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Posted by: Helen Philpot | October 24, 2013

Ted Cruz could start an argument in an empty house

helen-mug1 FROM HELEN:

Margaret is it just me or have the Republicans all gone bat shit crazy? First they are screaming bloody murder about Obamacare and then they complain because people are having trouble signing up for Obamacare. Do they want the thing more alive so they can enjoy killing it? Or are they just upset because Obama is still black? I suggest it’s the latter but I sure as hell know this – these days if a Republican politician’s lips are moving, he’s lying.

They close the government and then complain when government-funded national parks are closed. They whine about activist judges but then run to the Supreme Court when elections don’t go their way. They scream for freedom and then make it harder for people to vote. They complain about the liberal media but then spend all their time getting interviewed by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. They take issue with Obama being born in Hawaii with a Kenyan for a father, but have absolutely no problems with Ted Cruz being born in Canada with a Cuban for a father. Now on that last one, I half agree. In truth, I have no issue with either birth certificate. But I never did fancy hypocrisy much. These days, the Republican platform is so crooked it could get lost behind a cork screw.

Honey, I get it. The web page for Obamacare is a piece of shit. So let’s fix it. But speaking of a piece of shit, how in the hell did Texas produce yet another political moron? I wonder if Ted Cruz knows that Texas leads the nation in uninsured Americans. Rick Perry sure as hell doesn’t. Texas also leads the nation in gun purchases… in carbon pollution… in repeat teen births… and in homeschooling. OK. Maybe that last one isn’t a big deal, but something tells me the last two are connected. Anyone think it’s a coincidence that Texas also has a Republican super-majority in its State Capitol?

If Ted Cruz is so committed to killing Obamacare, why is he so upset that the website isn’t up to snuff? You’d think he’d be celebrating. But then again Ted Cruz could start an argument in an empty house. I’m sorry, but I just don’t trust that man. He looks like something the dog’s been keeping under the porch.

The problem is that Republicans are so worried that if America does well with a Democrat in the White House, Americans won’t vote for a Republican in the next election. Funny how soon they forget who got elected after Clinton left the White House. Of course, I often try to forget that too. I mean it. Really.

margaret-mug1 FROM MARGARET

Helen it’s not you. It’s cable news. Stop watching it. Go on a cruise instead. Just not one named Ted.

Click here to keep this site up and running.


  1. The whole 27mins is worth the time.


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  5. More JFK via Fire Dog Lake:

    I’ve TubeChopped the relevant [18:55 to 21:07] part of a YouTube of Jim Garrison they have embedded.

    The whole 27mins is worth the time.



  6. I think I’ll keep the politics on this thread and let the Thanksgiving Letter stay with the reason for the season.

    Being kind of a JFK buff:

    Troves of files on JFK assassination remain secret.

    “The government says, ‘Oswald did it and did it alone. But we can’t show you everything for national security,’ ” offers Lane. “Which one of those statements is true?”

    via FDL:

    Federal Judge:
    CIA “Treachery” Regarding Still-Classified JFK Files

    Interesting to note that many of the defenders of the surveillance state, the Patriot Act and the NSA’s uber alles style of spying often sing out that tired little ditty: “If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.”

    You don’t say?

    Funny how–If we, the people, turn around and apply that to a fifty-year old event–we are derided as tin foil millinery models and cranky kooks, simply because it seems strange to us that the government is afraid to release the information.

    You don’t say?*

    *2nd one added by me ;)

    Peace ~ Δ


  7. If yinzs haven’t already you need to DL Jeff Greenfield’s new book IF KENNEDY LIVED. Excellent!


  8. Yeah TiNY ;)

    I hadn’t read the original when I posted previously. Just grabbed a quote from The Immoral Minority link. The following quote comes directly before the words posted below. They are just as fitting, especially with the Iran deal.

    JFK’s Trade Mart Speech 1963

    This link between leadership and learning is not only essential at the community level. It is even more indispensable in world affairs. Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country’s security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason — or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.

    There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternative, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

    I can’t help but wonder…

    Peace ~ Δ


  9. Whirled, thanks. Those words are eerily relevant now.


  10. JFK’s speech he never delivered in Dallas:

    But today other voices are heard in the land — voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the sixties twenty-teens, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness. At a time when the national debt is steadily being reduced in terms of its burden on our economy, they see that debt as the single greatest threat to our security. At a time when we are steadily reducing the number of Federal employees serving every thousand citizens, they fear those supposed hordes of civil servants far more than the actual hordes of opposing armies.

    Peace ~ Δ


  11. About to be swallowed up by Thanksgiving instead of the other way around. Definitely wanted to wish everyone gathered on the porch at Margaret and Helens a bouteous and blessed holiday!


  12. Hi Congenial Gang,

    If you aren’t all busy, busy, busy with Thanksgiving preparations, then you should be! Here’s something to think about while you are making your feast.

    There has been a raging controversy going on locally for quite some time that is gained momentum. It has to do with Genetically Modified foods (GMOs), more specifically the agriculture and animal husbandry involved. I don’t know enough about it to have an informed opinion. It has become a hot button political issue complete with signs posted around on the roads and highways; even on peoples’ lawns. There have been protests of crowds in colorful T-shirts carrying their similar signs; some for, some against.

    A bill was introduced by a county councilman here to ban them all or at least some of them. (I have not read the bill.) It was passed by the council. The mayor vetoed it but it was overridden by the council. And so the controversy goes on…and on…and on. If anyone here is so inclined you could Google our local newspaper and network affiliate TV stations for the nitty-gritty details. Don’t know about radio as we never listen to the radio – period.

    These are two personalities involved. The councilman who introduced the bill is a real estate/cum concerned citizen. He and his family were guests in our home a long time ago when I was teaching music and held a small recital/luau for one of my promising young students. There were some 30-40 people there.

    I have never met the mayor in person. Both men are “Haole” whatever that is supposed to mean. I have no idea of their religious persuasions – or care.

    This is what I’m driving at. I recently read what I think is an edifying article in the September Scientific American Magazine entirely devoted to “FOOD”, (page 80 entitled “Are Engineered Foods Evil?”) To my way of thinking, it is a well rounded article, presenting both pros and cons and quoting from major studies around the world. The article was written by a PROFESSIONAL WRITER David H. Freedman. He has been covering science, business and technology for 30 years.

    Two rather compelling items jumped out at me from the article.

    1. The global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. How are we gonna feed ‘em all?

    2. According to the article, there are 30 U.S. states in which it has already become a prominent social and political issue. It has been for some time in Europe especially and also around the world.

    I still do not know what to think about it. I do feel that article is a good jumping off place to learn more about it. If any of you are interested and more computer savvy than I, you could track it down on the internet and read it.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  13. I assume it is snowing? I am about to ski on parts of our broken clouds before we go back to Omaha.


  14. Cynthia, I like your recollection, and much of the Stone kettle article. “Take back our government?;” Most people don’t know or care what that means.


  15. Stonekettle made a few good points to think about. worth the time, IMO.


    OMG, something made the pretty white clouds fall apart into tiny little pieces that are making a mess all over the place!



  16. Kennedy – I was 21, at work when someone came into Rocket Support and said did you hear Kennedy got shot. I waited for the punch line. We spent the next three days glued to the tv thinking the world was about to end. Me – Politics??? Do I really need to know about this??? Kennedy was not too popular with the people I worked with besides tying up traffic when he came into town. Why? Dixiecrats?? Anyway….

    Living in West Palm Beach during his presidency, with the Cuba/Castro thing, the Missile Crisis gave us a third row seat to the show.

    When they took the Honey Fitz out there were 4 or 6 little black hydroplane speed boats that ran interference. I had a Sailfish and sailed on the south side of the bridge around Peanut Island but kept it on the north side on the causeway. I had learned the hard way that when the tide was going out you had to tack to a certain point in order to make a straight run to the causeway in the final tack. Otherwise you would get too close to the shore or the bridge where the wind changed and too offended caused you to flip/go over. There was also the possibility of barracuda or shark to consider.

    (Later learned there was a bunker under Peanut Island for Kennedy. There was a No Trespassing Government Property sign so of course we had to check it out. Climbed the light tower but didn’t find any thing of interest.)

    This one day the black boat cut in front of me signaling to come about. But I just needed a bit more time/space and tried to motion that to them. I am on a Sailfish in a bathing suit; no place to hide any WMD. Wasn’t that close and the Honey Fitz could out run me, what harm was I. But they cut me off so close I flipped over. Angry, I flipped them one as well including the HF. Jack and Jackie where on the stern watching.

    Oh my momma would have been so proud. Not!



  17. I was studying for a test in college when the radio announcer said there was bad news from Dallas. The present had been shot, and no one yet knew his condition.

    We who heard the news were numb, and one of my thoughts was how terrible it was for Jackie to watch her husband die as she wore part of his brain. Some students cried.

    I turned on my tape recorder and caught the whole event. I sat in the dorm rec room with a large crowd as Oswald was killed on national television. None of us said a word. We were stunned.

    For several years afterward, I sat by myself on the anniversary and contemplated the lost hope and pain Kennedy’s family felt that day and forever after.

    If you were alive then, what did you do when Kennedy was shot?


  18. My ego is not over inflated. I just think bragging is sometimes a more enjoyable way to respond to personal attacks I have been called a liar, and compared to manure and idiots in the past month. I understand why. It is a tactic of last resort.

    On Monday, Micheal Convente wrote in the Daily Kos that he is a representative on the health care committee at the University of Pennsylvania.

    “For us, at least in the college health insurance market the aCA has truly been the “law of intended consequences…Relying on marketing slogans, some of which turned out not to be so correct, is turning out to be problemetic…but that forcing poor college students to pay for health care for children, which most don’t use, is becoming a burden.”

    Campus Reform has more. Convente still supports Obamacare. He just doesn’t like the new insurance policies.

    Another post was titled “Confessions of an Obamacare advocate with canceled policy, facing 38 Percent premium hike.”

    In September, another embittered fan wrote “what the hell kind of reform is this?”

    I’m not mad at anyone here, but I am mad at Obama for lying to us.


  19. Iran doesnt go nuclear – check

    Innocent Iranian citizens get sanctions lifted – check

    Right wing loons dont get their war against the scary scary Muslims – check

    Not a bad weeks work Obama ! Good job!


  20. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Yesterday (Friday here) was a somber day of reflection for many of us. May JFK, and Jackie too, rest in peace along with their Patrick and Little John-John.

    I wish Caroline well in her new role and responsibilities as ambassador to Japan.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  21. cuz it’s time for a break in the festivities/hostilities


  22. James, your bloated, over-inflated ego is showing, and it’s starting to piss people off. Give it a rest.


  23. Blair, I am preparing to cross country ski, and I am in a good mood. I take pity on you and will help you with a search.

    Google Federal Register Vol. 75 No. 116 Thursday, June 17, 2010. Rules and Regulations.

    Table 3 Estimates of the cumulative Percentage of Employer Plans Relinquishing Their Grandfathered Status, 2011-2013.The estimate covers small, large and all employer plans.


  24. Nice excuse, Blair, but it doesn’t work because you couldn’t do it if you wanted to. I rarely make claims I can’t support with documentation. Obama’s ObamaCare lie is the latest example. As I wrote before, your case is weak.

    Rogerlodger, I know if we met personally, I would be sure to carry insecticide and anti – bacterial soap. You both are a lot of fun.


  25. Anyone who has been on this blog for a while knows that dealing with James is like putting up with an infestation of Pthirus pubis without the benefits of treatments.


  26. James – It’s not that I have a weak case – I could spend a lot of time looking things up and assembling arguments in logical order.

    You just aren’t worth the effort. As Hornblower said to Simpson, “You aren’t worth the powder.”


  27. One more lesson, Blair; someone this morning cited a Michigan poll which is a true incontrovertable fact . Granted such a poll is only a snapshot as is the one showing Obama’s plunge, but that poll was actually made, and stands out for all to see. That is how you build a stronger case when you are arguing. You’re welcome.


  28. Blair, another thing I have learned here and elsewhere is that if someone is arguing a weak case, he/she tries to change the subject and failing that goes ad hominem on his/her opponent’s anatomy.

    You may delude yourself with big talk, but you are losing because personal attacks, throwing out bright shiny objects or flight are your only choices. Thanks for enhancing my ego,


  29. Terri, is Noam Chomsky liberal enough?

    He said on Democracy Now that Sarah Palin was right about Obama’s “hopey changey stuff.” “The Obama brand was sold and people bought it.” He referred to Obama’s lack of substance in his presidential campaign. Chomsky is far from being a fan of Palin.

    I wrote before that Howard Dean, certainly not a conservative, said that ObamaCare’s Payment Advisory Board validates Palin’s death panel hyperbole. “The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body.”

    Cjomsky made his comments in August, I think.


  30. Terri I wrote before that I rarely if ever read the Blaze, much less cite it. I didn’t know myfoxnews existed until I found the Angry Americans article. The Drudge Report is not usually a primary source. It links to other liberal and conservative stories and writers.

    Blair, you need better material. You are proof evolution can retrogress. Try something like that.


  31. James, as the reverent Spooner would say, is a shining wit, a real smart feller, and much as I enjoy a battle of wits, it’s not ethical to go up against an unarmed opponent.


  32. And some good news for the state of Michigan. It seems the good people of MI have wised up and cleared their collective eyes. 36 percent of Michiganders now view the Tea Party ” strongly unfavorably” and a scant 10 percent see Teahaters as ” strongly favorable ” according to a recent poll.

    I knew there was a reason I ❤ MI!


  33. We all need to remember that the source of James’s “documentation” is usually The Blaze, myfoxnews, Drudge, etc. Every once in a while he throws in The Washington Post to make it seem he’s not the right wing idealogue that we know him to be. True believer, indeed.


  34. Good morning friends!

    I shared a meme on facebook this morning it went something like this:

    Some people come into your life as blessing others as lessons. The lesson people are aka douchebags. :)

    Have fun! 😘💨💨💨


  35. Cynthia. That is an odd question. I was taught to understand that if a woman said “no” she meant “no.” Its also how we taught our children.

    Bo, only in your demented little mind are you winning anything. Look up True Believer,

    I thought I was through with manure after we sold the cattle. You should, read “America’s Anger epidemic: why” on myfoxny.com

    Gato, our grand daughter saw her first snow on Thursday night. Her mother and I put her down so she could grasp a handful, and she held it in her hand until it melted. her eyes got bigger than usual. Her first sentence will be something like “cows eat grass” as our son’s was if we have any choice. Its up to her.


  36. Jimmy, thanks for proving my point so quickly!
    “Delusions of adequacy” — check!
    “Pronouncing factoids” — check!
    Preaching your “theories of how things are” — check!
    I would say that you covered it all there, Jimmy . . . or should I just call you Cliff and cut out the middleman.
    Thanks for the laughs and giggles, cupcake.


  37. “Is English your second language?”

    Please tell you are not one of those guys that believes if a girl said NO she really means YES!



  38. James – I think we can guess what your little granddaughter’s first complete sentence is going to be…



  39. One difference, Bo is I am usually right, not because I am so smart, but because the documentation is easy to find. If you deny the bad features of ObamaCare and its implementation in the face of easy to find evidence, you just might be a True Believer.


  40. Gato, Senator Gillibrand was asked a direct question.

    Did she think Obama was misleading people, including her,about features of ObamaCare..Did Gillibrand think Obama mislead her? “He should have been more specific. No, we all knew.” “The whole point of the plan is to cover things people need.”

    After my little Air Force adventure, I had six weeks of physical therapy. I didn’t pay a dime. My aunt fell down stairs and broke her hip in England, She paid very little for her surgery and physical therapy. Tax payers handled the bills, The British paid for my aunt’s care even though she was a US citizen..

    ObamaCare has altered the “medical underwriting” process which puts people at low risk in a pool that charges less money. Now, healthy people formerly immune to high rates and deductibles must pay for the old and sick..

    Obama lied, because he knew that such people would oppose anything forcing them to pay higher rates.

    Three more words describe our leaders.: Hubris , incompetence, and gullibility.


  41. I must say that I have been following the back and forth on this thread between “the congenial gang” and our house curmudgeon, James. It is highly amusing!
    It reminds me of a certain Boston bar where everybody knows your name. The staff and patrons are all characters in their own right; however, James is a dead ringer for a certain delusional postal worker who holds down a barstool from which he pronounces his highly suspect factoids and his twisted “theory of how things are”.
    Yes, indeed, James is our very own Cliff Klaven. Instead of a barstool, he’s a keyboard commando. However, he is overcome by similar “delusions of adequacy” and stuck in a world somewhere between comedy and pathos.


  42. Blair, I used to shovel you out of our barn several times a year. No wonder you seem familiar.


  43. “Is English your second language?”

    Is bullshit your first?


  44. James – Please use the following words in a complete sentence:


    And please make it your LAST ONE on this subject!!



  45. Cynthia, the question was did Senator Gillibrand feel Obama had misled her and others. she didn’t answer the question directly. She said Obama should have been more specific, ” not a direct quote.) The Senator also said “We knew.” We” knew what, the price of oats in China?

    “We” Knew Obama wasn’t telling everything he should have. She tacitly admitted that she knew Obama was not providing the all of the information we now know. Its clear.

    Is English your second language?


  46. Jean:

    Here’s a different subject brought up by one of your comments. I was in a neighboring state recently where an election was scheduled to select primary candidates to run for office and to settle several local issues. I was in the express line at a big box store where the young man ahead of me was accompanied by his preschool daughter. She was clearly agitated about something and was acting a bit antsy. The discussion between them revealed that her discomfort was about the election. As I was soon to learn, she had a decent sense of numbers but only a fair grasp of language.

    Her first question was the revelation. “Daddy, the man on TV says you have to see a doctor if the election is longer than four hours. Why is that so?” At first, daddy drew a blank. But not the savvy cashier nor the grandmother behind me in line. The cashier smiled, leaned forward and said to the young man, “Your first child? Maybe your wife should answer that one.”

    In an attempt to interject a bit of humor into the situation I added, “I can hardly wait until they start showing ‘before and after’ graphics.”

    But Granny wasn’t about to let the subject die. “And have you noticed where they’ve turned into an issue of female satisfaction? I’ve got news for you honey.” she said addressing the cashier. “I don’t see anything heroic about a bunch of randy grampas working around the barn waiting for ‘when the time is right’ to show what ‘action’ is needed.” I have a feeling that her comment was aimed at me,

    The young man gathered up his daughter and headed for the exit as the cashier hastily rung up my item on the register. Granny was still on the subject as I left the store while the cashier, in the interest of good public relations, continued to agree with her.

    Then a couple days ago in the local paper, a psychiatrist was lamenting the promiscuous presentation of such commercials during prime time because they too often force parents to engage in conversations for which the unintended targets of the commercials (the children) are not mature enough to accept them.


  47. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Let’s chat. I would like to respond to jsri’s and gato’s comments.

    I’m so sorry, jsri that your WW is not up to par. Sending both of you hugs and best wishes. It ain’t easy for the medical profession to keep old fossils like us ambulatory when we are either nudging or over the top of insurance company actuarial tables.

    We have been pretty well satisfied with the facilities and medical team we have had for the 23 years we have been out here. Oh, except for one or two. One of them made so many mistakes that he lost his hospital privileges and ultimately left the island. The other one had such a colossal ego and spent so much of the appointment time telling us how great he was, that we lost interest in him and were referred to a different one.

    From the physicians and their specialties to the nurses and technicians, ours are invariably well qualified and experienced. Of equal importance, they are kind and friendly, even sometimes affectionate. But to my knowledge, none of them are wealthy. But then none of us cross the doctor/patient line by asking about their personal finances. Our major hospital is a non-sectarian affiliate and is non-profit.

    Considering the rapid advances in medical science and technology on an almost daily basis, it must be hard to keep up to speed in their chosen professions. Still, we are bombarded daily with a barrage of TV commercials from the pharmaceutical companies to “Ask your doctor about Viagra, or news of the latest “cures” for everything from cancer curing dietary supplementals to baldness. (With the usual legalese disclaimers to cover their asses.)

    And of course, if all else fails, there are plenty of ambulance chasers out there to oblige the public; ready, willing and able to pounce and promise HUGE settlements for “pain and suffering” – including death. Hence, the soaring costs of Medical Malpractice Insurance.

    So does anyone else out there detect just a tad of circularity going on or is it just me? Not counting those who live in the Ecotopian Republic of Allemonde. (Another of my rhetorical questions.) I do feel that simplistic answers to complex questions require a bit more intelligence and know how than I possess.

    Throw a little politics into the mix and we are off and running. Hey, mid-term elections are coming up. So is 2016!!! So are Christmas and Chanukah (Hanukah). Have you noticed that businesses, large and small, have bypassed Thanksgiving altogether and are already touting their wares for the holidays? (Rhetorical question.)

    Aloha! :-) :-) :- ) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Just your garden-variety skeptic, Auntie Jean

    P.S. Does anyone have the numbers on the salaries of any and/or all of the pharmaceutical and insurance company top executives? I wouldn’t know even where to search.

    And OH, WOW!!! How about Harry Reid’s bombshell today?


  48. Terri – The black guy (mixed race Muslim Kenyan guy) can’t be right… Because he’s the black guy! And his wife wears sleeveless dresses.



  49. James – I do see that you’re trying to be reasonable.

    It isn’t working.



  50. Hey, Cynthia – A day of great posts from you; thanks.

    RE: Drug testing for Congress people… And that “Trey,” or “Riem,” or “Rah,” or whatever odd name the Florida congressman has who just got nailed for buying cocaine… I remember a bunch of years ago sitting in on the trial of a NY shrink and his Editor wife who beat their child to death, and who offered, as an “excuse,” that they were drunks and addicts. The judge (who was a friend of my then-in-laws, which is how I was able to be in the courtroom audience) said that their being so only amplified their culpability, and did not excuse it.

    My husband and I are both members of a twelve-step group, so I speak from some knowledge. Addiction is a disease, not an excuse. I don’t want to hear ANYBODY saying, “Awwww… He’s ‘struggling with alcoholism,’ therefore he gets a pass on buying cocaine.” He’s got at least TWO problems. I’m glad he’s found the courage to do inpatient rehab. I hope it takes, and wish him well.



  51. Hey, jsri – Had to look up “iatrogenic,” but I’m sure it’ll be useful in many future conversations!

    Also did not realize that insurance companies sometimes dump doctors; I’d thought it was more often the doctor who didn’t wish to participate in a particular insurer’s program, for any of a number of reasons. So that’s TWO things I’ve just learned from your post…

    What I still cannot understand is why so many insist on maintaining that we in the US have the “best medical care delivery system in the world.” (That is heard so often that it’s almost one word…) NOWHERE are there any stats to back up that statement. I have a fine set of medical providers, and I’m not putting down our physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, nurses, or anyone else who works in the system. There is no reason to think that by far the majority don’t do the best they possibly can to serve their patients well. The “system” drives them as crazy as it does the rest of us!

    I wish you and your wife the best of results going forward…



  52. Just when you think you might have it all sorted out, your friendly insurance company will figure out how to screw you royally.

    My wife has a Medicare Advantage plan through United Healthcare. She also has had a health problem that is treatable but not cureable. Until now, United has been her insurer. But recently her condition changed, iatrogenic perhaps. They’re still trying to figure out what her new problem is and whether it might be traced back to treatments for her pre-existing condition. Since there is always the distinct possibility of surgery, it seems that United may takemselves off the potential payment hook, not by dumping patients, but by dumping doctors including just about every surgeon in our area. In other words, if my wife needs surgery, we may end up paying for it out of pocket because United has no intention of telling subscribers of their plans while it is early enough for them to change to a new plan. They have left it up to doctors to inform patients Of course, the fat, dumb and happy CEO of United Healthcare gets something like $8+ million per year, a significant part of that bonanza most likely diverted from patient care accounts.

