Wednesday Open Thread: Moving Progress Report

Finally there is light at the end of the moving tunnel. I think I'm done with the major construction projects: Having a contractor come in and double hang closets and turn a small closet by the kitchen into a pantry with massive wood shelves strong enough to hold heavy appliances like the VitaMix, pressure cooker, and Cuisinart, and lots of canned foods.

My computer networks, TVs and phone lines are all finally running smoothly - the art is all hung, I have a microwave again and I've started selling things that won't fit here on Ebay.

What an ordeal -- it's taken almost four weeks. Since I didn't blog the last week or two before moving, it's been six weeks since I've been able to think about blogging -- and I haven't seen much if any news.

I've got a court hearing tomorrow and am still inundated with work, but blogging should return to normal by the weekend. For all of you who stuck around, thanks!

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 186 (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 04:00:50 PM EST
    Because it's that day in the middle of the week, the one with the little rise in it. Very little in this guy's case. (link)

    Vol. 185
    Vol. 184

    Sleepy day on the peninsula. Hope it's more exiting your way, wherever that way is.


    The Mentalist (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 07:39:47 PM EST
    had an inadvertently amusing ending this week.

    (Spoiler alert for anyone not having seen it...)

    The last scene features a huge explosion in a small house - with the lead character, "Patrick Jane" inside.

    One is left to ponder, cliffhanger style, whether the writers had chosen to do away with the lead character a quarter of the way through the new season.

    Not to worry. After the explosion scene fades out, we hear, "Patrick Jane" saying, "stay tuned for scenes from our next episode".

    So, I guess he made it.

    Happy Birthday... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:09:25 AM EST
    to rock and roll warrior Neil Young - 68yrs young. God it seems like only yesterday.

    Thank you! (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:33:00 AM EST
    It does seem like yesterday, and the dude is still rockin' it :)

    Every October... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:16:55 PM EST
    my wife and I have a dance to "Harvest Moon."

    Right on (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:43:36 AM EST
    And happy birthday to the living legend.

    Funny, since we've been posting clips of Jim Messina, who helped keep Buffalo Springfield glued together when Neil Young was departing. Just think of all the great musical spokes that grew out of that one band: Crazy Horse, Poco, CSN(Y), Flying Burrito Brothers...I feel so fortunate to have grown up during that time.



    And it certainly isn't old age (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:01:58 AM EST
    as CG might have suggested ;)

    I enjoyed going through those clips also.


    Amen to that... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:22:18 AM EST
    Happy Birthday Neil...one of the greatest of all time.  His influence spreads far and wide through many a genre.

    Hello Cowgirl in the Sand...


    Ode to (none / 0) (#47)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:15:59 AM EST
    I didn't Know That, Sad (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:04:28 PM EST
    Seether just remade the song and IMO did not do a good job.  But they are playing the hell out of it on the radio.

    I don't know why, but the song Old Man, whenever I hear it gives me goose bumps.  One of my absolute favorite songs ever.


    Agreed. Also, Down By The River. (none / 0) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:24:31 PM EST
    "Everybody Knows..." (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:34:07 PM EST
    has gotta be my favorite album, totally timelessly epic...and "Live Rust", gotta have "Live Rust".

    I Gotta Gop With... (none / 0) (#71)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:00:43 PM EST
    ...Harvest being my favorite and to me Rust Never Sleeps is a must own for any music collection.  Not sure why I find starting with My My, Hey Hey and ending with Hey Hey, My My so genius, but I do.

    Also I found my missing song from above, Powerfinger.


    Great Tune... (none / 0) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:40:43 PM EST
    ...trying to remember another one that is about the gun ship coming down the river and I think he is shooting at them or visa versa.

    That song always reminded me of a libertarian, before recent politics changed the meaning.  Just a guy in the woods wanting to be left alone and the government having none of it.


    Powder finger.. (none / 0) (#104)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:18:26 AM EST
    it's one those historical fiction songs like some of the Band's stuff..

    Sounds like you need (none / 0) (#107)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:12:05 AM EST
    the Revolution Blues.

    We've got twenty-five rifles...


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 187 (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    Luddite is her maiden name. (link)

    Volume 186
    Volume 185

    Get your joy on, my friends. Peace.

    Hey now... (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:46:02 AM EST
    A.M. Radio is still a viable source for news and entertainment...just ask this guy.

    I am so happy for you! (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by DebFrmHell on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:30:02 PM EST
    You have your wall stuff up!  That makes any space a home!

    When I was homeless, I had a watercolor painting that I've had since 1985.  The only person left of my friends held on to it for months.  

    It is the first thing I have hung every where I've been.  That painting makes it home.

    I don't know if anyone's been following the (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:50:59 PM EST
    #AskJPM Twitter campaign thing, but it's been pretty funny.


    JPMorgan's marketing department had a great idea - lets host a Twitter chat or "Twitter Takeover" to promote our company and rehabilitate our horrible reputation. It didn't go well.

    Using the Twitter hashtag #AskJPM, JPMorgan tried to convince people the Wall Street megabank wasn't so bad afterall. Instead, the hashtag was quickly taken over by some of JPM's many critics who decided to take the opportunity of having an audience with JPMorgan executives to air grievances and generally mock the bank.

    But then David Dayen decided to set up #AnswerJPM, since no one at JP Morgan was answering the questions.

    It's pretty funny.

    You Know... (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:03:18 PM EST
    ...if there is one thing I love about the internet, it's the exposure to some truly funny people, be it twitter or comments sections of news sites, or Amazon's customer reviews.  For as many vile and disguising comments, there are just as many truly hilarious ones.

    Sometimes I will read a news story just because it's so stupid I know the comment section will be ripe with comedy.

    But twitter probably take the cake.


    Pet Peeve (none / 0) (#2)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 05:47:01 PM EST
    What is it with this idea that martyrs for Islam will go to heaven and be married to 99 virgins?

    What a young man's conceit.  If you are married to 99 women at the same time, at any given time you are living with at least 98 unhappy women.  That sounds like the other place.  Not heaven.

    LOL! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 07:10:26 PM EST
    Definitely a young man's conceit.

