Are Obamacare’s Federal Exchanges Practically Empty?

Healthcare.govHealthcare.govObamacare’s second day of exchange enrollment  didn’t go much better than the first. The state-based exchanges were once again plagued by delays and glitches, but the biggest problems seemed to remain concentrated in the 36 exchanges being managed by the federal government. Officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that their system was still overloaded with an unexpectedly high volume of web traffic—4.7 million visits during the first 24 hours of enrollment.

But what they are still not saying is how many people actually managed to sign up for coverage within the federal exchanges. That data, they say, may be ready next month. But given widespread reports of problems with account creation and enrollment on those exchanges, it seems possible that the number of people who have enrolled so far is very, very small. In fact, it’s not clear that any reporter has managed to encounter one yet at all.

The head of a “navigator” program intended to assist people with enrolling in Wisconsin’s federal exchange, for example, told The New York Times today that to his knowledge, not one of the people his organization tried to sign up made it through the system.

A spokesperson of an enrollment assistance program in Kansas, which also has a federally facilitated exchange, told Kaiser Health News that  "We have not been able to get to see any insurance plans in Kansas.”

In the same report, multiple enrollment assistance workers in Florida said that they had not been able to enroll a single person through the online system. "We have been trying to get online virtually nonstop since 5 a.m. Tuesday and have not been able to," John Foley, who oversees a navigator program in Palm Beach, said to KHN. (A previous New York Times report also reported on one enrollment center that was unable to enroll a single person.) Enrollment aides in Texas and Mississippi also told KHN that they have not been able to fully complete a single application.

The NYT also reported enrollment trouble in Texas' federal exchange:

“We haven’t gotten anyone all the way through the process,” said Tim McKinney, president and chief executive of United Way of Tarrant County, in Texas, which has one of the nation’s biggest teams of enrollment counselors. “Yesterday, we were completely frozen out. Today, some of our navigators were able to at least get into the system, but they can’t get very far into it.”

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.gov

The KHN report does find a spokesperson for an enrollment assistment program in Virginia who says that a small number of people were successfully enrolled in the state's federal exchange early this morning. 

But Virginia is the only state with a federally run exchange in which that report finds a successful online enrollment in a federal exchange. Neither report includes an interview with an individual who has enrolled. 

Indeed, it appears that as of this afternoon, no reporter had yet to interview any individual who has successfully completed enrollment through a federally run exchange. Sarah Kliff, a health policy reporter for The Washington Post, said on Twitter late this afternoon that she was so far unable to find anyone who had enrolled in one, and seemed to suggest that no other health reporter had been able to find such an individual either.  

Combine this with the federal officials’ unwillingness to release any enrollment numbers whatsoever, and you have to wonder if enrollment in the federally run exchanges is exceedingly low so far—especially when Obamacare’s administrators and spokespeople have been so quick to tout high, and specific, web traffic numbers as a sign of success. Federal officials say that some unknown number of people have enrolled in federal exchanges. Presumably those individuals who will surface eventually, perhaps even quite soon. But right now, they seem to be strikingly difficult to find.

Update: A previous version of this post said that The New York Times reported successful enrollments in Virginia's federally run exchange. That passage no longer appears in the NYT piece.

The New York Times report linked in the post above originally stated that Jill Hanken of Enroll Virginia told the NYT that some Enroll Virginia staffers were able to help people get coverage. As of 9:15 p.m., the report no longer includes any mention of Hanken, nor does it include any update. A mention of Hanken in the article still appears in a Google search however:

GoogleGoogle

I've updated the post accordingly. This now means that there is even less reported evidence of individuals having successfully enrolled in Obamacare's federal exchanges. 

Update 2: I asked NYT reporter Abby Goodnough, one of the reporters on the piece, about the changes. She responded on Twitter, saying that "Web stories often change over the course of the day as we update our reporting and add new info." I asked about the reason why Hanken in particular was edited out of the story, and she said, "I'm sure there was no specific reason. We'll keep looking for people who have successfully enrolled." 

Update 3: And we have a winner! On Twitter, Peter Frost, a health care business reporter with the Chicago Tribune, says he's confirmed with one individual who successfully purchased coverage on the federally run exchange in Illinois. 

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  • Almanian!||

    It's OK! We'll make more!

  • JWatts||

    In case you need to reach Healthcare.gov for any questions the number is: 1-800-318-2596

    https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/questions-call-us/

    Or if you can't remember the numbers, just dial:

    1-800-F1UCK-YO

  • jolieena||

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  • Tman||

    They had THREE. FUCKING. YEARS.

    There is not a single healthcare agency or insurer who would last through a single fiscal quarter if it took them more than a year to design a site similar to the Exchange sites.

    No one hear needs a reminder about how useless the government is, but those not normally libertarian inclined are watching the rollout and starting to ask themselves the same thing.

    Three Years? And this is it?

