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  1. Some flower photos,
    and some astrophotography,

    Gonna go to my parents in a little, they have a lot of sweet potatoes for me. My wife is happy, she loves sweet potatoes! She can’t wait for spring and starting our garden.

  2. sarahkwolfe says:

    Hey Erunner…I thought of you. I posted an article today (sorry for the shameless self-promotion) and it has an article from Slate in it that made me think of you.

    my article:

    Slate article:

    Off to brave the Mall, which is one of my least favorite things to do. I only do it to buy gifts for the husband 😉

  3. Ricky Bobby says:

    Major 0bamacare Loophole that should be used: It seems that now you can’t be turned away for Insurance regardless of Pre-existing Condition. So, don’t get insurance, unless or until you come down with something bad, like cancer etc…then sign up for the best plan offered and get coverage.

    Seems to me that when you remove any penalties and make “one size fits all” and everyone is priced the same whether man or woman or young or old or sick or healthy…then you have to accept the unintended consequences of such a policy.

    Why should I pay for insurance…until I really need it?

  4. Chile says:

    Jim, interesting article. This is notable: “Jacques Attali, an economist, scholar and author, is advising the French government on ways to curb health care spending.”

    As long as tax dollars pay for healthcare, then healthcare will get squeezed till it’s of little value to many, if not most.

  5. Cindy says:

    RB, I’m pretty sure that’s what the open enrollment period is about. This initial enrollment time was longer, Oct thru Feb or March, then until the next open period, you have qualifications, like losing your employer based coverage, or aging out of your parents’ coverage, that allow you to enroll in the exchanges. So if you get sick w/o coverage b/t the enrollment periods (which will be shorter in following years) as I understand it, those months will be up to you. Unless some for profit insurance company decides to take you on with your something really bad like cancer,lol! It’s an abstraction for most healthy people to talk about, but I rarely see these debates (this is not directed at you RB) take in much of the reality of a patient’s point of view. And as I am fond of saying, we are all healthy until the calamity hits. I think it is going to be interesting and tumultuous during this period of insurance reform, but we are headed in a good direction. Buy in from our so called leaders, and then from responsible citizens, to make our system better would really help.

  6. Steve Wright says:

    So in the real world of insurance and personal financial otherwise healthy young person does not buy insurance throughout his 20s and 30s, and is unpersuaded by Obama’s salespitch, unmoved by a guilt ploy about being a responsible citizen, and unimpressed when looking at premiums and finding that actually his cell phone bill is a LOT cheaper than health insurance. And he is unpunished for the law does not allow the mechanism to actually fine the person to enforce the mandate.

    And at most has a 9-month wait (at most) before he can walk up and buy coverage any year he finds the need during open enrollment.

    So the sorts of horrible diseases that might surprise such a person, that also take awhile to develop significant medical bills…. like Crohns, MS, Parkinsons, lupus he then can walk up and get coverage on October 1st – hardly a huge financial disincentive. And since most young people won’t get one of these diseases, they still never show up to purchase coverage.

    And if the young person is in a car accident or something, to my knowledge there is zero change to how we handle such uninsured people now. Uninsured people in ER rooms does not get solved by the new law.

    And for something like a surprise cancer diagnosis – where early treatment can make a huge difference, we now have given a financial incentive for someone to try and do with minimal care until they make it to Oct 1st – which means their total expenses may go way way up

    So health care outlays go up and up, which must be reflected on new premium rate increases, causing more to drop coverage roll the dice as described above (except those already with high medical bills who keep their policies), causing what is know as the death spiral.

    Count on it…..if the law is not changed.

  7. erunner says:

    Our community parade was this morning. Some Christians carrying banners and bullhorns spent the full two hour of the parade preaching while bands and veterans marched by. My wife said someone almost came to blows with one of them. Don’t people use their noggins when doing stuff like that? What a turnoff for everyone there.

  8. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Bad Street USA, the further down the block u got the badder it got and I live in the last house!

