December 21, 2008
— Ace This is actually just a work-in-progress site. It's half-done. Right now it's not used, except as an emergency back-up when the main site goes down.
The actual site is at http://www.ace.mu.nu, or aceofspadeshq.com, which will redirect there.
If you're not seeing pictures on this site, it's because it's not really working yet.
If you've posted comments and no one seems to respond -- that's because most users can't see them. Comments from the real site get posted here, but comments from here don't show up on the real site.
Basically, you should come to the real site. It looks a little crappy right now and it breaks down a lot, but this one isn't quite ready yet.
Sorry.. should have put up this notice long ago.
Note from Pixy: Posts and comments automatically sync from the old site to this new site within 60 seconds, but some authors aren't set up on the new site, and will show up as Open Blogger. We'll get those sorted out soon.
December 07, 2013
— andy Another week in Obamerica goes down the tubes ...
December 06, 2013
— Open Blogger The US Air Force band created a special moment at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC this week. Enjoy and please return to the Overnight Open Thread discussion in the previous post. H/TWeaselzippers more...
— Ace Doc Shock, indeed.
An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate, the head of the state's largest medical association said.
California offers one of the lowest government reimbursement rates in the country -- 30 percent lower than federal Medicare payments. And reimbursement rates for some procedures are even lower.
Details of the reimbursement rates omitted; check the article. Spoiler: They're quite low.
In order to hide from the public the large number of doctors refusing to participate in the system, Covered California is resorting to, get this, lying.
Only in September did insurance companies disclose that their rates would be pegged to Californias Medicaid plan, called Medi-Cal. That's driven many doctors to just say no.
They're also pointing out that Covered California's website lists many doctors as participants when they aren't.
Some physicians have been put in the network and they were included basically without their permission, Lisa Folberg said. She is a CMAs vice president of medical and regulatory Policy.
ontra Costa Medical Association.
This is a dirty little secret that is not really talked about as they promote Covered California, Waters said. He called the exchange's doctors list a shell game because the vast majority of his doctors are not participating.
Independent insurance brokers who work with both insurance companies and doctor networks estimate that about 70 percent of California's 104,000 licensed doctors are boycotting the exchange.
Covered California, on the other hand, claims 85% of doctors are participating. Someone is obviously extremely wrong here -- or extremely dishonest.
— Ace It's the Hero that the rapt fan is interested in, not the MacGuffin.
The left is just interested in the character, the Hero.
Take it away, New York Times:
WHITE HOUSE MEMO
In Obamas Book List, Glimpses of His Journey
President Obama, with his daughter Malia, buying books last weekend at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington.
By PETER BAKER
WASHINGTON President Obama has never visited the rugged mountains of Chechnya, but if he digs into one of the novels he bought last weekend, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, he will be transported to a land of unremitting violence and tragedy, where the innocent are caught up in war as often as the guilty.
Perhaps Mr. Obama is seeking a deeper understanding of the roots of the ethnic bloodletting after Chechnya vaulted back to the front pages this year with the Boston Marathon bombings. Or perhaps he is thinking about his troubled relationship with Russia.
Either way, the novel would give the president a more visceral feel for one of the worlds most brutal conflicts than the graphic intelligence papers that cross his desk.
I imagine someone in his position gets a lot of facts and figures, Anthony Marra, the author of the book, mused the other day. But the novel is really about the experience, about the psyche and the soul.
A reading list offers a rare window into the presidential mind, a peek at what a commander in chief may be thinking about beyond theprosaic and repetitive briefings that dominate his days.
Yes who cares about those repetitive boring briefings. I mean, there's nothing interesting going on, certainly, apart from the intense drama of his signature policy initiative going up in flames.
The writer claims the reading list is a "rare glimpse" into the president's mind. Just as Howard Fineman said last night that Obama's talking about his own Journey was a "rare" glimpse into a president's mind.
Obama seems to talk about this a lot, and the media seems to write about it with great intensity and interest.
I'm not sure if we can call a several-times-per-week occurrence rare.
In fact, I'm pretty sure it's the concern for Obama's actual record that's rare. The intense interest in Obama the Personality is the common thing.
The right has repeatedly belittled Obama as a "Celebrity." And indeed that is what he is. His fans are primarily interested in Barack the Man, Barack the Personality.
And not so much as Barack Obama, the executor of federal law.
