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Saturday, November 02, 2013

[OT-P: November 2013] Home Who wants to make baseball bats in the Catskills — tax free?

Want to buy an office building right under the glow of Rochester’s iconic Eastman Kodak headquarters?

How about starting a business at Sullivan County Community College to develop the next generation of baseball bats? Or use 21,000 square feet of office for a high-tech incubator at Binghamton University?

They are among nearly 100 locations recently listed by the state as potential sites for tax-free zones being pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost the upstate economy.

Cuomo officially launched the controversial program last week, and the state is starting with a sampling of sites around New York – mainly empty space on college campuses – to attract new businesses.

“In a tax-free environment, no one can match what New York has to offer,” Cuomo said in a news release Oct. 22. “Businesses that are looking to startup or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should look no further.”

The program allows businesses to pay no income, property or business taxes for 10 years if they locate near a college campus. Some higher-paid workers would have to pay income taxes after five years.

The initiative starts Jan. 1.

In the Hudson Valley, the state is marketing the 7,738 square-foot former president’s home at SUNY Purchase in Westchester County for redevelopment. Two other sites on the Purchase campus are being offered, including a former animal lab space.

Sullivan Community College in the Catskills said it is interested in a company to develop new baseball bats.

“These new technologies will enable the company to produce baseball bats which are superior to those currently available in the market through a unique and sustainable manufacturing process,” the state’s website said.

New politics thread. Still a little bit about baseball.

Tripon Posted: November 02, 2013 at 02:38 AM | 2319 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1301. zenbitz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4598900)
flop
   1302. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4598904)
Sally Quinn is on my "Punch upon Sight" list.


Yep.

And to think, she was so ... so ... well, pretty much tolerable alongside Hughes Rudd on the "CBS Morning News" (which I loved watching; Rudd was great, & so was Ray Gandolf on sports) when I was a kid.
   1303. zenbitz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4598906)
Oh, I guess that was an extra one. I find Morty's link to the Atlantic quite intriguing, although long and I haven't finished it. Of course, somewhat hilarously I agree with it since I am basically a Utilitarian. So confirmation bias again.
I cannot honestly tell that I agree with the article because it's reasoning is sound or because I already agreed with the conclusions before hand. This is the same issue with Free Will. Introspection is irreversibly conflated with confirmation bias.

Now, that doesn't mean there can't be a continuum, but in general I'd say your cat isn't aware that it is a cat. It can't recognize itself in a mirror.

My intuition is that it is almost certainly a continuum. And probably a continuum on many axis of "higher" cognitive function. My certainty is due to my expertise with biologically evolved systems, which pretty much have to be continious (although if you pan far enough back they can certainly appear approximately digitized)

But I agree about my cat "appearing to be" less self aware than I am.

Perhaps we will be able to someday build a machine of very high reasoning capacity that LACKS confirmation bias. Then we can ask it if it has Free Will or not.
   1304. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 12, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4598917)
And to think, she was so ... so ... well, pretty much tolerable alongside Hughes Rudd on the "CBS Morning News" (which I loved watching; Rudd was great, & so was Ray Gandolf on sports) when I was a kid.
I can only assume power went to her head.
   1305. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4598928)
I'm willing to bet if there were Olympic events for smugness and self-importance, Sally Quinn would be go double gold.

I can only assume power went to her head.


No. She was always like that. It just took a while for the media exposure to reveal it.
   1306. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4598948)
She was bad at first, & then she went even further?
   1307. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4598951)
Sally Quinn was the Post's first female celebrity journalist back in the early days of the Style section. Here's how she got hired by her future husband:

"Can you show me something you've written?" asked Managing Editor Benjamin Bradlee. "I've never written anything," admitted Quinn. Pause. "Well," said Bradlee, "nobody's perfect."
   1308. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4598953)
She was bad at first, & then she went even further?

That's pretty much it. Her nadir was that column about Clinton, in which she also heaped praise on Kenneth Starr. When she wrote a religion column one of her highlight moments was when she said that atheists couldn't really be full citizens. About her only semi-saving grace is that after multiple facelifts she still doesn't look much older than 40, even though she was born in 1941.
   1309. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4598955)
Speaking of Obama's Job Approval Rating,he's at his all-time personal low in the Quinnipiac Survey:
American voters disapprove 54 - 39 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing, his lowest approval rating in any Quinnipiac University national poll since he became president, as even women disapprove 51 - 40 percent, according to a national poll released today.

Today's results compare to a slight 49 - 45 percent disapproval October 1. President Obama's lowest score before today was a 55 - 41 percent disapproval in an October 6, 2011 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Today, disapproval is 58 - 37 percent among men, 91 - 6 percent among Republicans and 63 - 30 percent among independent voters. Democrats approve 79 - 14 percent. White voters disapprove 62 - 32 percent while black voters approve 75 - 15 percent and Hispanic voters disapprove by a slim 47 - 41 percent margin. . . .
"President Obama's job approval rating has fallen to the level of former President George W. Bush at the same period of his Presidency," Malloy said.

How did Bush do in his 6-year mid-term election?
   1310. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4598957)
You should really be taking out 2014 election futures, sure as you seem to be about the outcome.
   1311. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4598959)
Her nadir was that column about Clinton . . .

I doubt Zbigniew Brzezinski feels that way.
   1312. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4598963)
Speaking of Obama's Job Approval Rating,he's at his all-time personal low in the Quinnipiac Survey:
is there anyone besides you who's actually speaking of it?
   1313. Tilden Katz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4598976)
How did Bush do in his 6-year mid-term election?


What was the Democratic Party's approval rating at that time?
   1314. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4598988)
Speaking of Obama's Job Approval Rating, he's at his all-time personal low in the Quinnipiac Survey

is there anyone besides you who's actually speaking of it?

