PLAYBOY: Are we stuck with the two-party system?
SANDERS: There’s no question there is a massive amount of cynicism and displeasure toward our current political system and Republicans and Democrats. Clearly most people vote for one or another party not because they strongly believe in the goals of that party but because they see it as the lesser of two evils. Having said that, no one should underestimate the enormous difficulty of creating a broad-based third party that speaks to the needs of working families. That party in all likelihood would have to be organized through the trade union movement and its millions of members.
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Manager's weird motivational trick: "I'll go to jail if you don't make the launch date!"
I'm not making this up! WBUR:
With a July email sharing a video link to his summer testimony assuring lawmakers the site would work on time, he urges his team not to fall short, writing:
" 'I wanted to share this with you so you can see and hear that ... I under oath stated we are going to make Oct. 1,' [Henry] Chao [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project manager in charge of HealthCare.gov] wrote. 'I would like you (to) put yourself in my shoes standing before Congress, which in essence is standing before the American public, and know that you speak the tongue of not necessarily just past truths but the truth that you will make happen.' "
So, if you want another view into Obama's reign of terror at HHS, CMS, HHS, CMS, and associated contractors, that quote should do it for you. "Make the deadline, or Henry goes to jail!" Dear Lord. (All down to Obama, too: 2013-04-20: "We will implement it.") Read below the fold...
There was a revealing moment the other night, after the resounding “no” vote from Boeing’s Machinists, when Gov. Jay Inslee was asked if he respected the decision they’d made.
“I respect reality,” he said. “And the reality is we could have won tonight. Some folks made a vote, about two to one, where that vote did not come out the way that would allow us to win. That’s a reality.”
Who is this “us”? Because the people who build the planes didn’t feel it included them.
That's a question I've been asking all the time for years: "Whaddya mean, 'we'?" So it's good to see it elsewhere. Read below the fold...
An alert reader tossed this over the transom. I don't have any independent confirmation -- the link to the contact form is at the top right -- so take cum grano salis. Has the ring of truth, though! In any case, herewith, lightly edited and with additions in brackets:
Employees working for the ObamaCare call center unable to unionize.
I have currently working under the GSA-00F-0021M contract [here] as a Phone Agent 1 [page 12, bottom] for almost 5 years with no pay raise. Currently the Department of Health & Human Services has an open, competitive bidding process for the multi-billion dollar 1-800-MEDICARE contract and the ObamaCare call center, to a GSA contracting vehicle. Since 2003, Vangent, now a unit of General Dynamics Information Technology.GDIT is making record profits off of this contract and last quarter made 60 million dollars in profit. With the current unions against ObamaCare it is noted these employees cannot provide decent wages for themselves and their families, because unions will not represent them. I have attempted to contact several unions and they will not even return a call or email once I mention ObamaCare. There are multiple issues that I would like to have address under this contract including tens of millions of taxpayers dollars in potential waste The new contract is RFP-CMS-2012-0004 [here].... . Read below the fold...
Listen, I love Nooners and make no apology for quoting her; as a speech writer, she could beat down callow dudebro Jon Favreau, take his candy, and leave him whimpering, for my money. And of course, any advice she'd give Democrats -- and this is a classic of the genre -- is to be taken in total good faith. Kidding. BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!! But bourbon-voiced old crocodiles like Nooners are also worth listening to because they represent the last generation of Republicans who could actually govern, even if they governed for ill ends. Here's the first bit from her recent WSJ Op-Ed I found interesting:
People back home don't like ObamaCare now, and soon—as the Nov. 30 website deadline is blown, as public clamor spreads about canceled policies, higher costs, doctors no longer on the network—they'll like it even less.
Weeks ago they were talking of the possibility of a death spiral, but ObamaCare is in a death spiral.
So the Democrats' moving against it would be realistic, practical. Successful politicians are by definition survivors. They've been loyal to Mr. Obama for a long time, but most of them don't really know him. They don't owe him much. And he is tanking their brand. Democrats can claim a special reason for reversing their earlier support—they believed the president when he said you could keep your coverage. But now, having seen the anxiety the people back home are feeling, they're bravely standing up to the administration to protect the constituents they love. "We need national health-care relief. The system has long been broken, but let's face it, this program isn't working and won't work. It's time to start over again and get things right." That's the way to go for Democrats, "Get things right." They shouldn't give up on the issue—the trauma of the past few weeks will likely, and ironically, leave Americans more open to a simple single-payer approach—but they should give up on ObamaCare. And they should always call it that, to distance their own future programs from it.
