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November 07, 2018

Comments

Somewhat sad that Sessions didn't have the guts to say:
"I will not resign. Fire me if you you can find the courage, you pathetic pussy!"

Who knows, Trump might have had a stroke.

So it begins...

Bring it.

Sessions was a made guy in the Trump Mob. Made guys don't call the Boss a "pathetic pussy", not even when they're getting whacked. Mobsters philosophically accept their fate, reflecting that it's business, not personal.

--TP

Yes, such thoughts assume Sessions is a man of anything we might vaguely recognise as principle.

Expect an indictment soon, I guess.

I wish Sessions had forced Trump to fire him, only because the Vacancies act treats that differently.

But I'm definitely more nervous now than I was yesterday.


*I think* that Rosenstein can say that the new Acting AG has a conflict on the Meuller case, and refuse to turn over control of it--setting himself up to get fired (or, I can't believe I'm writing this, killed). That sounds like a lot to ask of someone, so I wish we didn't have to. Argh.

the only thing surprising about this is that someone actually got Trump to wait until after the election.

Nope:
https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/415591-acting-ag-to-take-over-oversight-of-russia-probe
"The Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice," DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement to The Hill.

The move means that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will no longer oversee the federal Russia investigation...

Trump will not tolerate questioning or investigation - as his press conference made abundantly clear.
(A White House aide yesterday described his talk of bipartisanship as “totally trolling”.)

This is war - but the fight is for public opinion, as much as a legal one. What disturbed me about yesterday’s results is just how many people are prepared to vote for a man clearly determined to subvert the institutions of US democracy.


The AGnhas the legal authority to share details of Grand Jury investigations with the President:
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/11/07/matt-whitaker-has-authority-to-share-proceedings-of-national-security-grand-jury-investigations-with-trump/

Without any paper trail.

Want to do something useful?

Show up for one of these .

5 PM, today, 11/8. Leave work an hour early and show up.

Balls...

Current count in Arizona:
Martha McSally
Republican
856,848
Kyrsten Sinema
Democrat
839,775
Angela Green
Green
38,978

Shame the green candidate couldn't have endorsed Sinema just a little earlier.

Two things. First, this won't be a surprise to Mueller: he'll have a plan.

Second, there will be a fair number of R senators who (privately) don't support Trump on this. Yes, they'd rather have Mussolini as President than any Democrat. But they'd prefer Khomeini to Mussolini.

Plenty of uncounted ballots, though:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-arizona-senate/arizona-could-wait-a-week-to-learn-who-its-next-u-s-senator-will-be-idUSKCN1NC354

Mueller likely has several plans (unsealed indictments; handing over parts of the investigation to various state attorneys, etc.)
That doesn't reduce the gravity of the situation, though.

Thanks russell. I'll be at my local one.

Trump is starting to look a bit like Nixon, no?

I hope Mitch McConnell is happy, I suspect he is. Paul Ryan is skipping town.

Oh and it appears RBG fell last night and broke three of her ribs.

"Trump is starting to look a bit like Nixon, no?"

No.

Armed federal troops, some of them whipping out red MAGA hats and refusing orders, or worse, turning on their own commanders, were not required to smoke Nixon and his loyalists out of La Casa Pacifica, the western White House, at gunpoint, and with tens of thousands of rounds of gunfire exchanged with right wing militias, after months of armed standoff when, and this a big "IF" with the current anti-American filth running the Senate, mp is impeached.

There will not be a blubbering farewell speech and a helicopter ride from the White House lawn into shamed resignation and halfway burnished emeritus years and relative quietude, perhaps a couple of book deals and down low meetings with foreign dignitaries.

There is no majestic Supreme Court any longer to turn away mp's legal challenges to anything the fucking neutered and fake rule of law in this beclowned country might enact to remove him peacefully from the reigns of power.

There was no 24-hour propaganda broadcast network in 1974 and hundreds of smaller like-minded lickspittle sycophants rallying tens of millions of miserable, deplorable howling loyalists to violence against all liberals and RINOs in support of their fuhrer.

