I write a progressive political blog in Wisconsin: bluecheddar.net
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As HealthCare.gov gets fixed, six key questions remain
(This is from the tumblr of Charles Ornstein at ProPublica)
D-Day for HealthCare.gov is upon us.
The federal health insurance marketplace for 36 states has undergone round-the-clock fixes during the past eight weeks after what could only be characterized as a disastrous launch. Obama administration officials have promised that it will work better by month’s end (read: now) for the “vast majority of users.”
That’s the good news.
But major questions remain about whether the improvements are enough to salvage the Affordable Care Act’s central element and ensure consumers can get coverage before Dec. 23, the deadline to sign up for benefits that begin on New Year’s Day. Among them:
- Can the website handle the expected crush of traffic? Media reports about problems with HealthCare.gov surely kept some consumers away. But as the deadline for signing up for coverage looms, they are likely to come back. The New York Times reported today that administration officials “have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users. At the same time, administration officials said Tuesday that they had decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern that it might drive too many people to the still-fragile HealthCare.gov.” The trepidation is well-founded and a dose of it could have gone a long way on Oct. 1, when the site debuted.
The victimy victimhood of Scott Walker under John Doe 2.0
Is it just me, or is Wisco media more chilled out about John Doe 2.0 than they were about John Doe 1.0? Or is it just the conservative wailing that makes everybody else look comatose by comparison?
Yes. The title you see there is, “The Persecution of Wisconsin Conservatives”.
Exhibit B: DAILY CALLER (Tucker Carlson’s site) Lawsuit: No basis for anti-Walker ‘John Doe’ probe
Exhibit C: Sean Hannity of FOX Nation "Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a special prosecutor has been hired to target conservative groups that were involved in Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s recall election. …"
Important correction on Mr. Hannity: The Wall Street Journal did not “report” anything until Eric O’Keefe wrote an op-ed for the paper called “Wisconsin Political Speech Raid” in which he decided to reveal details from the secret John Doe 2.0 investigation which started in February 2012.
Before O’Keefe decided to reveal information, everything was purely conjecture from Bice at M.J.Sentinel without any named investigation targets. And let us note that O’Keefe decided to reveal information just a bit before Walker’s book launch.
Aside from the ludicrous “Persecution” title and the occasional *victimy victimhood found within, Arnold Ahlert of Frontpage did a pretty good job of summarizing where John Doe 2.0 is at right now.
He’s got the lawyers’ names, the counties involved, the prosecutor and judge, and he even gets that if this investigation gets ruled on by the state supreme court, it’s dead. NOT because there is zero basis to investigate 29 right wing groups, but because the 4 conservative Supremes do as they are told.
Why The Fuss?
Back in the old days Walker found it sufficient to float around on his cloud of god-gifted humbleness and announce that he had integrity. Does the current conservative brou ha ha suggest higher ups on the political food chain could get hurt this time? Or is this just what happens when your crooked governor is ramping up to a presidency and little me doesn’t know it because I didn’t read “How To Build a Facade of Martyrdom For Your Tyrant”? [I think there’s a ‘For Dummies’ version]
Who The Judge Is
We also have this over at Dan Bice’s post entitled, "Retired Eau Claire judge to oversee John Doe investigation"
Bice tosses in this bone for the right wing readers: “What is not clear is why the secret investigation appears to be looking only at conservative groups and not labor unions or others who backed Democrats in the recall elections.”
That’s only not clear if you don’t understand that subpoenas are not handed out like candy on halloween. I know we live in Fitzwalkerstan now, but still, if a rightie gets charged with doing something bad, a leftie does not have to get charged. A John Doe investigation is not a televised debate with each side getting their “turn”.
Bonus Wisconsin Club for Growth Footnote:
What the heck. While I’m at it, allow me to note that this is not the first time that O’Keefe has been the bearer of secret news. Perhaps you remember how state representative Gordon Hintz found out about the “budget repair bill” he would vote on by hearing a Club for Growth ad on his car radio?
“Like last Friday morning, when I was driving to a school business administrator’s meeting in De Pere. And I turned on the radio and there was an ad saying, “Hey, support Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. Paid for by the Club of Growth.” Well guess what, I had never been given a bill… And it’s bad enough, it’s bad enough that I had to hear it from a radio ad from Washington DC, and then show up at a meeting with no details…”
A special request from and for Wisconsin: Give a bump up to the Solidarity Sing Along’s version of the book “Unintimidated” #wiunion #unintimidated
I have a small request to make which can make a big difference for a beautiful photo book from activists in Wisconsin.
I’m talking about the people’s version of the book “Unintimidated” - - which happens to share the same title as Scott Walker’s new work of fiction.
Scott Walker is making the rounds to hawk his ghostwritten book and pump up his chances at running for president of our country. His fanboys and girls will be googling “unintimidated” to find his book.
I think it would be lovely if the first link they came to took them to a BETTER book - a book which chronicles a people’s vigilant, fearless, joyful resistance to corporate takeover in the Midwest: OURS.
