No bells involved, and just one belle.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Adult female blue crabs are rebounding in the Chesapeake Bay, oysters show signs of resistance to deadly parasites, striped bass continue to hold their own, American shad are returning to spawn and nutrient pollution and sediment loads are dropping.
These are a few of the indicators in this year's "Bay Barometer" from the Chesapeake Bay Program that key elements of the bay and its vast watershed continue to recover, slowly but surely, from decades of pollution, disease and overfishing.
By every measure, however, the bay is still a troubled estuary and the report notes continuing areas of impairment. Among them:I find the various "Bay Barometers" and "Bay Report Cards" more about getting a little publicity for the cause (the Bay Program and Chesapeake Bay Foundation in the case) than about actually measuring the progress made or lost. Anyone who has been in the business, or even been watching for more than a few years knows that the crabs and fish come and go (they come more when they're not fished as hard, but that's a different story), and oysters are a perennial disappointment. Otherwise, the progressive changes in the bay, if any are smaller than the inter-annual variation, and will be observed only over longer periods.
• Nearly three-quarters of the tidal segments analyzed were partially or fully impaired by chemical contaminants.
• Less than half of the bay sites surveyed had healthy bottom habitats.
• Nearly 60 percent of non-tidal streams are in poor or very poor condition, caused chiefly by polluted runoff — although the report does note that about 70 percent of monitoring sites show improved levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the long run, and 28 percent show improvements in sediment. More reductions are needed, but experts say there is usually a lag time between restoration efforts and the end result of water quality.
• Underwater grasses declined in the bay for the third year running.
"This report," said Beth McGee, "is a sobering reminder that although we have made progress in reducing pollution, we still have a long way to go to restore local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay." McGee is senior water quality scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
TSA agents in St. Louis, Missouri, disarmed Rooster Monkburn, a cowboy sock money, of his two-inch toy gun after a woman brought the stuffed monkey through security. Agents said that it posed a threat because it could be confused for a real gun, according to local reports.Umm, no. Common sense is a rare commodity in a federal bureaucracy, and TSA hadn't been created yet when it was all divvied up and then lost.
“[The agent] said ‘this is a gun,’” said Phyllis May, recounting the experience to fly back to her home in Washington state. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”
May, who has a small business selling sock monkeys, was also questioned for bringing the sewing supplies she uses to make the stuffed animals in her carry-on bag. TSA agents told her they would have to confiscate the miniature firearm and call the police, although Washington’s KING-TV reports that the TSA never did call the authorities. May’s sewing supplies were ultimately returned to her.
“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” May quipped. “I understand [the TSA agent] was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”
Pretty scarey! The TSA must go.
What little bit of snush that fell yesterday is slowly melting under the influence of a 34 F rain. Another lovely day in slower MD. At least we have power. Now about that Obamacare Scadenfreude:
Federal exchange sends unqualified people to Medicaid
The federal health care exchange is incorrectly determining that some people are eligible for Medicaid when they clearly are not, leaving them with little chance to get the subsidized insurance they are entitled to as the Dec. 23 deadline for enrollment approaches.No word on when it is determined that the Medicaid determination is wrong, but we may safely assume that a large number of them will occur after the "open season" when people go to use their benefit.
. . .
Here's what happens: When consumers applying for insurance put their income information into subsidy calculators on HealthCare.gov — the exchange handling insurance sales for 36 states — it tells them how much financial assistance they qualify for or that they are eligible for Medicaid. If it's the latter, consumers aren't able to obtain subsidies toward the insurance, although they could buy full-priced plans.
If the Medicaid determination is wrong, consumers should file an appeal with the federal marketplace, says Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters, but she says she does not have an estimate on how long that would take.
One of the stories that has been persistent through this Obamacare enrollment process has been that, at least initially, the needier people that were inspired to try to sign up for ACA early in the process were to a large extent, shunted into the expanded Medicaid. Now we find out that many of these determination are likely incorrect, and will not hold up after the enrollment ends. How convenient!
More news on the Medicaid front. So many people are signing up through Obamacare and winding up on Medicaid that it will likely bankrupt the states and/or federal government: ObamaCare created a Medicaid time bomb
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.But that's OK, because it helps people stay healthy, right? Well, maybe not so much.
The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.
Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that, in part because of ObamaCare, Medicaid spending will more than double over the next 10 years, topping $554 billion by 2023.
And that is just federal spending.
State governments pay another $160 billion for Medicaid today. For most states, Medicaid is the single-largest cost of government, crowding out education, transportation and everything else.
New York spent more than $15 billion on Medicaid last year, roughly 30% of all state expenditures. The Kaiser Foundation projects that over the next 10 years, New York taxpayers will shell out some $433 billion for the program.
But none of these projections foresaw that so many of ObamaCare’s enrollees would be Medicaid eligible. . . .
The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange study, the first randomized controlled study of Medicaid outcomes, recently concluded that, while Medicaid increased medical spending increased from $3,300 to $4,400 per person, “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical-health outcomes.”
Other studies show that, in some cases, Medicaid patients actually wait longer and receive worse care than the uninsured.
New Affordable Care US health plans will exclude top hospitals
. . .Amid a drive by insurers to limit costs, the majority of insurance plans being sold on the new healthcare exchanges in New York, Texas, and California, for example, will not offer patients’ access to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan or MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, two top cancer centres, or Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one of the top research and teaching hospitals in the country.So, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, as long as you're willing to pay extra. Funny, I didn't see any footnotes Obama said it over and over. But according to one of Obamacare's main architect, you were just supposed to assume it:
Experts say the move by insurers to limit consumers’ choices and steer them away from hospitals that are considered too expensive, or even “inefficient”, reflects the new competitive landscape in the insurance industry since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law. . .
