Good afternoon. We come together in solemnity on this solemn Memorial Day of solemnitude to rap at ya about Obamacare, and how it will kill you dead ... WITH GREAT PRICES!

Taking the Point that Obamacare is awesome, because "California," will be your Editrix.

Taking the Counterpoint that Yes it is, even though he lives in Idaho and presumably will be saved from sipping the sweet deadly nectar of fascism, will be your Doktor Zoom.


Editrix: Hey Dok, did you read this sweet LA Times story about how I am gonna get so much Obamacare, which I already get because "pre-existing condition" but now I am gonna get even more of it for somewhere between $200 and $300 a month even though I had tit-rot? This is because California did not shit all over the president when he was like "hey how about the feds help some people get health insurance" and California did not run around with its hair on fire screaming about how healthcare equals death. Instead, Jerry Brown and his superduperdemmajority said, "oh, here, let us help you with that, and we will start screening applicants for this new insurance exchange, and let our citizens reap some benefits." And the insurance companies were all, here, we will trim our profit margins to two to three percent so as to be affordable and socialisty enough to get our crack at 8,532,752,911 new members, which we are pretty sure is just how Hitler murdered all the corporations too.

So tell us, how is it looking in the wilds of Idaho?

Doktor Zoom: Well, despite the efforts of the state GOP to nullify Obamacare, because we love the Constitution so much here that sometimes we just have to ignore it for a higher purpose, it looks like we actually will have a functioning exchange up and enrolling people by October. But to get there, the state is relying on dirty Federal Gummint computers, which is controversial in some way that I can't figure out, maybe because Federal electrons are just more socialist and freedom-hatey than decent honest Idaho electrons. In any case, the director of the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange board promises that after the first year, they'll kick those carpetbagging federal electrons back to DC for good. We have no idea what our insurance plans will cost here, because Idaho had to focus all its efforts on making Obamacare not happen, for freedom.

But we had a nice gun show right in the Capitol building in February, so maybe we can just keep insurance costs down by waving an AR-15 at Blue Cross.

Tangentialpoint, Alex: Leaving aside the question of whether Obamacare is awesome or merely awesome, does anyone else wonder if maybe the whole idea of letting the states decide how they're going to implement their death panels was a clever liberal poison pill of "Here, you like federalism? How's it taste now, idiots?" I mean, I know at least one person in Idaho has the internet, so it's not like it will be a secret that California's giving away a free topless carwash with every mammogram while the Somali States of America are like "Maybe you can get some band-aids from Wal-Mart and try to return the ones you don't use?" Kinda shitty if your goal is to, like, help everybody in the country be equally not dead or broke-ass poor, but also kind of brilliant, if it was in fact the product of a Grand Strategy to discredit paleoconservative do-nothingism. It probably wasn't though; I bet it was just because in theory it's an easier sell politically to give power to the states rather than create a big, scary national thing (which, if so, ha.) Heck, maybe it even came from a pure-hearted belief that the states are laboratories of democracy and that each state could learn from the successes and failures of all the others. Still, it's kinda fun to pretend that Democrats are tactical geniuses sometimes, right?

Dok Zoom: That is far too perfect to be plausible, Alex. Here is a nice WND piece by a Northern Idaho woman who somehow escaped the FEMA camp and got on the internet long enough to explain that she doesn't much mind the fact that, two years after dropping the high-deductible catastrophic insurance they couldn't afford, her husband recently racked up huge hospital bills when an infection almost killed him. All in all, she says, they were lucky: "My husband’s hospitalization and subsequent care was costly; but it was simple. He was sick, he was taken care of, we paid for it."

But she is fucking terrified of Obamacare, because

Technically we’re the type of people Obamacare is supposed to "help" -- hardworking but not wealthy -- yet I know from experience that government "help" almost always becomes bureaucratic, inefficient and even punitive.

After all, she worries, what if Obamacare is run like the IRS and is folded into seventeen different conspiracies at once?

How many Americans will suddenly be deemed “unfit” to own firearms based on their medical history? How many will be denied health care because of their political affiliation? How many of our elderly will be left out in the cold because their “usefulness” is over?

She is also terrified that the solution her family found -- "work[ing] privately with providers to pay our bills" -- will be unavailable "when the government eliminates private insurance companies and forces us to pay for something we can’t afford?"

