wet saw that didn’t even work
    4) watched the contractor rebuild a sagging ceiling in our kitchen

    So ready for this to be over.

  82. 82
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    L.B.J. introduces the Electric Flag, “Killing Floor.”

  83. 83

    @mapaghimagsik: to be fair, that is probably hard.

  84. 84
    cckids says:

    @Lizzy L: I’m so sorry to hear about your Theo. I lost my Pixie last September, at 17+, and it still hurts. Sending caring thoughts your way.

  85. 85
    Chet Murthy says:

    @efgoldman: Yyep. Same here with my orthopod. Helps that his wife runs an *amazing* physical therapy place, but I really think he’s just a great doc, and knows better to cut when it isn’t absolutely positively necessary.

  86. 86

    @Major Major Major Major: I seriously doubt it. The system already allows for blocking of individual members, but only blocks out the text but happily lets their swastika profile picture flap in the breeze.

    It’s a pretty shitty programmer who can’t fix that — especially on a site you pay for.

  87. 87

    @mapaghimagsik: ah, if there’s already an individual blocking system in place then that should indeed be easy. There’s a shitty programmer somewhere down the line that either wrote the site or picked a bad framework.

    Or they don’t want to do it and think you’ll keep paying!

  88. 88

    Major Major Major Major: I swear its like HTML5 suddenly made everyone stupid.

    Good point about the paying part. I’m torn. I’ll never be published — its not my gig.

  89. 89
    Gretchen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I watched Price replying to a woman saying she’s a Medicaid recipient and Planned Parenthood patient asking him to defend defunding Planned Parenthood. He responded that the majority of the American People don’t want their tax dollars paying for abortion and plenty of community health centers can handle it. He was challenged on how these non-existent centers are going to spring up, and he just calmly asserted that they will. Challenged that federal money can’t pay for abortions now, and he just asserted that money is fungible. You can’t argue with somebody who has no limits on their lies.

  90. 90
    TriassicSands says:

    From an article in the NYT about a woman who has been harassed by Marines but she still wants to be a Marine:

    She ships off to basic training the first week of April.

    Isn’t it still “boot camp” in the Marines. When I was young, it was basic training for the Army and boot camp for the Marines. I can’t believe they’d change the name and be the same as the lowly US Army.

    Sloppy editing by the Times.

  91. 91
    Gretchen says:

    @BlueDWarrior: So are you saying you’re less afraid of getting disappeared, and that things are getting better? I hope so.

Comments are closed.