How Obamacare will become a major incentive for tax cheats
Dept. of Maybe-Not-So-Unintended Consequences: Doesn’t Obamacare create a big new incentive to fudge your income on your tax returns? The subsidies available on the health care exchanges seem to be based on adjusted gross income (line 37 on Form 1040)– and there’s a huge, conspicuous difference between the subsidy available at, say, a $25,000 income and a $46,000 income. (The subsidy cutoff of is $45,960 for a single person). In California, for the “bronze” policy I’m interested in, at $46,000 I’d pay $507 a month. At $25,000 I’d pay … $63. A difference of $444 a month.You would think the government would try to discourage cheating, but no. . .
Sure there’s always an incentive to cheat on your taxes (assuming you don’t get caught). But people in this income range don’t pay much in income taxes to cheat on–this is basically the 15% bracket. Lower your income by $20,000 and you save $3,000. They also pay FICA payroll taxes (though they get something in exchange–more Social Security benefits). FICA taxes are a maximum of about 15% for the self-employed in that range. Lower your earnings from $46,000 to $25,000 and you save another $3,000 and change. The Obamacare cheating bonus–$5,328, in the above example–dwarfs either of those incentives, and almost doubles the payoff for understating your income. Save on income taxes and FICA and get near-free health insurance too!
if you go onto the California Obamacare web site (www.CoveredCa.com) and tell them you have an income of $46,000 you get a helpful little notice:
Your Annual Income is just above the boundary for premium assistance – please be sure you have entered an accurate income.Translation: “Are you sure you don’t want to cheat us just a little?” (wink wink). ** Maybe that visit to your girlfriend in Florida was really a trip to scout business leads. Yeah, it’s all coming back now! If you can get your AGI down by just $100 to $45,900, your Obamacare subsidy jumps from 0 to $225 a month.
The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend a Tuesday memorial service in South Africa honoring Nelson Mandela.Finish the joke:
The Obamas will be accompanied on Air Force One by former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush. Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with former President Jimmy Carter, will also attend memorials for Mandela in South Africa.
So, to pass the time on the way across, they get into a poker game, but just when he gets ready to lose all his chips, Barack makes up a new set of rules.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
The power went out about 2 pm here, saving me from having to watch the Redskins get clobbered by Kansas City. I started a fire in the fireplace, made sure the generator was working, and am now sitting in the gloom with about 1450 other customers while SMECO tries to restore power.
UPDATE: Power came back a little after 7 PM, cable a half hour later. That's more than enough time in the 19th Century.
UPDATE: Power came back a little after 7 PM, cable a half hour later. That's more than enough time in the 19th Century.
No, not the Philadelphia NFL franchise, the real thing, the birds!Administration close to finalizing rule to give wind farms a pass on killing eagles
The Obama administration is moving toward finalizing a rule that would give alternative energy farms a pass for killing bald and golden eagles for decades, just weeks after it took legal action for the first time against a company for doing so.As we reported earlier however, the administration recently fined Duke Energy for killing Bald and Golden Eagles in its wind farms:
The rule by the Interior Department extends the length of the permits that allow farms to unintentionally kill the eagles without penalty from five to 30 years, according to department records.
The rule authorizes the “non-purposeful” killing of eagles, but also will require farms to implement certain guidelines to help with eagle conservation. The White House finalized its review of the rule Thursday, The Hill reports.
The administration last month also prosecuted its first case against an energy company for killing 14 golden eagles, which get sucked into the farm’s wind turbines accidentally while they are hunting prey.Best commentary by Smitty at The Other McCain:
Duke Energy agreed to pay $1 million for killing the birds over the past three years at two Wyoming wind farms. The company pled guilty to misdemeanor charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
A study by federal biologists this year found that wind energy facilities in 10 states had killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles since 2008, according to the Associated Press.
First, some world class Schadenfreude:
Obamacare raises Harry Reid's Insurance $4,500
Obamacare raises Harry Reid's Insurance $4,500
. . . Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Steve Tetreault of the Stephens News Bureau (Review-Journal) that Reid’s move “is the clearest example yet of Obamacare’s failures and Washington hypocrisy. His staff worked to pass it and continue to promote it, now they don’t want to be part of it because it’s a disaster.”If it's
Reid mentioned Cruz during the interview in Reno.
"I was really troubled when Ted Cruz complained. That really hurt me to the core,” Reid said. “The only people complaining are those who don’t like the Obamacare. I followed the law."And I will also note that there are 150,000 million different families that get their health care through their employees," Reid said. "So should all federal employees, although under Obamacare, my insurance costs me about $4,500 more that it did before. Yes, because it is age-related and it wasn’t like that before.”
Even solidly blue California is turning on Obamacare
. . . In February, 62% of Californians approved of the job performance of the White House's top golfer. During Obama's entire presidency his California approval was higher only once, 65% just 60 days into the job, Field reports.Feds warn Obamacare Insurance buyers not to use paper applications:
Today, barely a majority of California's registered voters approve (51%). In February, 33% disapproved of Obama's job. Today, 43% disapprove. That's the worst since 44% in autumn of 2011.
Federal health officials, after encouraging alternate sign-up methods amid the fumbled rollout of their online insurance website, began quietly urging counselors around the country this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people in health insurance because of concerns those applications would not be processed in time.And if you don't have a computer, or trust the websites with your personal information?
. . .
"We received guidance from the feds recommending that folks apply online as opposed to paper," said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance.
After a conference call earlier this week with federal health officials, Illinois health officials sent a memo Thursday to their roughly 1,600 navigators saying there is no way to complete marketplace enrollment through a paper application. The memo, which Claffey said was based on guidance from federal officials, said paper applications should be used only if other means aren't available.