  • ||

    Dude, the government's stunning incompetence is the only reason we aren't living 1984 right now. Be glad of it. Embrace it. Because you do not want to see what an efficient, overarching government looks like.

    Is it better or worse that they haven't been able to get these running? I'd say it's better.

  • SusanM||

    It's a far less cooler Brazil we're heading for.

  • ||

    What did you say your last name was again, Susan? Was it Buttle...or Tuttle?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I have to admit that I've never been able to stay awake for the entire movie. :/

  • ||

    That's a shame. It's a great movie and the end is quite fucked up. The first time I ever saw it I was too stoned to remember I even saw it and had to watch it again.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I've seen the ending. I just haven't been able to stay awake all the way through. And I'm pretty sure I know the difference between the theatrical and director's cut. The latter being darker as it is a Gilliam movie.

  • wingnutx||

    It's a beautiful movie, and you definitely want the director's cut.

  • Tman||

    "Is it better or worse that they haven't been able to get these running?

    That's a good question. And I agree with you that the sheer incompetence of the Govt is really the only thing stopping us from 1984. When I was a wee lad and went through my conspiracy phase what led me out was the realization that none of these group were competent enough to pull off the conspiracies of which they were accused.

    But this example is even more surprising than I thought. Three fucking years, and the drop down boxes don't even work? Really?

    I'm not giving the incompetence enough respect I suppose.

  • ||

    I think that the incompetence is orders of magnitude more than we can possibly imagine, and we already have a terrible opinion of government. I think if you or I were able to just see the operations of whatever department(s) were supposed to implement this, without obfuscation and from a ground level, we would be astonished. Like, gobsmacked "how can this be" blown away astonished.

    It only makes sense that a government that has grown massively over recent years, sucking up all the powers it could, would also be incredibly incompetent and disorganized. How does someone manage such a monster? You don't.

    But that's a saving grace, at least.

  • Rich||

    How does someone manage such a monster? You don't.

    And this puppy is *just getting started*.

    When will the panic set in? I predict February

  • Tman||

    Reminds me of why Sowell stopped being a Marxist.

    "TheDC: I read that you identified yourself as a Marxist in your college days. What prompted your change in ideology?


    TS: I was a Marxist I guess for a decade from about the time I was 20 to 30 roughly. What changed my mind was not anything I had read. I was a Marxist when I went into Milton Friedman’s course at [the University of] Chicago and I was a Marxist when I came out of it.

    What changed me was working as an economic intern in the government in 1960 and discovering what the government bureaucracies were like in terms of their motivations and how they do their job. I immediately realized government is not the answer. Life taught me. I think that is true for most people.

    Most of the leading conservatives were not conservatives when they were young. Milton Friedman was a liberal, he even described himself in his autobiography as Keynesian in his thinking. Friedrich Hayek was a socialist. Ronald Reagan was so far left that the FBI was keeping an eye on him. So you run through the list — of course the whole neoconservative movement was on the left initially. And the same thing happened in Europe and elsewhere. A lot of the indoctrination that takes place in educational institutions begin to erode when people get into the real world and start thinking for themselves."
  • Rhywun||

    Huh, I did not know that about Sowell. We are certainly richer for him having seen the light.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Jesus...and he changed his opinion in the 60's, when newer bureaucracies like NASA were arguably competent due to their youngish staffs initially vetted by the private-sector.

  • Rhywun||

    My company manages to sign up hundreds of new customers a day using a web-based platform bought off the shelf for a couple mil and customized by a couple hundred Indians plus a few US-based senior-level manager types. It did take a couple years and it's still not perfect but it does work well enough. I wonder how many bazillions of dollars we've spent on the fed exchanges.

  • SweatingGin||

    These were built custom, by companies setup just for this purpose, I believe (run by Dem doners? nah, can't be that cynical).

    Although this shows they weren't able to get many people who had built big systems before.

    I for one can't wait for a white paper/case study on the architecture behind the exchanges. I haven't snooped around even to check out the language. I'm thinking PHP or ASP, though.

  • ||

    I have a very confident feeling that looking at the spaghetti code behind these exchanges would be worse than gazing into hell, or into Warty's anus. It will probably have the ability to drive people mad.

    There are some extremely terrible coders out there, and a lot of them work for the government. It does not surprise me in the slightest that these weren't done on time and don't work right. In fact, I expected it.

  • Carolynp||

    My dad worked on the Oregon version. He never talks about it, but comes home with his eyes crossed muttering to himself.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm thinking PHP or ASP, though.

    Ten-year-old technology seems too recent for a fedgov project. I dunno, is there a FORTRAN or COBOL web stack...?

  • SweatingGin||

    Rails, actually, it looks like.

  • robc||

    Rails, actually, it looks like.

    **shudder**

    But, really, it shouldnt be that hard to get this working with Rails.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    You can write PHP in any language.

