Wednesday Open Thread

So the big loser today was Joe Biden, who was cut out of the deal by Harry Reid - my Politico parody.

Open Thread.

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    They announced a deal was made (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Amiss on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 03:57:35 PM EST
    but of course not what it included or excluded, I was on BBC, dunno why, but they are a combo station with Hades children, called Fox News. So hoping it's good.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#31)
    by Amiss on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:28:41 PM EST
    Not BBC, NBC! Sorry, I do not want to besmirch the former with being associated with FOX.

    Doesn't (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:32:23 PM EST
    matter because your hades children comment was so funny. I wanted to reply to you earlier and tell you I am so sorry that you have so many medical bills. That is just horrendous. Mine we about 5K or so with insurance too and it took me two years to get them paid off.

    Here is the story (none / 0) (#33)
    by Zorba on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:33:03 PM EST
    From NPR.

    The Deal to avert a debt ceiling (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:29:54 PM EST
    crisis and end the governmental shutdown was a significant victory for the American people (and President Obama and the Democrats)--so far.   I believe this to be true despite the short-term time frames for each, and in view of the worrisome "bipartisan House-Senate Conference Committee tasked with budget recommendations by December 13 (can you say, Catfood Commission redux?)

    And, the check on incomes for ACA subsidies while initially cumbersome for the IRS, should not be an insurmountable job (It does this now for determining premiums for Medicare, for example) and it will actually strengthen the program and avoid the inevitable to discredit it with charges of fraud.  

    These factors, plus the president's and the Democrats' seeming eagerness to compromise that which does not require compromise may well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Never-the-less, the Republican's political fiasco  is a critical set-back for Republican zealotry that is rooted in religious extremism.  Anarchism grounded in fanatical notions of punishment for a country that it sees as on an amoral track was dealt a blow.  

     The religious extremism intent on bringing  the country to its knees appears to belong not only to the end-times of Michele Bachman, or the fundamentalism in Ted Cruz's family background, or his sidekick, Mike Lee's Mormonism, but also, the political activism of the Catholic bishops who pushed Congress to use the CR to achieve changes to Obamacare that it had not theologically warmed to.

    Your analysis, KeysDan, hits the essence (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by christinep on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:44:06 PM EST
    I would add: There has been an undeniable personal animus coming from the TeaPots toward President Obama that is often accompanied (as pictures evidence from the so-called rally in DC this weekend with Cruz and Palin) by confederate flags.  Maybe this is the final gasp of the Repub "Southern Strategy" and the racism that animates it.   A volatile mix ...religious zealotry and racism.  

    Final gasp? More than likely not. (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:54:35 PM EST
    How could you doubt it? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by sj on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:28:26 PM EST
    If only we could hypnotize the world and (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:14:27 PM EST
    program the lyrics to this song into their hearts and minds.

    Ah... (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:18:33 PM EST
    I've always loved that song.

    Most transparent administration in history? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:02:13 PM EST
    Yes. Most definitely. Without a doubt.

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013
    Obama Admin Tries to Block Supreme Court Review of NSA Spying

    The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court not to hear a challenge to the National Security Agency's telephone records collection program.

    In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a nonprofit that focuses on civil liberties and privacy, filed a petition to the Court, saying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court overstepped its bounds in ordering Verizon to give the NSA all telephone communications "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls," and as such should halt this disclosure.  EPIC's petition marked the first NSA challenge brought to the Supreme Court; other challenges to NSA surveillance brought by civil liberties groups have targeted a lower court.
    On Monday, the Solicitor General filed a brief in response to EPIC's petition, urging the Court not to hear the case, saying it lacked jurisdiction.

    In all fairness to obama maybe it's not his fault. Maybe he's just incompetent, and Solicitor General Donald (Don) B. Verrilli is acting on his own and obama, like Sgt. Shultz, "knows nothing".

    Or maybe it's just that obama hasn't got Scalia, Thomas, and Alito 100% onside yet. Or the other way around.

    These things take time to move forward, incrementally, of course. It's a hard job, bein' transparent. Cut the guy some slack, fer chrissakes. It would be way worse if a republican admin did this. Awful.

    Seems like our President deserves kudos today. (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:56:17 PM EST
    You'd think (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:22:33 PM EST
    Boehner and the boys would be falling all over themselves by now gushing with praise. Go figure.

    Boehner's getting very, very drunk right now. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:42:46 PM EST
    The ironic thing is (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:12:52 PM EST
    If he decides he likes breaking the Hastert rule, he could get some very conservative things done with Obama, Blue Dog Dems and the less wingnutty of his own caucus. Except in do or die debt ceiling and budget stuff, I prefer stalemate to whatever that unholy alliance could dream up.

    I know, right? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:04:31 PM EST
    Can't blame him I guess. obama's so far right he's making them look bad. Even Sensenbrenner wants to cut the rug out from under obama's spying.

    Lucky for Boehner (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:40:40 PM EST
    he presides over a a buch of folks who seem emotionally and intellectually incapable of any thought other than that Obama's this secret militant with a Malcom X-ish name who wants to give away welfare and food stamps to any undeserving non-caucasian who signs up for them.

    The imbecile my son works for just held a meeting the other day in which he described the ACA as being about "people who won't work getting their healthcare paid for by people who do work"..



    A victory is a loss, a loss is a victory... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by unitron on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:52:21 PM EST
    ...I don't really want the crazy people on the right to destroy the economy, but by saving them from themselves at the last minute, we don't have actual proof that doing things their way would have brought disaster down upon us to show Joe Average Voter that these people shouldn't have been elected before and should never be elected again.

    How long until the next time they say "Nice little economy you've got there, be a shame if anything happened to it"?

    87 Yes votes from House GOP Reps (5.00 / 9) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:00:04 PM EST
    This could have been handled 16 days ago and saved the country lots and lots of money.

    Standard & Poors says the shutdown pulled $24 billion out of the economy.

    I was thinking the same (5.00 / 7) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:17:39 PM EST
    thing. All Boehner had to do was put it up for a stinking vote. Peter King had said a while back the votes were there with D & R together.

    Exactly. That is what the talking point should be (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:52:52 AM EST
    Florida (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by desertswine on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 11:28:51 PM EST
    executes a man using an untested drug.
    On Tuesday, a convicted murderer named William Happ was strapped to a gurney in the death chamber of the Florida State Prison and executed via lethal injection. Happ was given a three-drug cocktail that included midazolam hydrochloride, a fast-acting sedative that had never before been used in capital punishment. Many observers worried that the untested midazolam might wear off before the other drugs took effect, thus subjecting Happ to excruciating pain. Sure enough, the Associated Press reported that Happ apparently "remained conscious longer and made more body movements after losing consciousness than other people executed recently by lethal injection under the old formula."

    I don't even know what to say about this horror.

    I have seen the old electric chair (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Amiss on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:57:48 PM EST
    at Raiford.
    It is hard for me to picture a death more horrid than the electrocutions down here, brings to mind the movie "The Green Mile".

    "Barefoot mice" (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 11:52:39 PM EST
    Shoeless Mexico Indian kids win at basketball

    MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A team of Trique Indian boys swept through a youth basketball tournament despite their generally short stature and the fact that most play barefoot, earning acclaim in Mexico and abroad.

    The team from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca won all six of its games to become this year's champions at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held recently in Argentina.

    Other teams in the tournament dubbed the boys the "the barefoot mice from Mexico" because they are smaller than the other competitors, said Ernesto Merino, one of the team's coaches and a Trique Indian. He said they compensate for their short stature with "strength, speed and resistance." link

    Great stuff... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:47:27 AM EST
    Thanks for that one MO.

    The bare feet reminds me of the greatest ultra-long distance runners in the world, the Tarahumara tribe of the Sierra Madre, who run barefoot or with simple sandals made of old Goodyears with a belly full of corn beer.  To whom a marathon is far too short a distance.


    Abebe Bikila (none / 0) (#70)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:55:47 AM EST
    the Ethiopian Olympic marathon gold medalist used to run barefoot.

    Googling around about the... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:03:59 AM EST
    Tarahumara seems to indicate it is the best way to run to avoid common runners injuries...our problem is we baby our feet with shoes all our lives, so they don't get toughened to stand up to being bare.

    The fanciest space-age polymer running shoes can't hold a candle to bare feet when it comes to the knees, the back, etc....if your feet are tough enough to hack it.


    Born To Run (none / 0) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:22:40 AM EST
    A great book

    I first learned of them... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:50:36 AM EST
    via another interesting book..."God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre" by Richard Grant.

    True... (none / 0) (#78)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:41:44 AM EST
    ...that is why THESE are becoming the new 'it' shoes for running.  Not only does shoe cushioning actually hinder performance(not training ones feet), many injures occur because a shoe hampers the foots natural balancing abilities.  A think cushion makes one center of gravity higher which makes one less stable.

    I got a pair almost 2 years ago and they have literally transformed my feet.

    Science Daily:

    "Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques during running (36%-38% increase) that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking (20%-26% increase).