And a reminder via Instapundit:
A PEARL HARBOR DAY OUCH: “We reduced Japan to a pile of radioactive smoking rubble in 1,346 days. It’s now Day 1,355 and, despite promises to do likewise to the healthcare system, they’re still working on it. The FDR administration built almost a hundred working aircraft carriers faster than the Obama administration has managed to build one working website.”But good news (TM) from the website. In October and November, only 25% of the web applications contained errors! A gentleman's C-. . .
After refusing for weeks to detail the extent of back-end problems with healthcare.gov, the Obama administration on Friday said a technical bug affected approximately 25 percent of enrollments on the federal exchanges in October and November.Supposedly, they're down to a mere 10% error rate currently. Oh well, good enough for government work.
Those technical bugs, separate from the troubles consumers had experienced accessing information on the website during the first two months, are posing a significant new problem for those who signed up and are expecting insurance coverage come Jan. 1.
One in four of those applications either did not get transferred to insurers, were transferred in duplicate form, or had major errors in information shared.
There is something to look forward to, however: Obama has shown how a future GOP president can gut Obamacare
Obama has turned his signature legislative accomplishment into a constantly evolving wikilaw, with editing privileges restricted to himself and a few administration officials. He’s largely been able to get away with it due to the difficulties posed by gaining standing in court for legal challenges.but, what comes around in politics tends to go around...
As businesses barked about the requirement that they provide qualifying health insurance or pay a fine, Obama decided not enforce the law’s employer mandate in 2014, even though the law explicitly states that’s when it’s supposed to kick in.
As technological problems mounted, HHS delayed the implementation of some income verification requirements for those applying for federal health insurance subsidies, without delaying the subsidies.
When Big Labor griped about a “reinsurance fee” that would be imposed on some union health care plans, HHS simply redefined the universe of health plans subject to the fee so that it excluded unions — forcing others to provide the lost revenue.
In the face of a public backlash over millions of Americans having their health insurance policies cancelled despite the president’s repeated assurances that it wouldn’t happen, Obama announced that he simply wouldn’t enforce the requirements on insurance policies that are clearly spelled out in the law.
With insurers complaining that Obama's “administrative fix” to plan cancellations could pose unanticipated costs, HHS has now proposed altering a provision of Obamacare known as the “risk corridors” program to funnel more money to the industry.
A Republican president, through regulatory action and enforcement discretion, could also reduce the number of federal benefit mandates that are imposed on insurance policies.Obamacare's three phases of fail:
If the administration wanted to go further, a Republican HHS secretary could potentially issue a revised Internal Revenue Service ruling eliminating health insurance subsidies on the federally run exchanges, in accordance with the actual text of Obamacare.
Though a lot will depend on how implementation goes over the next several years and what the politics of health care looks like in 2017, Obama has provided his potential Republican successor with a path to fight Obamacare through executive action.
Phase 1, the technical failure, might have been avoided had the administration had some basic standards of competence. But Phases 2 and 3 are inherent in the law.
Phase 2 was the revelation that the ObamaCare enterprise is the most massive consumer fraud in American history--that the "if you like your plan, you can keep it" sales pitch was not only false but deliberately deceptive, and also that ObamaCare forces insurance companies to engage in dishonest practices such as selling maternity coverage to men and postmenopausal women.
Assuming that the politics of ObamaCare remain static--that is, assuming Senate Democrats continue to fear the president more than they fear their constituents--Phase 3 will develop over the coming months. Phase 3 is the demonstration that even if the system is technically functional and the fraud impervious to redress, ObamaCare is economically unviable because of adverse selection: Americans who stand to benefit from the law's price controls, the old and the sick, will buy insurance in large numbers, while those who get hit by them, the young and the healthy, will not.
The East Coast is now being hit by what the Weather Channel is calling winter storm Dion. I missed Cleon somehow... Anyway, it just started about an hour ago with the pitter patter of ice pellets as I went to get the paper, but soon turned to snow:
How much are we going to get?
How much are we going to get?
Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today's academic system because he would not be considered "productive" enough.Read the whole thing. Found at Althouse.
The emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or even made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers after his groundbreaking work, which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass, was published in 1964.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
According to Ed Schultz, God Loves Obamacare
I supposed the recent retirements of "God hates c_ck s_cking faggots" Alec Baldwin and "Somebody should sh_t in Sarah Palin's mouth" Martin Bashir from commentariat role at MSNBC leaves Ed Shultz as the next most likely person to understand God's Will.
This leave Reince Priebus to restate the obvious: Obamacare Intended to Burden the Young
The Affordable Care Act is "intentionally designed to screw over young people" who are being forced to pay higher premiums, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says.which I guess it what God loves.
"It wasn't a mistake. This thing was not an accident," Priebus told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV on Thursday.
"Obamacare was intentionally designed to screw over young people so that young people pay for everyone else's stuff.
After the website gets working and it will, the next big issue will be the "Doc Shock"
Come January, when some number of Americans have bought insurance on the new health exchanges and are starting to use the services, you can expect another controversy to arise when many of them find out just how few doctors and hospitals they have access to. Call it “doc shock,” though the biggest outcry will not come when people try to schedule an appointment with their physician, but when someone gets sick and they learn they cannot go to whatever top-notch hospital they want, only to the hospital that is included in their plan.Doctor's in California are so happy about the low reimbursements the law gives them that 70% are threatening to drop out:
The problem varies across the country. In Washington, where I live, it basically won’t be a problem at all; exchange policies have mostly the same provider networks as regular policies from those insurers. On the other end of the spectrum, in California, where the exchange put heavy pressure on insurers to keep premiums low, most exchange policies have bare-bones coverage that excludes top-tier hospitals such as UCLA and Cedars-Sinai. The industry calls these “narrow network” plans, but consumers are likely to have some more pungent names for the stripped-down provider offerings.
An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate, the head of the state's largest medical association said.I'm puzzled at American's attitudes towards doctors. They show more respect to reality TV show stars.