    It's not 99 virgins (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 07:47:23 PM EST
    It's ONE 99 year old virgin.



    Not to be nit picky.... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 08:54:45 PM EST
    but it is 72 virgins... :-)

    If allah... (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:26:25 AM EST
    really wanted to reward male martyrs, he'd have 72 very experienced cougars in waiting.  Having bad awkward virgin sex 72 times doesn't sound like paradise to me;)

    You are so funny. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:17:08 AM EST
    Wish I could give you multiple 10s for that comment.

    Honey (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:32:02 AM EST
    Most men have a hard time pleasing ONE woman.  Why put the pressure on yourself of pleasing 72??

    Since Kdog is looking for 72 "experienced (none / 0) (#36)
    by vml68 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:38:20 AM EST
    cougars", I am assuming he is looking for them to please him, not the other way around.

    I meant in ALL ways (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:39:08 AM EST
    Not just sex.  :)

    In that case... (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:55:15 AM EST
    you're right, women can be impossible to please in all ways.  It's the real special ones that make it easy.

    Au contraire dear vml... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:41:09 AM EST
    a gentleman always comes last;)

    Cuz it's the best kind... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:39:41 AM EST
    of pressure;) And older women generally aren't shy about guiding a gent to their promised land...at least here in the moral world, not sure about allah's crib.

    Since Everyone is Taking Swipes... (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:27:29 AM EST
    ...at men here, so let me add.  One woman is more than enough headache for any guy, only a completely delusional buffoon(suicide bombers) would believe multiply that number by a factor of 72 and fixing their hymen would be 'heaven'.  For me personally, it would be a the only induction I would need that I landed in high school hell.  On a good day, he would only be nagged by 17 needy, former virgins.

    Secondly, and kind of related, JZ has that song, 99 Problems.  it goes like this, "I got 99 problems but a b1tch ain't one", to which I would always add, "Yeah, she's all 99".  No way a man has 99 problems with none of them being related to a women, even if he likes other dudes.

    Just kidding around, but I can tell you this, the grand, brought to life, fantasy industry, aka the porn industry, has never, ever,  produced a porno with the premise being one dude and 72 virgins.  It's not a male fantasy, they have done it with one girl and way more dudes, so it can physically be done, but hasn't.

    So along kdog's comments, how about 1 dude and 3 experienced porno actresses of varying ages, races, and or shaped with absolutely no morals and an unlimited supply of the viagra and hard liquor, who disappear on Sundays during football season and take under 10 minutes to get ready.  

    That is a product that sells itself.

    And yes, my gf is a pain in the a$$ who gives me plenty of headaches but I love her to death and I ain't to proud to say that dish out my far share of headaches and idiocy to her.  IOW she is enough for me.


    It wasn't a swipe at men (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:33:16 AM EST
    well, not ALL of it.

    I KNOW women can be pains.  I can't imagine trying to please 72 of them!


    This really made me laugh (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by sj on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:53:48 AM EST
    On a good day, he would only be nagged by 17 needy, former virgins.

    The secret to marital bliss (none / 0) (#101)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:57:42 PM EST
    Give her what she wants....Don't fight it....You will be rewarded.

    How you do that for 72 or 17 or more than one is beyond me.


    In my head (none / 0) (#105)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:33:34 AM EST
    I'm hearing Richard Burton-King Arthur's beautifully wistful "how to handle a woman..mark me well, I will tell you sir..the way to handle a woman is to love her.."

    Clearly, you don't give yourself enough credit (none / 0) (#3)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 06:23:39 PM EST

    Or maybe you are channeling Henny Youngman..."take my (98th) wife...please!"


    99 brides (none / 0) (#5)
    by the capstan on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 06:26:28 PM EST
    Just as possible 98 relieved ladies are sitting around nibbling sweets and sipping something good while talking clothes.

    (Excuse if this is on twice--site confused me!)


    Believe it or not, some of us ladies (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 06:31:08 PM EST
    talk about stuff other than clothes, or hair, or nails. For instance, while out with my gal friends, I might be talking about the next electric guitar in my future. Who woulda thunk it?

    Well, all that's true (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by sj on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:51:56 AM EST
    Believe it or not, some of us ladies (none / 0) (#6)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 05:31:08 PM MDT

    talk about stuff other than clothes, or hair, or nails. For instance, while out with my gal friends, I might be talking about the next electric guitar in my future. Who woulda thunk it?

    But you have to admit that even the clothes/nails/hair conversation would most likely be much more engaging than the obligatory night with the deluded male of the house.

    those 99 brides (none / 0) (#11)
    by the capstan on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 07:47:52 PM EST
    live in the Egypt, Iran, and such.  I think even the fellows are not allowed to have guitars, electric or not.

    OMG (none / 0) (#12)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 08:00:28 PM EST
    Egypt and Iran are not what you think. This kind of expressed ignorance in a progressive blog is mind boggling. There is a difference between countries like Egypt, Iran and the Taliban state.

    And also... (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 10:24:46 PM EST
    I seem to recall that Muslims live in countries all over the world. Even this country. In which case, that particular death wish is quite universally silly.

    Iran has morality police... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:36:06 AM EST
    I hear you, people are people, but the free expression we often take for granted is best done in hiding in Iran.  Not to mention drinking...but they are much more civilized than we are in regards to blessed hashish.

    shoephone, you play! (none / 0) (#41)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:53:07 AM EST
    My thoughts too, albeit talk more than clothes ! (none / 0) (#28)
    by gbrbsb on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:54:48 AM EST
    Hey, wait a minute. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:48:24 AM EST
    Wasn't it supposed to be 76 virgins? How exhausting! Why, I can barely keep up with the insatiable demands of 76 women as it is. I can't imagine what I'd do with 23 more!

    Or maybe it was 76 trombones, and when the martyrs blow themselves up on a Virgin Atlantic flight in the name of the prophet, they'll go to heaven and be greeted by Robert Preston.

    I'm going to be disemboweled and go to Hell for blasphemy, aren't I? I sure hope so; I have some friends there that I haven't seen in ages ...



