Ever wonder how upper middle class high school students felt about the election? Well, fuck you then bc it's the best thing in the morning papers. Today we learn that the cheerleaders are 4 Hillary because they're "feminists," and that the boys are totally feeling Ron Paul because they "hate the cops, bro." (Although we bet they refer to them as the "po po.") Some kids wear "Barack The Vote" T-shirts but you sorta picture those kids as being kinda corny, like that 21-year-old superdelegate (do you ever think, like, judging from the sight of these young politico whippersnapper types, that the 2032 election is totally going to pit the first gay against the first tranny? That would be awesome.) Anyway, there's primaries in DC, Maryland and Virginia tonight, which is why the Washington Post decided to run all the remnants of all the stupid political conversations they'd eavesdropped in on, so it's a very special edition of Crappy Hour today. After the jump, me and Megan Carpentier discuss high school, pimping and the evil of insurance companies.
MOE: Good morning, Beltwayista! Today is the Potomac Primary. And while this would under normal circumstances it would be kind of hard to write about yeetttttt anooother set of "news analysis" pieces saying "If she loses tonight Hillary has to win in Ohio and Texas and add three more states to the union and at win at least two our of three them, too to counter Barack's momentum" or "If Obama wins tonight it's actually still meaningless" the Washington Post did us all a favor today by running this work if pure genius, which is to say, the pure genius of dumbasses on the street.
MEGAN: I love dumbassery! Washington is not filled with smart people!
MOE: Oh, I found it to be an uplifting, half-informed sort of dumbassery. But maybe because the closest we got in New York was this piece on how the Democratic primary had split the (retarded) (pointless) (It shames me to say I not only know who these people are but have been to their really bad parties) DJ duo the Misshapes.
Read that and tell me you don't feel better about the man on the street wisdom in DC.
In New York, you are actually expected to know who those people are.
MEGAN: Please, this is my favorite quote of the day: "Yes, a lot of our cheerleaders are very, very into Hillary. We talk a lot about it in government class. They are over the top about it. They are like 'Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!'" What can the Misshapes have on that?
MOE: No, you're right, it was actually very smart and counterintuitive of DJ Leigh Lezark to predict that if Hillary wins, "Bill Clinton will also somehow be in the mix."
MEGAN: Gosh, you think? Aren't they, like, totally married or something?
MOE: I'm so glad that she gets to vote, but not the Langley high school cheerleaders.
MEGAN: No! The one who said this can: ""[Ron Paul]'s anti-government. People our age hate the cops mostly.""
MOE: Ha ha, but that's the cute part about the DC residents. They all know the cockamamie weirdos. Like how that girl doesn't want to vote because she feels like she hasn't informed herself enough and then goes and brings up Alan Keyes.
Also, what about the black McCain supporter at the Omni hotel who goes by the name of "St. Paul"??? I kept looking for a first name...nah, it's just "St. Paul."
MEGAN: Or the whole Gravel discussion in which they've all seen his trippy commercial but pronounce it "not, like, that good."
MOE: "It's a close-up on his face, and he's not doing anything for literally a minute." Nick Marinakis is talking about those bizarre Mike Gravel videos on YouTube. "Then he goes and picks up a big rock, and throws it in a lake." He's talking to his friend, Ben Waldin. The two are standing outside of Waldin's K Street NW apartment building and waiting for Super Tuesday guests to arrive. It's a little after 9 p.m.; a few friends are already upstairs drinking beer and watching the primary vote tallies and the unfolding duel between Clinton and Obama.
MEGAN: I mean, is it sad that primary watching is a major social event here?
