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December 03, 2013 06:37 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

"There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth."

–Charles Dickens 


13 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. In all the bad news about the Obamacare website we've paid scant attention to some really good news. The Colorado website, which appears to be working really well and the one big speed bump is not the website, but the people who need to do the medicaid determination.

    If CBMS is also now working well (I've heard from several people that it is), then 2 data points is a trend. Colorado may finally be learning how to manage large IT projects. If so, that's a major accomplishment.

  2. Question of the day: Where are the future jobs? A lot of the jobs that required merely a High School education are gone. And most of the rest will be gone soon. And not gone to China, but replaced by machines.

    Factory jobs are going the way of agricultural jobs where the number of total people needed will become a very small part of the economy. And a lot of similiar jobs will soon be gone. For example about a million people make a living driving from delivering goods to taxis. Those jobs all go away with driverless cars.

    In previous transitions as one segment drastically reduced the number of people needed, new segments scooped them up. Oftentimes it wasn't the lack of farm jobs that sent people to the factory, it was the allure of the factory job pulling people off the farm.

    Where is that now? What jobs are there for the tens of millions who don't have skills that are needed for the few remaining jobs? I'm not asking how do we pay people well for whatever job they find, I'm asking what if there are no jobs.

    1. David – the jobs won't go to China – China is coming here to control our natural resources and meat production – just like they've already done in Canada with oil and timber assets (PetroChina already owns the bulk of the Alberta tar sands) – and most of the African Continent. (rare earth and precious metals, oil and coal).

      There is a fascinating alliance forming between the left and the right to fight back on the notion that somehow our air, water and land are free dumping grounds.  In Tennessee's case – it started with the Chinese ownership of mountain-top coal: 


    2. It depends on what you mean by jobs. Most of the jobs that require only a high-school education but still pay a living wage were either outsourced or automated years ago, and they aren’t coming back.


      A person with only a high-school education could certainly still apply  some jobs: e.g. retail, foodservice, etc. However, given the job-market they’ll be competing against people with more education and work experience.  

      I, for the most part, agree with your premise that we’re going to have some major challenges ahead when it comes to what we do with all the people rendered obsolete—automation is increasingly affecting white-collar jobs too.  

  3. Mike Littwin, brilliant as ever! I think all political pundits should begin their careers as sport journalists; you can't lie about sports or the fans would have your throat.

    The desperation in the fight against Obamacare has always been fueled by the thought that Americans will learn to love it, just as they did Social Security and Medicare. Ted Cruz gave the whole game away, back when he was shutting down the government, when he said, “If we’re going to repeal it, we’ve got to do so now or it will remain with us forever.”

    Let’s take the insurance cancellations. (This means you, Cory Gardner.) They’re not actually cancellations of insurance, of course. The essence of Obamacare is that no one gets canceled. You don’t get canceled for pre-existing conditions. You can’t get canceled because you’ve reached a lifetime cap. You don’t get canceled if you take a new job. You can still get insurance.

    What the cancellations mean, for the most part, is that the insurance you had was substandard and needs to be replaced with a standard policy. The danger for Obamacare opponents is that once people get on the site, they might find themselves a better deal and, with that deal, they might even qualify for subsidies to help pay for it.



    1. ParkHill,


      The related problem for the GOP is that people will realize, if they don’t already, that the Republican rhetoric about “liberty” and “self-reliance” are mere platitudes. In the absence of the protections offered by the ACA, no amount of “self-reliance” or “freedom” is going to get you health insurance, if the insurance companies refuse to cover you because they determine that they’ll lose money on a pre-existing conditions.

  4. Woo Hoo! I have Health Insurance for the first time in several years!

    The process through the Colorado Exchange was really easy: Get an account. Choose a plan. Put it in shopping cart. Check out. Done.

    I'm in the non-subsidized category, so that eliminated other steps, I guess.

    The hardest part was choosing a plan. The Gold/Silver/Bronze categories narrowed it somewhat, but you still have to figure out what $1500/30 or $2500/10 means. I finally called Kaiser for an explanation. The service guy was helpful; said that I could buy direct from Ksiser, but that I should buy through the exchange in case my income next year came in below my estimate (self-employed and all), in which case I would get a tax credit.


  5. The Republicans are at it again, seeking to impeach President Obama. If losing the 2012 election and coming out on the losing side of the debt-ceiling debacle wasn’t bad enough. Perhaps the Republicans want to accelerate the  Armageddon process, though unfortunately for them it will be political Armageddon (i.e. end of their own party) not the Biblical version they fantasize about.

    1. I was half-expecting an impeachment attempt; the GOP can't seem to escape their attack at all opportunities (and any cost) mentality.

      We'll see if it gains momentum. They have to know full well that the Senate would shoot it down hard, and as an impeachment trial would include the recital of actual facts, it could prove quite embarassing to the GOP, as they don't even have a Clinton-style scandal to hang it on.

      1. As long as the Democrats don’t lose the Senate in the 2014, President Obama is not going to be removed from office.


        Although President Clinton had scandals that the GOP was able to use, President Clinton was more politically savvy than President Obama. President Clinton was able to turn the Republicans attempt to impeach him for lying to Congress about a blowjob—minor in the grand scheme of things but nonetheless illegal—to his advantage. 

        I’m not sure President Obama would be able to turn impeachment to his political advantage the way President Clinton was able to , even if there’s no evidence that he’s done anything illegal.     

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