    Family Guy... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:15:35 AM EST
    ...and 72 virgins.

    If you die a Libertarian martyr (none / 0) (#64)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:13:53 PM EST
    you get 99 sweatshop workers.

    But... (none / 0) (#69)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:49:45 PM EST
    ... the entire libertarian model is already a fantasy in which they believe everything they need can be accomplished all on their own.  Where infrastructure is constructed and maintained by magic fairies for free, and where the impoverished choose to be poor for the great benefits.

    The Libertarian "Model" (none / 0) (#77)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    I wonder if that "model" isn't just a fancy way for describing the self-centered, self-justifying adults who are matured humans in chronological age only.  These "invincibles" appear to be trapped in the adolescent philosophy that most of us grow out of shortly after school.

    IMO, the positive result of the spotlight on Libertarianism in the form of the Pauls and others has exposed the downsides of me-ism more than any number of political theories and discussions could ever do.  At the top of the list would be the discovery that all-about-me-and-mine groups show up throughout history, get found out, and then leave for awhile because--ta da--people do start noticing that all this supposed "self-sufficiency" is a scam that covers for people who resent parting with any of their $$$ for the good of others in society or society as a whole.  The delusional "self-sufficient" would do well in a simple, agrarian, sparsely-populated community comparable to the early 19th century.


    When I think of Libertarian Utopia... (none / 0) (#83)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:57:14 PM EST
    ...I think of the movie the Postman, small tribes of men's men who police themselves, are self sufficient, and get the mail delivered for free.

    And it's set in 2013.


    Jeralyn, congrats on emerging from the tunnel (none / 0) (#4)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 06:26:19 PM EST
    Moving is always such he[[, whether you want to move or not.

    Now you can start planning your holiday dinners... and your BBQ's and cocktail hours out on that amazing deck!

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#7)
    by ragebot on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 06:48:39 PM EST
    I have seen folks claim that moving ranks right behind getting a divorce in terms of disrupting your life.

    But as Abraham Lincoln said of the Civil War "this to shall pass".

    Jim Messina and Hillary campaign (none / 0) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 08:56:52 PM EST
    Perhaps (none / 0) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 09:15:24 PM EST
    it's old age, but anytime in politics that I hear Jim Messina mentioned I think of this Jim Messina

    He's the only Jim Messina worth mentioning! (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 10:22:48 PM EST
    Although I would have chosen this one.

    I'm pretty sure (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 10:50:02 PM EST
    we could play this card game all night without a winner. I see your poco and raise you another L&M

    Ha! We could definitely go on and on.... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 11:07:00 PM EST
    First L&M song I learned to play..and the reason I wanted a Tele (which my mom bought for me. What a cool mom!!)

    Angry Eyes, Your Momma Don't Dance, Vahevala.

    Oh yes, Angry Eyes (none / 0) (#60)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:38:41 PM EST
    Christie peaking too early (none / 0) (#16)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 09:16:07 PM EST
    NBC released one a day earlier (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 09:29:54 PM EST
    which had Clinton at +10 over Christie.

    Mostly meaningless for another year.


    Issue of sampling (none / 0) (#18)
    by Politalkix on Wed Nov 13, 2013 at 09:35:10 PM EST
    Christie will be neck and neck with HRC, then the Ted Cruz's, Rand Paul's, Scott Walker's will pull him down.

    And then reality will set in (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 07:27:58 AM EST
    And the Tea Partiers will once again, crawl back into the caves they came from.

    No, they won't. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:11:46 AM EST
    The far right will simply double down -- again. They're not going to go away.

    The problem rests squarely with the GOP establishment, which long ago made a Faustian bargain with these white-wing crackpots for the sake of securing election victories with white-only votes.

    And now, these self-styled moderates have once again have maneuvered themselves into the uncomfortable position of having to choose between selling their souls by placating the crazy -- again -- for the sake of gaining their necessary poltical support, or being bold enough to flip the wackadoodles off and go their own way, even if that means aligning themselves with the Democrats for the time being.

    My prediction: Lather, rinse, repeat.


    I didn't say they were going away (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:13:58 AM EST
    My prediction:  a Tea Party candidate will NOT be the Republican nominee in 2016.

    My prediction: (none / 0) (#67)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:33:08 PM EST
    a Tea Party candidate, or another Paul Ryan could very likely be the Vice Presidential nominee.

    Worked Out Great for... (none / 0) (#73)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:03:14 PM EST
    ...Romney and McCain.

    They weren't Tea Party candidates, were they? (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    Despite all the assurances on liberal blogs that moderate candidates would be overrun by the Tea Party and couldn't win the nomination.

    He just can't win a national presidential election without fervent Tea Party support, and that means ginning up the rabid wacko base with morbidly divisive issues that tend to resonate with a resounding thud amongst most everyone else.

    And that's the GOP's conundrum here. The days when the GOP establishment could cobble together coalitions of voters by alternating a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" here and there with each of the party's factions are long gone.

    The Teahadists clearly intend to hold the Republican Party's feet to the fire on toxic socio-economic issues, which if you think about it is entirely understandable on their part, given all the promises and intimations offered them over the many years in exchange for their support.

    Meanwhile, the GOP's remaining but still significant moderate factions are rapidly becoming genuinely alarmed and repulsed by the right-wing extremism on display within their party's ranks.

    This should make for an entertaining next few years. We may be witnessing the nascent beginnings of a generational political realignment, which last happened in the post-Second World War era (1948-1972) when conservative Southern Democrats began bolting from the mainstream party over civil rights issues and defecting to the GOP.

    This time, it may be Republican moderates who finally throw up their hands in frustration, abandon the far right to its own delusions, and start making common cause with Democrats for at least for the short term.



    I don't think so, either. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:02:29 PM EST
    But that said, I wouldn't go so far as to bet the family residence against it.

    I also believe that regardless of whoever the Republicans nominate, he or she will have a hard time ever claiming the mantle of "GOP moderate," simply because no one who is unilaterally opposed to women's reproductive rights and LGBT civil rights can rightly be called "moderate," just as no Republican who's on record in favor of the same will ever gain his or her party's presidential nomination in such a rabid internecine political environment.