    That means that patients served by dumped docs, especially those requiring surgery in our area, will have to switch to another insurer. However, many people will not be officially informed until it is too late to switch and may miss that little trick. In any event, the stresses of doing so promise to be emotional as well as financial. For us, it means that, without better information, we have no idea which way to go in the two remaining weeks set aside to switch plans for next year and our carefully accumulated retirement accounts may take a bath as a result.

    Welcome to the U S of A where we have the best healthcare system in the world! Yeah, sure! Check it out. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/best-health-care-system-really-john-boehner-2D11598594


  53. Hey, E.A. – It is difficult to imagine that some government bureaucrat could be worse than a private-sector “adjustor” in deciding what “benefits” will or will not be provided to a policy holder. As you have pointed out, someone in a cubicle made a decision that trashed your life and ended someone else’s. Frankly, having to pay $5000 more per year (maybe) in premiums, especially when those payments apparently cover a child with some serious medical issues, is just NOT COMPARABLE.

    Of course people “like” their incredibly inexpensive policies… As long as they’re not sick, and don’t suffer some catastrophic injury. As soon as they do, the rest of us will be picking up the slack, as we have done for years. (I “like” my old umbrella with all the holes, too, so long as I don’t have to use it in the rain…)

    How anyone can justify someone’s “right” to carry the absolute minimum policy, while counting on everyone else to pay for anything serious that might befall them, as some form of “self reliance,” is absolutely beyond me. And, to be perfectly frank, I’m damned sick of hearing people whine about that “right” being taken from them, ad nauseam!



  54. Reid finally grew a backbone!!!!!



  55. James!!!! Double BULLSHIT!!!!!

    ‘Do you think he misled you? Well he should have been more specific. But No, we all knew what he was talking about.’ What part of… NO…don’t you understand…the N or the O? How in God’s green earth does that translate to…Yes we knew he was lying?????????????

    I may not be as smart as you but I am sure as hell not as dumb as you.

    The End!



  56. It’s getting to the point where I’m going to mark any incoming comments by James as spam so they won’t clutter up my inbox. He’s so feverish about hypotheticals that exist only in his paranoid brain that he refuses to allow for even the possibility of improvement.

    Go take a look at the comment I posted on November 17, 2013 at 6:59 PM, and you’ll see how private sector for-profit insurance ruined my life and ended someone else’s, then try to argue that everything pre-ACA was all hunky-dory. Read what I wrote and tell me that wasn’t a death panel and that the private sector bureaucrat didn’t come between me and my doctor. Tell me that and I’ll call you a damned liar.

    I’m not 100% happy with the ACA, but that’s only because I wanted to see single-payer, Medicaid for all; it’s still better than what’s been in practice until now.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to invest in aluminum futures. James is going to need a lot of tinfoil to keep his head wrapped.


  57. You are wrong, Cynthia.

    Martha Raddatz asked Sen Gillibrand if she felt misled by Obama’s promise. The second time, Raddatz asked Gillibrand answered “He just should have just been more specific. No, we all knew.” She admitted wittingly or not, that Democrats knew Obama was lying. How else can you interpret “we all knew?”

    There is no justification for lying to pass a law or to win an election. If the law was too complicated for the masses to understand, supporters should have better explained it. I think they knew people forced to bear the burden of higher insurance costs would have balked. It is only human nature.

    It is not the government’s job to tell us what policies to buy as long as the insurance is not fraudulent. Our daughter likes her insurance, and the same policy will cost her about $5,000 more next year. There is a good chance she will lose her policy by 2015.

    A co-worker is expecting a baby. She doesn’t have the benefit of parental baby sitters as our daughter does. She and her boy friend have booked a good day care center for $8,000. per year. Combine that with her $5,000 added insurance cost, and you will see how much money two people won’t be able to spend in local stores. Multiply that by millions, and you will understand why Time Magazine’s headline is something like “Time is running out.”


  58. I call BULLSHIT!, James

    Perhaps you should read slowly. This will allow your brain to comprehend the words your eyes ACTUALLY see/say; not what you want them to say.

    “No, we all knew, the whole point of the plan is to cover things people need, like preventive care, birth control, pregnancy. How many women the minute they get pregnant might risk their coverage? How many women paid more because of their gender because they might…..””

    It would take days to explain the ACA. Obama is guilty of under estimating the ignorance of some who seem to enjoy being screwed by the insurance companies. IMO – if they were drowning and Obama offered his hand to save them their hatred would prevent them from taking it!



  59. This will be different, Gato.

    The Washington Post says there will probably be an institutionalized ( my word) two- tiered health insurance system for two classes of people, not random folks who’s insurance companies are being unfair to them. Some of these are people who have been forced to the exchanges from policies they liked. More importantly, Obama and others said it would be different this time “You get to keep your own doctor.” If they face a different experience than they were promised, people get mad.

    Another 50 to 100 million people may be in the same boat after the business exemption ends before the next election. Our daughter is in that group. She already faces an extra $5,000 extra premium payments after January 1.

    if they were thinking, planners would have extended the wavers to after the 2014 election. Adults living under their parents’ policies removes needed money from the system. The government needs every healthy young person it can get to pay for the old and poor who register. So far, most are choosing Medicaid. Those are just two mistakes the planners made if they expected the system to pay for itself as they claimed. That, of course, is another lie.

    I don’t think our present system is hunky dorry. I think ObamaCare is a mendacious mess of incompetency. I mentioned before that we should study what works in other countries. I also believe that like Finland and some other , we other nations we ought to consider local programs under a national umbrella to account for local differences and accountability. Some of ObamaCare is good. The rest needs to be changed.


  60. Gato, you beat me to it! To listen to James you would think our healthcare system was perfect pre-ACA. How ridiculous. He never mentions the 3 million young people who now have health insurance because they can stay on their parents’ plan, the 129 million people with pre-existing conditions who cannot have their coverage dropped or be denied insurance, the billions of dollars seniors are saving on prescriptions, or the elimination of a lifetime cap. You have to wonder why so many people are so eager to declare the ACA a failure when it has just begun. Many are blinded by hatred of Obama. Pathetic.


  61. FUNNY, E.A!



  62. For heaven’s sake, James, patients have ALWAYS had to “face that choice” of possibly not getting to see the doctor they want to see, or be accepted by the hospital they’d like to use, or even get the procedure they want, when they want it – no matter who the issuer of their insurance policy may be. Some medical practices reach a point where they won’t take ANY new patients, no matter what their insurance; others choose to decline patients of certain carriers. (This happened to me when I suffered a catastrophic orthopedic injury. It wasn’t pleasant, to say the least.)

    These things happen whether the provider is an employer, a private individual with his or her own policy, or someone on Medicare.

    And, of course, private insurance companies decide ALL THE TIME to cancel policies, to “modify” their coverage, to increase their rates, to disallow policy holders to be reimbursed for seeing “out of network providers,” to designate everything from psoriasis to repaired cataracts as exclusionary “pre-existing conditions.” To imply that any or all of this kind of thing is somehow earth-shaking “news,” unique to the ACA, is both uninformed and inaccurate. It’s all been standard operating procedure for years.

    Our current system places these decisions squarely in the hands of “adjustors” whose primary goal is to make money for their employer; they do everything possible to provide as little actual “medical care” as they can, with few minimum standards in place – that’s their job.

    And don’t even bother arguing with me on this point – unless you wish to equally support the idea that GM or Ford should determine auto safety standards and decide who gets a license to drive.



  63. The Washington Post says the next shock for Americans is they will learn they may not be able to use the doctor they want, and they may be excluded from some top-ranked hospitals if they buy insurance plans on the exchanges. In most cases, the decision would be based on the cost of care.

    Employer financed policies would not face that choice.


  64. Cynthia, Martha Raddatz asked Sen Gillibrand if she felt misled by Obama’s statements, and as you wrote, she replied “he just should have been more specific.” When asked a second time if she felt misled she answered “he should have been more specific.” Then, she said “No, we all knew…”

    Suppose you work for a car dealership and offer for sale a nice car which unbeknownst to the customer had been damaged in a flood. The salesman is less than “specific” about the car’s past and prospects. If you “know” and accept withholding information to sell a nice-looking car, you are committing fraud whether or not you are legally liable.

    Obama aided by elements of the press lied to win an election and passage of ObamaCare. Democrats running for office in the next election are faced with the choice of saying “we knew, but it was for a good cause, ” or “we were idiots.”

    An NBC poll shows 93% of people questioned want the ObamaCare changed or repealed. 72% of Democrats agree. Another poll showed that if the election was held today, Romney would win. That is why Obama and others lied


  65. Auntie Jean – I have to disagree with your example about professionalism.

    You wrote:

    Example: The oldest profession – prostitution.

    I think you’re wrong. The oldest profession is that of mendicant, because somebody had to beg for it first.


  66. Hi Congenial Gang,

    A few words about my understanding of the distinction between a PROFESSIONAL and an AMATEUR. By virtue of training and experience, a professional gets paid with money for his/her expertise. An amateur does not.

    Example: The oldest profession – prostitution.

    Aloha! ;-) :-) :-) Nameste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean


  67. jsri –

    I spent many years as a tech writer, which is something for which my varied and scattered background qualified me very well (I’d previously been a teacher, game designer, systems analyst and programmer) and my experience with games taught me that if some customer can come up with a really bizarre way to crash a system it will happen – something I fought with programmers about endlessly because they typically had such a narrow view of their tasks that the unexpected never occurred to them.*

    I used to describe the ability to be a technical writer as “…the art of becoming an instant expert on almost any topic and teaching it to others.” My litmus test for documentation was to hand a draft to someone whose knowledge was comparable to the target audience and see whether that person could follow the procedure as written without asking questions. If yes, it meant I was doing it right; if not, back to the ol’ keyboard.

    *I once had to deal with a programmer that designed a data entry field with a capacity of seven typed characters, that accepted any typed character, but crashed the program if the entry was not a whole number in the range from 0 to 23. He hadn’t even considered the possibility that anyone would enter anything other than that.


  68. Auntie Jean:

    We’ve come a long way because I recall a similar flight going in the other direction. It was in the late 1940’s and I was still in the Navy and being transfered from the east coast to west coast. It was a United DC-3 flight out of Boston to San Francisco. But I got off in Reno to see my older brother I had not seen since the day 7 years earlier when he was called back to the battleship North Carolina, the Sunday afternoon of Dec 7, 1941. The flight BOS-RNO was 19 hrs and made six stops along the way and we rarely got above ten thousand feet. Our flight in and out of Denver was a classic example of flying around and past mountains instead of well above them as is done today. One of the 19 passengers was a young woman with a baby and when the woman got sick, the stewardess handed me the baby because everyone else on the plane was using the sick sacks. How I made it to Salt Lake City without joining in the festivities is still a mystery to me. On the other hand, I never got sick at sea either. Maybe the fact that the carrier I was stationed on displaced 27,100 tons and was almost 900 feet long had something to do with it.

    E. A. Blair

    Thanks for your clear and crisp definition of tech writing. After I retired many years ago I wrote a column for a regional monthly magazine that addressed potential future uses of technology. I did that for 7 years until I moved out of the area. It required a relatively fluid writing style because it was intended for a more generalized audience. I learned an awful lot from that experience and was constantly thankful for inputs by technologists and tech writers when I strayed too far from reality.


  69. This congressman thought people should be drug tested when applying for unemployment and food stamps. Do you think it is time we should start testing Congress for substance abuse? Is this the problem with in Washington these days?

    My employer can drug test me. We employ them shouldn’t we expect them to be drug free? I am sure Boehner would fail!




  70. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, I stand corrected. That’s what can happen, when I make assumptions and jump to conclusions based on my own or my husband’s experience. He got his higher education because of Air Force ROTC in college and emerged as a brand new First Lieutenant with a five year commitment whether he liked it or not. This was during the Korean “Conflict”. Back then it was either to enlist, be drafted or go ROTC in college. (Unless a guy was 4-F of course.) In the interim, we were married. I worked through my seventh month of pregnancy. Couldn’t fit behind the desk anymore.

    Six weeks after our twin boys were born, he was honorably discharged so we moved from coast to coast. The babies and I spent a couple of weeks with my parents in CO then flew 16 hours in a rickety old DC-3 propeller plane to MA. Then we spent two months with his parents in New England while my husband got a job at a starting salary of $400.00 a month, got enrolled in grad school and found a house in MA, both on the GI Bill. Neither of our parents was in a position to give us any financial help but they were more than generous with their love and support.

    Our brand new home on a half-acre had three bedrooms, hardwood floors throughout but only one bathroom. And a basement (prone to flooding when the water table broke.) $15,000 with a $125.00 a month mortgage forever and a $60.00 a month milk bill, (delivered to the door!) We had one car, paid for. We ate a lot of peanut and butter sandwiches!!! He worked and studied. I minded babies. Both of us round the clock.

    How’d we do all that? Beats me! We must not have been very sound of mind back then. But of course we didn’t know any better.

    We are not prisoners of the past unless we CHOOSE to be. But it takes imagination, innovation and yes, some admittedly colossal mistakes to grow up, change and move on.

    A word about PROFESSIONAL journalism. Uh, I feel that political chatter is hardly the same as news. Just my OPINION.

    BTW, has anybody else noticed that the stock market has been on a stead climb for some time now and has recently hit an all time high? You don’t suppose that Obama and his PROFESSIONAL financial advisors have possibly been doing something right, do you?
    Rhetorical questions.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean


  71. “…the farthest I got was technical writing…You know…how to get an idea across in 10 words instead of 150 useless ones…”

    That is not technical writing, which is something I did for most of my working life. No, technical writing is providing someone with instructions written sufficiently clearly to enable them to teach someone else how to do it. If your last comment is of the same quality as your attempts at technical writing, you couldn’t have been vary good at it.


  72. UAW

    Sorry to disappoint you, but unlike someone as unschooled as you, I actually know the meanings of the words I use and don’t even have to look them up. Also, by your own definition, you are a total failure as a tech writer. Despite your purported prowess it took you almost a100 words to make your point when you bragged about your ability to limit explanations of ideas to ten words. And you still have a lot to learn about the use and construction of ellipses and the difference between your and you’re. It makes me proud to be an ex-teacher just thinking about how fortunate you are to have learned all those new words of more than four letters. Now it would make me even happier if you could use some of them in complete sentences.


  73. WOW……”opprobrium”….A $0.50 word……took you how long to look that up?

    Sorry jrsi but I’ve run into to many “booksmart “a$$holes” that couldn’t tie their own shoes without pictures to help them…..if your not one, great….if my punctuation isn’t right;sorry … the farthest I got was technical writing….You know….how to get an idea across in 10 words instead of 150 useless ones….


  74. Auntie Jean:

    Ooops! I’d bet you heard from my pal Al B. He asked me one day who I could trust on H&M and I gave him a list. I don’t think it would strain your imagination to figure out which names were left off. Al and I are old friends sharing a birth year and considerable history. We are members of the sandwich generation on this blog; older than you but younger than Helen.

    I came to this blog near its inception on Al’s recommendation and stayed because I enjoy comments by and for people whose comments are intelligent, amusing, piquant and informative all at the same time. Of course, most of them are women which gets the viagra eaters fussing up a cyclone. The down side of course are the flamers who bring little substance except horse dung, plenty of fire and a lot of hot air.

    A couple corrections might be appropriate in your recap of my academic hits and misses. Al has a tendency to ramble on a bit and occasionally garbles interpretations. I didn’t use the GI Bill to pay for college because when I was in the Navy after WWII had officially ended, I was an AERM3 stationed at a NavAir Station in Calif where I took and passed the exam for the NROTC program. After a summer at the Navy’s prep school in Bainbridge MD I had an opportunity to go to Annapolis or to college. I chose college and that’s where the best thing that ever to happened to me took place. It’s where I met Wonder Wife. But that early academic phase only lasted 2 years because the Navy was closing down ROTC programs for lack of need only to have to rev them up a few years later when the Korean war began (in truth, colleges were dumping ROTCs all over the US map and the military was not pleased, – nor was I). When my first 2 university years ended, I worked for an air freight company for several years and one day decided it was time to go back to school. I enrolled at the state university, the $200 per semester tuition came out of my wife’s munificent salary as an elementary school teacher that started at $2800 per annum. Two years later in grad school I was supported by research grants awarded to major professors by NSF and NIH. Such grants paid for tuition and fees and also paid us lowly research and teaching assistants $900 per year before raising it by $100 increments to a max of $1200. I guess that still made me indebted to the feds for my education. Believe me, in later years, they got back more than their money’s worth through the IRS. Yet better still, many degree recipients during those years provided incalculable benefits to the health and welfare of the nation and the world.

    It really pains me to see the massive cutbacks at NIH and NSF because it was their support of research during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that led to some of the greatest leaps in scientific achievement in the history of mankind, including space exploration, the human genome project and the Internet. We may wonder why China, which outspends us now by a wide margin on R&D, is eating our technological and manufacturing lunch but, when we witness the opprobrium heaped on teachers by UAW and potty mouthed malcontents like him, it’s easy to see why Japan and Korea, where teachers are honored and even revered, are the leading innovators in auto manufacturing and digital technology while Germany leads the luxury car parade. On the other hand, we still have more research institutions than any other nation but based on recent information, now may be the time to take the Smithsonian off the list of credible ones. Too bad because I’m going to miss the Air and Space Museum

    While some people here are convinced that the sky is falling, we have second and third generation members of families posting here who will eventually take over and prospects for a more liberal future look good. I’m aware of the caterwauling by the usual mentally moribund suspects wanting to revert to their delusional memories of the “good old days”, but that’s not going to happen. Many have tried but most have failed because once the time and progress genies emerge from the lamp they can’t be stuffed back in. And to make it even more difficult, god fearers will learn that angels and archangels are out of fashion and the djinn will be their replacement. I’m sure its all in a current movie somewhere.


  75. Seven score and ten years ago today… ;)

    Ken Burns of The Civil War fame has a project called Learn the Address. I found it captivating. You might too.

    This was my favorite: Rachel Maddow

    Bonus: Stephen Colbert

    I hope you enjoy!

    Peace ~ Δ


  76. My little ole dainty fingerprints are on file in Washington, Dee Cee!!!!!!!!!
    I got you beat. I win!



  77. “Sen Kristan Gillibrand of Ny told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s This Week that she and others knew Obama was lying three years ago. You should be so proud.” – James

    Are you sure she said that?? I am a slow reader but I did not read where she said she and others knew Obama was lying three years ago. Perhaps I should read faster!

    “RADDATZ: Let me ask you this, I want to go back to this implementation, because we can’t quite go forward yet. Did you feel misled by Obama?

    GILLIBRAND: He should have just been more specific, because the point is if you’re offered by a terrible health care plan that the minute you get sick, you’re going to have to go into bankruptcy, those plans should never be offered.

    RADDATZ: So, were you misled?

    GILLIBRAND: He should have just been specific.

    No, we all knew, the whole point of the plan is to cover things people need, like preventive care, birth control, pregnancy. How many women the minute they get pregnant might risk their coverage? How many women paid more because of their gender because they might get pregnant? Those are the reforms…”




  78. George Zimmerman arrested again for pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. All you Zimmerman defenders must be so proud!


  79. and for some funnies


  80. jsri, I know the internet is forever, and so is the Smithsonian Institute. Much of what I have written here is in an oral history which now resides in the Smithsonian and the University of Northern Florida. Some of my stories are also in a collection of recollections of Cold War service people.

    I don’t “identify” with Vietnam era veterans. I am a member of Vietnam Veterans of America.

    You are nothing to me, so you don’t charge my emotions one way or another. But I think I have a condo inside of your head. You, not I launch personal attacks ineptly, as we have seen.I merely counter attack. You seem obsesed with me. Ironically, you are as big a serial liar as Obama, only you do it through inuendo. Calling me a liar is rich. Our grand daughter is learning cause and effect. You should review.

    Sen Kristan Gillibrand of Ny told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s This Week that she and others knew Obama was lying three years ago. You should be so proud.

    You are like a cyber toy as you are proven wrong. You are a joke without a punch line.

    A bientot.


  81. Hey Gato,
    You’re right, of course. It is so discouraging to see everyone caught up in politics when the real issue is the very health and well being of our population. We can all agree the ACA is an imperfect law, but that doesn’t mean it should be scrapped. If we had representation in Congress that was truly interested in improving the healthcare situation in our country, they would be working to improve the law. Instead we have a bunch of people who are eager to call the president a “liar” and score political points in hopes of bolstering their chances of being re-elected. We all deserve so much more from the people in office. The ACA is the law. We need to give it a chance, see how it works, and improve the things that need fixing. What we know for sure is that the system prior to the ACA has not been working for many people, and we pay more for healthcare than any other nation in the world.


  82. Auntie Jean….
    and “Just for the record, I have it on the most reliable authority” that those who can Do and those who can’t TEACH


  83. Howdy, Terri – Yes; a good editorial. It’s hard for me to believe that some – even some Democrats, for heaven’s sake – are still spouting off about how we need a “market-driven system” of health care… That, of course, is exactly what we’ve HAD (virtually alone in the “civilized world”), and what has given rise to the mess that has at least been confronted by the ACA.

    Were it possible for any corporation to say anything like, “Well; we’ve made enough profit,” such a system MIGHT work. But, in our culture, there is – with rare exception – no such thing as “enough profit”… There always has to be MORE. And “profit” inevitably trumps everything: conscience, service, quality, dependability, honesty, transparency, decency, morality… Everything. And we think this is “just the way human beings are.” Of course, it’s NOT, and if we could take off our blinders, we could see that it’s not.

    As for people who feel they shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s medical problems, put every single one of them just inside the door of a major metropolitan hospital’s ER entrance for a few hours. Let them just stand there and watch as an uninsured fourteen-year-old rape victim bleeds to death from a self-induced attempt at abortion, or a twenty-two-year-old veteran of four tours in Iraq goes into a coma from an overdose of sleeping pills, or a seventy-eight-year-old grandmother lapses into insulin shock because she couldn’t afford her medications… Yeah; just make them watch it all happen, up close and personal. Until they’re willing to do that, they can just shut their pie holes about the whole subject – ESPECIALLY about the “best medical system in the world”!

    Our system IS terrific with the highest-end, innovative, “heroic measures” kinds of treatments and interventions… And less than mediocre about preventing the very behavior and lack of care that leads so many people to require that kind of thing in the first place.



  84. This is a really relevant editorial from the NY Times. Worth a read if you have the time:



  85. After living life in the fast lane for a bit, it is fun to return to this site and learn stuff such as how Social Security spun off Medicare and Medicaid. Yup, I can definitely see that and how the morphing continues with AHA. Its been a bit over a year now since my husband of 44 years passed on and once again I am the one to make the decisions on the supplemental health care plan that I inherited. I had a good chat with that company last November and they were very, very good to me. I now have in hand their latest Open Season mail-out and after carefully checking the print, I am delighted to find that these people were on the ball and included people with pre-existing conditions AND my monthly premium has not increased! I could have picked a lower cost plan as it is just for myself now but after seeing all that my husband went through I decided to do the best I could by covering all bets. Open Season is just that. The one time of the year for everyone to take advantage of possibly changing plans. This may be the reason why the roll out was planned for October so they could do just that in an efficient span of time. Just sayin’ . . .


  86. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Some of the most compelling reading we have had here at M&H’s for a long time. Thank you Terri in NY, Cynthia, Gato, and jsri. E. A. Blair, yours is such a heartfelt and tragic story as well as being all too credible in today’s world. It took courage for you to take the time to tell it.

    Just for the record, I have it on the most reliable authority that jsri and his lovely wife are retired educators, both holding PhDs. jsri, a military veteran in his misspent youth, became a Biology professor and had long years of experience advising PhD candidates until he was kicked upstairs as a University Administrator in an “elitist” institution. This leads me to believe that he is well qualified to discuss academic requirements at any level. His “WW” (Wonder Wife!) too!