    "toe shoes" shoes are a flash in the pan. They too often do not provide the benefits their acolytes claim. I'm glad yours worked for you.

    What model (or models) are you currently using (none / 0) (#87)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    I've been bouncing between Asics DS Racers, Asics Hyperspeeds, and Saucony Kinvara.

    I've had Asics and Saucony and liked them, (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:25:08 PM EST
    lately I've settled on Mizuno, usually Wave Rider.

    Got a story for you. I needed new shoes while on a trip back east during the summer, and the only WR's they had in my size were neon yellow. I'm not at all a neon kind of guy, so it took me a while to convince myself I could wear them. Tell you what, my spirit lifts every time I lace them on. They make me want to run!


    My daughter says (none / 0) (#95)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:13:18 PM EST
    my running shoes are the only thing in my closet that aren't just white, black, blue, or grey.

    Wave Riders have too much structure for me, but my fluorescent orange and black Hyperspeeds and my ruby red and black Kinvaras might trump your single pair of neon.

    The Kinvaras came in neon. I just couldn't pull the trigger.


    They look good. (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:20:27 PM EST
    Back 20 years ago my wife didn't like how drab/boring all her running shoes were, or maybe she liked the fit of the men's model, but liked the colors of the women's model much better, so I took to painting her running shoes for her. All sorts of colors. It took me 20 years, but I now I get it!

    I Am Not a Runner... (none / 0) (#98)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:26:16 PM EST
    ...in any sense of the word, but I do a lot of hiking, and not that it matter in this conversation, but I swim often.  I mentioned the 'it' shoe because just about everyone I know who runs is using some form of fingered shoes and loves them.  It's why I bought a pair.

    The link above is the ones I have, second pair same shoe.  I tried the socks and they were a flop.  But I wear them all the time; being in dress shoes at work, my toes were starting to look like one unit all smashed together.  Slowly my toes are separating and my feet are starting to resemble what feet should look like, the base and 5 toes.  Plus that spandex like material between the toes is like heaven and it ensures that my feet and toes can breathe properly.  

    At first, when my toes were all pushed together they were really hard to put on.  Now I can slide them on almost like any other shoe, but that took a couple months.

    For the record, I tore my meniscus running, my knees just aren't built for running.  They do alright on the elliptical and hiking, so long as I keep the swelling down.


    Scott (none / 0) (#102)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:39:00 PM EST
    you're right in that highly structured running shoes keep the multitude of muscles in the foot from developing. Of course, about 20 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints and a mass of tendons and ligaments is ripe for disaster at anytime without structure. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Whatever works best for someone is definitely what to stick with. And as SUO said... definitely glad you found something that works for you.


    I have a question for you that shop a lot for that (none / 0) (#134)
    by Amiss on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:31:26 PM EST
    type of shoe or are diabetic.
    I am looking for suggestions for a a good supportive shoe that is lightweight, yet not too difficult for an ole lady to get on (my shih tzu needs to go sniff and smell and tend to business). He doesn't' have a lot of warning, as diabetes is new to him and we are still getting him regulated on his insulin.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


    Amiss, I have found that New Balance has a good (5.00 / 3) (#145)
    by caseyOR on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:59:10 PM EST
    range of options. They make their shoes on different lasts so that you can get a wider or narrower fit depending on what works best for you. And they have more or less cushioning, once again depending on what you need.

    While I am not usually a fan of velcro closures instead of laces, they really can be a good thing for people who cannot easily tie shoes or who need to get in those shoes in a hurry.

    Here is a link to the New Balance website. I am not sure where you live, but of there is a New Balance retail store near you, it could be worth your time to stop by and try on some shoes.


    Me too (none / 0) (#154)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:34:22 PM EST
    Their mule /clog type shoes are supportive enough for light dog walking . I wear them all the time for short trips outside. I need a lot of support- can't  walk barefoot comfortably at all, and I find NBs are my favorite.

    I second Casey's (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:10:37 PM EST
    recommendation of New Balance for a walking shoe. They come in different weights and levels of support which is nice.

    Here in my neck of the woods, it seems to be the shoe of choice for women (old and not so old) who need good support due to back, hip, knee or feet trouble.

    They can be pricey at the New Balance store but you can often find them for less at discount shoe stores.


    Thanks to you guys for the (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Amiss on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:54:13 PM EST
    suggestions and another suggestion to you all that wear both NB and some of the other shoes. If you have the time, you can find a store that carries a shoe you want or like, try it on to make sure you have the right size and a good fit then come online and order them. Many times for one third the cost.
    It is what many nurses do, and suggested to me.

    Since I got sick, my lol companion has been checked by several vets, including my Uncle who is retired. Every one of them say he has a sensitivity for illnesses much like a husband gets morning sickness. It is amazing how he acts and reacts towards me.

    BTW we did blind tests with several Vets, they knew nothing of my illness or history.
    Again my thanks to all for your help and many words of concern.


    That's a tough question (none / 0) (#142)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:23:05 PM EST
    As you see from the conversation with Scott, SUO, and me we all go a different direction from Scott's minimalist, to my racing flats, to SUO's cushioned support.

    Running shoes are mostly overpriced because they change annually but anything that is classified as cushioned would probably work for you (not minimalist or racing flats). Anything listed as motion control starts to get heavier and you probably wouldn't like them. You really can get some cushioned ones that feel like pillows on your feet but they take away your first born to pay for them.

    The model that has been around the longest (and keeps getting more costly with each improvement) is the Nike Pegasus. One I've found women really like running in is the Brooks Launch.

    If there is a DSW nearby where you can try on a lot of different ones (Nike, New Balance, Brooks, Mizuno, or Asics) and walk around the store testing them out without being bothered (and get a discount too) I'd probably start there.

    Here is a link to walking shoes I found. Nothing cheap there

    Hopefully someone that has a familiarity with diabetes can add some notes.


    Amiss, DSW is a great suggestion. (none / 0) (#153)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:51:24 PM EST
    I mostly run on trails and have really high arches so for me the Wave Rider is a nice combo of protection & support.

    I also use orthotics (for my high arches) which could perhaps be useful for your situation.


    They aren't really the "it" shoes (none / 0) (#85)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:04:08 PM EST
    Although initially they did receive a lot of publicity, at their peak in 2010 they made up 2% of the running shoe market. They slid back to 1% of the market as of 2012.

    As did Zola Budd (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:23:19 AM EST
    Zola Budd... (none / 0) (#152)
    by desertswine on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:38:10 PM EST
    the SA long distance runner, famous for colliding with Mary Decker in the '84 Olympics, ran barefoot.

    Perhaps more famous in the UK for the... (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by gbrbsb on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:44:57 PM EST
    controversy surrounding her skipping the SA sport's ban during apartheid as well as skipping the queue to obtain a British passport which took just 10 days instead of the usual 18 months !

    She was in the UK press in 2012 after years of anonymity, "The Guardian" writing about "Zola Budd's rise and fall in 1984" which includes their original '84 article on the "Great Coliseum Collision" (which I watched riveted to the TV), with the Mirror writing more on the Mary Decker affair under the juicy title: "I wish I'd never taken part": Zola Budd on her Olympic Games regret".

    And 1984 was when my track hero, Said Aouita (the Desert Prince), took off... to reminiscing !


    Oops... sorry (none / 0) (#157)
    by desertswine on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:46:03 PM EST
    Off with your head. (none / 0) (#158)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:03:02 AM EST
    Wonderful story! (none / 0) (#161)
    by Amiss on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:32:39 AM EST
    Thanks for such a wonderful,heartwarming story you picked up here.
    It certainly warmed my heart for such destitute children to overcome such odds.
    My heart goes out to them.

    Trial balloon or just stupid idea (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:16:15 AM EST
    Erza Klein has posted an opinion piece in which he says that during the new "Cat Food Commission" the Dems should "surrender" on new taxes and trade cuts to the "entitlement programs" and tax reform (i.e. tax cuts for corporations) for immigration reform or infrastructure spending.

    A lot of talk about the shutdown damaging the Republicans so much that there is a change of the Dems regaining the majority in the House.

    Now let's put the Erza's idea into political terms.

    Hey good people, we the Democratic Party have just cut Social Security and Medicare so that we could cut corporate taxes and pass immigration reform. That should get people rushing to vote in 2014 alright. The only problem is that they will be rushing to vote for Republicans much like they did in 2010.

    What do (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:21:07 AM EST
    people in Washington not understand? In order to make deficit reduction work you cannot let corporations get tax cuts while the general populace is going to take the hit. If you feel the general populace has to take a cut in something you need to INCREASE corporate taxes. Everybody has to take a hit in this kind of thing.

    Oh this nonsense will be sold as (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:44:38 AM EST
    the corporations taking a "hit" because while they are lowering the corporate tax rate they also are closing some tax loophole making it tax neutral. Now notice the words "tax neutral." That is a big demand of the Republicans Party that dimes to donuts the Dems will give them. Of course that tax loophole will soon become available once again or be replaced by bigger and better loopholes.

