The last week has been hard on everyone. I have two ideas that help with that. The first is to get involved in resisting this bullshit. I already put some ideas up, some of which people might have misunderstood. I don’t want you to go hug a Trump voter. Join whatever group you want. Join something. Look for a chance to link up with likeminded groups to defend American values in solidarity. If you are going to those protests, try to make some contacts to build a network. Strengthen your existing networks. The only thing I would add to this general good life advice is to apply some strategic message discipline. Having Steve fucking Bannon work in the White House should horrify my conservative neighbor down the street just as much as my own family. At the same time my neighbor’s reaction will different if I tell him you are horrible and stupid because you voted for this, versus this is NOT you and I know you did NOT vote for this, and I hope you will agree with me that this guy and the behavior he represents is not acceptable in the America we both believe in. Don’t go looking for Trump supporters, but if you can’t avoid it or you meet a reporter or something consider a little message discipline. A little media/communications savvy makes the difference between shouting and tangible progress. This is activism 101, and it basically describes our policy for dealing with restive muslim populations as well (don’t make your problem bigger than it needs to be).
But there’s something even more important – get some sleep. Trump is a chronic problem that we won’t be able to fight without rest. Like a lot of you I had a rough couple of nights last week, until I figured out something that I decided I might as well share. Stress tends to go to my stomach. I already take antacids/antigas once in a while, but this time they were not cutting it. So I tried something that sounds really dumb. I closed my eyes and counted all the things in my bedroom. Then I counted the stuff downstairs. Then I started lumping things into categories. Gradually the panicked thoughts about the end of western civilization gave way to the more important job of naming all the books on my bedstand. After a while my stomach quit turning and I have had decent sleep since. Now a couple times a day I stop and count the random stuff around me. It seems to help me keep a level head. If you think you might need something like this, try it and let me know if it helps.
I have been cranking the Brainwaves app on my iPad. Highly recommended!
Man would I ever LOVE a good night’s sleep. As fate would have it I was prescribed some medication–three week’s worth–last Tuesday and the doc warned it might make me “edgy.” Ya think?
You must know your neighbor well. I wouldn’t assume that someone who voted for a man who made racist comments during his campaign (in fact, began his campaign with a racist comment) wouldn’t find Bannon acceptable.
As John Scalzi said so eloquently, if you voted for a racist it is okay to assume that you are okay with racism.
Some Chronic might soothe the disease. Won’t stop it.
Can’t be said enough: take care of yourself. If you are having trouble, keep trying strategies until you find one that helps you be okay. Understand that this is a tragedy, and you will feel grief and helplessness — but find the ways that work for you to combat that. You can’t tackle problems until you feel well enough to.
I told my brothers at the Scottish Rite this weekend: I want to believe you when you say you didn’t want [whatever horrible I was talking about]. But how am I supposed to tell the difference between a Trump supporter who wants [horrible], and somebody who just didn’t like Clinton?
Later we’ll get on to “there’s no reason to dislike Clinton”; baby steps, y’all. Baby steps.
Also, item 3: play with Max.
SING! Doesn’t matter what, just breathe in and sing out. Sing out your rage, your fear, and your joy. (it’s in there somewhere.)
I feel fortunate to have started rehearsals for Handel’s “Messiah” last night. As horrible a week as this has been, that incredible music brings me instant relief, and makes me feel strong enough to get back in the game.
I left this comment on the thread below:
Finally, an article about the rural WWC that lays the blame where it belongs. Author is from the rural WWC, and writes,
Whole thing is worth reading.
The Moar You Know
I have a ten month old Golden puppy, which leaves me zero time to obsess over politics or anything else save the puppy.
It’s good therapy, raising a dog well. I should have done this decades ago.
@efgoldman: Best holiday present of all.
I strongly recommend the Serenity Prayer and Cole’s current mantra: one day at a time. This will be a long fight (plus, the good fight is never over) and we need to be rested up.
In all this dump-Trump excitement, don’t forget Paul Ryan. Trump won’t be around longer than a year, if that long. Ryan’s been chipping away at the American Way of Life since 1999. His constituents seem to like him. Stipulating that they’re all racist, to get that out of the way, what else might they like about him? What might a reasonable alternative for his district’s voters be like? Does anyone live in his district? If so, please report in.
@The Moar You Know: housebroken yet?
Can I count those cute sheep from Wallace and Gromit?
I was kind of worn out before all this happened.
I’m not at the stage yet where I can talk calmly to Trump voters, people I know pretty well (or thought I did), without asking them when they completely lost their brain cells or burst out crying or both. I don’t know when I’ll ever get to that stage. Avoiding Trump voters all this last week, I’m just grateful that the knot in my stomach is easing up, not lasting all day long like it did for days. Baby steps.
I (and my husband) have no trouble FALLING asleep. But then we wake up. At 3:00 AM. And start thinking of all the ways in which this is an incredible disaster. Those are our worst moments. Work distracts us enough during the day that we don’t walk around screaming. But the “3:00 AM call” is our minds telling us the truth, unfortunately.