Many of the nearly two dozen volumes Mr. Obama picked up at Washingtons Politics and Prose bookstore will be gifts, and certainly childrens tales like Harold and the Purple Crayon offer few lessons for dealing with Tea Party congressmen.
But even if they are given away, some of the books reflect what Mr. Obama has already read or would like to read. They are volumes about identity and reinvention, about what it means to be American, and about family, love, betrayal and redemption.
Yup-- movie themes. Book themes. Story themes.
Unlike many of his predecessors, who devoured American history and biographies, Mr. Obamas tastes lean toward the literary, in keeping with a man whose first memoir deeply explored issues of race and self.
The media's almost as interested in this Funny Little Muddle called Barack Obama as Barack Obama himself.
And here's the straight-up admission of a big Obama fan that she identifies with Obama, as fans identify with a movie's main character.
I think President Obama has really searched his soul in the way that writers do, Ms. Strayed said. I certainly, like many people, identify with Obamas journey."
The New York Times, like Chris Matthews, is not interested in policy. It is solely interested in the travails and triumphs of their Hero, Barack Obama.
— Open Blogger So here we are. Friday. Ill met in Lankhmar, we have returned from our weekly grind at the Hobo-hunt to find all our fucks have been taken from us, and so, we simply have no more to give.
Having found myself at the very summit, please allow me, Sensei krak/t, in my Obammic benefecience to enlighten you all in the way of Lettin' it Burn.
— Ace Elizabeth Warren sits on the Senate banking committee. This supplies her with the power to harass and harm banks.
A group called Third Way published a paper critical of Warren's views on banking.
Elizabeth Warren responded by demanding that banks -- which she has legislative and investigatory power over -- divulge any donations they may have made to Third Way.
Which is not about answering criticism -- it's about silencing it, scaring it off.
Timothy P. Carney notes the thuggery of Warren.
Warren sits on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. She's basically telling the entities whose livelihood her committee controls to stop criticizing her. This is bullying and it's the best argument for allowing companies and individuals to anonymously criticize politicians.
Government big enough to menace and harass its critics is bad enough.
But what makes it worse is that government is increasingly controlled by people convinced with absolute metaphysical certainty of their own intellect and righteousness -- which means that any criticism or opposition is, definitionally, contrary to the public good, and that, in turn, justifies any and all means used to squelch such malevolence.
You know what the criticism leveled at Warren was, by the way? Worries by more moderate leaning Democrats that Warren and the crusading socialists might be leading the Party into dire straits.
So of course you'd implicitly threaten people for arguing this. How dare they.
In a sign of the lefts new aggressiveness, a coalition of liberals is trying to marginalize a centrist Democratic policy group that was responsible for a Wall Street Journal op-ed article this week that said economic populism was disastrous for the party.
The coalition, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and three other liberal advocacy organizations have urged their members to contact a group of congressional Democrats who are honorary leaders of the centrist group, Third Way. It published the op-ed article on Monday contending that the liberalism of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio of New York City and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would lead Democrats over the populist cliff.
The article written by Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, and Jim Kessler, its senior vice president for policy criticizes progressives like Ms. Warren and Mr. de Blasio for opposing measures to cut costs to Social Security and Medicare.
The liberal groups campaign has already gotten results, the latest indication that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is ascendant.
While this story is noted in the media (as in this NYT article), I don't hear quite the frothy, drooley mad barking over a "coming Democratic crack-up" that I heard when the media thought the Republican Party might fracture.
Thanks to DrewM for that.
— Ace In a movie or book, "The MacGuffin" is the thing the hero wants.
Usually the villain wants it too, and their conflict over who will end up with The MacGuffin forms the basic spine of the story.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the MacGuffin is, of course, the Lost Ark. Indy wants it; the Nazis have it. This basic conflict over simple possession animates a two hour long movie.
Alfred Hitchcock noted -- counterintuitively, when you first hear this -- that the specifics of the MacGuffin don't really matter at all to a movie. He pointed out that the audience doesn't care at all about the MacGuffin. The hero in the movie itself cares, but the audience doesn't.
In one Hitchcock film, the MacGuffin was some smuggled uranium hidden in vintage wine bottles. But Hitchcock noted it didn't matter if it was uranium in wine bottles, or a fragment of a diplomatic dispatch from the Nazi high command, or a hidden murder weapon, or photographs proving a Senator's affair.
