Well That’s Just Fucking Great

Given his coke fueled years at SNL, I doubt this will be the last person to come forward:

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.

I felt disgusted and violated.

Franken’s response is weak tea:

Sen. Franken provided the following statement to Fox 9 on Thursday: “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”

I’m not sure how there is an innocent explanation for this, and unless and until I see one with some corroborating statements from the photographer or others, in my opinion, Franken should probably resign.

*** Update ***

Apparently it is of major importance that I note that I no longer think Franken should resign given the events of the day. My opinion was based on his bullshit first response. Things changed.








Cartman in the Oval Office

Update Thank you to Adam for finding live footage of Trump’s current Cabinet meeting:



Degrading the public sphere (data edition)

Hannah Recht is one hell of a data visualizer and story teller on healthcare. She is assembling the bare county maps for Bloomberg and then she tweeted the following on Wednesday:

She goes on to explain how and why the government map is fundamentally wrong. It is a combination of people not being familiar with the data and an intent to deceive through malice or laziness.

American public data resources are an incredible asset. They are being degraded as we speak. This is why everyone who could yank a file from November 9-January 20, 2017 yanked files. We feared that there would be massive data degradation. And the solution of archiving public resource files on non-government servers is a reasonable solution to the feared problem of forgetting the past. It does nothing for the ongoing fear that current files will not be collected, corrupted or hideously and deliberately mis-interpreted.

This is just one small example in a domain where I have knowledge and passion. We know it is happening elsewhere such as the EPA and voting rights too. I think the safe assumption is that it is happening everywhere.



What this is really all about

Here’s a tweet from The Hill a couple of days ago and my response:

Here’s a link to the article. I think it’s spot on regarding Trump’s goal here, and I’m glad the writer used the word “brand,” even though it’s usually annoying to see life-or-death matters discussed in the language of an ad campaign.

It’s appropriate because Trump thinks in those terms. Fellow citizens, our country has empowered a malignant narcissist with a massive inferiority complex. And he is bent on unmaking President Obama’s legacy because it drives him insane(r) that Obama is more loved, accomplished and respected than Trump will ever be.

Does Trump have a fucking clue what’s in the AHCA? Nope. He might actually believe the lies he’s telling about the bill covering more people and costing less. More importantly, that’s not what matters to him. Probably the only thing that confers wood to the flaccid little appendage Trump’s wife dreads is the prospect of undoing something Obama achieved.

What’s worse, the Republicans have figured this out, so they’ll continue to manipulate Velveeta Voldemort to their nefarious ends with “wins,” like ripping away healthcare for millions, unleashing predatory bankers, getting rid of consumer protections, disenfranchising voters and persecuting women, gay people, black and brown people, Muslims, immigrants, etc.

They’ll stop at nothing, the GOP — both in Congress and their hate-filled base — including collusion with a hostile foreign power. So we have to stop them. We simply have no other choice. Suit up, Juicers. We’re in for the fight of our lives, and I don’t know about you, but if I’m going down, I’m going down swinging.



Comey Hearing Livestream — with Bonus Questions!

Comey owes us an explanation. Will we get it? Probably not! But here’s a preview of some of the questions the senators plan to ask, via CNN:

Senator Blumenthal: “The American people really deserve answers about why he did release his comments and letter, and I think he may want to be more forthcoming and he may want to use this forum as an opportunity to tell the American people his side of the story.”

Yes, let’s get to the bottom of that, Senator Blumenthal!

Senator Coons: “The most important investigation the FBI is currently conducting is into Russia’s interference in our last presidential election. This isn’t just about understanding Russian interference and potential coordination of some kind with the Trump campaign. This is about defending our next election as well.”

Thank you for keeping future elections in mind, Senator Coons! It’s important to note that the Republicans who are obstructing this investigation haven’t just sold out to Putin as a one-off for the demented Circus Peanut; they are imperiling future elections too. Maybe someone will remember to mention the Russian interference in House races in 2016. Eh, probably too much to hope for…

Senator Graham: “I just want an answer. I just want to know what is going on here. You had (former Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper say there was no surveillance of the Trump campaign or Trump Tower. You’ve got press reports a FISA warrant was issued for Carter Page because of his ties to Russia. I just want to know what happened. And if we can’t do it in an open session, let’s do it in a closed session.”

This signals that Huckleberry Hound is on the Trump Train. He’s giving cover for Twitler’s ridiculous Twitter accusations and worrying about surveillance instead of addressing the possibility that Putin keeps Trump’s balls in a tiny specimen jar on his mantel at the Kremlin. Worthless sack of shit.

And speaking of worthless sacks of shit… Read more



Upton and more policy incoherence in the AHCA

The Upton Amendment is out. It is $8 billion dollars to pay for the late enrollment penalty of people in states who elect to waive non-underwritten guarantee issue so that these people don’t get dropped into the high cost risk pool.

The AHCA has a 30% penalty for up to one year if a person applies for coverage on the individual market after having a 63 day gap in qualified coverage. The theory is that this aligns the individual market with the employer sponsored market and it will act as a pool participation mechanism. The CBO disagreed as it projected the penalty would enhance the value of staying out of the market for the healthy far more than it would keep low cost people in the market.

This amendment makes the CBO position a highly probable underestimate. It does not change the incentive for the healthy to avoid the market until they have to get in. However, it weakens the incentive for the modestly sick to stay in if they have reason to believe that they are going to have a low cost year, they can drop coverage and then get back in at the next open enrollment.

The AHCA has thrown other key elements of conservative health policy goals overboard. The HSA life cycle model of savings in youth and health to self-fund expenses in age and infirmity was thrown overboard early in the process.

In the original version of the AHCA, the subsidies were set up so that they could be split. If a person found a policy that cost less than the subsidy, the remaining portion of the subsidy would be deposited into an HSA. This makes a decent amount of mechanical sense. The young and healthy people would buy dirt cheap policies and deposit a significant amount of the subsidy into an HSA. Over time, the HSA would grow until the cohort of people who were once young, healthy and cheap to cover are no longer young, no longer healthy and no longer cheap to cover. At that point, the savings they had accumulated in their HSA would be available to pay for either care or premiums…..

The Monday Manager’s amendment took away the ability of a subsidy to be split between a premium and the HSA…. The second is that it completely destroys the mechanical theory of change for an HSA system. People can’t use [the subsidy] to pay part of their first dollar expenses in the current year. And more importantly, the young can not partially prefund their health care expenses when they become old as they can’t rollover a partial subsidy into their HSA.

Upton makes a complete hash of any personal responsibility and anti-free rider logic ever advanced in the bill. This is a mess.








Make Sure to Save the Date!

Oy vey…