I simply cannot.
“Great news, Moe: We’re already getting reports in from Maryland, and it looks like a lot of your friends and neighbors are voting.”
OK, let’s set the scene:
[Lynne] Messinger said she spoke to a clerk at the desk, and explained that she had a California driver’s license. She has houses in both California and Texas and goes back and forth between the two, but decided several years ago to switch her voting residency to Texas.
The clerk left for a few minutes, then told her to take a seat. At that point, Messinger said, a state trooper summoned her into his back office, saying he needed to speak to her. Once inside his office, Messinger said the trooper insisted on seeing all the documentation she had brought, and demanded to know where she lives and pays taxes. He even told her she could be jailed for driving with a California license.* It is illegal to drive in Texas on another state’s driver’s license 90 days after moving into the state.
I should note that I have no personal knowledge that this is going on…
A Maryland Congressman says subpoenas are being issued in a federal investigation into Maryland’s health exchange. He believes there was fraud in the system that cost taxpayers millions but didn’t work right at the start.
Congressman Andy Harris says there appears to be evidence of fraud. He is Maryland’s only Republican in Congress and has fought Obamacare. But this investigation—if it’s happening—is being conducted by what is supposed to be a non-political government agency.
And oh, my, but Maryland Democrat Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is. This is the first ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan:
If you need a primer on why Lt. Governor Brown is incompetent, one can be found here. Executive summary: the Maryland Obamacare exchange was an utter disaster. And I don’t use the term ‘utter disaster’ lightly: we’re talking about almost $126 million being spent on a state exchange that didn’t work and had to be replaced. And, in case you’re wondering: the replacement is scheduled to cost at least $43 million more dollars of my tax money. Three guesses if that project is going to come in under budget, and the first two don’t count. (more…)
Because the Democrats are on-track to nominate the guy most responsible for utterly wrecking their state Obamacare exchange.
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has strengthened his lead in the fiercely contested Democratic primary for governor and enters the campaign’s final two weeks with a 2-1 advantage over his closest competitor, according to a new poll for The Baltimore Sun.
In the Republican race, businessman and activist Larry Hogan is running well ahead of his three opponents, the poll found.
Two things about this:
Spring is here. pic.twitter.com/KbdH1Z5NJu
— Moe Lane (@moelane) April 16, 2014
The video itself is of interest (short version: local Maryland supermarket won’t hire more people, thanks to Obamacare):
…but it’s this screen shot from the clip that makes me feel all warm, fuzzy, and productive:
Well, isn’t that cozy.
Background: this is from a 2009 judgement by the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals on an appeal by tech firm Accenture alleging a most traditional conflict of interest in a job bid process (a process that Accenture lost, and a firm called ACS won): “According to Appellant, [then-Chief Information Officer for the Maryland Department of Human Resources] Ms. [Isabel] FitzGerald is married to a Mr. Paul FitzGerald who Accenture claims “is a Principal at the firm Deloitte, LLP, and ACS identified Deloitte as a subcontractor for ACS on this procurement.”” Turns out that the appeals court didn’t buy that argument. OK.
Now let us fast forward to 2014. The existing Maryland state exchange is collapsing, and the state is desperate to salvage what they can from the wreck: “…the board overseeing Maryland’s health exchange voted unanimously Tuesday to ask federal officials for their approval — and $40 million to $50 million more in funding — to hire Deloitte Consulting to replicate its work on the exchange in Connecticut.” And, yes, Mr. Fitzgerald is still at Deloitte. And where is Mrs. Fitzgerald? Still the MD DHR CIO?
Over a hundred million dollars’ worth of tax money – partially my tax money – down the drain: “Maryland officials are set to replace the state’s online health-insurance exchange with technology from Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, according to two people familiar with the decision, an acknowledgment that a system that has cost at least $125.5 million is broken beyond repair.” – This comes two months after Lt. Governor Anthony Brown refused to apologize for the poor behavior of the state exchange, and the O’Malley exchange promised that no replacement was forthcoming. Guess even a Maryland Democratic politician will notice a brick wall after he’s walked into it a couple of times, eh?
And don’t think that the money hemorrhage has stopped, either! No, now the state of Maryland has to set up a new database, make sure that it is in compliance with Maryland state regulations – not Connecticut’s – make sure that it actually works… and, oh yes, reintegrate the existing database records with the new ones. Because there are almost 50,000 people in the old system, and if Maryland isn’t careful all of those people will probably lose their healthcare, at least temporarily. …Oh, Shorter Moe Lane: Database conversions are Hell. On. Earth. Here’s your accordion. (more…)
I’m having real difficulty interpreting this as anything except legislators allowing their existing fears of The Demon Tobacco to turn into religious mania.
Only four states — New Jersey, Utah, Arkansas and North Dakota — have passed legislation banning the use of e-cigarettes in public places.
Now, Maryland lawmakers are weighing a measure that would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes wherever traditional cigarettes are banned.
The bill, sponsored by Delegate Aruna Miller, D-Montgomery, would place e-cigarettes under the definition of “smoking” in the Maryland Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007.
This Washington Post article starts bad for the O’Malley administration…
More than a year before Maryland launched its health insurance exchange, senior state officials failed to heed warnings that no one was ultimately accountable for the $170 million project and that the state lacked a plausible plan for how it would be ready by Oct. 1.
Over the following months, as political leaders continued to proclaim that the state’s exchange would be a national model, the system went through three different project managers, the feuding between contractors hired to build the online exchange devolved into lawsuits, and key people quit, including a top information technology official because, as he would later say, the project “was a disaster waiting to happen.”
…and it never particularly gets any better for them, either. One reads this article with mixed emotions: on the one hand, it describes an unmitigated disaster that ended in screaming, wild accusations, ongoing lawsuits, and quite a lot of pain for quite a lot of innocent people*. On the other hand? I didn’t do it. Heck, I am one of the people who told them that the sites weren’t going to work. (more…)
Alternative title: why must you do this to me democrats i dont even my pain fills the stars
Marylanders who use the federal health reform site to search for navigators who can help them enroll in health plans in-person are getting directed to agencies in other states.
…Which is nice of Maryland, given the way that Gov. Martin O’Malley* and the rest of his Democratic krew have utterly [expletive deleted] up the state exchange already. And note the tense: this is happening right now. Your guess is as good as mine as to when, or if, it gets fixed.