“It doesn't surprise me that there's a high rate of nonparticipation,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, president of the California Medical Association.
Thorp has been a primary care doctor for 38 years in a small town 90 miles north of Sacramento. The CMA represents 38,000 of the roughly 104,000 doctors in California.
“We need some recognition that we’re doing a service to the community. But we can’t do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that,” he said.
The story is going around, based on White House visitor logs, that HHS Secretary Sebelius met with Obama only once during the creation of Obamacare. But it may not be true, since White House visitor logs are subject to manipulation.
My question here is whether the smart play for Obama is to claim that he was deeply involved with it's implementation behind the scenes, and it was a debacle as a result or to admit he didn't really give a rat's ass about how Obamacare was implemented as long as it was?
But don't they know it's settled law? Young Americans Expect Obamacare to Be Repealed
The young Americans the Obama administration so desperately needs to help make the Affordable Care Act function are the ones most likely to believe the law is endangered, suggesting that sustained House Republican efforts to repeal and undermine the law are bearing some fruit.But they're supposed to be rushing the sign up site, and crushing it! Wait, they'd rather gamble at online casinos:
More than half of 18-to-29-year-olds who were surveyed in the most recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll say it is likely the law will be repealed in 2014, even though the chances of that actually occurring are remote.
According to the poll, 18 percent of respondents in this age group said it was "very likely" Obamacare would be repealed by Congress next year, while 33 percent said it was "somewhat likely" the law would be done away with. The survey has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
Young people will soon figure out that the tax penalty for not buying insurance starts at only $95 and can be collected only if the IRS can match records sufficiently to dock someone’s tax refund. Unless the enforcement penalties are ratcheted up severely, many young people will reject buying the lemon of a product Obamacare is offering them. It’s not as if many of them have a lot of discretionary income. As Katrina Trinko of NRO points out:And they're not alone; according to Gallup a majority of Americans want major changes in the law:
Young adults don’t have much going for them financially. Many college graduates are saddled with student loan debts. In 2013, student loan debts average $35,200, according to a May Fidelity survey. They’re facing a dismal job market.In fact, there is some evidence that young people may be more willing to gamble with their future than to buy Obamacare. I live in New Jersey, where Internet gambling has just been legalized. Each of Atlantic City’s twelve casinos can operate up to five gambling websites so long as they screen out customers from out of state. Peggy Holloway, senior credit officer for Moody’s Investors Service, says the new sites will “appeal to a younger, more Internet-savvy demographic that might lack the discretionary budget to travel to one of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos.” And indeed, fifty thousand people signed up online for New Jersey’s gambling sites in the first week. That compares with 741 who signed up for Obamacare during all of October. Yes, the Obamacare website has been plagued with problems, but the disparity between the two programs is still eye-popping.
Dr. Jeff Singer, a surgeon and scholar at the Cato Institute, told Fox News that the gambling boom shows “younger and healthier people are making the decision — rightly or wrongly — that they are getting a better value by using some of their money, for example, in a gambling site than they are for buying health insurance which is covering things that they don’t need.”
Closer to home, the head of the Maryland branch of Obamacare has resigned in the wake of the failures in the rollout of the state's sites.
The Maryland official who directly oversaw the rollout of Maryland’s health insurance exchange resigned Friday amid continuing technical problems that have hampered the state’s online enrollment efforts.Meanwhile, Congressional staffers (the people who probably actually wrote the law, while their Senator was speechifying) were having their own fun with the Washington D.C. site:
After an emergency session Friday night, the board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange accepted the resignation of Rebecca Pearce, its executive director, and thanked her in a statement for working “tirelessly and with tremendous dedication” for more than two years.
. . .
The technological problems with Maryland’s exchange have been particularly problematic because the state was among the earliest and most aggressive in embracing the health-care law.
Capitol Hill gets crash course in signing up for new health-care law
Officials from the District’s new health-care exchange set up three computer workstations in front of the long dais, and in seats where the public and the news media usually sit, Senate aides sat and waited for help figuring out how to enroll in new health-care plans.
One described the experience as “incredibly stressful.” Some complained about the two-hour wait. Others reported that it went well.
The level of difficulty and frustration seemed to be largely dependent on staffer’s political party; a kind of political Rorschach test for aides who have listened to their bosses and the country debate the merits of the law for years. Republicans generally gripe about long wait times or getting booted off the Web site, while some Democrats boast that they will save significant sums of money as part of the exchange.
This episode of Rule 5 Saturday goes out to the girls of Grimm, the NBC TV show based very loosely on Grimm's Fairly Tails. In short, the show would have us believe that the monsters from Grimm's book still live among us, called "vessin" (German for creature), some good, some very, very bad.
Claire Coffee play a villainess vessin called a "Hexenbiest" Anamed deleade Schade (shades of schadenfreude), the leading antagonist, whose "vessin" appearance is a bit like a "Walking Dead" walker with a 10 minute make up job. But in her human form, she's quite lovely, and has a Maxim photospread to prove it. She's currently undergoing the magical consequence of an pregnancy.
Claire Coffee play a villainess vessin called a "Hexenbiest" Anamed deleade Schade (shades of schadenfreude), the leading antagonist, whose "vessin" appearance is a bit like a "Walking Dead" walker with a 10 minute make up job. But in her human form, she's quite lovely, and has a Maxim photospread to prove it. She's currently undergoing the magical consequence of an pregnancy.
A deadly pollution known as PM2.5 is currently killing over three million people each year, primarily in the developing world, demonstrates Richard Muller (Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley since 1980) in Why Every Serious Environmentalist should favour Fracking. His co-author, Elizabeth Muller, is his daughter and co-founder (with him) of Berkeley Earth, a non-profit working on environmental issues.if he's a professor at Berkeley in the United States, at least he could adopt the American spelling of "favor." A pet peeve ever since a British journal once made me spell harbor "harbour."