Yes, part of the problem is we’ve been turned up to 11 throughout the campaign, and we were hoping to be able to rest.
Yes, it is. I’m glad you reposted it.
My neighbors had a kid about a year and a half ago. I have yet to sleep through the night since they brought him home from the hospital; that kid cries every single night and they let him cry as long as he wants. Sometimes I feel like that look Kubrick’s characters get before they totally lose it.
Actually, they do go home for the weekend every 4-6 weeks, so the sleep on those weekends is great. This past weekend, I noticed much moving of trash bags, which leads me to think they may be moving. Oh please, let it be so.
When I have trouble falling asleep I just count. No sheep, just counting to keep my mind off whatever else is knocking around in there. The idea is to bore yourself to sleep. Works pretty good.
Protip: I keep going until I get up to x and then start over, but at first I had x set way too high. Once you start getting close to x it becomes “well, will I make it to x? Let’s see!” Now I keep it much lower, like counting to 50 or 100 tops and then start again. Sounds boring right? Yeah, that’s the point.
Also, depending where you live: earplugs.
@gogol’s wife: I had that for about five days. Now I wake up, but it’s not because my mind starts worrying, I’ve just had my sleep pattern broken. It’ll take awhile to get it back. Of all the ills of older age, the fact night sleeping becomes more fragile is one of the worst.
@gogol’s wife: That’s my problem and I feel only time will solve it. Although, I’m not sure if I will be here in four years.
If you are a fan of Flavia de Luce, I recommend not reading the latest, “Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d” by Alan Bradley. I am a wreck now.
ETA: Also the posts on WaPo from Trump voters on their reasons why.
I was so looking forward to relaxing and sleeping two days straight after Hillary won. Instead the stress of almost two years of hell went through the roof.
Excellent article. I wish it were broadcast on cable news 24/7.
That never worked for me.
I had a rough night last night, but I’ve mostly been ok.
I also have non-apocalypse issues to deal with.
Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t: Pick a category, like animals or fruit or vegetables. Then go through the alphabet and try to think of one example of the category that starts with each letter. A for apple, b for banana, and so on.
I have taken up upper body strength training. Gives me something to focus on that undoubtedly helps me.
Been busy updating my will and getting my affairs in order. I still think the chances of my losing access to health care come January are somewhere north of 100%, and I have no intention of going the way my disease and the Trumpers would have me go. But then, that’s an old and broken song from the old dinobird by now.
Doing this, at least, has finally allowed me to get some sleep.
@Steeplejack: laughed at this
@The Moar You Know:
Likewise raising a puppy, don’t know how well but at six months he’s really feeling his oats. Hopefully he doesn’t get too used to them because they’re coming out in December (Merry Christmas, puppeh!). But oh boy, unrelenting love from a young critter is a great tonic (esp. in a household with a grumpy old dog and a teenager–both teenagers now that I think of it).
I did tell someone at work recently that I wanted to thank him on behalf of my wife, stepdaughter, granddaughter and all the other women in my life for helping to elect a sexual predator as president. Casual acquaintance that occasionally talks politics, often comes to me for help on projects. He wasn’t happy but he started in with the emails=jail crap.
@Monala: Righteous. Thanks for posting.
I have been having to wear my mouthguard through most of the day. My bruxism is completely out of control and my jaw hurts so bad. I’ve been trying to take it out more and more each day and I’m getting so that I am having longer periods I can keep from clenching. I just tried the counting things in the living room and I think with some practice, this might help when I start grinding. Thank you Tim.
I’ve started coming to BJ a couple of times a day but I still am unable to go anywhere else on the net. But baby steps. I made two new Democrat friends in my neighborhood as a result of all of this. Unexpected bonus.
Count every college uniform I can think of per specific color. Arrange all the collegiate blues from the lightest to the darkest. Alphabetize current college football helmets by the letter decal. Determine every team via animal nickname category (ursine, canine, feline).
Why, yes, I do Uni-Watch. How did you know?
Gin & Tonic
In the “bad year for musical icons” department, Mose Allison has died. R.I.P. an American original, whom I always considered one of our leading philosophers.
I am sitting in the Aer Lingus business class lounge at JFK airport sipping Prosecco. The self-deportation has officially begun.
@ArchTeryx:They don’t have a replacement, so ACA coverage will continue. According to twitter they probably won’t have a replacement until 2019, and I thing that replacement looks like ACA with a new name.
I’m the same way. I’ll occasionally leave the boat if someone here posts a link, but I’m still in avoidance mode.
@Helen: I hate you now.
I’ve been working a lot, which I find helpful when I’m upset. I have to sock a lot of money away before these lunatics burn the whole thing down so I stopped spending. I was never that big on spending anyway, honestly :)
I’m experiencing a lot of economic anxiety, you might say.
@Helen: I forgot about that. Are you going to Ireland or am I thinking about someone else?
Excellent. You can teach us how to speak to you.
@Baud: I’ve developed a pretty good feel for which threads I cannot read. I’m hoping we can get an increase in pet/home renovation type threads.
Gin & Tonic
For those who may have been unfamiliar with Mose, here’s the Rolling Stone obit.
Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap
How to get your congress critter to listen to you here.
@JPL: I use Expanded Medicaid. That’s pretty much their #1 target for repeal. My Medicaid renewal date is Feb 1st, 2017. They repeal Expanded Medicaid, that’s the date my health care ends, and about 30 days after that date, I better have my terminal plans in place one way or another, because that will be when my medicine runs out for good. It’s $2500 a month. No generic.
They can repeal Expanded Medicaid without replacing it quite easily and quite happily.
@JPL: Yep. That’s me. Today’s the day my 25 year plan comes together!
@ArchTeryx: you won’t lose it come January…there will be an unwinding period of a year or two if it is repealed. So you have a bit of breathing room for the moment.
@Mary G: Come visit!!
@Gin & Tonic: If you live, your time will come. RIP.
@jacy: See above. Because I use Expanded Medicaid, not the exchanges, I have no breathing room at all. Under the old Medicaid eligibility rules, I would lose it, and the old rules would go into effect immediately upon repeal in my state.
I got a ticket for rolling a stop sign this morning. I felt like saying “really? do you have any idea how upset I am?”
They’re not making any effort to reach out to me, which is very hurtful.
@Monala: This article is fantastic. Gives me some perspective on why the red states are always red no matter who is running. I still maintain I cannot understand how any woman anywhere could vote for Trump. He bragged about committing assaults against women. If you hated Hillary, then vote 3rd party or write-in but for a woman to vote for a sexual predator?
@Gin & Tonic:
Oh no, SHIT! I LOVED Mose Allison, maybe even more than Leon Russel. The epitome of cool-and-clever. Goddamn year keeps being goddamned.
@Kay: Cops are the biggest liberal elitists of them all, what with their fancy police unions and such.
@Baud: Another thing is what my ex-father-in-law used to call a “read-down”. Once again though the idea is to bore yourself to sleep, so you gotta read something boring, or anyway something you’ve read a bunch of times before so you don’t need to keep going to find out what happens.
@Helen: You should send Anne notes for Sunday postings. It will be fun to keep up with your adventures.
Did everyone go to sleep?
@Steeplejack: I think you’re confusing Wallace and Grommit with Shaun the Sheep. Shaun and his flock’s superpower is putting people to sleep.
@Baud: Nobody here but us insomniac dinobirds.
Gin & Tonic
I sent AL photos of my front yard rehab for Sunday (phase 1 anyway, it’s nowhere near done).
Fuck your neighbor. Fuck him up his stupid ass.
I slept for most of the day after the worst day of my life. I’ve had to live through my fathers Alzheimers and his subsequent death, which was an awful experience, especially for my mother who was married to him just shy of 50 years, but that is an unfortunate but normal part of life. What happened last week was a shock, it was so unexpected and appalling, 60 million people voted for this idiotic wannabee despot. I was so distraught initially that I pretty much shut down, and I slept through most of that first day. I’m now past that first stage of just being shocked and semi denial, now I’m pissed off, and I want to fight this, my kids deserve more than simple acquiescence from me and the rest of the people who value equality. So now I’m back to my normal insomnia, I go to bed between 2 and 3 and wake up at 7.30, I sleep straight through, but as I lay there trying to fall asleep, I still keep going over all the “what if’s, and if only’s”. I keep telling myself that this too shall pass, and every day I believe it a little more.
@JPL: I am very much looking forward to Ireland’s reaction to last week’s developments. I have a feeling I am going to have to explain this shit every time I meet someone new for the next 3 months. Dunno how I’m gonna do it.
@Monala: That was incredible. Absolutely right, true, and completely in line with my own experience.
Thank you. That should be tattooed on the torso of every corporation media tool pushing the lie…
It’s hard to get used to the new normal:
We are never going to even discuss that this happened.
And no wonder, with that campaign you ran!
O. Felix Culpa
@gogol’s wife: Same here. And then I finally doze off just before the alarm goes off.
@Kay: Unlike you, I love shopping, though my favorite store is Goodwill. But I have also put myself on a shopping diet too. No more $7 jeans just cause they’re only $7 AND bright orange and look like they’d be a hoot to wear.
It’s not that I’m feeling economic anxiety right now as much as it is I can see it coming. Kinda like when I stock up on groceries and sidewalk salt in the winter so when it snows, I’m ready. I’m not in a panic in the grocery store, just doing what needs doing.
@Kay: Oh, this’ll get discussed. Maybe not on cable news, but in the haunts of metro DC where the spies and such get together, it’s Topic A,B and C. Up front, they’ll make nice. Underneath, the “Trump’s a traitor” theme will be the motive for countless leaks. Have you ever read “The Man Who Kept the Secrets” the biography of CIA chief Richard Helms by Thomas Powers Its most descriptive passages are how the career pros frustrate a President’s interference and their political appointee bosses, and how they only send intelligence the President wants to read. Since Trump doesn’t want to read period, they have a wide range of options.
Funny. I spent most of the ’70s in political organizations warning citizens of the dangers of the deep state. Now the deep state is the last best hope.