    Further, whoever that nominee is will be compelled to throw the far right yet another significant bone, i.e., the V.P. pick, and will eventually be so contorted in his public positioning on issues that most women, minorities and young voters will run the other way -- again.

    Like I said: Lather, rinse, repeat.

    And another prediction: In the aftermath of last week's one-two punch from Illinois and Hawaii on the subject of gay marriage -- two fights in which the militant Christianistas invested a lot of time, energy and resources, only to fail badly and publicly on both counts -- the religious right will seek to shift its followers' focus away from an issue where the battle has been pretty much decided, and instead try to scare the bejesus out of them with the looming specter of (gasp!) transgender rights.



    J, (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:52:00 AM EST
    What an ordeal -- it's taken almost four weeks. Since I didn't blog the last week or two before moving, it's been six weeks since I've been able to think about blogging -- and I haven't seen much if any news.
    You might consider buying instead of renting.

    in a bubble economy? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:08:35 AM EST
    unless you're, literally, top 1%, it is a complete roll of the dice for average folks to own anything right now. another bubble is up and running, at least here in the bay area, when houses in working class neighborhoods NOT gentrifying are being offered a prices that make no rational sense -- far above what any average working person in the neighborhood could afford to get a loan on, much less buy; and far above what you could rent it out for an come close to covering your nut on.

    But, again, if you're in million dollar land, fine, have at it. For the average person, it's bubble time and eat sh*t and die again time. Griftopia.


    mention "fiat currency"! ;-)

    J's been of buying age for 3-4 decades now. She's been through this moving "ordeal" at least twice, maybe three times, during the time I've been hanging around the TL water cooler.


    Dadler, Sarc, All TL Travelers... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:31:29 PM EST
    Anybody ever been to Todos Santos in Baja Sur?  

    It's nearly official that'll be my next vacay spot with mi esposa de vacaciones to see my main man Steve Wynn perform with his old band The Dream Syndicate as part of the Todos Santos Music Festival, and any tips on places to stay and what not would be much obliged.

    Sorry, wish I could help, (none / 0) (#66)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:26:12 PM EST
    I've never been that far south on the baja. Looks pretty sweet though!

    Thanks bro... (none / 0) (#74)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:07:03 PM EST
    Hopefully the slipping of Mickeys is a Baja Norte thing...that story was nuts.  

    Whale watching season to boot! 10 weeks or so and counting...I'm leaning towards renting an ex-pat's poolhouse on homeaway, wanna book something cuz some hotels/b&b's are already full, assumingly because of the festival.  I'm mainly wondering if there are smaller lodging options in town without an online presence that would allow us to just wing it.


    but I've always winged it in Mexico regarding hotels and stuff. I've never gotten stuck and it's always part of the adventure and I think helps you connect with the locals.

    After I got slipped the Mickey I've heard a couple other similar stories from friends.

    I love Mexico and will continue to go there, but I am perfectly happy to stick to bottled beer.


    I too... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:37:46 PM EST
    am a fan of winging it...no reservations to hold you down if ya wanna fly with the wind.  Never been arsed out, and sh*t I've slept in the elements in far worse places;)

    I just asked my aunt, ... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:29:59 PM EST
    ... a longtime Baja aficionado who've visiting us for the week, about Todos Santos. She recommends the Sole Caliente, which is a vacation rental resort just to the immediate west of town consisting of 2-bdrm houses that are reasonably priced.

    Other than that, it looks to be some rather pricy pickings in Todos Santos itself. The Hotel California certainly has a great name going for it, if nothing else.

    Also, Todos Santos is equidistant from both Cabo San Lucas and La Paz, which is the capital of B.C. Sur. While I find Cabo to be far too much like Kona for my taste, I really like La Paz because it's very local and not a tourist trap at all. I think you'd enjoy it. It resonates at a much lower octave than Cabo, which is in a physically gorgeous setting but way too touristy for me.

    Sound like a lot of fun, regardless. Enjoy.


    You the man Don! (none / 0) (#93)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:59:06 PM EST
    I was thinking La Paz over Cabo too, for the reasons you mentioned...but the flights to Cabo are so much cheaper, at least today.  And I do wanna get a look at the famous Arches.

    Sole Caliente looks like a good option, haven't found that one yet in my internet searching.

    All but the last day of the festival is being held at the Hotel California, and they're booked solid.  


    I provided you the link. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 04:20:36 PM EST
    Look above. If you're traveling or meeting up  with another couple there, you could share one of the 2-bdrm. houses for $90 per couple.

    Interesting piece (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:49:07 PM EST
    from The National Journal.  

    GOP Eyes Pope Francis for Divine Inspiration

    For his party to survive, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes the GOP needs to broaden its appeal beyond "the infamous 47 percent." Conservative activist Ralph Reed would rebrand the Republican Party as a force of compassion - feed the poor and clothe the naked. Republican strategist John Feehery says the GOP craves a populist leader - "a happy warrior."

    "What Francis is doing," Reed said, "is rebalancing the Catholic Church's message to stress the pastoral mission of good works and service to people before getting to ideology. What he's not doing is jettisoning the Catholic doctrine. What about that is not a model for the Republican Party?"

    For top Republicans, Catholics in particular, the pontiff's headline-seizing efforts to reverse negative stereotypes of one of the world's oldest and most ossified institutions - almost exclusively through symbolic gestures - stands as an example for the GOP. The Republican Party, according to polls, is viewed by many in the United States as insular, intolerant and lacking compassion for the poor while consorting with the rich.

    Some of the quotes coming out of the mouth of people like Newt Gingrich are oustounding -it wouldn't have been heard of 20 years ago, and he would have been publicly flogged by members of his party. Sure, it's politics, but if this kind of politics leads to a kindler, gentler Republican Party, and gets things done like actually helping poor people, then who cares?  If it just gets more crazies elected and they do harm, then I hope they burn in heII.

