+
upworthy
More

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, actual swamp-drainer, blasts what Congress pays for healthcare.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bringing a refreshing perspective rarely seen on Capitol Hill.

Serving in Congress is not a poor person's—or even a middle-class person's—game. According to the income and asset reports Senators and Representatives are required to submit, the median wealth of a U.S. Senator is $3.2 million and the median wealth of a U.S. Representative is $900,000. That doesn't include the value of their residence, which for most Americans, is the most valuable asset they hold.

So yeah. Congress is quite literally a bunch of rich people.


Then along comes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (sometimes known as AOC), a 29-year-old former waitress from the Bronx, who will become the youngest woman to serve in Congress when she is sworn in in January. She's a bright, cum laude graduate of Boston University, with a degree in International Relations and and minor in Economics. She's also a science wiz, and even has an asteroid named after her for microbiology research she did in high school.

She's no slouch. But she has lived as most of us do, and has faced the same economic choices and constraints those who don't have anywhere near a million dollars live with.

AOC tweeted about how much less she'll pay for healthcare in Congress than she did as a waitress, and it hit a nerve.

Healthcare is a huge concern for many Americans. We pay more for healthcare than any other industrialized nation—by a lot—and it's not guaranteed. We live in a country where people go bankrupt because they can't afford their medical bills, while every other developed nation has figured out how to provide universal healthcare to their citizens.

But the people who make the decisions about healthcare are the ones least likely to be affected by our problematic policies—a point Ocasio-Cortez made clear in a tweet.

"In my on-boarding in Congress, I get to pick my insurance plan," she wrote.

"As a waitress, I had to pay more than TWICE what I'd pay as a member of Congress. It's frustrating that Congressmembers would deny other people affordability that they themselves enjoy. Time for #MedicareForAll."

She also pointed out the ridiculousness of choosing plans and the solution that 70% of Americans support.

Ocasio-Cortez was all of us when she explained that she was "pretty sure one [of] Dante's Circles of Hell includes scrolling through a mirror-hall of agonizingly similar healthcare plans like 'UHG Choice Master HMO 1800' vs. 'RedGo Option Plus EPO 2000.' I don't know one normal person in this country that actually enjoys open enrollment."

She's so right. Healthcare is unnecessarily complicated and open enrollment often feels like it's designed to make smart people feel stupid.  

She went on to explain the simple truth that most Americans want what literally every other country in the developed world has.

"People don't want overly complicated choice between pricey, low-quality plans. We want an affordable solution that covers our needs, like the rest of the modern world.

Medicare for All:

- Single-payer system

- Covers physical, mental, & dental care

- 0 due *at point of service*"

Amen. With 70% of Americans now in support of a Medicare-for-all healthcare model, Congress has a duty to figure out how to make it happen.  

BTW, this is what "draining the swamp" actually looks like.

As a reminder, the average Congress member gets paid $174,000 a year. Granted, Washington, D.C. is an expensive place to live. But that's a far cry from a waitress' salary, and New York isn't exactly known for low cost of living. An individual making $174,000 is already well-off financially, so adding on a low-cost healthcare plan does nothing to help our legislators understand the struggles so many Americans face when it comes to paying for healthcare.

It's a bit reminiscent of billionaire Warren Buffett pointing out that he payed a lower tax rate than his secretary. When millionaires and billionaires are provided huge tax breaks, corporations are given welfare, and Congressmembers are handed affordable healthcare, how are the wealthy supposed to relate to middle- and lower-income Americans' economic woes? How can they possibly understand what a financial burden our healthcare system really is on the average American citizen?

The answer appears to be electing people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an average American who is smart and determined and willing to speak truth to power. This is what electing younger, more down-to-earth, middle class or working class Americans who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth means. This is what "draining the swamp" actually looks like.

Our healthcare system is sitting at the bottom of that swamp, and the more legislators we elect who understand that, the sooner we'll catch up to the rest of the modern world in guaranteeing affordable healthcare for our citizens.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.


The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.

The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.

The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.

They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.

“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

american kennel club, french bulldog, most popular dog

An adorable French Bulldog

via Pixabay

French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.

Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French Bulldogs

2 Labrador Retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 German Shepherd Dogs

5 Poodles

6 Bulldogs

7 Rottweilers

8 Beagles

9 Dachshunds

10 German Shorthaired Pointers


This article originally appeared on 03.17.23

Family

Dad shares family's confusion when his young son demanded 'people chicken' for dinner

It took them awhile to figure it out, but once you see it, you can't unsee it.

"People chicken" sounds…disturbing

One of the best parts of having kids is having a full-time, front row seat to the way they interpret and use language as they grow. There's the classic mispronunciations of "spaghetti," of course, but there are also one-of-a-kind terms they coin based on their limited vocabulary and the unique way they look at the world.