Lots of political analysts are commenting on Obama's falling popularity and the effect it will have on his party; the BBTF Head-in-the-Sand Caucus, not so much.
   1315. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4598990)
Lots of political analysts are commenting on Obama's falling popularity and the effect it will have on his party;


Could you provide a list of them? Because 'lots of' political analysts were also commenting on Mitt Romney's certain-as-the-sun-rising election last cycle. Who are these analysts? Not to be overly cynical or anything, but you need to show your work.
   1316. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4598991)
You should really be taking out 2014 election futures, sure as you seem to be about the outcome.

I'm fairly sure of the outcome if Obama's Job Approval Rating doesn't improve, but I've never said he couldn't raise it, although the path seems pretty daunting at the moment, IMHO.
   1317. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4598992)
Lots of political analysts are commenting on Obama's falling popularity and the effect it will have on his party; the BBTF Head-in-the-Sand Caucus, not so much.
is that what you're doing? you're analyzing the effect that obama's falling popularity will have on his party? you're not just using a single piece of data to confirm a point of view you already believe is true without comparing it to or referencing any other relevant information?
   1318. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4598993)
Re:1315. Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly.
   1319. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4598994)
Could you provide a list of them? Because 'lots of' political analysts were also commenting on Mitt Romney's certain-as-the-sun-rising election last cycle. Who are these analysts? Not to be overly cynical or anything, but you need to show your work.

If you & others want to pretend that a President hitting his all-time low in numerous Job Approval Rating polls is not big news, apparently I can't do much to dissuade you, but your favorite search engine should be able to provide you all the info you need.
   1320. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4598995)
What about the approval rating of the HoR, Clapper? Is it even in double figures? Isn't that even bigger news?
   1321. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4598997)
Presidential Job Approval Ratings have been shown to correlate highly with the President's party's mid-term election success. I don't believe that is the case for Congressional Job Approval, and there is a long history of people bad-mouthing Congress while voting to re-elect their Congressperson.
   1322. Tilden Katz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4599000)
I have confidence that a summer of anti-gay no-abortions-for-anyone comments by the GOP will motivate Democrats to come to the polls (AKA the Virginia strategy).
   1323. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4599001)
If you & others want to pretend that a President hitting his all-time low in numerous Job Approval Rating polls is not big news, apparently I can't do much to dissuade you, but your favorite search engine should be able to provide you all the info you need.


So you're just spitting talking points and too lazy to so much as quote a source. Why should I take you even remotely seriously?
   1324. BDC Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:10 PM (#4599003)
all-time personal low in the Quinnipiac Survey

I just surveyed me and my cat and neither one of us cares about the Quinnipiac Survey.
   1325. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:12 PM (#4599005)
Presidential Job Approval Ratings have been shown to correlate highly with the President's party's mid-term election success. I don't believe that is the case for Congressional Job Approval, and there is a long history of people bad-mouthing Congress while voting to re-elect their Congressperson.
how about presidential job approval ratings 12 months prior to mid-term elections?

   1326. Tilden Katz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4599007)
Also despite Obama's no good very bad approval ratings, Democrats still lead on the generic ballot.
   1327. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4599010)
You have to admire Clapper's inexhaustive capacity to BS himself
   1328. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4599013)
You have to admire Clapper's inexhaustive capacity to BS himself


Well, he's probably set up well enough to be able to salvage at least some semblance of an 'I told you so.' It's a midterm election. It will skew old and white. It will skew against the standing party in power. Odds are the Goopies will pick up a seat or two in both Houses, at the least. And if they do, Clapper will yelp about 'winning' because all he knows is partisan talking points.
   1329. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4599018)
Since some folks here seem to object to whatever I say about Obama, let's hear from someone with better Democratic Party credentials, Bill Clinton, who came out for legislative changes to ObamaCare if needed to honor the commitment that people would be able to keep their health insurance if they liked it:
“I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton said during a discussion of Obamacare problems in an interview with Carlos Watson on the web site Ozymandias. The former president did defend the overall impact of the law — but in backing the idea of changing it to address canceled health policies, he got on board with an approach Obama has yet to embrace.

This is a big problem for the Administration. Since Obama apologized, he has to do something. He can't just say "I'm sorry, but you're still screwed." However, there doesn't appear to be any good options from his perspective. The rule making process necessary to revise Grandfather Rule that caused much of this problem takes time, and there isn't much time. Opening up ObamaCare to legislative amendment may produce changes to other aspects, and still takes time. Reinstating plans that have already been canceled could be pretty complex, but even if it is done, all the healthy people going back to their former healthcare plans will leave the ObamaCare pool sicker and more expensive. That heavier than anticipated healthcare spending would cause rates to go up next year, right before the elections.
   1330. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4599023)
Since some folks here seem to object to whatever I say about Obama, let's hear from someone with better Democratic Party credentials, Bill Clinton, who came out for legislative changes to ObamaCare if needed to honor the commitment that people would be able to keep their health insurance if they liked it:


Should we poll ex-presidents on all issues, or just this one. Should Jimmy Carter get to tell the next GOP president what he should do? Or is it only ex-presidents from the same party?
   1331. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4599039)
Clinton should have kept his mouth shut on this. It's an idiotic suggestion.
   1332. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4599043)
Yeah, Clapper doesn't seem to like it so much when Jimmy Carter goes to North Korea.
   1333. SteveF Posted: November 12, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4599045)
Clinton should have kept his mouth shut on this. It's an idiotic suggestion.

It's an idiotic suggestion but a shrewd political one, which is of course YC's point. Given President Obama's (and ACA's) approval rating among independents, it's time to start distancing themselves from it for Hilary's sake.

I should point out this in no way reflects my own opinion about ACA.

