Your Monday Random-Ass Roundup: Reviewing the Hyper Bowl

We should all be afraid. House minority leader John Boehner calls health care reform “the greatest threat to freedom I have seen in my 19 years in Washington.”

And Boehner would never lie, right?

Republicans Health Care

In the end, Democratic leadership threw a party. Republicans threw a fit. And women desiring the right to choose definitely lost.

Anyway, there’s a lot to cover today. So let’s just get into it, shall we? But not too deeply, because reading is hard:

1. Steve Benen offers a quick primer on what’s in the House Bill. “If you have insurance, you’ll have better, more stable coverage with consumer protections. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll get subsidies to help you purchase coverage from an exchange…The House bill is expensive, but it’s fully paid for, and would lower the federal budget deficit over the next couple of decades. It includes a public option for eligible consumers, an individual mandate, and an employer mandate. It would cover about 96% of the population, and does not raise taxes on the middle class.” (G.D.)

2. A TPM reader predicts that the 2012 elections, not next year’s, will prove to be the greatest vulnerability to health care reform. “The mandates that will drive up costs will take effect before then–young people will pay much more since premiums will be equalized for all age groups and private companies will have to cover even sick people. Since there will be no opt-out or no competition, they will be able to charge whatever they want.” (Quadmoniker)

3. In the midst of all the conversations about health insurance, there hasn’t been as much conversation about the rising cost of health care and what can possibly be done to stop it. Just to give an idea, at the current rate of growth, nine years from now the average American family is expected to pay $38,000 per year on health care – about half of their projected income. The team at This American Life in collaboration with NPR News have supplied not one, but two great podcasts for anyone who needs a primer on the issue. (Alisa)

4. William Saletan at Slate: “I’m not saying we shouldn’t socialize health insurance. I’m pretty comfortable with the House and Senate bills. But let’s give up the two lies we tell ourselves about such legislation. One is that it won’t cost us much money. The other is that it won’t cost us much choice. When you throw in your lot with other people and agree to play by the same rules, you surrender some of your freedom and risk losing some of your options. Sometimes it’s coverage of an MRI or a hip replacement. Sometimes it’s coverage of abortion. If that’s the price of health care reform, are you willing to pay it?” (Belleisa)

5. Some Democrats are already pushing back against an amendment in the bill that limits access to abortion. (G.D.)

6. Speaking of the Stupak amendment, Meredith Simmons explains why some women might have to choose between health care or an abortion. (Belleisa)

7. The Times profiles Joseph Cao, the lone Republican who voted for the House bill. Cao became the first Vietnamese American in Congress in 2008 when he upset Congressional Black Caucus mainstay (and now convicted felon) “Dollar” Bill Jefferson to win the seat for Louisana’s overwhelmingly black, Democratic 2nd district. His district’s makeup seemed to affect his thinking. “I had to make a decision of conscience based on the needs of the people of my district,” he told the Times. “A lot of my constituents are uninsured, a lot of them are poor.” (G.D.)

8. Also, Cao should probably check his seat before sitting down in the coming days: Cao, who said he was sitting next to Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., during the historic vote Saturday night, was asked whether he felt courageous or lonely after the vote. “I feel both courageous and lonely,” he said. (Blackink)

9. And already, conservatives are pursuing a Cao cleansing. (Blackink)

10. Feministing on “some of the positive things included in the House health reform bill.” (Belleisa)

11. ABC  is reporting that intelligence agencies knew that Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman in the mass shooting at Fort Hood, had tried to contact al Qaeda. (G.D.)

12. For more background about Hasan, here’s a link from the NYT. For irresponsible speculation from Joe Lieberman, check out this link. (Blackink)

13. The Orlando man who shot and killed one person and injured five others has been portrayed as “a mentally ill man who fell victim to countless personal and financial problems.” (Blackink)

14. To honor the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, TNR assembles archived links from that period. Michael Tomasky links to a piece revisiting whom he credits for the end of the Cold War (hint, it’s not Reagan or Gorbachev). Anne Applebaum reflects upon how far Central Europe has come in the past two decades. And the Huff Post has some pictures. (Blackink)

15. Yglesias on the hidebound Senate: “It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that in a unicameral United States of America, we would now have passed both a comprehensive health care reform bill and also the most important piece of environmental legislation in the history of the world. Now that’s not the world we live in. Instead we live in a world where neither of those things have passed and where their prospects aren’t clear. But think back on this point the next time you hear someone say Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not centrist enough, or else that Obama is struggling with his agenda because he’s not left-wing enough.” (G.D.)