  • Sevo||

    "(run by Dem doners? nah, can't be that cynical)."

    Solyndra!
    I can.

  • SweatingGin||

    I'm in a generous mood, this government shutdown is like Christmas every day.

  • Sevo||

    "I'm in a generous mood, this government shutdown is like Christmas every day."

    I'm hoping that folks are beginning to notice the major effect is guards keeping them out of national parks.
    I'm not confident; I'm hoping...

  • CatoTheElder||

    This is what happens when your Chief Technology Officer has a degree in "public policy" and has only worked as a bureaucrat and as a politician.

    Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the United States

    And, yes, that was really his title.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I'm thinking PHP or ASP, though.

    STOP TALKING SHIT ABOUT PHP! JOOMLA RULES!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You outsourced! But think of the lost MULTIPLIER! BarryCare creates jobs. Brings rain to the desert. Cures baldness and herpes! You? You just had a working website. Bah.

  • grey||

    It's worth noting that the evil of government is displayed not just by the direct action of the power seekers, but also in the lives destroyed by incompetence. True, we have incompetence to thank for some degradation of government's power, but kidnapping, murder, and theft all occur by accident as well. Am I wrong in believing that the lumbering giant accidently squashes innocents and to the bloody squashed invidual it doens't matteer whether or not it was incompetence or intentional malfeance? Bengazi?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    the government's stunning incompetence is the only reason we aren't living 1984 right now.

    Eventually, they'll do what the NSA did. Outsource it by getting tech companies to do it.

    1984 Brought to you by Google and Facebook. Yeah.

  • ||

    This is what the government has learned: as you grasp for more power, force companies to assist you. They want to track people's money? Write laws that force the banks to do it, because they sure don't have the manpower. They want to read and track peoples' online communications? Have the NSA strongarm the service providers and search engines into doing it. And so on.

    This also has the effect of pushing those costs onto the private entities, which is in effect additional taxation. Isn't government grand?

  • Killazontherun||

    On that subject, I love what Lavabit did here, a complete 'fuck you' to the FBI while technically complying.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlev....._unsealed/

    In an interesting work-around, Levison complied the next day by turning over the private SSL keys as an 11 page printout in 4-point type. The government, not unreasonably, called the printout “illegible.”

    “To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data,” prosecutors wrote

  • Generic Stranger||

    You know who else forced companies to help them carry out their totalitarian policies?

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    The French!

  • James Taggart||

    It's the 2013 version of Italian Fascism. The Fascisti learned that it was easier to co-opt large corporations than it was to seize their assets. Benito Obama has secured the loyalty of large manufacturers with carved out tax credits, the UAW by stealing assets from bond-holders and granting it to them and the medical insurance companies with Obamacare.

    Obama ha sempre ragione.

  • Brett L||

    Well, they spent 2.5 picking color schemes that appeal to the hip, and then fonts, and then the text on the error screens... They just ran out of time, man!

  • PapayaSF||

    There is not a single healthcare agency or insurer who would last through a single fiscal quarter if it took them more than a year to design a site similar to the Exchange sites.

    Not really. They have designed a system that is probably impossible to create. As I wrote yesterday:

    In one chart, here's why the exchanges will probably never work as planned.

    Look at the green areas in the upper left. In theory (though this aspect is one of the "delayed" features), the Federal hub is supposed to communicate with computer systems at the IRS, Treasury, Social Security, Homeland Security, and HHS. Over on the right, it's supposed to communicate with state Medicaid systems.

    That means the hub is supposed to communicate with 55 pre-existing computer systems, not even counting the ones in the lower half of the chart. In a secure way. While obeying HIPAA laws. For millions of users. In something close to real time.

    Far, far simpler government IT projects have failed miserably, even ones internal to single departments (e.g. the FBI's Virtual Case File system). Connecting different systems this way is very, very hard. It may never happen.

  • Major Johnson||

    And they're reporting each page hit as a visit. It sounds better to say our site crashed because of sheer volume than saying the site we've spent tens of millions of dollars and over 3 years building has been crashed for days because we had fewer visitors than google gets in an hour.

  • Rich||

    Indeed, it appears that as of this afternoon, no reporter had yet to interview any individual who has successfully completed enrollment through a federally run exchange. [... T]hey seem to be strikingly difficult to find.

    See, Democratcare safeguards your privacy!

  • Rich||

    I understand that the new patient privacy pamphlet contains stuff like: "In the following situations, we may be required or permitted to use or disclose your personal information without your permission ... to a health oversight agency"for health oversight activities, such as audits, investigations, inspections and licensure activities".

    "A health oversight agency", indeed.

    Apparently health costs will drop because people will choose not to go to the doctor. 8-(

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Looks like the Eightchandarrr squirrels have been burying their nuts in these exchanges.