    Once again, once the Dems agree to entitlement reforms, the legislation will be passed with only the slimmest number of Republicans voting for it and the majority of the Dems voting "Yea." IOW, it will become a Dem cut to benefits and the Republicans will use it to campaign against every Dem on the ballot.


    I'm going with "stupid idea." (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:10:15 AM EST
    The stupidity exists on multiple levels, sad to say.

    Even sadder that we can't go back and undo the stupidity of agreeing to the sequester - Republicans are pretty happy that they didn't have to sacrifice it in the budget/debt ceiling debacle; given the utter insanity of what the GOP engineered, it's shocking to me - sort of - that they came out of this a little bruised, but not at all beaten.

    My question is, why are we pretending that Democrats giving in on smaller-than-Paul-Ryan's-budget numbers, not putting the sequester on the table, and reviving talks of a Grand Betrayal makes any sense?  Or that it's some kind of Grand Victory?  

    These people have no idea or grasp of what they're talking about; they refuse to see what austerity did on the other side of the Atlantic, and they have managed to convince themselves that making old, poor and sick people live on less is good for the economy.  

    At this stage, no one in their right mind would vote for most of these people - and I honestly can't think of a single Republican that has a plan or an idea that makes any sense.

    It's all just too depressing for words.


    After reading text of Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:31:54 PM EST
    speech today, I vote that Erza is outlining the direction that Obama plans to take. Surrender new taxes and trade cuts to entitlements for tax reform (i.e. cutting corporate tax rate) and immigration reform.  

    And remember, the deficit is getting smaller, not bigger.  It's going down faster than it has in the last 50 years. The challenges we have right now are not short-term deficits; it's the long-term obligations that we have around things like Medicare and Social Security.  We want to make sure those are there for future generations.

    ....So the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don't need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don't help create jobs.

    Number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.

    What about (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:43:33 PM EST
    dispensing with or cutting out the cap on Social Security contributions that we all make?  

    A friend & I were talking about the outdated cap today -- the cap that relieves the wealthiest amongst us from contribution after <what is it now> @110K.  That would be a nice "tax revision," one that could easily bring in more than any number of combo-gyrations?

    For some time, I've wondered what would happen if an organized movement/group to remove the cap formed and used the many available communication chains.  It would be hard for a number of politicians to dismiss out of hand because of the compelling simplicity of that partial remedy.  At least on the surface.  Why so little voice is given -- at least in the public square -- to that fairly straightforward one step is perplexing.  Of course, those with the $$$ could be expected to not be enamored of such a remedy, but reformers have not been shy about loudly recommending other increasing-revenue steps.  Interesting.


    Raising the cap would be fine except for (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    the fact that option is not proposed by President Obama except during brief periods when he is running for president.

    If you can, please point me to any of Obama's proposed budgets where raising the cap is included. Chained CPI is included in the last 2 or three. How about any negotiation that Obama has been in with Republicans where raising the cap is what Obama has offered? Obama has offered chained CPI as his preferred method of "reforming" Social Security in all of his negotiations.

    Little voice is given to that method because that is not the method that the president, the Republicans or the corporations and their corporate owned media wants. One method would take money out of their pockets, the chained CPI combined with "tax reform" would take the money out of our pockets and give it to them.



    If all earnings were subject to (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:33:07 PM EST
    the payroll tax and the base was retained for benefits calculations, the social security system would not only be assured solvency for 75 years, but also, it would permit increases in benefits.  And, social security benefits are, essentially, a monthly economic stimulus since most all is spent.  

    Moreover, a reasonable discussion would include a change in the formula for calculating benefits so that, as is now the case, the more the contribution, the greater the benefits.  Not as much revenue, but it would assure the necessary solvency as well as political viability.  CPI reduces benefits and weakens the program--and it will not stop there. ..a further change in eligibility age is next.


    I agree with you 100% (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 05:01:45 PM EST
    Along with being a really, really bad idea, the chained CPI does not even close the so called long term funding gap.

    Unfortunately, Obama seems to love it and he (or the masters of the universe $$$$) has been able to get enough Dems to go along with it.

    People are talking about the demise of the Republican Party. Let the Dems cut SS and Medicare, it will be the Dems not the Republicans who will be the walking dead.


    The "Master of the Universe" (5.00 / 4) (#149)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:43:50 PM EST
    in this case, is Pete Peterson.  And, Pete has bought off (aka politically convinced) a slug of politicians, from Bill Clinton to President Obama.  There is too much gloating going on with regard to the Republicans giant mis-step, and  it is unseemly  not to be a good winner.  But, their turn will come and social security will be it.  Democrats are mis-calculating the impact of cutting social programs when they should be finding ways to increase them. Their  political futures will not be unaffected by their going along with Peterson, notwithstanding mindless cheerleading.  

    Both, IMO (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sj on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:49:52 AM EST
    Trial balloon or just stupid idea

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 159 (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:31:11 AM EST
    George Clooney's best "Gravity" blooper. (link)

    Volume 158
    Volume 157

    No BART strike so far, but no contract either. Gonna be a hell commute into the city if we have to drive in. There's always CalTrain, but it's going to be India crowded if that's the only option for the peninsula folks.


    Uh-oh. McCain guarantees GOP (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    will not shut down the gov again. Thereby practically guaranteeing they will. Has anyone told him lately he has zero influence in his party?

    He may not have influence (none / 0) (#77)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:26:17 AM EST
    but he may be one of the 60 votes in the Senate you need to count on.

    The (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    House was the problem...n'est-ce pas?

    From the Times (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:48:57 AM EST
    President Obama urged Republicans to view the end of the shutdown and debt ceiling battles as opportunities for bipartisan compromise in the weeks ahead.


    Bipartisan compromise.
    That's their middle name.

    After 5+ years, has he learned absolutely nothing?

    Without Republicans he can use as (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:15:38 PM EST
    an excuse for having to tack to the right in order to get anything done, he'd have to actually own his conservative philosophy and his right-of-center place on the spectrum.

    What would be the fun in that?

    The thing is that, while I always knew he wasn't going to advance the kinds of progressive policies I want to see, what really irks me is how willing so many Democrats are to label him as a progressive even as he keeps giving us conservative, just because he has a (D) after his name instead of an (R).  

    For eight years, Democrats railed against the policies and agenda of the Bush administration, but now that we have a so-called Democrat in the WH, these same Dems have been happy to defend policies that took what Bush did even farther.

    Or they remain convinced that Obama has a plan, that all of this has just been part of a masterful plan to lure the GOP into hoisting themselves on their own petard, at which point, he can finally reveal himself as the iconic liberal leader we've all been waiting for.

    Obama needs "bipartisan compromise" in order to get the Grand Betrayal (I don't consider it to be a Bargain anymore) he's been lusting after since before he took office.


    Tis a puzzlement. (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:30:08 PM EST
    The thing is that, while I always knew he wasn't going to advance the kinds of progressive policies I want to see, what really irks me is how willing so many Democrats are to label him as a progressive...

    Great post Anne.


    The Obama lamentation from the far left is amusing (none / 0) (#167)
    by Jack203 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:15:12 AM EST
    If you consider a combination of Michael Moore and Glenn Greenwald the "center".  Then yes, Obama is center-right.

    Your assessment of where the country is as a whole is wrong.


    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:29:20 AM EST
    ...because a sure sign of a liberal president is offering cuts to social security as some sort of starting point in budget negotiations.

    You comment is beyond ridiculous, especially when you consider that you provided not one example of how Obama is whatever you say he is.  The fact that you think Moore is some sort of metric pretty much says all ones needs to know about your analytics.

    Stating it doesn't make it true.


    The lamentations of the far left (none / 0) (#174)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:00:07 AM EST
    are not restricted to Obama's actions. And I am frankly sick of people deciding that they are the ones who know "where the country is as a whole". As if "where the country is as a whole" should be the final word. If that were the measure there would have never been a Civil Rights Act.

    I don't have any patience for left/center-left/center/center-right/right parsing. That's all subjective and irrelevant. It's one's moral center that is significant, IMO.


    It's one's moral center that is significant (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:09:21 AM EST
    That's the exact argument presented by the religious right.

    That's true (none / 0) (#182)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:33:01 AM EST
    And those who are actually living based on what they say is right and good should be respected even in disagreement. But the religious right isn't living according to the guidelines of  their saviour, are they? They are hypocrites with no real moral center at all, using religion only as a club, not as a vehicle to experience or reach the divine.

    Not that different from what you are doing here, choosing isolated words to make a point. To me, making the point -- while it can be fun  -- isn't really the point.

    Watch what they do. Not what they say.


    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#109)
    by sj on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:21:19 PM EST
    After 5+ years, has he learned absolutely nothing?
    He has learned how he can implement his austerity/deficit agenda with impunity.

    He just faced down the (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by MKS on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:27:54 PM EST

    The facts do matter...


    He and the Dems gave away the budget (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:21:15 PM EST
    fight before he "faced down" the Republicans.

    But there's one silver lining for Republicans: They held their spending number. Even though Democrats won the 2012 election, Republicans have managed to keep sequestration's spending levels. The continuing resolution that Democrats agreed to before the shutdown, and the CR they agreed to in order to end the shutdown, both keep spending far below what Democrats think is necessary.

