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November 01, 2013 07:22 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

By popular demand, we're retiring the Friday Rush Limbaugh quotes. You can find him on the radio.


32 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. Today's Obamacare report. We have good news & we have bad news:

    Signups the first 3 days

    October 2


    October 3


    October 4


    The good news? For a fortunate few, people can sign up. And can do so in a day. The bad news? We all assumed the numbers were bad as the administration was not releasing them. I didn't think they were this horrible.

    Here's hoping the new people brought in can make up for the incompetent leadership to date and are able to direct the piss-poor existing dev teams to a workable system.

    1. The more relevant numbers at this point are how many people are visiting the site and creating accounts. A lot of people are still shopping around and looking at different options; it shouldn't be a surprise that people aren't selecting a plan in the same online session in which they first create an account.

      1. The Connect for Health Colorado update newsletter, mailed out Oct 31, reads, in part:

        A message from CEO Patty Fontneau

        Today marks the end of our first month since opening Colorado’s health insurance marketplace and I am pleased to report that interest has been strong and we have been busy helping Coloradans shop for health insurance. Thousands of Coloradans are visiting our website every day to compare health plans, learn about their options, apply for financial assistance and enroll. Our Customer Service Center has seen high demand, servicing close to 30,000 phone calls to date. More than 50,000 Coloradans have created accounts with the intent to buy health insurance and more than 3,000 have signed up already. We are quickly resolving technical issues that arise and are working hard every day to improve our operations, customer service and support for our statewide network of certified health insurance agents/brokers and Health Coverage Guides who are on the front lines assisting our customers.

        The update newsletter goes on to reassure customers that CCHC is NOT the same website as, and that there is no need to go through the federal exchange. Whew!

        I'm still waiting to hear from Medicare on the status of my application.

          1. It turns out that I have to get only 3 more things straightened out and my entire staff and I will be insured.  Life is complicated.  But not impossible.  The website was, well, trying for diplomacy (not my strong point), problematic.  But the live chat folks were a fountain of information.


            But one piece of information won't be available until 12/7/13, cutting it kinda short.  I still think do-able.

  2. Thank you Pols folks.  One of the criticisms I have of the MSNBC shows is that they constantly showcase convervative lunatics and their fanatical ideology.  They continually dwell on the negative.

    1. And what's your point?  The reality is that most "Republican" elected officials are crazy and far out of the mainstream of American thought on most issues.  So of course they're going to have the most outspoken idiots on their shows.  MSNBC is a biased liberal media outlet.  They make no bones about it.  They don't claim to be "fair and balanced" as faux news does.  And what Democrats does Faux News have on?  Well, you know, I don't really know right now since they've lost ConservaDem Joe Lieberman.  But, you get the point.  Faux News uses the far right of the Democratic Party.  I


      If you think that the people who MSNBC uses are not acceptable, well that's just tough, because deep down, what the idiots says is what the "moderates" believe in their hearts.  And at lease MSNBC puts on a face of having the other side of debates sometimes rather than the constant propaganda of Faux News.

      1. I think maybe GG is referring to the clips they show of Rush and of various Tea Party crazies, not guests so much. I like to know what the latest rightie talking points are but don't have dwyer's tolerance for actually tuning into rightie media so this allows me to check out the latest in small doses. 

        I would say to GG that the wacko fringe has dragged the entire universe of Republican officials so far into Wackoland that it's increasingly impossible to catch one sounding rational or reasonable. What would have been called hard core conservative even a decade ago is now called "moderate" and even that kind of "moderate" is pretty rare so it isn't fair to expect MSNBC to over represent them for the sake of phony balance.

        far less MSNBC  and far more the mainstream media and its insistence on presenting fictional balance that is profoundly distorting. Ideological lunacy on the right really is the norm from which only a few dare to diverge. Choosing only among those few, instead of among those who really do make up the majority of Republican opinion makers and elected officials, for the sake of "balance" would be more dishonest than any presentation on MSNBC. 

  3. Is there a Democrat who can run against ol' Tipton? the western slope is getting restless, and in need of some representation…Tipton doesn't represent all of the Third…just the money…

      1. Would be fun to watch – but I seriously doubt Roberts would consider changing – she's definitely a Republican.

        I would guess that it's getting awfully late for a Dem to get in this race – need time to raise lots of money, and some really good strategic thinking to effectively and productively cover such a large District.

        Would the Dem candidate please step forward NOW!


  4. Shooting at LAX, shooter  with AR 15 and one TSA agent dead, multiple wounded.  When I first saw this, I thought, "It must be an older white man who didn't want to give up his rifle at security." He just walked up to document check and started shooting, some witnesses said.

    Huffpo: http://

    Al Jazeera America is sometimes faster and less biased:

    1. This is why a basic single payer package should be universally available. Employers should not be the major insurance providers with the power to make this kind of decision for their employees. With a basic quality public healthcare package available people could still go  to the private marketplace for supplemental coverage as those on medicare can right now. Employers could choose to offer suppplemental coverage s a benefit if they chose to.

      1. Employers should not be the major insurance providers with the power to make this kind of decision for their employees.


        Ding! Ding! Ding!  Chicken Dinner!

        A large part of the problem with US medical insurance for the pat 50+ years is the distortion caused by the transaction being a 3rd or 4th party event. I want a check up or other medical service.  I see which doctor my insurance covers me to see (be seen by).  I don't have any reason to negotiate the price. And even if I do – say I want to see a specialist outside my plan network, I have no real way to evaluate that price.

        Buying medical services is not like buying normal consumer goods and services. And while we can argue the relative merit of a free market solution for cantaloupe growers, a free market solution for medical services has never optimized a market for medical care. Ever. Anywhere.

        1. In corrolary: "Quality" as measured by hospital, government,  or insurance clipboard practitioner does not mean that the medical care recieved is actually of any quality.

      1. It will be like wack-a-mole as long as employers are in charge of their employees healthcare options. There is no end to the things employers will be able to object to and there will be no end of going to court o resolve everything that pops up.. Employers shouldn't have this power, period. We need universal single payer public healthcare that takes employers out of the decision making process unless they want to offer supplemental coverage, such as the plans available to supplement medicare, as a perk. private

        And yes I know there's no way that's going to happen any time soon but that doesn't change the fact that it's the only truly viable solution. Reform that leaves private insurers and private employers in control of healthcare options is always going to be an unmanageable mess that will leave people at the mercy of a combination of amoral corporate bottom line considerations on the one hand and other people's religious beliefs on the other. 

      2. Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.

        (Footnote omitted.) We first had occasion to assert that principle in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879), where we rejected the claim that criminal laws against polygamy could not be constitutionally applied to those whose religion commanded the practice. "Laws," we said,

        are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

        Id. at 166-167.

        Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a

        valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes.)

        Antonin Scalia for the SCOTUS 

        Employment Division v. Smith







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