Friday links! Sociable ghosts edition

Illustration from "The Sociable Ghost" by Ellen D'Apery, 1903

Illustration from “The Sociable Ghost” by Ellen D’Apery, 1903

That’s a design-wreckingly vertical illustration, but my, how it pleases me. Everyone who is not dead yet is going to die. It’s cool you have an Apple Watch, but someday another person will remove it from your cold, stiffening wrist and count himself lucky before he dies. Then everyone who knows him will die. Then the space mantids of Alpha Proxima will be like, “Get back to work.” But our words will live on, and the stories of our deeds will be remembered long after our names are only sounds. Today is Friday, another minute in a game whose meaning abides in a handful of spectacular plays. Won’t you review the tapes with me?

Continue reading

Return of son of bride of health care

"I know this is a bad time, but they're saying the adenoids are a pre-existing condition."

Let me head off your objections right now: son of bride of health care is not just son of health care, because Mrs. Health Care subsequently remarried and lives in Ohio. Father of son of former bride of health care is John Boehner, and even though he pretends to be friendly, he keeps subtly insulting health care by saying things like, “I understand where you’re coming from; when I was younger, I had to eke out a living sweeping somebody else’s floors, myself.” Basically, new husband of ex-wife of health care is a dick, and every time he claims to do health care a favor he only humiliates it further. Last week, for example, he organized a purely symbolic overturn of last year’s reforms with the Repealing the Job-Crushing Health Care Law Act, which really puts certain other phrases from this paragraph in perspective. It was a pretty cynical move, incorporating as it did both a purported desire to improve the law and a sure exemption from having to do so. Anyone could see what spray-tanned second husband of health care was doing except those closest to him, and so the duty to say something fell to former coworker of both health care and father of son of former bride of health care, David Frum.

Continue reading

Greene loses!

Democratic Senate hopeful Alvin Greene suffered a heartbreaking upset yesterday in South Carolina, losing to Republican Jim DeMint by the narrowest of 34-point margins. Across the country—as one New York Times writer described it, the “wide battleground that stretched from Alaska to Maine,” which I think means Canada—Greene’s surprise loss prefigured Republican gains, including a 60-seat pickup in the House of Representatives. “We’ve come to take our government back,” newly-elected Senator Rand Paul told his victory party. “They say that the U.S. Senate is the world’s most deliberative body. I’m going to ask them to deliberate on this: The American people are unhappy with what’s going on in Washington.” Mr. Paul then shouted an obscenity after an aide told him where the Senate is located.

Continue reading

Senior Republican suggests future of health care repeal

New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg (white) and the President (miscellaneous)

Now that the Republican Party has taken control of Congress, or at least taken control of the theoretical future Congress the media currently covers, it’s time to decide what to do about theoretical future health care reform. You remember health care reform, right? The enormous legislative project that captivated the nation for the vast majority of 2009, on which the first black President staked his political credibility in order to address the abuses of the world’s 39th-best system? The one that tore us all apart? Yeah, the GOP is going to undo that. They promise to in their Pledge to America, and ever since Republicans Capture Congress edged out Republicans Field a Bunch of Congressional Candidates Everyone Thinks Are Crazy as the nation’s dominant news narrative, they’ve been talking about how to do it. Meanwhile, senior Senate Budget Committee member Judd Gregg (R–NH) has been quietly suggesting that’s not such a hot idea. His arguments—and the strategy they represent—paint an infuriating portrait of a party that might have prevented the last two years of American governance out of spite.

Continue reading