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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Big Mad: Muffins for Medical Care, Missouri Lawmakers Back(stab) the Blue and Anti-Readers Unite

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 6:20 AM

click to enlarge State Representative Jered Taylor co-sponsored the Second Amendment Preservation Act, leaving law enforcement to sort it out. - SCREENSHOT CBS/60 MINUTES
  • SCREENSHOT CBS/60 MINUTES
  • State Representative Jered Taylor co-sponsored the Second Amendment Preservation Act, leaving law enforcement to sort it out.

Welcome back to the Big Mad, the RFT's weekly roundup of righteous rage! Because we know your time is short and your anger is hot:

Insure This: Any time you open your social media — and usually within a few seconds of aimlessly scrolling — there's a GoFundMe to pay for someone's medical bills after they've fallen ill or been in a serious accident. Just this week, a little girl had to have her own bake sale to help cover the cost of treating her chronic, painful disease because her insurance refused to pay. She's ten years old, trying to help her parents pay her medical bills because the treatment is too expensive. How fucking wild is that? Imagine what you were doing at ten years old — playing with your toys, trying to convince your parents to let you stay out past when the street lights coming on — and now picture Lyla McCarty's reality: Most days in pain, missing out on being a kid and blocked from getting treatment for the thing causing her pain because an insurance company told her no. It's not just a failure of the insurance company, but a failure of American health care as a whole. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Aisha Sultan reported that the insurance company, United Health, wouldn't even tell the McCartys why they were declining to cover Lyla's care. How broken is a system that allows a little girl (or anyone, for that matter) to suffer without even offering a reason why she was denied coverage? The fact of the matter is Lyla won't have a normal childhood because of a health-care system that only cares about money, not the patients it's supposed to serve. And that's just bonkers to us.

None in the Chamber: Missouri's love for blind-fire legislation is hampering rural law enforcement from investigating violent gun crimes, and yet, wouldn't you know it, the Republican lawmakers behind the state's new Second Amendment Preservation Act know much better than their badge-wearing critics. Indeed, as featured in the latest episode of news program 60 Minutes, the work of pursuing gun crimes has become stupidly fraught for Missouri police, as they risk being sued for $50,000 for involving themselves in federal gun laws. Among the voices, 60 Minutes featured Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley describing his decision to not share crime scene evidence with the U.S. Department of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives out of fear of being sued. Does he think the law is protecting criminals? "I don't think it does," Whiteley answered. "I know it does." It's not just Whiteley speaking out, but a growing number of law enforcement officials alarmed as federal agencies and prosecutors pull back from their critical roles assisting with resource-intensive cases. But if you ask the act's co-sponsors, such as Missouri state Representative Jered Taylor, these thin-skinned cops and prosecutors are just misinformed: "I think that they're getting bad information," Taylor told 60 Minutes, later adding that he is "not willing to even consider" making changes to the laws. Apparently, backing the blue doesn't require that you actually listen to them.

The Illiterati: Great news, everyone! Out-of-touch parents have taken a break from being unreasonably outraged by critical race theory and returned to the familiar fury-inducing topic of books in high school libraries. It's been a minute since they've checked in on what kids these days are reading, apparently, and they are flabbergasted by the fact that some students want to see characters that aren't straight or white. Fox 2 Now reported Lindbergh School District parents want to see books like Crank, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, All Boys Aren't Blue — a collection of essays from a Black gay man that reflect on his childhood, adolescence and college years — and the dystopian The Handmaid's Tale removed from high schools because the books are "too graphic." On cue, hard-right Missouri state Representative Adam Schnelting (always on the hunt for a good moral panic) weighed in on the debate in the Francis Howell School District, demanding the books be removed. Of course, the never-ending fake outrage poured in, questioning the school's morals and "but what about the children?!" We hate to be the ones to break it to these parents, but your teens probably see a whole lot worse on TV or even in their own lives — but you can't keep the same energy for that. Instead of, oh, actually caring about your kids' education, you'd rather just remove some books you've never read (summary in a Facebook meme doesn't count) from their schools. Maybe just take a break from all this. Teachers have endured plenty this year with the endless tirades by anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. They should be congratulated for managing to get your kids to read at all.

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