Personally, I strongly suspected that the deadliness of PM 2.5 (extrapolation to zero issues) is exaggerated, but I think the message over all is exactly correct. Fracking to produce natural gas is by far superior to burning coal for a large number of reasons, including particulate pollution.
It doesn't hurt to point out the the Chinese city of Shanghai is currently suffering from a severe air pollution health crisis as a result coal burning:
On Friday afternoon, the Shanghai government issued its severest health warning as the city's pollution index ranged between 23 times and 31 times the levels recommended by international health officials.
In the first such advice since a new health warning system was launched in April, authorities urged residents to stay indoors and asked factories to either cut or halt production.
"I don't think it's fit for people to live in this kind of environment," said Shanghai resident Fan Jianjun, 34, who wore a face mask as he walked through the opaque air in the Lujiazui financial district.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Wetlands can usually cope when it comes to sea level rise. They can move further inland over time, adapting to changing conditions. Despite this resiliency, though, it seems as if wetlands may be in danger. Scientists have revealed that humans may be sabotaging some of their best defenses against sea level rise...People do lots of things that can mess up the balance, dike and drain the wetlands which slows the return of sediment to the wetland, pull water, and sometimes even oil out of the ground under the marsh, and cause subsidence, burning the salt marsh grass as an "improvement", and even the "accidental" introduction of an invasive species like the Nutria, which simply eats up all the marsh grass responsible for the bulk of the marsh rebirth.
"Tidal marsh plants are amazing ecosystem engineers that can raise themselves upward if they remain healthy, and especially if there is sediment in the water," said Patrick Megonigal, one of the researchers, in a news release. "They would either build vertically at faster rates or else move inland to slightly higher elevations. But now we have to decide whether we'll let them."
Tidal marshes build up their soils when water floods the marshes during high tide. This water brings sediment with it, which then is trapped by the plants and adds new soil to the ground. This means that when sea level rise accelerates and flooding occurs more often, more soil can be added more quickly. Yet everything has a threshold; if a wetland becomes so flooded that vegetation dies off, then the positive feedback loops are lost.
It's good to see an article with a realistic look at the problems facing salt marshes, and not the monotonic focus on climate change and sea level rise that we've seen over the course of the last several years.
A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled last week that “not being the driver” is a valid defense against a speed camera citation. Basing his decision on careful analysis of Maryland law, the judge determined that a person named on a citation has no duty to identify the actual driver to exercise this defense.It's a little sad when we have to take such rulings as a good sign.
The case involved a citation issued to a leading member of the Maryland Drivers Alliance, Ron Ely. Ely had received a speed camera citation from Montgomery county for a Toyota Prius, for which he was one of two registered owners. Mr. Ely was not the driver – or even a passenger -- at the time of the alleged violation.
People have been poring over the recent poll numbers, and the results have not been good for democrats and support of Preznit Obama in the upcoming months:
Obamacare Is Costing Democrats the White Women They'll Need at the Ballot Box
Polling provided to National Journal by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that white women have soured considerably on the law, especially in the month since its botched rollout. The skepticism runs especially deep among blue-collar women, sometimes known as “waitress moms,” whose deeply pessimistic attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act should riddle Democratic candidates with anxiety.Another key group that is losing faith is the so called "millennials." Millennials Jump Ship over Obamacare Bait and Switch
The Kaiser poll, which has been conducted monthly since Obamacare’s inception, shows the law has never been a big hit with white women. But this group’s opinions took a sharply negative turn in the November results. According to Kaiser, 40 percent of college-educated white women hold a “very unfavorable” view of the law—10 points higher than a month ago. An additional 10 percent view the law “somewhat unfavorably.” A month ago, those two groups together totaled just 42 percent.
A new poll from Harvard University suggests those days are over – and not just for Obama. As National Journal’s Ron Fournier reports from the survey’s findings a majority of those 25 and under in this survey of more than 2,000 would vote Obama out of office if they had the chance for a do-over. Among the entire group, the President’s overall job approval sinks to 41/54, just about the overall national average.Vote in hope, repent in sorrow. Finally, the Obama and the democrats have lost significant ground with another key demographic. According to recent Gallup polling, the preszit's approval dropped among Hispanics from 75% to 52%. Not yet underwater, but barely treading and getting weaker. Expect a big push on "immigration reform" shortly, but if it continues to decline at the point, I would expect them to jump on the anti-immigration bandwagon. Actually, this article presents a breakdown of the recent results by a number of demographic factors, and the results should have the democrats scrambling off the ship:
. . .
Prior to the passage of Obamacare – enthusiastically supported by this demographic while Obama continually promised it would lower premiums and not force people out of existing plans – younger adults could choose insurance that fit their healthier profiles.
The one place that Obama seems to be holding his ratings were with Conservative Republicans. Already swimming around in the bilge, these ratings had no place to go.
Paul Simon said it best...
The Obamacare victim du jour: Parents of 6-Year-Old With Rare Cancer Agonize Over Health Care Decision After Getting the Obamacare Letter No One Wants to Get:
Five months ago, Paul Porter’s 6-year-old daughter was playing outside on a slide. Later that night while sitting on the couch she complained of a stomach ache. Life changed forever.
Fast forward to present day. Ellie Porter has undergone major surgery, rounds of radiation and chemotherapy — and there’s more to come for the girl that likes to wear flowered headbands.
But the difficulty didn’t end there for the Salt Lake City, Utah, family that has helped their daughter battle cancer for the latter half of this year. In late November, they received a notice regarding their insurance. Porter, a dentist who chose his own insurance, was told his coverage no longer qualified as an acceptable plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Porter has until mid-month to choose from three options, deciding what’s best for his family and his little girl in the middle of treatment. He could:Why do Obama and the democrats hate white kids with cancer? Oh, right....