  • Sevo||

    "their system was still overloaded with an unexpectedly high volume of web traffic—4.7 million visits during the first day of enrollment."

    Google gets 117m hits per day; they are giving away free shit and they're bombed at 4% of google's traffic?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Clearly, the answer, as all reasonable people can see, is to conscript Google's workforce and make assign them to build the Obamacare exchange system.

    That is, unless you hate poor people and children. Those are your only options: support conscription, or hate poor people and children.

  • Sevo||

    "Clearly, the answer, as all reasonable people can see, is to conscript Google's workforce and make assign them to build the Obamacare exchange system."

    I think they're under contract with NSA.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I think they're under contract with NSA.

    I see you're leaning towards the "hate poor people and children" answer. Like I said, you only get one of two.

  • robc||

    I worked on plenty of projects that would have crashed and burned under much less than 4.7MM hits.

    But, I can design for that, if that is what is needed.

  • Sevo||

    "But, I can design for that, if that is what is needed."

    Exactly. If you're giving away free shit, you're going to be mobbed.

  • Major Johnson||

    Dang, I just posted this myself before I read yours, but I do like mine better (because I'm so special)...

    It sounds better to say our site crashed because of sheer volume than saying the site we've spent tens of millions of dollars and over 3 years building has been crashed for days because we had fewer visitors than google gets in an hour.

  • Specail Sauce||

    I'm pretty sure that high volume of web traffic consisted of people, like myself, who checked out the state exchanges for shits and giggles. I just wanted to confirm what I had already expected, the available plans in California are terrible and insanely expensive (even if you qualify for a subsidy). Now I'll just sit back and watch the wonderful tears as masses of Caltards try and sign up for free government health care.

  • Sevo||

    I'm hoping I can keep what I have. Pretty high copay, but that's what I want.

  • exchef100||

    That's why I'm trying to sign up for the NY exchange, sheer shits and giggles. I've spent 3 days trying to give them my info, and keep getting the error; "due to technical difficulties, you cannot be identified based on the information provided". The only information I haven't provided is a retinal scan and a stool sample.

  • JohnEG||

    This is the first day I've been able to even get to the Virginia exchange. I got the same error you did. And they won't even show me prices until I confirm my identity and submit an application. At least not that I saw. Admittedly, I was trying to go through the process fast because the site keeps going down. If it worked like Expedia as it was claimed to, I would be able to shop or browse without proving who I am.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, the many glitches should cause suspicion.

    Among the few bright spots:

    The Kentucky exchange, Kynect, reported more than 60,000 visitors and more than 1,000 completed insurance applications.

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or.....aunch.aspx

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Yes, the many glitches should cause suspicion.

    Of raw incompetence?

  • Sevo||

    Great, dipshit. 1K completion and 4.7M head scratching.
    What is it you sell for a living? I don't want any.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    No, I think he's saying that it's hilarious how hi-tech California can't do as well as redneck hillbilly moonshining Kentucky.

    I agree, a bright spot in the farce department. Take that, Moonbeam!

  • Irish||

    Has PB bought into that hilarious Fark conspiracy theory that Republican hackers brought down the exchanges?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Even that conspiracy theory carries the underlying assumption that the fed can't create a decent website. Rethuglican script kiddiez should not be capable of bringing down a key pillar of a multi-hundred-billion dollar program in a matter of minutes.

  • Sevo||

    Sorta like Obo's inability to come up with a budget; he can't lead.
    And one reason he can't lead is that he's an obnoxious twit who pisses off anyone who won't bow to him.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, I am suspicious that the exchange design itself is faulty.

    The DOS due to heavy use is one thing but there does seem to be a lack of success stories with the lamestream media out looking for some.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, maybe it's every bit as good a s the law!

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    You mean they didn't beta test the keystone website to their program?

  • SweatingGin||

    They got the websites "done" on Monday, didn't they? I mean, wasn't there one of them with a security audit scheduled for Monday?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    So a little over one percent of the people who visited the site signed up?

    What a bright spot, indeed! Who knows? In a state of over 4 million, maybe everyone will sign up in about 11-12 years, everyone in KY will be all signed up!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Remember that the vast majority of us don't need to sign up.

    We have employer based insurance - unaffected by the ACA.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|10.2.13 @ 8:57PM|#
    "We have employer based insurance - unaffected by the ACA."

    You hope.

  • robc||

    I know shriek wont acknowledge it, but EVERY plan is affected by the ACA.

  • Jordan||

    He doesn't even think insurer's plan ahead. He's a moron of the highest caliber.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Remember that the vast majority of us don't need to sign up.

    We have employer based insurance - unaffected by the ACA.

    112 Obamacare waivers and counting, amirite?

    Then, once the one-year waivers run out, no more employer-provided insurance.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Personally I'm quite frightened at what will happen to our insurance in the next couple of years. It's really pretty good, so I'm sure it will be subject to the 40% "Cadillac Tax." Since no employer will pay that tax, I'm sure our coverage will be reduced to the basic equivalent of what's on the exchanges.