Kids say the darnedest things, and as Dillon White shared on Instagram, one of those darned things could be a young child requesting "people chicken" for dinner. Not just requesting, but demanding: "I WANT PEOPLE CHICKEN!!"

People chicken. There are only so many ways to interpret that, all of which could land you on the FBI's radar.

Of course, it was a small child saying this, so there had to be an explanation.

White explained that he and his wife tried everything to get their kiddo to clarify what he meant by "people chicken," including having him draw a picture of what he was wanting. Unfortunately, the stick figure person he drew did not help relieve any concerns that their child might be a cannibal.

Finally, White's 7-year-old daughter came up with a solution that revealed what her younger brother wanted. It was not, in fact, chicken made out of people. Phew.

Watch:

It's true. Once you see Colonel Sanders' bow tie as a stick figure, you can't unsee it.

Even KFC's official account responded to the video, writing, "You see it once, and you can't unsee it." HA.

White was not alone in his kid seeing the stick figure Col. Sanders.

"The SAME thing (conversation) happened to us 22 years ago!! My toddler was practically throwing himself trying to make us understand that he wanted 'Old Man Chicken'!!!!!! And yup, it was KFC he was asking for. We have referred to it as ‘Old Man Chicken’ all these years now 😂!!" shared on commenter.

"About halfway through we figured out what he was talking about but that’s only because my kids have been saying for years that the KFC man is a stick figure with a really big head. Tell Mason he’s not the only kid who thought that.Lol 😂😂😂" shared another.

"I think I’ve been working with children too long because the instant you said people chicken my brain said 'that’s kfc,' 😂 wrote another.

Other people chimed in to share their kids' hilarious naming conventions for chicken places:

"My son was in tears for 'Pinky Toe.' Turns out he thought the Chick-fil-A emblem was a foot 😂," wrote one parent.

"Lol. My daughter refers to Chick-fil-A as 'foot' because their logo actually reserved a footprint. So interesting thinking of the different ways that children see things that we adults don't. It's amazing!" shared another.

"My kids call Buffalo Wild Wings 'stinky skunks' because from a distance, the logo looks like a skunk to them. We went through a similar very confusing moment to figure that one out as you can imagine, 🤦♀️🤣" shared another.

White is right. We should let kids name everything. They're so much better at it than adults are.

You can follow Dillon White on Instagram here and TikTok here.


This article originally appeared on 2.7.24

Island School Class, circa 1970s.

Parents, do you think your child would be able to survive if they were transported back to the '70s or '80s? Could they live at a time before the digital revolution put a huge chunk of our lives online?

These days, everyone has a phone in their pocket, but before then, if you were in public and needed to call someone, you used a pay phone. Can you remember the last time you stuck 50 cents into one and grabbed the grubby handset?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, roughly 100,000 pay phones remain in the U.S., down from 2 million in 1999.

Do you think a 10-year-old kid would have any idea how to use a payphone in 2022? Would they be able to use a Thomas Guide map to find out how to get somewhere? If they stepped into a time warp and wound up in 1975, could they throw a Led Zeppelin album on the record player at a party?


Another big difference between now and life in the '70s and '80s has been public attitudes toward smoking cigarettes. In 1965, 42.4% of Americans smoked and now, it’s just 12.5%. This sea change in public opinion about smoking means there are fewer places where smoking is deemed acceptable.

But in the early '80s, you could smoke on a bus, on a plane, in a movie theater, in restaurants, in the classroom and even in hospitals. How would a child of today react if their third grade teacher lit up a heater in the middle of math class?

Dan Wuori, senior director of early learning at the Hunt Institute, tweeted that his high school had a smoking area “for the kids.” He then asked his followers to share “something you experienced as a kid that would blow your children’s minds.”


A lot of folks responded with stories of how ubiquitous smoking was when they were in school. While others explained that life was perilous for a kid, whether it was the school playground equipment or questionable car seats.

Here are a few responses that’ll show today’s kids just how crazy life used to be in the '70s and '80s.

First of all, let’s talk about smoking.

Want to call someone? Need to get picked up from baseball practice? You can’t text mom or dad, you’ll have to grab a quarter and use a pay phone.

People had little regard for their kids’ safety or health.

You could buy a soda in school.

Things were a lot different before the internet.

Remember pen pals?

A lot of people bemoan the fact that the children of today aren’t as tough as they were a few decades back. But that’s probably because the parents of today are better attuned to their kids’ needs so they don't have to cheat death to make it through the day.

But just imagine how easy parenting would be if all you had to do was throw your kids a bag of Doritos and a Coke for lunch and you never worried about strapping them into a car seat?


This article originally appeared on 06.08.22

Representative image from Canva

This Mother's Day, give mom what she really wants—a break.

Mother’s Day is upon us again. And for many, that means trying to pick the perfect gift that makes mom feel special. But what exactly is that gift? For many well-intentioned partners, the answer to this question feels elusive.

However, according to mom Madison Barbosa, all moms only really want one thing. And it’s not something you’ll find in a gift guide.