    I seem to also remember that he furthered his higher education on the GI Bill. (At tax payer g’mit expense thanks to that right wing everlasting nemesis F. D. Roosevelt, who also brought us the scourge of Social Security that morphed eventually into Medicare and Medicaid.)

    Contrast that with the last of the Rutherford refugees and their gleeful denunciation of the “Fat Grannies” (M&H) and “Liki liki”, (me, another granny.) And then there are his endless litanies of mistreatment ad nauseum. Ho Hum. There may be a few days of respite though after he finishes his painting and redoing the Sistine Chapel and is summoned to go raise his granddaughter. Just as all traditional grandfathers do, his primary responsibilities there are to measure the circumference of her skull (in cm’s) and tally the number of smiles and poking her tongue out on an hourly basis. And report back here of course.

    If there are any of your out there who have been living out in the hinterland under a rock and don’t know, I am 84 and have been married for 60 years. (We are starting to get the hang of this marriage thingy.) We have three adult sons and three grandchildren. The two grandsons are freshmen in well-known “elitist” universities, one on the East Coast and one on the West. Our beautiful little granddaughter is sweet 16 and lives with her parents on the East Coast. (Proud grandma speaking here!!!)

    And so……here we are once again, embroiled in the nitty-gritty of “Obamacare” with similar horror stories from both the left and the right. The same as it was back at the end of the Great Depression/Recent Recession. From the right, it is mostly about money, money, money. From the left, it is about himan beings. In the end, we’ll get the job done and our country will be better and more mature than ever before. We’ll just have to duke it out.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. Terri in NY. Please lay off the poor little fruit flies. The tiny critters have been quite useful for scientific research into not only the biological and medical sciences but social sciences as well.


  87. James:

    You are truly pathetic. Most of your recent posts are mis-characterizations of me based on your misreadings of other’s posts. That makes you a colossal liar. How’s that for a four letter word you might understand?

    BTW, James, during the Viietnam fiasco that you so tightly identify yourself with, I was teaching at a university and the finest premed student I ever had simply disappeared one day and I didn’t know what happened to him. His family had a history of military service stretching back to WW 1 and he had followed their lead. The mystery of his abrupt disappearance was cleared up more than a year later when I met a neighbor of his who told me that my former student had been a medic and a member of a pacification team that was in a Vietnamese village treating sick children when someone hurled a grenade into his vehicle, killing him.

    So don’t try to excuse your personal shortcomings by accusing me of not understanding what was going on at the time. As an ex-serviceman, I have an affinity with the armed forces so I supported the troops but did not support the war. That’s most likely a distinction that would escape you. If you think otherwise, you are a presumptious fool.

    James, I realize that most bloggers on this site don’t bring up your emotional instabilities but you can’t expect everyone to ignore them. You see, I learned very early that once you post something on the internet, it is there forever and you can’t simply walk away from it. If you have little to brag about, it’s best to leave your idiosyncrasies behind. You seem to have missed that lesson.

    You haven’t posted an honest or accurate appraisal of anything I’ve said on this site which leads me to the next question: why are you here? There’s another blog on the net where you sometimes post that is more in agreement with your nasty and constricted views. So why do you think you will change the views of anyone here by insulting or denigrating them? Go where they will pump up your overbearing ego. You will be happier there.

    I’ll also save you some time. Don’t bother to answer this because I can predict the shallowness of your answers and will ignore them.

    Everyone, – and now back to the ACA.


  88. EA Blair – I am sorry all this happened to you. I think it is a heavy load for you to carry.

    I agree with you that there are things that are considered “the commons” that should never be privatized. I would include roads, water, Internet, airwaves. Also the Office of the President, Congress, the Supreme Court, and state governments.

    And yes the ACA did not go far enough! Change takes time as we can see.



  89. There’s a good case to be made for never allowing matters of public interest become privately commercialized. There are some things that should never be allowed to be exploited for profit. One of those things is prisons – making a profit from incarceration only incentivizes the interests of prosecution. Another is public health. as long as there is profit in denying health care to individuals, private concerns should not be involved.

    I make the case of a patient who was insured by Blue Cross of Illinois. He was having episodes that were characteristic of certain kinds of epileptic seizure. When he brought the matter up with his doctor, the physician ordered an EEG test. Blue Cross rejected the test on the basis that it was “medically unnecessary” and “too costly”. Two months later, the patient had a seizure while driving to work and struck and killed a pedestrian. he was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. A second seizure which was observed by witnesses provided a positive diagnosis of epilepsy and ended with the charges being reduced from homicide to attempting to flee the scene of a fatal accident.

    Meanwhile, the patient lost his job and was evicted from his home. He became the instrument of an innocent person’s death because some private industry bean counter wanted to add another ¼¢ to the annual dividend and give his boss a big bonus. The patient was me – I speak from personal experience, and my own dissatisfaction with teh ACA is that it doesn’t go far enough – it doesn’t disenfranchise the profit motive from health insurance.

    Had the government, which has no profit motive, been providing my health insurance, the EEG would not have been denied, and my epilepsy would have been diagnosed in time to prevent me from becoming a killer. This is why I hate Rafael Eduardo Cruz and all the other wingnuts who prefer profit over people.


  90. Cynthia and Gato,
    I agree with all you’ve written. It is indeed impossible to apply logic to the right’s position on the ACA. And lest anyone forget, health insurance premiums have been rising for years, policies have been cancelled, benefits denied and the GOP never gave a damn until now. Their phony outrage would be laughable if it wasn’t so hypocritical. Unfortunately they are aided by a news media that has the memory and attention span of a fruit fly (and that might be an insult to fruit flies).


  91. gato – it is not just about health. There are accidents that young “healthy” people are not immune from. A good strong healthy recreational..skier can break a leg in three places…baseball player can get hit in he head by a fast ball.. football player can break his neck…good time charlie can get too drunk and fall down a flight of stairs or walk through a plate glass window…a runner, biker, walker can get hit by a car…hunter can get shot by his friend…child can shoot himself…………… There is no end to how creative people can be to injury themselves that can rack up very expensive medical bills along with being out of work for awhile.

    The right wants people to be responsible for themselves, not depend on the government for hand outs. But now they are saying not to worry about carrying insurance you can always go to the ER and let someone else pay for your care.

    Just makes your brain hurt figuring out their logic!!!!! Well, other than he’s a Dem and…..oh yeah…black.



  92. Hi Congenial Gang,

    As an eminently qualified historian, I assert that Jefferson and Washington LIED about WE THE PEOPLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL (except slaves and women.) It took well over a hundred years to tweak the Constitution and rectify those LIES!

    Carry on, gang. You’re on a roll! I’ll get back to ya in the wee hours of tonight.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.


  93. Hey, Terri – My guess is that the GOP IS pretty happy… They get to sit there and present themselves as the bunch who DOESN’T want policies to be cancelled – as the “protectors” of people who have basically bought garbage policies… All the while making sure that people have the “right” to buy even more such policies which are GUARANTEED to be subject to potential cancellation as of January 1, 2014…

    And then, of course, we’ll see the same damned thing over and over again: “But people already have these policies, and they like them. You can’t take them away…” They will drag this out as long as they can – and they’ve got the financial backing and the all-consuming hatred of “Obamacare” to keep them on this road for the foreseeable future… Unless we somehow manage to stop them.



  94. RIGHT ON, CYNTHIA! No holds barred… Way to go.

    When I think of the DELIBERATE lying, fabricating, and bull***t that went on around the goddamned WMDs, and the “aluminum tubes,” and all the rest of it – to make a few rich people even richer, as you so wisely point out – it makes me just want to scream… And, yes, if Obama “lied” in order to at least get the ACA into law, to BENEFIT people (as you also so wisely point out), well, so be it. No; nobody has died – and nobody’s going to die, unless it’s at the hands of the insurance companies. If somebody wants to buy a policy that covers basically nothing, that’s their choice. And when they can’t get a life-extending medicine because some adjuster in a cubicle in Hartford thinks it shouldn’t be covered, or can’t get a surgical procedure for the same goddamned reason, maybe they WILL die. (Actually, they do, already.) And we can’t blame their deaths on the President’s “lying.”

    But we CAN, and should, blame the tens of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the number of horrific injuries to untold numbers of American troops, directly at the clay feet of a small and easily-named coterie of lying b*****rds who thought having a nice little war was a great – and lucrative – idea. They got richer; GI Joe or Jane got PTSD, two prosthetic limbs, and a prescription for Valium…

    And you’re right AGAIN that there is no “grass roots” Tea Party of any real consequence; they’ve been promoted and supported by (again) a bunch of wealthy individuals bound and determined to get more of what they think they “deserve,” and the hell with everyone else.

    And I swear to god I’m weary of hearing how “unfair” it is that James’ daughter’s healthcare premiums may go up by (the legendary) $400/month. Why shouldn’t they? Her daughter has probably been receiving fifty times the medical treatment that a child born without her special difficulties would require, from the day she was born. That’s just the way it is – there’s nothing “fair” about who is struck with what illness, or medical emergency, or when. Those fortunate enough to be basically healthy SHOULD be willing to kick in a little extra to cover those who are not – because it’s the right thing to do. It’s that simple. And if she can’t afford the premiums, she can hope there’s a subsidy in place to help out… Or just not get the coverage. That’s the way the Tea Party thinks things ought to be handled: If you can’t afford it, you can’t have it. (Remember the “privatized” fire department that stood and watched someone’s house burn to the ground because the family hadn’t signed up, and paid, for fire service…? Great system, huh?)

    We’re all in this together. When someone tries to divide us, to separate us from the “other,” whether it’s a kid in a hoodie, an illegal South American immigrant, a gay couple, or whatever, they win… And we lose.



  95. Gato,
    You’re so right about the insurance companies, they have been bad actors in this whole situation. I have to wonder if the GOP is happy to be the party promoting shitty healthcare policies that can be cancelled at any time, have caps on coverage, and don’t cover basic medical costs. I guess you can’t cure stupid.


  96. Sunday humor??

    Ladies – at a loss for the perfect gift for the love of your life?


    WTF? unbelievable!



  97. James – I realize you think you are winning but you are only proving what a childish pathetic dumbass can be. Is it worth it? Really??

    (It’s raining, I’m bored, nothin else to do.)

    Obama lied…no one died.

    Bush lied…how many died? …how many soldiers came home missing body parts…with brain injuries…how many with PTSD…how many committed suicide…how many families turned upside down…how many children lost a parent…how many parents lost a child…how many divorces…how many homeless vets…how many vets not receiving proper care…how many times have vets been denied benefits…how many soldiers on food stamps…how many……….?

    Now lets talk about the two countries we made unprovoked attacks on and their bordering countries and ask the same questions.

    If Obama lied he did so to bring about a needed change that would help many people have a healthier life. Bush lied to enrich the lives of a few. The right will not hold Bush to the same high standard they want to hold Obama.

    Unless the Tea Party is the second coming of Jesus Christ who the hell cares what the Koch Brothers think. No one is perfect, there is no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny AND there is NO grassroots Tea Party.



  98. Hi, Auntie Jean – Love this! Good to have a little levity (along with Cynthia’s tumbling toddler on the ice) in the middle of so much pomposity…

    BTW, did I just hear correctly that Congress has just passed something that not only extends the “waiver” for the garbage policies, but allows insurance companies to KEEP SELLING THEM, as well..??!! Are they nuts? How is this any different from car manufacturers being “allowed” to sell below-standard vehicles, knowing full well they will be obsolete in just a few months? And who would buy such a policy?

    What am I not getting here? (No need to weigh in, James; just keep heading for Omaha…) Insurance companies must be laughing their heads off these days…



  99. jsri the discrimination was real.

    And to deny it reveals your ignorance of the time. Some colleges later acknowledged that veterans had suffered discrimination. When political correctness bloomed in the late 1980’s several colleges introduced hate speech rules. The University of Michigan, I believe, lost a case in court One of their protected groups was Vietnam era veterans.

    My wife and I were an office supply store. we saw signs for sale which stated that the company was complying with civil rights laws. They listed protected minorities, and one named was Vietnam Era veterans.

    Apparently you have lived a sheltered life.

    It doesn’t matter if I read like dishwater. I am still right. I am also right about you as a person.

    We will be leaving for Omaha again, so bye.


  100. Obama and the Democrats lied to us many times. They cannot be trusted. Short and sweet.


  101. James, please SHUT UP!


  102. I guessed by your previous statements that you supported Obama and his policies. I applogize if I was wrong.

    I was in a hurry while resting from painting. I intended to write “dismantle”, and the facts succeeded in dismantling your argument…You are deluded if you think otherwise.

    The fact remains that the Tea Party and others you criticized were right about the law and you were wrong if you supported it.

    You hide your inability to defend with personal attacks. Given your weak case I don’t know if anyone could have defended your view better. That is a complement.

    Once again, so you understand. Authors of the bill crediting Obama colluded with insurance companies and others to write a law which created winners and losers Obama and others, including 27 Democratic senators lied because they knew the bill would not pass and they would lose an election if the voters knew what the bill contained.

    Obama’s tacit admission of providing misinformation locks you in a corner. Obama and the Democrats maliciously lied, and you cannot change that fact. His administration also lied about the web site, and their inability to make it work shows incompetency.

    Obama is responsible because he is the President, but in almost everything he seems clueless and angry that such things could happen in his administration.The suit has no emperor.

    The Tea Party wins the argument, and you lose, but you put up a good fight.


  103. Jsri, I’m happy to end it anytime you like.

    I was part of an experimental accelerated program to speed the process toward a PHD. I earned my MA in three semesters with a normal thesis. We took more hours than normal for a semester, and worked harder than most. At the beginning of each semester a delegation of professors interviewed us to see how we were doing, since it was the first year of the program.

    I was there on probation since I had been in the service, and in spite of my good GRE score I had been a poor undergraduate student. I had pulled my GPA up to 3.00 from 1.78 as a freshman. I had partied too much, but I got good recomendations from my professors, and the department liked my sample term paper from college.

    Probation ended after the first semester because my grades were mostly A’s. They rose from there. I had a 4.00 average in two of the four semesters.

    The accelerated course work gave us less time than normal to write a thesis. Two students attended a two hour thesis class, and each spoke for an hour per class.Our professor guided us along the research path. My wife and I drove to Lincoln, Nebraska or Ames from Iowa City on weekends and sometimes I went by myself. We worked in the historical society and elsewhere from start to closing time without eating to save time.

    We also traveled to parts of Nebraska for direct observation of what I was reporting. I interviewed a 93 year old man in Atkinson, Nebraska. He had helped work on a proposed 450 mile irrigation canal and remembered some of the movers and shakers of the time. My pre -thesis at the end of that semester was 150 pages with charts and graphs. My professor gave me an A and suggested how to cut it to size.

    I had been in the service for four years and thus had not been able to read all the literature as had others who had been in conventional programs without interruption. My disadvantage was lucky because I realized independently that a rural-urban conflict was present in frontier Nebraska.Towns, not farmers, campaigned for irrigation. One of the men on my committee had just written a book about it, and he was impressed that I had independently arrived at the same conclusions he had.

    I also showed that plains agriculture was maladapted to mid -western type farming and that the region thrived at first because of a weather anomaly which provided a decade of heavy rain. I found irrigation technological dispersal points in various cities, and most were traceable to the Mormons. I also documented a counter eastward migration during the drought of 1894.

    Our ophthalmologist is one of the best in Omaha, and I have known her for years. In the beginning as she asked about my back ground, I told her I had been in experimental accelerated PHD program. She shook my hand because she had earned her MA in biology in a similar course of study. I told her I should be shaking her hand since hers was in biology and mine in history.

    Later, when our children were looking for colleges we attended a college fair in Omaha. I asked a University of Iowa rep about the accelerated grad school program I had joined. The woman said the program had been discontinued because it was too hard.

    I was Doogy Houser and Sheldon Cooper without the brain power.

    The attrition rate was high. I’m not sure you could have survived.


  104. James:
    It’s time for you to throw in the towel. Others here are probably tired of this squabble. I know I am.
    You haven’t countered a single argument directly and insist upon creating fictional subjects or comments that seem to be made of whole cloth. That’s called dissembling James. You claim you don’t have time to “dissemble” my comments (but I ‘d suggest that you’ve already done that). I think you could use a good dictionary (or at least a thesaurus – but don’t let the foreign sounding word scare you off. You really need one.). Also, you might be rewarded by finding a course in reading comprehension. Your characterization of things I’m supposed to have said is laughable, – and woefully inaccurate. I don’t recall mentioning President Obama by name but you used that pretense as a launch pad for attacking me for my support of the President. Is there really a point in there somewhere?
    By the way, usually when I see your posts. I skip or skim because most of them are simply repetitive and about as interesting as soiled dishwater.
    “Nine hours toward a PhD?” Wow! What an accomplishment! It used to require 30 hours of advanced course work for a Masters plus a thesis which was, in turn, a basic requirement for acceptance into any reputable PhD program. Top level programs usually had advanced course requirements that doubled the course requirements for a Masters, plus orals, plus a thesis based upon original research. What sort of Podunk college did you attend, Parsons perhaps? James. In the future, please don’t offer comments about higher education. It’s too far over your head. There’s a vast abyss between opinion and truth and you seem to be incapable of making the distinction.
    Your acceptance of the advice of ”bigoted people (who) told me and other veterans if we wanted good employment, we should never reveal our veteran status.” That is a tired old canard you can’t prove and to think that you accepted it as truth is an example of the superficiality of your thinking, How sad!


  105. James
    And you’re still shoveling it every day on this site.


  106. That was funny, Jean.

    I do know shit from years of cleaning barns and chicken houses when I was younger.


  107. Sorry for the double comment. I screwed up – again.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  108. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Lots of thought provoking comments here today. We received this among our many unsolicited e mails. I like this one and am sharing it with you.

    A man was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

    The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

    “Oh, I don’t know,” he said,. “How about why there is no God, Or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

    “Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

    The man, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”

    To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

    And then she went back to reading her book.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  109. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Lots of thought provoking comments here today. We received this among our many unsolicited e mail. I like this one and am sharing it with you.

    A man was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

    The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

    “Oh, I don’t know,” he said,. “How about why there is no God, Or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

    “Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

    The man, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”

    To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

    And then she went back to reading her book.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  110. Gato I wrote earlier that private insurance policies were grandfathered into the law as you did. Unfortunately administration officials in Sebelius’ office, I think, changed the requirements and made the policies unacceptable. Others were no longer viable if anything such as a price increase altered the original terms of the policy.

    Obama knew this. His advisers debated the advisability of lying or telling the truth. They opted for the lie because the truth would endanger the bill and the election.

    They all knew that for this plan to work, healthy people would be forced to buy insurance to pay for coverage for sick, old and poor people. New, more expensive policies had to replace the old for the system to have any chance of sustaining itself. A selling point was that the system would not add to the deficit.

    Obama entered an unholy alliance with insurance companies, so I agree they are not without blame. Poolman thought insurance companies wrote the law, and he may be right. Insurance companies thought the millions of people compelled to buy insurance would more than compensate for the added expense of new policies.

    They passed this law under false pretenses. knowing it would create winners and losers.They lied to pass the law. No rationalization can change that fact.

    Anecdotes work for both sides. A woman who claimed she had successfuly navigated the web site with little trouble turned out to be a major Democratic contributor who in the end didn’t actually buy a policy.

    Here is another anecdote. Our daughter’s premiums will rise over $400. per month, and her company may end the coverage after it’s waver expires.

    Obama promised to convince insurance companies to reinstate old policies until 2014, but that may be against some state laws.Besides, what good does one year do? In 2015, people would be back to where they are now.

    Republicans and Democrats are writing legislation to mandate that the insurance policies remain in place but if they do the money required to pay the bills will be diminished.

    Medicare Advantage may also be in trouble soon because of this law.

    Obama is the President, and this is his crowing achievement. He claims he didn’t even know the web site was not ready,and other problems surprise him. Insurance companies or not, this is Obama’s project, and the outcome is his responsibility. So are his lies.This could be Obama’s Katrina.

    I will try to follow your other advice.


  111. Jsri, I like Klaus Baudelaire.

    You should remember I dropped out of grad school with nine hours toward a PHD because bigoted people told me and other veterans if we wanted good employment, we should never reveal our veteran status. A job counselor told me that if I was unwilling to tell prospective employers I had been on the road for four years, I might consider selling college text books or moving to the South. I dropped out to farm.

    Others transferred to law school. In four semesters I earned a MA with thesis, accreditation to teach in community college, started work on my dissertation, and earned nine hours toward a PHD. My GPA was quite good.

    Given the circumstances, anyone who laughs at my decision to leave can move to a land fill with the rest of the trash.

    I don;’t have time to dissemble the rest of your comments. because I am painting. Your attempt to deflect the blame onto insurance companies is laughable.,I explained the insurance cancelation process in simple terms earlier. You should read it.

    You display a barely adolescent comprehension of events surrounding the creation of ObamaCare. Now, you parrot desperate operatives looking for any thing to prevent the ship from leaking and sinking.If a cornered rat could speak, it would sound like you and your betters.

    You continue to attempt to deflect the argument from reality. Reality is that Obama lied multiple times and he knew his deception was necessary to win an election and to pass the AFC act. He is still lying.His offer to administratively fix a flaw is an admission that the law has serious flaws.

    We both know that if Bush had lied, you would be suffering an appolepitc fit. You thrive on double standards;

    It is possible you are as immoral as the President and believe the ends justify the means, or more likely you find it hard to believe that ;people you consider your intellectual inferiors have been more able judges of events than you are. Something is seriously wrong with you if you fail to comprehend the enormity of Obama’s sin. At least 27 Democratic Senators repeated the lie.

    You are an intelligent, accomplished man, but your flaying is becoming embarrassing.

    You are squirming, but you still lose the argument. I feel sorry for you, but not enough to avoid rubbing it in with scadenfreulde . The Tea Party was right, and you were wrong. Obama lied and you can’t hide that fact.


  112. gato – No, no no. Obama did not just lie. No, he, that is as in Obama, maliciously lied repeatedly. I tell you. Repeatedly! Maliciously! 37 times!! (I guess he thought no one would want to waste their money on an inferior policy.) I am surprised myself that there are so many. And so many who stand by the insurance company’s right to screw people. I guess you can never over/under estimate the stupidity of some of the American people. I would like to go line by line through the ACA and identify who put some of these kinks in it.

    Speaking of lying. Fox had some small business owner come on to tell his woes with the ACA. Turns out he is a Repub political operative. And you have Michelle Bachmann on tv saying she is losing her health insurance….and her husband has significant health issues (she ain’t lying about that, for sure….and he isn’t the only one in that family). She states she doesn’t have an hour to sit on the DC exchange looking for coverage. Would some one tell her she lives in Minnesota. Or is it North Fantasy Land.

    Now for a bit of Saturday humor:

    Momma said there would be days like this! Enjoy!!



  113. Hey, James… I’ve been watching this all roll out for a couple of days now, and I really think it’s time to give up all the self-justifying, please! If you could just stop ceaselessly licking your wounds, they’d probably heal up pretty quickly… I think we all understand your points of view, and accept them about as much as we accept everyone else’s. You don’t get to be considered more “virtuous,” more truthful, more honest (or more unbiased, or well-read, or even potentially “dangerous,” for that matter) than anyone else around here, no matter how much you’d like that to be the case. Sorry!

    Now, as for the “Obama lied” harangue – which is what I really want to address here. When the law was passed, it included a provision to grandfather in, for a period of time, all policies currently held, whether or not they complied with the minimum coverage specified by the new law, which will take effect in January of 2014. THERE WAS NO PROVISION TO PREVENT INSURANCE COMPANIES FROM ISSUING ANY NEW POLICIES, AFTER 2010, THAT DID NOT COMPLY. Naturally, insurers took advantage of this situation to offer policy holders even cheaper policies than what they currently held, with LESS coverage, knowing full well that they would “have to” cancel all those policies when the ACA took effect. And, if the insurance companies somehow “neglected” to mention that fact to potential buyers, well “tant pis,” and “caveat emptor,” huh? (And, if anyone objected, they could immediately pull out the “Obama lied” argument, which is exactly what they did.)