    Let me just tell you, when you have an incurable cancer and are presently looking at regular, very expensive chemo for the rest of your life, the government deciding that no insurance should pay for more than 60-80% of your treatment costs (as opposed to our present 100%) makes it quite possible that it will actually force choices between necessities and medicine.

    If you like your insurance, you get to keep it*

    *as long as that insurance is exactly like what everyone else will have

  • MSimon||

    Rick Simpson Oil is the answer.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Estragon: Nothing to be done.

    Vladimir: I'm beginning to come round to that opinion.

  • pan fried wylie||

    That data, they say, may be ready next month.

    To be fair, making really fancy charts in Excel can be a real time suck.

  • Sevo||

    Particularly if you're trying to fudge the data in the hopes it'll fool some one.

  • Homple||

    They passed it, now we can see what's in it.

  • Rich||

    Just like a kidney stone.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    "My opponent says there are no easy solutions! Well I say he's not trying hard enough!"

  • Rich||

    Nice alt text, btw.

  • SweatingGin||

    SELECT date_trunc('day', start_date) as day, COUNT(*) as number FROM contracts GROUP BY day ORDER by day;

    2013-10-01 1207
    2013-10-02 965

  • ||

    SWEATINGGIN IS TRYING TO HAXOR US!!!

    SQUIRRELZ, ATTACK!

  • SweatingGin||

    Security question:

    Who is your Lord and Master? "Barrack Obama; TRUNCATE TABLE plans;"

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    also relevant

  • ||

    The inter-pundit warfare has been intense today.

    Can Welch, The Jacket, and Chait get it over with and have a threesome? Joan Walsh and Matty can pleasure themselves in the corner as they watch.

  • SweatingGin||

    Paging Sugarfree. SugarFree, pick up the white courtesy phone, please.

  • Dweebston||

    Is it a courtesy because sanitizing it after SF has had his way involves a trash compactor and lighter fluid cocktail?

  • SweatingGin||

    Open Source!

    Using Rails. Seems like twitter moved away from rails for some reason.

    Appears to be mostly CMS, though -- although maybe they just didn't have anything else to upload by then. Nothing updated since June.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    You have never worked for a bureaucracy. If there is not 4000 Tom Clancy length books of manuals they are not going to implement it.

  • Rhywun||

    Rails?? GTFO. Rails is great but not exactly suited to something so massive. Wow.

  • SweatingGin||

    Of course, that's probably just the front end. I didn't see any schema or anything in there.

    Probably an Oracle DB on the back end.

  • ||

    They're going to go with Rails but then pay Oracle obscene amounts of money when there are free (or at least much cheaper) databases out there?

    Actually, that sounds like something totally crony-ish that would happen, so I guess it's entirely possible.

  • SweatingGin||

    No one is getting fired for buying Oracle. It's how they'll say it's a "Serious" project.

  • ||

    Yeah, I realize the motivation could be that stupid. I really need to start taking my own advice about not underestimating the stupidity of the government.

    Now, going with an AS/400...that would be impressively behind the times and government-y.

  • SweatingGin||

    What amazes me most (mentioned it earlier) is that they implemented a way to make you wait in line.

    MegaUpload (and it's ilk) and TicketMaster are the only sites I can think of where you have to wait in line.

    Wish I could access stats on line length and number of signups through their API.

    It's really great; they spent all the time building a CMS, and forgot to make sure the shopping cart and the APIs that it had to interface with worked. And the user sign up.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    They say to install Rails, but I don't see any actual .rb files.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    I heard some guys were able to run web software on a C64. I bet that's what this is.

  • Rhywun||

    Does it play chiptunes while you're waiting in line?

  • Brian D||

    Maybe healthcare.gov has a virus!

  • Michael Price||

    Maybe healthcare.gov _is_ a virus!

  • SweatingGin||

    Kos is mad, yo.

    Maybe it’s time we recognized the “government shut down” for what it really is; an attempted coup by Ted Cruz. We should call it that

    The continuing resolution only funds the government for six weeks. If he can succeed in forcing the repeal of standing law using this tactic, he will do it again and again.

    He’ll do it with the debt ceiling. He’ll do with the next continuing resolution. In effect he would become the most powerful politician in the country, more powerful than the President.

    Our system of government would never be the same. The leader of the minority of one house of Congress would rule.

    This is not a fight about the Affordable Care Act. It’s a fight about the future of our democracy, one we absolutely cannot afford to lose.
  • Irish||

    Maybe it’s time we recognized the “government shut down” for what it really is; an attempted coup by Ted Cruz. We should call it that

    Of all the possibilities to come out of this government shutdown, I don't think Ted Cruz becoming president is one of them.