    By making this about Obamacare and the legitimacy of hostage taking as a routine political strategy, the GOP lost terribly. But in terms of what fights over bills to fund the government are supposed to be about -- spending -- Republicans didn't give an inch. Sequestration is still there, and it still gives Republicans real leverage in the coming budget negotiations with Democrats. link

    And yes, the facts do matter.

    The title of the article (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:46:50 AM EST
    you cite to references five reasons the Republicans lost and one reason they won.

    You focus on the one negative....


    You have to admit (none / 0) (#160)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 02:16:06 AM EST
    that's a pretty big negative.

    The GOP losses:

    1. Republicans got nothing - Is a neutral
    2. Obamacare boomerang - Is a loss for the Tea Party caucus, and a win for the administration
    3. GOP is unpopular - Optics. too soon to tell how it affects the elections
    4. GOP devalued hostage taking - beltway machinations

    The GOP win:
    1. The GOP held their spending spending number - affects millions of Americans.

    Not all tick marks are equal.


    The whole purpose of (none / 0) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 03:35:06 AM EST
    the CR is to establish the amount the government is allowed to spend.

    But in terms of what fights over bills to fund the government are supposed to be about -- spending -- Republicans didn't give an inch.

    The Republicans didn't have to give an inch because the Democrats gave them what they wanted without any fight whatsoever. They also gave the Republicans the advantage (i.e. real leverage) in the upcoming budget negotiations.

    All the rest was kabuki theater. The Democrats who control the WH and the Senate are allowing the Republicans the right to dictate the spending limits for the government at Paul Ryan levels.


    You really expected (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:01:12 AM EST
    to get funding above the sequester as part of the debt ceiling being lifted?

    Set the bar that high?


    If funding above sequestration levels ... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:31:32 AM EST
    ... is setting the bar too high, then perhaps Obama should have thought about that before he made the bar and handed it to Republicans.

    Evidently prior to the kabuki theater (none / 0) (#170)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:44:26 AM EST
    the Democratic Senate thought that $1,058b would be the proper baseline to start negotiations.

    Rather than negotiating from that point the Dems eliminated all negotiations on the baseline and accepted the Republicans number, allowed changes on verification of eligibility for subsidizes in Obamacare and gave McConnell a few more billion to bring home to Kentucky to help him win his election against his oponents, one of which is a Democrat.

    ...that Republicans have been so successful at making Obamacare concessions the issue that Democratic concessions on spending have gone almost unnoticed.

    This is what you continue to want to (none / 0) (#171)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:02:35 AM EST
    ignore or paper over.

    Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester...link

    The fact that the Republicans won the funding war has been acknowledged even by Obama's biggest fans in the media.


    Should the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:24:41 PM EST
    shut down the government in order to bust the Sequestration caps?

    Should they have continued the  Cruz shutdown to bust the caps?

    The Sequestration was the result of the last debt ceiling negotiation.   To suggest you could undo that as part of any negotiation during the last three weeks is absurd.  A reverse Ted Cruz, a Ted Cruz strategy for Democrats.


    To quote McConnell (none / 0) (#202)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:45:39 PM EST
    "There's no education in the second kick of a mule".

    Strangely, there are also many that gain no education from watching someone else get kicked by the mule.

    The Sequestration levels (none / 0) (#188)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:10:13 PM EST
    are not permanent.

    The issue was raising the debt level.  The CR was for how long?

    The issue for the last 3 weeks was not sequestration.

    You turn victory into defeat...  


    Sequestration levels and leverage (5.00 / 0) (#191)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:22:50 PM EST
    As I understand it--per strong hints from one Senator Reid--the sequestration levels will alter a bit early next year when Defense will be hit proportionately harder than Domestic categories.  There is some suggestion that that planned for shift will also shift leverage toward the Democrats in the broader context of the give-and-take that any longer term budget negotiations would entail.  Given the results this week, together with Sen. McConnell's statement about learning from mules and not attempting that losing maneuver again (echoed by many senior Repubs), the set-up could be quite different than 2011 -- a suggestion that Reid has also made more than obliquely.

    I'm tending to look at sequestration for this coming budget negotiation in terms of long-term leverage/positioning now.  A bit optimistic ... but, not by much.


    Someone can look this up (none / 0) (#194)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:30:46 PM EST
    But iirc the new Sequestration levels next year that will automatically kick in  will cut defense by some odd 200 billion more, while domestic spending will go up nominally or by a very tiny amount.

    The issue is can McCain and Graham convince other non-Cruzite Republicans to trade more defense spending for more domestic spending?


    MKS: Thanks for stating the issue (none / 0) (#199)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:40:19 PM EST
    so well and succinctly.  The pressure will be for Repubs to increase Defense spending (see the likes of CO's Colorado Springs Repub Lamborn.) That should set up a very different situation than what the Democrats confronted in early 2011 after the loss in 2010.  It seems that we enter this negotiation in a position more akin to 2012's tax reinstatement dynamics.

    By your comments (none / 0) (#196)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:34:13 PM EST
    even you are acknowledging that sequester levels have become the norm.
    As I understand it--per strong hints from one Senator Reid--the sequestration levels will alter a bit early next year when Defense will be hit proportionately harder than Domestic categories.

    No, sj. Rather, my suggestion is (none / 0) (#203)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:54:32 PM EST
    that the process agreed to when sequestration went into effect (1) resulted from a difficult position that Democrats found ourselves in after the 2010 loss and (2) contained a device--the bigger bite out of Defense budget next year--that Harry Reid notes will shift the leverage in the coming negotiations.  One can argue whether that second point was accidental or planned.  And, one can argue whether someone is always lucky or, in fact, smart.  At the very least, Senator Reid is showing himself as an excellent strategist ... in the best sense of the practical word.

    You don't seem to understand that the (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:36:00 PM EST
    deficit hysterics see the current sequester cuts and the reductions in spending as a start, not as an end, and each time the Democrats give in to the austerity insanity - or worse, advocate4 for it - it only encourages the GOP to go harder at further reductions.

    Democrats agreed to spending levels lower than those in Paul Ryan's proposed budget.  Lower.  Do you understand what that means?  That means it's a metric in place and by which future spending and cuts will be measured.  

    Please tell me who in the Democratic leadership is pushing back against this March to Austerity?  Who is arguing that we need to put money into the economy, not take it out?  Sure, Harry Reid says we should leave the safety-net programs alone - but he is a weak voice in a sprawling wilderness; the loudest Democratic voices are calling for chained CPI - which will reduce benefits to those who need them the most.

    Could you just for 30 seconds stop working so hard to protect and defend Obama and focus on how the policies he and other Democrats are advocating will hurt broad segments of society and by extension, the economy?  

    Could you please, just for a minute, look at the policy and not the personality?  I know you won't and don't believe me when I say that it's policy that matters to me, and that if Obama was being a strong voice for real progressive policy I would be cheering him on - but that truly is what matters to me: policy.


    Yes, I think I understand (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:37:36 PM EST
    the general layout of the Sequestration.

    So when do sequestration (none / 0) (#193)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:26:04 PM EST
    levels get lifted again? They may not be permanent on paper, but I don't think it is misplaced concern to worry that those levels have a strong chance of becoming the new norm.

    So every single one (none / 0) (#190)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:17:31 PM EST
    of the Democrats in Congress--every single one--were wrong to vote for raising the debt ceiling and the continuing CR because it continued with sequestration funding levels.

    They all caved in a horrible defeat.  

    Will you use this standard in evaluating Hillary?


    Wild leap of logic (none / 0) (#195)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:31:15 PM EST
    and an ineffective effort to change the subject.
    So every single one (none / 0) (#190)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:17:31 AM MDT

    of the Democrats in Congress--every single one--were wrong to vote for raising the debt ceiling and the continuing CR because it continued with sequestration funding levels.

    What would be wrong is for every single one of the Democrats in Congress to now rest on their laurels and engage in rounds of mutual/self congratulations. A bullet was dodged; a sigh of relief is in order. Huge cheers? Not even close. those bullets are still coming.

    My, how low "our" standards (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    have fallen.
    You really expected (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 08:01:12 AM MDT

    to get funding above the sequester as part of the debt ceiling being lifted?

    Set the bar that high?

    A budget not determined by the most radical of the GOP is now considered too high a bar to reach.

    So, (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:24:28 PM EST
    you are anticipating that the Republicans will now seize opportunities for bipartisan compromise?

    Oregon Duck Fans (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:01:35 PM EST
    Miles better than the (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    Steelers' throwback uniforms...

    All they need are some wings and a stinger...and maybe John Belushi.



    Not all they need... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by unitron on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 05:40:09 AM EST
    ...gotta have deely bobbers!

    Wow (none / 0) (#114)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    Holy, giant bumblebees, Batman!

    Why is that one guy (none / 0) (#126)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:22:29 PM EST
    wearing a fanny pack?  No, I don't follow much NFL football.

