Oct
31
2013
5

Flash flooding in Austin, TX.

Prayers for the folks caught up in this.

One man was killed as heavy rains across Central Texas swelled rivers and creeks and triggered flash flooding Thursday, prompting dozens of rescues across a region that’s been dealing with a long, punishing drought.

About 10 miles south of Austin, one frightening rescue involved a couple whose SUV was swept away by floodwaters. They were forced to cling to trees for hours until a helicopter rescued them on Halloween morning.

In all, the National Weather Service said, more than a foot of rain fell across Texas’ midsection, including up to 14 inches in Wimberley, southwest of the state capital.

For those wondering: yeah, Steve Jackson is in Austin; and, yeah, his house was totaled. He’s fine, but he’s going to need a new house.

Moe Lane

Oct
31
2013
1

So, HHS actually *has* #Obamacare enrollment numbers?

So it would seem:

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson is out with documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee from the Department of Health and Human Services. A few interesting facts — there were only six (yes, six) enrollments on HealthCare.gov on day one, and only about 250 by the end of day two.

But that’s not the most interesting part. The most interesting part is that the Obama administration is in fact receiving a daily update on enrollments — and there’s no reason they can’t share the numbers.

(more…)

Oct
31
2013
14

Charles C.W. Cooke eviscerates phony libertarian Virginia governor candidate Robert Sarvis.

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: while I am friendly to a lot of libertarian ideas, I am not hard-shelled about it. I am no Lsyander Spooner or Benjamin Tucker.  But I do know enough about the subject to know that, say, I was name-dropping some of the old-time thinkers there that the modern anarcho-capitalists like. In other words: I at least know what a modern Libertarian looks like.

I dunno if Robert Sarvis can say the same. (more…)

Oct
31
2013
7

Remember: the average person is not a stone-cold politics junkie. #obamacare

Sorry to make this all Obamacare, all the time lately: but Megan McArdle’s point here is really, really important.

We forget that when millions of people hear the president say that “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” and “premiums will fall by $2,500 for the average family,” they don’t listen with a wry smile. They don’t write it off as understandable hyperbole from a president who is working to pass a great law with a few flaws. They don’t think this speech means “I care about getting the best insurance for as many people as possible.” They think it means “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” and “premiums will fall by $2,500 for the average family.” If they didn’t think it meant that, they might not have supported the law.

That gap matters — not least because there’s a strong risk that when the people outside Expertopia finally figure out what everyone knew all along, they will turn on the people who allowed all that tacit knowledge to stay tacit. That’s what Democrats are now experiencing. It’s kind of surprising, in fact, that not everyone knew this was going to happen.

(more…)

Oct
31
2013
5

Yes, the GOP saw the #obamacare crackup coming. No, we didn’t crack up, ourselves.

I want to be clear on this statement by John Dickerson about how both the utterly disastrous rollout and the unconscionably interfering provisions of Obamacare validated Republican warnings about the law (not that Dickerson had quite enough nerve to admit to Slate readers that we were right, and Obama was wrong):

It’s not just that Republicans benefit when the president’s signature legislation falters. This debate over his initial claim lends credibility to their longstanding opposition to the law. House Speaker John Boehner’s office quickly provided reporters with a quotation from the GOP weekly radio address from September 2009, delivered by Rep. Tom Price: “On the stump, the president regularly tells Americans that ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.’ But if you read the bill, that just isn’t so. For starters, within five years, every health care plan will have to meet a new federal definition for coverage—one that your current plan might not match, even if you like it.” A key critique of the Republican Party’s recent attempt to defund Obamacare was that it was a strategy born of limited vision. They couldn’t see that it was doomed to fail spectacularly. Four years ago, with the Affordable Care Act, they saw this moment coming.

(more…)

Oct
31
2013
12

Quote of the Day, Better Late Than Never, I Suppose edition. #obamacare

Politico:

 Since the Affordable Healthcare Act was introduced in 2009, Republicans have dismissed President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise that anyone who liked their insurance plan would be able to keep it.

[snip]

For years, the media turned a blind eye to conservatives’ insistent warnings, often taking the president’s promise for granted. But this week, as health insurance cancellation letters started showing up in Americans’ mailboxes and the website roll-out flopped, the GOP message finally broke into the mainstream.

This is annoyingly correct. I mean, I’ve been telling people that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” was a lie since 2011.  Most of the people that I work with in this thing we do knew it, too.  We’ve been banging this drum for a long time.

On the bright side: turns out that the GOP leadership actually, you know, might have been listening for once.  They’ve certainly been quick to jump on this…

Oct
31
2013
15

#Obamacare is holding a gun to the collective head of 93 million insurance policies.

This is… bad.

Background: Jay Carney, speaking as  White House Press Secretary (notice how all of the administration’s official Obamacare cheerleaders are loyal partisans, instead of respected policy wonks?) tried to argue that Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” lie would only turn around to bite people people in the individual insurance market.  Not so fast, says Avik Roy:

Contrary to the reporting of NBC, the administration’s commentary in the Federal Register did not only refer to the individual market, but also the market for employer-sponsored health insurance.

[snip]

“The Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013,” wrote the administration on page 34552. All in all, more than half of employer-sponsored plans will lose their “grandfather status” and get canceled. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 156 million Americans—more than half the population—was covered by employer-sponsored insurance in 2013. (more…)

Oct
30
2013
--

“Kidnap The Sandy Claws.”

Oh, I can’t wait.

Kidnap The Sandy Claws, Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride are easily my two favorite Tim Burton movies; I look forward to when my kids are just a little bit old and can watch them with me. I should put this one and the next one up tomorrow… but, again, I can’t wait.

Oct
30
2013
11

For all of your “Explain to folks how bad Sebelius was today” needs. #obamacare

The NRCC went ahead and created a useful list called the “7 Most Ridiculous Things Kathleen Sebelius Said At Today’s Hearing:” there were more than seven, of course, but these were particularly… well, ‘good’ is not really the right term, eh? Anyway, this one’s my favorite:

2. “The website never crashed.”

“We were anxious to get the website up and running and functional, which we clearly have failed to do to date, although I would suggest the website has never crashed,” Secretary Sebelius testified about HealthCare.gov.

Really? What about the woman who tried every day for 23 days to log onto the website? And what about the fact that although HealthCare.gov did indeed crash just days before the October 1 launch, you decided to proceed with the rollout anyway?

(more…)

Oct
30
2013
2

Kathleen Sebelius, in fifteen seconds. #obamacare #whatever

Yeah, this is how it went.

Via

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