Hilariously, and correctly, Nooners presents both parties as equally opposed to ObamaCare! So, having presented the potentially break-away Democrats with a talking point ("Get things right") she now presents them with an alibi: Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Democrat DC mayor fires DC health commissioner for questioning Obama's cancellations fix
I've often thought the reason there were no ObamaCare whistleblowers is that Obama maintained a reign of terror in HHS, CMS, and associated contractors, a la his "Insider Threat Program" after Snowden,* but I've never had any real data, other than "That's what he would do." Now here's a datapoint:
D.C. insurance commissioner fired a day after questioning Obamacare fix
One day. Impressive. Read below the fold...
I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.
Sirota’s answer for that is simple. BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”
I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party. Read below the fold...
Phillip Caper, Bangor Daily News Op-Ed:
I talk to a lot of people from across the political spectrum about health care reform. There is a growing consensus that improved Medicare for all is the necessary first step in repairing our badly broken health care system.
During a trip to California last week, I ran into House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. When I explained to her that while I admired her efforts to reform our health care system, I remain an advocate for “Improved Medicare for All,” she responded, “Yes, we should have done single payer.”
Perhaps there’s still hope. Between Harry Reid’s recent comments and Pelosi’s epiphany, there seems to be a growing understanding of the problem, and its solution, in some parts of Congress.
Well, if Pelosi said that -- and if there are any actual reporterers out there, they should seek to get Pelosi on the record -- then I take back almost everything I ever said about her. Read below the fold...
In a letter to the New York Review of Books, Jonathan Mirsky responds to an article by James Bamford with the reminder that the Snowden NSA revelations are nothing new.
"There were several thousands, of whom I was one, and after Nixon came to power it was called the Enemies’ List. Unknown to us, our phones were tapped, our letters opened, our bank accounts examined, and journeys around the US and abroad were logged. If we gave speeches they were quoted at length." Read below the fold...
Obama's presser was so bad, so bad bad BAD. I hate to quote The National Review, and even more do I hate to quote Mark Steyn, especially because he's Canadian and knows what a humane health care system looks like, and so should be out pushing for single payer instead of indulging in schadenfreude, but since our putative left is just wandering about, looking at the sky, humming vaguely, and refusing to acknowledge that the Preznit, in his latest presser, displayed not only all the capacity to accept responsibility, but all the intellectual ability, of a fucking six-year-old*, I guess I'll just have do what I hate doing.
Caveat: I assume that, just as so many of the bloggers who built the case against Bush 2003 - 2006 turned out to have no trouble at all with Obama doing whatever Bush did, because Obama, Steyn would, were a Republican President, be writing a very different column on RomneyCare, because Romney.
That said, to Steyn's weapons-grade snark:
Still, as historian Michael Beschloss pronounced the day after his election, he’s “probably the smartest guy ever to become president.” Naturally, Obama shares this assessment. As he assured us five years ago, “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors.” Well, apart from his signature health-care policy. That’s a mystery to him. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working,” he told us. The buck stops with something called “the executive branch,” which is apparently nothing to do with him. As evidence that he was entirely out of the loop, he offered this:
Had I been I informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, “Boy, this is going to be great.” You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, “This is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,” a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.
Ooooo-kay. So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he’s not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he’s not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they’re in for. But he is smart enough to know that he’s not stupid enough to go around bragging about how well it works if he’d already been informed that it doesn’t work. So he’s smart enough to know that if he’d known what he didn’t know he’d know enough not to let it be known that he knew nothing. The country’s in the very best of hands.
Pretty good, for a professional. Read below the fold...
Why isn't the use of my time to decrypt artificially complex systems designed to conceal and enable rent-seeking considered a tax?
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Nobody could have predicted there would by any problem with privatizing part of Medicare
And to be fair, I didn't. What was clear was that the elites (Bush, this time) were deliberately removing public benefits from Medicare in order to have profiteering weasels resell those same benefits at higher cost and with a cut. Et voilà:*
UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks—spurring protest from lawmakers and physician groups and leaving many elderly patients unsure about whether they need to switch plans to keep seeing their doctors.
Doctors in at least 10 states have received termination letters, some citing "significant changes and pressures in the health-care environment." The notices also tell doctors they can appeal within 30 days. That means many physicians and patients won't know for sure who is in or out of UnitedHealth's Medicare Advantage networks before the open-enrollment period to switch Medicare plans ends on Dec. 7.
Well, that's what you get when you put a giant oligopoly in charge of your health care. Honestly, what did anybody expect? Read below the fold...