I wonder which day President Obama will end up speaking on in the 2016 convention.
   1334. Publius Publicola Posted: November 12, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4599049)
Of course, it's an open invitation for Obama, should Hillary get elected, to snipe at her from the sidelines. So Bill should maybe consider that too.
   1335. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4599053)
Although I previously declined to serve as Sam's research assistant since he's perfectly capable of finding the points I'm making here at just about any news site, this Dana Millbank column is too funny not to post:
Two months ago, polls showed Democrat Kay Hagan leading prospective opponents by double digits in her quest for a second term representing North Carolina in the Senate. So why is she so nervous? Well, her problem begins with Obamacare, ends with Obamacare and has a whole lot of Obamacare in between.

Hagan hosted a conference call for reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the problems with the health-care law’s rollout, and the Q&A session was so painful that the senator should qualify for trauma coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Fox News’s Jim Angle asked what she thought about the reports showing that only 50,000 Americans had enrolled in the health-care exchanges on HealthCare.gov. “You know,” she replied. “I know the — I believe this coming Friday, those numbers are going to be published and uh, you know, as soon as I see them, you know, obviously it’s, it’s m-much fewer than the administration expected.”

A reporter from the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record asked why Hagan, like President Obama, had told people that if they liked their health plans they’d be able to keep their health plans. There was a long pause before Hagan responded, then a deep intake of breath. “You know, Doug,” she responded, “the, um” — here she exhaled and paused again — “the way these, the — the regulations and the law, uh” — pause — “came forward recently, I think people were surprised that the, uh, the — the actual original plans would be, um, would be canceled.”

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, released a poll Tuesday showing that 69?percent of North Carolinians think the Obamacare rollout has been unsuccessful. Probably because of that, Hagan is now in a dead heat with would-be challengers.

There's much more, read the whole thing. Milbank is no friend of the GOP, but he's not so far in the tank that he'd ignore the obvious political problems that ObamaCare is causing Congressional Democrats.

   1336. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4599055)

I thought the Quinnipiac poll was supposed to be fairly reliable, or am I wrong on that?

It does seem a little "shoot the messenger" here in ignoring the Presidential approval rating - at any time. Then again, it might be good to have a commitment from both wings here, years in advance, on whether these are worth citing.

The risk is that in a scant couple of years, you'll like the results - but then you won't be able to cite them because you've already declared them irrelevant. Or the opposite of that.

:)

   1337. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4599056)
Since some folks here seem to object to whatever I say about Obama, let's hear from someone with better Democratic Party credentials, Bill Clinton
yes, let's hear from him:

The big lesson is that we're better off with [obamacare] than without it
   1338. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4599058)
I'm sure that Clinton saw the political point, but it's short-sighted. If Hilary expects to win in 2016, there needs to be a functioning health care insurance system in place. Allowing worthless policies to be grandfathered in will interfere with that; indeed, that's the point of the R attack. It also reinforces the image of D weakness.
   1339. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:14 PM (#4599061)
I thought the Quinnipiac poll was supposed to be fairly reliable, or am I wrong on that?

It does seem a little "shoot the messenger" here in ignoring the Presidential approval rating - at any time. Then again, it might be good to have a commitment from both wings here, years in advance, on whether these are worth citing.

The risk is that in a scant couple of years, you'll like the results - but then you won't be able to cite them because you've already declared them irrelevant. Or the opposite of that.

:)
10 months from today it may be worth having a discussion about, but right now, it's nothing more than trivia.

and it doesn't help that there's only one person in this thread who ever brings it up, and who does so, it seems, every day.
   1340. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4599064)

I see

   1341. Morty Causa Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4599070)
How are you defining "free will" here? Your discussion seems to imply that it is difficult to see how complex machines could have free will. But I have no problem with that. So perhaps it has to do with our understanding of free will.

Well, yes, it depends on how free will is defined. A number of us I think agree that that is so. In fact, that’s the problem. We all want to have control of the definitional context.

Let’s start with: How do you figure, though, that machines have free will? Do they have it in a way that humans don’t?

I would start with the distinction between cause and effect (determinism: if given X, then Y has to follow) versus unpredictability. Just because an event is unpredictable doesn't mean it is not deterministic. They are not the same thing. Moreover, unpredictability is the product of not knowing cause and effect—or not knowing sufficiently the relationship between the two in a case, not being able to divvy their relationship precisely or discretely in an instance.

Daniel Dennett has written and publicly spoken about free will. Here’s video (with transcript):

Video of some years ago of interview of Dennett by Robert Wright on free will--there's also a transcript

Just read the first few minutes, and start around 15 minutes. If it entices, then you can progress in bits and pieces as you are able to make time. It’s a good interview on the subject. Those Meaning of Life videos on different subjects are kind of old but good.

Sam Harris has also written on the topic. He disagrees with Dennett. He thinks free will is illusory:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/free-will-and-free-will

Here is a very good summary of Harris’s position, which I personally find to coincide a good deal with what I now provisionally think.

http://americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2012-03-book-review-sam-harris-free-will

Harris’s views cite new findings in neuroscience, like, for instance, studies that show our brain makes decisions before our conscious becomes aware of them.

Both Harris’s little book Free Will and Dennett’s Freedom Evolves have many comments at Amazon, some of which serve to clarify concisely. I recommend anyone interest to sample them. See that first reviewer citing Dennett’s example of the baseball hitter. I can’t get away from the feeling that Dennett’s view is a specialized one.

I leave you with:

"If determinism is true, our actions are controlled by preceding events and thus we are not free; and that if indeterminism is true, our actions are random and we are likewise not free; and that as determinism and indeterminism exhaust the logical possibilities, free will is thus logically impossible."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilemma_of_determinism
   1342. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4599078)
Milbank is no friend of the GOP


I'm pretty sure Milbank's a Republican, though I can't find a handy cite. His announced presidential votes include McCain, Hagel, and Bloomberg. These days, I guess that makes him a relative moderate R.
   1343. Greg K Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4599096)
"If determinism is true, our actions are controlled by preceding events and thus we are not free; and that if indeterminism is true, our actions are random and we are likewise not free; and that as determinism and indeterminism exhaust the logical possibilities, free will is thus logically impossible."