There is no Billy Graham with whom mp can feign receiving the counsel of a higher power to release the reigns of earthly power for the greater good. These scum no comprende the "greater good". There are only the ruthless murderers of today's brute, lying, money-grubbing mp evangel to urge him to do his worst, and believe me, this monster relishes the worst.

There is no functioning "ship" of deep state from which the rats will jump at the last minute. Today's conservative vermin, millions of them, will scuttle up the sides of mp's ship, knives clenched in their teeth, to join him in apocalyptic fury.

There was no Vladimir Putin in 1974 to instigate Russian troop and military asset movements at flash points around the globe to threaten America if we attempted to remove their major traitorous mole, Richard Nixon, because that was one trick Tricky Dicky could not count on, in the long-gone world in which in our domestic enemies, when the chips were down, were different than our foreign enemies.

Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

"Oh and it appears RBG fell last night and broke three of her ribs."

I'm sure mp during his next public appearance will express heartfelt concern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM09lTyZr4E

"Plenty of uncounted ballots, though:"

"though" is doing a lot of work in that statement.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/az-gop-sues-to-limit-mail-in-ballots-counted-dems-cry-voter-suppression

Shame the green candidate couldn't have endorsed Sinema just a little earlier.

vanity is a hell of a drug

when it reins reigns, hails, monsoons, whatever, it pours

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ron-helus-sheriffs-deputy-who-ran-straight-into-thousand-oaks-shooting-died-a-hero?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Counsel your little kids to charge the shooter, ya NRA fucks.

It's the only way to avoid gun control.

Plenty of uncounted ballots, though...

I don't know what the statistics look like in Arizona. In California, the last-minute mail ballots break heavily Democratic and shift the results by about two percentage points. It's so consistent that this year a couple of Republicans have conceded while they were still leading.

Shame the green candidate couldn't have endorsed Sinema just a little earlier.

It does suggest that Maine may be on to something with ranked choice voting.

http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?p=28603

https://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article221304230.html

Patriots at the IRS need to release mp's tax returns to Jim Acosta.

You have to wonder if these guys are just exceptionally stupid. Or if they just figure people in their fans' information bubble won't notice.

White House shares doctored video to support punishment of journalist Jim Acosta [emphasis added]

George Conway cites Mr Justice Clarence Thomas in arguing that Matthew Whitaker's appointment is unconstitutional
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/opinion/trump-attorney-general-sessions-unconstitutional.html
Hmmm....

I think Trump will appoint Roy Moore to replace RBG given the opportunity, and there is nothing Democrats can do to stop it.

I agree. To a SCOTUS containing a pervert, a perjurer, and a receiver of stolen goods, adding a pedophile would be no novelty.

Whether such a SCOTUS would retain any semblance of legitimacy is a different question.

--TP

WTAF
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/getting-ugly-fast
Things are getting ugly fast in Florida. Rick Scott, clearly thinking he’s going to fall behind in the vote count and lose his campaign for Senate, is both filing lawsuits to stop the vote counting in South Florida and using his police powers as governor to do so....

Scott actually said this …

“Late Tuesday night our win was projected about 57,000 votes. By Wednesday morning that lead dropped to 38,000 votes. By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000 votes. This morning, it was around 21,000. Now, it is 15,000,.”

The Scott version:https:
//weartv.com/news/local/watch-live-governor-rick-scott-to-make-statement-about-elections

And a fuller account:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/08/florida-senate-elections-scott-nelson-2018-recount-975805

The Florida thing is a mess. As much as I would like the Democrats to win the races that are in question, I have my doubts about how things are being run there. I don't think there's anything dishonest going on. I'm just not terribly confident about the competence of the people running things.

Of course, that's me looking at it through a rubber chicken from a thousand miles away. Perhaps I'm being influenced by false propaganda, even if I don't put any stock in the suggestions of cheating, or pretty much anything else that comes directly out of most Republicans' mouths on the subject - especially Trump's.

And there's also the fact that, if the races weren't so close in the first place, this stuff wouldn't matter, and no one would be talking about it - at least not outside of people directly involved with conducting the elections in Florida.

So NOW the lying, thieving, cheating Scott takes his forked tongue back from the cat:

https://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/politifact-did-rick-scott-invoke-the-fifth-amendment-75-times/2185493

His brow-furrowed physician should ask him if he keeps his weapon in a cool, dry place at home, because the man sounds desperate and I fear for what he might do to those around him.