  • Hyperion||

    Not President, but Emperor! Don't you get it? The teabagger dream, the Great Emperor, Teabaggerus, finally arrives!

  • Carolynp||

    I'd vote for him. Did we have a coup? Because as far as I can tell, I still owe taxes in November. Someone keep me ahead on this stuff.

  • ||

    The compulsive need of TEAM BLUE schmucks to find some way, any way, of rhetorically inflating the "direness" of any given situation where they are not getting what they want is so fucking tiresome. I realize that they do it to continually make their sheep base go apeshit and think the sky is falling, but as a tactic it robs language of any meaning. At this point opposing Obamacare is racist and Cruz and the GOP using completely known and agreed upon Congressional rules and tactics is a coup?

    Fuck you, Kos. You're a fucking moron. Now that isn't rhetorical inflation.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Wait, how did Cruz cause the shutdown? Help me, I don't speak Idiot.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In the minds of progressives, one Republican is totally indistinguishable from another (because they're all old, rich, white men who hate black people). Therefore Ted Cruz=John Boehner=Justin Amash=Rand Paul=Mitch McConnell=Thomas Massie=John McCain=Marco Rubio=Peter King.

  • JohnEG||

    Not only that, but if you say Obama's farts stink then you are obviously a teabagger who only watches FOX news and wants poor people to die in the street. I'd laugh every time I heard people on the left let loose a string of bigoted comments in the same sentence they are accusing someone else of being a bigot if I didn't realize that these people have voting power.

    Of course, to be fair, the same sort of black and white, good vs evil, absolutist thinking happens on right wing websites too. I've been called both a repuke and a libtard enough that I don't comment on any political story anymore, as I suspect many libertarians have. Reason comments seem to be more...reasonable though.

  • Hyperion||

    Wait, how did Cruz cause the shutdown?

    He read Green Eggs and Ham backwards on the national mall. That makes the Great Satan of Anarchy appear and shut down the government.

  • Carolynp||

    Well that actually fits! I knew there was something just a little off about that Seuss character...

  • Hyperion||

    HuffPo is just one massive screeching hysteria over the shutdown.

    You would really think that someone has noticed or cared, the way they are acting.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Little Kos is rightly mad. Who do these fucking bastards in Congress think they are? Don't they know that the God-Emperor, Barack Hussein Obama, the First of His Name, has a mandate from the people? A mandate! It cost $800,000,000 to get, but he got it! That means he can do whatever he wants! And if he wants Obamacare funded, he should get it! No questions asked!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Barack Hussein of the House Obama, Second of his Name, King of the Pilgrims and the First Men, Lord of the 50 Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

  • robc||

    57 Kingdoms.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    +7 Hells

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    He also bares the titles of Brother General, Sovereign Commander, Master Adept of the Grand Symbolic Lodge, Secret Master, Perfect Master, Intimate Secretary, Provost and Judge, Master Elect of the Nine, Illustrious Elect of the Fifteen, Sublime Knight Elect, Chief of the Twelve Tribes, Grand Master Architect, Scottish Grand Elect of the Sacred Visage, Prefect and Sublime Mason, Knight of the East or of the Sword, Prince of Jerusalem, Knight of the East and West, Sovereign Prince of the Rose Croix, Grand Pontiff, Venerable Master of the Key, Prince of Libanus and of the Tabernacle, Knight of the Brazen Serpent, Knight Commander of the Temple, Knight of the Sun, Prince Adept, Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew, Grand Elect Knight Kadosh, Perfect Initiate, Grand Inspector Inquisitor, Clear and Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, Thirty-three, Most Powerful Sovereign Commander General Grand Master Conservator of the Sacred Palladium, Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    to name but a few

  • Libertymike||

    What's in a name?

  • seguin||

    Around 170 words, apparently.

  • seguin||

    You forgot ASE Certified.

  • Redmanfms||

    You forgot ASE Certified.

    No, that would imply he has learned, or done, something useful in his life.

  • exchef100||

    Didn't read everything in there. Did you mention that he's a level 50 Mage with +2 speech craft and +6 deceit?

  • Carolynp||

    Oh, if I wake up tomorrow and only twenty people have signed up, please tell me that we'll have signs everywhere about how we're paying four billion dollars per insured on this thing. That would just make my year.

  • JohnEG||

    You forgot to mention that he won the election! And all the Republicans that are in office obstructing his plans lost the election! No, wait, that doesn't make sense. But, hey, at least Democrats are now finally admitting that the only difference between Obama in Romney is their stance on the Affordable Care Act.

  • DK||

    But what they are still not saying is how many people actually managed to sign up for coverage within the federal exchanges. That data, they say, may be ready next month.