Isn't there any middle ground between pre-determined and random?

Skipping through that link for the past 30 seconds, "Compatibilism" sounds like the most reasonable position to me. Though perhaps this is something that calls for something more like 45 or even 50 seconds' thought.
   1344. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4599099)
Let’s start with: How do you figure, though, that machines have free will? Do they have it in a way that humans don’t?


I have not had time to look at your links, but I wanted to clarify something. I did not say that machines had free will, I said that being a machine did not necessarily exclude one from having free will. If an "organic machine" can be allowed the possibility of free will I don't see why an inorganic machine might also possibly have free will.

In other words simply suggesting something is a machine is not sufficient to declare they do not have free will.
   1345. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4599103)
But now I've gotta go somewhere and do some serious thinking.

(Homer gets in the car and drives off.)

Bart: I'm sure he meant to say "serious drinking."

Lisa: That's what I assumed.


Okay, you comic book afficionados, you know you've been waiting for it.
   1346. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:41 AM (#4599104)
I'm pretty sure Milbank's a Republican, though I can't find a handy cite. His announced presidential votes include McCain, Hagel, and Bloomberg. These days, I guess that makes him a relative moderate R.

Well, his "policy" is to vote for someone not on the ballot, although there is no way to verify it, but his writings don't cut the GOP the same slack he does for the Democrats.

EDIIT: I believe I'm owed a beverage of my choice, plus points for being succinct.
   1347. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4599108)
Milbank is no friend of the GOP


I'm pretty sure Milbank's a Republican, though I can't find a handy cite. His announced presidential votes include McCain, Hagel, and Bloomberg. These days, I guess that makes him a relative moderate R.

Milbank is an equal opportunity dart thrower who's just about the only columnist I can think of in that category, and I've been reading him for years. His barbs aimed at Obama aren't nearly as many or as pointed as the ones he aims all the time at Republicans, but that's because the Republicans provide so much more comic fodder from any reasonably objective POV. Bottom line is that he's the farthest thing from a concern troll, and while Democrats may want to ridicule him in public, in private they'd be wise to pay attention to what he's saying.

And BTW those "announced presidential votes" of his shouldn't be taken at face value. He explained them in this column that he posted on the 2012 Election Day.
   1348. Blackadder Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:00 AM (#4599120)
I can’t get away from the feeling that Dennett’s view is a specialized one.


It's not. Compatibilism broadly construed is a very popular position among those who think about these things for a living. Most people obviously don't put the same evolutionary spin on it that Dennett does, but the basic compatibilist moves are going to be roughly similar.

I actually think that the most important advance in understanding the debate about compatibilism isn't neuroscience or cognitive science(*), but rather the fact that we now have decent semantics for modal logic. This allows one to, e.g. carefully distinguish between determinism and fatalism. The first few chapters of Freedom Evolves--which I recommend actually reading, as most of the Amazon summaries fail to adequately address the points--provide a very clear and accessible account of the modal issues involved.

If you enjoy reading discussions about free will, I've always found this article by David Lewis--one of the great "philosopher's philosopher" of the 20th century--on the free will approach to the theistic problem of evil to be a great deal of fun.

(*) I should clarify: if you are a compatibilst, obviously neuroscience and cognitive science are going to be hugely relevant to deciding when and under what circumstances we can say that people chose freely. I just don't see how it touches on the ancient debates about the coherence of compatibilism as such. Note that Freedom Evolves wades into the modal sludge before Dennett starts talking about evolution.
   1349. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4599129)
Looks like another broken promise may be on the horizon - Washington Post: Troubled Healthcare.gov Unlikely To Fully Work By End Of November:
Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project.
. . .
Government workers and technical contractors racing to repair the Web site have concluded, the official said, that the only way for large numbers of Americans to enroll in the health-care plans soon is by using other means so that the online system isn’t overburdened. This inside view of the halting nature of HealthCare.gov repairs is emerging as the insurance industry is working behind the scenes on contingency plans, in case the site continues to have problems. And it calls into question the repeated assurances by the White House and other top officials that the insurance exchange will work smoothly for the vast majority of Americans by Nov. 30. Speaking in Dallas a week ago, President Obama said that the “Web site is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to, all right?”

Maybe people will be distracted by the holidays.
   1350. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:43 AM (#4599131)
Speaking in Dallas a week ago, President Obama said that the “Web site is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to, all right?”


I'm not a fan of that "all right?" at the end. It makes him sound super-defensive. Which I guess he might actually be, but you still don't want to sound like it.

Instead of shutting the government down, maybe Republicans should have just waited for the website to delay Obamacare on its own.
   1351. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 02:52 AM (#4599136)
. . . maybe Republicans should have just waited for the website to delay Obamacare on its own.

And worth noting that fixing the website doesn't end the ObamaCare problems if people are greeted with sticker shock when they finally access the plans & rates.
   1352. BrianBrianson Posted: November 13, 2013 at 05:12 AM (#4599140)
Isn't there any middle ground between pre-determined and random?


Yes, and it's the truth. Things are deterministic in statistical aggregate, but random in individual instances.
   1353. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 13, 2013 at 07:14 AM (#4599143)
George W. Bush was slightly underwater in the Gallup poll (negative polling 1-2% higher than his approval rating) one month before the 2004 election, not twelve. Barack Obama was 1% to 4% down two months before the 2012 election, not twelve. This stuff can have real-world consequences, but you might want to wait at least until the calendar year has a "4" in it before giving a crap.
   1354. bobm Posted: November 13, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4599156)
And worth noting that fixing the website doesn't end the ObamaCare problems if people are greeted with sticker shock when they finally access the plans & rates.

or find that their current doctor / hospital does not accept their new "better" insurance
   1355. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 13, 2013 at 08:43 AM (#4599158)
Broken record alert.