MOE: Dude, when was the last time there were SO MANY AWESOME EXCUSES to drink on Tuesday? Not since 1968 or whatever unless you're into World Cup. And it is Super Tuesday. But another thing I like about this story is that it seems like they're all discussions Post reporters actually overheard, because otherwise they just would have sent them out one night to gather it all up. I can definitely assure you that even if I left my house the chances of me overhearing a conversation about Mike Gravel's Youtube videos would be .... like winning the Powerball. I don't even really understand the conversations I overhear here though bc they all seem to concern bands I don't know. Or maybe they're parties I don't know? Not political parties, but like parties at bars that have special brand names. ANYWAY. I suppose we should move on. Readers, if you want a fun time this morning, read about the couple at the Parcel Plus in Reston. Moving on...
Insurance companies are evil!
Blue Cross is asking for help from doctors to screen out patients with pre-existing conditions. Sometimes they manage to hide them, those sneaky little malevolent seekers of health care!
MEGAN: Goddamn doctors! Seeking to protect patient confidentiality? What can they be thinking! It's much more important to determine whether or not I mistakenly forgot to add in that I occasionally take medications for acne so that when I get skin cancer they can rescind my coverage!
(Yes, i disclosed that on my BCBS health insurance application last fall, worried about that exact consequence).
Also, it's like not a single person at the headquarters of a health insurance company that does fucking boneheaded shit like this has watched or read the news, paid attention to a Presidential debate, listened to a person they cover or done anything to remove their heads from their asses this election year when people seem strangely concerned with the 47 million Americans who lack health insurance.
I mean, fuck? If they'd done it in 2009...
MOE: What I love is that Blue Cross is STILL TECHNICALLY A NONPROFIT.
All Blue Crosses are, they just happen to have a few thousand for-profit subsidiaries.
MEGAN: Well, the company is a nonprofit. Its executives are, you know, not.
MOE: I mean, it's interesting what's happened to health insurance. It's an industry in which a lot of the giants were formed in the Great Depression to meet social needs as opposed to shareholders' desires and at this point their paperwork is so voluminous, their formulas are so complicated, their negotiating teams and brokers are so well-trained and well-remunerated it's hard not to say: hey look! The free market, it failed here. It created the same thing as a bureaucracy, but more costly and less efficient. It's more complicated than that, of course; the worst bureaucracies, the most inefficient systems, are the ones that like insurance that sort of hybridize private sector practices and public sector duties. In Philadelphia, where one particularly big branch of Blue Cross insured about 60% of the region, insurance was one of the few areas in which it was still possible to get kinda rich. The insurance company was all part of the local political machine.
9:33 AM MEGAN: I think it's completely true that the health insurance system is the biggest market failure of this decade. I mean, how is it not cheaper to cover birth control than pay for pregnancy, but many companies do just that. But the lack of vision among all the (current) candidates on how to fix it other than just turning over to them more money and providing them, maybe, with more regulation (which has been really successful thus far) is just depressing.
MOE: Well, one of the issues I take with Michael Moore is that you really can't go vilifying the insurance industry without taking a good look at the fucking pharmaceutical industry. The biggest tragedy to me is that health care is arguably the sector in America staffed with the highest ratio of bright minds: greed. Your average surgeon, your average microbiologist, your average DNA researcher or drug discoverer or pediatrician — none of those guys get into it for the money. And they're the indispensable ones here. I guess it's as much as the problem as it is the solution. Ugh... it makes my head spin though.
Should we talk about something more uplifting?
MOE: Like pimping? It's hard out here for a...whatev.
MEGAN: I just look at that whole thing and roll my eyes. Which makes my head hurt. Does Hillary playing the Mom card work with voters? Had anybody heard of David Schuster before this? Is Schuster young enough to use that kind of played-out slang? Did Chelsea care?
MOE: Do you care if Chelsea cares? I don't care. Oh, did you hear her voice on the news last night? I just remembered that. She sounded really soft, and tired. She said her mom was way more fiscally responsible than her dad, which was funny because it sounded true, even though her mom has a lot more things to potentially spend money on. But as for whether she's being "pimped out" or whether that is some grave offense to say so, I vote NO. That is all.
MEGAN: I'll vote for that, too.