It has been very comforting to know that almost all of my social circles are liberal, so I’ve been able to vent to my coworkers and get comforting messages from bicycle advocacy groups, NaNoWriMo, etc. Even if you’re in a red city or red state, there are people you can reach out to and band together with.
Heck, even my Reagan-worshipping older brother sent me a Trump-bashing meme to make me feel better. He may be a lifelong Republican, but his children are half-Jewish (via their mother) and Trump was, like, a football field too far for him.
@bemused: My former boss and I are still good friends. She told me recently that she no longer speaks to several of her friends who voted for Trump. She just has nothing more to say to them. I understand where she is coming from since she cannot separate Trump from his racism.
@Kay: I love you, Kay.
I put an audiobook in the CD player and listen for words beginning with successive letters of the alphabet. It sounds as though it would keep you so focused that you’d never drift off, but in fact I’m usually asleep before I get to F or G. It helps if it’s a book you’re familiar with so there’s no real need to follow the plot. Might not work for everyone but it generally does the trick for me.
@ArchTeryx: What they are putting you through is just terrible.
I hope I’m not out of line, and maybe it’s not your kind of thing, but if you wanted to post a Youtube, it’s the kind of thing that could go viral.
I find it hard to imagine what you are dealing with, it is so difficult. You have shown a lot of logic and grace. I hope you have someone in your corner to have around as you work through this incredibly suspenseful time.
A former Congressional staffer, Ellen Ellsworth I believe her name is, published a tweetstorm on how to contact Congress. 1. Phone, don’t email. 2. Call district office of your own representative or Senator. 3 and most important. If you live in a red state/district and are a Democrat, your call has added value since they seldom hear from such people and therefore deduce you are extra pissed off. Phone call takes, what, three to five minutes? At the end, you’ll feel better.
Keep an eye on it — that “3 am call” from your brain can be a warning sign that you may need an anti-depressant if it persists more than about 6-8 weeks. That early morning awakening was the last straw that put me onto medication years ago.
@bemused: I couldn’t believe how stressed out I was election night. It’s funny to think about it now, but at the time I kept thinking that I would never forgive the media for making it so close. There I was pacing around my kitchen like a fool. I ended up making my kids, who were watching television in the living room worry, even though I never said anything. I sent them to bed saying everything would be fine no matter what happened, and then proceeded to get little to no sleep for the next three days.
In a way, I blame myself for not accepting the fact that there was a decent possibility that he could win. I kept reading things thinking it would help me feel better, but many articles, especially those about Obama voters who switched to Trump, just made me feel worse. So, I just stay away from those articles.
The only Trump supporter I would confront or argue with is my husband, who actually ended up not voting at all. He actually said yesterday that he thought it was unfair that the popular vote winner didn’t win the election. The other two members of my family that vote for Republicans do so because they are evangelicals and are against abortion and gay marriage. They are unpersuadable and I don’t argue with them. As for neighbors and others, if the subject comes up, I plan to be pleasant and no confrontational.
@WereBear: I might do just that, though I really doubt it would go viral. I’m a nobody outside of my tiny little circle of friends, and nobody would give two hoots about it save for the trolls it’d probably attract, measuring my countertops and saying that if I was wealthy enough to afford a webcam, by gum I’m wealthy enough to afford $2500/mo medicine and thus I’m just another liberal fraud.
@ArchTeryx: does your doctor have any advice? Sometimes drug companies have special discounts for patients who can’t afford their medicine.
Intellectually I know, Yeah, people are going to die because of these election results but it’s upsetting when it’s someone on a favorite blog’s comments.
I found this helpful.
What works for me — counting backwards from 100. If I get to 50, it’s not just regular insomnia and I have to try something else, like a yoga posture.
It also helps to picture each number in your mind as you count. Something about the repetitive counting plus the image helps lull the brain to sleep.
It’s the bursting out crying that’s my problem. I think today is actually the first day in the past week that I’ve managed not to turn on the waterworks (although it’s the shank of the evening, so still lots of time to fix that). Seems every time someone asks “How are you?” or “How you doin’?” I feel compelled to answer in excruciating detail and with All The Feels. The only solution I’ve found is to pretty much avoid people.
And I’ve been staying off Facebook. That helps a lot.
@Mnemosyne: Imagining writing and then erasing each number on a blackboard is sometimes helpful.
@ArchTeryx: I’m in the same boat as you are. I doubt if I’ll be able to afford to pay for health insurance again. I’m making peace with the fact that I’ll die from lack of healthcare.
That is some serious optimism there, at every juncture he has been written off, and like the fucking Nazgul or the death eaters, he refuses to die ( I mean politically, check back in a few months and I may be talking literally), he’s not going anywhere unless he drops dead. Paul Ryan will always be popular as long as the media loves him, he is the next coming of Ronald Reagan in the eyes of the media, a handsome, young, serious policy wonk, who will revitalize the GOP, the fact that all of his policy proposals are the exact same ones they’ve been peddling for the last 40 years doesn’t seem to matter. He’s a shiny new package, the fact that he’s been in DC for the last 20 plus years also seems to be irrelevant, they say he’s a fresh face dammit, so he is. I’m hoping that Ryan will be part of the collateral damage that the Shitgibbon inflicts on the denizens of the beltway, if he is, then that will be the one positive thing his election brings.