The Lost Ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark could have easily been replaced with some missing Shankara Stones from a Thuggee temple, or the Holy Grail. In fact, that's exactly what they changed the MacGuffin to in the sequels.
No audience member really cared if the Nazis wound up with the Ark of the Covenant. For one thing, the audience walked into the theater knowing, as a matter of real-world historical fact, that Adolf Hitler had not ever possessed a holy artifact of unspeakable power, and that, even if had possessed such a thing secretly, it availed him not at all, because he shot himself through the temple in a bunker as the Allied forces closed in around him in 1945.
But we cared about Indy. He was a character we liked, a character that sparked our imaginations; whether he was looting a South American burial mound (illegally, by the way!) or blowing off his students by sneaking out a back window during office hours (poor work ethic, incidentally), we rooted for him to win.
A MacGuffin only has one requirement: That it be important-sounding, so that the audience understands he hero isn't engaged in some trivial matter, but that the Stakes Are High. (Woody Allen inverted this rule in his parody espionage film What's Up Tiger Lily?, where the MacGuffin was a top-secret recipe for chicken salad.)
But an important sounding MacGuffin is just another way to increase the audience's emotional attachment to the Hero, not to the idea of possessing the MacGuffin.
And that, of course, explains all you need to know about the abnormal political situation we find ourselves in, and the Cult of Barack Obama.
For Obama's fanbois, this is not politics. This isn't even America, not really, not anymore.
This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions -- and Obama's myriad failures as an executive -- are simply incidental. They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them.
— Ace Matthews hailed Al Sharpton as having uttered the smartest thing he'd heard in five years.
Still throbbingly erect from his interview with Barack Obama (which I'm writing about, but it's a longer post), Chris Matthews was still in something of a Sex High when he spoke to MSNBC Democratic Partisan Alex Wagner.
Matthews acknowledged a point that Rev. Al Sharpton had made earlier in this broadcast where he noted that the last apartheid president, F.W. de Klerk, recognized after Mandelas release from prison that he would be ascendant and brought him into his government to facilitate that transition.
I havent heard anything as smart as what I heard Reverend Sharpton say a moment go in five years, Matthews said. The difference between the way F.W. de Klerk handled the need for change and the election democratic election of Nelson Mandela legitimate election, he was never truly elected for him to recognize his role in history which was to be a patriot at that point is so different than the way [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell handled the election of Obama.
They were willing, the McConnell people onto the far right, were willing to destroy the country in order to destroy Obama, Matthews insisted. Whereas, to succeed in a country he loved, F.W. de Klerk was willing to see it transformed to black rule so it could be done successfully so he could have his country have a better future.
The loss of Mandela and what his history is about and the key statement of why this has been so poisonous the last five years, he concluded. We have real people in this country with real power and status who have used that status of power to hurt the country so they could hurt the president.
Thats the most damming assessment Ive heard and, I think, the truest, Matthews lamented.
Sure why not.
— Ace A confident hand at the wheel of the ship of state.
Peter Schweitzer writes at Politico's Magazine:
Amid the Obama administrations endless rounds of finger-pointing and blame-shifting, scant if any attention has been paid to the amount of time and executive leadership the president personally devoted to implementing his signature legislative achievement.
Nothing frustrates me more than when people arent doing their jobs, Obama has said. So, with so much riding on the line, one would assume he held weekly, if not daily, one-on-one meetings with his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to isolate problems, challenge assumptions, apply executive pressure where needed and successfully manage a project of scale.
That did not happen, at least not according to Obamas own official White House calendar.
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis finds that from July 12, 2010, to Nov. 30, 2013, the presidents public schedule records zero one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius.
Obama did meet with Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Geithner once. That was likely about Obamacare.
There was one such meeting.
Perhaps Obama's too extraordinary to oversee large projects:
The president's closest advisers, like Valerie Jarrett, say the problem is Obama knows exactly how smart he is and has been bored to death his whole life. Hes just too talented to do what ordinary people do. He would never be satisfied with what ordinary people do. Obama says the trait he deplores most in himself is that theres a laziness in me.
Sorry it's taken so long to get up a post today. I just can't do what ordinary people do.
— Purple Avenger The Podcast talks about healthcare.gov security issues being kept under wraps so tightly by the Obama administration they won't even tell congress. This seems kinda relevant.