1) Keep his current insurance for the next year under the extension that arose from “if you like your plan, you can keep it” outrage;And Porter did like his insurance, but since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, he’s been worried.
2) Switch to a compliant plan; or
3) Seek out insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“I was nervous when this all hit because we’ve been a healthy family. We’ve never had to use our insurance before,” he said.
When Porter signed up for insurance, he said he picked a plan they could afford “that would cover us if something catastrophic happened.” And their catastrophic did happen.
And about that website? The Whitehouse turned down an offer by an "internet giant" to build the website for free.
This was confirmed during testimony today before a Congressional committee. Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, said the Obama White House turned down the offer.
Bill Hemmer: Was it proven today that an internet company offered to build the website for free but the government passed on it? Was that true? Did that happen?
Rep. Darrell Issa: It was stated under oath that it was true. No one argued that it wasn’t. The Obama administration blew over a billion dollars so far to build the failed Obamacare website.
|Swiped from Theo's|
Different media outlets have pegged the cost to build the cost to build ill-fated Obamacare exchange website at anywhere from $350 to $618 million. According to two tech experts who appeared on Sean Hannity ‘s Fox News program on Wednesday the price should have been more like $5-10 million. Most of the discussion centered on the lack of security on Healthcare.gov, but as Hannity was ending the segment he asked the two experts, David Kennedy, president of database security firm TrustedSec and Luke Chung, president and founder of the software firm FMS.I'm sure glad 'we' gave the job of building this monstrosity to the failure prone Canadian company headed by a crony of Michelle Obama!
“If you would have been hired to build this site, how much could you build it for and how much better could it be?” Kennedy answered; “I would say to build a site like this with the infrastructure, the architecture around it, you are looking at maybe $5 million to $10 million at a very maximum rate.”
On the other hand, different computer experts claim that the Obamacare website suffered from unrealistic expectations:
The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn’t all bureaucratic. Forcing slow and disparate databases run by government and insurance companies to work together in real time—and then launching the service all at once—would have challenged even technology wunderkinds.I guess the government people should stick with one armed experts...
In particular, the project was doomed by a relatively late decision that required applicants to open an account and let the site verify their identity, residence, and income before they could browse for insurance. That meant the site would have to interface in real-time with databases maintained by the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.
“You could put 100 Google engineers on it, and it’s not going to fix [the fact] that the scope of the project is flawed or fix the IRS system if it’s slow,” says John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “You don’t want to query 10 downstream systems and be reliant on their performance, because you are only going to be as good as the slowest one.”
Sebelius' Department of Health and Human Services held a contest for "young invincibles" to produce a pro-Obamacare propaganda video; ironically, the $2,000 winner was "Forget About the Price Tag."
She may be stupid, and the song
Mickey Kaus thinks that what the democrats need is a "do-hickey" that people can use to publicly display their virtue in having selected insurance through Obamacare:
Back in the early days of hybrid cars, when the Prius was starting to sell, some manufacturers (e.g. Honda) introduced hybrids that looked just like their regular cars. People presumably like the way regular cars look, or they wouldn’t look like that, so sales expectations for the normal-looking hybrids ran high. But they bombed. Why? It seems people who were in the market for hybrids weren’t just trying to save money and the planet–they wanted the world to know they were trying to save money and the planet. The strange-looking Prius did the job. Soon manufacturers were trying to add distinctive hubcaps or grills or bumpers to their hybrids in order to serve this “cueing” function.May I suggest an "OC" brand on their foreheads? But then, the plan is really to force us all into it. Except Harry Reid's aides, Obama's union friends, and the federal bureaucracy.
. . .
What the Affordable Care Act’s panicked marketers need, it seems, is some kind of badge, doohickey, ribbon, amulet or distinctive coloration that those who’ve bought overpriced Obamacare policies can display to tell their peers they’ve done the right thing. Wear a plexor in your lapel? A blue ribbon around your wrist? Dye your thumb red? Maybe kausfiles readers have some ideas for what this viral welfare state MacGuffin might be. Please submit your designs and proposals to Mickey@dailycaller.com.
And a final light note, Mike Collins is one of several Republicans vying for Rep. Paul Broun’s seat in Georgia, and he owns a trucking company. Cue the Enya:
Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins
|Denisovan Lass confronting Cave Bear...|
Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.
In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.
The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.
|Denisovan confronts early hominid.|
The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years. It is possible, for example, that there are many extinct human populations that scientists have yet to discover. They might have interbred, swapping DNA. Scientists hope that further studies of extremely ancient human DNA will clarify the mystery.
But not too quickly, I hope. I expect many more 'Denisvoan' posts.
“Right now, we’ve basically generated a big question mark,” said Matthias Meyer, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a co-author of the new study.Don't you hate it when that happens? No, wait; that's the fun part of science, speculating. Then you have to do the hard stuff and find the evidence and all.
. . .
“Now we have to rethink the whole story,” Dr. Arsuaga said.
Wombat-Socho has the Le Grande Rule 5 post "Slow Turning", up at The Other McCain on time and within budget.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
You wear "work from home" outfits to your "leave the house" job. Some people have cushy jobs where they “work” on their laptops from a “mobile location” (i.e., their bed and/or toilet). Unfortunately, you have a job that requires you to leave your house and be seen in public by other humans. Maybe it’s time to dress like you have self-respect, and not like a college freshman in pajamas on his way to steal milk from the dining hall.Since I no longer have a "leave the house job" ( I retired at the end of June), I no longer dress for work. But since my job normally revolved around field work and the lab, the jeans and T-shirt I normally wore both weekends and week days sufficed. However, I will not have as many reasons to wear so called "good" clothes from now on.