    There was no way – without raising an infernal hue and cry from “pro-business” factions – that Obama could have prevented insurers from offering any damned thing they felt like offering, during the interim period between when the law was passed, and when it goes into effect. In short, insurers seized the moment, and offered customers even CHEAPER policies – basically pieces of garbage that covered next to nothing. (The insurers got the premium payments; the policy holders got to see a doctor three times a year.) Of course, the insurers could count on the slack to be taken up by the rest of us taxpayers should one of those policy holders actually get sick, or have a catastrophic accident – just as we’ve been doing all along.

    If anyone is responsible for dissembling, misleading, and withholding information, it is the insurance companies, not the President. (Whether or not Obama “should have” anticipated the insurers doing this, and at least spoken pre-emptively to “warn” consumers, is another question entirely. Unfortunately, the President seems to often err on the side of thinking that insurance companies actually give a s**t about those they insure… or banks care one whit about the people to whom they grant mortgages they can’t begin to afford.)

    By the time this law was passed, it had been so disemboweled to grant so many favors to the health insurers and big pharma that it’s no wonder that their stocks soared the next day. That was all I needed to know…

    So please get off the “Obama lied” bandwagon, and look at the real liars and manipulators: those who are gleefully profiting, day after day, through all of this. It ain’t Obama.



  114. Response to James on November 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM:
    Part of your numbing narrative is as follows, “Jean launched an unprovoked dishonest, verbose. personal attack against me. My response required many words to establish motive and history for lurkers or others who didn’t know our personal history.”
    Question: How in the world would would anyone on this site have missed your palimpsestic reviews of your own history? You regenerate it with relish, using every alibi in the book as you repeat and embellish it, yet all you manage to produce are eyerolls by regular readers because they’ve all seen it before ad nauseum. Also your misunderstanding of the written word is troublesome but that’s not unusual for someone who chose not to pursue an “elitist” advanced degree (your modifier, not mine). FYI, that sort of comment in higher education circles is a classic joke attributed to losers who can’t take the rigor of such an academic pursuit. I’m really sorry that complex words confuse you but multi-syllabic words can’t always be reduced to four letters which are in all likelihood more your style. Your favorite appears to be “liar” and like so many other malcontents, you seem to use it most often by directing it at our current president. Unfortunately, I suspect you didn’t throw the word around with such disdain when GWB and his sycophants lied their way into Iraq. How come?
    And your reading comprehension is similarly unproductive. It is my good fortune to have been put in a position of interacting with people who regularly used words having precise and occasionally arcane meanings and it is very difficult to shake off that effect so, as a result, I’m conditioned to expect intelligent dialogue in return. Many of the regulars posting here fall into that category. You are not one of them.
    Also, you’ll have to show me where I called you a jingoist. If you had better reading skills you’d realize I was referring to the people described in Jean’s first paragraph Her mention of you comes later. I’ll probably gag trying to accept your apology after you come to your senses but I won’t waste my time waiting for it.
    And your separate comment might have been to Jean, but it seemed to be addressed into thin air. “Acidly acrimonious mean spirited poltroon. Your serve,” makes no sense but with a few punctuation marks, a change in order and a few four letter words, many people here could probably come up with definitions that may not be to your liking.
    New people here who are unaware of your penchant for sticking your nose into other folk’s business might understand Auntie Jean’s impatience when they learn that you sic’d the Ag Feds on her (any claim that it was an innocent remark is questionable) about the “Great Olive Seed Caper.” And there was the instance when you tried to throttle your brother. I don’t have an eidetic memory so I don’t remember the details, And who can forget your attempt to rat out a bunch of surly bruisers carrying heavy weapons. Now that was a brilliant move. And there was also the more recent case where you got into trouble with neighbors and I believe you ended up in court. I choose not to recall the circumstances but I’m sure you’ll point out how heroic your stand was and how you “won”.
    James, you seem to have a compulsive need to be a “winner”, or is the word “whiner” and you love to point out how you “win” all the time. Unfortunately, many of the people you “defeat” don’t know they are in a “win-lose” contest until you arrange a pile of self-effacing but childish arguments as your evidence. Stamping your feet might add appropriate emphasis.
    And as far as the comment about thanking vets is concerned, you wrote “She wrote a nice generic appreciation for veterans similar to many we hear. Maybe she intended to say thanks to everyone except James, but she didn’t. I thanked her for her nice thought because it was the polite thing to do.”
    Which leads me back to an original question; where did you get the authority to speak for other veterans? (While I too appreciate the comment, and since I’m also a veteran, I don’t remember giving you permission to speak for me.) Using the collective “we” in the above quote as if speaking for all veterans makes you a rather presumptuous twit. If that is an example of SISU, perhaps you should find a new snowbound European tribe to join.
    And what’s the deal with the term schaudenfreude you toss around so loosely? Do you really get your jollies reveling in the misfortunes of
    others? On second thought, I retract that question.


  115. The Drudge Report is not usually a primary source it links to articles, left and right. I don’t quote The Blaze and have never read World Net. I also read the foreign media.

    Terri, if you had checked some of those other sites, you would have known Obama was lying for three years.He was also lying at his press conference. Twitchy now links to Byron York who lists 27 Democratic Senators who repeated the lie.,

    LInks to Drudge have told us since last spring about the web site troubles.

    If your regular news sources told you this and more, fine. If not, some of the conservative sources are more credible than what you use.

    Peer review is fine, but as Climategate e mails showed, peer review can be coordinated to freeze out politically incorrect articles.


  116. Jean
    Wise words, indeed. Nothing bothers me more than people quoting The Blaze, or World Net Daily, or The Drudge Report as sources of fact or information.


  117. Anon. I usually practice what I preach unless someone dumps on me. Experience shows that bullies tend to be repeat offenders if unchallenged. I am writing my opinion of how things ought to be.

    I will applogize if I go too far, and I do have a lot of gall. Thanks for noticing.

    Most of the people here, including me would be suspended or banned from a well-regulated blog. I used to moderate one.

    I like the freedom of this site. We have to police ourselves.


  118. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Something for future reverence. I just finished reading a very interesting article in the Sept. issue of Scientific American Magazine. (I’m a few issues behind on some of my reading.) There was an interesting article about honeybees and native bees and their vital work of pollination.

    This is what caught my eye. Something about PUBLISHED and PEER REVIEW for the validity, reliability and therefore creditability of information put out there.

    A book report handed into a grammar school teacher may or may not qualify. Or getting an “A” in a high school debate class. Or what cousin Mollie or the guy down the street in East Armpit, New Jersey said.

    In a free society, ANYTHING can get published and/or broadcast. Cases in point, The National Enquirer at your supermarket check-out stand, Fox News and/or The Drudge Report. Or – – – – comments proudly “PUBLISHED” on an internet blog and hoping that SOMEBODY, ANYBODY will bother to read and believe it.

    PUBLISHED and PEER REVIEW are the operative words here. What we choose to believe is our own provenance.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  119. James,
    OMG! Are you really lecturing others about politeness? What gall!


  120. Thanks for the story, Alfonsey. Peace to you also,

    Anon, my wife cousins and I attended Tea Party protests three years ago to see what they were like . We share some beliefs, but they are too conservative for me. I have not contributed money or signed any member ship papers. I have had nothing to do with them for over three years.

    The “Tea Party” is wrong about many things, but they were “right” to oppose ObamaCare, government intrusion, and over spending. Unlike the President and most of Congress, I read the bill. I have been dreading these results for three years. Party is “right” because many predicted today’s scenario and their reps tried to change or kill the law in Congress. I don’t care what the Tea Party plans to improve our health insurance system. I have my own suggestions which include borrowing from other countries.

    Obama knew he was lying three years ago, and he repeated his falsehoods at least 37 times. He lied to hoodwink voters into accepting a cumbersome insurance system which will not work as planned. He was forced to make a weak admission of lying ,and he has already altered the law through administrative action, He either lied about ignorance of the web site’s problems or he is an incompetent fool. I don’t know which is more dangerous.

    The Tea Party rep’s blunders during the late partial shutdown shifted public opinion toward the Democrats, and some talked of retaking the House. Obama has shifted the momentum and Democrats up for re-election are terrified. In addition to lying to pass legislation and to win an election, Obama places his party’s electoral success at risk.

    The lead headline linked on the Drudge Report is “Dems Turn on ObmaCare.”That is just one support for my argument.

    As for Richard’s name and position–guilty as charged.

    Of course, my attacks against Jean are petty and mean. Re-read my account of how emotions of past events intersected with on line bullying and personal attacks. You will notice I usually don’t attack anyone until he/she attacks me first. She attacked me first.

    I like Pfessor, but Jean’s refusing his help out of hand is another issue. She could have politely declined.


  121. James, you claim not to be a Teapartier, but you constantly praise and refer to them. Exactly how is the Tea Party “right”? They hate President Obama like you do and that makes them right? The man who has tried to give access to healthcare to everyone in the U.S. is a liar? And what is the Tea Party’s answer to the healthcare crisis? And please spare us the references to Finland.) Your attacks on Jean are petty, and it’s a shame you can’t even be bothered to know the name of the person who gives you access to this site and allows you to pontificate ad nauseum. And we have not forgotten your cheerleading for Pfesser when he was so obnoxious and rude to so many people here.


  122. re: Vietnam:

    I remember walking in on my mother (of 4 boys) crying. I asked why. She said “you guys won’t get drafted.

    Some years later we found a homeless vet living in our shed. He was a nice enough guy but definitely had what I came to understand as PTSD, He told us stories of atrocities like My Lai were standard operating procedure. He said he was glad the “Peace-nics were speaking out, someone had to stop this.”

    Don’t know whatever happened to him.

    Peace ~ Δ ~ I mean it. Really.


  123. More importantly, jsri, you have invested psychic energy in a man and his policies while denegrating those who opposed him. The Tea Party has earned your disdain, for example. You must be angry and embarrassed at some level to learn the man you trusted has the credibility of some one selling jewelry from the trunk of his car

    The Tea Party was right and you were wrong. “The Confidence Man” by Herman Melville


  124. jsri, Jean launched an unprovoked dishonest, verbose. personal attack against me. My response required many words to establish motive and history for lurkers or others who didn’t know our personal history.

    You attempted to hijack an argument which had nothing to do with you by changing its premise. It is an old debate trick, as you know. You tried to brand me as a Tea Partier or jingoist when I have been neither. Thus, your counter attack was irrelevant and ineffective.

    You also tried to define the premise by exempting Jean or yourself from the sins of wordiness. I was ineffective because I didn’t resort to one liners. You invoked a double standard.

    I believe the man’s name is Richard, but I don’t care enough to check. I was honest enough to admit that I’m not sure Once again, you are trying to define terms to fit your fancy. Richard’s comment, not his name matters.

    Once again, you are changing the nature of a discussion, by speaking for Mageen. She wrote a nice generic appreciation for veterans similar to many we hear. Maybe she intended to say thanks to everyone except James, but she didn’t. I thanked her for her nice thought because it was the polite thing to do. When you attempt to speak for Mageen, you are doing what you accuse me of doing.

    LIke Jean, you lie with a faulty interpretation of my Air Force history. I never described deeds of daring do. I explained why past multiple personal attacks here triggered emotions from real events and that I would use them against whom ever unfairly attacked me. The NPR commentator called me a perfect storm with good reason. You know I can be mean and vicious. They taught me well.

    I have a sense of humor. Some of Jean’s stuff is funny, but her personal attacks and misinterpretation of facts are not. I think Pfessor made a good will offer. How do you know spam etc would have attacked Jean? She could have at least acknowledged his offer and explained why she declined.

    You have to do better to win this argument. In your words, “you lose.”


  125. James:

    Your act as the resident Klaus Baudelaire, mystifies me because I can’t understand why you can’t remember the name of Helen’s nephew (or is it grandson), who is the moderator of this site. Even I know his name.

    Also, who ceded permission to you to speak for others here? I believe Mageens comment was directed to veterans in general, not to you specifically. And I’m sure there are many vets on this site who have had more hazardous experiences than anything you brought on yourself. You’ve long overstayed your time here with your extended and ever expansive accounts of your derring-do that are getting longer and longer but thinner and thinner.

    Your acidly acrimonious attacks on Auntie Jean’s contributions could be classed as evidence that you are sorely in need of a humor transplant. And using pfessers offer to help her is a real knee slapper. All that would acomplish is prolonged harassment at her e-mail addreess. She’s too intelligent to fall for such a transparent ruse.


  126. Acidly acrimonious mean spirited poltroon. Your serve,


  127. Auntie Jean:

    There is a perfect term for those people you described in your recent post. They are “jingoists” practicing “jingoism”. The definitions are quite specific and anyone who loves precision in words might want to use jingoists as a short term to describe them accurately. In fact the term has been around for years but is perfect for labeling fulminating Tea Partiers emerging from their mental darkness.

    James: You lose. Succinctness in language is not one of your strengths.


  128. By the way, I was not pinned down. I was a medic, but as promotions came my job changed. I worked in virtually every job offered by our the medical units of our squadrens on the bases I served. I eventually worked in medical supplies. i am proud of what I did

    Sorry to repeat myself, but your inability to understand subtle distinctions is revealing. I now understand why you voted for Obama.


  129. I saw three counselors at the Vet Center thirty years ago , in part, because I couldn’t understand what had happened to me. I never said I was a hero. I said I turned in our own Airmen and they tried to eliminate me. They told me I had experienced the equivalent of iight combat. The experience did give me a mild physical disability.

    Worse things happened to other people. A man in stationed in Turkey reported a drug selling operation, Unfortunately, the commander was in on it, and he suffered permanent injuries before his Congressman got him out.

    I was a guest on NPRs’ Science Friday and the panelists noted that many Vietnam Era adjustment problems came from adverse treatment meted out by anti- war protesters and the general attitude inflicted on returning soldiers by many Americans.

    For someone so intelligent, you are mighty dense.I explained that the cyber bullying of old brought back memories of my physical treatment and if you didn’t want me responding in kind, you should knock it off. The moderator, (Richard ?) even posted that people like you, not I and others you drove away were the real trolls.

    Had you heeded my warning about personal attacks, I probably would have left a long time ago, but you were too foolish to understand what I was writing. I did everything I could to irritate you, including telling Air Force stories. In a way, you were herding Swedes. Your treatment of me revived the same feelings I had in a different life, and I was determined to stay because you didn’t want me here.

    You are a two bit blowhard with a proven inadequate understanding of the historical stories you so proudly write on occasion. You may recall that I had to correct some of your information.

    You also demonstrated your cowardice in the beginning, when you didn’t launch a personal attack until a few others did. That pattern repeated for awhile.

    Hatred so consumes you that you apparently couldn’t even bring yourself to accept Pfessors’ offer to help you get to sign in on your own name.

    Moreover, you, not I was hoodwinked by Obama’s lies.

    Thank God, I’m not like you.

    That felt good. Was it good for you?

    I’ll be too busy to check for a few days, so if you want you can box with shadows.


  130. Have ya heard Jimmy Carter’s G-son is running for Govoner of GA? 💜

    Love Jimmy love Jason good luck!!



  131. Hi Congenial Gang,

    There is something I would like to get off my chest and now is as good a time and place to do it as any. This is a little consensus reality check, a consensus of one – me. It really, really pisses me off to a fare-the-well every Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day especially to see a few chronic right wing-teabaggers and he-man wannabes wrap themselves in the American flag, join in on the antiphon, don their Revolutionary War or Civil War uniforms with their harquebuses flung over their shoulders and march off in unison to re-enact their famous battles. These are the guys who never really accomplished much in their dreary lives but as members of the American Legion and/or VFW, their “war experiences” were their “gesamthunstwerks” of all time. They kinda remind me of GWB all dressed up in his flight suit emerging from the deck of a navy carrier to deliver his “mission accomplished” speech.

    One of the long time resident M&H’s squatters, James, is about due to regale everyone – again – with his glory days of hair-raising tales about “Nam” to anyone he can collar in cyberspace to read about them. The following words in quotes are his. For instance, when he was a “medic”; he was “mildly tortured” but is a “survivor”, has a “small disability monthly check” (from the g’mit out of taxpayer money) for what he implied in an interview he called in to a talk show. He said they told him he was an example of a “perfect storm” for “PTSD”.

    Over time when pinned down, he had to admit that he never saw combat, was not exactly a “medic” but worked in medical supplies. And oh yes, about the “torture”. Being worked over, not by the “enemy” but by members of his own unit. As to PTSD. Insurance Companies would probably assess the condition as “pre-existing” prior to his entering the service as a result of many other spine-tingling stories he has come up with endlessly over the course of the past few years. A classic case history.

    These and other such yarns are an insult to the literally millions and millions of men and women who have served in the military with honor and distinction. Some did not come home. Others did though, shut up about it, got on with their lives, got jobs and raised families. I salute them!

    I am especially proud of how our military is being joined by many, many other countries around the world in marshalling forces to rush help to the typhoon disaster aftermath in the Philippines. Who is better equipped by virtue of trained personnel, organization and equipment to render vital assistance? Humanitarian efforts beat the death and destruction of war all hollow. Maybe mankind is finally growing up a little bit and getting its priorities straight after all.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  132. Thank you very much.


  133. On this Veterans Day, must give a tip of my broad brimmed hat in their direction. We are the land of the free because of their bravery.


  134. Donna Leon has lived in Venice for at least 25 years. I like Italy and the people.

    One of my cousins and some of her college friends traveled in Europe. They accidently sank a gondolla and fled from the police who eventually caught them. Later, in France, she had a torrid weekend affair with a waiter.

    An accident paralysed her and for forty years, she could only move one finger.Denver named her Woman of the Year. She gave motivational talks and visited Ground Zero twice.

    Italy makes me think of her.


  135. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Lori, encouraging news about Wendy Davis and the trends there in Texas. All the hard work of her supporters is paying off! Let’s keep it up across the country. Mid-terms and the general elections are comin’ up fast so we have to keep the pressure on. There will be bumps along the road. Always have been and always will be. “C’est la Vie!”, but in the long run, we will prevail.

    I have told this to a few of my closest friends already but I thought I would share it with some of my good buddies here. If you want to take a break now and again from politics as usual, I highly recommend a series of books we have been reading. They are who-done-it novels by an extremely knowledgeable lady as well as a talented writer, Donna Leon. The stories take place in Venice, Italy. They are about “Polizia Commissiario Brunetti”, his family and colleagues. There are some 20 of them. So far we have read 4 and want to read them all!!! You can find out more about her on Google or Amazon.

    She has a firm grasp on the varied facets of human nature as she addresses the cases Brunetti handles in his professional capacity and often situation within his family and friends that are universal – everywhere! The beautiful part about the books is that she takes you to Venice and Italy; the people, the city, the food, the climate……you are there! Further, throughout the books, her approach is quite subtle. Not something for the literal-minded to read and “get”.

    Fair warning! You had better brush up on your Italian language and geography. Failing that, there is always “Google Italian Translation.” That works!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  136. I agree with some of the Peoples’ view blog, but the last paragraph is bunk.Democrats bear the responsibility for the current malfunction.The administration had plenty of time and money to create an effect website.

    The Virginia election featured two bad candidates and it was hard to tell bad from worse. The national Republican party provided little or no help and Christi refused to campaign while the Democrats flooded the state with their resources.The Libertarian candidate may have been a ringer supported with Democratic money to split the vote. That even with those efforts, a cake walk became a competitive election should worry Democrats..

    Some Democrats are worried. The steady drip of adverse ObamaCare news which directly affects people’s lives could adversly affect Democrats’ chances in the next election especially if Tea Party members can support better candidates.


  137. I think many of you will enjoy this blog/ger.


    It’s one of the best answers to disgruntled Obama supporters I’ve read.

    Enjoy. :)


  138. Good Morning friends!

    I come bearing great news from TX. A recent poll finds Wendy Davis has cut her deficiet in half. Her opponents lead is now in the single digits. Even if this poll is an outlier , Wendy continues to trend in the right direction. BGTX and Team Wendy are busy phone banking & last I heard we had registered more than 45,000 NEW voters in less than a year. The work continues.

    The good news continued on Election Day in states like VA, NY, and AL where the Tea Party candadates continues to struggle in statewide races. Even in the deep deep red states like AL Teapers are losing to more sane Republicans. As I have been saying all along, the TP’s appeal comes in small mostly rural, white, southern, severely gerrymandered districts. Time will tell if they will ever be able to broaden their appeal state-nation wide. But the spot light continues to dim.

    We have an unexpected opportunity for a MA house pick up. It is a red district but with a little attention we might be able to flip it in 2014.

    I saw a cute tweet the other day it went some like Obama’s poll numbers reach all time low. He now leads Republicans by only 57 percent! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend all. 😘💨💨


  139. jsri, I agree with most of what you wrote. Buying insurance is like gambling at a casino. The insurance company plays odds that the customer won’t get sick for a very long time and charges accordingly. The customer assumes the opposite. Like you, we have always purchased insurance.

    I do like some features of the AFC Act. For example, it will be easier for people with previous conditions to buy insurance.

    My major problem besides this’s being a system which would make Rube Goldberg proud is we have a law which subverts what our founders created. We live under a democratic republic designed to function with informed voters knowlegable enough to debate issues and to vote for representatives who agree with them.

    Unknown people wrote the AFC law, and even legislators who voted didn’t know what it contained. White House advisors knew some of the surprises the bill held and debated the merits of sharing the information. They decided to hide the truth and to lie about it as the most effective means of turning the bill into law. Much of the press cooperated.

    Obama and his allies maliciously lied repeatedly because they knew that a law which instead of more fairly spreading the pain mandated winners and losers would not pass. The fact that Congress people and their staffs, labor unions, and friendly businesses were exempted from features of the law others must face illustrates the AFC’s short comings. Our government’s compelling people to buy a product could be applied to other products or behaviors.

    Obama repeatedly lied about the law’s effects, and his non-apology was also a lie. The law’s supporters repeat that only 5% of the population will suffer. But that is also a lie. McClatchy DC “Analysis; Tens of Millions could be forced out of insurance they had.” Nov 7, 2013. A 2010 report said that as many as 69% of certain employer-based policies would lose protection promised by the law. Thus, as many as 41 million people could lose their plans. Another 11 million people who bought their own plans are also at risk. A total of 52 million people could lose the insurance policies they or their employers chose and at least in part paid for.

    The web site debacle doesn’t instill confidence that the law can be managed effectively or that identity theft will not run rampant.

    Our daughter is one of those people chosen to lose..

    Amen to Suzi and Poolman.


  140. Obamacare: America’s Bestest Idea :grin:


  141. Insurance: Insurance is like shock absorbers on a car. It does not alter the distance up or down the car goes along its way; it just evens out the bumps. All the money an insurer pays out – ALL of it – must come from its subscribers. It is a zero-sum game, in order for some to more out of the system than they put in, others must put in more than they ever take out. We are willing to do that because we want to mitigate our risk of being the guy that has a catastrophe and not enough money to cover it.

    There is a cost to that: The insurers always take money out of the middle for their legitimate expenses and to reward their shareholders, so they never pay out as much as they take in. It’s like the first and second laws of thermodynamics: the first says that the best you can do is break even; the second says that you can’t even do that.

    A nation’s finances, like an insurer, is also a zero-sum game, since the government makes no product; any money it spends must come from someone who earned it. Something the Democrats and Republicans alike have forgotten.


  142. What is the purpose of insurance?

    One certainty of life is that it sometimes produces uncertainties that can be very costly. But buying insurance can help manage many of your highest cost risks such as car accidents, property damages or health crises. Without having insurance, you’d have to pay for any such losses on your own.

