Ten Fun Facts: The American Healthcare System

We’ve all had to use it at some point in our lives, unless you a) recently arrived in America from another country, b) are immortal and immune to all injury and disease or c) see a woods witch for all your healthcare needs (If it’s the third option, you’ve probably seen your share of poultices). But how much do you really know about the dizzying orgy of patients, physicians, hospital administrators, insurance companies, pharmaceutical giants and regulatory agencies?

1. America’s healthcare system won’t be single-payer at any time in the foreseeable future, even if Donald Trump just praised Australia’s universal health care. Yeah, no. The aforementioned insurers and pharmaceutical giants make too much money under the existing schema to allow for momentous change that hurts their bottom line.

Then there’s the question of demographics. Baby Boomers are reliable voters, and many of them are frightened out of their wits by the very idea of socialism. They’ll resist single-payer to their dying breath.

2. Ironically, their death rattles will come sooner in a scenario that makes their well-being a privilege instead of a right.

3. After consulting with every part of the medical infrastructure under the sun, President Barack Obama signed the significantly compromised Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. The ACA nonetheless took significant steps to insure the previously uninsured, reigned in the amount a patient owed for procedures and barred discriminatory pricing and exclusion of coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions. The ACA repeal bill the House passed Thursday was written by three surly trolls without the consent or approval of the medical establishment and seeks to undo all of the above.

4. The House’s ACA repeal bill considers sexual assault to be a preexisting condition. And domestic abuse. And C sections? Basically, “don’t be a woman” seems to be the GOP’s reasoning concerning these matters.

5. Additional tips for making the most of the best country in the world’s health care: don’t get old, sick.

6. America is the only modern Western industrialized nation that hasn’t got its act together for single payer. At least we’re great at throwing money at sub-nuclear bombs like the MOAB!

7. Taking up smoking is an excellent way to reduce the amount of money those bastards can bilk out of you. This also works for student loan debt.

8. If the Senate and president Trump sign off on repealing the ACA and replacing it with something resembling the disaster the GOP shat out, all but the most wealthy among us will suffer the consequences.

9. Should you be immortal, please consider donating blood and tissue samples to science so that humanity can benefit from your miraculous existence. Unless, you’re like, a vampire? Keep that shit to yourself, parasite.

10. To seek the aid of a woods witch, go deep into the forest. When you’ve abandoned hope of finding her or your way home, her humble cottage will appear. Knock politely upon her door. She doesn’t like loud knockers. She will ask you what the magic word is. It is vitally important you do not forget this word or she will teleport you to the top of Mount Vinson. The magic word is “Zanzibar”. Upon entry, you will notice the interior’s dimensions far exceed the height and width of the cottage you espied mere moments before. Do not be alarmed. It’s poultice time!

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Six)

Ten Fun Facts: Michael Flynn Edition

You’ve heard tell of shady connections to a certain Russian-speaking global superpower and the embarrassing circumstances which led to his departure. But how much do you really know about former NSA adviser General Michael Flynn?

1. Michael

2. Flynn

3. Is

4. So guilty

5. The Pentagon

6. Has been

7. Forced to investigate

8. Him to cover

9. Their own asses.

10. Also, everything is Obama’s fault.

(Year Zero/Day Ninety-Nine)

Ten Fun Facts: Devin Nunes Edition

You’ve seen his “evidence” that Obama personally wiretapped Donald Trump while cackling and twiddling his mustache is a particularly villainous way. But how much do you really know about California Congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes?

1. For achievements related to… something or other, Devin Nunes is a member of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator. For those unfamiliar with the Order, this means he is a Portuguese knight.

2. Sir Devin is intensely loyal to his liege lord Donald of Orange. None at court question the depth of his allegiance; indeed, ’twas but two fortnights past that he surreptitiously sought the services of a mage to conjure up certain intelligences out of thin air.

3. When not colluding with the Trump administration, Nunes dedicates an hour a day to perfecting his hangdog expression.

4. We’re not suggesting he has anything to do with the Knights Templar. There would be no way to prove that. We’re just saying he spends a lot of time vacationing in Tomar, and that knightstemplarinternational.com has a noticeably pro-Trump bent.

5. Like many of his order,  Sir Devin is well accomplished in letters. From one of his missives, quoth he: “Like Lords from the Middle Ages, California politicians rule our state with virtual impunity. Having built moats around their high offices, each morning state legislative leaders and Members of Congress wake up secure in the knowledge that political accountability will not touch them again today.”

6. After particularly brutal days of verbal combat, Sir Devin turns to the real thing to unwind:

7. Devin’s percheron is affectionately named “Agente da Morte”.

8. Though fierce in battle, Sir Devin is terrified of town hall meetings and “left-wing” activists. That, or he’s afraid he’ll lose his patience and run them all down with the help of Agente da Morte.