  9. erunner says:

    Thank you Sarah. A very eye opening article.

  10. Cindy says:

    Steve, I know you can out type, and out argue me for sure, and I bet I’m not alone in that feeling. I don’t mean your points win or your viewpoint is better, but your commitment to the time it takes to argue is much greater. A financial incentive to put off treatment? Yes, and a strong desire to live in most people. This is what I refer to when I talk about the discussion taking place as an abstract idea, and the lack of compassion stuns me. I know offline you’re probably very compassionate, and maybe online it is only about proving points. Guilt trip to be a responsible citizen? I think it is more of an ideal to be reached for, taught, modeled. We as a society, whether Christian or not, are bound together to a certain degree and that does involve responsibility.

  11. Eric says:

    Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I led worship at my church this morning. We squeezed into a different room, trying to create something of the feel of an underground church. One man shared his story. He was a political prisoner, converted in prison through a pastor who was imprisoned with him.

  12. Steve Wright says:

    Cindy, real people are being destroyed by this law – not just financially but in some cases medically as well. And for the most part all we have so far are notices – wait until Jan 1st actually arrives and the changes happen.

    Then wait a few more months until the employer plans are affected after their Obama-given delay runs out. Far more people get coverage through employers than buy it personally.

    This law will destroy healthcare in this country as we know it – and absolutely cripple the economy, That is not an exaggeration. The rules for this go against anything remotely possible in the insurance industry. No other line, auto, home, work comp, life, renters could ever survive if subjected to this nonsense. And this one won’t either.

    I have compassion for real people – not abstract people. And they are hurting, badly.

    And I live in the real world not the abstract world.

    (and as far as out typing and out arguing – ricky bobby made a proper point, and you sought to correct HIM. Only then did I offer my opinion in this thread to correct you. It’s not about winning arguments or proving points but hopefully about waking some people up to try and stop this debacle or at least to stop parrotting the lies that Obama and his minions continue to use to dupe the masses)

    Responsible citizens pay their taxes – and that’s what binds us together. Responsible citizens do not aid a tyrannical government hell-bent on destroying the lives of millions in order to make their cronies rich and secure their own reelections.

  13. Got two of those sweet potatoes in the oven right now baking. These things were huge!
    When my wife gets home from work though, she will have one of her favorite dishes waiting on her.

  14. Had a discussion with my parents about this whole healthcare debacle today.
    The just hit the age where Medicare kicks in.
    They are glad that they don’t have to deal with the whole Obamacare mess.

  15. Jim says:

    Liberals don’t understand that the least compassionate solution to a problem is to ask the fedgovt to solve it. Personally, I’m sick of the accusation.

  16. Cindy says:

    Steve, one of the most frustrating things about this topic is the diametrically opposed viewpoints that people on each side hold and the facts, news reports, sources that each can cite to back up their beliefs about what will happen as a result of this law. I have been paying close attention to this because of our family business that has provided insurance for years and because of long term serious health issues in our family. Both aspects make me nervous because of the uncertainty. But I have seen the problems before this law, and our situation as a business and personally has improved. And we are not alone. So you see millions destroyed, economy crippled, etc. and I see improvements and problems, and longstanding issues being addressed. I worry about the implementation, I worry that after the law is implemented power will change hands and what about those with preexisting conditions? Will the Republicans roll back the law, and leave many hanging out to dry. I guarantee that if the insurance company could, they would be glad to be rid of my husband’s bills. (As would we, except that death is the only way that happens, so we’ll keep paying our hefty share 🙂 and also be thankful we can pay it).
    Your last paragraph really tempts my sarcastic side, we’ve seen politicians all about making their cronies rich and securing their own reelections before. Same song, second, third, twelfth verse? Most only seem bothered when it is the other side perceived to be doing it.

  17. Cindy says:

    Jim, personally I’m sick of billionaires profiting off the crappy way things have been allowed to be run. Don’t see any with power to change things volunteering to do so.