    Here, I'll help:

    select count(1) from Enrollees where active=1;

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Looks like the Cleveland Indians are going to let their fans down one more time.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    that doesn't work for everything!!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Oh yeah? Well the family of Michael Jackson must have hired the Cleveland Browns as attorneys

    Los Angeles (CNN) -- A Los Angeles jury decided Wednesday that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but also concluded that the concert promoter was not liable for Michael Jackson's drug overdose death.
    The jury decided that Murray was competent, so even though AEG Live hired him, it was not liable for Jackson's death and didn't owe the Jackson family millions of dollars in compensation.
    "I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend," the company's CEO Randy Phillips said. "We lost one of the world's greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael's tragic death."
    The verdict brings the five-month-long trial to a close.

  • PapayaSF||

    This always seemed a stretch. Rich nut has a Doctor Feelgood, who eventually helps him sleep with the same heavy-duty drugs given for colonoscopies, rich nut dies, and it's the fault of the concert promoter who hired the doctor?

  • SweatingGin||

  • SweatingGin||

    What safe guards are in place in this country to protect against an attempted coup d'etat?

    With this gem of a comment:


    The Koch Bros. must be arrested for sedition

    They're actively plotting this coup attempt in Congress, using teabagger rethugs as pawns in their evil game.

    In the Democratic Underground Republic of Kosistan, anyone who has viewed Nova will be considered suspicious at best.

  • Irish||

    KOOOOOOOOOOOOCHTOOOO00000OOPUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSS!

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not sure why, but for some reason, I'm a lot more worried about the fedgov than I am this Kochtopus thing. I guess I'm just a naïve bagger.

  • Irish||

    6. As long as the ability to buy members of Congress and spread misinformation exists, there aren't any

    The Koch brothers - as despicable as they are - under Citizens - could theoretically buy all seats of Congress and declare themselves dictators.

    Really? Because I thought Rod Blagojevich was in prison for attempting something very similar to that.

    Seriously, that thread is gold. It's like wandering into the mind of a schizophrenic moments after his lobotomy.

  • Irish||

    13. November 22, 1963 was a coup.

    This has not reached that level yet.

    ????

    Care to share your evidence that LBJ had JFK murdered?

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Isn't that what the film JFK said

  • Irish||

    Well, liberals do get all of their opinions from from T.V. and movies, so it's very possible.

  • Sevo||

    "The Koch brothers - as despicable as they are - under Citizens - could theoretically buy all seats of Congress and declare themselves dictators."

    Not possible! Obama is already Dictator for Life!

  • Irish||

    Peace Be Upon His Hallowed Name!

  • Carolynp||

    I thought Biden was the all purpose anti-coup safeguard?

  • Sevo||

    "There's good news, though. "Obamacare's first day glitches overshadowed by success"
    OK, I opened the link. If I'm not wrong, the commenter has an avatar of that oh-so-rational thinker Jim Morrison (who also had a hard time standing upright).
    And then the references are 100% 'things are looking pretty good! Big numbers trying! Happy faces!'
    And not one word on results.

  • Hyperion||

    The Fluffpostians are still giddy about their new free pony today, but they are slightly less euphoric and decidedly more reserved than yesterday. It seems that some of them are 'finding out what's in it', and they have yet to find the free pony and maybe saw something that even frightened them a little. They're still sure that the free pony is there, but they're starting to wonder when it will appear and when the baggers will stop hacking the site and posting false information about high premiums and even higher deductibles.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Reminds me of that story Reagan used to tell:

    Some kid's parents want to teach him a lesson about life being unfair so they have a trailer of horse shit dumped at the park where his birthday party is.

    Kid sees it and gets giddy as hell, when asked why, he says I just know there's a pony somewhere with all that shit there.

  • prolefeed||

    But what they are still not saying is how many people actually managed to sign up for coverage within the federal exchanges. That data, they say, may be ready next month. And given widespread reports of problems with account creation and enrollment on those exchanges, it seems possible that the number is very, very small.

    Given that the report will be prepared by much the same incompetents who set up the Obamacare exchanges, the likelihood of the reports not getting done, or getting done with bad numbers, or with falsified numbers to make things look less bad, seems pretty high.

  • Sevo||

    "Given that the report will be prepared by much the same incompetents who set up the Obamacare exchanges, the likelihood of the reports not getting done, or getting done with bad numbers, or with falsified numbers to make things look less bad, seems pretty high."

    'The foxes tell us the hens are perfectly safe and 100% of them are accounted for'
    Yes, they are.

  • Sevo||

    OT, but anything that makes a rent-seeker uncomfortable is fine by me. Elon Musk is prolly burning up phone charges trying to get the Chron to take the photo off the front page of the web site:
    "Mystery of the flaming Tesla"
    "A fire that destroyed a Tesla electric car near Seattle began in the vehicle's battery pack, officials said Wednesday, creating challenges for firefighters who tried to put out the flames."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/.....863667.php

  • Hyperion||

    Does this mean that new homes built in Cali will be required to have 2 extra fire hydrants outside the home along with the electric car charging stations?

