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  • It sure sucks having to hear about how President Obama's dumb health care reform is doing swell, actually, huh? It's covering more people than expected, it's cheaper than expected, it's saving the country more money than expected -- and as long as you don't tell people what it is (it is health care reform brought to you by a black president, shhhhhhhhhh), people actually quite like it! But don't say that to Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, because he doesn't want to hear another word about it:

    “It’s time for the White House to stop celebrating and start thinking about the people,” Barrasso said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. [...]

    “Is the Obama administration pleased that the president’s healthcare law is so much less popular than the president and Democrats expected it to be?” Barrasso asked.

    Well, since you asked, Senator, the administration might be more concerned with the success of the Affordable Care Act than whether idiots who watch too much Fox News say "Ugh, Obamacare? Hate it! Keep yer stinkin' government outta my Social Security too!" when a pollster calls to interrupt their dinner. So yes, the administration probably is pleased that it has managed to exceed all expectations and expand better, cheaper health care to even more millions of Americans, while saving the government money too. Oooh, fiscal conservatism! Just like White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained this week:

    Q Okay. Also, the CBO just made another downward revision to the estimates of insurance costs under Obamacare. Is the White House -- does it see this as the Supreme Court weighs in on making a decision -- that it could bring down the curtain on Obamacare?

    MR. EARNEST: Well, it certainly is a -- only the latest in a long line of data points that indicate the Affordable Care Act is contributing in a very positive way to holding down the growth of health care costs in this country in a way that has very real economic benefits, not just for middle-class families across the country but also for businesses large and small.

    And one of the goals here has been to recognize that the unrestrained growth in health care costs did pose a threat to governments -- our government’s finances, but also did contribute to some weakness in our economy, and that over the long term, getting a handle on those trends is important and was one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act. And we’re pleased to see that even just after a couple of years of being in effect, that the impact is both noticeable and positive.

    But that's not good enough for Barrasso. He thinks the "administration and every Democrat who voted for it should be embarrassed for it." Hmm, maybe, if you're using a really dumb metric, like how "popular" it is instead of whether it's "working." But you know who else should probably be embarrassed? Barrasso. He's in charge of the group of Senators trying to think up a clever Obamacare alternative. We're sure he'll let us know just as soon as he's got one.

  • Yup:Everyone knows you gotta lock up the "I'M NOT RACIST, I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS!" vote to get to the White House:

    Scott Baio walked into a bar.

    “Hey,” the bartender said, “we don’t serve your kind here.”

    “This is America, pal!” Scott Baio said. As if what the bartender had said was, “Hey, this isn’t America!”

    Scott Baio sat down at the bar, but now the bartender was pointedly ignoring him. Scott Baio knew what this was about, of course. A few days earlier, he had posted an unflattering picture of Michelle Obama on his Twitter account, with the caption, “WOW he wakes up to this every morning.” Since then, he had been receiving death threats and being called all sorts of names. But Scott Baio was not concerned. He knew what type of person he was, and what was in his heart. And he knew that if people just got to know him, they would stop telling him that he should go kill himself.

  • So we won't be needing a jacket, then?

    We are standing on the edge of a new world where warming is poised to accelerate at rates unseen for at least 1,000 years.

    That’s the main finding of a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, which looked at the rate of temperature change over 40-year periods. The new research also shows that the Arctic, North America and Europe will be the first regions to transition to a new climate, underscoring the urgent need for adaptation planning. [...]

    Historical records show temperatures have typically fluctuate up or down by about 0.2°F per decade over the past 1,000 years. But trends over the past 40 years have been decidedly up, with warming approaching 0.4°F per decade. That’s still within historical bounds of the past — but just barely.

    By 2020, warming rates should eclipse historical bounds of the past 1,000 years — and likely at least 2,000 years — and keep rising. If greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trend, the rate of warming will reach 0.7°F per decade and stay that high until at least 2100.

  • When Queen Elizabeth, who is now 88 years old, shuffles off this mortal coil, it'll be kind of a big deal:

    For at least 12 days — between her passing, the funeral and beyond — Britain will grind to a halt. It'll cost the British economy billions in lost earnings. The stock markets and banks will close for an indefinite period. And both the funeral and the subsequent coronation will become formal national holidays, each with an estimated economic hit to GDP of between £1.2 and £6 billion, to say nothing of organisational costs.

    But to focus on the financial disruption doesn't begin to describe the sheer magnitude of it. It will be an event unlike anything Britain has ever seen before. There will be trivial disruptions — the BBC will cancel all comedy shows, for example — and jarring cultural changes. Prince Charles may change his name, for instance, and the words of the national anthem will be changed, too.

  • The side pickle, explained:

    With any sandwich you buy in the United States you will receive an all too familiar side dish without any explanation. The pickle. But why? How did the pickle become such an iconic part of our deli experience? Even the character Tevye pondered this question in Fiddler on the Roof. Where did the pickle come from, and more importantly, why does one always come with your sandwich?

  • Are you addicted to your Netflix account? Then you will probably nod along and say, "Yes, exactly!" to these suggestions for how to make Netflix more better-like, from our friends at Happy Nice Time People. Like this one, for example:

    Stop Asking Me If I’m Still Here, I Really Don’t Have a Life

    Netflix, I swear to God that I don’t have a life. Stop doing that cheeky little thing where you pretend to be concerned and want to know if I’m still watching. I am.

    I know Netflix does this to make sure they’re not paying for unnecessary bandwidth, but come on! Netflix is like that Lay’s Potato Chip ad–we can’t have just one.

    If Netflix could at least let us get an “Autoplay for X Amount of Episodes” option so I don’t have to keep pressing play, that’d be great.

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I wasn't ready for Koko the gorilla to die. She was just 46, so still young well past the upper age limit for a gorilla, but I'll miss her. She loved cats, told mildly amusing jokes, and put up with people, so she was a lot like your weird aunt.

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Donald Trump held one of his televised cabinet meetings today in which he railed about the terrible Democrats who forced the current border crisis (at a time when illegal border crossings are actually lower than usual). In what's sure to be his favorite phrase on Twitter for the next few days, Trump blamed "extremist open-border Democrats" for all the problems he brought on himself with his family separation policy, and explained that Democrats were simultaneously hurting illegal immigrants AND the rest of America by forcing Normal America to accept Central Americans who fled to the US. It made loads of sense! And then things got ... less so.

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