    (And before the flamers start, NO this does not mean I endorse Newt Gingrich, Ralph Reed, the Tea Party, or the Republican platform.  But if anything is going to get done - anything most people on this blog would agree that is good and just - then something has to give. We just can't keep putting our fingers in our ears and screaming, "LA LA LA LA!".  And if people who are on "the other side" are opening their eyes up to see what's going on, and are willing to come to the table and talk about these issues, then I say hurray!  

    Of course, actions speak louder than words, but you can't have action without someone taking the first step).

    It's going to be very hard for the GOP (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:32:00 PM EST
    to rebrand itself as a force of compassion, given the braying laughter that will ensue - I think I hear it now (oh, wait - that's me laughing!), and the endless media coverage of the Republican Party's unrelenting efforts to force the old, the poor and the sick to make do with less and less.

    I mean the opposition ads will write themselves, don't you think?  

    I don't dispute that it's a great message, nor do I think the sociopaths in the party that dreamed up this new approach will have trouble looking like they actually believe this message, but I don't for a minute believe that anyone's going to fall for it.  Nor do I think there will be any action taken that will demonstrate that this is anything more than a craven pandering for votes.

    Kinda like how I never, ever believe Obama when he makes noises like he actually wants to be progressive; he does it to quiet the grumbling liberals, but never follows through in any meaningful way.

    But, if this approach moves conservative Dems to the left, it won't be a complete waste of time,


    Sure (none / 0) (#85)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:08:54 PM EST
    But if you have important people high up in the Republican hierarchy who start to say things like, "We should be focusing on the poor" (even if just to score political points), I think that's great.  It at least brings the issue to the national conversation.  And when the clowns from the Tea Party bray against it, it just emphasizes how out of touch they are. And as you said, it pushes the Dems to the left even more.

    Win - win.


    What Dems should do if this actually gains (none / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:17:42 PM EST
    some traction, is force Republicans to put up or shut up, and prove they mean what they say.

    I don't have much hope that they'd be able to capitalize on it, since it would, for too many in the Democratic leadership, force them to pivot away from the Grand Bargain/Fix the Debt obsession they've developed, and I'm not sure they're politically agile enough to see the potential to move as quickly as they'd need to - because sure as anything, as soon as the GOP figures out this isn't working for them, they'll be rebranding again.


    Absolutely (2.00 / 1) (#88)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:34:17 PM EST
    But since the Dems are in disarray after this week and have a leader who is anything but, it's going to be a rocky road as to who slips further.

    I don't know if you saw this latest Quinnipiac poll, but it's pretty damning of Obama and the Democrats. (It's also pretty damning of Republicans, but their bar was already set so low that the contrast is quite stark).  

    When see you see a question like:

    35. Who do you trust to do a better job handling - the economy, President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?

    and more people (45-41) say the Republicans (a trend that has been going up since July, despite the shutdown.)

    Or when you see a question like:

    36. Who do you trust to do a better job handling - health care, President Obama or the Republicans in Congress?

    and more people (43-42) say the Republicans (a number that has turned on a dime because of the rollout)

    then you know there's trouble brewing in River City.

    And FWIW - the Republicans are seriously considering a "Midwestern Super Tuesday" and an earlier convention, because they are banking on a Hillary Clinton nomination early in the process and they don't want to duke it out and give the Tea Party crazies any more air time than they have to. So that could definitely pave the way for a Christie or Jeb Bush type of nomination.


    It's all just so depressing, I can't stand it. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:45:39 PM EST
    And it's only 2013...

    There was an unbelievable opportunity for Democrats to get it right on reforming the health insurance system, and even though the ACA wasn't how I would have preferred they address it, they've nevertheless had almost 4 years to get what they did do right - and they blew it.

    It's terrible when we're at the point where the best we can hope for is more incompetence on the other side, which doesn't solve any of our problems, just makes them worse.  Less worse, perhaps, but still, worse.


    A Midwestern Super Tuesday (none / 0) (#100)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 08:53:54 PM EST
    will probably not help Christie. Christie is a creation of the east coast media. Ron Johnson, Richard Mourdock, Scott Walker etc are the face of the GOP in the mid west and that region also has a lot of teahadist fervor.

    However, watch out for Mike Pence, John Kasich, Paul Ryan, etc.


    Shrug (none / 0) (#103)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:03:38 AM EST
    I think Christie could play very well in the Rust Belt, especially in those states that are still blue.

    PK doesn't like facts (none / 0) (#110)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:40:47 AM EST
    A "2" rating - a medal of pride and honor.  :)

    I know it's hard to see that your dream boyfriend - the one you thought was the captain of the football team and the most popular boy in school - well, it turns out he got cut from the team and everyone realizes he really wasn't all that after all.


    Oh now ... isn't that the way (none / 0) (#123)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:52:20 PM EST
    it always is.  Ups and downs ... and ups again.  Happens all the time.  On the ACA, especially, we have a long way to go .... the latest supposed "catastrophe" will pass followed by another howl for another reason by those who always opposed it.  That is to be expected in the case of healthcare/insurance reform in our country.

     Then, the inevitable change of focus ... e.g., Denver Post has started to insert stories of a different slant the past few days, such as comments in a column today about how some of those initially thought to be trapped in the web of junk or high deductible policies are finding alternatives whereby they pay less for more benefits via the exchanges. Concern and caution are certainly important when confronted with major change; equally, if not more, important can be the benefits of change that will be seen in due time as the big ACA changes become operative at the first of the year.  Then, not only will it be almost impossible to upend the program and its progress, but--in reality--I suspect there will be little desire to turn back to the "bad old days" of everyone-for-his/herself when it comes to healthcare.  No wonder the House is pushing so much now before the end of the year; but, putting it all in one basket can be more than tricky.  

    As for the "administrative fix," we'll probably see the House legislation die quietly in the Senate; and, the Senator Landrieu approach give her cover and then go nowhere.  Meanwhile, the process moves on with the WH maybe having thread the needle.