In a video posted to her TikTok, Barbosa jokingly points a figure at the camera while saying, Mother’s Day is coming. I’m looking at you. Yeah I’m looking at you…what are you gonna do for her? I’m gonna tell you what to do.”


According to Barbosa, moms aren't looking for a break away from their family. What she wants is a day where she can “turn her brain off. Where she doesn't have to have the mental load for one day. Take off the mental load for one day.”

What exactly does this look like? Barbosa breaks it down, step by step.

“Here's what you're gonna do. She's gonna wake up. You're not gonna say, ‘What do you want to do today? We can do anything you want.’ Nope, nope, no. You're gonna plan something. Whether that's going to the zoo, going to the park, going for a walk, you're gonna plan something that she does not have to think twice about. Not gonna ask her what she wants to eat. You're gonna plan that shit too. Don't ask her any questions.”

And in case there’s any confusion, packaging is most definitely part of this planning process. Including the diaper bag.

“When she goes to pack up the diaper bag, she gets ready, she gets packed the diaper bag. It's already packed. Do you understand? It's already packed. Exactly as she would do it. Exactly. You better, you better pack that diaper bag the night before. You wake up an hour before her, and you pack that diaper bag. Make sure all the shit's in there. All you need to do is let her shut her brain off,” she said.

Lastly, Barbosa says that in addition to the glorious day of brainlessness, moms do enjoy physical gifts like flowers and thoughtful cards, contrast to what some might say. Just make sure the message on the cards is “thoughtful.” And, as one viewer pointed out, make sure the flowers are arranged in a vase. Again, mental load.

Watch below. Warning: there are a few f-bombs thrown in for dramatic flair.

@madison_barbosa yall need me to send this to your husbands? no joke ill do it 🤟🏻 #mothersday #relatablemomcontent #momhumor #momminmads #unfilteredmom ♬ original sound - Madison Barbosa

Barbosa’s video, which quickly racked up over 115,000 views, left many moms nodding in agreement.

“I just want a cinnamon roll and not to be asked questions,” one chimed.

Another added, Sending this to my husband NOW!!! Bc this is EXACTLY what I want!”

Still, there wasn’t unanimous agreement on the “being with family” portion of Barbosa’s suggestions.

“Speak for yourself,” one mom wrote. “I would love a day by myself.”

This could have to do with what chapter of motherhood each woman is in. Upworthy previously learned that moms of younger children are the ones who typically want a solo day, while moms of adult children tend to crave the bonding time. And teen/tween moms just want to be appreciated.

Honestly, now matter what stage these mothers are in, is any of that too much to ask? We think not.

Representative Image from Canva

There's no way they didn't understand what she was saying.

Okay, so maybe dogs don’t understand everything we tell them exactly as a human would. But is that gonna stop us from having full blown conversations with them? Of course not. And the times they do seem to comprehend what’s being communicated—pure comedy.

Take this dog mom’s hilarious pre-grooming pep talk with Shih-Tzus Branston, Pickle and Gizmo. She minced no words telling them exactly how this trip was gonna go. And the message seemed to be received.

Branston (the troublemaker, apparently) got a firm warning of what not to do, including telling white lies about his upbringing.

“I don’t need you running in telling the first dog you see that this is what this is what your hair used to look like when you lived in the Bronx running up and down the block, cause I know for a fact, Branston, that you live in a rural village,” she tells him.

Viewers, however, seemed on board with Branston’s Bronx-affiliation, even if it was a little white lie. One person joked, “don’t be mad at the treats that I got, I’m still Branny from the block.”

In the video, Branston is also instructed to not tell everyone that he “identifies as a BUll Mastiff,” which gets the most adorable look of disappointment for wee little Branston.

As for Gizmo and Pickle—mom’s best advice is to pretend like they don’t know Branston.

Perhaps the best part is mom’s British accent, which makes the entire clip feel like something pulled straight outta “Ted Lasso.” That, or the complete shock the Shih-tzu trio has at being informed of their weight class.

Watch:

@branstonandpickle01 Your NOT from the Bronx and you never ran up and down the block!! #dogsoftiktok #peptalktoyourdog #branstonwehavearrived #shihtzusoftiktok #peptalkbranston #funnydogvideos #funnyvideos #nyc #bronx #funny #dogs #dogtok ♬ original sound - Branston,Pickle&Gizmo

Perhaps Branston, Pickle, and Gizmo’s mom isn’t totally off-base by giving them a talking to. According to the website allshihtzu.com, this breed had a “unique intelligence,” which gets best demonstrated by their attuned, empathic connection to their human families. Meaning that while they might not have the same kind of smarts as border collies or other herding dogs, their super power is picking up social cues.

And, again, even if they had no earthly idea what their mom was saying, odds are she’d still be talking to them anyway. Why? Because pets are our babies. And baby talk is fun.jk