  • Sevo||

    If you read what the fire-guys had to go through (and this is Seattle), it'll be amazing if the charging station doesn't need a haz-mat team in 24/7 attendance.

  • Hyperion||

    it'll be amazing if the charging station doesn't need a haz-mat team in 24/7 attendance.

    Moar jerbz!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It made my day when I saw this this afternoon. Kinda calls into question that whole safety thing when your battery pack can go poof just by striking something on the road. Now TSLA gets to experience a little reality in the car-making biz...

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

  • Libertymike||

    Probably not; although she is a fine looking babe, she looks as if she has gone to the Dairy Queen three or four times a week.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    why she's almost a Rebel Wilson.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I want one.

  • Killazontherun||

    From that page,

    PHOTOS: Lena Dunham Cements Her Place Among The Fashion Set

    What do these people do to train their minds to lie to them like that? She would not make it passed the bottom 25% of women I work with in either looks or fashion sense.

  • MSimon||

    She would not make it passed the bottom 25% of women I work with

    So she goes for ugly women? Cool. I'll take two. All c*nts look the same in the dark.

    And faces? What do you think bags were created for?

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    TWO STEVE SMITHS spotted in PA

  • General Butt Naked||

    I think it's really disrespectful for you talk about the first lady like that. Show a little class, you heathen.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Its Patrick Roy time in Colorado!

  • Tman||

    My best friend grew up blocks from the Joe, and watching his seething hatred of all things Roy was a spectacle to behold.

  • Tman||

    So I follow Lawrence Krauss on FB because I really dig his cosmological descriptions of the possibilities behind the origins/beginnings of the Universe, and usually he stays non-political, unless he's lonely and feels the need to dump on religion.

    He just started pimping a big Global Warming screed published in the recent New Yorker, in that he argues that physically removing CO2 is the way to go.

    Direct-air capture—deliberate extraction of CO2 from our atmosphere using empirically proven technologies—may turn out to be more expensive than carbon capture at the emission source, but it has several important possible advantages.

    I asked in the comments if he's stopped flying now that he's seen the GW light (dude has probably been on every continent in the last year), and immediately was accused of ad hominem tu quoque.

    Debate is dead.
  • Tman||

    Here's the Krauss piece, in case anyone wants to read it.

    The Next Thing We Need To Do About Carbon

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

  • Tman||

    comments:

    "Well, Sock. Your deadline passed, nobody moved a single truck, the rogue protesters are still blocking off a highway, and it appears after your braggadocio and bluster that you have tucked your tail between your legs and slinked away."

    Way to go Mooseheads.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

  • Snark Plissken||

    I want proof, which Lord of the Rings film was she in?

  • Major Johnson||

    In case no one has been paying attention, the only mechanism for collecting the "fee" for not having insurance is to deduct it from your refund. As long as you don't pay more in taxes than you owe you can safely ignore the fee and go about your life. If you do pay more than you owe in taxes you're giving the government a free loan and deserve to lose your money anyway.

    Here's something funny though. If you don't get insurance and then get health care the government charges you a fee and you're 100% responsible for the cost of your health care, that's right off the healthcare.gov website. Before obamacare you were just responsible for 100% of the cost of your health care. The great achievement of obamacare is adding a middle man who collects part of the money you were going to pay for your health care with. Is this a great country or what?

  • Sevo||

    "The great achievement of obamacare is adding a middle man who collects part of the money you were going to pay for your health care with. Is this a great country or what?"

    So there's a frictional loss there and let's add this:
    In any free transaction, the two parties both get more than they give; this is obvious, since if they didn't, they wouldn't make the trade. Byt this method, every free trade increases human wealth.
    Stick a third-party nose in there, forcing the transaction, and at least one party now does not benefit. There's a good chance that every forced trade *reduces* human wealth.
    As an example, prior to the collapse of communism, the east European countries produced goods that were worth less than the raw materials that went into them.

  • exchef100||

    Over $1 trillion dollars (or much more) spent, all to provide insurance for Bert, from Illinois.

    You're welcome Bert.

  • JWatts||

    Don't exaggerate. That trillion is a multi-year figure. It's doubtful if we spent more than 2 or 3 hundred billion on Bert. And we probably won't spend nearly as much money on Ernie, his life long partner.

  • Rhino||

    At this rate, people are going to end up being fined because the system couldn't get them insured fast enough, not for lack of trying on their part.

  • Sevo||

    The gov't'll take it any way they can get it.

  • loellaviles||

    my friend's sister makes =$­8­0= an hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was =$­1­2­7­4­1= just working on the laptop for a few hours. here are the findings...

    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • wilonacoury||

    my roomate's sister makes $78 hourly on the internet. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her income was $16950 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to this site
    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • wooffjordy||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to Economy tab for more detail ...

    =============== http://WWW.MAX34.COM

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