    Finally:  In terms of street smart, it may be that the regulatory reform middle ground of the ACA has an advantage over the desired single payer system in one very significant respect.  This is simply a guess ... a guess that depends upon the realization or savvy of the insurance industry and allies.  While I wouldn't bet on the insurers to understand that their non-cooperation now or undermining the program now can only lead to a guaranteed loss of clientele and $$$ for them in the years to come IF the ACA could be stymied, the insurers and the hospital association and certain big business operations have been coopted in a meaningful way.  Mutual co-optation can work when the majority of people are seen to gain from what they had previously.  When most members of the broad "community" are seen to gain, it can work quite well for the participants ... the gamble, of course, is the process of change and the fear from uncertainty that accompanies it.  IMO.


    Yes, of course it's just politics (none / 0) (#63)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:08:31 PM EST
    Seriously, these two can mouth whatever pablum they want to try and build a stronger GOP, but they have reaped the Tea Party as much as anyone. Gingrich doesn't give a flying fig about anybody, never has, he's too busy propping himself up as the biggest know-it-all in the room. Reed? Don't get me started. That zealot lies every time he opens his mouth.

    I wouldn't assume you are their fan, but do really believe a word they say? Even they don't believe what they're saying. Case in point: does Ralph Reed subscribe to Pope Francis' expressions of compassion regarding gays and abortion? Not on your life. Yep. It's politics, plain and simple. More of the same. Pass the salt.


    I believe (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:24:24 PM EST
    that they need the Republican Party to start running on those messages - which is what the article says. And if they do, hopefully that will drown out the crazy messages of the Tea Party.

    Pope Francis also still is committed to the sanctity of life - from conception, so yes, that does fit in with the Republican platform. He has said that the Church shouldn't have that (along with the obsession about gays) as their primary concerns, and instead should focus on the poor and issues like that. (And that could be a winning strategy for Republicans, as many of them are in poor rural states).

    My point was that 20 years ago, heck even 5 years ago, you wouldn't have heard prominent Republicans saying this kind of stuff in public, let alone to the press.


    Ralph Reed's phony turnaround on the Tea Party (none / 0) (#68)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:48:01 PM EST
    Don't believe a word of it. Just last year, he was fully on board with the Tea Party melding into the GOP:

    Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition kicked off its 2012 conference with a splashy show of the Reed's political muscle in the form of three U.S. Senators.  Rob Portman of Ohio, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and Marco Rubio of Florida all delivered speeches that reflect Reed's goal for 2012 and beyond: merging the messages and organizing energies of the overlapping Tea Party and Religious Right movements to elect conservative Republicans.

    "American exceptionalism" was a major theme of the day - defined generally as America being uniquely blessed by God for its commitment to limited government and free-market economics grounded in a belief that individual rights come from God.  And - no surprise -- President Obama was portrayed as an enemy of faith and freedom.

    There is nothing mainstream about Ralph Reed, no matter how many times he dons a new mask, no matter what politically expedient words he uses. He only believes in "feeding the poor and clothing the naked" if the poor and naked offer themselves up to Reed's brand of repressive Jesus love.

    If you believe these tigers can change their stripes, you are falling for a con. They are flim-flam men.


    For the Record... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:36:23 PM EST
    ...it's pretty funny that R's are trying to act like the Tea Party is some new and separate and 3rd party rather than the totally insane faction of their own party that has always existed and was only thrown to the forefront by boatloads of special interest money.

    Newt is an idiot, he is essentially stating that he believes a tiger can change it stripes.  Every person in the country knows the GOP has to include more people to win elections, duh.  It's called 3rd grade math and like their belief that poor people should just go out and make more money, if fails completely apart when reality kicks in.  Which is the GOP is not a multicultural party who, with a little coxing, will suddenly believe that minorities/gays/democrats/ aren't the scourge of America.

    And mark my words, soon enough the R's are going to go after Pope Francis.  They can't have some idiot in Italy trying to change the very foundations of hatred and selfishness that their party depends upon to survive.

    I am shocked and delighted to see a person of faith and power using it to spread, what I was taught as kid, the compassionate teachings of jesus.


    As I said (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:57:06 PM EST
    I believe they are people who know what it will take as far as messaging to win voters. And if you are afraid that they will lie to voters to win and then make a hard turn right once elected, well, all I can say is you should ask Barack Obama about having being held accountable for your words and promises.

    Oh please. I'm hardly afraid they will lie and win (none / 0) (#75)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:15:58 PM EST
    That's what politicians do all the time. It's the way of the world. I'm just a little surprised you actually believe these two particular charlatans will be successful at convincing anyone in their own party to grow a compassion bone. Ain't possible. Their party is too far over the cliff to save with sweet talk.

    I think (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 02:20:06 PM EST
    If we continue to close our ears to what is possible, there is no room to move forward.

    Like I said - I want to see action to back it up.  YMMV.


    Reed is an opportunistic infection. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:27:53 AM EST
    He should be in jail along with Jack Abramoff, and while we're at it, toss in now Texas Senator John Cornyn, for their parts in the Native Corporation Casino scams.  Whadda bunch of dirtbags.

    "He should have been jailed..." (none / 0) (#109)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:32:50 AM EST
    Obama Says You Can Keep You Plan (none / 0) (#91)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:45:48 PM EST

    Saying "we did fumble the ball," President Barack Obama announced a fix to the vexing problem of canceled health insurance policies Thursday. He told insurers they don't have to cancel plans next year just because of the Affordable Care Act.

    Insurers can continue the plans for 2014 on two conditions -- they have to tell people what their plans don't cover, and they have to let people know they do have the option of going onto the health insurance exchanges to buy new plans with federal government subsidies and perhaps go onto Medicaid.


    Thank god, the entire purpose to help people, not stres the F out.  

    And Slado, let's hope this ain't a lie cause I don't want see a million and one posts if it is.

    Well, except... (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 03:49:25 PM EST
    The president's plan does not require the insurance companies to take back the Americans they kicked off, but does give them the option of taking the customers back if they want. The government will inform state insurance commissioners that they have permission to allow insurers to offer the out-of-date private plans for an additional year. It's up to them whether to allow them to continue or not.


    But it remains unclear whether insurance companies will rescind the cancellations they've already handed out, since the Obama administration is not requiring them to do so. And the extension is only for one year, so the fix only delays the fact that many Americans will not be able to keep their current insurance under the new law.