If you click this link
you’ll get to a google listing.
From there, please click on the listing that says “Unintimidated The bullies won’t get us down”.
If that’s all you do - beautiful. If you want to bump it up a notch, buy the book! It supports the First Amendment fund that helps people who were arrested for singing and assembling in Wisconsin’s capitol rotunda.
P.S. - If you would like to learn more about the book "Unintimidated: Wisconsin Sings Truth to Power", please try these links -
A tale of two books - Worley Dervish
P.S.S. - Solidarity
TODAY ON WPR’s ROUTE 51 show at 10am: Congressmen Duffy and Kind on the Government Shutdown
Two North Central Wisconsin Congressmen, Republican Sean Duffy and Democrat Ron Kind, will appear on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Route 51, Thursday morning, October 10th from 10 to 11 a.m., and take live phone calls from our listeners on the government…
"Route 51" is a regional talk show hosted by Glen Moberg focusing on issues important to the north central Wisconsin area, as well as featuring regional music, culture, and arts. Topics include proposed legislation, sustainability, health care, economics, agriculture, and the justice system. "Route 51" can be heard on
AM 930 WLBL Auburndale/Stevens Point,
91.9 WLBL Wausau,
90.3 WHBM Park Falls,
89.9 WHSF Rhinelander/Eagle River, and
89.1 WHAA Adams/Wisconsin Rapids Thursdays at 10 a.m. It is also repeated Fridays at 7 p.m. on 90.9 WHRM Wausau.
My thoughts (negative) on Mary Burke running for governor of Wisconsin
[This is a backup copy of my post at bluecheddar.net.]
Here’s the feel-good-low-on-details soft launch video. (Soft as a down comforter.) There’s plenty of imagery of farming and the focus is on her dad’s creation of the Trek bike company in Waterloo and her expansion of the company and on making jobs. I expect a nice lady campaign a la Tammy Baldwin but with the non-statement statements of a Tom Barrett. But I admit it’s early in the game and candidates always start soft like this.
(She can’t stay soft for long. The WI GOP already got MaryBurke.com.)
Burke is not exactly attractive to those of us who occupied the streets and Wisconsin’s Capitol building in 2011.
First off, the way Dems have tried to both choose Burke and keep their choice under wraps is an insult to our intelligence. Then there’s the matter of Burke’s politics. They’re in some kind of virtual swaddling clothes, they’re THAT tightly under wraps.
As far as I can tell, what Burke has going for her is
*having some money
* being the Dem Party’s chosen one
* being a “job creator”
* being female [lots of resentment is built up over Walker’s gyno-governing]
Her other asset is that she has almost no political past - except for donating some money to a charter school in Madison. That “asset” becomes weaker the closer you come to Madison where she’s already branded as “neo-liberal” among those who were closer to that school fight.
In the liability column is the fact Burke will surely see Trek’s manufacturing process foreign and domestic torn apart by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
I’ve already made it clear that I think Senator Kathleen Vinehout should run for governor.
Sadly, I believe she’s made it clear to reporters that she probably will not run if Burke runs.
Correction: Senator Vinehout has in the past suggested that if Mary Burke ran for governor, she might not run, but her tone changed in August. (See the August 5th WPR piece titled "Kathleen Vinehout Says Democratic Primary For Governor ‘Not A Bad Idea’" for more.)
If- - -that is IF - - Senator Vinehout won’t run then we’re going to need somebody else to jump in the ring and force the parade to focus on the complete sham that Wisconsin’s government has become under Tea Party rule AND focus on the rape of Her resources.*
I’m certain there are some tongues clucking out there in concern - - thoughts that this left winger is throwing the Burke out with the bathwater.
Sorry cluckers. I simply need more information before I can have any excitement for Burke let alone lift a finger for her.
1) I need to know if any contender for Gov will take advantage of the power Walker has consolidated in the executive branch and become just another king (or a new queen).
2) I need to know if any and all contenders plan to keep the state on Walker’s ‘open-for-business-and-damn-the-environment-and-the-people’ track. In other words, it is just as easy for cronies of Democrats to come in and swoop up private contracts at county homes and open up voucher schools and let the miners removes the hills as it is for Walker’s GOP cronies to.
For Comparison’s Sake
Just for kicks, I dug up the video Tammy Baldwin released when she announced her run for the U.S. Senate. I remember at the time I felt it was wayyyy too soft. Now that I’m viewing it again and comparing it to Mary Burke’s, I have to admit that at least Tammy expressed a variety of opinions and concerns in it - such as that she felt that we should bring troops home from Afghanistan, that she fought the overturn of Glass-Steagall, and that she said ‘no’ to war in Iraq.
* To focus on the open pit mine, on the privatization plan set up for our public schools, on the loss of freedom of speech and association that WI endures without full union rights, on the degradation of our sand hills and the manure running into our streams and on our wolves being slaughtered under a toothless DNR - - just one painful disgusting reality exposed after another full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.