Your wardrobe has the versatility of a cartoon character. Cartoon characters wear the same clothes every day, because their animators are lazy. You are not a cartoon character. (Even if your poor sartorial choices deserve their own laugh track.)Hey, I change my T-shirt daily. And Georgia restricts the number of days I can wear the the "3 Wolf Moon" one.
Your friends have entered a new, stylish stratosphere. Times have changed. Your friends have evolved from punks to passionate tastemakers. They're independent, intelligent, and innovative. And...they don't want to be seen with you in public. Not until you join them in grown and sexy adult-land (what, did your invitation get lost?).Uh, no, they haven't. They're old farts, too. Sexy adult land is far behind.
People during the Great Depression dressed better than you. Ever see those grainy black-and-white photos of bums during the Great Depression? Did you notice that they were dressed better than you are, wearing suits? And those brave people were starving to death in a barren dust bowl. Now take a look at yourself. You're gainfully employed, yet you're wearing an old college T-shirt, eating pad thai, and live-tweeting reruns of a reality show about teenaged mothers. What’s your excuse?My T-shirts aren't college, and anyway, I don't tweet, yet. Back in the Great Depression, my dad was running around in China, probably barefoot. But yeah, I'll bet his shirt had collars. So what? That was the style back then. Styles change, just like the climate.
Your shoes are so worn out you might as well be barefoot. You do know that shoes are supposed to protect your feet, right? I don’t care if you just read some book that insisted our feet aren’t made for shoes; do you know what type of garbage touches a city sidewalk? Do you want to contract an entire alphabet’s worth of hepatitis?I need three pairs of shoes. One 'decent' pair to wear when we go out shopping, etc, and two pairs of old ones to alternate on beach walks, so one can be worn while the other is drying. They might get worn during yard work, too. The beach shoes are often fairly pitiful.
Your phone is your watch. Look, everyone loves a good mobile appendage. But the phone-as-watch thing is a joke. When time is of the essence, you'll never see a suave film protagonist pause dramatically to look upon the cracked face of his smartphone. Phones will never replace watches, so just tuck those dreams away, sport. It’s time for a new look (which you'd know by now if you invested in a proper watch). Seiko has some great wristwatches this season, and bonus!: They're designed to propel you from pauper to progressive in two seconds flat (time it!)One of the things I did for retirement was retire my watch. Screw it! As I sit here, the computer has the time displayed, the DVD player has the time, and the phone in my pocket has the time. That's plenty. Curiously, the phlebotomist at my last blood donation noticed I still had a paler, less furry patch on my left wrist and asked if I had taken off my watch.
Of course, you could always keep wearing what you’ve got on now. Maybe fashion will come full-circle in 30 years and people will start wearing soy sauce-stained pajamas again. Stranger things have happened.That's the plan!
Found at Althouse; who actually seems to care about clothes.
Farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are using conservation methods more than ever to reduce water pollutants, according to a study released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Yes, it is a big deal for the 'Bay Diet.' While I don't know off hand exactly how much that Bay Diet calculates that the farmers need to cut back to achieve the goals they purport to achieve, I'm willing to bet that the amounts are based on older research, which will have thus misrepresented the amount and ease with which the farmers will be able to make further reductions. The agriculture industry has been insisting throughout the process of the creation of the 'Bay Diet' that farmers had mad progress that they weren't being given credit for. They may be right.
The study found that runoff of eroding soil, phosphorus and nitrogen fell significantly between 2006 and 2011.
"It's a big, important deal," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a conference call with reporters. "What we found is conservation is working."
Meanwhile, environmentalists weren't giving an inch:
"We agree with many of the findings and are happy farmers are stepping up," said Beth McGee, senior water quality scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "The only way we're going to restore the bay is to reduce agricultural pollution."
I saw in the news somewhere this morning that Preznit Obama had proposed to increase the minimum wage as away to put more money in the economy, had exactly this thought, and then went off and did something else, which ended in a nap. In the meantime, Stacy McCain took the theme and ran with it. Proving, if nothing else, that if you snooze, you lose:
Remember the infamous business plan from the South Park episode?
Say hello to the president’s economic theory:
- Collect Underpants
It would be an insult to readers to explain why this won’t work, but I will say that in my adult lifetime, every increase in the minimum wage has been followed within a year or two by a recession. Drew M. at AOSHQ endeavors to address the flaws in Obama’s idea, but it’s depressing to think that any adult can’t figure out why raising the minimum wage inevitably causes an increase in unemployment.I don't think Obama can't figure it out; I think he has, and just doesn't care. It is pretty much his stated opinion that he would rather have more equality through redistribution than a strong economy under which rich and poor alike are free to benefit.
Perhaps that's the difference between Stacy and I; it just makes me depressed.
And speaking of depressing things to think about, we’ve got 9 million people on disability, 15% of them for mood disorders!
Mood disorders! More than a million Americans are currently collecting a check every month because they feel sad.
It that’s not enough to make you fly into a manic rage . . .
The carjackers who set off international alarm bells by absconding with a truckload of highly radioactive material most likely had no idea what they were stealing and will probably die soon from exposure, Mexican authorities said at the end of a brief national scare.The Co-60 sources they use for medical radiation therapy are enormous, and very dangerous. You can get a lethal exposure from the unshielded sources in a short period, without feeling a thing. It's going to be an ugly way to die.
The prospect that material that could be used in a radioactive dirty bomb had gone missing sparked an urgent two-day hunt that concluded when the material, cobalt-60, used in hospital radiotherapy machines, was found Wednesday afternoon along with the stolen Volkswagen truck. Mexican officials said no public health risk remained.
. . .
The cobalt-60 was found, removed from its casing, in a rural area near the town of Hueypoxtla about 25 miles from where the truck was stolen. Jimenez suspected that curiosity got the better of the thieves and they opened the box. So far the carjackers have not been arrested, but authorities expect they will not live long.
