[And if you have your own experiences to share, and especially screen dumps, please add them in comments or contact me. Either Federal Exchanges, or state exchanges. I'm especially interested in Covered California! Thank you! --lambert]
firstname.lastname@example.org from Maine had a registration #FAIL at step 3. Here's the screen dump:
Optionally specify an alternative URL by which this node can be accessed. For example, type "about" when writing an about page. Use a relative path and don't add a trailing slash or the URL alias won't work. Read below the fold...
Oh little town of Washington,
how still we see you lie.
The crap -- a cheap and mean-filled heap --
as silent drones destroy.
In your dark hearts harbored
the everlasting ploy
that hopes and fears of millions here
serious fleecing to provide.
Obama, born of Oprah,
we gathered all around
to push Bush out forever,
a sick, destructive clown.
Alas, our dream aborted.Read below the fold...
The Cheney course remains.
Obama’s charm at doling harm.
He’s master of the game.
Shadow Elite -- subtitle: "How the world's new power brokers undermine democracy, government, and the free market" -- comes highly recommended; you might summarize it as "The Theory of Bob Rubins"; who the Bob Rubins of this world are, how they get and keep their power, and what their social relationships are. (Wedel is a sociologist.) Wedel's two key concepts are "flex nets" and "flexians" (I like "flexian" because it sounds like a breed of alien reptiles that I, for one, welcome, except not). I think the strength of the book will come in the examples of actual flex nets, but since I'm not all the way through it, I'll just quote the introduction on the concepts. Page 15 and following.
Beyond old boys
Like interest groups and lobbies, flex nets serve a long-established function in the modern state--negotiating between official and private. But while flex nets incorporate aspects of these and other such groupings, they also differ from them in crucial ways--and those ways are precisely what make flex net less visible and more accountable.
Four key features define both flexians as individuals and those influencers who work together as a flex net. Flexians functioning on their own exhibit the modus operandi embodied in all four features discussed below, as does a flex net as a whole. Because members of a flex net benefit from the actions of the collective, pooling resources and dividing labor, not all members of the flex net must exhibit these features individually.
Before getting to the four features (below), a pause to note that Flex Nets/Flexians arguably subsume/supersede notions like corruption, "money in politics," "the revolving door," and so forth. (Nancy DiParle is, I think, the candidate for Flexianhood we might be most familiar with: Wellstone VP -> Baucus CoS -> White House -> Big Pharma, leaving a trail of ruin and destruction, if you're a citizen or a patient, that is. We'd need to know more about her network, though). Read below the fold...
I have been reading Ron Suskinds' Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President and I can't recommend it enough. It is as much about the crash of 2008 as it is about Obama. It starts in 2007 and most of the early chapters are about Wall Street, not Obama. Obama enters the story when a fellow at UBS starts to raise money for Obama. Read below the fold...
Philip Dru: At some point, Mr. Stinnett, somebody’s got to ask, what makes us better than the Germans? If we provoke every war that we’ve fought since the Mexican-American War?
Robert Stinnett: Well, that’s what my book is about, and I want your listeners and my readers to be aware of all this so that they can form their own opinions and do away with all this 60 years of censorship we’ve had on Pearl Harbor.
Usually on or around December 7th, hit or miss going back to 2003, Scott Horton interviews Robert Stinnett on his radio program. The 2003 interview podcast, which was a full hour, is thankfully still available on the Internet Archive (e.g. here). At that time Scott was using the on-air pseudonym Philip Dru, Administrator. Transcript below the fold. Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: 10% of ObamaCare Federal enrollments could contain coverage-preventing errors
An estimated 10 percent of all enrollments now being made on the federal Obamacare marketplace contain data errors that could delay people from actually getting health coverage, officials disclosed Friday.
And that error rate for enrollments submitted via HealthCare.gov and then sent to insurers before December was an estimated 25 percent, officials revealed.
The rate fell in the past week, officials said, because of repair efforts to HealthCare.gov's, particular the discovery and fix of one particular software problem that was causing an estimated 80 percent of data errors, officials said.*
But both past and present error rates are much higher than 1 percent, the rate which insurers considered to be unacceptable when doing business outside the Obamacare exchanges. And they are raising serious questions about whether significant numbers of people will actually be without insurance Jan. 1 despite believing they have enrolled.
So, you roll up to the hospital in your ambulance thinking you're covered, and what then? Don't worry, we'll straighten out the paperwork later? Why don't I think this will work? Read below the fold...
The BLS Report Covering November 2013: Effects of the Government Shutdown Fade, Part Time Work Increases
In the household survey on employment, seasonally unadjusted, the October government shutdown took out expected October highs and created losses in numerous categories. In November, these were largely reversed. The biggest ongoing hit is to the labor force which is still 490,000 smaller than it was in September. And while employment increased, unadjusted, 631,000, most of this was in part time jobs (554,000). Read below the fold...
Why can’t we celebrate our victories? Everytime some blogger gets ahead, he or she is attacked for shortcomings real and imagined.
You don’t have to have an uncritical view of Greenwald to be thrilled with his success. Let's look at what happened. He started with a blogspot blog and built an audience to such an extent that he was picked up by Salon and then The Guardian. His willingness to focus on civil liberties no matter what had garnered him many enemies, including Twitter obots making unfunny jokes about sending a drone to Brazil. It takes real nerve to persevere in the face of that, even if you do have a nice paying gig. Read below the fold...
In the continuing saga of cleaning my kitchen so that it doesn't look like the kind of horror show you read about in the newspapers where people say "He pretty much kept to himself," or "He seemed nice enough, but never allowed anyone into the house," I've now not only exposed the wood floor, but swept it!
But victory is not yet mine; now the floor must be cleaned. Trust me on this, we're not talking Jimmy's black heelmarks here: It's ground-in dirt, mud from the winter, soil from the garden, but above all general filth and ash from hauling in the wood, and then burning it. Read below the fold...
I have to confess that I was not politically conscious, really, between 1971 or so and 1998 (and since I started following politics again after the Republicans impeached Clinton over a blowjob as part of the long-running, media-fuelled coup that culiminated with Bush v. Gore, it took me a long while to break free of the idea that the Democrats were the good guys).
So any encomiums from me would be from a position of ignorance. What is overwhelmingly clear is that we have no politicians of his stature anywhere in the Western world today. Nowhere close. Here's his "I am prepared to die" speech, given to the Court ("My Lord) in 1964 when he was in the dock for sabotage, for which he was sentenced to life in prison. Read below the fold...