Cyberweapons sold to the government that are powered by glitches in popular software have opened a can of worms for citizens who increasingly are being attacked by nongovernment actors buying from the same arsenal of 85 exploits per day, according to new research...
...On any given day during the past three years, high-paying customers have had access to at least 60 vulnerabilities targeting Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and Adobe, according to an NSS Labs...more...
...The weaknesses remain unknown to the public and, therefore, unfixed for an average of 151 days...
...In the underweb, where hackers hawk illegal goods, an exploit for a system running Windows sells for up to $250,000...
— andy Bumped, and Open Thread.
Then Gabe and Drew pull back the curtain on a new segment to give you a glimpse of what every day's coblogger email group looks like as they argue with each other (over immigration. again.) while the rest of the gang tries to slip a word in edgewise. I think someone may have been killed with a trident.
They wrap up the episode with another new segment - Q&A from the Moron Mailbag.
Referenced in this episode:
- No, America Doesnt Have Too Many Banks
- Taming The Fury Of Rage: How Not To Write, Starring Slates Matt Yglesias
- Matthew Yglesias Does Not Understand Basic Accounting
Send Moron Mailbag comments to: andy+asktheblog AT aoshq DOT com.
Open thread in the comments.
— Open Blogger
- Mandela Dies, People Start Saying Stupid Things
- Obamacare: The Exodus
- Chris Matthews On Obama, "He Came Amongst Us"
- Taranto: A Walk On The Wilde Side
- Women And Young People Turning On Obamacare
- The Three Most Important Ongoing Second Amendment Cases
- A Major Reason I Never Donate Money To Colleges I Attended
- No Talk Of Affordable Healthcare In Obamacare PR Push
- Detroit And The Impact On Pension Reform
- CEO Of Colorado's Failed Healthcare Exchange Asks For A Raise And Bonus
- Sandy Hook Benefit Concert Cancelled Due To Low Ticket Sales
- Authorities Warn Of Further Crackdown On Protesters In Ukraine
- Obama, Detroit, And The New Gilded Age
- Lot Of Ice Storms Hitting The US This Week
- Could Obamacare Destroy Volunteer Fire Departments
- It's Not A Cult
- Obama's Shallow Inequality Speech And The Presidency That Might Have Been
- PA Couple Dropped From Health Coverage Still Unable To Sign Up For Obamacare
- Benedict Cumberbatch Does Dramatic Reading Of R.Kelly Lyrics
Follow me on twitter.
— Purple Avenger The challenge
Its my first class of the semester at New York University. Im discussing the evils of plagiarism and falsifying sources with 11 graduate journalism students when, without warning, my computer freezes. I fruitlessly tap on the keyboard as my laptop takes on a life of its own and reboots. Seconds later the screen flashes a message. To receive the four-digit code I need to unlock it Ill have to dial a number with a 312 area code. Then my iPhone, set on vibrate and sitting idly on the table, beeps madly.The saga of the hacks and the technology and methods they used is detailed in a 3-part series.
Im being hacked and only have myself to blame.
Two months earlier I challenged Nicholas Percoco, senior vice president of SpiderLabs...
— Gabriel Malor FRIDAY!!!
Ohio focus group made up of folks who voted for Obama last year describes Obama: overwhelmed, powerless, inexperienced and cautious.
Gallup: a majority of Americans want Obamacare slimmed down or repealed entirely.
December 05, 2013
Hoo boy this one just gives me a headache. Lt. Col Robert Bateman published an essay in Esquire in which he calls for complete gun control and ends up showing how unclear he is on the 2A and the Constitution in general.
Now Lt. Col. Bateman qualified as Airborne and a Ranger and is a military historian having written several books and taught at West Point. So he's not a nobody without any cred. Yet like so many others he gets hung up on the initial clause of the Second Amendment ("A well Regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.") and pretty much runs off the rails after that.
Fundamentally he doesn't accept the Supreme Court's Heller decision at all. His counter-argument: Well he just knows better and they're all wrong. For him the militia = the National Guard and therefore civilians have no right to own firearms.
Oh and if he were king, he has a few modest royal pronouncements in mind:
1. The only guns permitted will be the following:
- a. Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets. No 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these.
- b. Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns. Hunting with these is valid.
- c. Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds. Like I said, hunting is valid. But if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no fking reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place.