    Although cynics will claim that insurance payments are only beneficial to the insurance companies and their stock holders or executives, most of us would not feel comfortable without their protection. Fortunately, not everyone who has insurance will suffer a catastrophic loss in their lifetime. They are safe because each insurance company pools the small but regular payments of the many policy holders to cover the expenses of uncommon events suffered by a few policy holders (like car accidents, storm damages or major health crises).

    For almost sixty years my wife and I have had car insurance and/or home owners insurance with the same company and the total number of claims we have filed for either is exactly zero. And these policies are not simply for minimal coverage. We view them as protection of our personal assets and would never be without them. And our health insurance goes back many years to a time when the only cost was for our son’s delivery. Certainly we could have scraped by with minimum coverage or high deductibles or minimum health coverage but that’s like pouring money down a sink hole. In a sense, we’ve been covering the “minimum policy” and “no insurance” deadbeats for all the years we’ve had insurance. But that’s the nature of insurance. And finally, after years of payments, our health insurance, in our retirement, has become a crucial element of our lives.

    Insurance companies track trends and payouts, thereby spreading risks and making it possible to transfer the costs of unexpected losses to many individuals. Though the purchasing insurance doesn’t eliminate the risks of illness, injury or property damage, if properly used, transfers the risk from yourself to the insurance company and relieves you, the insured, of huge financial losses that any such catastrophies might involve.

    I’d be willing to bet that most of the people griping about their higher costs for health insurance policies, are carrying cheap policies that look good but deliver very little protection.


  143. Hi Gato, I hope you are doing well.

    Auto restrictions directly affect the public, and an unsafe car could cause personal injury accidents involving innocent people One does not have to drive a car, and many people don’t. People who buy auto insurance can choose from various levels of support.

    Health insurance is different because we all get sick. I have no problem with minimum standards for private policies, but ObamaCare is government compulsion to buy a specific product. Why should men or elderly couples be forced to have maternity and other coverage they don’t need? Many young,healthy people choose not to be insured, because they can’t afford insurance or feel they don’t need it. They have the right to make such choices. Other people choose minimum coverage because they can’t afford it or feel it is all they need.

    I agree people can end up in emergency rooms, and the rest of us pay. However, they can be required to pay their bills as we do when mechanics repair our cars. One can or should be able to negotiate with a hospital to make installment payments. Hospitals should be able to seize parts of pay checks etc as other bill collectors do.

    ObamaCare often forces people to relinquish insurance policies which suited them and charges them more money for an inferior product. Our daughter will have to pay $300. per month for her same insurance policy because her employer, a small therapy business is trying to keep providing the policy they like.

    Our formerly at risk grand daughter has been expensive, but our daughter’s insurance has covered all but $3,000 which our daughter and son-in law are paying by installments.Once the business delay expires, our daughter will probably lose her insurance. The rate changes are already a hardship for some of her co- workers who earn less money than our daughter who has worked her way up to manager of two company offices. She still does some therapy work.

    Other surprises include one’s not being able to see his/her old doctor under new policies.

    Labor unions may be exempt from some of the bills and restrictions because their insurance policies, like others would be grandfathered in. Stories about that are still conflicting.I haven’t had time to read much about it.

    The government, through compulsion forces everyone to buy insurance and it, not fate or luck, chooses winners and losers. Our own government lies to trick people into supporting the law.That, to me is un -American, or to borrow the statement from “The Sound of Music” it used to be.

    Meanwhile, people say they have never seen a baby smile or make eye contact as our grand daughter does. They are probably just being polite, but our grand daughter does seem to be very happy and engaged. She has now figured out how to roll to change positions and to slowly move a few feet. She can make 360 degree turns. Her head is almost normally shaped now, but her ears are small, and her nasal passages are so narrow she makes snuffly noses when she breaths. It is easy to know when something excites her by her noisy heavy breathing.

    She will be five months old on Nov 9.

    Our daughter’s friends baby born at 23 weeks in April now weights 9 pounds and likes to smile. Doctors gave him a 2% chance of survival, but he is now home. He still has problems. The latest was hand and mouth disease and his stopping breathing three times. Shaking revived him.

    We are going home later this morning to take care of business there. We will be back on Sunday.


  144. Hi, James – So long as you do understand that when someone carrying a sub-minimal “insurance plan” (i.e. one that pays for only three doctor’s visits per year, pays no hospital costs whatsoever, pays only $5.00 toward a $137.00 prescription, and so on) needs some actual HEALTH CARE, that you and I – and your daughter and granddaughter – will be taking up the slack with our tax dollars – exactly as we have to do for all the uninsured who show up at ERs across the country, every single day.

    To insist that it’s “unAmerican” to put in place minimum standards for health insurance makes about as much sense as doing the same for automobiles. Should we be allowed to drive “cars” with no headlights, mufflers dragging on the ground, and a brake system consisting of a stick that drags along the asphalt, simply because that’s what we currently have, and we “like” it? I don’t think so! Whether we “should” allow that or not is moot at this point; we DON’T allow it.

    Obama did indeed make a mistake by repeatedly assuring everyone they could keep whatever policy they had, if they wanted. He should have added, “…so long as it meets the minimum requirements of the new law.” But, since those “requirements” were being changed ceaselessly, his doing so would have brought about exactly the same sort of irrelevant firestorm that is happening now, time and time again, while the law was under discussion.

    The point is not whether or not Obama “lied.” The point is to enable every American to acquire at least minimal, useful, and affordable health care. Period.



  145. After I wrote my comments NBC news carried an interview in which Obama sort of applogized for doing what I claimed had happened. Obama lied and many people supported ObamaCare without realizing its potential consequences.The administration knew about this over three years ago.

    He said a lot of the canceled plans are substandard, but it isn’t the government’s responsibility to force people what to buy and what not to buy–at least in the country I grew up in.

    More is coming unless the law is changed. Trust me.

    I agree with Harold Lumbrecht.


  146. Wouldn’t it be cool to find out who “Helen Philpod” really is?
    Damn good writer!


  147. The Associated Press reported that thus far, at least 3.5 million people have lost their insurance policies, and others like our daughter will have to pay higher premiums. Her insurance may be ultimately canceled.

    As I wrote earlier, the old policies were grandfathered in, but later regulations mandated that any change, including policy rate changes invalidated the policy contract. That is why the majority of cancelations has occured.

    Poolman wrote that the insurance companies wrote the Affordable Care Act, and I agreed at least in part. Insurance companies need money to survive, and since their policies are mandated to cover more items, they have to raise rates Young, healthy people, especially young men will bear much of the burden which gives the poor and especially the old folks a better deal. One reason they supported the new law is that many new customers will be compelled by law to buy policies,

    I read the bill before it became law. Other interesting developments are ahead. Obama and his advisers lied because they knew cancelations and rate changes were bad publicity which would threaten the passage of the bill.

    This sudden resurgence of cancelations is attributal to the Affordable Care Act.


  148. i have gotten this same email for days on end. have tried to unsubscribe just to get rid of it and i don’t think that worked. real nuisance!!!!!!


  149. Good post Bo. I agree, the media needs to thoroughly vet these stories before publishing or broadcasting them.


  150. Regarding insurance cancellation horror stories —
    This is an excellent example of “post-hoc, ergo propter hoc” faulty logic. There is really nothing new about bait-and-switch tactics like this in the individual health insurance market. It is rife with abuse and not effectively regulated in most states (which is why the Tea-O-Pers think that selling insurance across state lines is such a good idea even though it would actually make these abuses worse).
    ACA did not cause these cancellations. It is only the excuse that the shady operators are using this time around as they try to upsell and upcharge their customers. Then, there are outfits like United Healthcare and Aetna that are wholesale leaving the California individual policy market because it hasn’t been profitable for them.
    I really would like to see a real journalist (if there are any of those left) do an in-depth story dissecting the ridiculous numbers being tossed around that would lead folks to believe that millions are being kicked off policies they like because of the ACA and experiencing huge premium increases. The anecdotal stories that Fox and the like are spreading are very likely the exception rather than the rule.
    Nothing as significant as the ACA could ever be implemented without cause some disruption and dislocation to the affected industry. That’s what anyone should expect when change happens. The kinds of disruptions and dislocations we are seeing now are not so much a failure of the ACA as they are useful reminders of just why the ACA was necessary in the first place.


  151. P.S. And in two of these cases I read about the new policies were better and cheaper.


  152. Has anyone else noticed that many of the ACA “horror” stories cited on Faux News and in the WSJ have been debunked? Apparently the cancellations of some of these policies had nothing to do with the ACA.


  153. Here it is more than 24 hours after the gubernatorial electionin Virginia and the tea bagger who lost the race has yet to make the traditional telephone concession call to the winner. Total class. Not.


  154. According to this you can sign up to the ACA at Walgreens, CVS and other drug stores:




  155. History looks different now after the FOIA revelations. It isn’t how we all were/are taught in school.

    Operation Paperclip was that ‘maneuver’ that brought German scientists to the US and ‘cleansed’ them of their former affiliations, giving us advantage over the Soviets. Operation Gladio was part of a post-World War II program set up by the CIA and NATO supposedly to thwart future Soviet/communist invasions or influence in Italy and Western Europe.

    As to the type of rule we find ourselves under or whose definition we prefer, some things make it arbitrary…

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.


  156. No one will look it up because I suggested the song. “I Don’t Care” by Carina Dahl, a Norwegian singer and daughter of a Norwegian music star sings about her sudden freedom from a bad love affair. The lyrics also fit the profile of someone disenchanted with a cult or political movement.

    The California woman who complained “I supported ObamaCare until I learned I’d have to pay for it.” could be singing “I Don’t Care.”


  157. Oral histories do have value combined with other verifiable evidence. For example, scientists determined the approximate time and date for a tsunami which devastated parts of Vancouver Island in the 1700’s by comparing stories and geological evidence with the historical Japanese record of a major earth quake.

    The Biblical flood and other similar flood stories may date back about 10,000 years when global warming melted glaciers and eventually flooded lowland to create the Black Sea. Such stories were handed down from generation to generation before people wrote them. People who fled in all directions carried the stories with them.


  158. Nice list.

    One term which applies to all is the true believer. Eric Hoffer wrote “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” which I read in college. I critiqued it for a political science course.

    His book was an attempt to explain the motives of people who form and join mass movements. While their stated goals and values differ, mass movements are interchangeable and tend to attract the same type of followers.

    Saul, for example was a fanatical anti- Christian, but he converted and became a mirror image of himself. Fascists and Communists bitterly opposed each other in Germany during the 1920’s and 30’s, because they were competing for the same angry, marginalized people. Hitler, Rohm, and Radek all boasted of converting their enemies.

    “The New Poor” are likely converts for they resent their loss of economic power. Many who suffered mass evictions fought in the English Civil War of the 1600’s. Others like my ancestors moved to America because they were not True Believers.

    Immigrants and others partially assimilated into the culture unlike traditionalists feel alienated and want to become part of a movement greater than themselves so they can feel they belong to a something which defines them. They transfer their identies to what becomes essentially a tribe or religion. War and Peace featured an earnest young man who believed and became the epitomy of Bolshevism. He spent his days riding across Russia as head of a tribunal which tried others who were less pure than the ideal.

    True Believers don’t have to believe in God, but they believe in a devil which they attack through the unifying force of hatred..

    Mass movements begin with a desire for change as the Tea Party and early Obama supporters did. They don’t accept facts which contradict their identities . The Tea Party, for example, has supported political candidates who lose elections though others have been good choices. Others believe Obama is a communist.

    Some fanatical Obama supporters in the press rationalize Obama’s lies about keeping one’s insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act because derogatory information threatens their identity with the ideology to which they are subsumed.


  159. Roz: I never said anything about Ted Cruz


  160. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Roz and jsri, great comments! Well informed and cogent. (I have always felt as if I were eavesdropping on private conversations or reading someone else’s mail when it is addresses to others. But I guess that is the rule, not the exception in blog land. And so I am compelled to add my comments to yours.) I am always amused by the few who show up here spouting terms they often know absolutely nothing about. For instance, SOCIALISM! Gasp! That’s a nine letter word that has been tossed around willy-nilly for a long time.

    It was drummed into my head a long time ago to DEFINE YOUR TERMS. Here are a few words to look up and become more familiar with their meaning in historical and political times.

    1. DEMOCRACY. Few of us have the time or the inclination to run down to the Agora and participate personally as they did in Ancient Greece. But many of us are DEMOCRATS.

    2. REPUBLIC. We have representatives in Washington to HOPEFULLY express our views and vote for us accordingly. REPUBLICANS.

    3. CONSTITUTION. Written rules to govern a country and for its citizens to abide by – subject to change.

    4. THEOCRACY. A country, governed by religious dogma as written in their Holy Texts; but more often than not, open to interpretation only by their qualified clergy.

    5. SOCIALISM. A political ideology practiced by early Christians in which property was held in communal benefit for the entire congregation. This included women and slaves in accordance with ecclesiastical traditions.


    7. LENINIST COMMUNISM as a result of the overthrow of the Czarist Monarchy of the Russians. Continued by STALINIST style COMMUNISM.

    8. CHINESE COMMUNISM as a result of the overthrow of the ancient regime of HEREDITARY EMPERORS.

    9. TOTALITARIANISM. The ABSOLUTE authority of any political system.

    10. CAPITALISM based on various economic THEORIES.


    12. CONSTITUTIONAL and/or SOCIALIST MONARCHIES. Examples are The United Kingdom, some Scandinavian and other European countries.

    13. DICTATORSHIP. The overthrow of any political system by either military might or trickery.

    14. NATIONALISM. The love of one’s country to the extreme exclusion of any other country, creed or culture.

    Examples: The official NAME of the Nazi party in the German language is translated, “The National Socialist German Worker’s Party”. (Read common thugs.) It was chosen to appeal to the general public for propaganda purposes.

    Another example is the “Tea Party”, so named after the American colonists who dumped English tea from British ships in the Boston harbor to protest the policies of the British Empire on “Taxation without Representation.” You know, “Freedom!” “Justice!” “The AMERICAN WAY!”

    These are only a few of the major political systems in more recent history. There are many others too numerous to list. They are for the most part NON-FICTION, meaning that they are easily verifiable by other reliable sources.

    However, FICTION is much more entertaining to read. You know, what Aunt Mary or Uncle Charlie said about the good ole/bad ole days. Anecdotal tales often reflect a grain or two of accuracy from the point of view of the storyteller, albeit somewhat biased and more easily embellished to impress and gain either sympathy or attention.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  161. Amen, jsri.

    Of course Democrats are playing the same partisan game, and its too bad.

    We met a Polish woman who became our unofficial grand mother. We shared our past experiences and she believed what I had survived in the service let me understand her ordeal in ways others couldn’t, so she talked. We taped the interview and gave a copy to her family after she died. Another went to Spielburg’s oral history project.

    She was the only survivor of 22 relatives.

    We have all heard of their ordeal in the death camps, but our friend told us post war life was no bed of roses either. Allied soldiers harassed and stole from them. The Russians were especially nasty. Americans had a good reputation as concerned people, and refugees sought them out.

    She and her then future husband met and decided to move to the Middle East in the future Israel, but others told them where they would go. She and her husband were sent to Omaha..

    When we lived in Europe, we knew a prosperous German businessman, a mirror image of our friend who was also successful. He had been in the Nazi Youth Corps and he was the only surviving member of his family. At 16, he returned to the family home. Only three walls of the bombed out structure survived, and it was winter. he found some tarps and wood for a fire. He spent part of the the first year after the war foraging for food and trying to find shelter.

    The Marshall Plan likely helped him become the businessman and traveler we knew.


  162. To: Roz on November 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Thank you for your clear-headed response. I can only hope that a few of the negative contributors here will understand the historical as well as personal significance of your comments.

    We had a good friend who passed away recently who came to America from Germany when he was a young teen, – after WWII. His father was a naval architect, one of the cadre of scientists scoffed up by the US that included such luminaries as Werner Von Braun and the whole rocket launch bunch. Our friend and his mother were on the German home front during WWII and she almost ended getting arrested because, as a mother, she was not always prudent in her criticisms of the German regime. Their only salvation was the fact that our friend’s father was near the top of the pile of designers who kept Germany’s naval war machine moving. At the war’s end they opted to go to South America but that idea was short-circuited by the U.S. Government when it appropriated most of the top German scientists before the Russians could get their hands on them. That maneuver plus the Marshall Plan in 1948 brought us to where we are today, technological leaders of the world, and in relative peace despite all the turmoil elsewhere.

    It is interesting that the Marshall plan was created by Secretary of State George Marshall, an ex-general from the winning side in WWII, working with a Republican Congress in 1948 while the presidency was still in Democratic hands, a prime example of cooperatively working across aisles that is totally lost on our present winner-take-all GOPeers. The Marshall Plan as an economic rescue is also one of the prime reasons why we still have friends in prosperous countries on other continents today. It is also an example of intelligent politicians, working for the good of the country instead of themselves, who realized that retribution similar to that inflicted on Germany after WWI would only mean the same war battles all over again.


  163. I saw the Dutch girl in a news story which led with “can you guess the age of this person?” before they showed the video. The world is filled with talented people we will never see, especially if they live in other countries.

    I won’t join Roz and Anon’s argument about Germany because I will be gone again. However, WW!1 was in part a second phase of the first war, because as Roz mentioned the allies forced vengeance upon the defeated Germans and virtually destroyed their economy.

    I agree with Anon that socialism was a bane, and not just in Germany. I have talked to people who moved from eastern Europe and are afraid we are headed down the same path


  164. Roz – Perfect response!

    This makes me proud and gives me hope for America:




  165. Terri Oct 30.

    Yes, only a small minority of people will lose the health care insurance they paid for and liked because the ObamaCare mandate requires that every health insurance policy meets a minimum requirement. The administration changed rules which forbad many policies from being grandfathered into the system as promised. Insurance companies are following the law and charging what they think they need to pay the bills and give themselves a nice profit.

    . But the US is a big country, and even 5% totals real numbers. The National Center for Public Policy Research estimated that 1.5 million insurance cancelations have gone out so far, and the Congressional Budget Office thinks millions more will face cancelation or higher rates.

    The LA Times reported that middle-class Californians who keep their insurance face on average a 30% rate increase.

    This total is small compared to our entire population as you noted, but a million and a half is still larger than the populations of some states.

    I don’t expect you to care about people you don’t know, but one of them is our daughter and also her co- workers. Our daughter and son-in law already have thousands of dollars of bills for their previously doctor declared at risk daughter who is not yet quite five months old. Insurance covered most of the cost. Therefore, since it is personal to me, I do care.

    I also care that our own president repeatedly lied to us. I’m not accusing you, but some defenders of Obama are hypocrits. If Bush were president, they would be the first to complain.

    We had a nice trip. We were in an unlit cave with the sign “Danger Enter at Your Own risk. Falling Rocks.” We hiked near a water fall and watched a young man propose to his girl friend. They asked me to take a group picture of the ten friends and happy couple.


  166. Oops, reread my comment and neglected to point out that the leadership of Nazi Germany brought terrible pain and suffering to all of Germany, not just the persecuted ‘others’.
    Ted Cruz and his ilk would bring us all down.
    I apologize for my rant, here and above…wish I could figure out how to be a bit lighter about all this….


  167. Anonymous, Nov. 1, 10:35..
    I too was raised by parents and grandparents that were refugees from Nazi Germany. My maternal grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz. However, our similarities end there. You seem to hold Socialism responsible for Germany’s history. In fact, Nazi Germany arose from the results of the allies’ response to Germany’s role in WW I. Their attitude was one of punishment and revenge and they established extremely harsh economic restraints on the Germans which caused the downfall of the Weimar Republic and the subsequent rise of the Nazi regime. After WW II, the allies were wiser and did not impose crippling sanctions on Germany and history has proven the wisdom of that approach. I’m not sure how you fault socialism for that period of history.
    I am also confused as to how you can support Ted Cruz and his cronies. He/they are continuing examples of the principles of self aggrandizement, hate, ignorance and exclusion/separation that resulted in your family’s exile. He and his dad frame President Obama as ‘the other’ when they falsely accuse him of being born in Kenya. These are the very qualities that can result in the horrific consequences that were played out in Nazi Germany. I see democracy and socialism as being based on principles of inclusion, education and promise for all members of society.
    I don’t expect this brief rebuttal to change your opinions/beliefs. I just can’t remain silent when I believe Ted Cruz (and too many others in his party) is personifying those same qualities of leadership that brought such suffering to the ‘others’ in Germany. We all have this capacity for hate in us…especially in tough times. Hopefully we can use this understanding to move away from hate and exclusion of the ‘other’ and move towards compassion and inclusion for all…


  168. My family moved to the US during the Hitler regime. As I grew up my grand parents would tell me horror stories about socialism and how our family used to be wealthly in Germany. This slowly became less the case after socialism started to creep it’s way in. These stories would be retold to me by my parents, and how my grandparents where the few to leave before they would be forced into a camp.

    I was taught by my parents how evil socialism is. How it is a plague and should be avoided. It has always been described to me as something that should be treated the same way we where treated back then.

    I’m scared now. Obama has so many followers and supporters, much the same way Hitler had. And there seems to be a very similar pattern today as there was then.

    I’ve heard history repeats itself, and that history I don’t want to witness or ever have repeat itself


  169. To: Anonymous on November 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I think you’ve missed your calling as a comedy writer. Your adulation of Li’l Teddy Cruz is a case in point. Li’l Teddy and his father (the Dominonist preacher) have to be stand-up comics because their religious blathering is some sort of sicko joke, but a joke nevertheless.. No wonder so many more people these days are becoming non-theists after hearing their comedic rambles. And as far as L’il Teddy’s supporters are concerned, you can take a hint from one of the deepest thinking comics of our times, George Carlin, who said “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” sort of like the GOPeers that you and your ilk most closely resemble.

    Anon too


  170. Hey, Anon – I just heard from Jesus. He’s got you on his “no fly” list.



  171. Anon: “Ted Cruz is just one of the few great blessings that god has given this country.”

    Let me guess, cupcake. You probably also thought that folks like GDumbya, Darth Cheney and Teddy Cruz’s doppelgänger, Joe McCarthy were also “great blessings” to the U.S.
    I suspect that you and I have very, very little upon which we would agree.
    You suggest that liberals should leave this country. I won’t suggest the same for you, sweetpea. Rather, I suggest that you move TO this country . . . and leave your erroneous and antiquated notions about residing in an 18th century version of the U.S. behind.


  172. The fact that is blog is even on the web is an insult.Ted Cruz is just one of the few great blessings that god has given this country. The idea of supporting any form of socialism is insane. When has socialism ever been a success. Oh wait some liberal supporter will go on and say Canada, Europe and other countries. Well do your research and you may realize that socialism is designed to turn countries into 3rd world countries with Tyrany. The moment a government considers socialism should be the moment citizens need to invest as much as they can as fast as they can because the country will go bankrupt.

    Judging the author of this article who actually believes that carbon actually causes global warming, which means people cause global warming. Global warming is not real it is bullshit. You probably support and defend illegal immigrants as well. And if you do then your a trader to the country and have no respect for innocent people. Illegal immigrants should be treated as a terrorist threat, and people who support their rights should be monitored closely, because those people will put the country in danger, by protecting them.

    My suggestion is anyone who is liberal should just leave this country and go to a country that promotes your toxic insanity.


  173. HI Congenial Gang,

    Cynthia, WOW! and then WOW! No I hadn’t heard her. Thanks soooooo much for putting up the link.

    This is one of our son’s very favorite arias. He first heard it unaccompanied by a street singer in Italy. Blew him away! You can bet I’ll be sending it to him.

    In case anybody isn’t that familiar with it, is from Puccini’s “Il Trittico”, three little operas often performed together. this aria, “O mio babbino caro”, is from “Gianni Schicci”, It’s about a girl who is desperately in love but cannot get married because his family refuses to let them since she has no dowry. The aria is her plea to her “dear daddy” to do something about it. He does. He is a crafty old reprobate.