Republicans have emptied the electoral process, the rule of law, of all legitimacy across the country.

They are chads. Hang 'em high.

That said, when visiting Broward County, Florida, always count your change .... twice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d13X9VYxiIw

Limbaugh is right at home in Palm Beach.

One wonders, given the moral turpitude of the base material we're working with, if we could somehow go back and re-count, accurately, no cheating, like Imelda Marcos counted her shoes, the votes in every single election at every level of government since 1787, what the outcomes would look like.

That would be one colossal reboot.

Can I just say that IMO this wins the Brett Kavanaugh "Gee, maybe that shit we pulled way back when was a bad idea" award for ex-post-facto meeping. Hands down.

I don't want to poach on the count's turf, but I'd really, really, really like to kick Matthew Dowd in the freaking nuts.

Uncivil, that, I'm sure. So be it.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/11/09/the-latest-coffee-boy/

Probably couldn't pick out Whitaker in a lineup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMUVB5kM-z8 ***

mp's attorney, to mp's face, explaining to the lout why he would advise not submitting to an interview personally with Mueller's team:

"Because you're a fucking liar!"


*** If you watch that video closely, spot the tell that Contestant #2 is definitely not who he sez he is. He's actually Brett Kavanaugh.

Poach away.

Too many nuts to kick, not enough feet.

the real outrage is when lefties accuse conservatives of being racist.

A Kansas Republican official is under fire for a social media post in which he called a Democratic congressional candidate a "radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian" and predicted she would "be sent back packing to the reservation," The Kansas City Star reported.

Michael Kalny, a Republican who holds the elected position of precinct committeeman in Kansas, was referring to Sharice Davids, an openly gay Native American lawyer running to unseat Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder. Davids is an amateur mixed martial arts fighter.

Kalny sent the language in a direct Facebook message to Anne Pritchett, president of the Johnson County Democratic Women’s north chapter.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/10/gop-official-sharice-davids-kansas/1589389002/?fbclid=IwAR3ei_HYE0AbL1X29lHlzWELOlHJ6RL35O3KMdyMUWvtQRd6JgoqGABBvJg

Limbaugh is right at home in Palm Beach.

Personally, I suspect Limbaugh votes Democratic. Two reasons:

First, it makes his shtick easier when the Democrats are in power and doing things to rail against.

Second, he is (from what I can gather) about as sincere as the Colbert Report. Just with less talent. (Bear in mind that when Stephen Colbert got invited to the Bush White House for a gig, some of the folks there were shocked because they had thought he was serious on his show. Even with the subtle hint that it was on the Comedy channel. Amazing, but apparently true.)

the real outrage is when lefties accuse conservatives of being racist.

But it's not all dark. It appears that complaining because "political correctness" means that you can no longer refer to a woman as a "slut" won't get you re-elected. Too bad for Congressman Lewis.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/11/europe-joins-arms-race.html

Mexico might allow French nuclear missiles along our southern border.

French fried republicans.

When is Mattis leaving?

"some of the folks there were shocked because they had thought he was serious on his show."

I couldn't find the priceless first interview Colbert did with Georgian republican rep Jack Kingston, in which the latter was so absolutely clueless that Colbert was doing a parody conservative (Kingston's facial expressions were bovine, barely registering, as if he was a cow who thought he was going to be milked by Rush Limbaugh, but it turned out to be Fidel Castro on the stool next to him) but here's the last one, in which he's on to Colbert, and is a good sport, but you can tell he's not quite sure yet if Lena Horne is white or black:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNsToGp_yUc

I think it's time to remove the "m" in "mp", so he shall henceforth be referred to in my posts as "p":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dSpBbTWigE

At some point, I will begin adding letters again to the other side of the "p", first "u", then a "t" .... as the greatest traitor in American history and his 70 million republican dupes are exposed, do I have to spell it out for ya?

But we still have a stock market crash, the arrest and beatings of journalists, the killing of liberal demonstrators and conservative hispanics seeking asylum, the indictment of Hillary Clinton, and the worst nuclear brinksmanship since Cuba in 1962, and an armed, bloody months-long standoff at Mar-a-Lago to live through.

