1. Gas company guys putting in a new line (not that I'm going to be able to use it right away);
2. Mr. Steam coming to fix cracked radiator;
3. Mr. Fixit coming to fix caulk in one shower so other shower can be shut down for its drain to be fixed;
4. Friend's teen boy coming to stack the wood.
So where's my fucking helicopter drop? I'd make better use of it than buying a new Hermès yacht cover, or priceless-except-not art, or (for that matter) hooker and blow.
Ben? Janet? Barry? Anyone? Read below the fold...
Gopher said she and her husband, Brock Conway, were talking Friday night about whether she should run for the House again. She placed third in a four-way Democratic primary in 2010, despite raising or spending little money.
“We were just kind of sitting on the fence,” she said. “You take a plunge and see what happens. It feels right on a lot of levels. When you’re navigating purposely and you just want to put something out there and go with it, sometimes your instincts are stronger than any game plan you could come up with.”
Her candidacy will ensure a Democratic primary for the U.S. House. Earlier this fall, John Lewis of Helena, a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, entered the race. ...
“On my end, I’m going to keep it positive, but at the same time, we sort of need a shake-up,” she said. “I think he’ll be more of the same of what we’ve seen for a long time. We need a new set of eyes. I don’t necessarily subscribe to doing things the same way.”
Gopher criticized Baucus’ signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
“I don’t like it,” Gopher said. “I think we have to renew the idea of a single-payer (health care system), and I will fight for it. We’re not an impoverished nation like Haiti. We are a wealthy nation and we can afford health care for our citizens.”
Baucus really needs to be punished. As do his associates. Read below the fold...
Robert Kuttner, capo di tutti capi of career "progressives," channels Macbeth as the light dawns, five years too late
Taking the long view, it looks increasingly as if 2008 was a missed historical moment. It was a moment when Wall Street and the ideology of laissez faire were in well-deserved disgrace and the Republican Party's stewardship was discredited.
Nobody could have predicted.... Kuttner is a little less pointed than he could be. He omits to mention that Obama, besides winning the Presidency with the political class solidly behind him and the reputation as the greatest orator of his time, plus the House, and the Senate, could have had a 100 Days like FDR's. And pundits in Kuttner's exalted position are supposed to make the right calls, as opposed to marginal bloggers and guys who "knew Obama when." Read below the fold...
Republicans and Democrats to work together to gut Social Security, pass Chained CPI, without CALLING it a "grand bargain"
If the brand is toxic, change the branding! The Atlantic:
Though several Republicans have been threatening a big showdown over the debt limit and government funding with President Obama this fall, it's possible that maybe we won't approach total fiscal calamity this time. In an interview with The National Review's Robert Costa, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sounds tough, but outlines what could be the outlines of a deal. And top Obama aides have been meeting with eight Senate Republicans to figure out a compromise on these issues, The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Kristina Peterson report. But there probably won't be a longer-term "grand bargain."
McConnell warns Democrats, "The tax issue is over." But he suggests Republicans are open to preventing a second year of the sequester. "You want sequester relief? Then let’s talk about a reduction in entitlement spending," he says. "Ithink a place to talk is on things like chained CPI." Obama has already said he'd support chained CPI, which is a less generous way of calculating the cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security benefits. McConnell also floats raising the age of eligibility for Medicare, which Democrats do not like. McConnell says, "In return for that, we could trade less spending reduction on the discretionary side, because we all know the biggest challenge is actually not on the discretionary side, but on entitlements. To me, that’s a better place to go in the fall than signaling that you’re open to raising taxes."
Good. Gridlock is better than what these guys would do if they could get it together (thank, Framers). Ed Luce, FT:*
If three years is ample time to learn say Mandarin, or train to be a teacher, it ought to be enough to learn how to govern better. ...
Mr Obama also overlooked lessons of his own presidency, which shows the pitfalls of presenting speeches as governing. ...Read below the fold...
But while diplomats are patiently tending these negotiations, there is time to pay attention to unfinished Asia business. The biggest item awaiting some Washington juice is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an immense, stalled, Asian free-trade agreement that would do more to counter burgeoning China than any number of battleships.
Like most free-trade agreements, it has opposition, from critics who fear it would insufficiently protect labor, consumers, the environment and intellectual property. It’s time for the administration to cut some deals, crack some heads and open up those Asian markets.
And Fuck American workers, as well as set up an unaccountable, trans-national putative court system where corporations can sue goverments for "lost profits"! What could go wrong?
But wait, there's more! Read below the fold...
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...