I still think 2014 will suck for Team Blue. A variety of reasons (ACA being a very small part, despite conservative wishcasting to the contrary). And 2016 will be much much better (ACA still not mattering very much) for Democrats.

That said it is way too early for the daily* Obama poll highlights and I find the gloating about ACA issues to be understandable but misguided, "you can't beat something with nothing", and nothing is what the GOP has on health care.

* Well daily on days the numbers are bad, silence other days.
   1356. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 13, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4599163)
So a minor addition to the "Free Will" discussion, involving experiments on Fruit Flies.

The device they used to test the "thinking" of Fruit Flies is pretty cool.

From the abstract
Brains are usually described as input/output systems: they transform sensory input into motor output. However, the motor output of brains (behavior) is notoriously variable, even under identical sensory conditions. The question of whether this behavioral variability merely reflects residual deviations due to extrinsic random noise in such otherwise deterministic systems or an intrinsic, adaptive indeterminacy trait is central for the basic understanding of brain function. Instead of random noise, we find a fractal order (resembling Lévy flights) in the temporal structure of spontaneous flight maneuvers in tethered Drosophila fruit flies. Lévy-like probabilistic behavior patterns are evolutionarily conserved, suggesting a general neural mechanism underlying spontaneous behavior. Drosophila can produce these patterns endogenously, without any external cues. The fly's behavior is controlled by brain circuits which operate as a nonlinear system with unstable dynamics far from equilibrium. These findings suggest that both general models of brain function and autonomous agents ought to include biologically relevant nonlinear, endogenous behavior-initiating mechanisms if they strive to realistically simulate biological brains or out-compete other agents.
   1357. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4599180)
I don't believe that is the case for Congressional Job Approval, and there is a long history of people bad-mouthing Congress while voting to re-elect their Congressperson.


Except - the reelect My congressman are the lowest on record. People aren't just bad-mouthing and hating on "congress" -- they're hating on their own congressman to a greater extent than ever.

Here's some more to consider... First of all, the individual mandate penalty isn't actually going to show up on anyone's returns until next tax season - after the 2014 midterms and when it does, the penalty will be $95 or 1% of household income... now... no one likes a tax hike, but seriously? A wave election over a 1% tax hike that kicks in only if you get health insurance? I think you need to quit smoking that tea and bag it, or whatever...

Second, the whole "keep your plan" imbroglio is actually impacting - at most - 3% of the electorate. Now... 3% is enough to swin plenty of districts... but behind the headlines, you find things are not quite so dire as the usual suspects would have you believe. I mean -- just like you can put out a casting call for Mercenaries who will swear up and down on 60 minutes that Hillary Clinton bludgeoned Chris Stevens to death, it's also easy to find the anecdotal about how Obamacare is ruining someone's life... just pay no mind to the follow-up, right? It's the conservative way...
   1358. BDC Posted: November 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4599195)
I just stopped in to see how Obama was doing in the polls this morning. Any word yet? :)
   1359. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4599196)
Sarah Palin vs Pope Francis...

Seriously considering going to mass this Sunday. This pope seems bound and determined to have me return to the flock...
   1360. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4599208)
Seriously considering going to mass this Sunday. This pope seems bound and determined to have me return to the flock...


It's a trap!
   1361. BDC Posted: November 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4599211)
It's a trap!

Our three main weapons are smiles, surprise, apparent liberalism, and … wait, four. Our four weapons are …
   1362. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4599229)
   1363. Mefisto Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4599235)
I just stopped in to see how Obama was doing in the polls this morning. Any word yet?


Obama's polling is devastating Dem hopes everywhere. Like VA.
   1364. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4599238)
Tragically 'funny' comic on Dailykos/from Tom Tomorrow...
   1365. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4599239)
   1366. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4599245)
So, under what conditions does evolution occur quickly, Morty?
   1367. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4599252)
Tragically 'funny' comic on Dailykos/from Tom Tomorrow...


Boooooooo ...

(because that's not Tom Tomorrow; were there supposed to be two links, perhaps?)
   1368. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4599258)
This is, though.

At least, it was when I pasted that in. Sometimes, I swear, BTF is such a uselessly ######-up site; good thing the same people aren't in charge of the ACA site.

Unless they are.
   1369. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4599265)
Tragically 'funny' comic on Dailykos/from Tom Tomorrow...



Boooooooo ...

(because that's not Tom Tomorrow; were there supposed to be two links, perhaps?)


My bad... Tom re-posted it... should have recognized the lack of a sunglasses wearing penguin...
   1370. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4599266)
People aren't just bad-mouthing and hating on "congress" -- they're hating on their own congressman to a greater extent than ever.

That poll seems to indicate those sentiments are shared about equally by Democrats & Republicans, so I'm not so sure that it is such good news for Team Blue. More importantly, the predictive power of Presidential Job Approval ratings for mid-term elections has been shown over many years; not so for any Congressional Job Approval Rating. Perhaps 2014 will be different, but I like the GOP chances if Obama is still at 39%.
   1371. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4599270)

That poll seems to indicate those sentiments are shared about equally by Democrats & Republicans, so I'm not so sure that it is such good news for Tram Blue. More importantly, the predictive power of Presidential Job Approval ratings for mid-term elections has been shown over many years; not so for any Congressional Job Approval Rating. Perhaps 2014 will be different, but I like the GOP chances if Obama is still at 39%.


As for me, I'll take a clear and growing lead in the generic congressional ballot...
   1372. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4599271)
Second, the whole "keep your plan" imbroglio is actually impacting - at most - 3% of the electorate.