To answer Sebastian's question again, no, there will not be one second's rest until this Civil War is over.

Here's a fun fact:

There were more than 600,000 mail-in ballots left to process statewide as of Wednesday, about 75 percent in Maricopa County. That huge amount has put pressure on a system that spends a lot of time already verifying the mail ballot signatures.

Fontes said his office’s 1980s-era computer system is partly to blame. It was put in when Maricopa was far smaller and only a handful of its residents voted by mail.

He said the system only allows his office to tally about 75,000 votes a day. There are another 375,000 votes outstanding in Maricopa County alone as of Thursday night.

A 1980s computer system! And here I thought I was slow in updating my systems....

The Commodore 64 is churning away to the delight of fans of what has become known as "neo-steampunk." They're lining up in their ill-fitting OP corduroy shorts and tube socks to get a glimpse of obsolete machine at work.

somewhere in Maricopa County.....

Russell, don't be misled by their 40s attire into thinking them conservatives. Those women pictured are college educated, and therefore probably pro-Democratic and likely to create programs with a partisan bias. (Hey, I can invent conspiracy theories with the best of them. )

A 1980s computer system! And here I thought I was slow in updating my systems....

Two of many links. I remember reading somewhere that Congress is still using 3.5 diskettes.

"It’s hard to believe these magnetic, 8-inch data storage devices are what’s propping up the most fearsome weapons humanity has ever created. But the Department of Defense is still relying on this technology to coordinate key strategic forces such as nuclear bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to a new government report."
The real reason America controls its nukes with ancient floppy disks: America’s nuclear arsenal depends on a surprising relic of the 1970s that few of us may recall: the humble floppy disk.

"A backup nuclear control messaging system at the U.S. Department of Defense runs on an IBM Series 1 computer, first introduced in 1976, and uses eight-inch floppy disks, while the Internal Revenue Service's master file of taxpayer data is written in assembly language code that's more than five decades old, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office."
U.S. government agencies are still using Windows 3.1, floppy disks and 1970s computers: Some U.S. government agencies are using IT systems running Windows 3.1, the decades-old COBOL and Fortran programming languages, or computers from the 1970s.

I still remember the smell of my Fortan 77 text book. Ah, memories...

Well after all, it's better to spend billions on flashy new planes that the military says it doesn't really need, but which look cool in airshows, than on computers that the public will never see. Priorities!

FORTRAN, that is.

I'm shocked to know this!

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/415961-trump-played-key-role-in-coordinating-hush-money-payments-to-daniels

I was always disappointed no one ever released a FORTRAN compiler used COMEFROM instead of GOTO statements. :)

Hmmm.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/415892-trump-have-not-spoken-to-whitaker-about-russia-probe
Trump defended Whitaker as a "very well respected man in the law enforcement community" but claimed he does not know him personally.
"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker," Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a trip to Paris....

Whitaker, who formerly served as chief of staff to ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reportedly met with Trump roughly a dozen times in the Oval Office.
In an Oct. 11 interview with Fox News, Trump said "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."...


Some U.S. government agencies are using IT systems running Windows 3.1, the decades-old COBOL and Fortran programming languages, or computers from the 1970s.

i do postal address processing software for a living, and so i have to write a lot of code that implements USPS standards. USPS provides all their sample code in COBOL.

and so it ...never effing ends:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fbi-is-investigating-florida-company-linked-to-acting-attorney-general-matthew-whitaker-2018-11-09?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Everything they touch.

More admissions of guilt by republicans who stole the 2000 election from Al Gore:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/11/that-time-one-of-them-admitted-they.html

I have been saying since last millennium that if the Starship Enterprise ever gets built, it will be running Windows 2300. But I digress.

My real question is: how do you get out of the legacy problem?

The question is relevant to all sorts of circumstances, not just computer and software systems, which is why I ask it in such general form.

Do you keep repairing the old car, or buy a new one? Do you keep patching and remodeling the house, or do you tear it down and rebuild it? Do you keep tweaking your constitution, or write a new one?