    This is a fix?  Yeesh.


    WA State's insurance commissioner says no dice (none / 0) (#95)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 04:13:33 PM EST
    on extending the plans.

    Mike Kreidler, two hours ago:

    The state of Washington will not allow insurance companies to extend individual plans for an additional year as President Barack Obama suggested because it is concerned about how such a move would be implemented and affect costs, the state's insurance commissioner said on Thursday.

    And (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 04:32:10 PM EST
    The claim is that it will cause chaos in the marketplace. Granted, this is coming from the insurance industry.

    Here's my question - what happens to those people whose coverage got dropped and who actually managed to get through and buy a new one (more expensive)?  Do they get to cancel the new plan and then get their old policies back?


    Two Questions (none / 0) (#111)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:00:07 AM EST
    How it is Obama just decides to change what I assumed was law, that policies had to meet a sincerer criteria by X date.

    Since none of the D's have a problem with this, will they have a problem when say President Christie does the exact same thing.  When he decides that particular criteria can be changed to suit his political agenda.

    And I don't think I have ever felt any sort of sympathy to Big Insurance, but really Obama ?  You have them cancel policies, issue new ones, then decide that first plan was flawed, so they should go back to the original plan if they want, and I assume cancel some of the new enrollments all to get people back to where they were before October 1.

    Anyone that has ever worked in an office knows what kind of nightmare a leader who keep changing what they want, can be for the people actually doing the work.

    Like ACA, it's a good idea that will most likely create a mess because of a serious implementation failure.


    What people seem to be missing is that (none / 0) (#112)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:15:48 AM EST
    Obama hasn't really changed anything - all he's done is give states the option, through their insurance commission structure, to grant insurance companies the right to allow people to keep their non-ACA-compliant policies for at least another year.

    The state insurance commissions do not have to agree, and even if they do, the insurance companies are not required to do it.

    So, essentially, it was a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but perhaps opening the door to some bad legislation from the Congress, which seems to think it understands the law well enough to codify tweaks that, by all accounts, will not make anything better, but will just undermine the premise upon which the ACA was built and wreak havoc with the assumptions on which future premiums will be calculated.


    Here's one explanation (none / 0) (#113)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:16:32 AM EST

    According to the President's announcement, insurance companies will be allowed to renew policies that were in force as of October 1, 2013 for one additional year, even if they fail to meet relevant PPACA requirements. What is the legal basis for this change? The Administration has not cited any. (See, e.g., this letter to state insurance commissioners explaining the change.) According to various press reports, the Administration argues it may do this as a matter of enforcement discretion (much as it did with immigration). In other words, the Administration is not changing the law. It's just announcing it will not enforce federal law (while simultaneously threatening to veto legislation that would authorize the step the President has decided to take).

    Does this make the renewal of non-compliant policies legal? No. The legal requirement remains on the books so the relevant health insurance plans remain illegal under federal law. The President's decision does not change relevant state laws either.  So insurers will still need to obtain approval from state insurance commissioners. This typically requires submitting rates and plan specifications for approval. This can take some time, and is disruptive because most insurance companies have already set their offerings for the next year. It's no wonder that some insurance commissioners have already indicated they have no plans to approve non-compliant plans.

    Yet even if state commissioners approve the plans, they will still be illegal under federal law. Given this fact, why would any insurance company agree to renew such a plan?

    It's basically a mess.


    Thanks... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:46:40 AM EST
    ...that is what I was looking for.

    So basically Obama is giving them permission to not follow the law.

    Between the legalities and mountain of paper work involved it's hard to imagine any company deciding, and especially Big Insurance, to help their customers.

    This is pretty much Obama's forte, find some sort of way to deflect responsibility without actually fixing anything.


    More on why the "fix" doesn't fix (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:53:57 AM EST
    anything, and will likely make things worse, from Don McCanne, M.D. at Physicians For a National Health Plan:

    So what will happen when people are allowed to keep their old plans? Younger, healthier individuals will stay with those plans whereas older individuals with greater heath care needs will move into the new plans available in the exchanges. This adverse selection that concentrates expensive patients in the new plans will drive premiums up. When the premiums go up, more will drop out, causing the premiums to go up even further - so high that the plan has to be pulled from the market - the death spiral of adverse selection.

    Karen Ignagni is right when she says that allowing people to keep the insurance they have will destabilize the insurance market and cause premiums to rise, but only for the new insurance marketplaces (exchanges) that the insurance industry is counting on for their expanded business opportunities, made possible by the insurance-industry-designed Affordable Care Act.

    Although the spinmeisters are busy trying to discredit the President and his administration for the false promise of allowing you to keep your insurance, and for the rollout of the exchange website before it was ready, this noise is a distraction from the real problem here. The Affordable Care Act is an irreparably flawed model of financing health care, and no amount of patching is going to fix it. It is and always will be an unstable, expensive and inequitable model of financing health care.

    You know what is stable? Medicare. And it is less expensive and more equitable. Yes, it needs continual oversight and refinements, but it has the support of the public. If it were our only health care financing program, in an improved single payer version, virtually all of us would be demanding to keep the insurance that we would then have - an Improved Medicare for All.

    There is no way in he-double-hockey-sticks that this administrative "fix" was offered because it will make the ACA work better; this was about as purely political a move as any we've seen lately, and I'd be gobsmacked if it had more than about a 10-minute positive political effect.


    I suspect (none / 0) (#117)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:49:00 AM EST
    You will see a flood of other states follow Washington's lead and say "Thanks, but no thanks."

    Short term & formal use of (none / 0) (#124)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 01:57:46 PM EST
    enforcement discretion.  Quite practical ... and, usually, upheld legally.

    Could get interesting (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:25:09 PM EST
    The "administrative fix" based upon general application of familiar enforcement discretion has three advantages: It should be responsive to the concerns of the majority of the estimated 5% that comprise the individual market (since the original grandfathering proviso was not adequate); this kind of enforcement discretion for a relatively short period of time--1 year--should pass any attempt at legal challenge while also allowing the Administration to continue with the total package of the ACA; and, the "fix" clearly & publicly fixes the responsibility on the insurers (with any related issues in those opting-out states devolving publicly to the state commissioners.)  