@efgoldman: Bart: Grandpa, do you think it’s true that the dead get up out of their graves at night and walk the earth?
Grandpa S: If they’re anything like me, they have to get up twice!
Have a safe flight, and best of luck in your new home on the emerald isle.
I wish I loved shopping. My mother in law is good at it. It’s a skill. I know exactly what you’re talking about though with scaling back. It’s something we can control, right?
I have a friend who is just a fierce individual. She came to see me today at work and she told me she’s not reading news because “I can’t lose my nursing license”. I guffawed because there’s this huge unexpressed gap there between “reading news” and “losing license” but I get where she’s going with that. Just nip that right in the bud :)
Re: economic anxiety
I have been feeling it too. I am unemployed as well. I am thinking of running for political office.
Do what you need to be comfortable BUT make sure you look at Mayhew’s posts. “Ending Obamacare” is not going to be as easy as the Repugs make it sound. Most experts are saying it couldn’t be before 2018 no matter what Ryan passes.
Possibly weird thought: in most of the places that allow doctors to prescribe medication to terminally ill people so they can end their lives on their terms, those people never use it. They just want to know that the option is there if they need it. Knowing that you’ve accounted for all of the possibilities (even the worst case) can help in itself.
@Monala: Serious critics of the Democratic Party establishment are not arguing that the path forward to power lies in rural America. Critics of the party are arguing that the place to start are those areas within metropolitan regions that are outside the big city cores but at same time aren’t exactly “rural”. There’s a lot of people in counties composed of towns and small cities that are potentially “gettable”. Critics aren’t talking about Tumbleweed – Pop. 100. This is about Erie, PA – Pop. 99,000 or Scranton, PA – Pop. 76,000 and the cities & towns like that, along with their surrounding metropolitan areas (those developed/urbanized areas outside the formal city limits, in the lingo of urban planners)
The “WWC” by and large are not rural white folks on farms in the middle of Nebraska, regardless of how much the NY Times wants to talk about that Hillbilly Elegy book.
@hovercraft: Thank you.
Thanks for this. You’ve just goosed me into calling my bright-red Republican Senators (Isakson and Perdue) and my Crimson-Scarlet GOP Representative (Woodall). So thank you.
@Kay: Sounds about right. The wife and I have been doing the same lately. This whole year felt a little bit fraught and we just but a brake on spending and doubled down on polishing off the last of the grad school loans. We are planning on a future where Trump burns it all down to the ground. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
Who knew the financial crisis would seem rosy in comparison?
Check with your state Department of Insurance. I guarantee you that California, for one, is working on a plan to keep the Medicaid expansion. I think it’s already 90 percent paid for by the state already.
As I said in the previous thread, this needs to be shoved up Tweety’s ass. Then every time he tries to tell us all to try to talk to the WWC, ha should get an electric shock.
May your flight be comfortable and uneventful. All best to you in your enviable new life. I’m pretty sure you promised you’d stay in touch with BJ, and I hope you will. Looking forward to your shared impressions of this flustercuck from the other side of the Pond. Cheers!
@Helen: The good people of the USA will miss you.
Washington Examiner: Lost in transition: Team Trump a no-show at DoD
It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.
O. Felix Culpa
@bluehill: Chortlesnort. A crack that lets the light in.
Thank you. I love you too. The cop was about 12. He brought an adult cop with him when he came back from running my license to give me the ticket so I felt like this was a training event. Brutally unfair. A travesty of justice, really.
@John Revolta: I’ve been doing a variant on that: I have a couple of audiobook versions of stuff I’ve read many times. I turn on the sleep timer and usually I’m passed out well before the 30 minutes. It’s about the only thing that’s working right now; the anti-anxiety mess and the weed edibles aren’t.
@Mary G: I’m sorry, but I only feel sympathy for the people in the armed forces who voted for Hillary.
O. Felix Culpa
Yes. I’m framing it as sitting shiva for the election this week. After that, I try to pull things together again.
mai naem mobile
I went to a starbucks today and there were too many people inside so I sat outside in my car working on some work related paperwork. I normally listen to NPR or the lefty station but cannot deal with it right now. I decided to put some old Bollywood stuff on my device(not loud and no ear buds.) It was a little warm so I had the a couple of windows rolled down a little just for air circulation. Then I started thinking maybe not a good idea because OMG it might incite some Trumpkin. Welcome To Your Trumpmerikkka!!!
Or try to think of famous people (real or fictional) with double initials — Alan Alda, Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chan — until you drift off. Sometimes I’ll specify all male or all female or all movie stars or something.
I do not use social media. I edited advertising trade journals in a prior life and found out doing so is like giving an FBI security check of your life to Proctor & Gamble. I advise the strung out to stop using it for a few weeks. You won’t miss a thing. If your loved have something important to tell you, they’ll find a way.
O. Felix Culpa
Rigged! It was rigged, I tells ya!