9. Nunes is a minority partner in Napa Valley winery Alpha Omega. The political firebrands at Town & Country recently had some fun at his expense

“Rich, dense and layered” might be said to describe Nunes’s machinations between the intelligence committee and Trump White House, but it’s actually how Wine Spectator opens its review of a 93-point, 2012 Cab offered by Alpha Omega for $200.

10. Nunes is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for seeking the mage’s services. Oh, what, conjuring things up to protect your lord’s power is unethical now? What kind of backwards time are we living in?

(Year Zero/Day Ninety-One)

Ten Fun Facts: NATO Edition

You’ve probably heard NATO mentioned by your politically-savvy friends or colleagues, but how much do you really know about the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance?

1. NATO was formed in 1949 under the auspices of collective defense between the United States and European countries. The Korean War transformed it into an inter-government military alliance whose primary goal was to combat the rising tide of communism, especially the influence of the Soviet Union. Once Russia got out of the commie game in the late 80s, NATO’s focus shifted more broadly to supporting some of the United States’ military interventions abroad.

2. The French insist on calling NATO “OTAN” (Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord) because the French aren’t happy unless they’re doing things in a slightly different way than their English-speaking allies. They even left “OTAN” in 1966 only to return like nothing had happened in 2009.

3. NATO was obsolete until THE ART OF THE DEAL happened to it. What triggered its sudden and dramatic de-obsolescence? The 374 billion dollar receipt THE DEALMASTER handed Angela Merkel?

4. The organization enjoyed a brief moment of popular fame in the mid-1990s when Slovenian pop supergroup Laibach released their best-selling album NATO. Only 90s kids will remember!

5. According to totally credible sources, NATO is a tool of the Drakos Reptilians’ New World Order/Illuminati. Beyoncé may also be involved. Also there are Nephilim giants in Utah? The rabbit hole goes deep.

6. Vladimir Putin is not a fan and kind of wants to completely destroy it, which would allow Russia’s sphere of influence to spread further into former Soviet states and beyond.

7. Least intimidating member state: Iceland, with 380 military personnel.

8. Sexiest member state: It’s a tie between France and Spain.

9. Most polite member state: Luxembourg, much to the chagrin of the Canadians.

10. NATO really hates it when people call them “Not Another Treaty Alliance”. If you’re not careful, they might send their entire Icelandic contingent to your house to give you a stern talking-to.

(Year Zero/Day Eighty-Four)

Ten Fun Facts: Ivanka Trump Edition

You’ve heard of Ivanka Trump, the president’s fashion-forward daughter/adviser/babysitter. But how much do you really know about the apple of her powerful father’s eye?

1. The combination of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner gives new definition to the term “power couple”. If you want access to power, you go through them, unless you’re looking for the kind of power that provides electricity to your home, in which case you should get in touch with your local utilities provider.

2. Since she doesn’t know the meaning to the word ‘complicit’, there’s no way she’s responsible for enabling any of The Donald’s actions. It’s like how you’re not breaking the speed limit if you didn’t see any posted signage telling you not to drive your BMW 110 miles per hour through a school zone. And anyway, if a cop pulls you over, it’s not that hard to pay off a speeding ticket. What do they cost, like, $50,000? Chump change.

3. Ivanka is beloved by women all over the world. Especially in China, where she is worshiped like a goddess. “What Would Ivanka Do?” is the guiding principle of many young people’s lives.

4. Trump is attuned to the needs of her worshipers. She’s teaching her demigod children Mandarin Chinese, so when the president eventually invades China and installs his family as its theocratic rulers, the kids will have a leg up.

5. Future president Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka have been great friends for a long time. There was some concern about the strength of their relationship during that election thing, but it will take more than the fate of an entire country to tear these politically and financially elite pals apart.

6. In her new security-cleared role as presidential adviser, the First Daughter is occupying the office usually reserved for the First Lady. We swear, there’s no deeply unsettling psychological significance to this. Or this. Or for that matter, this.

7. Ivanka and Jared are not popular with their new D.C. neighbors. Among their complaints: they don’t pick up their trash in a timely manner. Scandalous!

8. Ivanka is probably the only person standing in the way of the world and an even more terrible version of Donald Trump. Try not to dwell on that for too long.

9. Whatever your political orientation, we can all agree she really, really understands human suffering.

“I remember once, my father and I were walking down 5th Avenue, and there was a homeless person sitting right outside of Trump Tower. And I think I was probably nine, ten something like this, it was right around the time as the divorce. And I remember my father pointing to him and saying ‘That guy has $8 billion more than me.’ Because he was in such extreme debt at that point. And me thinking ‘What are you talking about?’ He was sitting outside of Trump Tower, and I didn’t understand. I just thought about it a year or two ago and thought it interesting. It makes me all the more proud of my parents that they got through that.”

10. Sorry, Tiffany, Eric, Donald Jr. and Barron: you’ll never be the most popular Trump child.