    This is a delightful “opera buffo”. Google it for the synopsis, laugh and enjoy!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  174. Jean – have you heard this young lady! sing?




  175. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4036

    SNAP cuts and who gets hurt.

    If you earned $50,000 w/1 child you pay $3820 in taxes. $2100 of that goes to SS; $725 to Medicare. The remaining $895 gets divided up. $240.75 – Defense; $235 – Health care……….

    And $37 per year or .10 a day goes to Food Stamps, WIC and School lunches. This is where we should save money?????? Can you afford to give up 10 cents a day?



  176. Hey Whirled,
    Here’s another tidbit from the Cruz family. Shameful.



  177. Here’s an idea:

    Vermont Wants to Be the First
    State With Universal Health Care

    It’s gotta start somewhere.



  178. Another winner M&H. Keep ‘em comin’.

    It’s been reported the Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz got an eight minute standing ovation from a group of Texas wingnuts. What they didn’t tell you is that the audience thought the MC introduced Tom Cruise. ;)

    Here’s a little tidbit to keep an eye on:

    Ted Cruz’s Father Suggested His Son Is ‘Anointed’
    to Bring About ‘End Time Transfer of Wealth’.

    Watch out for those Dominionists.

    The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher and the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry — and legions of the senator’s wealthy supporters, some of whom orchestrated the shutdown, are rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism.

    This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism. The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it — its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government — and its laughable pseudo-science are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous.

    Peace ~ Δ


  179. It’s funny cause its to close to true!




  180. WOW…Nothing about race until the 4th sentence….A new record…..
    interesting how a bill that no republicans voted for is their fault……
    some people keep forgetting that “We need to pass this to find out what’s in it”….and now we know…..
    Oh…I forgot….it’s Bush’s fault……

    and in time for Halloween


  181. Lori and Gato, Of course, you’re both right. The hypocrisy is stunning, but not unexpected. The purpose of the bill was to give all Americans a chance to have an acceptable level of healthcare. If someone is paying $50 a month for their policy, we have to assume it’s a lousy policy and doesn’t meet the minimum standards. We are talking about a very small fraction of Americans, although to listen to Faux News and Congress, you’d think everyone in the country was losing their insurance! I hope people are smart and aware enough to see through these frauds.


  182. Anon actually the opposite is true of the Midwestern Y chromosomes. When that faulty thought crossed your mind, it must have taken a short, lonely trip. Bye


  183. Jsri, I respect your view and probably would have done the same as you had not our ancestors done much of the work for us.Like you, I’m not really interested in notables don’t. I was trained to be an historian and I like the old stories and connections.

    I hope you have recorded your old family tales I’d like to read some of them.

    Re insurance cancelations. Poolman suggested the insurance companies,not Obama wrote most of the law I agreed with him. Even so, this was Obama’s bill, and he lied about it. Right now, it is a cluster. The law said one could keep his/her insurance, but an administration regulation put many of those polcies out of compliance. The insurance companies will do all
    right, but many people will pay for the benefits of the relatively few.

    You all get the last word, because I am too happy to discuss unpleasant subjects tonight. In June doctors told us our grand daughter would probably be up to three years behind in her development. This evening, they said she is a little ahead of normal. Her head is now nearly normally shaped.

    Our son -in law gets a few days off, so my wife and I are taking a short trip to visit a traveling Sami display, a limestone ice cave and to do some hiking



  184. Hi, Lori – And it’s the demands made by THOSE VERY “LEGISLATORS,” at the behest of their sponsoring insurance companies, that absolutely guaranteed that the insurance companies would “have to” do exactly what they’re doing now, and about which those legislators are now complaining.

    Just as you said, “Wash, rinse, repeat”… (Love that!) They’re all just like that congressman who upbraided the Park Service ranger at the Memorial for refusing entry to the veterans.

    But we all know that. They damned well do, too; all just part of the “strategy.”



  185. Terri , Gato, all , Im over it to. Its just a rinse and repeat ” arguement” that began when the black guy decided it would be a good idea to do something about the out of control healthcare costs in this country. He had the audacity to actually DO something about the problem! GASP! This fiend concern would be more convincing if the GOP and chronic complainers would have worked WITH the Black guy and congress to when this was all being legislated. Instead they did nothing but obstruct. As far as I am concerned they have no right to
    Bitch now …. but of course they will . Its ALL they know how to do.


  186. Margaret and Helen,

    Y’all are so hilarious. It’s good to laugh sometimes to keep from crying at all the GOP obstructionism. Hopefully, we’ll be laughing next November when Pelosi regains her position as Speaker of the House.


  187. James….

    The locus for obnoxious stupidity has been found on the Y chromosome in a certain few areas of the Midwestern population.



  188. MIOV, good point. I was just presenting an explanation to the outrage over cancelled policies because I was thrown by the reports of policy cancellations. I see now why some policies are being cancelled. It’s not about Obamacare taking away people’s insurance. Insurance companies and employers are in control of decisions they make about coverage. Fallout is on them, not on reasonable minimum standards of coverage.


  189. A bit of humor for Tuesday! Great idea…wish I had thought of it!!!!
    (hope this works)




  190. The latest wrinkle is health insurance companies dropping doctors who serve Medicare recipients with an aim to not notify retirees etc. until the time has passed for them to select alternate providers. This means that those using Medicare Advantage Plans may be stuck with huge extra costs for physician providers who have served them for years. Check out scumbags like United Health Care.


  191. Well said, Gato! I’m pretty exhausted from all the GOP crocodile tears about prople having their policies cancelled. It never seemed to bother them before, nor did it bother them when folks were refused insurance due to a pre-existing condition, or when people went bankrupt after they reached their limit. Big phonies, that’s what they are.


  192. Hi, James, and All – Does anyone, other than myself, recall that insurance company stocks went UP, big time, when the ACA was originally passed? To me, that was a sure sign that they’d gotten plenty of what they wanted.

    And why shouldn’t they like the idea that they will be “forced” to cancel millions of policies, and then come right back to those former policy holders, all full of deep regrets and talking about how “changes in current requirements, as well as advances in medical care, require us to reluctantly raise our rates,” and all that sorry crap they send out every year, anyway, ACA or no ACA. They’re going to make a bundle on all this, and, of course, it won’t be their “fault”… They’ll just be doing what the new law insists they do: OFFER BASIC COVERAGE, at a minimum. (Awwww…. The poor little things… They have to actually PAY for medical services with our premiums, in addition to satisfying their shareholders…? Hardly seems “American,” does it…?)

    Obama “compromised” plenty during these negotiations, to a bunch of cash-backed oligarchs who care for nothing more than their own re-election and maintenance of power, and a gaggle of Congressional newbies who wouldn’t know an unforeseen consequence if it smacked them in the face. In my personal opinion, I was extremely sorry to see the single-payer option go down the toilet, and knew that, as long as “the market” had a voice in this, it was going to be something of a mess. (That said, it’s a much better “mess” than the former system, undoubtedly.)

    Did Obama “lie” about this to the American people? Probably – a lie of omission. I’m sure he was not eager to tell the American people that the insurance companies had him, and them, by the cojoñes, and that there would be no law at all unless Big Insurance got some significant benefits out of this. (Big Pharma came out smiling, too, of course.) Just imagine, for a moment, the kind of reactions and indignant “outrage” that would have come from Fox, Rush, the Baggers, and every other congressperson elected thanks to insurance company contributions – as well as the companies themselves – had Obama taken a position anything remotely like that, true as it undoubtedly was. In addition, he got enough flak from his own supporters for “compromising,” and they (“we”) would have gone ballistic!

    If insurance companies decide to cancel policies, and then offer more expensive ones in their place, it will be no decision other than their own. Nobody is forcing them to do any of this, even though they will stridently maintain that such is the case. That’s bull doody. Maybe they should take a lesson from the airlines, who are turning themselves inside out to find other ways to generate revenue, other than raising fares: fees for checked baggage, fees for early check-in, fees for eight inches more leg room in coach, fees for buying your ticket on line, and, probably soon, fees for a seat in the waiting “lounge,” “service charges” for bringing your own food on board, and fees for “oxygen enhancement services” during the flight (the overall cabin pressure is reduced, but you can use your air bag for just a few dollars more), and so on. We all know they’re doing this, and we don’t like it, but at least they’re making some small effort to be creative about it.

    Good god… The insurance companies might even consider making just a tiny bit less “profit” for themselves and their shareholders… What a concept!

    So when you’re pointing the finger of blame, point it at where it belongs, not at where the perpetrators – or those bought-and-paid-for legislators – tell you it belongs.



  193. James on October 29, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Unlike you, I have little interest in genealogy. I know basically where my relatives came from and the ships that brought them here but beyond that genealogy has little meaning to me because their presence or absence had very little to do with what I have done through life or where I ended up.

    Your comment “ I think we owe it to our ancestors to acknowledge their existance.” leads me to ask “Why?” because most people I know are looking only for a connection to someone of historic importance that makes them feel superior to others who might have ancestors of “lesser rank.

    My niece, a computer junkie who was interested in family genealogy before she died of breast cancer at age 28, did a lot of searching years ago at a significant cost and most of what she turned up was not especially helpful. Twenty plus years ago, websites were springing up on search engines all over the Internet that promised extensive genealogical help but ship’s mainfests often came back “unavailable” (or only listed first class passengers) and she was left with generic pictures of family crests with names and possible alternate spellings (which we already knew) and weak descriptions of regions in England and Germany from which our ancestors came (which we also knew) plus an extended explanation of why our ancestors might have emigrated (which didn’t need embellishment because it was pretty easy to imagine). Actually, family lore was much more interesting and more fun to contemplate even though it couldn’t always be documented.

    Although parish records were common in England and Germany as far back as the 1600’s there were few public records and not knowing the precise church our ancestors might have attended often led to dead ends. While lacking church records of births and cemetary records of deaths that might have been helpful, an added complication was that we didn’t know where the records might be hidden plus the fact, neither of us were proficient in Old English or High German. The time commitment was enormous but it was primarily the lack of specifics that soured us on further searching. One interesting ancillary pursuit led to a peek into Mormon records that seemed to suggest that some relatives might have been connected to the Mormon church. Since our ancestors were either baptized Catholics or Anglicans and there’s no evidence they ever converted to anything else, nothing could have been further from the truth, so the whole set of search documents eventually ended up in the trash.


  194. Dellurkergurl, the writer is trying to shift the blame for the snafus away from implementation of the law. Obama and others lied for three years because they knew that people facing loss of their insurance policies, higher deductables and premiums would oppose the law.

    Insurance companies were mandated to provide extra coverage whether customers needed it or not They were not allowed to charge more money for the minority of poor and sick who will benefit.Someone had to pay. Policies which fail to meet requirements are discontinued.

    Labor Unions, some businesses, and Congresspeople and their employees want out of the system unless their added expenses are met.

    Our daughter learned she might lose her policy and certainly would pay more.Her outrage was no more manufactured than comments from others in the same boat.

    I think this system is a way station on the road to universal insurance.


  195. Its the little things in life that make me smile.




  196. Delurker, don’t really understand what you are saying about”cancelled” insurance. Every year I have to renew my Medigap insurance or if I choose to, I can drop it and switch to another carrier. If I don’t respond to my present carrier, especially during a particular month, they can drop me for non-response. Every year something does change on the Medigap, usually not a big thing, but it could mean that the policy is no longer being offered which is actually the way insurance companies do business. I would then just go to the next best bet that wants my business. I did deal recently with a LIFE insurance co. that was no longer offering policies. I cashed mine out just in time. I find stuff like this not all the news worthy.


  197. If your health insurance is being canceled, think twice about who to blame


    Good points. It’s also important to know who to blame for rising deductibles and rates.


  198. Perhaps Matthew or a couple of teenagers could go to DC and fix up the ACA website? (I don’t know if this has been suggested before or not, but it seems like a good idea.) Margaret and Helen keep on rockin’, and I don’t mean in a chair!


  199. If Rethuglican think people can choose their sexual orientation the probably think they can choose their race.


  200. I once ran a tour group thru Austin and other parts of Texas and in my introductory bit I always urged them to NEVER vote for a Texan for national office. This was during the Bush years but is still valid as far as I am concerned. I cannot imagine that my fellow Texans voted for a Canadian to be our Texas Senator. I occasionally have to go out into the Texas boondocks and have to watch my speech as the natives out there are rabid about the tea party, the Perry idiot, the Canadian jerk and the wierdo representatives like brainless Goelert, or whatever his name is, Joe Barton and the rest. Yea for Wendy Davis for Governor!!! That would be a joy to behold in our venerable statehouse. Her election would drive the republiks CRAZY! What fun!!


  201. Anon, I don’t want the Affordable Health Care system to fail. I KNOW it will fail because of how it was constructed. I read the bill. As we already see, many people, including our daughter will suffer under this law. We could have borrowed workable ideas from other countries as I noted

    I also knew that either Obama was a witless cypher or he was lying to us about his scheme Reporters are at last telling us the administration knew about web site problems months ago Obama also knew that many people would lose insurance policies or face higher premiums three years ago

    I like jsri’s post. Our family has been interested in its history for over a hundred years. They did their research the hard way. I merely had to confirm their findings in the London Public Records office and elsewhere. I continued where they left off.

    I have run into distant unknown relatives who all still have six inch thick family history written about 1910. I don’t know why, but the book is also on line.

    One issue is health and longevity. Some branches of our family live to about 100–the rest in their eighties. Most don’t die of cancer or simiiar illnesses. Heart failure seems to be our main killer.my ancestors traced the branch which contributed to longevity during WW1. Based on what I know of family traits and my general health, I think have a shot at a healthy 100.

    This is a practical issue since we will be living with our grand daughter five days a week until at least early school. We need to remain healthy and vital with the beginning of school at least. We survived being hit by a train so we seem to be in good shape for now.

    My blue eyes tell me I am a mutant from near the Black Sea. My aunt’s and cousin’s Asian eyes and cheekbones with light eyes and hair tell me about the Sami side of my family.

    Old family stories dating back to 1800 show repeating personality traits either through culture or genetic predisposition.

    A search for notable relatives has nothing to do with my interest. I think we owe it to our ancestors to acknowledge their existance. Maybe that is the Sami ancestor worship coming out.


  202. Just remember – His name isn’t “Ted” – it’s Rafael Edward (or is that Eduardo?) Cruz. I guess “Rafael” just isn’t ‘Merican enuf for Tea Party morans.

    But I think that out of respect for the junior senator from Texass, we should make sure to call him by his given birth name, Rafael Cruz.


  203. That $.5B number for just healthcare.go has been debunked. There is more to the ACA then the healthcare mandate. A number of programs have been successfully launched – google Physician Value. One (to be honest hasn’t been launched) deals with Medicaid. Currently, the process for states to submit their planning documents and the reviews of those documents is paperbased. That’s ridiculous in 2013. One of the provisions is to bring that online. I think that is a good thing.


  204. Well, damn! Rick Perry and his posse thought they had TX under their total control, right down to the lady parts! A federal judge just threw out their abortion control law as unconstitutional. The TX AG, Gregg Abbot, is going to try to file an emergency appeal but frankly that is just a show of all hat and no cattle. That judge and his decision ain’t gonna blow away. They are rock solid.


  205. Auntie Jean As Anonymous on October 28, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    You wrote A related science to Neuroscience is Genetics which I have studied to a certain degree but jsri would be more conversant about it than I.

    In truth, I’ve been out of the field of Biology since I retired almost 30 years ago and after moving to a community where there were no others to consult with, my knowledge of the field stagnated. So I claim no expertise in the field although my grandson who is now a premed in a top 15 university has more up to date info at his fingertips than I ever had. Also, the last time I taught at the university level there were estimates of the human genome that predicted 100,000 genes but that number has been recuced drastically to about 20,000 upon analysis by of the Human Genome Project. Anyone who is interested can find more precise information on Wikipedia.

    But like you, I avoid falling for the come-on ads about finding your personal genome. Most seem to promise much more than they can deliver. And while such info may be useful to anthropologists tracing human evolution, aside from being able to identify some of the more serious medical conditions there is no discernable reason why such knowledge would benefit any individual unfamiliar with its implications in daily life, in the process of evolution or of the interactions of the genome with the environment. Also, people who are looking for ID markers to famous relatives of the past, hoping to give themselves some bragging rights may not always be happy. I see no benefit to being able to identify some distant relative who came over on the Mayflower, was a famous pirate or one who participated in the Salem witch trials. They’re rarely the sort of people I’d want to have my reputation attached to. I’m much more impressed by people like our exceptionally bright grandsons who are not only academically talented, but, based on their past actions, have a keen understanding of the human condition and all that it implies. They have much more to offer that bodes well for the future than lessons learned by the actions of distant relatives of questionable character.


  206. James, not sure why you so are bound and determined to see the ACA fail. Are you an expert in healthcare? I seriously doubt it. We can all point to opinion pieces by writers we like that bolster our opinions. Does any country have a perfect healthcare system? No, but many countries have healthcare systems that cover all their citizens, not just those that can afford it. Let’s give this a try, change what doesn’t seem to working, and continue to work towards the goal of having everyone covered. The Dems came up with the system while trying to be bipartisan. They accepted many amendments from the GOP while the bill was being fashioned, and they were rewarded with no, nada, zilch, GOP votes. All the nay saying is counter-productive. As for Canada having long wait times, those same problems exist here and everywhere else. These tired our tropes need to be given a rest.


  207. “He looks like something the dog’s been keeping under the porch.”
    Or Satan, in the deep dark cellar?

    He is Joe McCarthy, Tricky Dick Nixon and the worst evangelical preacher all rolled into on


  208. Hi Friends!

    I just saw this. :)


    I thought of my CT friends here @ M&H!

    Wayyyyy back in the day I had these types of opportunities ( in PA) and it literally formed not only life long friendships @ ties to the political community but it helped to shape my appreciate for Country and service to it.

    If my CT friends have a college student in their lives that might be intetested, I highly recommend it.


  209. Business Insider says the success of the Vermont plan is in doubt Pluses include its small size and fairly homogenous population Its being used like Medicare and financed by a payroll tax are also advantages.

    Negatives include possible difficulties in fanancial sustainabilty and whether or not, the system will include everyone.

    The Health Care in Canada Survey discusses problems, including long wait times, and the shortage of doctors. An Omaha television station reported on the large number of Canadians who come to Omaha for medical treatment.

    Alberta may privatise part of the system. It is being debated hotly.

    Both systems are superior to Affordable Care. The government should borrow from them what may work and also look at countries such as Finnland and Switzerland.


  210. Congragulations, Jean on your grand son’s success and his studying at Berkley. What occupation does he plan to pursue?

    I know about the genetic testing offers. A neighbor paid $400 for one which said her ancestors moved from near the Black Sea to northern Germany over thousands of years.

    I share your skeptisim, but I might try one of the tests some day. The National Georgraphic offers one. Likely it would tell me we were related to George Washington or President Obama when in reality, my ancestors were yeoman farmers forced out by the Enclosure movements.

    A present for you, Jean: Since you like music, you might appreciate Eva & Manu Feet in the Water Official music video on YouTube video. The French farm girl and Finn met at a Boston university. They decided to do something wild and crazy. They went to France worked on farms and wrote music. Now, they have a music career as a Finnish folky music duo.

    Don’t worry about it Cynthia. I have my silly moments all of the time.

    Robert Reich is a smart man, and he knows this plan is unraveling. He is grasping for a life boat, and looking for flotsum of previous conservative medical insurance plans to change the subject. He knows, what is happening.

    Even if this was a Republican plan stolen by Democrats, it is still bad, and any Republican origins have nothing to do with the web site and other failures.No Congressional Republican voted for Obamacare for a reason. Those problems belong to Obama and his administration not Republicans. Reich made a nice try, but the plan is still sinking. His comments are irrelevant to the national discussion.

    Read Betsy’s page this morning.

    An insurance executive in California said an angry woman wrote the company “I supported Obamacare, but I didn’t know I was going to have to pay for it.” Reported by the Los Angeles Times.A lot of that will be going on.

    Our grand daughter is dozing by the couch. I have a bottle of forumula with me when she wakes. up.

    Later, I will play for her the song I suggested to Jean . She likes melodiuus music like that. Such songs put her to sleep or make her stop crying.

    Since we are in Omaha again, you won’t be hearing much from me for awhile.


  211. Didn’t catch it in time. Vermont was once a Republic.


  212. Just found out that Vermont, which was once a Republican, is instituting their own universal health care program which when established will resemble the one their neighbor, Canada, has. They got kicked into this gear due to the simple fact that there was no health insurance competition in the state. Seems like the New England states like Maine as well are in the same position. Only one source to buy health insurance from. That was one of the reasons for the Affordable Care Act; you could go across state lines to buy your health insurance from more competitive companies. My side of the family is Canadian and when my sister and her husband lived there, their two kids were born. The whole family got excellent healthcare. It was this healthcare establishment that was able to determine my sister had an RH condition, a discovery that led to her decision not to have mor than two kids. That was many, many years ago. She is grandmother now to some amazing young men. Gotta keep these things in mind when considering the entire picture of any sort of healthcare anywhere.


  213. Hi Congenial Gang,

    First off, I make no claims to expertise in Political Science since my FORMAL higher education in that discipline is not particularly extensive. However as, I hope, a responsible citizen, I feel it is incumbent on my part to stay as up to date and informed as possible. But politics is only my avocation.

    My background as many of you know is in Music, specifically classical and grand opera and then Neuroscience with emphasis on research into Physiological Psychology. It has been a number of years since I have been active in either field but I maintain an interest in both and try to keep up with the personalities and rapid changes taking place – almost on a daily basis.

    A related science to Neuroscience is Genetics which I have studied to a certain degree but jsri would be more conversant about it than I. But to recap. Ever since Watson and Crick stepped up to claim the Nobel Prize in 1956 for “discovering” DNA, the research in that area has grown by leaps and bounds, especially with the mapping of the human genome. Work continues with every other species known to man. However, except for some Entomologists and Epidemiologists, I doubt if there is much interest by the general public in the genome of the tsetse fly.

    I’m sure, like me, your e mail inbox is bombarded with commercial offers of every conceivable category. Usually they go into the span file or are rapidly glanced at and deleted. But there was one that recently caught my eye. I have no idea how they got my e-mail address. Now that decades of study and research, actually eons of speculation on the origins of heredity have gone by, an outfit has latched onto the idea of making a fast buck out of it. You can go to dnaspectrum.com/ and for $99.00 get YOUR VERY OWN DNA!!! It will tell you everything there is to know about your dominant, recessive and mutant genes without years and years of exhaustive study. As they say, it is “THE BEST DNA TEST IN THE WORLD”. It will tell you the “HIDDEN STORY IN YOUR DNA” and “REVEAL YOUR FAMILY HISTORY”. For less than $100.00 you can become a Genetic Expert!!! What a deal!!!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  214. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks Cynthia for your link with Robert Reich’s piece. It is quite an informative article. I have always liked him. I think he is a brilliant man as well as a lucid and skillful writer.

    BTW, speaking of grandbabies, one of our grandkids is currently attending Berkeley. Proud grandma speaking here, huh! We couldn’t be more pleased that he is getting such a high caliber education.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  215. Oh James you are so right. How silly of me to think the repubs were once for this plan before they were later against it. I hear your grandbaby crying; you better go check her.



  216. Poolman, you may be right. It could have been how the Democrats persuaded the insurance companies to support the bill.

    Meanwhile, Twitchy is displaying journalist David Frum’s tweets. He checked the exchange and discovered his policy will be canceled. “I already had high-deductible plan. Now I can buy a plan with double the deductible for only $200 a month more.”


  217. James, I think industry wrote the whole enchilada. Democrats just carried it over the goal. Someone decided to call it affordable, yet cost and where all the money comes and goes seems to be its biggest unknown. I believe everyone is entitled to health care and tantamount to that believe in whole health which involves every aspect of what we encounter in our lives, but that will stunt the oil industry for one, since its products are so intertwined in our day to day and so toxic to life.


