Bubbly Cocktails to Sip While Rush Limbaugh Fizzles

Raise a glass to Sandra Fluke—or drink our custom cocktails to the demise of Rush's career.

Welcome to Buy You a Drink, where GOOD’s resident mixologist selects the libations to pair with each week’s newsmakers. This week: cocktails perfumed by the sweet smell of schadenfreude.

The past 10 days of media scandal have provided me the rare and exciting opportunity to define the boundaries of my personal moral code. As it turns out, I’m fundamentally opposed to dancing on the graves of the recently deceased—even if the deceased were scum-sucking bottom feeders like Andrew Breitbart and you swear the grave-dancing is an homage to scum-suckery itself. But when it comes to living assholes, I’m all in favor of a little schadenfreude. And if the health of Rush Limbaugh’s radio program really is in jeopardy, then pardon me while I lace up my dancing shoes.

Don’t get me wrong— I try to be a generous person who always sees the best in others. But I make an exception for social toxins who make their careers out of loudly refusing to see the best in anyone . If the advertiser exodus over Limbaugh’s bullying of Sandra Fluke continues, I won’t feel guilty about mixing a cocktail and pulling up a seat.

And I do expect it to continue, unless Rush sincerely retracts his appalling remarks suggesting that the 99 percent of American women who have used birth control are “sluts” and “prostitutes.” It’s a rare pleasure to see the gears of capitalism turning to discourage someone from being such an asshole. I can’t wait for Rush to abandon his free-market dogmatism just long enough to wail that he’s the victim of some kind of conspiracy instigated by the Liberal Media. It’s also fun to imagine women stopping Rush on the street to explain how birth control pills work (“wait – so it’s not like Viagra? You take the same number of pills no matter how often you have sex?”), or simply hurling rotten fruit at him from across the public square.

Of course, nothing livens up a long day of laughter at the misery of others like a stiff drink.

The Call: Gaseous Wines for a Gasbag

Now that our New Year’s hangovers and resolutions have dissolved, perhaps it’s time to bring Champagne back into our lives. After all, the freude in schadenfreude means “joy,” and no alcohol is more closely associated with joyful celebrations than our old pal champers. To amplify the joy of watching a bigoted broadcasting legend crash and burn, I started with a classic that I often enjoy with a weekend hangover brunch.

Death in the Afternoon

¼- ½ oz. absinthe or pastis (pretty much anything works, but St. George Absinthe is divine)
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Pour absinthe into a chilled flute. Top with bubbly.

Good absinthe is bracing, but rich and luxurious, too. It will both round out the flavors of sparkling wine and anchor them to the earth like a system of roots. Mixing up a Death in the Afternoon signals that you’re celebrating the scorn heaped on Rush while standing with the very grounded Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke could not have expected this ordeal when she went to Capitol Hill, yet she has remained calm and professional throughout. While we’re all drinking, let’s raise a glass to her.

But what if you want something a little more intense? Maybe you’re still amazed that Rush’s career wasn’t crushed by the revelation of his pharmaceutical predilection, and the monumental hypocrisy it exposed. Perhaps you’d like to celebrate his overdue tribulations by taking your booze with the dedication Rush applied to his oxycontin habit. For you, I present a DitA variant I named for the personification of schadenfreude, Simpsons legend Nelson “Ha Ha!” Muntz:

The Nelson Muntz

½ - ¾ oz. Lemon Hart 151 rum
¼ oz. cherry brandy (I used Detting Reserve)
¼ oz. absinthe or pastis (I used 100 proof Herbsaint)
¼ oz. Cointreau
¼ tsp. powdered sugar
Squeeze lemon juice
Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Add all ingredients except bubbly to a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes and shake briskly, for just long enough to dissolve the sugar. Strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with bubbly.

The Nelson Muntz is a kitchen-sink kind of drink, packing enough hooch to leave lighter drinkers in no shape to mock anyone’s misfortune but their own. I can personally vouch for the importance of proceeding with caution. After just a couple Muntzes, I started to hallucinate an army of semi-literate misogynists parroting Rush’s paleolithic stance on contraception.

Wait—those dudes were real? Maybe it’s not time to pop the bubbly just yet.

My favorite sponsor withdrawal to date: the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pulled ads from their own flagship station, just to distance themselves from Rush. Send your favorite, or your ideas for a future column, to


Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.