    Meanwhile, Landrieu & other Dems up for re-election offer good words for the administrative action and continue with the Landrieu/Donnelly Senate legislative fix ... which is ok since any tie-up by Repubs or otherwise won't effect the administrative process in terms of slow-down or delay.  As for the Repub legislative fix set for some action tomorrow, essentially the same thing ... except they will have their own split(s) because a large number clearly do not want a "fix" to the ACA at all.  Maybe it all ends up in conference ... who knows.  (On the sideline: If the Insurance Lobby, via Karen Ignani, is concerned about "fixes," they undoubtedly will be more concerned about legislative as opposed to administrative fix given that they don't want to be required.) In this very political context:  All players would have weighed in for the benefit of their constituents; and, those with cancelled or not-re-upped existing policies will have a choice to make if the insurer exercises its one year option to re-offer.  

    My guess:  We are back to focusing on making sure the ACA website works.  


    "Interesting" is not (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:31:05 AM EST
    the word I would use to describe any of the proposed "fixes."

    It's only interesting if you aren't looking at the elements of the ACA that are supposed to make it effective, and are focusing mostly on the short-term political benefit.

    This administrative "fix" doesn't require the insurance companies to offer canceled policies back to subscribers, nor does it prevent them from canceling non-compliant policies.

    But that isn't even the real issue.  If you want the ACA to work, if you want it to do what it was advertised as being able to do, monkeying around with the risk pools is going to get in the way of that.  You have to remember that the ACA was predicated on there being millions of young people, as well as older, healthier people, signing up for insurance.  Premium levels for 2015 are being calculated based on those assumptions - and if you delay the entrance into the pool for another year for a significant number of people who want to keep their plans, those numbers aren't just going to go sideways, they're going to go up.  Probably way up.

    And then what do you have?  Another broken promise: that the ACA would offer people the opportunity to buy affordable insurance.

    The thing about a Rube Goldberg design, which the ACA surely is, is that if you start making changes to it, there's no telling what will happen.  It could just fail altogether.  It could work, but not the way it was intended.  It could work some of the time but not enough of the time for enough people to allow it to be considered a success.

    So, "interesting" is not how I would characterize what's currently on offer.


    Well, (none / 0) (#115)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:45:06 AM EST
    You have to remember that the ACA was predicated on there being millions of young people, as well as older, healthier people, signing up for insurance.

    At first blush, that does not appear to be happening.

    The insurance industry has increasing cause for concern as early enrollment reports suggest a trend that could cause insurance premiums and deductibles to rise sharply. Along with the paltry enrollment numbers released this week, officials in a handful of states said those who had managed to sign up were generally older people with medical problems.

    Insurers have warned that they need a wide range of people signing up for coverage because premiums paid by adults in the younger and healthier group, between 18 and 35, are needed to offset the cost of carrying older and sicker customers who typically generate far more in medical bills than they contribute in premiums.

    The first set of enrollment data revealed that 106,000 people signed up for coverage nationwide, far short of the 500,000 initial sign-ups the Obama administration had expected. In states where officials discussed more detailed information, it also became apparent that the people who flocked to the exchanges after they opened Oct. 1 were those who were desperate for coverage.

    In California, the state with the largest uninsured population, most of those who applied were older people with health problems, according to a state health care official. In Kentucky, nearly 3 of 4 enrollees were over 35. In Ohio, groups helping with enrollment described many of those coming to them as older residents who lost their jobs and health coverage during the recession.

    In all fairness, I would think (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:00:58 AM EST
    that young people and some older people who would prefer not to purchase insurance, will wait to the very last minute. The fact that we have added an additional element of what options will be available (website debacle and maybe old polices to choose from) will IMO almost certainly make this even more a last minute event.

    True, we will have to see (none / 0) (#120)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:05:21 AM EST
    But many of those young people may stay on their parents' plans or sign up for Medicaid.

    Agree that most will choose (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:38:03 AM EST
    the least expensive option available - parent's plan, Medicaid, exchange or paying the penalty.

    I would be surprised if the architects of this insurance legislation factored in how many young people are going to be eligible for Medicaid with those without jobs and college graduates working at minimum wage part time jobs.


    Bingo. (none / 0) (#122)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:39:18 AM EST
    If younger and healthy people (none / 0) (#125)
    by Politalkix on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:48:05 PM EST
    do not sign up, even a single payer system or  public option would have the same problems that you envision for ACA. To support provision of healthcare for the very sick or the poor, money has to come from somewhere-either higher taxes or higher premiums.

    We're already paying into Medicare (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:17:05 AM EST
    Even those young, healthy adults (and teens) who have jobs.

    Why not have us all pay a little bit more in taxes, rather than much, much more to an insurance company?


    Because that wasn't Obama's plan... (4.00 / 4) (#127)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:38:04 AM EST
    if it had been, I'm pretty sure it would he regarded as the Best. Idea. EVER.

    Until then, it must be shouted down and treated like crazy talk.


    Shouted down? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:21:58 AM EST
    Expressing disagreement is shouting down?

    Why not have you all (none / 0) (#129)
    by Edger on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:29:43 AM EST
    pay a little bit more in taxes, rather than much, much more to an insurance company?

    Well, don't forget here that Socialized Medicine Sucks, and only the free market can do it right, right? Right.

    "Contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market."
    -- B. Obama, LoL.

    Movie night tonight. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:31:51 AM EST
    We just saw 12 Years a Slave. Chilling and moving. The acting is superb, and unlike The Butler, the white characters in this film were not reduced to caricatures. If it's not nominated for multiple Oscars, I'd be very surprised. I recommend it highly.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 188 (none / 0) (#106)
    by Dadler on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:14:44 AM EST
    Before there were MAD MEN there were EVEN MADDER WOMEN. (link)

    Volume 187
    Volume 186

    Needed to laugh yesterday, so I saw BAD GRANDPA. It was just what the doctor ordered. Laughing so hard you cry is a very healing thing, no matter how crude the material. Happy Friday, peeps.