  218. Cynthia, “Why do Republicans…moan and groan and complain…?” Because Democrats, not Republicans passed it. Ha Ha!

    Seriously, I don’t think a majority of Republicans would have approved such a law even if the party elders had written it. This is not a Republican law written by Democrats.

    Hostility is generated because the law is intrinsically unfair with designated winners and losers combined with lies and incompentancy.

    Los Angeles Times Business “Some health insurance gets pricier as Obamacare rolls out”
    “Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.” “There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act.”

    Los Angeles Times “More Legal trouble for Affordable Care Act” Critics of the law are suing over part of the law which offers tax credits through state exchanges. “If they win, the program falls apart in 36 states.”

    The law doesn’t say tax credits can be given to those who buy insurance through a federally run exchange. “Apparently no on noticed this when the long and complicated bill worked its way through the House and Senate.”

    That is another sign that this is not Republican legislation. Modern Republicans would not have written such a sloppy law, if for no reason other than that the press would have nailed them because most of it is biased toward Democrats.

    Romney Care has its problems too, but it is less cumbersome than Obamacare. Robert Reich is grasping at straws.


  219. So why do the repubs moan and groan and bi*ch and complain about Obamacare?????????????????????????????????????????? Do I really need to ask!




  220. The conservative’s idol, Ronnie Reagan was a democrat before he switched sides, as was governor Rick Perry.

    Woodrow Wilson, a progressive and democrat, was POTUS a century ago when we were saddled with the IRS and the privately owned federal reserve was established. He subsequently got us into WWI and led our spreading of ‘democracy’ around the globe. Spreading democracy sounds noble, until you see how all that really plays out in the various countries and cultures we’ve infiltrated. Anyone familiar with the School of the Americas in Ft Benning, GA? Operation Charly? Operation Condor? Democracy is NOT the school’s curriculum.


  221. A long time ago, Juneau Joe and I argued about Occupy Wall Street. He thought they were going to help change the world. He also said their success would bite me in the ass. It evolved as I predicted, and none of them bit me.


  222. j
    Terri, I’m not proud of it. I is just part of my heritage. I’m pretty open with the good and bad.

    One of my ancestors , a teenaged girl with eplipsy, accused a neighbor family of bewitching her. Bad blood already existed between the families. Several other ancestors, including a direct multi- grandfather were jurists who convicted them. They recanted and aplogised three years later.

    Witches and wizards do exist, not as supernatural beings but as parts of various religions and traditions.

    Vikings on my mother’s side were enforcers in the Outer Hebridese. When someone violated an oath etc, some of my ancestors took care of it. I learned this because the maternal side of my family comes from one of the oldest continuous named families in Europe traceable to over a thousand years ago.

    If horror stories of family curses were true,, our family would deserve some attention for awful things it did. So would many others writing here and elsewhere.

    To say Ike or Clinton would be Democrats today is like saying JFK or Truman would have been Republicans. Just speculation, All that counts is the historical record.

    That’s true about King, but Kennedy opposed Martin Luther King, and his brother authorized the FBI to spy on him. Kennedy called Correta Scott King only as a political gesture which worked.

    In “A Covenent with Life: Reclaiming MLK’s Legacy” Dr. Alveda C. King, Martin’s niece wrote “My grand father, Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. or ‘Daddy King’ was a Republican and father of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was a Republican.” In fairness, Martin Luther King wrote later that he was becoming disenchanted with the Republicans Party, especially over Vietnam.

    Lyndon Johnson used the N word to describe Martin Luther King. Had it not been for Everette Dirkson, a Republican, the Civil Rights law as it was written probably would not have passed.

    Another piece of trivia I read about Martin Luther King is that he was stabbed in the chest, and he refused to let rescue squad workers remove the knife until they reached the hospital Waiting probably saved his life.

    Jean missed the nail as I demonstrated.


  223. Two comments: first, aunt Jean, you hit the nail on the head! Second, James your ancestors did not “kill witches” since they don’t exist. They were innocent people caught up in others hysteria. In any case, nothing to be proud about.


  224. And Ike in today’s world would be a Democrat. Hell, Clinton is an Ike clone!

    The GOP can have Reagan & Lincoln IMHO


  225. Shoot… Me again


  226. Martin Luther King SENIOR not MLK JR. Supported the GOP UNTIL … UNTIL … JFK called Loretta Scott King when her husband was inprisoned. From that day forward both MLK SR & JR who was never registeted nor endorsed political Parties in general, supported the Democratic Party.


  227. Mageen, I don’t like socks. I usually walk barefoot at night when I am out checking the weather and on warm days.

    Oddly, our grand daughter doesn’t like socks either. She has learned to pull them off or to get rid of them by moving her feet together and kicking one against the other..


  228. My parents and their contemporairies told me about the Great Depression, so I know about its hard times. The lessons my parents taught me about risk and making do helped us save our farm during the Farm Recession of the late 1970’s and 1980’s.John Melancamp’s “Blood on the Plow” describes it well.

    Social Security is an insufficient analogy to the Affordable Care Act.For one thing, the people who argued for and against it lived in different times with attitudes shaped in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They are all dead now.

    I believe about half of our old people lived in poverty in the 1930’s, and FDR recognized something had to be done.The first Social Security program originated in Germany under Bismark. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, argued in favor of such a pension in 1912.

    According to Wikopedia, Many Republicans opposed the law, but so did some Democrats. It passed with bipartisan support. Alf Landon, who ran against Social Security did so, not because he opposed it in principal, but because he objected to how it was financed.

    The Official History of the Social Security Administration says it was a bipartisan law and has remained so through most of its existence. One could say by citing Republicans’ opposition to Social Security similar things about the Civil Rights Law, only then one would say Republicans, not Democrats passed it.

    Social Security tried to be fair as it extracted money from people based on their incomes. Obamacare is unfair to some people.

    The Affordable Care Act was a partisan law passed with Democratic votes.It is much more complicated than Social Security, and unlike the pension program, Obamacare unfairly takes money from some and gives it to others. It also encourages part-time labor.

    Social Security was intended to help about 50% of the people. I believe Obamacare was made to help about 15 or 20% of the citizens while affecting almost everyone.

    The government had over three years and millions of dollars to get the web site right It is important to the success of the law because the system needs young healthy people to pay for the help given to old and sick people. People who feel they don’t really need insurance are discouraged from signing up by the bad web site. Regardless of one’s views of the law, leaders should be fired for incompetence.

    Many liberals would be screaming from the house tops about this plan and website if Bush and the Republicans had passed the law and bad web site.If the situation was reversed, many Republicans who oppose the law now would be defending the web site problem as just a few glitches. Maybe Sean Hannity would be among them.

    Republicans also have Abe Lincoln, Reagan, Ike, and Martin Luther King.


  229. Opps that was me ~ lori

    I must have unclicked the remember me button somehow.


  230. Mageen IOV! A huge thank you from Team Wendy. Its the 2 and 3 dollar contributions that mean the most to her. She knows that without that real grassroots efforts of people who have precious few dollars to spend at their discretion but choose to contribute to her campaign is where the real POWER of the people lives. ( No matter what the SCOTUS says) Thank you and all my friends here for your support of our TX fights!

    Ill keep you informed of her progress. If I forget dont hesitate to poke me in the ribs and remind me.



  231. Lori, thanks for the word on Wendy Davis in Texas! Have contributed a widow’s mite to her campaign. Wish I could do more for her. Just to have a fiestly woman in that contest is one helluva good thing! Really makes the menfolk pull up their sox or at least make them remember to wear them!


  232. Three people on this site who behaved like jerks apologized to me over time when they didn’t have to.

    Gestures they didn’t need to express show their decent sides as Hannity’s help for Earline Davis shows his. He may beat puppies and steal Halloween candy from children, but he made amends to a good woman he unintentionally hurt.

    I have never watched his show, nor do I intend to, but I still give him credit for doing the right thing for Davis when he didn’t have to.


  233. Keep it coming ladies…

    Sent from my iPad



  234. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Some of you may know that I am an Old Broad who has been visiting M&H’s blog for a long time and do enjoy their astute observations. Most of them have turned out to be painfully accurate.

    I too have been around the block a time or two. I hope not many of you will remember word for word what I have contributed before. That would be embarrassing!!! This “Obamacare” tussle is reminiscent of what went on in my parents’ lives when I was a kid. They lived through the throes of the Great Depression. Although they didn’t voice their concerns in the presence of my brother and sisters and me, I know now that they faced an uncertain future if or when they were unable to work anymore for our daily bread – for whatever reasons.

    Then the Democrat F. D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1933 and by 1935 had instituted the concept of Social Security. The Republican went ballistic of course with their whining, complaining and carping about it. Still are. So here we are, almost 80 years later. There were and are plenty of bumps along the road. However, millions and millions of American citizens have benefited greatly from this “Radical Idea.” Then along came Medicare and ultimately Medicaid. Same thing over again with the usual right side of the aisle whining, complaining and carping. You wouldn’t believe the scurrilous attacks that were heaped on FDR!!! And also the venom spewed against his wife, Eleanor, an internationally accomplished and distinguished lady in her own right.

    So the current “Obamacare” brouhaha is nothing new. The strategy is down cold by now. It is an ideological thingy. If the Dems are for it, the Reps are agin’it. All in the proud name of “Debate”.

    The problem is, as lori so succinctly put it, the difference between PROFESSIONALS with years of education, training and experience as well as talent and ingenuity vs. those without. All those without have left – is to whine, complain and carp.

    I am reminded of what Isaac Newton (or was it Albert Einstein?) said when he was praised for his accomplishments in the field of science. He modestly said words to this effect: “I am standing on the shoulders of Giants who came before me.”

    The Dems have the Giants FDR, Kennedy, et al as well as Walter Cronkite, Jim Lehrer and Judy Woodruff. The Reps have Hoover and Bush, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  235. Hannity is a snake. I never liked him and if you spend time watching him, you can pick up on all his MANipulative™ tricks.


  236. I’ve never heard Sean’s show except for the sound byte I found for Cynthia, so you know more about his program than I do.


  237. The only thing “swell” about Seanie Insanity is his head. Other than that, he’s just a snarktacular, smarmtastic right-wing radio rant-jockey. I will listen to him very occasionally just to see if he’s added anything to his red meat routine . . . but he hasn’t. He is just another unending soap opera full of resentment, outrage and BS.


  238. Cynthia, I a television commercial plays an excerpt from Reach out of the darkness by Friend and Lover on Youtube video. In case you remember the song or want to revive old memories, I’m listing the site.

    It was the only hit of a husband and wife team in 1968. I like the message and the memory of when it played in the base snack bar. It was the last time I saw a friend alive.

    We would be better off living their smaltzu advice, don’t you think if you know what I am writing about?.


  239. Interesting comments, Cynthia. I have already read that personality dispositions can be inherited. Our daughter has said she is afraid her daughter takes after our side of the family instead of her more laid-back father’s.

    My mother’s side of the family is descended from Vikings who were enforcers in the Outer Hebredies. My paternal side killed witches as accusers and jurists during the Salem witchcraft trials.

    You had better watch out for our grand daughter!


  240. Cynthia, I don’t have a transcript either, but I found a recording on the Blaze web site. I Googled something like “what did Sean Hannity and the Obamacare navigator say?” Sean Hannity and Earline Davis had a cordial conversation. He asked about her training and duties, and she explained. He told her he was on the radio, and asked her permission to continue.

    She said someone called (her only call, I believe) and decided he didn’t like the insurance program She told him if he changed his mind, he could call again, and she would help; him I heard more of the tape on another talk show which airs at 10PM on weekdays on KFAB. She said the few callers who got through said they didn’t like the long process.

    He told her she was kind, patient and helpful–one of the best call center people he had talked to. He pushed some ideology and criticism of the law on her which one would expect from a talk show host working for ratings. Hannity was certainly looking for sound bites. He made snarky comments about the law and asked some leading questions. Her response was basically non-committal as her job would require.They also talked about the weather.

    Davis said none of her superiors had told her not to talk to a radio personality.
    Hannity paid her and one of her children so she wouldn’t be taxed, and he set up; a link with many job offers from listeners. Davis said it was a godsend.

    I think that based on her demeanor, Davis was an asset to the web site and should have been retained.

    She entered the territory an airman traversed when I was in the Air Force. He had been ordered to show no favoritism to anyone, no matter how influential. General Curtis Lemay Ret, former commander of SAC asked the hospital to put his sick son at the head of the line in the emergency room after he became ill during a camping trip. The Airman explained rules forbad him to do that. The General became abusive and swore at the air man, so the airman hung up.

    He was severely chewed out within minutes, but no one could punish him, because had followed orders. They told him to use discretion next time. I agree, Davis might have been reprimanded, but firing was too harsh for the same reason the airman escaped punishment.

    Hannity didn’t have to lift a finger for Davis, but he helped her recover from the misfortune he caused. What a swell guy. And you gave me a chance to tell a boring story about General Lemay.

    I will check the comments next.


  241. Some of the comments are interesting.




  242. James – I can not find a transcript of Hannity’s radio show to hear the comment she supposedly said about “no one likes Obamacare”. I seriously doubt he called to report on how well the site was going. Hannity used her to provide him with soundbites that he designed to be as embarrassing as possible. Personally, I think she should have been given a warning but not fired. Clearly, she was over her head at screening his call. Of course, he should do something to make up for using her to further his own ratings/agenda!!!!!!



  243. I can’t help; myself. “Ted Cruz could start an argument in an empty house” is laugh out loud funny.


  244. I agree Cynthia that some sources borrow from each other and they don’t always immediately update new information.

    However, if a story is mostly reported by liberals or conservatives, I wait and see. If bits of a story have dribbled out for an extended period of time, and suddenly liberals or conservatives both begin to discuss the issue, I pay attention.

    It is happening now. “Sorry liberals, Obamacare’s problems go much deeper than the Web site by liberal Ezera Kline. “The White House has time to right the ship…Obamacare isn’t a political abstraction any longer. Its success doesn’t depend on spin or solidarity. What matters is the law–and for people who are dependent on it–is how well it actually works. So far, its not working well at all. If and when that changes our coverage of the health-care law will change too.”

    I also know that our daughter will have to pay $300 a month more for her health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. I know many other people in the same boat. That is not something I read on a blog. Michele Malkin did write on her blog that her insurance will be canceled. It probably is. Our daughter and her co- workers’ experience is primary knowledge and carries more influence to me than Malkin’s woes..

    Fact Checkers can be wrong or biased too.

    My main issue is not the cost, though it is distressing to read that government officials didn’t know or wouldn’t give hints about the actual cost of the project. This is a seminal event consuming millions of dollars, and no one knows what we are spending? Even if it cost $150.00 the money was wasted with the current result.

    Comments are instructive, and several people dispute the fact check. The last addition puts the total at up to $300 million, The clock is still ticking, so even if the fact check is right the bills are adding up.

    Sean Hannity got through on the phone line and interviewed a guide. She said people don’t like the insurance. She was fired for talking to Hannity, He offered to pay her salary and to find her a new job. What a swell guy!

    Peace to you too.


  245. You mentioned carbon tax and how you support it. Have you even read the bill. The bill is so vague in many parts it can lead to to much corruption. Technically the way the bill has been written they can tax you for simply farting.


  246. I met Ted Cruz after an event last year and the only impression I received was that he really smelled…bad. It was just awful. I was embarrassed for him. Talk about a lasting impression. Stank to high heavens that one did. A medical condition perhaps? Not sure but rotting flesh does not a welcoming sent make. Bless his heart.


  247. Thanks Terri :)

    Wendy is holding her own, all things considered . Her opponents lead is not insurmountable ( 25 points ). Wendy is doing everything right. A lot of retail politics a lot of fund raising.

    Its an up hill climb thats for sure though. She is going to need a lot of things go her way.


  248. James – we all have our sources and what we wish to believe. I find the rw sites seem to just cut and paste an issue but do not offer any independent research. Nor do they offer an update if their information proves to be incorrect especially if they the initial information seems way out in left field or unrealistic from the start.




  249. Here’s a link to a youtube video of a report by RT on drones that I don’t think your msm is informing you about. Talk about your health hazards! These are things lefties were concerned about, but little is mentioned anymore. I think these things will leave a mark.


  250. Terri,

    Do you realize insurance companies are getting a guaranteed 20 percent cut right off the top of all these premium payments? That is the agreement this ‘affordable’ act has made with private corporations. How many other industries can guarantee that margin?

    As to your earlier 50 percent approval rating for the cic, I think that is also very close to the amount of people getting benefit from the government and they know a red tie would cut a lot of that. Polls are interesting, but I look at the record of promises made and promises kept and I come up wanting.

    Otherwise, I find him very likable and I lift him and his family in prayer daily. I don’t have any favorites in the GOP, either, so it isn’t a team thing for me. I just don’t see where these so-called leaders really lead. They seem more like front men selling us fantasy. I was around when JFK was shot and remember his words and felt he was sincere and killed for his attempts to rid this government of the mob that runs it.

    (Note: comment not intended in anyway as malicious)


  251. Terri, I’m sorry I misspelled your name.


  252. Terry, the government spent about a half billion dollars on this computer system, and the administration was warned it had serious flaws. This is an important gateway to health insurance purchases which now endangers the financial viability of the entire system. Time for this program is of the essence, and three weeks to find the required policy-buyers is an eternity. It is a big deal.

    Reality is so clear that even Helen and Margaret compared the web site to manure.

    As I wrote, the government must have millions of healthy people to pay the bills for the rest, and the web site is discouraging them from buying insurance they are not strongly inclined to purchase in the first place. That most are now purchasing Medicaid, not private insurance is a bad sign.

    I mentioned stories from CBS which is not a hot bed of conservatism. The New York Times, another liberal publication, wrote “Obamacare Disproportionately Hurts Poor, Rural Americans”.

    “One sensible way government could have brought insurance rates down was to allow competition across state lines. Obamacare does the opposite of that, and isn’t even really allowing competition across COUNTY lines in some areas. That’s how economically stupid Obamacare is.”

    Our daughter may lose her insurance and at the least, her first increase will be $300 a month. Some of her co-workers earn less money than she and face a real hardship. The mainstream media, in addition to conservative sources has finally realized what is happening, and they have reported that millions will lose their current policies.

    CBS reported stories of Californians facing higher insurance bills. Yes, some people will pay lower rates, but more through no fault of their own will pay much more.

    That is reality, not wishful thinking.

    I am tired of this president and his blunders which include Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Cash for Clunkers, the stimulus which didn’t work by his own admission, and his foreign policy mistakes. Many world leaders are angry with the US right now.

    Reality is encroaching on the bubble of guazy expectations, and some of the liberal bi- coastal media are realizing it.

    We could have created a smaller scale system which helped poor and sick people get basic insurance coverage without stealing from others. I have mentioned the Finnish and Swiss systems as two better patterns than what we are entering now.

    I’m not arguing about Ted Cruz. Maybe he is an idiot. He can be interpreted differently just as fixing the web site by the end of November and drawing in needed customers after that date is is arguable.

    I’m focusing on the reality of today, which is bad. Nothing I wrote about the web site and the cost differential is untrue.


  253. James, the exchanges have been online for three weeks. Perhaps you could wait a while before declaring the ACA a failure. The hysteria shared by you and many on the right is so out of proportion as to be laughable. Perhaps your idea of healthcare for people who can’t afford it or have pre-existing conditions is that they wait until they are ill, then go the emergency room and have those costs passed on to the rest of us. Despite your assertions that costs are going up, there are many reports of premiums being even lower than expected. The ACA is not a mandatory program for people who have health insurance through their employers, so trying to insist the president sign up is just stupid.
    I am very, very tired of people like you cheerleading for this, and every other program offered by the president, to fail. It’s very easy to sit back and criticize and nitpick.
    And to quote Margaret, Ted Cruz is a moron.


  254. Examples of the mainstream press’s beginning to report facts are Thursday’s CBS Evening News which deflated Obama’s promise that one could keep his/her insurance plan. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans…are being told that their health plans are being cancelled.”

    Yesterday, CBS This Morning, anchor Norah O’Donnel broadcast an abridged version of the original report.

    CBS This Morning said yesterday that some, not all states running their own marketplaces are more successful than the federal web site. However, “left unsaid in the president’s remarks the newly insured in some of these states are overwhelmingly low-income people signing up for Medicaid at no cost to them.”

    Of the more than 35,000 people newly enrolled, in Washington, 87% signed up for Medicaid. In Kentucky, 82% are on Medicaid, and 64% of New York applicants are in Medicaid. If this continues, another problem will be as big as the web site disaster.


  255. Unlike the president and most of Congress, A few people who wrote here and I read the bill before it passed. Besides the mainstream media, I read other than liberal news sources. Some open ended parts of the law have generated more pages of regulations than what are in the law. Thus, this mess was no surprise to me. The severity was a surprise.. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think the administration would actually inflict such a monstrosity on us without previous testing.

    People reported as late as last spring that preparations for the web site were behind schedule. The administration also changed some web site requirements at the last minute. When Sebelaius says the malfunction was a surprise she is either lying or incompetent. The same applies to Obama. He didn’t understand the approaching wreck or he operated under a dysfunctional command and communication structure.

    More is to come. The administration needs at least seven million healthy people to pay rates high enough to support the sick, and the old. Thanks to the web site, enrollments are so anemic foreign news sources are giving us better information than our own government has. Many of the people credited with enrolling have actually opted for Medicaid, not private insurance.

    The administration has granted its business and union friends waivers. Other businesses, including our daughter’s employer have been given a year’s delay not offered to normal people. Thus, our daughter may lose her insurance after her employers’ waiver expires. In the mean time, her premium will rise $300 a month.,

    Ted Cruz and other Republicans introduced bills which would the president and other lawmakers into Obamacare without financial aid. They also proposed giving normal people the same waiver granted to business. Democrats dismissed this out of hand.

    Now, they see the future, and some Democrats facing re election next time want to do what the Republicans suggested.

    I like Brian Ross. I often watch his news show, but on this issue, he has been a propagandist for the administration. It has become so bad that even the main stream press has let some disparaging stories slip into the narrative.

    You should read Betsy’s Page for balance. Gato checked it once at my suggestion, and she wrote that while she disagreed with Betsy, she thought she was low key and not hysterical as are some blobs. Betsy is an AP History and AP Government teacher in North Carolina.


  256. We are home again this weekend. Poolman is right about the stock market.

    It doesn’t reflect the state of our economy as much as it rises and falls in reaction to government policy. The Fed has been pouring created money into the economy to lower inflation and to compensate for the actual sluggishness which gives us more people out of work or in part time jobs since any recovery in years. Note what the stock market does when there is a chance the government will reduce its stimulus efforts.


  257. Todd H. Crawford
    We don’t explain much anymore because it gets tiring to repeat ourselves. To support Obamacare is like saying support a pyramid scam. Mathmatically it can’t work. We are now seeing this, prices are going higher, pushing more people on welfare. Eventually the country will be on government assistance and unemployed. We will become a 3rd world country with government doing price fixing. Theirs a name for National Socialism. It;s called Nazi.


  258. Except for your remark about homeschooling I think you are right on the money ladies. Homeschoolers are a diverse group and we certainly do not deserve to be lumped in with the likes of Ted Cruz.


  259. You’re right, Bob. Any informed opinion really does require a review of the critical design requirements and the log of change orders (which I imagine is extremely long given the lateness of some of the rule-making in CHS, etc.).

    This website was an incredibly ambitious undertaking . . . and in no small part that is because half of the states (and mainly the ones that usually invoke states’ rights when it is in their interest) abdicated their responsibility to set up their own exchanges. This put added burden upon the Federal exchange because it has had to create interfaces to more than 250 insurers in those states.