    Because a purse would be unwieldy. (5.00 / 6) (#128)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:27:47 PM EST
    Those have to be the worst. (none / 0) (#151)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:14:57 PM EST
    When do they start doing the throwback weekends? Hopefully, if they chose those again, they won't be playing one of my teams!!

    They Already Have... (none / 0) (#172)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:04:11 AM EST
    ...it is at the discretion of the team and they have to wear them at home.

    The Chargers wore their Powder Blues on Monday, which is sort of a throwback, and their alternative uniform.

    But the best throwbacks are without a doubt these, not to be confused with these, which will be worn this weekend, sans the helmet.  This year the NFL insists the team wear the same helmet all year, so when the throwbacks are worn, they can't use throwback helmets unless they use them the entire season.

    So gone this year are the super cool iconic helmets like this, this, this, and this.

    Houston throwbacks are these, which really sicks considering that team is in Tennessee, but with a new team there is no such things as a genuine throwback.


    Yikes! (none / 0) (#148)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:20:03 PM EST
    Were I an Oregon student or alum, I'd be embarrassed by that. But thankfully, I'm not, so all I can do is laugh.

    How wonderful that the UO's athletic department has so much extra money lying around, that they can blow some of it on gimmicky one-time-only football uniforms promoting the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation Susan G. Komen For the Crazy. Ari Fleischer sends his regards.


    I wonder how much they actually pay for those (none / 0) (#150)
    by nycstray on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:13:10 PM EST
    isn't this the home of Nike?

    While I don't like the promoting of the SGK foundation, I do like seeing my football players with pink highlights, cracks me up :)

    Too funny, I have the LA news streaming and the next story up is the Ducks uni-s for this weekend.


    I believe (none / 0) (#165)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:13:26 AM EST
    Nike sponsors Oregon.  Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, is a U of O alum and a HUGE booster.

    And it isn't to support SGK -

    The helmets also will help to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a charity that has raised $2.6 million for scientific research and programs associated with women's cancers. Its namesake, former North Carolina State women's basketball Kay Yow, succumbed to breast cancer in 2009.

    Beaverton, Oregon (none / 0) (#184)
    by fishcamp on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:37:22 AM EST
    is where the giant Nike buildings are.  Back in the 50's when I was in high school in Portland I used to hunt those vacant fields for pheasants and Hungarian partridge.  Now they're paved over.  I actually took my 12 gauge shotgun into my high school locker for storage on days I would skip out and go hunting.  They probably don't allow that now.

    With my Dodgers needing a comeback (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:23:06 PM EST
    Boo, Dodgers! (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:14:16 PM EST
    Sorry, Dadler, I'm a Cardinals fan.   Always have been, always will be.   ;-)

    I think you're going to win game 6, so... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:52:20 PM EST
    And the Cardinals, really, could make a solid claim as best sports franchise in the country.

    I sincerely hope (none / 0) (#204)
    by Zorba on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 01:34:44 PM EST
    that the Cards win tonight, but as Donald and I discussed previously, anything can happen in baseball.  Anything.
    Go, Cards!

    General Verelli is wearing the (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:09:20 PM EST
    Glenn Greenwald (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    is leaving The Guardian to start his own news organization, backed by billionaire Pierre Omidyar, the founder of e-Bay.

    Pierre Omidyar already has considerable ... (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:46:49 PM EST
    ...experience and success in bankrolling and running new journalism ventures, having founded the highly regarded online Honolulu Civil Beat here in his adopted home state, which has since become a genuine and refreshing alternative to the shallow and superficial offerings found in the local Star-Advertiser.

    Further, under Omidyar's direction as publisher, Civil Beat has recently partnered with The Huffington Post to produce the latter's Hawaii section. He's clearly no wide-eyed babe in the woods, and is obviously intent upon establishing himself as a serious player in U.S. journalism.



    Thanks for that (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:51:47 AM EST
    I have just discovered HuffPo's Hawaii section as my aunt has recently become a contributor.

    I look forward to checking more of it out.


    ... will focus on real issues and substantive news from the 50th State, and will not get hijacked by the tourism hucksters and marketers -- at whose feet we can properly lay the blame for Beltway doyenne Cokie Roberts' astonishingly obtuse 2008 comment about Hawaii, in which we were deemed simply too foreign and exotic for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to be properly seen here visiting his grandmother and sister.

    After all, we islanders have repeatedly proved ourselves to be fully capable of some serious progressive social and scientific achievements, if anyone bothers to look beyond the oiled half-naked bodies adorning Waikiki beach.

    Hawaii was the very first state in the country to legalize a woman's right to obtain an abortion, the first to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the first to guarantee workers' rights to collective bargaining and union representation in its state constitution.

    The late Hawaii Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink was the primary author of the landmark Title IX amendments to the 1972 Education Act, which formally guaranteed girls and women equal access to those educational opportunities then reserved almost exclusively to boys and men, and which were posthumously renamed "The Patsy Mink Act" in her honor in 2002. If you're a woman who graduated from law or medical school, or went to college on an athletic scholarship, you have her to thank for that chance.

    The University of Hawaii's Institute for Biogenesis Research was the very first research institution in the entire world to successfully and repeatedly clone entire mammals from adult cells and tissues -- and not just females, but males, too. (On a more dubious note, UH was also where the carcinogenic chemical defoliant "Agent Orange" was first invented.)

    The university's renowned Institute for Astronomy is also one of the world's high-tech pioneers and leaders in man's exploration of the heavens above. Its acclaimed Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, aka the East-West Center, was established in 1960 as the country's primary means for fostering and conducting intellectual and cultural exchange between Americans and the countries of Asia and the Pacific Rim, and many of its graduates have gone on to assume prominent leadership posts in their own countries.

    And the so-called "Massachusetts model" of health care delivery, passed and signed into law with much fanfare in 2006 as something supposedly very innovative for our times, was actually based directly upon the provisions of the Hawaii Pre-Paid Health Care Act of 1975, which -- as you can probably guess by its name -- was enacted some three decades prior.

    We're so much more than palm trees, beach boys and mai tais. Check us out sometime.



    With the Gigabits... (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:04:09 PM EST
    ...of Snowden leaks he should do just fine.

    But.... the US Government might not be so hesitant in going after him post-Guardian, like they are with Assange.


    But will he have the eyeballs (none / 0) (#7)
    by shoephone on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:13:48 PM EST
    on whatever he publishes? The Guardian is a great international platform. And regarding your supposition about the U.S. going after him full force now...I believe that's exactly what will happen.

    It sounds like a (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:22:16 PM EST
    promising venture in the making, with a deep-pocket supporter, his colleague Laura Poitras, and the Nation's national security journalist, Jeremy Schahill.   But, I agree, they have taken on a challenge.

    That's a very good question (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:33:36 PM EST
    But will he have the eyeballs (none / 0) (#7)
    by shoephone on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 03:13:48 PM MDT

    on whatever he publishes?

    I think if this was last spring the answer would be "no" but lots more people world-wide are now paying attention to what he has to say. I've been a bit worried about whether or not the Guardian could withstand even more pressure from UK government. I wonder if GG has been concerned as well.

    A bit of background on the Guardian, (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:03:46 PM EST
    A profile of Alan Rusbridger, Editor of my favorite newspaper and yours, The Guardian, appeared in the October 7 issue of the New Yorker. This is one of the few paywall-free New Yorker articles, so enjoy.

    The article also covers the trust fund that enables the Guardian and outlines a bit of the high pressure visit to editor Rusbridger by Britain's powers that be.


    I see this an opportunity for Armando (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:19:19 PM EST
    to become a full-time sports on-line journalist.



    Or, (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:21:50 PM EST
    Tl's Coral Gables.  

    BTD (none / 0) (#2)
    by CoralGables on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 03:51:08 PM EST
    we need a translation of the Mexico announcer last night when Mexico backed into another game towards the World Cup when the USA backups beat Panama.

    The best I can make out is he's deriding his own team as undeserving of their green shirts. Other than the English of course "We love you! We love you forever and ever! God bless America!"

    Biden time, baby (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:08:27 PM EST
    Biding, Biden, get it?

    Nice choppers tho.

    Are we back on planet earth yet politically?

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 158 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:09:36 PM EST
    Swing your things, my friends (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:36:40 PM EST
    Watching CSPAN for a while (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:29:12 PM EST
    Rep. DeFazio caling out the GOP over their crocodile tears over the parks.

    Is it just me (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by cpresley on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:44:24 PM EST
    or is Harry Reid the most boring speaker you have ever heard?

    Oh, I turned it off before then (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:14:57 PM EST
    I'm not crazy!  Yes, he is. Even when he is on talk shows talking about his own rather interesting life, he is boring.

    No, he isn't. (5.00 / 7) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:58:09 AM EST
    Harry Reid is courteous, polite and deferential to a fault, and he's not exactly Mr. Charisma.

    But speaking for myself only, I consider the most boring speaker in the Senate to be Ted Cruz. Regardless of whatever subject he's ranting ad nauseum about, his schtick is standard right-wing boiler plate, which renders him tiresomely predictable.


