Trump Is Obese

Donald Trump is the same height and weight as Albert Pujols. Riiiight. Why does the White House lie like this? It's just absurd. The White House lies about everything, important or trivial. Trump is obese, and everyone knows it. His diet is hideously bad. He must have good genes and the constitution of a bull, because given what he eats and his lack of exercise, he ought to be an invalid.

Oh, and off-topic, where did the leftover inauguration day cash go? That's still missing

Here's Joe Scarborough with an appropriate rant about Trump's physical health summary.

Go See a Blockbuster, Then Stay for Sicko

I saw Sicko in New York Sunday night. It's playing at the AMC Lincoln Center / IMAX on 68th and Broadway (same theater referenced in the Lazy Sunday video, no less).

It is a must-see movie. In my opinion, it is the best edited of Moore's films. And it might also be the best narrated. I used to dislike Moore as a narrator. But this time around, he sounds good, and we don't see as much of him as before.

The movie is mainly visceral. It is meant to make you mad as hell. Regardless of your political affiliation, you will probably exit the theater wanting our healthcare system dismantled and replaced. If not, then perhaps you have no heart or you are too wealthy to worry about an injury or illness bankrupting you.

The major problem with Sicko is that it offers not a single idea on how to turn back the clock 40 years and get healthcare right in this country. Sicko is in great need of a sequel. At least Michael Moore offers ideas on what to do on his website. But we could use a 30-minute video on what we need to do next.

So Sicko does not explain how to reverse 40 years of mismanagement and privatization of our healthcare system. It does not explain how much a single-payer system would cost (hundreds per citizen, possibly $1 Trillion per year). But the visceral impact of the film is clear. When we see doctors in the UK, Canada, Cuba, and France, treating patients for free, we should be furious and ask "why don't we have that?" Sicko will infuriate you. Seeing a Cuban doctor patting an American saying, “It is going to be alright,” is both humbling and infuriating.

There are some contexts not shown. We see a British internist who earns $150,000 per year and lives in a $1 Million London town house. But is he an exception or the rule?

We see Cuban doctors treat American exceptionally well, but surely the care the Americans received was a cut above what an average Cuban would have received? Still, their diagnoses were as good if not better than the diagnoses the patients received in the US of A.

And there are contexts and details that are on full display. We see both scholarly and ordinary Canadians and Britons explain why their systems are so precious, and why they were built. We see how their people are more productive and happy when they don’t have to worry about or pay medical expenses. We see that the French are not as nasty and as evil as we have recently been led to believe. We see a link between free universal healthcare and life expectancy, infant mortality, and economic prosperity. Moore doesn't show us a chart, but smart viewers should be able to figure it out.

You're smart, right? You will love this movie.

Healthcare should be free of charge to the public. Now why isn't it? That's the question the movie asks us.

Moore hits a few out of the park. There are some tangents and sequences that are simply priceless. And the film made Sunday night's audience of 800(one of the largest in the city) both cry and burst with spontaneous applause. It was really something.

It is a must see movie. Expect an Oscar nomination or two (best documentary, best editing).

Oh -

And when Moore reveals that he anonymously paid the $12,000 health care bill of a blogger critic’s wife, it is amazing. That guy is going to literally shit himself when he sees this movie. It is one of many ‘holy shit’ moments in the film.

What? He already shit himself back in May? I'm often among the last to know in the age of Teh Internets.

BTC News has an excellent essay entitled Health care in America is un-American. Go read it. It summarizes the crisis better than I could above.

The Nation: Good Doctor Jocelyn Elders Was Fired, But Wingnut Doctor James Holsinger Will Be Hired

We have to wait a while before a real doctor becomes the nation's 25th Surgeon General. The 24th is about to get hired. I have a question, though. What is the bloody point of a Surgeon General if you don't have a nationalized, single-payer healthcare system? It's not like he is the head of the FDA. He's not even a cabinet member. Yes, I understand the US Public Health Service plays an important role and consists of real doctors. But it seems more window dressing than anything else.

But this op-ed from the editor of The Nation is worth a read:

Surgeon General Nominee's Gay Fascination
The Nation
June 6th, 2007

The Nation -- Bush's nominee for surgeon general, Dr. James Holsinger, has come under fire this week for his anti-gay politics (first documented by Bible Belt Blogger Frank Lockwood). By day Holsinger teaches health sciences at the University of Kentucky where he was chancellor of the Chandler Medical Center. By night, however, the good doctor is a bible-thumping Reverend with a degree in biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminary and a seeming fascination of antipathy towards homosexuals.

Holsinger founded the Hope Springs Community Church, a "recovery ministry" that caters to alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts and those seeking to "walk out of that [homosexual] lifestyle," according to its pastor Rev. David Calhoun. When not busy endorsing ex-gay conversion therapy, Holsinger served on the highest court of the United Methodist Church where he voted to remove a lesbian pastor from her position.

And today, the Human Rights Campaign released a document Holsinger authored in 1991 as a member of the United Methodist Church's Committee to Study Homosexuality. Titled Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality, Holsinger's religious tract-cum-scientific paper is a fascinating window into the perverse imagination of homophobia. In essence, Holsinger argues that male-female "reproductive systems are fully complementary" because "anatomically the vagina is designed to receive the penis." The remainder of his paper is a graphic account of the "delicate" rectum which is "incapable" of "protection" if "objects that are large, sharp, or pointed are inserted" into it. From there Holsinger continues to discuss what he imagines are the pains (and pleasures?) of anal sex, from "fist fornication" and "sphincter injuries" to "lacerations," "perforations" and "deaths seen in connection with anal eroticism."

Sharp objects! Deaths seen in connection with anal eroticism! Gadzooks! Now, I've been around the block one or ten times, and I don't know any gay men who have put scissors up their ass, much less died from it. Of course, the barely mentioned but palpably anxious context in which Holsinger connects "death" with "anal eroticism" is the AIDS epidemic. And it should come as no surprise that his paper was part of a larger, pseudo-medical, moral discourse in which gay men's mode of sex (and by extension gay men) were blamed for AIDS - the death we deserved, the sexual suicide we courted.

The flip side of Dr. Holsinger's lurid speculation is the dangerous presumption that because heterosexual sex is "natural," it is safe -- safe from HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases and the trauma and injury that Holsinger seems so feverishly eager to attribute to gay anal sex. We now know, tragically and beyond any possible doubt, that heterosexual sex is not safe unless one practices it as such. And no amount of wishing and praying by our next Surgeon General on the "complementarity of the human sexes" will make it so.

A few years after Dr. Holsinger wrote his little brief against male-male anal sex, then Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggested, at a UN Conference on AIDS, that masturbation might be taught to young people as a mode of reducing sexual risk. On this point she was absolutely correct, but for even daring to mention the M-word, she was lampooned by the Christian right and eventually asked to resign by a cowardly Bill Clinton who, in retrospect, might have paid more attention to Dr. Elders and spent less time inserting foreign objects into inappropriate places.

But no matter. The doctor who gave sound, clinical medical advice was fired, while the doctor who engaged in wild, graphic and unsubstantiated fantasies about gay sex will most likely assume the helm as "America's chief health educator." And you wonder why we have a health care crisis in this country.