October 8, 2013

Sebelius to Ignorant Jon Stewart: Obamacare Exchanges Provide the ‘First Online Mall’

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:26 pm

While a great deal of attention has deservedly been given to Kathleen Sebelius’s refusal to directly answer comedian Jon Stewart’s question about why Obamacare’s individual mandate was not been deferred until 2015 like the employer mandate was, at least one of her other comments about the wonders of government-controlled marketplace has been ignored, and shouldn’t be.

Her supposedly expert observation, staring at about the 4:35 mark of the video found here (HT Hot Air): “People who have been waiting for a long time finally have a market to choose from.” … “You can also then figure out if your doctor’s in the plan that you want, if the network of hospitals is in the plan you want, what kind of drugs you take, is that in the plan you want. You’ve never been able to do that before.” She took it further, saying that if you tried to shop around for insurance companies, “You would never know what’s there. You might deal with one agent, one broker. …” Stewart asked, “So this is the first mall?” Sebelius answered, “You bet.” What horse manure.


USAT’s Tim Mullaney (‘HealthCare.gov is an out-of-the-box success’) Responds to My Criticism

UPDATE: I’m going to consider treating my response to Mullaney as a column.

(Capsule: Reader are welcome to comment on Tim Mullaney’s BizzyBlog comment.)

On Friday afternoon, USA Today published Tim Mullaney’s review of HealthCare.gov.

His headline: “HealthCare.gov a winner despite glitches”

His evaluation: “HealthCare.gov is an out-of-the-box success” in having “well-priced insurance, clearly explained.”

I strongly criticized his review on Saturday (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters).

Mullaney (tmullaney@usatoday.com) responded in a comment at BizzyBlog very early this morning, which I am reproducing here with paragraph breaks added by me:

No one said the serious part of the glitches would last two months. (Todd Park promised significant improvements by early this week, which so far looks oversold).

As for the serious part of your question, yes, it happened in 1996 to AOL for the better part of 1-2 weeks. They then went from half a million clients to 26M by 2000. Amazon had significant problems as well early on. Overstock had massive performance issues during a software upgrade in 05 or 06.

Netflix lost two-thirds of its shareholder value in the ancient times of, oh, 2011. And Priceline lost 99% of its value in 1999-2000, but is a 500-bagger since.

So yes, e-commerce companies come back from all manner of disasters, and pretty commonly. Now, were you actually interested in an answer to your question?


I’m going to reply in detail later today.

Anyone who has their own reaction is welcome to provide one in this post’s comments. They’re moderated, but I will see them, and will clear them after I do.

If you’d rather be completely anonymous you can email me directly.

Career Planning Advice For Criminals: Apply for a Job with the State of Illinois

Filed under: Business Moves,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:32 am

Never let it be said that yours truly doesn’t try to be helpful to those who are trying to enhance their employment prospects.

Today’s tip comes from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and State Rep LaShawn K. Ford:

Governor Bars State From Asking Job Applicants About Felony Records

Illinoisans with a felony on their records will no longer be asked about their criminal past when they apply for state jobs.

Promoting the decision to what he calls “Ban the Box,” State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) says the governor’s administrative order doesn’t mean private employers will be required to hire ex-cons. It simply means applications for state government jobs will no longer include a box indicating whether an applicant has pled guilty, or been convicted of a criminal offense, other than a minor traffic violation.

So the first element of advice is: “If you’ve been convicted of a felony and need work, go to Illinois and apply for a state job.” (Yes, I know that the state reserves the right to still do a criminal background check. But they don’t have to, and the guess here is that they usually won’t, except for jobs with obvious financial exposure; in reality, almost every job held by someone with criminal intent financially exposes an employer.)

Now here’s a more targeted situation:

As for himself, the lawmaker (Ford) says he anticipates federal bank fraud charges against him –- unrelated to his service in the General Assembly -– being tossed out of court soon.

So it turns out that Ford’s advocacy will potentially benefit him. If he’s convicted of bank fraud, he’ll be able to apply for an Illinois state job without having to reveal his criminal past.

So the second career planning idea is this: “If you’re a former politician with a criminal past and need work, go to Illinois and apply for a state job.”

As a Buckeye State resident, I’ll add the following to both career planning tidbits: “especially if you currently live in Ohio.”

NewsBusted (100813)

Filed under: NewsBusted — Tom @ 8:49 am

Here we go:

- Poverty Rate
- News Networks
- Obamacare
- Hillary Clinton
- Tea Party
- Ted Turner
- Democrat Politicians
- IPCC global warming
- Al Qaeda twitter

Best Lines:

  • “19 percent of healthcare professionals say they think Americans will die earlier because of Obamacare. That’s sad. They won’t even be able to spend all the money they’re borrowing from their grandkids.”
  • “The IRS can’t account for $67 million missing from an Obamacare slush fund. Hey, just tell them a Tea Party group has the money. Obama will have them get on it right away.”
  • “Speaking at woman’s conference, Ted Turner said that men should be banned from office for 100 years. Well, at least then Democrat politicians won’t be able to harrass women and still claim to be feminists.”

Latest PJ Media Column (”Ayes’ Wired Shut: GOP Must Hold Line on Mandate Delay’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Thursday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100813)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Catholics in Hiroshima mark 90th diocesan anniversary

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Hiroshima, Japan:

Catholics in Hiroshima mark 90th diocesan anniversary

Oct 8, 2013 / 02:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Hiroshima is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with programs for spiritual renewal, a focus on priestly vocations, and an effort to draw attention to local martyrs.

“Our series of faith renewal programs has boosted devotion, in reaffirming our life and renewal during the Year of Faith,” Fr. Harada, chancellor of the Hiroshima diocese, told CNA Oct. 2.

In May, Bishop Thomas Maeda of Hiroshima announced at an annual Mass in memory of the Tsuwano martyrs that he was initiating the diocesan phase of the cause for their canonization.

The Tsuwano martyrs were killed for their faith in the town of Tsuwano, around 90 miles west of Hiroshima, between 1603 and 1912. In the years following 1868, 36 Japanese Catholics died in exile at Tsuwano, locked in small cages, though they were reportedly comforted by a Marian apparition.

Every year, the people of the Hiroshima now undertake a “walking pilgrimage” with a Marian statue to the top of the hill where the Tsuwano martyrs were executed, Fr. Hattari, head of the local organization Apostles of Peace, related to CNA.

This year, the statue of Our Lady of Tsuwano, as well as one of Our Lady of Fatima, will tour various parishes of the diocese to commemorate both the Year of the Faith and the diocesan anniversary, returning to the cathedral Nov. 24 for the Year of Faith’s closing Mass.

“We pray during the Year of Faith especially for vocations to the priesthood in each parish,” Fr. Hattari emphasized. …

Go here for the rest of the story.