    Cruz makes my blood boil (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 09:54:41 AM EST
    I wish he was boring.

    Don't know why but (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    Cruz (face & expressions) reminds me of Pinocchio when he was a wooden boy.

    Good one, MO Blue (none / 0) (#108)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:15:41 PM EST
    But, at this rate, will he ever get to be real?!

    Only the nose (none / 0) (#110)
    by CoralGables on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:26:12 PM EST
    No, not just the nose (none / 0) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:50:38 PM EST
    Somehow the way the planes of his face go together suggests a carved or wooden image to me. His expressions also come across as wooden.



    Except for his eyes (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:59:52 PM EST
    I see the light of fanaticism in his eyes.  Although, that may just be my interpretation.

    I do not have an opinion on that (none / 0) (#147)
    by MO Blue on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:19:59 PM EST
    I am this strange "American" creature who does not own a TV so basically all I see of Cruz are flat, two dimensional photos. That in of itself is enough of Cruz for me but probably not enough to judge his eyes.

    Cory Booker defeats ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 09:03:23 PM EST
    ... Republican/Tea Partier Steve Lonegan for a NJ Senate seat in a special election today.  Latest results make it a 13 point margin for Booker (56-43%).

    I'm glad Lonegan lost, but given his Tea Party roots, I'm disappointed Lonegan managed to get 43% of the vote.

    I look at it this way. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:26:20 PM EST
    Cory Booker is a black man who won his election decisively, despite being hammered relentlessly by Republicans in recent weeks over rumors about his sexuality.

    This is perhaps indicative that playing to people's worst fears and instincts about race and homosexuality is indeed waning in overall effectiveness as a campaign tool.

    20 years ago, such disreputable tactics would've probably been more than enough to put a terribly flawed candidate like Steve Lonegan over the top and into the U.S. Senate. Today, that right-wing crackpot simply looks way over the top, and a decided majority of New Jersey voters responded accordingly.



    Too close for comfort (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:50:03 PM EST
    As Yman pointed out, the Tea Party candidate got 43% of the vote on what should have been a blowout landslide. I'll give credit where credit is due, but, the fact that the loser, an anti-knowledge, racist, scumbag was able to come within 7 percentage points of a majority in a Northeastern State doesn't give me reason to break out the champagne.

    As a New Yorker I've made my share of New Jersey jokes, but, after this vote I won't think they're so funny any more.


    The average margin of victory (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by CoralGables on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 11:00:58 PM EST
    in the previous 5 New Jersey Senate races since 2000 is 10.3 points. Tonight Booker won by 10.3 points becoming the only current elected black member of the US Senate. Double digits is not close.

    ".....not close." (none / 0) (#43)
    by NYShooter on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:47:27 AM EST
    compared to......what?

    On the very day the Teahatists brought our country to the brink of Armageddon a Tea Party terrorist came within 7 points of a popular Democrat in a Liberal state in the Liberal Northeast.

    You seam to believe it's some sort of great victory.

    I believe it's cause for concern.

    Since both are simply subjective opinions, I'll leave it at that.


    Look at it this way (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:00:16 AM EST
    there are people who are going to vote for the GOP regardless and probably people like Christie so for some people in NJ Christie=GOP. They are not really thinking a whole lot past that. Unfortunately according to my best friend who grew up in NJ there are some there as to who race is still an issue.

    But not everybody is as sensible as you, (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:27:36 AM EST
    NYShooter: "I'll give credit where credit is due, but, the fact that the loser, an anti-knowledge, racist, scumbag was able to come within 7 percentage points of a majority in a Northeastern State doesn't give me reason to break out the champagne."

    And I mean that quite sincerely. But to get directly to the point, by what criteria do you and Yman base your respective contentions that this "should have been a blowout landslide"?

    I need to clarify my prior remarks with a more detailed explanation, at the obvious risk of sounding like a total partisan hack. Anyway, here goes. While I fully realize that our general tendency is to think of New Jersey as a "blue" state, the hard truth be told, the Garden State's political demographics aren't anything at all like Massachusetts, California or Hawaii, with regards to active and motivated Democratic-leaning electorates.

    Further, there is still a significant conservative voting bloc in New Jersay, particularly the farther you get outside the Philadelphia-New York urban corridor. And as we should probably know all too well by now -- and seriously, shame on us if we still don't -- a sizable number of conservatives are remarkably ignorant and shockingly ill-informed.

    Sorry to say, these yahoos also tend to show up at the polls more often than not, which means that in special elections, a determined and highly motivated minority bloc of voters can have an outsized effect of the subsequent results.

    And even more sorry to say, there were also a good number of bigoted voters today who didn't know Steve Lonegan from the Easter Bunny and further, they really didn't give a rat's a$$. All they knew was that there's no way in hell they were EVER going to vote for that fa@@ot ni@@er mayor from Newark -- or for the well-heeled and sensitive Christianista who would never stoop to even think in such vile terms, that terribly misguided colored Sodomite.

    I apologize if I've offended anyone here with my blunt language, but I think people should realize what Cory Booker and New Jersey Democrats were facing from Republicans in this campaign. I mean, this is a GOP that took to waving the phuquing Confederate battle flag at a rally the other day on the National Mall and outside the White House.

    Let's be real here. There was actually a far greater chance that Democratic voter apathy could have cost Mayor Booker this special election, than there was ever a possibility that it was going to be a huge Democratic blowout. Nevertheless, as it turned out, this was a solid double-digit victory tonight for Mayor Booker.

    And speaking for myself only as an activist and Democrat, I'm more than satisfied with the outcome, and I'll offer better than even odds that the U.S. Senator-elect is probably quite pleased with the results, too.

    That aside, what should doubtless concern us all as Democrats, liberals and progressives about Lonegan's 43% share of the vote is this: In the year 2013, we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go before we can lay claim to having finally cauterized bigotry's toxic wounds on our country's body politic.



    An acquaintance (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:18:59 AM EST
    of mine who does polling described it this way: there is a virus in the GOP. This virus is infested everywhere in the GOP no matter which state. I mean look at CA who used to have a moderate GOP. The GOP in CA is just as radical as the GOP in GA. It's just a matter of numbers in a lot of ways. In NJ and CA there just aren't as many people infected with the virus as there are here in GA.

    And wouldn't you think to fight that... (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:13:19 AM EST
    ...that the Dems would be smart enough to realize they needed to be MORE progressive and not less?

    But the Dem party is whack ass useless in its own inexcusable ways.



    I guess (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:46:01 AM EST
    you could argue that they just slightly less infected than the GOP.

    Some nice theories (none / 0) (#64)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:36:17 AM EST
    While racism and homophobia exist everywhere (including here in NJ)- and conservative parts of every state - I don't think they played much role in this campaign.  The other smears happen in every election in one form or another.  I think the most likely reason is your point that the Tea Party/conservative base was fired up and turned out in larger numbers (proportionally) due to this being a stand-alone, special election.

    Nonetheless, while the average margin in a NJ Senate race is (apparently) 10%, Republicans typically don't run rabid, conservative Teapartiers, particularly in statewide elections.  Republicans here (at least the ones elected on a statewide level) are more moderate, ala Christie, Kean, Whitman, etc.  I have no doubt that Booker is happy with the results, but you could say the same whether the margin was 10% or .1% - a win is a win.

    That being said, I'm still bothered by the fact that the margin against a radical, Tea Party wingnut was only 10%-11%.


    But then.. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jondee on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:51:42 AM EST
    Fifty million + people in the country thought Bush was legimate presidential material.

    And supposedly a majority of college age people say they'd vote for Reagan over Obama today.

    As Gore Vidal used to say, this is the United States of Amnesia. Or maybe it's the United States of somnambulism.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#139)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 05:15:24 PM EST
    but are they going to be voting for the imaginary Reagan or the real Reagan? There are a lot of myths surrounding him.

    I wish I could help you, Yman. (none / 0) (#144)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:49:55 PM EST
    But this is a battle that New Jersey Democrats are going to have to wage. If the cognitively rational people amongst us in this country are alarmed about the inherent dangers posed by unhinged wingbats -- as we all well should be -- then they need to get involved politically and take a stand personally. Speaking as a party official, I know that I and my colleagues would really appreciate the support and assistance, however its offered.

    Democracy works optimally when it's fully participatory, and not observed vicariously from afar. But alas, there are far too many of us today who, for whatever reason, are way too detached from the political process.

    Instead, we'll offer to both ourselves and others all sorts of creative rationales and lame excuses regarding our respective personal decisions to leave the political heavy lifting to others. And then afterward, we'll complain vociferously about their ineptitude when things somehow don't quite work out as we otherwise would have anticipated, liked or hoped, while quietly congratulating ourselves for not soiling our hands in such a filthy business.



    "Lay off private equity..." (none / 0) (#59)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:10:24 AM EST
    That quote lets you know all you need to know about who Corey Booker REALLY represents.

    Lay off private equity.