And do you answer differently if you're "conservative" or "liberal"?

--TP

Everything they touch.

That's not really accurate. Because it's backwards. It's not that they corrupt whatever they touch so much as that those eager to join them are corrupt already.

After all, would you be willing to work for/with Trump? Or anyone like Trump?

USPS provides all their sample code in COBOL.

There are lots of more sophisticated languages since COBOL. All of which share one characteristic: they are notably less efficient in execution. If you don't actually need all the fancy bells and whistles, the old ways actually make sense.


COMEFROM

Actually implemented in Intercal

FORTRAN

For some kinds of numeric-heavy computing, you don't need objects or inheritance, and can live without encapsulation: what you need is the world's fastest double-precision complex floating point implementation of the math library, for SIMD array processors. That, FORTRAN has, but Python does not.

The NASA Ames supercomputer lab at Moffett Field used to specialize in benchmarking this kind of stuff.

The Florida recount thing seems ridiculous. WTF, seriously. How did we not fix this 18 years ago? Which is one of the few things that I'm really a little bit conspiracy minded about. At least since the 1960s it has been super clear that the voting craziness in the US is crazy. Both sides have been in charge at various times, and neither every fixes it. I semi-seriously believe that it is because both sides think they cheat better than the other side.


they are notably less efficient in execution.

If you write machine code directly in hex, you don't need to waste space on separate constants.

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html

How did we not fix this 18 years ago?

We?

Florida's (and every other state's) election system is governed by Florida. Florida's state government is R.

Neither I nor you have anything to do with Florida. As I'm sure you lknow.

I've forgotten where you live Seb. Somewhere in the midwest maybe? Check out your own election situation.

I live in Virginia. Virginia does pretty well. I worked as a Democratic poll watcher, and have done for quite a few elections. VA is pretty freaking honest. People don't wait in lines. If there's a line for more than 1/2 hour, we report it, and people try to fix it. People in other states (GA, FLA) wait hours and hours. Why? VA has a D governor and a bipartisan (2/1 depending on guber party) electoral board. Yeah. VA is turning blue because voting rights are protected. Never more than 1/2 hour at the very busy polling place where I worked.

Have you worked at the polls? I highly recommend it.

California's election system is absolutely trustworthy because we had an excellent secretary of state that de-certified all the hackable computer systems and pushed the entire state onto paper ballots. It still takes considerable time to count absentee and early-vote and provisional ballots, particularly the latter, but our Dem government prizes accuracy and fairness above electoral advantage, so does its best to make sure that everyone gets a chance to vote, and every possible vote is counted.

joel hanes, that's my experience in VA. We have paper ballots that are scanned, so that the scans are read first, but if there's any question, a paper trail exists. The only thing about VA's system that I would change is that early voters need an "excuse". Some of these are squishy, so there is early voting for those who understand that they can do it. It should be more obviously universal.

But, yeah. Notice that the screwed up jurisdictions are voting rights nightmares. There's a reason for that.

I live in Virginia. Virginia does pretty well. I worked as a Democratic poll watcher, and have done for quite a few elections. VA is pretty freaking honest. People don't wait in lines. If there's a line for more than 1/2 hour, we report it, and people try to fix it.

I was a poll worker in California Tuesday. We had a few times when we would have had lines. Not to get ballots, but just to get a booth to fill them out in. Fortunately, we were in a school library, so people could just use the shelves. And did.

We did have a queue for the (one) electronic ballot marking device. Mostly, people opted back to straight paper rather than wait. In my post-poll write-up, I noted that we could use a second one.

But when it comes to lining up to get a ballot? A couple times we had 3 people lined up. For under 5 minutes. We were configured to handle lines of upwards of a dozen people (in each of 3 groups of first letter of last name), but it never happened.

It may be noteworthy that we had lots of people drop in briefly to deposit their "vote by mail" ballots. I think they are basically using that approach just to allow themselves time to fill out the ballot at leisure.