  18. Sitting here, for some reason (don’t ask me why) watching Benny Hinn preach a gospel of prosperity.
    I feel sorry for desperate people that latch onto this.

  19. No, Mr. Hinn, the Holy Spirit isn’t telling me to go to the phone and plant that seed (money) that will release the blessings in my financial life.
    Nope, the Spirit is telling me something totally different.
    He is speaking to me from my memory of the book of 1 Timothy.

    But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Most only seem bothered when it is the other side perceived to be doing it.
    Most…but not all of us. I didn’t show up to this blog until 2008 or you would have seen I am bipartisan when it comes to this nonsense.

    I will grant you the silence from the media is deafening the last five years compared to the previous eight.

    I am genuinely curious, since you brought up your own situation, how have you seen the law benefit your family business – I ask not doubting you but because the employers have been granted a mandate waiver and so the law really has not kicked in for folks like yourself. So I don’t know what you actually have received in benefits (not promises of course, but tangible benefits)

    Believe me – I would love to hear the success stories. The closest I have found is one NPR wrote that I shared on my facebook. Someone with health insurance that was expensive but which they could pay, and with some health conditions were able to go and get basically the same coverage for half the price (subsidized by all those getting rate hikes) and they are now going to retire early on the savings.

    Is that really the sort of “winner” we were told Obamacare was supposed to produce?

    So if you have a personal success story, let’s hear it please. 🙂

  21. I guess every once in a while I need to see TBN to be reminded of why I don’t watch it.

    Luckily, I switched over to the local Christian channel. It is a mixed bag station that plays a lot of sermons from various local ministries.
    I turned over in time to watch a sermon from a young black man who was preaching the gospel and found myself blessed by it.

  22. Cindy says:

    A claim of bipartisanship, followed immediately by a veiled shot at Obama and defense of Bush by criticizing the media?
    I did being up our family situation, and I don’t really care to go any further into it. Weak defense, but it’s complicated and personal. I will say if that’s the only positive story you could find (the NPR one), well I can’t explain that. I’ve seen the stories of doom, gloom, and disaster, and I’ve seen stories of people opposed to the law who found better coverage for less through the exchange, as one example. Many others explaining the law and citing positive actual experiences of real people. So both kinds of stories are out there, and really not that hard to find.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    Cindy, I didn’t “defend” Bush – I did criticize the media for their double standard. A free press is crucial to America. I was a loud critic of Bush too. I will say that when it comes to this ACA disaster, the press is starting to come alive.

    When you find some positive stories, share them in the links sometime. I’m sure they will read something similar to what I posted – somewhat unhealthy people with expensive health insurance getting subsidized by younger healthy people….and pocketing the difference…..which of course is not what the law was sold on at all.

    Bottom line – employer coverage has NOT yet come under the burdens of the law. When it does, we will see the same thing, only greatly multiplied, that we have seen the last few weeks. I already have seen multiple companies say they will pay the penalty to the government, give their employees a check and tell them all to find their own coverage.

  24. Cindy says:

    Um, no, I won’t be looking up links. You and I see through very different colored glasses, and you can no more remove yours than I can remove mine. Thanks for explaining about the employer mandate though. Even though I stated I’ve been following closely I guess I didn’t catch that detail, bottom line.
    God forbid somewhat unhealthy people catch a break, maybe the really unhealthy will want one too. Each person for themselves I guess.

  25. Jim says:


  26. Steve Wright says:

    God forbid somewhat unhealthy people catch a break, maybe the really unhealthy will want one too.
    No, the really unhealthy are mostly screwed.

    “My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits”

    Since this dying lady has no time for politics, maybe a few of us with time can try to fight this law on her behalf and educate some folks as was now admitted here, and maybe the next time a vote comes our way we might see some changes…because right now, this is the law. .

