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healthcare.gov opens at midnight on the day of the government shutdown and lambert finds a bug

[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]

Nice timing.

john.smith@gmail.com from Maine had a registration #FAIL at step 3. Here's the screen dump:

Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day (2)

Jack Trammell's website is remarkably unrevealing, or not

(You remember Jack Trammell; he's David Brat's opponent, Brat being the Tea Party dude who took down Eric Cantor.) So his campaign page should up on my Facebook feed (yeah, sorry) and here it is:

And yes, that's all there is. Contributions and the mailing list. No About page, no platform, nothing about policy at all. (No, I'm not going to give the Democratic fundraising apparatchiks my email address, just to check if there's anything behind Jack's paywall.) Looks like the pros have put Jack in a box. (His Facebook page, which I decline to link to, is similarly uninformative, though he is touring the district and appearing in selfies and so forth). The Democrat regulars have gotten to him. For proof, I present the latest coverage I can find (and there's not much, oddly, or not): Read below the fold...

Dan Froomkin on John Brennan: It's about the lying

Froomkin is now at the Intercept:

Lying, of course, has always been a problem in Washington. But especially after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Bush-Cheney regime took lying to new post-Nixon heights. Maybe even pre-Nixon.

When I sat down to write my last “White House Watch” column for the Washington Post, what struck me most about the Bush years were the lies. The most consequential, of course, were the lies about the war. The most telling were the lies to cover up the lies about the war. And the most grotesque were the lies about torture. Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

In the garden: Moar poor person's row covers!

And I can claim success for these row covers, not only because they're fun and easy to put up -- though I'd probably want to take them down in a high windstorm -- but because the deer[1] have not, in fact, eaten the peppers they protect. Read below the fold...

Modern slavery

John Brennan is a horrible human being

Look, we remember John Brennan very well. Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

The goldenrod honey arrrived!

And best of all, I get to pop the bubblewrap! Thanks to nippersdad, who sent a very tightly wrapped package that I ripped open:

And here is the honey: Read below the fold...

Thank you for ordering your books from Powells!

(Using the handy search box in the sidebar, for which I just changed the headline!) The quarterly commmission check arrived, for a little over $60. That's not a ton of money, but four times a year it adds up to one month of server time. Read below the fold...

Please, DCCC, stop. Just stop.

In the garden: Design challenges for "The Zone of Unlife"

As promised yesterday, I'm going to present the weedy area for a consult. But first, just to show the point of the whole exercise:

Figure 1: Front garden "Zone of Life"

This year I have been coming to the conclusion, or understanding, that what I really want from the garden is not the vegetables -- though I love to eat them and even more to give them away -- but what Ursula LeGuin in The Left Hand of Darkness describes as one goal of her fictional interplanetary polity, the Ekumen:

The augmentation of the complexity and intensity of the field of intelligent life.

My intelligence, primarily, so I can sit in the garden and work pleasurably in the summer months, but I suppose also other intelligences, like birds, or bees, especially if we consider the idea that living intelligence goes all the way down into the earth, through the plants, the soil, the mycelial mat, the groundwater, and the rock, all the way to the magnetic core. Anyhow, it would take a better photographer (and a better camera than the iPad) to really do my experience of that flowerbed justice; suffice to say that I'd like very square inch to be visibly alive, and that bark mulch doesn't figure largely in my view of proper gardening, as opposed to sheet mulch; it's amazing the sheer volume of dew[1], all of it captured by the straw; no wonder I never have to water, with sheet mulch. Anyhow, for want of a better term, we might call LeGuin's goal aesthetic; certainly systems that achieve this are not ugly.

So all that said, here is the design challenge: Read below the fold...

Tweet of the day

TTIP and NHS

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