How Bad Can It Get?

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse:


What the F***!!!?

Americans are TRULY losing their minds.

This is the woman who ‘gave away’ 276 brand new Pontiac G-6s to her audience and failed to inform them they’d have to pay up to $7,000 for the vehicle in gift taxes.

When Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 cars last week to the audience of her show, images of people laughing, jumping, crying — some hysterically — filled the airwaves and the give-away became stuff of legend. Late night talk show hosts and newspaper columnists are still talking about it.

But now some of those eager prize-winners have a choice: Fork over $7,000 or give up the car.

According to a spokeswomen for Harpo Productions Inc., Oprah’s company, the recipients must pay a tax on the winnings, just like any prize.

For a brand new Pontiac G-Six, the model given away on the show, the sticker price is $28,500. The $28,500 would need to be claimed as income so, depending on the individuals tax bracket, the tax could be as high as $7,000. And that was after Pontiac agreed to pay most of the local charges, including state sales tax and licensing fees.

The Harpo Spokeswomen said winners had three choices. They could keep the car and pay the tax, sell the car and pay the tax with the profits or forfeit the car. [1]

Hey, great way to raise taxes, President Oprah – why not give ALL Americans a new car, then everyone would have to pay an extra $7,000 in taxes. Great Idea! It’s amazing Mister Trump hasn’t thought of it.

In Britain, the (not so) Honorable Tim Farron…

…who was leader of the U.K. LibDem Party from 2015 to 2017 has now decided homosexuality is a sin, despite having denied it during an interview in the lead up to the 2017 general election:

…in another Channel 4 News television interview, […] Nigel Evans asked him in Parliament whether he thought being gay was a sin, to which he replied, “I do not” and said that he was “very proud” to have supported his party’s efforts to introduce gay marriage.[2]

Farron is an evangelical Christian, and his pronouncement must have played on his conscience because…guess what?


The former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has said he regrets telling people he did not believe gay sex was a sin when he was forced to clarify his position during the election campaign.

The MP said he had felt “isolated” and under pressure from his party to say gay sex was not sinful, suggesting he ended up misleading the public about his views.

He said he had spent weeks dodging the question but wanted to draw a line under the issue, which led to him “foolishly and wrongly” giving an answer that was “frankly not right”. [3]

It’s a politician’s roundabout way of saying he lied. Still, even as a Christian he’s not alone. One well-known disciple denied Jesus three times before he was crucified upside down, so Tim’s got another two denials in hand before he needs to start worrying. Just don’t expect too much future support from the gay community, Tim. They’ll likely provide the nails.

And now, a word on the British cabinet reshuffle that wasn’t. With much media hype to support her, British prime minister Theresa May announced a major cabinet reshuffle. (For our American readers this does not require the shifting of any furniture, but has more to do with moving members of the government from one ministerial post to another. Or, if they’ve not been good, sending them to sit at the back of the class (known in parliamentary lingo as the ‘back benches’).

Sadly, the reshuffle backfired on Mrs May when all those she wanted to shuffle refused to go anywhere. Jeremy Hunt insisted on remaining Health Minister, David Davies refused to give up his job cocking-up Brexit, and Boris Johnson was determined he definitely was not going to clean any toilets. Poor Theresa, aware she could be ousted from her job by these bullies, was forced to concede and allow them to remain where they were.

Jeremy Hunt, wringing a little more blood from stony Theresa, demanded his title be changed to ‘Minister for Health and Social Care’. The prime minister agreed.

The very next day, headlines in the British press revealed:


From the BBC:

Patients are dying in hospital corridors as safety is compromised by “intolerable” conditions, doctors say.

The warning has been made in a letter to the prime minister signed by 68 senior A&E doctors, spelling out the danger patients are facing this winter.

It comes as reports have emerged of people being left for hours on trolleys in corridors and stuck in ambulances.

And hospital bosses said they had run out of beds as they battle with “very high” rates of flu.

Official figures show the number of hospital admissions from flu has risen by more than 50% in the past week in England, although Public Health England officials said the levels were certainly not “unprecedented”.

Instead, hospital bosses have blamed the bed shortages on a lack of money and staff.