Might be a mistake to assume that only those most directly affected by Obama's broken promise will hold it against him. I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.
   1373. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4599272)
Noted examples of evolution occurring quickly are peppered moths. In fact, I believe they are in the process of changing again. And there's this:

Guppies evolve in less than ten years

Another source on guppies

Why do you ask? Do you doubt that it happens?

Have you watched the video linked?
   1374. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4599281)
I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.


As large as the group that got twisted out of shape over the Barrycades, even?
   1375. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4599288)
Might be a mistake to assume that only those most directly affected by Obama's broken promise will hold it against him. I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.

Even if that's true, how do you balance that percentage against those who will be able to afford insurance for the first time, and who also realize that the GOP has always ignored them? These people don't seem to be entered at all in your calculations.
   1376. BrianBrianson Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4599289)
Nate Silver is not John Frum, and he will not deliver you cargo. Tracking approval ratings day to day, and trying to predict an election a year from now on that and nothing else is a fool's errand. Obsessing over daily changes within the marginal of error is also not advisable.

But I suppose waiting to see when a website will be back up is infuriating (for any website).
   1377. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4599296)
Second, the whole "keep your plan" imbroglio is actually impacting - at most - 3% of the electorate.

Might be a mistake to assume that only those most directly affected by Obama's broken promise will hold it against him. I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.


My view is that it would be a mistake to assume that the breathless, largely anecdotal driven headlines of today are going to be resonate a year from now. Just like every other supposed epoch of disaster in Obamacare, seems to me that once we get past the "news as a weapon" stage, and a more considered, careful, and broader picture emerges - things have tended to look quite different.
   1378. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4599299)
Just wondering if tshipman has seen this yet: WSJ: Confessions of a Quantitative Easer

It wasn't long before my old doubts resurfaced. Despite the Fed's rhetoric, my program wasn't helping to make credit any more accessible for the average American. The banks were only issuing fewer and fewer loans. More insidiously, whatever credit they were extending wasn't getting much cheaper. QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash.

From the trenches, several other Fed managers also began voicing the concern that QE wasn't working as planned. Our warnings fell on deaf ears. In the past, Fed leaders—even if they ultimately erred—would have worried obsessively about the costs versus the benefits of any major initiative. Now the only obsession seemed to be with the newest survey of financial-market expectations or the latest in-person feedback from Wall Street's leading bankers and hedge-fund managers. Sorry, U.S. taxpayer.


Not that it took a genius to see this coming.
   1379. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4599300)
But I suppose waiting to see when a website will be back up is infuriating (for any website).

16 months since being reinstated after a month' suspension for being naughty, this website right here still can't log me in on Mozilla, even though I've never had any problems logging in on any other website.
   1380. GregD Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4599302)
i expect Dems to lose seats in both houses next year, double digits in the House....I would be surprised if the implementation of Obamacare moved the dial on more than 2-3 tops. But I could be wrong!
   1381. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4599304)
   1382. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4599306)
My view is that it would be a mistake to assume that the breathless, largely anecdotal driven headlines of today are going to be resonate a year from now. Just like every other supposed epoch of disaster in Obamacare, seems to me that once we get past the "news as a weapon" stage, and a more considered, careful, and broader picture emerges - things have tended to look quite different.

Not that the Republicans aren't well aware of that, which is why they're trying so desperately to squeeze every last anecdote into their Obamacare sabotage machine.

Fighting to Stop an Entitlement Before It Takes Hold, and Expands
   1383. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4599310)
From Morty's very informative link in #1381, a point that's been deliberately obscured or omitted in the transmission of all those anecdotes:

The ACA cracks down on insurance rescission. It was famously difficult on the old market for people with “pre-existing conditions” to get coverage. That’s because insurance companies don’t want to cover people who are actually sick. Even healthy people generally want health insurance coverage because they might get sick. But an insurance company has no desire to actually foot the bill for a seriously ill person’s medical treatment. Hence, in the individual market the standard practice was to earn a profit selling peace of mind to healthy people, only to pivot as quickly as possible toward cancellation of the plan as soon as major bills started coming in. The ACA, rightly, puts a stop to this scam.

Since insurance companies now won’t be allowed to collect premiums while you’re healthy only to yank coverage when you get sick, they have no choice but to pre-emptively cancel plans that wouldn’t be financially beneficial to actually pay out.

That’s the story of Obamacare “victims” such as Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers, loyal Democrats aged 60 and 59 who enjoyed miraculously low premiums until the ACA ruined the party. Hammack and Brothers are certainly entitled to feel miffed about losing their apparently sweet deal. But they ought to reflect on the overwhelming likelihood that their pre-ACA circumstances were a happy illusion. They were both, by their own admission, quite healthy and thus profitable to insure. Had one of them actually fallen ill, the plan would have become a loss center for the insurer and canceled as swiftly as a pretext could be found. It’s being canceled now because under the new rules it’s now or never for the insurer. Charging premiums only to yank the policy retroactively is no longer on the table.
   1384. zonk Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4599311)
It wouldn't surprise me to see the Dems lose a few seats in the House -- but I'm just not seeing double digits...

I wouldn't bet straight up that the Dems win back the House -- the deck is too stacked against them from the 2010 redistricting (as noted before, the House Democrats clearly won more votes than House Republicans in 2012 -- to the tune of nearly 1.5 million more overall... but only picked up about half a dozen seats).

However, if someone were to give me even moderate odds? Say... 2 to 1? I think I'd probably take that bet.