@Mnemosyne: Ending the entirely of the ACA is not going to be trivial, no. But ending the Medicaid Expansion could be done with a single line, at which point, it’d drop right back to the old rules state-by-state.
Most states make single men, like myself, categorically ineligible for Medcaid at ANY INCOME LEVEL, even zero. Even those that don’t required you to make, at most, a fraction of FPL wages, and your income was tested monthly. They even checked your bank account for assets. Medicaid could be pulled in an instant – my fiancee had her Medicaid pulled for 1 month because she made $20 over the limit, and in that month, accumulated $6000 in medical bills. All that was ended with the ACA, and it’s all coming back immediately once Expanded Medicaid is gone.
Iowa Old Lady
I’ve been voting D since 1968, so I’ve been on the losing side in a lot of elections, and none of them came close to feeling like this one. I believe Trump and the Rs in congress will turn the Supreme Court hard right, start a war or two, and blow up the deficit. What I think really feels different this time is that they’ll blow up the safety net and set back the cause of various civil rights.
Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones)
Just had a lovely dinner with an old friend & found out they voted for Trump & thinks “he’s right.” I cannot imagine what my face looked like in that moment. Then, I let them change the subject away from politics. Because what can you say to someone who ignored all the anti-everything in his campaign, yet is a friend. I’m sad that you accept multiple layers of bigotry because that man said two correct things one time, & then reversed himself the next day? I just couldn’t do it.
See, this is the beauty & pain of not having facebook. I didn’t have to watch them support him online. But I never suspected my friend would throw me under the bus, until I was having dinner with them tonight.
Hillary lost Erie County by 2,126 votes. I don’t think we need a huge retooling of the Democratic message.
@SiubhanDuinne: Thank you and yes for sure I will stay here at Balloon Juice. It is the most excellent, awesome, super-duper community. I love being a part of it.
@Gin & Tonic:
Loved Mose Allison. RIP.
(If I had known in January that 2016 was going to suck so hard, I would have created an RIP macro. Would have saved hours of keyboard time by now.)
@ArchTeryx: A-yup. Despite all the blather about the Exchanges – which remain a frustrating Rube Goldberg machine for much of the electorate who have to use them – it was Medicaid expansion that was really what drove down the uninsurance rate – and was the biggest expansion of the social welfare safety net for low income Americans in a generation. Thus, it will be first against the wall on Inauguration Day.
Many states changed their rules to conform with Obamacare, and most blue states have already said they will resist rolling their gains back. Check with your state representative before you do something drastic based on an assumption.
@hovercraft: I would watch the show to see that! LOL!
It was always a mystery to me that Republicans I know who are pretty normal folks, not the nasty, vile and stupid type, could vote for the GOP. Now with Trump and his thuggish family and staff, it’s a whole other ball game. Definitely a game changer. Going to be a lot of people I just won’t care to be around much anymore, if at all.
@Mnemosyne: Obama won Erie County by 16 points in 2012. Trump won it by 2. So yeah, we do.
You lost. Deal with it. Or stick your head in the sand like you prefer. I don’t really care.
@Helen: Me too! In fact it was an interesting blog when John was still a republican. He would preach all these values of a party that left him decades earlier, but he hadn’t realized it.
I’m trying to learn a new way to persuade people. The old one sure doesn’t work. I am reading Achen and Bartels, Democracy for Realists, which is more of a revelation than it should be. They don’t rant about how almost everyone knows nothing, not even their own preferences; they prove it with mounds of research. I began too many conversations saying something like, “I support Clinton because I agree with her on almost every issue, starting with climate change. Let me tell you about climate change …” Totally useless, and I should have known. When I think just of my own mother, who voted for Obama and then Trump, I should realize that many people have no ideology and no opinions, just a general resentment, dissatisfaction, distrust of all authority, and an instinct to throw the rascals out. I don’t know what to do about people like her, but there must be other kinds of voters who can be pealed away with the right strategy. We don’t need them all, just enough to matter at the margin. We needn’t look for the right argument, because arguments don’t matter. It will have to be the right candidate and the right message. “Stronger together” was actually a pretty good one. Somehow, though, the kind of non-degreed white women who seemed to identify with Clinton eight years ago no longer felt she was one of them, and identification matters more than logic. We need to study and learn what works — no more heart, gut, or instinct. Find out how to convince people who don’t know what they want and don’t now what’s good for them to vote for what’s good for them.
@Baud: Thanks. For the first time I am traveling on my Irish passport. Two wonderful women at the TSA whose job it is to look at your ID before you go through the scans asked if I live in Dublin. When I told them that as of today, oh yes I do, they were thrilled for me.
Also I had to actually go through the scan. So apparently there’s a nekkid picture of me out there in the world. ;)
And this isn’t exactly the break we were hoping for.
Read this article. Then tell me again that we’ll totally win PA next time if we just have a better message.
ETA: And I’ll stop with this comment, because we already have one commenter in this thread who is planning his imminent suicide, and I don’t want to drive anyone else over the edge with more bickering.
@Kay: Your friend’s comment made me chuckle. I’m just like her but not smart enough to keep away from the news.