[See King Bateman is indeed a merciful and generous liege allowing people like yourselves to own something that goes bang - M.]
2. We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers. That is because I am willing to wait until you die, hopefully of natural causes. Guns, except for the three approved categories, cannot be inherited. When you die your weapons must be turned into the local police department, which will then destroy them. (Weapons of historical significance will be de-milled, but may be preserved.)
3. Police departments are no longer allowed to sell or auction weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed. (That will piss off some cops, since they really need this money. But you know what they need more? Less violence and death. By continuing the process of weapon recirculation, they are only making their jobs -- or the jobs of some other cops -- harder.)
4. We will submit a new tax on ammunition. In the first two years it will be 400 percent of the current retail cost of that type of ammunition. (Exemptions for the ammo used by the approved weapons.) Thereafter it will increase by 20 percent per year.
5. We will initiate a nationwide "buy-back" program, effective immediately, with the payouts coming from the DoD budget. This buy-back program will start purchasing weapons at 200 percent of their face value the first year, 150 percent the second year, 100 percent the third year. Thereafter there will be a 10 year pause, at which point the guns can be sold to the government at 10 percent of their value for the next 50 years.6. The major gun manufactures of the United States, less those who create weapons for the federal government and the armed forces, will be bought out by the United States of America, for our own damned good.
[Okay his lordship is a tad weak in the econ area but that doesn't mean he still doesn't know what's best for all of you]
Okaaay - I don't even know what to say at this point. I think this whole essay is clear evidence that a) some people simply don't get the whole concept of a constitutional republic b) when you leave your domain of expertise, there's no limit to the amount of stupid you can achieve, and c) under no circumstances must Robert Bateman ever be allowed even a scrap of political power. And it's also a reminder that there are some good reasons why the US is a civilian-run republic.
Update: Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal who's familiar with Bateman's previous work says he's just an academic troll:
And thus has Bateman shored up his progressive credentials one more time, and gotten the attention he so desperately wants, all at the same time. In the future, pay no attention to Mr. Bateman. Hes a publicity hound and attention seeker, and uses inflammatory and exaggerated rhetoric to evoke responses. The internet calls this a troll. Its just that hes a troll with credentials and hes an expert on everything. If you dont believe it, just ask him.more...
— Purple Avenger Mostly because you won't be seeing a doctor as often. You'll be fobbed off on people with less training.
... The opportunity exists to deliver more services and care with fewer physicians, but its not a foregone conclusion. Policy changes will be necessary to reach the full potential of team care.
That means expanding the scope of practice laws for nurse practitioners and pharmacists to allow them to provide comprehensive primary care; changing laws inhibiting telemedicine across state lines; and reforming medical malpractice laws that force providers to stick with inefficient practices simply to reduce liability risk. New payment models must reward investments in technologies that can save money in the long run. Most important, we need to change medical school curriculum to provide training in team care to take full advantage of the capabilities of nonphysicians in caring for patients...
...Innovations, such as sensors that enable remote monitoring of disease and more timely interventions, can help pre-empt the need for inpatient treatment...
Perhaps piss sniffing toilets and sewer crawling robots?
Of course they point to MA/RomneyCare as evidence that there won't be any doctor shortage.
Take Massachusetts, where Obamacare-style reforms were implemented beginning in 2006, adding nearly 400,000 people to the insurance rolls. Appointment wait times for family physicians, internists, pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists, and even specialists like cardiologists, have bounced around since but have not appreciably increased overall, according to a Massachusetts Medical Society survey.Curiously in 2006 Massachusetts had the highest per-capita concentration of doctors in the country, 462/100k...compared to Idaho, at the bottom with 169/100k. Having 2.7X more doctors available might just, maybe, kinda, sorta have had something to do with that, although I'm probably way out on a limb with such wild fact based speculation.
— CAC A very lazy piece, but since everybody's already writing about the races, it is long overdue. So here's where the Senate races stand right now:
Obama, Get This, Eulogizes Mandela By Injecting Himself Into His Life
— Ace Obama's remarks on Mandela were largely about how Mandela had inspired him. How the first political event Obama attended was an Anti-Apartheid rally. Observers of Obama know, of course, that Obama feels a life isn't validated or worthy unless Obama can somehow connect himself to it.
