Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dialysis Clinics
May 17, 2017 1:17 AM - Season 4, Episode 12 - Subscribe

New events worthy of mention:
  • Trump again. The fallout from his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and the many problematic things about it.
  • Congressfolk's continued denial over the situation mentioned above as every functioning adult in the nation gets steadily angrier about their refusal to do anything about it. "When you've got the Presidential equivalent of a five-year-old shitting on the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, at some point you stop blaming the five-year-old and you start blaming the people who are not stopping him."
  • Back to New Zealand's ruling National Party's appropriation of Eminem music. New Zealand PM Bill English heard about Last Week's Last Week Tonight mention of the court case and said, "some of the stuff I've seen he does isn't very funny." LWT, in retaliation, found an actual Facebook post Bill English made, with pictures: "Cooked dinner for the family last night - like if you agree with tinned spaghetti on pizza!"
  • And Now: A Series of Terrible Pizzas That New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English Would Probably Enjoy
  • Main Story: Kidney dialysis clinics, particularly those operated by DaVita, and the dangerous extents many go through to save costs, like rushing patients through dialysis, and the deeply terrible methods some employ to keep customers using their services and not seek out life-saving transplants. DaVita has had to settle nearly a billion dollars to settle lawsuits over the past five years, while their CEO compares his business (willingly!) to Taco Bell. LWT offers a commercial for Taco Bell stating how it's not a proper business model for dialysis clinics. YouTube (24m)

The list of pizzas Bill English would probably enjoy:
  • A pizza topped with Skittles, baking soda and condoms.
  • A pizza topped with Altoids and horse laxatives, and you don't know which is which, so good luck with that.
  • A pizza made by a pure-bred Golden Retriever.
  • A pizza topped with blueberries, onions, and a printed-out copy of the Wikipedia entry for "Pizza."
  • A pizza topped with 25 Blu-Rays of 8 Mile, because Fuck You.
The words that, like "President Trump," don't sound well together: VISCOUS DISCHARGE and MOIST STOCKINGS.

The hashtag John Oliver suggested about tweeting your decision to donate organs is #WHENIDIEPLEASETAKEMYKIDNEYS.

LWT suggests that, should you decide to donate your organs upon death, that you tell your loved ones about your decision. If you decide to donate a kidney while still alive, you can get information on doing that at

F.37: "Textum Non Sufficiem," MOTHER'S DAY
posted by JHarris (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
LWT suggests that, should you decide to donate your organs upon death, that you tell your loved ones about your decision.

Even better, fill out an organ donor card and put it in your living will (which you should also have -- it's more important than your estate will). Document it and the authorities will act in strict accordance with your wishes, as opposed to your next of kin, who may set aside your wishes and act on their own emotions.

Oliver's takedown of Bill English was up to his usual hilarious standard. I'd be very, very afraid of making fun of John Oliver here or elsewhere online if I didn't understand that he doesn't punch down. He's going to town on the Prime Minister of New Zealand, not zeroing in on a random Twitter user.
posted by orange swan at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

I saved the audio from that documentary because I there's sampling value in it. A lot.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:22 AM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

(also, I'm fairly ambivalent towards pineapple in pizza, but spaghetti on pizza is an abomination that might have been responsible for moving this universe into the worst timeline)
posted by lmfsilva at 7:24 AM on May 17, 2017

How has the entire government of New Zealand not already adopted a DADT policy on John Oliver jabs?
posted by Etrigan at 7:54 AM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd be very, very afraid of making fun of John Oliver here or elsewhere online if I didn't understand that he doesn't punch down. He's going to town on the Prime Minister of New Zealand, not zeroing in on a random Twitter user.

That is a comfort, since I always find it cringe-worthy when he's mocking stuff that's really pretty harmless. I have to remind myself that in cases like this they pretty much asked for it, and not just by being a public figure.

Though even the corniest, most amateur phone exercise video looks dignified and even laudable next to this.

Also glad to see the return of the Fake Paws. (Well, one of them.)

The dialysis story's been big news in Denver, since DaVita's based here. Their office building is amazing and I kinda wish I worked there, because they have a super-swank cafeteria (with apparently the best compost and recycling compliance in the area by a huge margin, since they actually have people separate your trash for you so you don't screw it up out of laziness or ignorance.) That said, not sure I could cope with the musketeer thing, or the fact that the business is clearly a racket if they can afford that kind of stuff while paying out that kind of settlement money.
posted by asperity at 9:42 AM on May 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Nixon thing always makes me marvel. Amazing to think that Nixon was a more circumspect, benevolent, and progressive politician when it comes to health care than any other republican currently in office. There's no way a bill like that would get passed today.
posted by mochapickle at 10:48 AM on May 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Tricky Dick understood a country is only as healthy as the population is. The EPA, cancer research, free dialysis, what would be called now Nixoncare likely puts him near the top of progressive presidents when it comes to healthcare.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's not really free dialysis, though. Medicare covers 80% of Part B, and clinic visits are considered to be doctor visits under Part B, so patients are still on the hook for 20%. Many dialysis patients are in a state of spend down until they hit Medicaid thresholds.

It's still excellent to have Medicare available, though.
posted by mochapickle at 12:14 PM on May 17, 2017

John Oliver's attempt at a Canadian accent nearly made blood drip from my ears.
posted by orange swan at 3:23 PM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'll forgive the bad Canadian accent because of how much I love his New Zealand pronunciation of "Eminem".
posted by Gary at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

So, tinned spaghetti is basically tomato sauce with noodles in it. Not exactly "pizza sauce" but would do in a pinch. Other than that it's pineapple and ham, which is an Hawaiian pizza. Plenty of cheese seems to be evident. I think it would make a fairly good pizza to be honest, though it would depend a lot on what kind of tinned spaghetti was used, as some of them are a little too sweet for my liking. The noodles turn to goop and disperse through the sauce as soon as you look at them so I doubt they would be detectable at all. 3/10 low-grade patter.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:19 PM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah its tasty, if definitely on the kids party food end of the spectrum.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:00 AM on May 21, 2017

The Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover published a long article on Kent Thiry and DaVita today (paywalled).

I hadn't realized he's pretty much responsible for Colorado's soon-to-be-open primary elections, spending more than $1 million on the campaigns last year. I'm not sure what to make of that, but it'll be interesting to see how open primaries affect Colorado politics.

When asked about whether he would run for governor, Thiry declined to answer. He did say, however, that after the experience of 2016, he hopes to step up his activism in a number of areas.

Huh. Kind of a shame he's ditched the musketeer outfit.
posted by asperity at 3:04 PM on May 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Update: Kent Thiry announced today that he won't be running for governor of Colorado next year.
posted by asperity at 3:53 PM on July 24, 2017

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