I went to a college fair for kids on IEPs last Wednesday and told the woman sitting at the table for the local autism networking group that they’ve never educated our community about politics and now look where we are: for one, we don’t have enough Medicaid waivers because families keep voting in Republicans locally, Now everything our kids need to exist as adults — Medicaid and Social Security — is at risk, Would they please drop the medical model of disability already and move onto the social model?!!
Today, another autism mom called me to see if I was okay, she heard I had a screaming fit at that college fair.
It’s true, after Wednesday, I did stick close to home.
I have some personally very nice, thoughtful and considerate collateral relatives coming to visit this week who very likely voted for Trump. I should also mention that they are devout Christians who homeschool their kids – while it was our turn to be their houseguests down in the panhandle of Florida a month ago, one evening I sat in on the Bible study group from their church which they hosted in their home – first Bible study session I’ve been to in decades.
HERE’S HOW I’M GOING TO PRESENT THE SITUATION TO THEM. I’m going to say: “I’m sure lots of well-intentioned, good people voted for Trump, despite some substantial misgivings about his personal life – because the policy changes having a GOP President in charge would bring would result in moral and social improvements to the culture and other policies. However, they’ve made a bargain with the devil to get those purported improvements, which hasn’t ever worked out well for anyone who’s tried it.” They might not be quite ready to buy that argument right now – but they are intelligent, thoughtful, moral enough people that this framing is likely to resonate deeply with them when disturbing practical results of Trump’s Administration become increasingly undeniable in a few months.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Mnemosyne: Yes, the insurance companies and corporations are going to want something, not the burn it all down and chickens Idiot America wants.
Are you in CA? They may expand Medicaid without the ACA. It may not cover as much but it could be enough. Please just hold on a little longer until we know what we are dealing with. The stress of not knowing is almost as bad as what we fear might happen. It reminds me of those months before we got the SCOTUS decision. Whatever we can do to help we will all try to do. Hugs from me.
I felt frozen.
I won’t bring up Trump unless someone gets in my face or says anything in my presence. Then no more politeness or keeping it civil.
@Mnemosyne: My state Assemblyman and Senator are both hard-right Republicans – they’ll probably be cheering on the end of Expanded Medicaid, and they will be absolutely certain votes against funding it at the state level. I live in Upstate New York.
However, a call to a New York State of Health navigator may yield somewhat different results. Might be worth a try, at least.
My cousin who voted for Trump in WI was basically willing to accept any policy at all from Trump as long as he banned abortion.
That’s pretty much the definition of a deal
with the devil right there.
If I think of any useful Bible passages for you to use, I’ll pass them along, but the one I keep thinking of is, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”
@MomSense: New York State. We aren’t as enlightened as California, sadly; we’re functionally run by Republicans, even though we have a Democratic governor and nominally one house controlled by the Ds. I don’t expect they’re going to be in the slightest interested in funding Expanded Medicaid strictly out of state coffers.
Definitely call the Navigator. And call BOTH of your US Senators and tell them your story. They may be able to help directly, and they need the ammunition to fight this.
ETA: Also call your state reps, even if they are Republicans. Sometimes constituent services will outweigh party ID. And when you call your local TV station with your story, you want to say they sat by and did nothing. Believe me, your story is PLENTY dramatic enough to get local TV coverage.
@Monala: That is a really great piece. It’s 1 a.m. here so I won’t elaborate. But yes, everything he (the author) said, x1000.
Good luck with that. I am slowly coming to a realization just how many people just flail around using their feelings for all the wrong decisions, like opening a jar with a nail file.
@Mnemosyne: More on what Clinton losing Erie by 18 points compared to Obama in 2012 means – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/us/politics/pennsylvania-trump-votes.html?_r=0
Actually a useful article that parses what happened far better than screaming “OMG RACISTS!”. A lot of these same voters voted for Obama. Some of them just couldn’t get past Clinton’s baggage (despite that baggage being undeserved). Some of them felt like they voted for Obama under the promises that the economic conditions in their lives would get better and they didn’t. (For a lot of the U.S., its only been very very recently that the recovery has started to take hold, as compared to the coasts)
@goblue72: We don’t agree on much, but Jesus, are we on the same page on this.
@ArchTeryx: Maybe contact Kirsten Gillibrand?
@Darkrose: I thought I was the only one who did that.
But Bill Clinton! And Hillary was mean to the women who slept with him! I’ve heard it all.
@ArchTeryx: Your posts on how the Medicaid expansion has worked, and how easily it could be disappeared, have been an education.
Makes me realize how much I’ve read over the past few years about the exchanges, and about the people who have ended up screwed because they don’t qualify for subsidies, and how little — next to nothing — I’ve read about people in your situation.
I haven’t cried yet. I don’t know why. I know it would do a lot to let out the stress. I’m afraid the dam will burst, not in the privacy of my home but when some stupid ass says something. It would be ugly.