    Booker is as ho-hum a political intellect as anyone, and seems, like all pols these days, to have no real imagination, who thinks a food stamp stunt (and it was a stunt, make no mistake, as a kid who lived on them for awhile, IMO he would've needed to disappear into that world for a year to really make a statement, and I mean disappear for real).

    So, in the end, Booker, by all available factual evidence, will do the bidding of big finance and pay lip service to everything else.

    Until he shows me differently, wake me up when there something to wake up for.



    Such is the way... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:51:07 AM EST
    of any brand of senator from NY/NJ/CT, be it Brand D or Brand R.  Whores for Wall St. all.

    But, Cory Booker (none / 0) (#105)
    by KeysDan on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:56:37 PM EST
    has a "gut feeling" about Wall Street.   Caution: criticism can cause emesis.

    The Government Opens (none / 0) (#35)
    by CoralGables on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:05:39 PM EST
    but it looks like a House stenographer has lost her job.

    I'd say her employment status... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by unitron on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:17:59 AM EST
    ...is the least of her current problems, although I hope her government job's health insurance covers the treatment and help she's going to need.

    Excellent illustration of the problem with job-related insurance--you get a condition that costs you your job and that means you lose your health insurance just when you most need it.


    Obamacare web portal (none / 0) (#49)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:11:06 AM EST
    "Apparently" - heh (5.00 / 5) (#56)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:02:34 AM EST
    Funny what you can say claim using qualifiers like that.

    You gotta love how the wingers make accusations.  The Washington Examiner has absolutely no evidence of a no-bid contract or preferential treatment, so they publish a piece stating there's no proof that it wasn't a no-bid contract or that there wasn't preferential treatment, despite the CMS public statement that "CGI did not receive any sole source awards. They competed for the work on our multiple award contract."  Then, rather than filing a FOIA request to confirm the facts, they baselessly suggest such a request would be delayed, ignored or denied.  Too much trouble, so they just make the accusation anyway.

    And they wonder why no one takes them seriously ...


    And since this web site is a portal to (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:13:12 AM EST
    other sites, with their own data transfer methods, it is entirely possible that other companies did not bid because CGI has the technical experience working with those other sites. Even giving that expertise, it was a challenging schedule to meet. I know my company would not (and did not) attempt a bid under those circumstances.  

    As it turns out, ... (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    ... there were 3 other bidders for this contract, so the wingers will have to try again:

    CGI Federal's winning bid stretches back to 2007, when it was one of 16 companies to get certified on a $4 billion "indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity" contract for upgrading Medicare and Medicaid's systems. Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts -- GWACs, as they're affectionately known -- allow agencies to issue task orders to pre-vetted companies without going through the full procurement process, but also tend to lock out companies that didn't get on the bandwagon originally. According to USASpending.gov, CGI Federal got a total of $678 million for various services under the contract -- including the $93.7 million Healthcare.gov job, which CGI Federal won over three other companies in late 2011.


    The work on Healthcare.gov grew out of a contract for open-ended technology services first issued in 2007 with a place-holder value of $1,000. There were 31 bidders. An extension, awarded in September 2011 specifically to build Healthcare.gov, drew four bidders, the documents show, including CGI Federal.


    Government contract procurement could certainly use a great deal of reform to make it more flexible and open to additional bidders, but these baseless conspiracy theories are just ridiculous.


    Beyond the Idiots Brigade's Non-Sense... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:19:35 AM EST
    ...how does the company that upgraded the Medicare and Medicaid systems screw this one up so badly.

    Nearly a billion in contracts and we have a system that almost no one has been successful in buying insurance in 2 weeks.  I understand only $94M went to this project, but damn we are giving this company a lot of business for them to seriously blow what I would describe as one the most important internet projects this past decade for the Fed, if not more.

    Seems like we are eliminating quality of selection with the ridiculous requirements.  What the F is the DoD or NSA doing, they sure seem to have some 'quality' products.  Or worse, they are getting lemons as well, but because it's all hush/hush we are never privy to the incompetence they are forced to hire as well.


    I honestly don't know (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:10:06 PM EST
    I don't think anyone does yet, really.  From what I've read, it may have something to do with the decision to delay the regulations until this year.  it could also be the enormous complexity of integrating dozens of large, pre-existing databases.  It might also be a huge screw-up at the contractor level and/or the managerial level.

    I do hope, however, that there's an actual investigation - as opposed to televised, hearings for political/theatrical purposes.


    I know (none / 0) (#94)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:03:16 PM EST
    Megan McArdle isn't widely regarded around here, but she lays out some of the factors that contributed to the roll-out being completely FUBAR'ed. We've already discussed the "it's 70% fixed" theory, but she notes several other issues (bolded is my emphasis):

    - The administration delayed writing major rules until after the 2012 election, because it didn't want to give Republicans any ammunition for their campaign. (This actually was noted at the time: "When it comes to health care, delaying regulations could help the president politically by avoiding discussion of the controversial health reform law. But that makes life difficult for states and industries that need to prepare for the coming changes," wrote the National Journal. But most of us didn't understand just how badly this was affecting implementation.)

    • Despite evidence to the contrary, the administration kept insisting that everything was absolutely on track to launch Oct. 1.

    • This passage [from the NYT article] is so extraordinary that it requires excerpting:

    "Deadline after deadline was missed. The biggest contractor, CGI Federal, was awarded its $94 million contract in December 2011. But the government was so slow in issuing specifications that the firm did not start writing software code until this spring, according to people familiar with the process. As late as the last week of September, officials were still changing features of the Web site, HealthCare.gov, and debating whether consumers should be required to register and create password-protected accounts before they could shop for health plans."

    Suddenly, two months sounds optimistic.

    • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services inexplicably decided to take on the role of central project manager itself, assuming responsibility for integrating all the various software pieces they'd subcontracted, rather than assigning that role to a lead contractor. CMS is not known to maintain a pool of crack programming talent with extensive project management experience that can be deployed to this sort of task.

    • Henry Chao, the Health and Human Services Department's digital architect of the insurance marketplace, seems to have been sounding the alarm bells internally. (He certainly was externally; he famously told a group of insurers in March that "I'm pretty nervous -- I don't know about you. ... Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience.") Chao was worried that the systems wouldn't work, a concern to which higher-ups apparently responded by basically telling him in effect that, according to the Times piece, "failure was not an option."

    • Neither the consumer side nor the insurer side is working. A New York Times researcher made more than 40 attempts from Oct. 1 to Oct. 12 to log in, with no luck. Meanwhile, the Times confirms Bob Laszewski's report that insurers are getting virtually no usable data from the exchanges. As the Times puts it, "just a trickle of the 14.6 million people who have visited the federal exchange so far have managed to enroll in insurance plans, according to executives of major insurance companies who receive enrollment files from the government. And some of those enrollments are marred by mistakes. Insurance executives said the government had sent some enrollment files to the wrong insurer, confusing companies that have similar names but are in different states. Other files were unusable because crucial information was missing, they said."

    Insurers began warning in 2012 that they were worried about these systems making their delivery dates, a concern that the Government Accountability Office echoed in June. Now we know why: The systems weren't on track to meet their delivery dates.

    Nice you believe that (none / 0) (#101)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:33:30 PM EST
    But I certainly wouldn't say you "know" what caused the rollout problems.  You may also share some of Megan McArdle's opinions, but the reality is that we don't have all the facts.  Not to mention the fact that there's a reason McArdle (aka Jane Galt) isn't highly regarded around here.

    Shrug (2.00 / 1) (#164)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:08:17 AM EST
    I will take the word of the guy in charge of the project, Henry Chao, over your random interpretation. Sorry that just because you don't like the messenger, you won't listen to the message (a message that has been repeated and confirmed over and over - even by sources like HuffPo). And sorry that you can't read - I never said anywhere (and, actually, neither did Megan McArdle) that these were the ONLY reasons this rollout has failed.

    It has been a disaster of epic proportions, due to many factors, some of which I listed, which could very likely casue problems furhter down the road as the January 1 deadline approaches. If you choose not to believe that things like bad programming, delays by the administration in setting regulation, poor oversight by people not qualified to do so, ignored warnings of not being ready, the system not being beta tested - well, then I guess you can continue to live in some fantasy land where you think these will be easy fixes and all will be perfect in a few days.


    I can read just fine (2.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 09:41:23 AM EST
    Hence, I can easily point out the utter bu//$hit in your claims, like this one:

    And sorry that you can't read - I never said anywhere (and, actually, neither did Megan McArdle) that these were the ONLY reasons this rollout has failed

    Neither did I.  Nor did I say this:

    If you choose not to believe that things like bad programming, delays by the administration in setting regulation, poor oversight by people not qualified to do so, ignored warnings of not being ready, the system not being beta tested - well, then I guess you can continue to live in some fantasy land where you think these will be easy fixes and all will be perfect in a few days.

    In fact, I specifically stated that some of those factors might be the reason for the problems with the rollout, but it's just too early to say.  And no, I'm not going to take the word of a guy who runs a competing company who is hitting all the talkshows and promising to fix it at a fraction of the cost - apart from being merely one person's opinion, it's incredibly self-serving at that.  Not to mention the opinion of an Ayn Rand acolyte who has absolutely zero expertise in the area.

