“Nobody dies because they fall off a tall building,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room.

He read the mail…. (More)

“They die,” he pedantically explained, “because they hit the ground at high speed.”

The staff nodded, because we already knew that. Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor wasn’t losing because he was dealt bad hands. Instead, he was losing because his good hands were not quite good enough. So when he was dealt a pair of Aces – the best possible starting hand – he waited as the Squirrel and Chef called his big blind and then offered a pot-sized raise.

The Squirrel quickly folded and tapped at his Blewberry, “I’d have liked a cheap look at the flop, but oh well.”

Chef looked at her cards again. “The thing is,” she said, “I have a hand. A really good hand. But I’m not sure it’s good enough.”

She studied the Professor of Astrology Janitor for a few seconds and then sighed and flashed a pair of red Jacks. “Nope, not good enough.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor scooped in the tiny pot and began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Heart Healthy Tomato and Cheese Omelets, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’m tired of complaints that poor people will die if we reform Medicaid. That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.

Raul in UT

Dear Raul,

We commend your use of the word “indefensible,” although we think you misapplied it. You should have used it to introduce your absurd claim that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” when in fact a 2009 Harvard Medical School study found that, before Obamacare was enacted, an average 45,000 Americans per year were dying for lack of health insurance. Indeed as Josh Marshall notes:

But it is factually false that no one ever died for lack of access to health care. People die of that constantly. This is definitionally true. It’s in the nature of what health care is.

The law requires hospitals to stabilize patients, even if the patients can’t pay. But it does not require hospitals to provide treat underlying conditions.

For example, an emergency room must try to stabilize a patient who is in cardiac arrest, but that hospital is not required to perform surgery to bypass a clogged artery or repair damaged heart tissue. Without such treatment – and most likely continuing care in the form of medication, physical rehabilitation, and dietary assistance – the patient may soon have another cardiac arrest. He/she would then again receive only emergency, stabilizing care, round and round until the heart is so damaged that the ER team can no longer save him/her. Yes, this patient received “health care” at the ER … but not all of the treatment required to restore a normal life expectancy.

There are countless conditions with similar patterns, where merely stabilizing the patient at the ER does not fix the underlying health issue, which will worsen and require repeated ER visits, until finally the ER can’t save the patient at all.

We suspect you know that. You simply talk around those details and claim that everyone in America has “access to health care,” which is both trivially true and fundamentally false. We conclude that, like almost every other House Republican, you care more about tax cuts for your wealthy friends and donors than about the lives of your constituents.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

My jaw dropped when I read Raul’s quote. You probably couldn’t tell, because squirrels’ mouths don’t drop that far. But it did. Wow. Just. Wow.

So, how does Chef make Heart Healthy Tomato and Cheese Omelets?

Heartily Ready for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Heartily Ready,

Chef first sweats 1 clove of minced garlic in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet, then adds ½ chopped sweet onion and sautés it until the onions are transparent. She next adds 1 diced Roma tomato to the onions and takes that skillet off the heat, allowing the tomato to soften from the residual heat.

She then uses a paper towel to spread 1 teaspoon of olive oil around the bottom of a large skillet, scrambles 4 egg whites together with 1 whole egg, ⅛ cup skim milk, and 1 teaspoon of crushed black pepper, and cooks them in the large skillet. When the eggs begin to set up, she sprinkles on 2 Tablespoons of shredded Cheddar cheese. When that cheese starts to melt, she spreads the tomatoes and onions over the top, sprinkles 1 Tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top, and folds the omelet. She serves this topped with a dollop of homemade guacamole, which is also heart healthy. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Frontline

Raul in UT; 2009 Harvard Medical School study; as Josh Marshall notes.

Heart Healthy Tomato and Cheese Omelets.


Happy Sunday!