But even worse than that was the quotation Obama chose to honor Mandela with. It just so happens that this quotation is perfectly aligned with Obama's current political narrative: I screwed up, but I'm going to keep on working until I get this fixed.
So here's what Obama deemed to be the most important quotation of Mandela's life:
"I'm not a saint, unless your definition of a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying."
That's not Mandela's most important quote.
That's the Mandela quote that's most politically useful to Obama.
But to Obama, these are the same thing.
Not Very Hard to Predict The Actions of an Evil Dullard:
actually Obama does have a staged propaganda photo of a "private" sojourn in Nelson Mandela's cell. We should see that rereleased soon.— SquatchPride69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) December 5, 2013
Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela. pic.twitter.com/4qlqsXLp6e— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 5, 2013
That's the photo I was talking about-- the staged White House propaganda photo of a supposedly "private" visit by the First Family to Mandela's old cell.
Odd how many of these "private" moments are used for public propaganda, eh?
— JohnE. Something has been bugging me about the administration's very careful and coordinated media push earlier this week about both the website and enrollment.
For starters, the website is still not in any sort of working order. It might not be coughing up as many errors and may be a little more navigable, but it's still failing at its stated purpose. The website is supposed to be a place you can easily sign up for an account, shop for available plans and then actually enroll. This isn't happening. Insurers are still complaining about being sent faulty data and the administration is quietly encouraging people to work directly with insurance companies, bypassing the system entirely.
But the word went out and it was covered in the media. The website has seen a vast improvement.
The rollout of the program through a government website, HeathCare.gov, has been plagued by technical problems since it was launched two months ago. But the White House said on Saturday after an intensive overhaul of the website that it was now working at an acceptable level.In addition to this miraculous turnaround, we were also given enrollment numbers for two days: Sunday, November 30th and Monday, December 1st.
What does two days worth of "enrollment data" give you? Well, it just happens to give you a "rate of enrollment", which can then be conveniently extrapolated over the coming open enrollments months. Watch how the National Journal does this:
Enrollment is still substantively behind schedule, and the administration has a lot of work to do to make up for lost time. The broken website effectively shaved two months off the six-month enrollment window, and enrollment in October was only 20 percent of the administration's initial expectations.Politico does it too:
The administration expects 7 million people to sign up, nationwide, by the end of the six-month enrollment window. Signing up 29,000 people every two days would still not be enough to hit that target, but it's a significant step in the right direction for the White House.
The sharp increase in the pace of enrollments could begin to allay one of the industrys other major fears that after a two-month delay in standing up a functioning website, the administration wont enroll enough people or the right mix of people by the March 30 deadline.Isn't it interesting that the two days they targeted for the "fixes" to be completed also happen to be the same two days they have accurate enrollment data. This comes only a month or so after Kathleen Sebelius testified that accurate data wasn't going to be available in real-time.
"I want to give you reliable, confirmed data from every state and from the federal marketplace. We have said that we will do that on a monthly basis, by the middle of the month. You will have that data, but I don't want to turn over anything that is not confirmed and reliable, and that's what we'll do."But now she has access to two days of data right away. You'll notice since this "source who is familiar with the program" (who is never named) confirmed this two days worth of enrollment data, it's been radio silence. Dead air. They're now back to touting web traffic metrics like pageviews again. So, what are we left with? A "vastly improved" website and an "enrollment surge" based on two days worth of data.
So, here's my theory. These 29,000 new enrollees over those two website deadline days was not a spike in enrollment; they were the backlogged November enrollments that had gotten caught in this data communications black hole. The information was fixed and these people were then formally enrolled over these two days. Boom, there's your enrollment spike.
Politico all but makes my case for me:
About 29,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on Sunday and Monday a figure that surpasses the total for the whole month of October, an official familiar with the program told POLITICO.Little odd, right? This administration is in desperate need of a win. The chances of a technical win at this point was a pipe dream given how far behind they were. All that was left was a media win, and for the most part, they got it. Improved website and surging enrollment.
The quickened pace of enrollments came as the White House hit its self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to fix the troubled Affordable Care Act website.
We'll see what happens later in the month. If I'm right, this will all catch up with them. If there is one thing we've seen from this bungled operation is that they're panicked and will gladly trade a long-term loss for an immediate short-term win. Just get through today's news cycle. I could be wrong, of course. It's just a theory of mine. But it all does seem convenient.
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