    There is no debate that the ACA roll-out/website is a “hot mess” right now. However, the same was true when Medicare Part D was introduced in 2005. And that was an extremely simple product to roll out compared to the ACA. Somehow, though, I don’t remember a bunch of politicians bleeding from their ears and running around screaming “the sky is falling” back then.

    This will ultimately be set right but it’s a set-back that sure could have been avoided by better project management and end-to-end testing. Those states that built their own exchanges are having a better experience right now and that will ultimately result in higher enrollment rates and healthier cross-sections of the eligible population in those states.

    The great irony is that they will benefit from better medical loss ratios and achieve more control over future premium increases while those states that didn’t put up their own exchanges and resisted the ACA implementation in other ways will become “self-fulfilling prophesies” — they won’t achieve high rates of enrollment and will suffer from adverse selection that will guarantee higher premiums into the future until these laggard states take more responsibility for running and encouraging the use of their state exchanges.


  260. Re: “The web page for Obamacare is a piece of shit.”
    The radio and the web are clogged with the usual gaggles of self-important people intoning their usual wisdom about how the web site’s construction was mismanaged. Not enough time, government, changing requirements, government, foreigners, government, too many contractors, government, blah, etc. I’ve heard none of them ask to see the User Requirements doc, which is what CMMS wrote, presumably, and is what CMMS bought. Also, lst’s see the infamous Change Orders, and the contract with CGI.

    Remember Fred Brooks’s Mythical Man Month?
    The books coming out of this project will be even better! They’ll be almost as much fun as Helen and Margaret’s blog!


  261. Hey Lori,
    I agree with your comments. And I get my info from the mainstream media and not sketchy rightwing blogs or Fox news. And Congress may have a five per cent approval rating, but President Obama is around 50 per cent. That just about says it all.

    By the way, how is it looking for Wendy Davis? Too early to say?


  262. Lol lol A’right Auntie Jean! If you insist! Buttttt Its been a tough week and Ive had it up to my ears with …… Well ill stop there. :)

    Sorry Poolman … I think


  263. Yes condescending and rude Poolman. I could add haughty and arrogant to the list.

    I am team blue. I have never denied or walked away from that. I am well educated on the policies and politics of team blue. There is power in knowledge gained by bonafied professoonals who have studied a subject instead of disguntled Mama’s basement dwellers that happen to write a blog! Most of them have failed so miserably in real life they have taken to rationalizations that are nothing more than tid bits of truth woven into a story that justifies their dis funtional existence but have no basis in reality!

    i have years and years of education and experience of team blue on all sides of the equation Poolman. ( how many years experience do you have in economics?) Here’s the thing though , I dont go to red sites and tell the commenters how ridiculous they are. I dont profess to ” know” more they they. I dont leave nasty condescending comments implying they are rubes because they dont see the world through my glasses.

    You are entitled to think purple frogs are running the world Poolman .I really dont give a flying fig what you believe but PLEASE dont try and tell me ( my friends) I Am uninformed because we DARE listen to THE DREADED MSM or DARE listen to professional economists. To suggest we should believe YOU a pool salesman who is ” seeking truth by self teaching” instead , is pretty rich.


  264. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Now, now, children. Haven’t we been there, done this before, time and time again?

    Recess is over. Back to the classroom.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  265. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Now, now, children. Haven’t we been there, done this before, time and time again?

    Recess is over. Back to the classroom.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namasta. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean


  266. Condescending and rude? Is that your interpretation? I do detest bullshit and certainly have little patience for the games people play, anymore. Maybe I’ve become a crotchety old skeptic, lol. I am no expert on finances or the stock market. I am still learning. I am a seeker of truth, no matter where it lies. I have no quarrel with you, lori. You are the one taking offense whenever I post. It is obvious if one doesn’t promote a left-leaning agenda or genuflect before the current POTUS, one doesn’t seem to have a legitimate position in your world. Seems you’d prefer we all put on blue jerseys and fight for the team, regardless of means, as long as the blue team wins.

    Our so-called representatives are down to a five percent approval rating, I believe was the last poll number. I think this thing’s just about run its course.


  267. That was me ~ lori


  268. Poolman, I just have to ask . Do you reallllly believe YOU are the only person on this site ( or anywhere ) that understands the stock market? Or economics? Orrrrrrr anything?

    Seriously , your comments are sooooo condescending and rude. To suggest YOU the brilliant pool salesman has uncovered secrets to the hidden economy is soooooo arrogant I just cant keep quiet.

    Everyone with an 8th grade education understands the stock market Poolman. Some of us even have business degrees! Some if ys even have MBAS! imagine that!

    I have said a million times on this site and ill say a million and one. Loyal opposition is healthy and necessary. I welcome and seek it. Cherry picking numbers to support tinfoil conspricacies adds nothing to the conversation.

    We all have brains Poolman. Just because our conclusions aren’t there is an antichrist mastermind behind the curtain doesnt make us uninformed.


  269. Terri, the value of the dollar has decreased since then. It just won’t buy as much. The dollar value has been artificially held up by the fact that all oil is purchased throughout the world using the dollar so other nations are required to hold dollars and that gives it value. That practice is slowly eroding as various nations reject the petrodollar system. We simply can’t invade them all, as has been the Bush doctrine.

    Paper is only good if someone wants it, and our answer to the economic woes is to print more of it, which are essentially IOUs from we, the people, and hand them out to private banks expecting a generous trickle down that is supposed to stimulate growth in communities by providing sustainable jobs. It’s a fantasy. It benefits bankers and investors. google how much the wall street folks have profited from during this downturn off of everyone else’s toil. .
    This world is rapidly changing and many fairy tales will not have happy endings.


  270. Poolman, some of what you say about the stock market is true. However, I have a 401k that lost a ton of money during the Bush years. So I can confidently say I personally have benefitted from the Obama economy since my 401k is a lot healthier today.


  271. Morning friends,

    I wanted to stop by to share a little good news this fantastic Friday!

    Two congressional districts ( FL 2. Minn 2) currently held by 2 Teahaters that many believed would remain solid red next cycle , are in serious trouble since the Republican shutdown ! Recent polls shows them 3 and 4 points (respectively ) down from just a week ago. Remember we have flipped 17 already ( according to polls) and now we have two more in our column. One poll, a year out , does not a victory make of course, but it sure does bring a smile to my face. 😉

    Co blu- love love love your comments always.

    Terri- same to you. Especially concerning Obamas accomplishments. Keep up the good fight.

    Cynthia, thank you my dear friend, your offer is tempting, LOL especially after weeks like this when we are working our tails off trying to make sure all citizens who cast a vote, actually get counted!

    I refuse to re-fight the healthcare debate, especially when it involves the word website. We all can see straight through THAT strawman arguement for heavens sake . Nope not gonna do it we have much more important work to do.

    😘💨💨💨💨 to all ! Have a great weekend.


  272. Another perfect accessment of the Koch Baggers in our nation’s government. They are terrified of Americans being happy with their government. They want America to fail and Americans with it. If people don’t have good healthcare they will dies and that is less people who can vote. If they have uneducated people they either won’t vote or can be plyed by propaganda TV to vote against their own best interests.

    It is a sick game the Koch Bagging Repubs play every day. You would think that with only 30% even giving a rats ass what the Baggers say that they could be easily silenced…………but, money talks and until money is taken out of politics, we have term limits for representatives and senators and no more gerrymandering in states to swing votes one way or the other, nothing is going to change.

    How degrading for people of color in this country to have the Koch Baggers parading all their “better people of color” around trying to garner votes.

    Moron Ted Cruise is Michelle Bachmann and the idiot Palin all wrapped up in one freak-a-zoid package. Can’t wait to listen to all the Koch Bagging freaks trying to out do each other for the nom in 2016. Will probably be the best “carni” act in town.


  273. Hi, Todd – Just off the top of my head, the closest (expressed) “reason” for the “inhumanity” of the ACA act is that it “forces” people into part-time work so their employers don’t have to pony up for their health insurance. (Of course, in MY book, that makes the EMPLOYERS “inhumane,” not the program itself…) Or that it allows the government to decide what should/may/may not/must be inserted and/or removed from a patient’s most private regions – a privilege long held firmly by corporate insurance executives, which doesn’t seem to bother people much at all. (Maybe they expect corporations to be “inhumane”…? Well, they’ll just have to get over THAT expectation since now, as we all know, the SCOTUS has decided that corporations are “people”… But, alas, so far only in the area of their “rights,” not their “responsibilities.”)

    And then, of course, there’s the dreaded possibility of “Europeanizing” the US of A. Isn’t Europe where so many of us would love to go on vacation, because it is so nice, and life is so pleasant there? I know lots of people who dream of spending their golden years in a little house in Tuscany or the South of France, and not a single one who longs for the same thing just outside of Scranton… Maybe my friends are just peculiar…

    When I was in my thirties, living and working in Manhattan, I happened to have a lot of French friends. To a one, they all felt that this was a great country in which to make a bunch of money, and in which to live the fast life, while you were young… And they ALL planned to take that money with them when they went back “home,” as soon as they possibly could, because this is no place to grow old or be poor…

    The “promise” of the Great American Dream – “Work Hard, And Some Day You, Too, Can Be A Millionaire” – grows ever dimmer and more obviously unreachable as the years go by, and growing older and poorer is ever the more likely future scenario for most of us…



  274. Todd, I think you mean ‘Q’, though I could be wrong. Re your other post, I don’t think the ACA is inhumane, but it certainly is a clusterf**K, and NOT affordable.


  275. Not that I expect an answer because I don’t think there is one, but on Oct. 25 (hey, that’s today!), a very courageous person named “Anonymous” wrote that Obamacare is “inhumane.” Why? I’ve never, ever heard any person opposed to the ACA actually explain why. There is room for discourse, argument, debate, but the Republicans voicing so much disdain for the ACA, well, change that to “hate,” never explain why. What is the argument? Why is the ACA a “trainwreck” as they love to say? “Inhumane?” I am at a loss! Someone, anyone, even Anonymous, please help educate me.


  276. I have been resisting this mightily but my resistance is now frazzled. Do you remember the more recent Star Trek episodes that featured an omnipotent entity who appeared to the crew of the Enterprise as a human going by the designation of “M?” M’s character in the plots was as a malevolent omnipotent entity always causing trouble and eminently narcissistic. Maybe it’s just me but was Ted Cruz actually the actor who played that part, cause they almost look identical?


  277. Bless you my son, you sound like an upstanding young man.


  278. We’re not upset that the site is not working. We are more concerned. The site was made by a company of programmers that are not in the country, and have already ruined a Canadian website. The programmers have only few months of training. Mean while there are programmers who live in the US and are unemployed. But programmers in the US wont build it because the site technologically wont work. The US spent over a million dollars to have it built and obviously didn’t get it tested. They are showing they aren’t serious about the site or they would do things the right way. Not to mention the malicious code in the site which is resembles code that is usually common for stealing identities.


  279. I am still in Omaha and trying to writes oeong on a very slow computer Ihave tried for over fort minutes.Thanks Mageen and anyone else for the good words.Betsy’s Paage explains wht is happening with Obamacare the we site and why. sorry fothe typos


  280. I don’t hate black people. I hate stupid people who support inhumane things like Obamacare.


  281. You two fat, government cheese licking whores think you are pretty damn funny, don’t ya?

    Well if Father Tony slept with Sister Matthews, the baby would look like your ugly ass.


  282. Thanks Helen and Margaret! I am still waiting for the good old birthers to start screaming about Ted Cruz’ birth certificate. So far, the silence is deafening. What gives?

    Thanks for the smiles, Cynthia and Gato!


  283. gato – how come you no like stupid?



  284. KC – Probably for the same reason you not can write question.



  285. Helen, why come you hate blacks?


  286. Terri, the stock market provides a false sense of security and is no indicator of economic growth, nor is it a telltale sign of any societal improvement. Not anymore, anyway. That fact is widely known among independent experts. It’s become more like a high stakes casino where faster computers using algorithms create profits for their owners by trading in virtual wealth. I’ve been learning about this for sometime. Like our monetary system, it is unsustainable and doesn’t reflect reality.

    The average stock today is held for minutes, often seconds, before a trade. The whole thing is a sham, a house of cards, based mostly on deception and a global trust that is eroding faster with each new day.

    This person has sound advice and a good handle on it. Here’s his latest:


    There are plenty of other sources I could share, but your best bet is to google “stock market Ponzi scheme” or something along those lines and pick your preferred source. I guarantee if you get away from the msm, you will find more truth.


  287. Poolman,
    Facts, please. The stock market has doubled since Obama became president, and we have had many months of job growth (yes, it’s slow, but it’s growth, as opposed to losing 750,000/month under Bush). If you don’t want to sign up for ACA, don’t; but don’t try to stop others from getting health care. And yes, many of us would have liked to have single payer health insurance, but that was a non-starter with GOP. Obama played the cards he was dealt.


  288. You guys are completely mad. I mean it. You are hysterical. Thanks for the entertainment.


  289. “First they are screaming bloody murder about Obamacare and then they complain because people are having trouble signing up for Obamacare.”

    You’re right, we shouldn’t complain. Let’s just institute ACA as is, no waivers, no set asides.

    btw, Dems shouldn’t be so quick to label Repub politicans “stupid”, as Dems have supported such gems as Anthony Weiner, Bob (Filthy) Filner, Ted Kennedy, and the new “I’m an Indian, really” Senator from Massachusetts.


  290. “I just do what God tell me to. He speaks to me. Literally. In my head.” Ted Cruz – I wish God would tell him to shut his pie hole and move back to Canada.


  291. “Do they want the thing more alive so they can enjoy killing it?”


    and This!

    “The problem is that Republicans are so worried that if America does well with a Democrat in the White House, Americans won’t vote for a Republican in the next election. Funny how soon they forget who got elected after Clinton left the White House.”

    Fantastic job, Helen, and it’s great to hear from Margaret, too.


  292. In response to Joe Garms. We need to work against the movement to make Texas a country of its own. If that happens, they will say they are a “Christian Nation” and since the US was founded on freedom of religion and not as a “Christian Nation,” their first agenda would be to declare war on the US. I think it would be better to give the land back to Mexico.


  293. There is no political solution. The Police sung about it. I think it to be truth. In an age of false pride and debauchery, we all need spiritual healing.

    I will credit Obama for keeping us from officially declaring war with Syria and Iran, though Putin may have had more to do with that, though we have been involved in the slaughter of mostly Christian civilians there by proxy for the past few years. Other than that, I can’t credit him with many other successes. Plenty of eloquent talk and full of hypocrisy, but very little solid improvement.

    I remember when Obama said if things didn’t improve in 3 years, he’d be a one-term president. Since the economy did not improve, I can only surmise that he appeared the lesser of two evils during the last electoral circus go round. Also, a lot of us rejected both parties and that in turn tended to help his reelection.

    Now that we are required to participate in this healthcare mandate, it has shown that this entire ACA is crap. The name is not only Orwellian (like much of our officially named policies are), but guarantees profits to private insurance, a capitalist’s wet dream. I am still an advocate of single-payer, medicare for all, yet cannot trust this government to implement anything efficient. Government efficiency is an oxymoron, after all.

    If we heed our founder’s advice, we would fire this government and start anew. Of course, popular opinion would not fall on the side of logic as too many benefit from the current corruption this system offers. Because of that, and the militarization of our homeland, I don’t foresee a peaceable solution. I am praying for one, but unless more folks are willing to be honest and look at things as they truly are, I don’t hold my breath. As long as we cannot admit to our own faults and shortcomings and would prefer to blame others, we will NEVER progress to a place of reconciliation and healing. This nation is sick, and it’s an internal disease. We definitely need healing, but first need to acknowledge we have a problem. Like AA, we need a support group.

    “Hello, my name is poolman. I am an American…”


  294. You possess a keen ability to see the truth in the morass of DC lies. If I were a guy, I’d kiss you on the lips.




  296. Margaret – nice “cruise/Cruz” comment! You two ladies are a hoot – you must have been a riot to grow up with. BTW, the latest Time magazine has an article about Texas and apparently the author thinks everyone wants to live there because of low taxes, less business regulation, lower social program costs – and live in a house that’s 400 square feet. The new normal, it’s called.


  297. Oh, Helen, we SO need your wit and wisdom. You have such a gift for seeing the daft silliness of the Teapublicans that you make me laugh out loud with delight. As soon as I get a little cash ahead, I’m sending you and Margaret a donation to keep the blog going. Love you gals!


  298. About Texas schools…
    Repeat teen births and homeschooling probably ARE connected, but not in the way I think most people would take that. They’re connected in that they are both super high in Texas because Texas has some of the worst schools in the country. Texas is at the bottom when it comes to education in the United States. We’re not teaching proper sex education so we have a high rate of teen pregnancy. Texas isn’t teaching well, period, so more parents are opting to home school. I don’t think the homeschooling rates have much to do with teen pregnancy, but the drop out rates probably do.


  299. Let’s give Texas back to Mexico. Helen you can come live near me….you too lori.

    “The two senators who spoke to HuffPost did not hear the Republican make the remark, but said a top White House aide who was present later told Senate Democratic leaders that the lawmaker who said he couldn’t stand to look at the president was Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Rules Committee.”




  300. I promise you. I promise you. We Texans are not all batshit crazy like Perry, Cruz, and pals, but we know it seems that way. The Super Majority, the gol-danged gerrymandered districts, and the new voter suppression laws are making it “right smart” hard to change the way things are right now. Rove and Bush cast a lingering spell on so many Texans that the rest of us are incredulous. Example: a local attorney friend, deep East Texas, asked his jury pool of 100 who watched Fox, 97 hands up, CNN, 3 hands. And the batshit is now more pronounced with a perceived Kenyan Muslim in the White House. Aarrgghhh! We are working tooth and nail to turn Texas blue, and we’ve made inroads, but Lordy mercy, it’s a hefty challenge. We can use all the help we can get. Battleground Texas! Turn Texas Blue! Go, Castro brothers! Wendy for Governor! We gotta get our pink sneakers moving! If you know a Texan, go get ‘em! HELP!!


  301. How about responding to the movment to make Texas an independent nation.


  302. Helen; I love you…from another “oldie but goodie”, crazy in Alabama!!


  303. God Bless you lady! You keep me laughing ….and happy to know some other old lady here in Texas feels as I do. Keep the insults rolling. Tee Hee.


  304. Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.


  305. I just found this blog, and will never leave. That sounds creepy, but I mean it in the nicest way possible!


  306. Great as always. Right on. You tells em the way you sees em! Love ya!


  307. Right on absolutely all of it. Pretty soon we can *all* stop thinking! Once I see what those Republicans are railing against without inspection or exception, I’m for it.


  308. Bush didn’t get elected when Clinton left the White House. The Supreme Court installed Bush.


  309. You two are absolutely right again! Ellen Rowan Taylor

    Sent from my iPad



  310. I think the republicans must have cloned good old Joe McCarthy, Ted looks and sounds like him!


  311. Spot on. They can’t have it both ways and still maintain credibility. All they’re doing is making it painfully obvious that their objective is destruction over construction.


  312. You are absolutely right, as usual. I have two suggestions for the mess in Washington.
    1. Government web pages are notoriously badly written. Maybe they should hire (Democrat) programmers instead of giving the jobs to lobbyists.
    2. Make it illegal for anyone who already has good medical coverage to write (or vote on) any legislation about health care.

    I am pretty sure that the Affordable Care Act will succeed; I don’t know if it will happen in my lifetime.


  313. Please add Wisconsin’s Scott Walker to that crazy governor list.
    Love and love to laff with Margaret and Helen. Keep up the pithy observations, Matthew.


  314. I was just listening to the news and wondering the same thing – I guess they must finally acknowledge that Obamacare is for real because now they’re complaining that they can’t access it on the websites. Sheesh. They waste so much time and effort on bs….


  315. Ted Cruz just likes to hear his voice and see himself on the TEEVEE. He will say anything that will make a Billionaire happy. Facts, truth and low wages are problems for us little people.

    Thank You Margaret and Helen for the wonderful post.


  316. Another masterpiece from M&H. This is what I’ve been posting about the TeaPublicans:
    I’m elated to see articles, even in conservative business magazines exposing the charlatanism and hypocrisy of the GOP as it relates to American business productivity and security. Their UNCONSCIONABLE tactics threaten EVERY American citizen by damaging and delaying our tenuous recovery from the Bush debacle which directly CAUSED our economy to enter a downward death spiral under his HORRID administration!
    I hope this backfires on those TRAITOROUS Republicans BIG-TIME! I will NOT forget this or the last time those FOOLS shut down our government because they can’t govern their own radical element. And I will comment on EVERY well-read website I can find to expose their UNCONSCIONABLE strategies and EVIL procedural tactics for all to see.
    If intelligence and competency requirements were adopted before serving in the House or Senate, we’d see Republicans fail the test and drop like flies while the Democrats would retain their positions of sanity and GENUINELY serving their constituents and the best interests of our nation. The last slate of Republican presidential hopefuls is a VERY clear example of the kooks now populating that HORRID party!
    I DETEST the way John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and the rest are trying to SCREW the American public. They can’t defy their own constituent’s best interests and expect to stay in office.
    My solution is to IMPEACH them or remove them from office any way possible for VIOLATING their oath of office! Like with background checks for gun purchases, when 90% of ALL Americans and even 74% of NRA MEMBERS want this and their elected politicians deny the wishes of the electorate, they are not doing their duty to represent the people! They violated their oaths of office, plain and simple. We have solutions in place to deal with this! Write and sign petitions to remove these UNCONSCIONABLE fools, NOW!


  317. And she nails it once again! What a way to start the day! Margaret also makes a rather good point, too.


  318. Thought I missed a beat in the previous comment, so sure ’nuff here it is. Under the sequestration which is still in force and will only get worse in the New Year, the FBI which is now charged with apprehending home-grown terrorists has been denied the money to hire new agents. The new FBI Director looks like twins ‘cuz he is beside himself with anger. So when things the FBI should be doing but can’t, I hope the citizenry will hop on all those congresscritters who believe austerity is the answer to everything including gas build up and deliver the whuppin’ they deserve.


  319. Helen, where I come from under the porch is where our dog used to bury what it hunted!

    Frankly, more and more folks everywhere are figuring out out that the Rethugs are way past mere squirrelly and grist for local ribald humor. Theres nothing funny about the way they think of this President and whatever he does and lord awmighty he has a Nobel Peace Prize! I live near D.C. and believe me some of the most overworked people around here are the Secret Service. They’ve had to triple everything to protect this President from the neoconfederacy. They look down the road and shiver so hard you can hear their bones rattling. They see a woman President, a Latino President, even an Asian President and start registering their white selves as a protected species.

    Margaret and Helen, you two just keep on keepin’ on! Don’t miss a trick!


  320. Crash-and-burn Cruz is a chronic complainer, all right! I heard that he showed up for a neighborhood barbeque wearing a tee-shirt that said: “I babbled for 21 hours on the Senate floor and cost the nation $24 billion by shutting down the government for 16 days . . . but all I got was this lousy tee-shirt”.


  321. Brilliant, just brilliant! Kudos!


  322. I love your blog posts, Helen and Margaret! I joke with my best friend (25 years and counting), that we will have a blog like this someday.


  323. I am totally in LOVE with both Helen and Margaret!


  324. So love you two.


  325. Ladies. I absolutely love you. Not only do you give me hope, you give me a little spit and vinegar. Keep going, friends, and if you ever need a bff in Nashville, holler.


  326. I love the fact that if Texas opts out of ACA and other states make a success of it with lower and affordable premiums, Texans may have to move to get medical insurance…what is wrong with those folks? I hear Ted is renouncing his Canadian citizenship so he can run for president …I say he should go back to living under the porch with the dog…great line!


  327. True words! Keep em coming M&H !


  328. I’ll never understand how the good people of Texas elect these idiots! But then again, here in Maine we have Tea Party favorite Paul Lepage as governor! Let’s hope next election cycle both states do better!




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