    Cindy, I wish you and your company all the best. Truly. I do not share the glee some on the right enjoy at this blowing up in the left’s face. This isn’t about simply gaining political advantage because I think most of the Republicans are as worthless as all the Democrats.

    I am very sad and very mad all at once – and my hope is that the train can be reversed before it completely wrecks.

    Personally, I think we all need to remove our glasses, rose or other colored, and look reality smack dab in the eye – without the hype and spin from the media of whatever side. Pastoring a church and having person after person come tell me their personal horror story and asking for prayer because they do not know what they are going to do for themselves or their family in just a few weeks…’s sobering.

    Good night.

  27. Cindy says:

    Educate some folks as was now admitted here<<<
    Did you really not catch the sarcasm? You can't even casually follow this story and not have heard that the employer mandate was delayed.
    Pastoring a church also greatly influences who you will be hearing stories from.

  28. Jim says:

    Anyone who has read an in depth summary of the ACA knows that it is an impossible plan. As Steve stated, the employer mandate (when the poop really hits the fan) was illegally postponed until 2015, which just happens to be after the 2014 mid terms. In 2016, Hillary will win by a landslide, and the ACA will be scrapped in favor of single payer, so we can achieve the liberal dream of being like Europe.

    And if you’re against the death of the Republic, you just don’t care about the sick and the poor, because just like Jesus said, the govt is their only hope.

  29. Steve Wright says:

    Did you really not catch the sarcasm? You can’t even casually follow this story and not have heard that the employer mandate was delayed.
    I did miss it. Was your statement then that your situation as a business has improved thanks to the ACA also sarcastic? Because I was wondering how you could say that unless maybe you didn’t know.

    Pastoring a church also greatly influences who you will be hearing stories from.
    Yeah, in my area it would be largely working poor and lower middle class folks. Sorry to see you care so little about real people, even after lecturing earlier about living in the abstract. (And no, that was not sarcastic – casting dispersion on hurting Christians just because they attend my congregation is beyond political bickering)

  30. Cindy says:

    Steve, there was no judgment meant by my statement about who is talking to you. Just that they are not going to be a representative sample because no matter the diversity of class, race, etc they all have a major factor in common, they are wiling to talk to a pastor. I’m not judging that, I’m saying it is a distinct group of people.


    “Combined, as many as 52 million Americans could lose or have lost old insurance plans.”


    Key paragraph:
    “The mainstream media is acting only because the story is too big to ignore. Had it been mildly skeptical sooner, it could have exposed the law’s destructive rules and prevented the disaster.”

  33. Ricky Bobby says:

    Agreed. The Liberal media (vs. the Conservative media) still dominates the media landscape and it largely ignored and propagandized the 0bamacare legislation (and much of the rest of the 0bama presidency so far). Journalism has been long dead. The Media no longer plays the role of unbiased watchdog. It is a function of Two Medias: Left and Right and a war of Propaganda and rhetoric and PR and shaping public opinion.

    In this regard, the Liberal Media shares responsibility in the disaster which is 0bamacare. I’ve been reviewing the bill…actually reading the whole thing…and reviewing analysis by lawyers, doctors, former IRS counsel etc etc…and it is flustercluck and will fail.

    Now, Harry Reid and other Dems are on record that they want it to fail in its current form and become fully Socialized “Single Payer” System.

    Harry Reid: “0bamacare just a step toward eventual single payer (full socialized medicine)”

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    “Never let a good crisis go to waste”–Rahm Emanuel, Liberal Democrat Establishment power player.

    …yah, and manufacture them when needed as well.

  35. Gary says:

    Back in 2007 Obama said his goal was single payer healthcare so we know he’s a liar.

  36. Ricky Bobby says:

    This is the rare case that behind-the-scenes…both Political Parties want 0bamacare and the Exchanges to fail and fail miserably.

    The Dems are hoping it will give them the opportunity to usher in Single Payer fully Socialized healthcare.

    The Repubs are hoping it will fail and give them the opportunity to reinstate a Private healthcare System.