FYI, people voting in person, whether on paper or using a machine to generate the paper, get their ballots scanned on-site. At the end of the night, we generate a list (copy posted on the door, second copy turned in to the county), pull the chip from the scanner and send it to the county, and gather all the ballots (scanned, provisional, by mail) and send them in to the county as well. The result is that, as soon as the chip gets to the county, they have the in person numbers available. The vote-by-mail ballots turned in on site still have to be scanned. (As previously noted, we count anything postmarked by election day. Which means those keep straggling in for several days.) And the provisional ballots checked to see why the individual wasn't on the voter roster -- mostly people who signed up for vote by mail, but didn't bring their by mail ballot with them.

Nothing is connected to the Internet (i.e. hackable remotely). There is a paper copy of every ballot, so anyone who distrusts the count can go thru and manually recount.

We have paper ballots that are scanned, so that the scans are read first...

Same in MA. Scan for efficiency, paper ballot for accountability.

You get checked in my name and address, you get a ballot, you fill it in, scan it, get checked out by name and address, and go on about your day.

It's never taken me more than 15 minutes to vote here.

Meanwhile back at the swamp

At the White House as well as the Justice Department, senior aides were taken aback by news accounts of Whitaker’s work on the advisory board of Miami-based World Patent Marketing, which was accused of defrauding its customers. Officials said they were particularly stunned by emails showing Whitaker invoked his former job as a U.S. attorney to threaten a man who had complained about the company.

Whitaker also rebuffed an October 2017 subpoena from the Federal Trade Commission seeking his records related to the company, according to two people with knowledge of the case.

Isn't it wonderful how careful vetting ahead of time can assure that you get the best people. Ones without embarrassing baggage -- of the kind that the media will be able to uncover in a day or two.

Kavanaugh, in hind-sight, thinks that perhaps his rat-f***ing pursuit of Bill Clinton was not such a great idea. Presidents shouldn't be subject to that kind of naked political harassment.

Dowd, in hind-sight, considers that maybe it wasn't a good idea to prevent ballots from being counted in 2000.

In about 10 or 15 years, we will be treated to the regrets of all of the Trump supporters and enablers, who, in hind-sight, ponder whether it was a good idea to let Trump and his merry band of punks, chiselers, and creeps run amok in the Executive.

It's not like this crap is all that hard to discern in real time, folks.

Whitaker will not survive the weekend.

all of us have weapons.

please fuck with us, NRA vermin.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/11/09/friday-evening-open-thread-the-nra-lost-this-election/

Whitaker will not survive the weekend.

Combine Trump's famous loyalty to those around him (nonexistent) with him now saying that he doesn't know Whitaker (no matter what he said a few days ago). Whitaker probably shouldn't waste any effort on moving into DoJ quite yet.

Real life may be preventing those of our fellow commenters who supported Kiss-Ass Kavanaugh from piping up in support of consiglieri Whitaker, but if Ugh is wrong they will probably get around to it eventually.

--TP

It certainly sounds as though Whitaker will survive the weekend , judging by Trump’s tweets last night:
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/416044-ex-white-house-counsel-interviewed-whitaker-about-joining-trumps

Whitaker is disposable, but he has been appointed to do a job - sabotage Mueller as quickly and effectively as possible. Trump is a crook who likes to gamble.

Also of interest:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/09/mueller-sessions-whitaker-doj-shakeup-979657

Changing the topic a bit, is this true (it seems persuasive) ?
http://healthpolicyandmarket.blogspot.com/2018/11/what-neither-republicans-or-democrats.html
Republicans have seemingly never understood that Obamacare has worked well for low-income people who get the biggest premium and out-of-pocket subsidies. It has worked well for those eligible for Medicaid in the states that have expanded it. And, it has been critically important for those with preexisting conditions. And, that three deep red states--Nebraska, Utah, and Idaho--voted last week to expand Medicaid clearly says that even in the reddest states what people want is health insurance security not only for themselves but for their neighbors.

But what Democrats have never been willing to admit is that the program has been devastating for the middle class--those who get no subsidy, or a relatively small subsidy--for the way it has wrecked their individual health insurance market.

The Republicans tried to take away these health insurance security benefits and it cost them dearly in 2018.

Just like the Democrats so ham-handedly tried to reform the system in the first place only to see it cost them dearly in prior elections.

It's not about Obamacare guys, it's about health insurance security--for everybody.