I suppose if the Democrats had controlled more statehouses things would have gone in the other direction, but it does bother me that the Democrats basically need a tsunami popular vote to flip the House -- I mean, we're talking probably needing to swamp the GOP by a good 2-3 million votes nationally. The nature of the Senate -- where low population rural states already get over-represented - already compensates/acts as the cooling saucer.... the system is trending towards broken when the House reflects almost the precise opposite of the will of the populace. "Ghetto-izing" either party isn't good for democracy or the republic, but that's the situation we find ourselves in at the moment...
   1385. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4599319)
That’s the story of Obamacare “victims” such as Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers, loyal Democrats aged 60 and 59 who enjoyed miraculously low premiums until the ACA ruined the party. Hammack and Brothers are certainly entitled to feel miffed about losing their apparently sweet deal.

Not only that, but as I can attest, and I think as Jolly Old can attest, Lee and JoEllen were about to be hit with some suprises. At 60 your premiums start escalating rapidly. If I remember correctly, for me, as a self-employed person who had to buy private health insurance, it tripled between 60 and 65, For some, this itself can be catastrophic. If you are on Social Security, the tripling of your health insurance premium is no joke. And that's if you weren't dropped. Then, it used to be, good luck in finding affordable prescription drug coverage on those supplemental policies when you become entitled to Medicare. Look, you can't fault people for gaming the system as much they can--but don't pretend that's not what they're doing.
   1386. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4599321)
Might be a mistake to assume that only those most directly affected by Obama's broken promise will hold it against him. I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.

Even if that's true, how do you balance that percentage against those who will be able to afford insurance for the first time, and who also realize that the GOP has always ignored them? These people don't seem to be entered at all in your calculations.

I don't believe you can just ignore the "If you like it, you can keep it" Presidential promise and say others will benefit. The law was sold based on that promise and a promised $2500 per family average yearly savings. If, as seems likely, neither promise is fulfilled, I wouldn't expect voters to say "Oh, well, at least some people got insurance for the first time". At least not enough of them.

We are still waiting on what Obama will (belatedly) do to redeem his promise. He can't just do nothing, IMHO; that'd be disastrous politically, and we're already seeing numerous signs that Congressional Democrats don't want to follow him out on that limb. As I indicated in previous posts, there don't seem to be any policy options that address the problem in a way that Obama would seem likely to support. I'm not seeing any such proposals being offered here, either. Unless Obama comes up with a way to redeem his promise, he loses on the trust issue across the board, as well as the "competence" issue, especially if the healthcare website is problematic into 2014. That would be pretty important politically no matter how often the BBTF Head-In-The-Sand Caucus tries to shoot the messenger.
   1387. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4599332)
Not only that, but as I can attest, and I think as Jolly Old can attest, Lee and JoEllen were about to be hit with some suprises. At 60 your premiums start escalating rapidly. If I remember correctly, for me, as a self-employed person who had to buy private health insurance, it tripled between 60 and 65, For some, this itself can be catastrophic. If you are on Social Security, the tripling of your health insurance premium is no joke. And that's if you weren't dropped. Then, it used to be, good luck in finding affordable prescription drug coverage on those supplemental policies when you become entitled to Medicare. Look, you can't fault people for gaming the system as much they can--but don't pretend that's not what they're doing.

I had double digit premium increases every year in my early 60's, and when my wife and I tried to switch to Kaiser we were both turned down due to pre-existing conditions, even though for our ages (she's 15 years younger than I am) we're both (knock on wood) probably in the upper 10% of the population in terms of overall health and condition. The only Republican response to this was essentially "that's the genius of the free market, and STFU."
   1388. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4599337)
That’s the story of Obamacare “victims” such as Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers, loyal Democrats aged 60 and 59 who enjoyed miraculously low premiums until the ACA ruined the party. Hammack and Brothers are certainly entitled to feel miffed about losing their apparently sweet deal. But they ought to reflect on the overwhelming likelihood that their pre-ACA circumstances were a happy illusion. They were both, by their own admission, quite healthy and thus profitable to insure. Had one of them actually fallen ill, the plan would have become a loss center for the insurer and canceled as swiftly as a pretext could be found. It’s being canceled now because under the new rules it’s now or never for the insurer. Charging premiums only to yank the policy retroactively is no longer on the table.

Yeah, but Obama said over and over that existing policies that people liked wouldn't be cancelled and that they'd be able to "keep" them. That was a disasterous lie/mistruth. All the passage does is give the economic reasons/justifications for the cancellations, which have nothing to do with the "if you like your insurance, you'll be able to keep it" falsehood.

--The Centrist
   1389. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4599340)
the system is trending towards broken when the House reflects almost the precise opposite of the will of the populace. "Ghetto-izing" either party isn't good for democracy or the republic, but that's the situation we find ourselves in at the moment...

Republican House representation outperformed their share of the popular vote by 4.4% in 2012. Democratic House representation outperformed their share popular vote by 3.5% in 2008. So either BTF's search isn't working and I can't find all the outrage about the Democrats getting more seats than they were entitled to, or 4 seats out of 435 is the difference between "that's cool" and "major problem for democracy and the republic."
   1390. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4599347)
Yeah, but Obama said over and over that existing policies that people liked wouldn't be cancelled and that they'd be able to "keep" them.


Did he say that over and over, or did he say it once or twice and it get stuck on repeat on the cable channels? Honest question.
   1391. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4599351)
Might be a mistake to assume that only those most directly affected by Obama's broken promise will hold it against him. I suspect it will be a considerably larger group.

Even if that's true, how do you balance that percentage against those who will be able to afford insurance for the first time, and who also realize that the GOP has always ignored them? These people don't seem to be entered at all in your calculations.

I don't believe you can just ignore the "If you like it, you can keep it" Presidential promise and say others will benefit. The law was sold based on that promise and a promised $2500 per family average yearly savings. If, as seems likely, neither promise is fulfilled, I wouldn't expect voters to say "Oh, well, at least some people got insurance for the first time". At least not enough of them.


"The Promise" has two components: The real and the political.