So, yeah, what's the matter with Idaho? And do I have a chance of getting political asylum in a sane state?

Editrix: Why did Nobumer force Wayne LaPierre to call for a National Mental Health Registry when violent video games killed all those babies? We should probably INPEACH.

Kaili Joy Gray: I don't know about Idaho or tit rot or any of that sexytimes talk because I'm too busy having lots of slutty sex -- with my VAGINA!!!! -- which I totally was not having before Obamacare, but now, thanks to taxpayer-funded-but-actually-not-taxpayer-funded-because-it's-through-private-insurance slut pills, which is even better than death panels for grandma, I can slut it up like it's going out of style. Sure, it means the end of democracy as we know it, and the end of freedom as we know it, and the end of the church as we know it (but ha!, like I care; my people killed Jesus, yo), and something something the First Amendment, and also, the availability of free slut pills will Live in InfamyTM, like Pearl Harbor and 9/11, but this seems like a fair-market price to pay for socialized sluttiness, amirite?

Editrix: That is a good point, I had forgotten about the slut pills, and also how your vagina killed Christ. Fortunately, polls still show a majority of American voters hate getting to buy health insurance when they couldn't before, especially seniors, who only give it 31 percent approval, because communism is a rare and precious commodity that must be hoarded by the olds. NO TAKERZ!

And now ends our Civilized Debate on Obamacare. It ends because we have been murdered, by getting to buy health insurance, just as our sweet constitution, which Jesus wrote with the dinosaurs, has been murdered, because the Founders certainly never made people buy health insurance except when they did. It is all very sad indeed.

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Fellow Wonkers, this last week of horror has been wearing on us all, because here we are in a world where the "president" of the United States has ordered that migrant children be taken away from their parents at the border, and is simultaneously proud of it (for his base) and cravenly blaming it on Democrats because even he knows it's morally reprehensible. But what the hell can we do about it beyond calling our senators and representatives and posting sadness on Twitter, the latter of which is of dubious utility to anyone, and mostly depressing?

Resist the urge to disappear into a bottle. The kids and the families need you.

Slate has compiled a great list of places to start, which we will liberally summarize for you right now:

The thing these folks need most is LAWYERS. If you're an immigration lawyer, you're probably already swamped. But on the off chance you have time and expertise to spare, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is building a list of volunteers.

Yr Dok Zoom has given money to the fine folks at RAICES, a San Antonio-based group that has two major projects. They're getting lawyers for migrant families (and for the kids when possible) and raising money to pay migrant parents' bond so they can be out of jail and with their families. If you're in Texas, then click here to volunteer!

Update: RAICES is also holding a "what you can do" webinar this Thursday:

Also for folks who are in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking "volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q'eqchi' or K'iche' and have paralegal or legal assistant experience."

There's also CARA -- an umbrella organization for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Together, they provide legal services at immigration detention centers.

To help kids who are already in immigration detention, there's Kids in Need of Defense, which provides children with representation in immigration court and also lobbies for children's legal interests. Donate here.

If you're not quite sure where to give, ActBlue has bundled several immigrant rights groups into a single donation button -- see the list and donate here.

Remember, there's always the ACLU, which is fighting family separation with a federal class action lawsuit.

You want to march? Former top government ethics lawyer Walter Shaub, who gave up trying to tell the Trump administration what ethics even are, will be announcing the details of a national march (think DC and local affiliated marches) tonight on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes." We'll make noise here, too.

Good people are coming together to put an end to this cruelty. EVERY Democrat in the Senate is now co-sponsoring Dianne Feinstein's bill to stop family separation.

And hell, we'll even give the last word to Jennifer Rubin, who seems to have reassessed some of her previous political views. She has a reminder for all of us:

Damn straight. Remember it every damn day between now and then.

It's your open thread. Don't boo -- organize. Time to RESIST.

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Don't take for granted that the institutions you love will always be there, like democracy, and Wonkette. Click to save at least one of them!


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There are perks to being the only Harvard professor willing to shill for the Bush League Mussolini. Everyone else has to haul ass to the Fox studio and sit for hair and makeup. Not Alan Dershowitz! He just parks his laptop in Pee Wee's playhouse and Skypes in that rant. Is he even wearing pants? We hope never to find out!

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