My understanding is that all the attempts at Republicans trying to screw up obamacare have been concentrated on ignoring expanding the risk pool and that’s why the middle class has gotten screwed over. Claiming that obama and the Dems weren’t ‘bold’ enough is revisionist thinking.

But what Democrats have never been willing to admit is that the program has been devastating for the middle class--those who get no subsidy, or a relatively small subsidy--for the way it has wrecked their individual health insurance market.

This is only true (to the extent it is true) because of Republican sabotage of the ACA.

-for the way it has wrecked their individual health insurance market.

Yes. I remember those halcyon days when the individual health insurance market worked so well./snicker

From Nigel's link:

This means 4.5 million people lost their individual health insurance in just two years.

Actually, it means that 4.5 million fewer people get their health insurance from private individual markets relative to two years ago.

Those two statements are not equivalent.

I agree that for people who purchase their own health insurance from private markets, and who make too much money to qualify for subsidies, the ACA has in general sucked.

It has also extended health insurance to many many millions of others. Many. And dramatically reduced the number of people who end up in financial distress or ruin as a result of unplanned medical expenses.

So, good for lots of people, not very good for some. It's not a perfect law. It needs fixing. Or, replacement, if that floats your boat.

FWIW, the ACA was not the (D)'s first choice. It's not a plan that originate with (D)'s. It's what we ended up with, in order to get anything at all.

It's not about Obamacare guys, it's about health insurance security--for everybody.

Yes, it is, in fact, about health insurance security - for everyone. And that's a puzzle that has been solved, and solved, and solved, and solved, and solved. We can take our pick of tried and true solutions, according to whatever mix of public and private actors we want to include in the mix.

So let's just freaking do it. Get'er done.

Why hasn't that happened? Do you think the (D)'s are standing in the way?

"Do you think the (D)'s are standing in the way?

60 votes in the Senate passed the law, so yes, they su ck too. Try not to forget that. They could have passed anything they wanted and got it signed.

They could have passed anything they wanted and got it signed.

Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!! The grave that Joe Lieberman will lie in some day so I can go spit on it mocks that statement. Just like Republicans could have passed anything they wanted and got it signed over the last two years and...somehow didn't. All they coughed up was a hairball: A big tax cut for the wealthy.

Just finishing up Remedy and Reaction by Paul Starr on the history of the struggle for health care reform in this country. I recommend to all.

I agree that for people who purchase their own health insurance from private markets, and who make too much money to qualify for subsidies, the ACA has in general sucked.

What do you base this on? It might be true, but I'm not sure why.

Is it because insurers must cover anyone, with community-rated premiums, and that drives rates up? I can see that, but after all, as you say, many previously uninsured individuals were able to get insurance, so it doesn't suck for everyone who was in the individual market, only some.

Of course, one solution, among many, to that would be government-funded reinsurance, so that the insurer doesn't bear the full cost of catastrophic cases.

They could have passed anything they wanted and got it signed.

Yes, now that you mention it, that's just the way it was.

What do you base this on? It might be true, but I'm not sure why.

My understanding is that people who bought health insurance in private markets, not via an employer or other group membership, saw their premiums go up.

If they made enough money to not qualify for federal $$$, that came out of their pocket.

As far as the cause-and-effect dynamics of what moved the premiums up, that is above my pay grade. I'm just stating what I understand the salient facts to be.

And, I could be wrong, and am open to being shown to be wrong.

60 votes in the Senate passed the law

60 votes in the Senate passed that law. that doesn't mean they could have passed any law.

they barely got that one passed.

But what Democrats have never been willing to admit is that the program has been devastating for the middle class--those who get no subsidy, or a relatively small subsidy--for the way it has wrecked their individual health insurance market.

As far as I can see, the only folks whose finances have been "devistated" are those who didn't buy health insurance at all. The individual mandate forced them to get health insurance instead of rolling the dice on staying healthy. Whether that would have been a good bet is debatable. But since we force those with automobiles to get insurance in order to drive them, it's not like it's a radical innovation.

I agree that for people who purchase their own health insurance from private markets, and who make too much money to qualify for subsidies, the ACA has in general sucked.