16. California may already be a failed state, says Robert Cruickshank of Calitics, but there’s still hope. (Blackink)

17. A group of progressives are organizing a donor boycott of the DNC, hoping to push President Obama to honor his campaign promises to the LGBT community. (Blackink)

18. It’s always good news for conservatives at The Weekly Standard. And, as John Cole notes, it’s also always contrarian good news. (Blackink)

19. Courtney Martin, one of the finalists in The Washington Post’s “Next Great Pundit” contest, ponders the male alternative to Tucker Max at the National Conference for Campus-Based Men’s Gender Equality and Anti-Violence Groups in Minnesota. (Blackink)

20. Precious’s Gabby Sidibe got jokes. (G.D.)

21. Wiley Pitts revisits the “fuckery” (a fantastic word) that is the story of Anthony Sowell. Everyone deserves a bit of fail here.  (Blackink)

22. In a recent study of D.C. high school students, surveyors found that parents or guardians, health workers, teachers, friends, and boyfriends or girlfriends were their most common sources of sexual information. Which means they probably weren’t learning much about sex at all. (Blackink)

23. Responding to Playboy cover girl Joana Krupa, Kate Harding answers the question, “why don’t feminists think porn empowers women?” (Belleisa)

24. Divining the difference between douchebags and bros. (Blackink)

25. From the Boston Review: “Wikipedians are 80 percent male, more than 65 percent single, more than 85 percent without children, and around 70 percent of them are under the age of 30.” (Belleisa)

26. Over at, John McWhorter points out 10 books about race “that should be more widely read.” And Thomas Sowell is involved. (Belleisa)

27. Long story short: 50 Cent is ridiculous. (Blackink)

28. Jeremy Tyler, the first U.S. basketball player to skip his senior year of high school to play pro ball overseas, is off to a rough start in Israel. How rough? “As Tyler walked away, he bade farewell to a reporter leaving for the United States and said, ‘I wish I was going back with you.'” (Blackink)

29. If you have seen the latest pictures of former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, then you’ll understand why David Love at The Grio has some serious problems with the, um, ghostly images. (Blackink)

30. This horrifying moment, from Oregon State’s victory over Cal on Saturday, is a reminder of why all my football coaches told me to never leave my feet during a game. (Blackink)

I think you’ll all agree: this was a pretty random roundup, with some ass throw in for good measure. I’m talking specifically about Stupak and Lieberman.

Have a fantastic Monday!


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • That Sammy Sosa picture is killing me. He looks like someone familiar, but I can’t put my finger on who. He looks a little like Brendan Fraser, but that can’t be it.

    This is going to drive me nuts.

  • aisha

    22. We did some similar focus groups around that time and found the same thing. When I do monthly street outreach some people hand the condoms back when they see that they are Durex. Then we always have the people asking for Magnums. I seriously doubt that many DC dudes are hanging low like that.

    30. Ouch. Oh my Bears!

  • blackink12

    Was the problem condoms in general or Durex specifically?

    Even in my own rather limited experience, I’ve known a number of cats who refuse to use anything other than Trojan if they’re going to use anything at all. Among certain groups of folks, Trojan is damn near akin to Xerox with copying machines and Kleenex with tissue.

    And re: No. 30, thankfully, Jahvid is going to be Ok. Crissakes, that was terrifying.

  • ladyfresh

    #29 – argh

  • what’s the rationale there? they ever explain? or is it just some brand loyalty ish?

  • Also, that Jeremy Tyler story makes me nervous. I hope he gets his act together in time to still make it to the league. I’ve seen clips of him, and it was all vicious dunking, which every 7-foot high schooler can do over 6’3 forwards. :-/

  • Definitely brand loyalty. It’s important to note, however, that this was mostly in college – way back in the late ’90s for me.

    I think, really, they assumed every other brand of condom was bootleg (I say “they” because I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who worked for a time at Planned Parenthood). I mean, you couldn’t even talk to these cats about LifeStyles or Rough Rider. Those might as well have been the free condoms that Kramer gave George Costanza.