The “Booze and Women” News, 4 December 2017

By Michelle Railey

Six Quotes A’Swimming:

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). (Des Moines Register, Twitter)

“You complain about process when you’re losing…” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). (Wall Street Journal; New York Times)

“If [Michael] Flynn told [Vice President Mike] Pence anything about his Russia contacts and Pence then lied to America to cover it up, I hope it goes without saying neither Congress nor America will stand for Pence assuming the presidency. This is *that* big.” Seth Abramson (Twitter)

“The biggest understated issue swirling around all this is not that members of Trump World have committed illegal acts revolving around Russia. It’s that the Russians know they did and have the compromising proof to use as ongoing leverage.” Matt Glassman (Twitter)

“There will be presidents who are neither criminals nor mental incompetents but who are wrong for the role, who pose a danger to the country and the world. It is a principle that sounds radical until you say it, at which point it sounds obvious: Being extremely bad at the job of president of the United States should be enough to get you fired.” Ezra Klein (Vox)

“No man says he’s been mugged and is immediately asked what he was wearing.” Jennifer Wright (Harper’s Bazaar)


Five Golden Numbers:

3: Women in California are three times less likely to die giving birth than women anywhere else in the U.S. The maternal death rate in this country has doubled over the past thirty years. (Vox, The Impact)

14: According to a new Gallup poll, just “37% of people identify as Republicans or leaning toward the Republican Party, compared with 44% who identify as either leaning toward the Democratic Party or as solid Democrats. Another 14% say they are independents and don’t lean to either party.” (CNN; Gallup)

>500: “The number of waivers issued for marijuana use among [U.S. Army] recruits was more than 500 in 2017, up from 191 in 2016 and zero three years ago. In total, almost 69,000 people joined the Army this year, and about. 8,000 needed a waiver of some kind to sign up.” (Significant Digits, FiveThirtyEight, PBS)

34,558.65: The estimated price to purchase all 12 gifts named in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” this year. This shows an increase in cost of only 0.6% compared to the sticker price to purchase the same in 2016, a smaller increase than that in the Consumer Price Index. (USA Today)

69 Billion: CVS, if allowed, will be buying health insurer Aetna for a price of $69 billion. CVS has more than 9,700 pharmacies and 1,100 Minute Clinics. Aetna currently provides coverage to around 23 million Americans. (CNN)


Four Reading Birds: How to Deal with Panic Attacks (NHS, UK);  The Case for Normalizing Impeachment (Vox); Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s Former Leader, Killed in Sanaa (BBC News); What Would Happen if We Just Gave People Money? (FiveThirtyEight)


An Apology in a Pear Tree (Sort of):

So, earlier today, I had my hair on fire over the Johnson Amendment. The Senate’s tax bill was passed so quickly and so marked up that there’s been some confusion as to what’s actually in it. (The senators themselves didn’t get to read it before the vote.) The House’s version of the bill included a repeal of the Johnson Amendment and some news organizations accidentally stated it was also in the Senate version which passed late Friday night. Turns out, that’s not true. (See Non Profit Quarterly’s article here.)

So I apologize to my Twitter followers and to the Republican senator from Indiana, Todd Young.

I do not apologize for asking these questions. I still believe they need answered, especially from Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN-9), who voted in favor of the House bill. In light of the reconciliation process now happening on the tax bill, I would like to know Todd Young’s (R-IN) position on the issue as well.

That being said, I truly am sorry for the outrage at something that wasn’t quite true. At this time, anyway.


Today’s Musical Interlude Should be The Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s Not:


As ever, the use of quotes and citations does not necessarily imply endorsement. Have comments? We’d love to hear from you here at Amos. You can email us at



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