This partly depends on how narrowly you set your parameters, doesn't it? If you just look at straight out-of-pocket insurance premiums, then yeah, possibly. But consider that, when those folks without insurance got really sick, or badly injured, they ended up in emergency rooms. Which a) are required by law to treat anybody who comes in, b) are way more expensive than other treatment options, and c) and subsidized by a combination of higher costs for others and tax dollars.

Net/net, I'm not at all convinced that the total cost, even for the middle class, was that significant. (Feel free to point me to a thorough analysis which says otherwise.)

"c) are subsidized"
(Gnashes teeth....)

Marty: 60 votes in the Senate passed the law

The Democrats did not need 60 votes to pass the law.

They needed 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster.

I wonder what Harry Reid could have passed, had he been a McConnell-level asshole.

--TP

When you have the highest respect and admiration for our military, but hate to get your hair wet. (Absent a huuuuge cheering crowd, of course.)
https://mobile.twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1061249878293168128

And from Maggie Haberman's twitter feed on the same subject:

@maggieNYT
1h1 hour ago

Churchill’s grandson weighs in on canceled Trump and FLOTUS American cemetery visit in France

@NSoames
They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen #hesnotfittorepresenthisgreatcountry

Since so much of the GOP worships Churchill, this will probably sting at least some of them, despite having drunk the Kool-aid.

A 1980s computer system! And here I thought I was slow in updating my systems....

With my old budget staff for the state legislature hat on... One of the hardest things to convince the legislature of is that the current software system needs to be tossed and replaced. This is true across partisan lines. California's software is as old and buggy as Texas's.

Part of the problem is size: they're all big complex systems with lots of interfaces. Part of it is that there are only a handful of companies that have been qualified to do this kind of work: EDS, IBM, and a few others. Combine those and the price tags are big (the low bid when my state put out an RFP for a new Medicaid system was $400M). The history isn't good: the expectation is that the delivered system will range somewhere between buggy as hell and doesn't work at all (some years back, IBM delivered one of those to Texas). So legislatures are reluctant to spend money unless the existing system is really broken.

My conclusion after attending a lot of post-mortems on failed or seriously overbudget systems was that state governments simply can't specify their way out of a paper bag. Since they typically hire out the development and the acceptance testing to different companies, a bad spec guarantees big problems.

Just as John and Yoko were precisely correct that if everyone on Earth stayed in bed for a week, there would no war and killing for, well, that week (IF Al Capp could keep his conservative mouth shut, that is) so it is correct to point out that if World War I combatants had called their mutual, pointless slaughter off because the weather might muss their coifs, we'd have more longer living renowned World War I poets, for one thing, but Hitler may not have risen to power in Germany for another.

https://sites.google.com/site/worldwar1class3a/life-in-the-trenches/weather-conditions

Mothers from the European powers sent warm socks to their sons so they could avoid trench foot and amputation only to have the kids sent back in gassed pieces in bags.

My kingdom for an umbrella.

The American military needs to muster fighter jets and intercept Air Force One before it returns p to American airspace.

Pelosi should give Mattis a call and float the idea.

Maybe p could hold up in Iceland until his grandparents' immigration parents are thoroughly vetted, and I would advise calling in veterinarians who specialize in poisonous, carnivorous, predatious reptiles for that job.

Maybe Puerto Rico would like to host him for the rest of his lout life.

papers, not "parents".

You must carry your parents with you at all times when crossing zie borders, mein liebchen.

There are four things the US does differently from all other developed countries. None of them works well:

1) Health insurance. No other system makes insurance costs depend on your risk; there's always a pooling system. For the simple reason that most people can't afford the expected cost of their treatment when they're older and less healthy.

2) Gun control.

3a) Putting politicians in charge of running elections and drawing electoral boundaries.

3b) Electing all sorts of minor officials. This sounds democratic, but it makes voting complicated, and it's not actually a good idea to have for example law officers trying to win votes. When I vote in a general election I put a single cross against the candidate of my choice. That's it, I'm done. Then counting the votes is straightforward and uncontroversial.

4) Having a politicised Supreme Court which can block legislation on the basis of tendentious interpretations of a Constitution written 150 or more years ago, plainly without present circumstances in mind.

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