Ugh. I think Mnem’s suggestion to call you congressional delegation is a good one. Ask them to help you as their constituent solve this crisis for you. Is it legal to record a conversation in NY without permission? I’d love to get them on the record. I think I’ll call mine as well and also ask them to hurry and stop this so we don’t have to live with the stress and uncertainty. It’s so painful.
Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.
If you gotta self-deport, that’s the way to do it.
Bon voyage, Helen! We hardly knew ye. Do they have the Internet in Ireland at all?
Do it and just say you are running for the healthcare. You’ll even serve one term and leave happily all for the lifelong healthcare.
@Helen: Waving from Scotland where my husband & I are now talking (joking, sort of) about A) applying for political asylum, or B) making our youngest (born here) a UK citizen next year so that she can be our UK anchor baby. I doubt that either one is feasible (well, little C can be a citizen, as she was born here & will have been here for 5 continuous years, but not sure they’d let her be our anchor), but it helps to have a dream.
I’ve been feeling for you, Kay, because I know you work in a heavily Republican town with (probably) a lot of gloating GOP assholes—gloating all the more because they were afraid that Hillary was going to win. But trim your fires and keep ’em burning. There will be a reckoning.
Agreed, its been a really rough week.
@jacy: If it comes to that maybe Cole can take up a collection for ArchTeryx’s medicine?
@bluehill: lol… my friend, that is the first time I have laughed since before the election. Thank you for that.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@PST: I think I have some success with talking to Conservatives and I follow the following things.
* Don’t waste your’ time on the carpet chewers. They’re high on rage and likely drugs, and just want to do is scream at the voices in their heads.
* Don’t lecture them.
* Attack the idea, not them personally.
* When they start with the squid ink cloud of talking points, change the subject because their brains stopped working.
* Most importantly, make them explain their ideas to you. Make them try to sell that conservative idea to you because doing it will force them to think, and that’s really what you want because when they start thinking they will start seeing how stupid their ideas are.
That last bit, one company I worked for we had a True Conservative who would scream talking points at us. He ended up scared of me because I would always reply with statements like “Let’s get this straight, you think Bill Gates, the most successful businessman in modern history , is a communist?”
Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire
Cardio/strength training. You’ll need it for the upcoming zombie apocalypse.
I’ll be hitting my thesis hard.
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Amazing. It’s like he’s channeling me.
Why haven’t I thought of doing this? Why have I been cleaning it every morning and putting it away in its little box when it should be in my damn mouth all day, especially when I’m driving? Thx for the tip.
I’ve been very fortunate in that I’m a dog walker/dog-and-cat sitter. Last weekend I stayed with the most beautiful, mellow golden retriever and a precious torty cat. The golden loves to be brushed and I collected enough shed fur to build a whole new puppy. And the kitty came up to cuddle. The dog sleeps with me, and the kitty drops in on us throughout the night, checking on us. I liked having a Guardian Kitty.
I’m not on Facebook, so that’s not an issue. I signed up for that Duolingo on-line language-learnin’ site that someone here mentioned a few days ago, because I totally intend to learn Spanish. The site alone isn’t going to do it, but at least it’s a start.
I can usually get to sleep okay, although have the 3:00 am wake-up that other people have mentioned. Sometimes I listen to Gillian Welch then because she and Rawlings are slow and beautiful and dark, and that helps me.
And I’ve got an appointment with my dentist. I go regularly anyway, but I’m going to be extra attentive because if or when things go squanch-wise, I want my fangs to be clean, shiny, and sharp.
@bemused: I didn’t cry until I watched Kate McKinnon as Hillary singing “Hallelujah.” That was when I broke down and had a good old-fashioned ugly cry.
@Mnemosyne: The bit about the sheep and the goats is good, because Jesus is really pretty specific about what you need to do.
@Darkrose: It’s so perfect. I haven’t cried yet, but I keep listening to it. I heard that creepy Joe Scarborough made fun of it, but I’m not going to seek out that little turdbit, because I’ll only want to pinch his head off, and I’d rather listen to Kate McKinnon again.
I would like to submit a formal nomination of this line from Kay to be a rotating tag line:
@ArchTeryx: I don’t know if you be tried this already but does the drug manufacturer offer one of those free or heavily subsidized programs for the drug for people who are uninsured? I knew a lady who was getting an expensive cholesterol med (~$300/Mo) free under one of those programs. This lady was on Medicaid by the drug was not on the formulary and she was allergic to other cholesterol drugs.Also, you say you’re in NY. Is the drug any more affordable for you in Canada? This American Life did a show a few years ago on one of those programs. This woman applied for her dad and got the drug and she lied about her dads income. Her dad actually was above the income threshold but the drug was in the tens of thousands of dollars(I think it was a cancer drug) and there was absolutely no way her dad was going to afford it. She was worried that they were going to verify her dad’s income but luckily they didn’t.
I believe Shaun and his flock first appeared in the Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave before going on to solo stardom.
Janet E Bernstein
@Monala: actually, I like the summation better
@PST: Christ on a crutch, that is doing nothing for my misanthropy. We really are apes with delusions of rationality, aren’t we. Ugh.
Sleepwise try slow, mindful breathing. Works for me. Webmd has useful tips too. Also visualization of calm things.