    But I guess straw arguments are easier to tilt at than real ones, huh, jb?



    Not really (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:54:40 AM EST
    but it's just too early to say.
    It's too early for a formal report, but it really isn't too early to say definitively that there were engineering problems.

    Oh, I agree there were problems (none / 0) (#177)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:14:55 AM EST
    ... but it's too early to say what caused those problems.

    Again, (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:23:39 AM EST
    Not really. I get it that this isn't your field. And the myriad details in a full report would be revealing. But jb is not wrong in this. Your aggressive defense, or opposition, or whatever it is may be well intentioned but it's misplaced effort.

    It's not my field (none / 0) (#181)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:32:51 AM EST
    It's also not jb's or the person he's citing (Megan McArdle).

    It may be your field and you may have an opinion on what's caused the problem (or who's responsible for it), but claiming to "know" the cause of these problems is premature, at best.  As of now, the only ones that "know" anything are the contractor and HHS:

    There are two key issues at the core of the problem, said Dan Schuyler, a director at Leavitt Partners, a health care group. One is the volume, which Health and Human Services estimates at 14.6 million unique visitors, and the second is the platform's design.

    The main problem, Schuyler said, could be "core fundamental design flow," but it's impossible to know because HHS is saying so little. "Only the contractors and HHS know that," he said.

    Stop getting hung up (none / 0) (#183)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    on the loathsome McArdle. I'm not going to say any more to you about this because when you get on a roll you are just so determined to be right that you lose sight of reason. But as vigorous as your response is, it is misplaced.

    I know you won't let this drop until the thread fills up. And I wouldn't be surprised if you took it to the next thread and filled that up, too. It's still wasted energy and it leaves less space for other discussions.


    It's not about McArdle, ... (2.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:43:17 AM EST
    ... except to the extent that jb's relying for her opinion as evidence to support his claims about what he "knows" to be a fact.  It's about people who have no firsthand knowledge (or even accounts) of the issues faced in designing this website and the causes of the problems acting as though they "know" what caused the problems when they just don't.  Moreover, in jb's case it's also an issue of her putting words in someone elses's mouth.

    I get it you agree with jb's opinion, but it doesn't make her/your opinion on this issue anything more than what it is - an opinion.


    You're right (1.00 / 1) (#186)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:46:17 AM EST
    It isn't about McArdle, or me. It's about you defeating jb. You're on the wrong side of this.

    Plus, you are using up the thread. Which is annoying.


    Seriously? (3.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:00:54 PM EST
    Were you "annoyed" when you were "using up a thread" with christinep on Tuesday?  Would you have tolerated someone sticking their nose in and telling you "you're on the wrong side of this", "your real point is about defeating christinep", and stating they were annoyed with your "using up the thread"?

    If you don't agree with me, feel free to just stroll on by.  Otherwise, I will respond to your hyp0critical whining, regardless of how "annoying" you may find it.


    Do you want to do (1.00 / 1) (#189)
    by sj on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    some comment counting nonsense? Seriously? That's what you're reduced to? Because even by that measure your defense is weak. Very, very weak. As weak as your arguments.

    I have been scrolling on by. And scrolling, and scrolling and scrolling... which is exactly my point.

    You do this. And you are called on it, by people who respect what you can bring to the table. And then you turn on them, too. What is going on with you? What is up with this obsession to be right. At. All. Costs. You seem to have lost all sense of proportion.

    I thought of sticking to the "get a room" hint, but you don't listen to that either.


    Suddenly it's "nonsense" (1.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 12:40:47 PM EST
    What I'm reduced to? - heh

    Have you looked at your responses, both here and on other threads?  Not to mention that  - rather than offering the slightest bit of evidence in your defense of jb's claims - you've tried from your second response to me to make this about me.

    It's not.

    So if you don't like my comments or want to suggest that I stop commenting and filling up the thread - precisely what you're doing - get your own blog.  Until then, ...

    ... get your own room.


    BTW - Henry Chao? (none / 0) (#178)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 11:20:06 AM EST
    I will take the word of the guy in charge of the project, Henry Chao, over your random interpretation.

    I would, too, given his expertise and firsthand knowledge of the subject, unlike you and the people you cite.  Interesting, though, that you didn't actually bother to quote Chao.  I would love to see where Chao made statements or claims like yours/McCardle's.

    Or are you just putting words in his mouth, too?


    MSNBC expert says it's "Doomed" (none / 0) (#136)
    by Slado on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:37:32 PM EST
    Sounds bad to me.

    But we'll see.


    Heh - one word "quotes" (none / 0) (#141)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:17:03 PM EST
    Always send up a red flag ... as they should.

    "If they don't change management, this project is doomed," Chung concluded. "Because we've already seen what the existing management considers ready for shipping. And it's not."

    BTW - That "expert" ... (none / 0) (#143)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:28:45 PM EST
    ... has been making the rounds on several shows.  He also just happens to be the founder and President of a competing software company who has offered to fix it easily and for a fraction of the cost.

    Go figure.


    Regarless... (none / 0) (#104)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:52:48 PM EST
    ... they bid on this thing and got paid $92M.  I mean seriously, they what, sat at home until the specs were ready, then started writing code.

    That is non-sense and sounds like a case of pointing fingers.  How does one bid on a project without having some sort of time frame in the contract.  

    Then they put out a substandard product blaming the government for their shoddy work.  From everything I have read, the code is just plain bad, there is no way you can put that on the government.

    You keep posting the same articles, no where in there is the actual problem discussed, which is bad code.  Yeah they were late with the specs and there was management issues, but that does not excuse coding that is being described as juvenile and the work of people with no formal training.


    People with no formal training (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:04:43 PM EST
    jump right into coding with no specs.

    Seriuosly, there are many steps in (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:06:37 PM EST
    development before coding starts. If they were all the way through the preliminary design phase, ready for critical design review to pass so they could start coding, and still had no specs, that would be a problem.

    Quite sure there is more than enough blame to go (none / 0) (#120)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    around. As a tech geek involved with big multiple interface programs myself, I will be interested in hearing the story when it is finally told accurately. Not saying the above is inaccurate, just seems too soon to tell to me. I look forward to the Kurt Eichenwald book.

    Do You Live In America ? (none / 0) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 01:30:49 PM EST
    What is the purpose of a investigation in Washington if they cannot grandstand or put on a Cruz like performance for the cameras ?

    Probably true (none / 0) (#116)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:46:32 PM EST
    ... but I can always dream.

    If it Weren't for CSPAN... (none / 0) (#122)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 03:06:09 PM EST
    ...they wouldn't investigate jack.

    Have you seen the Muffin Man? (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 10:05:49 AM EST
    Biden returns! Bearing muffins!

    You ring, we bring. (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:52:35 AM EST
    This is great!

    He has found his calling.
    Delivering food.

    Muffins now.

    But could pizza be in his future?

    For all our sakes, I sincerely hope so.


    To the heart of the storm no less (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:31:51 PM EST
    He visited the EPA with the muffins.

    Yahoo News (none / 0) (#73)
    by Edger on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    It took me a moment... (none / 0) (#90)
    by unitron on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:19:26 PM EST
    ...to realize that that site wasn't coded by the same people that did the Obamacare sign-up site.

    Short video about wealth distribution (none / 0) (#84)
    by Dadler on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:02:10 PM EST
    "Breaking Bad" fans (none / 0) (#89)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:16:31 PM EST
    Apparently, Anthony Hopkins just binge-watched the entire series and became a huge fan of the show and Bryan Cranston, among others.  He wrote a letter to Cranston that was pretty awesome.

    More for the fans... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:57:34 PM EST
    I'm a little worried for Sir Anthony (none / 0) (#117)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:54:21 PM EST
    If he was watching on Netflix. They do not have the final 8 episodes yet.

    Sir Anthony: SPOILER ALERT! Find them on iTunes or someplace and watch them before you read anything else on the intertubes.


    EU Limits Data Transfers (none / 0) (#92)
    by squeaky on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 12:38:52 PM EST
    New European rules aimed at curbing questionable transfers of data from EU countries to the US are being finalised in Brussels in the first concrete reaction to the Edward Snowden disclosures on US and British mass surveillance of digital communications.

    Regulations on European data protection standards are expected to pass the European parliament committee stage on Monday after the various political groupings agreed on a new compromise draft following two years of gridlock on the issue.

    The draft would make it harder for the big US internet servers and social media providers to transfer European data to third countries, subject them to EU law rather than secret American court orders, and authorise swingeing fines possibly running into the billions for the first time for not complying with the new rules.


    Linda Greenhouse re living constitutions: (none / 0) (#118)
    by oculus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 02:56:21 PM EST

    Biden (none / 0) (#137)
    by lentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:37:50 PM EST
    is hardly the big loser.

    He is a big winner.

    Thanks to a post by Ruffian, I have learned that he has found a job delivering food to office workers.

    It was muffins today, but the sky's the limit.