The letter from doctors in England and Wales sets out some of the impact of this pressure.

It says:

  • Patients are having to sleep in makeshift wards set up in side rooms
  • Trolley waits of up to 12 hours are being routinely seen as staff struggle to find free beds
  • Thousands of patients are left stuck in the back of ambulances waiting for A&E staff to take them in
  • More than 120 patients a day are being managed in corridors in some places, some dying prematurely

In response, Britain’s Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, (now Minister for Health and Social Care) stated:

“We know there is a great deal of pressure in A&E departments. We are grateful to all NHS staff for their incredible work in challenging circumstances.”

But he added that plans were in place to help, including extra money for council-run care services so people could be moved out of hospital more quickly and the single biggest expansion in doctoring training places in the history of the NHS – 25% in the coming years. [4]

There’s just one slight flaw in your plan, Jeremy:


According to a report last year in the Mirror newspaper:

Soaring numbers of junior doctors are leaving the NHS after their foundation training, an official report has revealed.

Just half of those who finished their first two years on the job in 2016 went straight into NHS training to become a specialist or GP.

Doctors’ union the BMA blamed the “deeply concerning” figures on low morale as the government forces through new contracts that prompted unprecedented strikes last year.

Rachel Clarke, a campaigning junior doctor from Oxford, added: “These figures are a tragedy for the NHS and an indictment of the way in which Jeremy Hunt went to war with junior doctors last year.

“Morale was already rock bottom, thanks to the chronic understaffing and gaps in our rotas which make it almost impossible to do a good job at times, let alone guarantee our patients’ safety.

“But his attacks on us and our professionalism were the last straw.”[4]

Never mind, Rachel, when Jeremy Hunt finally fulfills his ambition and opens the doors of Britain’s National Health Service to all those nice U.S. hedge funds and medical insurance companies waiting in the wings for privatization, you’ll earn so much money you won’t care anymore about your patients dying, losing their homes, or suffering abominably from lack of medical care when they can’t afford their insurance policies.

Finally, a moment of silence for all the razor blade companies bankrupted by the latest men’s fashion mode requiring them to ape aging hobos. The trend, which appears to have been made popular by the perverted Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein…

…has spread rapidly throughout the male population after a rash of stubble-laden ‘celebs’ began sporting the unshaven look:

Steve Bannon took on the look of the ‘retarded psychopath’…

…and it’s added an extra six inches to the length of John Kerry’s chin…

…but perhaps it’s improved the U.K.’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by hiding an otherwise weak and flabby lower lip.

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse!

[1] “Oprah car winners hit with hefty tax” CNN Money, September 22nd 2004

[2] “Tim Farron – Political Positions – LGBT” Wikipedia

[3] “Tim Farron says he regrets saying gay sex is not a sin” Guardian, January 10th 2018

[4] “Soaring numbers of junior doctors leave NHS training after their first two years” Mirror, February 3rd 2017

2 Replies to “How Bad Can It Get?”

  1. Re Oprah ~ The only thing on this front to be thankful for, is that Primary voting day, for the General in November 2020, is a long way away. I hope that by then (if I make it that far) this flippin’ Oprah for Prez lark will have “gone with the wind”. It could be, though, that some even more crazy choice will be in full flight, being dangled before our dazed eyes by then.

    I’m not up to date of British political goings on, so will just read along and sigh on that front.

    Re chin adornment for males – I quite like a neatly trimmed beard, but this unkempt look is, well, uncouth – a bit loutish. Hardly any guy can get away with it, and if one did, that guy would need to be ultra-charismatic. Notably none of your examples comes near, or anywhere at all within that area, region, continent, world, planet… or universe! 🙂

  2. Twilight – re Oprah, I agree – but it could be Zuckerberg (the age limit is 35, but he’s 33 now so might just squeeze by), or one of the other tech multi-billionaires, or possibly an artificial intelligence robot they’ve created. Or, Chelsea Manning – I’ve believe she’s hoping to stand for Congress in Maryland. Think of the most unlikely person and wager every penny you have on them. It should be a safe bet!

    As for the U.K., it’s difficult to know which has the worst government right now, the U.S. or the Brits.

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