“Trying to suck his own cock”

There is the famous joke that explains much that is unexplainable in human affairs, most strikingly in the area of law.   How, for example, did an evil genius like Antonin Scalia do as much unappealable damage as he did, with no consequence to himself, outside of the eternal love of right wing extremists?  Here is the joke that explains it, an old one I’m sure you know.

“Why does a dog lick his balls?”

Because he can.

Nothing is illegal, absent a law that makes it so.  Things are evil, immoral, unethical, despicable, disgusting, infuriating, wrong, etc. but, unless there is a specific law against the hideous practice  — not illegal.   About these things judges and lawyers look at each other and say “de minimis non curat lex“, “the law does not concern itself with trifles.” 

Speaking of trifles, a frivolous lawsuit was recently brought by a blustering bully who owns a coal mining company.  This bully, named Bob, is a big Trump supporter and is almost as litigious as the man he supports for president.  He filed a lawsuit against a comedian who critically covered Bob’s shady practices and had a man dressed in a squirrel suit holding a sign that said “Eat shit, Bob”.   Here is what the ACLU filed in that case, as a friend of the court.  Scroll down to page two, the table of contents.  It will be the best hundred or so words you read all week.   The rest of the brief is a delight to read as well, Bob.

But I came here not to speak of fucking Bob Murray, CEO of a coal empire and man, from all appearances, bent out of shape from constantly trying to suck his own inconveniently located appendage.   I didn’t even come here to complain about the steep and disgusting decline in civil discourse since crude talking cock-suckers, ass-dickers and pussy-grabbers took over the West Wing, as well as the increasingly inclusive lunatic fringe of one of our two major political parties.  I am here to vent just a tad about a trifle that the law does not concern itself with.  

The law in question is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, everybody’s favorite whipping boy.  It does not provide for very much regulation of the insurance industry, though the regulatory scheme for the consumers it protects is rigorous.  Uninsured consumers who qualify financially, for example, are mandated to participate, and to sign up during a single, very short annual enrollment period.   Insurance companies, on the other hand, can stop participating in the ACA program any time they fear their profits will be adversely impacted.  Like during times of increased profit uncertainty.   Like during times when the current president uses his bully pulpit to fulminate, Birther-style, against his predecessor’s signature law while cutting funding to the ad budget of the ACA and using tax payer money to run ads attacking the government program.   Like, now.  

There is no regulation, of course, of the practices of the state “marketplaces,” the exchanges where qualified people are required to buy their health insurance if their employer does not provide it.   Because the “free market” was given priority over “health care” to Americans (note the estimated 27 million of us still uninsured under the ACA), as an individual without employer subsidized health insurance you either jump through the exacting hoops of the PPACA or wind up without insurance of any kind.    Jump through all the hoops perfectly and you may still wind up screwed, with no recourse but a several months long line for an “appeal” at the marketplace that screwed you in the first place.  No need for state regulation when the marginally competent government agency itself is able to provide all the due process necessary.

My dealings with three different insurance companies, at three different income levels, and my ongoing nightmares with Donna Frescatore’s New York State of Health Go Fuck Yourself Self-serve Marketplace, have demonstrated over and over the need for state regulation.  Today I called a second replacement nephrologist on my health plan, this one recommended to me by a doctor friend (what happened with the prior one, recommended by another well-respected doctor, is yesterday’s news).  Today I learned, once more, that just because the insurance company has the doctor listed as a provider does not mean the doctor is actually a provider.  Strike two, get back in the batter’s box, motherfucker, before we call you out for delay of game…*

Mistakes are made, the passive voice used.   Humans are only humans.  Corporations have feelings too, they are called “profit” and “loss”.   Why am I so judgmental?  Why can’t we all just get along?  Why don’t I just shut the fuck up already instead of venting about this de minimis inconvenience to my hypochondriacal kidneys?   Who do I hope to influence by writing these words?   Why do I insist on seeing the glass of syphilitic piss as half full, instead of half empty?    Why am I not pouring all these incendiary details into my letter to the Attorney General?  Why so many questions?

Anyway, now it’s Friday evening, at long last.   Why is nobody pouring me a cold glass of beer as foamy, and richly golden, as a beaker of my own protein- rich urine?  It’s Miller time, is it not, Mr. Stephen Fucking Miller?  … if that is your name.

 

 

*    Sports fans will note that, under the rules of baseball (where balls and strikes come from) a batter cannot be called out for “delay of game” (in the National Football League it can result in a five yard penalty, a complete non sequitur in baseball).  The footnoted sentence is what’s charitably called a mixed metaphor.  If I told the ump to go fuck himself, that the threat to throw me out for delay of game is ridiculous, and not in the rules of baseball, the ump could call me out for “arguing balls and strikes,” a rule giving ample grounds for my ejection.  As always, de minimis non curat lex, baby.

 

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