    Both are playing politics and a game of chicken and we’ll all lose while the thing implodes.

    It will be interesting to see who wins the eventual War on Healthcare.

    That’s about the raw truth of the matter as I see it after putting in the time to do some analysis.

  37. Gary says:

    The biggest media will win. Freedom will lose.

  38. Jim says:

    Just as the gop and dems are two sides of the same coin, so are fox and cnn. The truth lies in alternative media, which is a rats nest. If I care about a story, I’ll read from as many sources as I can access.

  39. PP Vet says:

    “If I care about a story, I’ll read from as many sources as I can access.”

    Ain’t it the truth. Sometimes it takes a lot of work sifting through the lefties, the righties, and the crazies to get the actual underlying truth in so many of these situations.

    Once it’s all over, in my experience, Wikipedia is pretty good.

  40. brian says:

    “Both are playing politics and a game of chicken and we’ll all lose while the thing implodes.”

    Freedom will lose which is completely and utterly irrelevant, many americans will be hurt by this, which matters even less because we are believeth contempt. What will happen is that people will write books, go on the speaking circuit and protect wealthy donors. These are the sacraments of the American Religion.

  41. brian says:

    The American Religion is not at all synonymous with the Christian faith, I wanted to make that clear.

  42. brian says:

    It is sort of comic in a way but it describes some struggles I have had. I have often been empathetic to others in my life, and at the same time I have literally hated myself for being so weak and pathetic for being like that. We need Jesus well? But you better never really need Him, one should be an island unto themselves, autonomous and anonymous. Always.I never found much good news in that, maybe someone can help me there?

  43. Ricky Bobby says:

    I am amazed at the lack of thought by many Fundamentalists. Another conversation on FB that is mind blowing of how delusional and ill-informed some can be. It’ll be posted on the other blog for consideration and demonstrates the lack of intellectual honesty and intellectual discipline of the Fundamentalist Christian* but slowly and surely I think a dent is being made for the good. Opening one set of eyeballs at a time.

  44. Gary says:

    Good luck with that, mister anonymous. Our eyes can only be pried open by the Holy Spirit under the grace of God. Are you into prayer?

  45. Steve Wright says:

    Derek, last week Obama met with several Democrat Senators. Every Senator who bothered to come to the meeting was one that is up for reelection in 2014. Not one other Sentator attended (lone exception being the Senator who also serves as the Democrat Senate campaign chief)

    The talk was all Obamacare. And I would love to have been a fly on the wall.

    And I imagine a guy like Hayward, that I have read for years, has a source or two that were such flies….

  46. Read this before that.

    52 million Americans losing their plans and being forced to purchase more expensive plans…in an election year no less.
    Senators are already seeing those ads about how they voted for Obamacare running.
    Well, doesn’t take much to see this might happen.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    Derek, nor is it surprising to see a special meeting for JUST the Democrat Senators up for reelection worried about their seats of power. God forbid Harry Reid and some of the others join Obama in the room to discuss actually fixing the problems of the country.

    Nope – the topic at hand, as it usually is, “What about my reelection”

    The numbers are now coming in of new enrollments and they are disastrous. They won’t release the demographics of those relatively few who have decided to enroll, because that would be even more of a PR disaster.

    In the summer, Nate Silver already was predicting 3 likely GOP gains, with 3 more in red states that were toss-ups. That was BEFORE Obamacare roll out.

    If that happens, it means all Obama can do his last two years is veto the bills to repeal – which isn’t exactly setting the stage for Hillary in 2016.

  48. Steve Wright says:

    I just read it is even worse. Even though no insurance company in history has counted subscribers until they actually have bought a policy (that would be fraud and thus illegal), the numbers are so bad that Obama is going to include all the people who (to use an reference) have an account open and something in their shopping cart for possible future purchase.

    You get counted as an enrollment, even if you have not bought, even if you never buy.

    Words fail.

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