The real part in the long run is the number of people whose premiums will actually go up after subsidies kick in. Since the website's mess has made it difficult for insurers to calculate those subsidies in many or most cases, it's impossible at this point to determine just how big that eventual number will be. Unless the screwups continue for the indefinite future, that issue will be resolved and the dust will begin to settle.

The political part is just that: political. It's real for the people who are actually being affected, but the real part is being hammered into a narrative that tries to reduce the entire ACA to one stupid and misleading talking point that affects a very small percentage of the population. It's certainly more real than "Death Panels", but how much it's going to resonate overall, once the people who are benefiting start being able to see those benefits, is another story altogether.

As for fixing it, I'd bet my last dollar that the Democratic caucus could address the "Lee and JoEllen" issue with little trouble, and to the satisfaction of all the Lees and JoEllens, but the chance that the Republicans would agree to such fixes is absolute zero. Jesus, for the past three years nearly every Republican in any position of power has been doing his damndest to try to put one roadblock after another in the path of getting us towards universal coverage. To paraphrase the Gipper: The Republicans are the problem, not the solution.
   1392. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4599364)
Say, you know who used to live and train in the Catskills? Mike Tyson! Do you know who has a new book out? Mike Tyson!

Don King was offering me a $20 million settlement in exchange for him getting to promote my fights again. I told Jackie Rowe that before we could talk about working together and settling, I wanted three things of mine that Don still had—a green Rolls-Royce, a painting that the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had given me that was supposed to be worth a lot, and the thing I was worried the most about: a drawing of me in the middle of a bunch of X-Men that Stan Lee had done.

Don called Jackie and told her that he would fly us down to Florida and put us up so we could work out a settlement. Jackie, her son, my girlfriend Luz, and I got on Don’s private jet and flew down. I packed a big block of coke and a duffel bag with a half-pound of reefer. I was doing my coke and smoking my blunts and listening to my Walkman and I was higher than the plane was when an epiphany hit me.

“This is my ############# plane. I paid for this plane. And this ############ is acting like he’s doing me a favor sending me down on my own ####### plane. This nigga is playing me.”

The drugs were playing with my head and I was freaking out and getting jealous.

Don picked us up at the private airport in his Rolls and he had Isadore Bolton, who used to be my chauffeur before he stole him from me, driving some of Don’s associates in the lead car. We were driving down to Miami from Fort Lauderdale on the I-95. Don said some innocuous thing, and all that jealousy and rage spilled out of me and I kicked him in his ####### head. Boom! You don’t turn your back on a jealous cokehead.
   1393. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4599366)
   1394. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4599367)

Did he say that over and over, or did he say it once or twice and it get stuck on repeat on the cable channels? Honest question.


Reminds me of the elder, non-wetbrained (AFAIK) Bush & "Read my lips: No new taxes."

No way Obama gets re-elected.
   1395. formerly dp Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4599370)
Morty, thanks for posting those links. I am bogged down with/behind on reading for a project right now, but have bookmarked them to go back to later.

I do tend to be a bit suspicious of neuroscientific explanations for human behavior, because in the popularization of neuroscientific research, there's often a lot of overselling that goes on-- sometime the scientists are complicit in this, and other times it's the result of sensationalistic science journalism.
   1396. BrianBrianson Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4599371)
Since insurance companies now won’t be allowed to collect premiums while you’re healthy only to yank coverage when you get sick, they have no choice but to pre-emptively cancel plans that wouldn’t be financially beneficial to actually pay out.


Indeed, it makes sense for Democrats to back a "if you like your plan, you can keep it bill" that'll put insurance companies in a position to lobby against it, rather than taking the hit themselves.
   1397. formerly dp Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4599373)
Say, you know who used to live and train in the Catskills?
Tyson spent a lot of time in Albany, IIRC. Especially at the local strip clubs.
   1398. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4599375)
Yeah, but Obama said over and over that existing policies that people liked wouldn't be cancelled and that they'd be able to "keep" them. That was a disasterous lie/mistruth. All the passage does is give the economic reasons/justifications for the cancellations, which have nothing to do with the "if you like your insurance, you'll be able to keep it" falsehood.


The following comment does not necessarily reflect the opinions or activities of my current or past employers (nor do any others that I might make) and does retread comments I've made before...

I have very mixed feelings about the whole 'but we were told people could keep their policy' bit. In many cases, the policies which are being terminated "due" to ACA are because the number of people on them is dwindling -> the administrative costs of keeping them around are too high (on a per member basis) to warrant keeping them around*. This sort of thing happens all the time, it's just that the external catalyst in this instance is federal action. It would happen absent the ACA, albeit to less people, different people, and at different times.

So, if you want to say 'since the ACA is the catalyst for this event, it is appropriate to blame plan terminations on it, therefore the POTUS and friends lied' - I get that.
If you want to say, 'the government isn't making insurers terminate plans, they're doing that out of their own self-interest / merely aren't being compelled to continue to offer coverages that they might not want to**' - I get that as well (this is closer to my own stance).



* elephant in the room is here is that I'm not addressing the profitability of those plan/member combinations absent change. It matters, but I don't think materially changes the point.
** that's the answer here, isn't it? Anything short of making insurers continue to offer a service that they formerly did - not just that, but mandate that they extend a contract that they otherwise wouldn't be compelled to - would make some people ticked off at the gov't, right? And, of course, this alternate response would anger those same people as well.

***********************************

I can't find all the outrage about the Democrats getting more seats than they were entitled to, or 4 seats out of 435 is the difference between "that's cool" and "major problem for democracy and the republic."

I think there was plenty of anti-gerrymandering sentiment then as well, though it was less vehement - probably because the left "benefited" to some extent.
I'm less worried about the shift in number of seats than in the movement away from the center in those reps that we see.
   1399. Morty Causa Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4599376)
   1400. Ron J2 Posted: November 13, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4599377)
#1392 Mike Tyson, the gift that keeps giving. Thanks for the excerpt.
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