A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He Just Keeps Getting Better

Yet another reason to love Al Franken.


The hearing was on bankruptcies caused by medical bills.
Kerry Burns, a witness on the panel, testified that her son was treated for cystic fibrosis before he died while she fell into debt. "The collection calls were unrelenting, upwards of 30 calls a day," she said.

As part of the bankruptcy filing process, Burns has to undergo credit counseling, where she was asked how she could have avoided bankruptcy. She called the course "humiliating" and "a slap in the face," and to this day has not successfully filed for bankruptcy because she had not filled out the forms.

While [Sen. Sheldon] Whitehouse was quick to express his outrage at the process she was required to undergo, after watching her son die, [Sen. Jeff] Sessions appeared more accepting.

"When the government starts to regulate anything, including health care, you have rules," Sessions answered.
...

When Diana Furchtgott-Roth from the Hudson Institute attacked everything from the public option to the health bill that passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week, Whitehouse remarked that she "veered across three lanes of traffic."

"Did you actually read the bill that is the subject of today's hearing?" he asked.

When Whitehouse asked her about the issue she had failed to focus on -- bankruptcy -- Furchtgott-Roth replied simply that the current system does a good job.

"Did it do a good job for Ms. Burns?" Whitehouse rebutted, visibly frustrated. Furchtgott-Roth simply replied that Burns had been in a bad situation.

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