Friday News Bites: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Remains Willfully Ignorant + Strange-But-True Stories

Friends, I lived in Spokane, Washington for seven years, where Cathy McMorris Rodgers kept getting reelected, while the Democratic party seemed to merely wring their hands and would run ineffectual candidates against her. After her barrage of campaign ads, we would then get her “surveys” in the mail asking what our “concerns” were, all with very leading GOP-talking points as potential answers. OH BELIEVE ME, I filled in that comments section. And isn’t it lovely how, despite having a son with special needs, she felt it fine to vote against the re-authorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. I’m not sure what she expected people without her government-paid insurance to do if they were in the same situation.

In sum: Well, of course I’m not surprised that she didn’t fact-check her State of the Union response.

No matter that I’ve moved back to Montana (with our two Democrat senators, represent!), I still end up seeing her smug face standing behind John Boehner at every press conference, and now they plucked her from the background and had her sing the GOP refrain that the Affordable Healthcare Act is bad for you. She used a woman named Bette as an example, who was supposedly asked to pay “nearly $700 more per month” in premiums. Here’s the rest of the story, courtesy of The Spokesman-Review:

But the “nearly $700 per month” increase in her premium that McMorris Rodgers cited in Tuesday night’s GOP response to the State of the Union address was based on the priciest option, a $1,200-a-month replacement plan that was pitched by Asuris Northwest to Grenier and her husband, Don.

The carrier also offered a less expensive, $1,052-per-month option in lieu of their soon-to-be-discontinued catastrophic coverage plan. And, Grenier acknowledged the couple probably could have shaved another $100 a month off the replacement policy costs by purchasing them from the state’s online portal, the Health Plan Finder website, but they chose to avoid the government health exchanges.

“I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” said Grenier, 58, who lives in the Chattaroy area and owns a roofing company with her husband. “We liked our old plan. It worked for us, but they can’t offer it anymore.”

So, she never actually went to the website, and depending on her income, she could also receive more of a discount? Awesome. Also, Chattaroy is its own town, not part of Spokane. It’s sort of like saying Renton is Seattle. Or that Baltimore is Washington D.C. Just because they are close to each other does not mean they are the same thing.

Okay. *Deep Breath* I do have other news to talk about, and it involves a lot less ranting.

Speaking of living in Montana, it seems a percentage of my local Air Force base, Malmstrom, has been cheating on their proficiency exams. 92 nuclear missle officers are implicated, and “of the 92, 40 are suspected of actually cheating by obtaining answers in advance of the test; the remaining 52 were allegedly aware of the cheating, but failed to report it to superiors,” NBC News reports.

You guys, this is not exactly going to be helpful when the next talk of base closures rolls around.

And speaking of Congresspeople behaving in a questionable manner: Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony, an exchange that was caught on video after the State of the Union. He apologized the next day.

In other political news: Ukraine’s Prime Minister has resigned and most of the anti-protest laws recently issued in the country have been repealed. Click through to see The Atlantic‘s collection of photos from Kiev and other areas’ unrest over the past few weeks.

Northern Cyprus repealed its anti-sodomy law on Monday, marking it as the last country in Europe to have had such a law on the books.

Also in Europe: Italian courts have convicted American Amanda Knox of murder, after a retrial of her 2007 case.

In Russia, “A former schoolteacher killed his friend after a drunken argument over which is superior, poetry or prose,” Reuters reports. That’s uh… Well, I’m sure I’ve got a joke about over-serious MFA programs somewhere in my brain, but one’s not coming to me. Create your own.

“Gassy cows blamed for German barn blast” — You know you want to click through that headline.

Music Conspiracy Theorists can settle down now, at least on this particular subject: Lorde really is just 17 years old.

In other music news: Sadly, the folk legend Pete Seeger died this week, having lived to be 94 years old. May he rest in peace.

Finally, because this is ME writing this news roundup, we have to talk about Peter Capaldi’s newly revealed Doctor Who costume.

Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor
He’s clearly traveled back to the mid-’90s to tell Posh Spice how to pose.

I mean, Doc Martens and a cardigan? If he ever puts on a pair of glasses like his predecessors, it will be my trifecta of costumed happiness.

Look, if I have to have Cathy McMorris Rodgers annoying me, let me have this. And this. Also this.

Thank you for indulging me. Until next time, friends.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

3 replies on “Friday News Bites: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Remains Willfully Ignorant + Strange-But-True Stories”

I also hate CMR. However, I think in Spokane it’s not just a matter of the right candidate but public support. The area outside of Spokane proper, and huge chunks of Spokane itself, is conservative. The fifth district includes a lot of EXTREMELY rural places. So yeah, you could have a pretty good local candidate and still be screwed. I went to the Republican debate the year she was first elected (2004) and it was not strong–like, legitimately, I had no idea who they’d choose because I thought they all did badly, whereas the Dems had had a candidate for a while and were doing a lot of work getting his ideas out, putting up signs, door knocking, etc. (Full disclosure, I participated in much of this.) Anyway, our dude certainly wasn’t perfect, but we had a longer campaign, better ideas (that part’s opinion, obvs), and I think more publicity, and we lost something like 60/40. So I feel like in Spokane right now, most people running for the house on the democratic ticket are going to be more or less “ineffectual.”

And Washington has two democratic senators, too, both women, and they are both great.

Not important add-on: I did call up CMR’s Spokane office to register my angry thoughts about her voting against abortion access. I got a polite form letter back, which I guess is her job. I just wish she weren’t in favor of policies that are bad for the people who are her constituency.

No, you’re totally right about the rural areas surrounding Spokane, which is exactly what makes it hard. The 2004 election is a bit fuzzy in my memory (I was in sleep-deprived newborn land that year, but I did vote!), so I apologize if I came off more dismissive than is called for.

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