“The people who handled it will have severe problems with radiation,” he said. “They will, without a doubt, die.”
|Yummy looking, but it takes a bunch to make a decent meal|
A rare shrimplike creature found in Rock Creek Park — believed to be its only location in the world — could end up taking center stage in a fight against a proposed light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs.
The tiny Hay’s Spring amphipod has been listed as a federally protected endangered species since 1982 and has been spotted in Rock Creek Park in the District, downstream of where Purple Line trains would cross the park in Montgomery County.
The recently released final study of a Purple Line’s environmental impact, some activists say, erred in omitting the colorless crustacean as an endangered species that must be avoided or protected.
John M. Fitzgerald, a Chevy Chase resident and lawyer, said he and other environmentalists are contemplating a lawsuit to require the Maryland Transit Administration to consider a light-rail line’s impact on the animal. The little-known crustacean is significant because it signals good water quality, he said.
Will this become the Washington D.C. region's equivalent of the mighty Snail Darter? Don't count on it. Stopping a power project in rural America is one thing, obstructing urban planning near D.C is quite another.
My own view is that species that evolve to occupy small niche environments are expendable. New niches will open, and similar species will evolve to exploit them.
Sort of a cool misty morning here in slower Maryland. At least three cup of coffee morning. But the air is no clearer on the fate of Obamacare. Right off we find some top shelf schadenfreude.
Millennials Abandon Obama and Obamacare: A majority of America's youngest adults would vote to recall the president.
Young Americans are turning against Barack Obama and Obamacare, according to a new survey of millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are vital to the fortunes of the president and his signature health care law.Yes, but Obama is in office now, and nothing short of being found in bed with a live boy or a dead girl is going to get him out in the next three years.
The most startling finding of Harvard University's Institute of Politics: A majority of Americans under age 25--the youngest millennials--would favor throwing Obama out of office.
As they say somewhere "Too soon oldt, too late schmart." But it adds up to bad news for the demographic plan that lie behind Obamacare, to enlist the "young invincibles" to pay through the nose to support the sick and aging:
Few uninsured young people say they’ll sign up for Obamacare
Fewer than one-third of young, uninsured Americans say they are leaning toward enrolling in a health-care plan under the new Obamacare exchanges, according to a new poll -- a number that, if it holds, would present huge problems for the new law.But millennials are quick on the uptake compared to the people who write for the New Yorker.
In order to keep costs down, the Affordable Care Act relies on younger, healthier people signing up for coverage to offset the costs for older, sicker Americans. But a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll shows just 29 percent of uninsured 18-to-29-year olds say they will definitely (13 percent) or likely (16 percent) enroll in the Obamacare exchanges. When the question describes the law as the "Affordable Care Act" rather than Obamacare, just 25 percent say the are leaning toward enrolling or will enroll.
So yes, I’ll subsidize someone else’s prenatal coverage, in a more effective way than I’ve been doing by default under the current system, in which too many pregnant women show up in emergency rooms without having had such care, creating problems for themselves and their babies, and all sorts of costs for taxpayers. And I’ll remember to be relieved that my own access to health care is guaranteed. But they had better work out the problems with the A.C.A.; if they don’t, and it doesn’t fulfill its promise of insuring the uninsured, I’m really going to feel like a chump.Even though you read the New Yorker, you're not quite good enough to be exempted, like Harry Reid's staff:
I thought everyone was going to love this law?The Obama regime is arguing that it is nonsensical to read literally the law as it is written.
(CNN) Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare’s architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law’s new exchanges.Who wants to bet that Reid and and other Dem leaders find a way to circumvent having to enroll themselves by the end of 2014?
Reid and his personal staff will buy insurance through the exchange.
But it’s also true that the law lets lawmakers decide if their committee and leadership staffers hold on to their federal employee insurance plans, an option Reid has exercised.
It's almost like they had to pass the law to see what was in it. And once they did, they realized it was written by Harry Reid's summer intern.The plaintiffs in Halbig v. Sebelius say the plain text of the ACA, also known as ObamaCare, limits subsidies to applicants in states that have set up their own exchanges.That’s utterly absurd.
"Congress figured because it was loading up the state exchanges with a lot of goodies that just about every state would make the choice to participate,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The administration was "unpleasantly surprised" when dozens of states "said thanks, but no thanks," Kazman said. He believes the IRS is acting in concert with the administration to extend those attractive subsidies to all states – including those that opted out, an interpretation which gives rise to both employer and individual mandates and penalties – critical to helping fund the ACA.
What do laws mean if they can be rewritten at will by the President? Why must we obey laws if the President does not? Since when are we to obey what democrats say they intended rather than what is codified in a law they wrote?
Charles Krauthammer thinks that Obama's regard for his own inflated rhetoric is "sort of touching."
Krauthammer told panelists he didn’t “agree that the website issue is over,” calling it a “catastrophe” and the law “absolutely nonfunctional.” He seemed shocked at the president’s hope that a public relations campaign will turn things around.The White House continues to talk a lot about Obamacare, without saying very much at all. Din of Spin: Obama's Dangerous Balance
“Obama — I mean, it’s sort of touching the way he believes in the power of rhetoric, his rhetoric, in denying and trumping reality,” he said. “He can’t. He can issue all the words he wants, but unless he fixes what’s out there — people are experiencing the cancellations, experiencing the pauses, and if they show up on January 1 thinking they are enrolled in a plan, see a doctor at current expense and aren’t, that’s going to be the end for Obamacare.”
President Obama is striking a dangerous balance. Starting today, he must simultaneously refocus Americans on the potential benefits of Obamacare without shredding his credibility further by minimizing its flaws.It's "Train wrecks all the way down" according to the Instpundit, who says if they're not talking about it, it means they're hiding some more bad news.
That dilemma had White House officials twisted in knots Monday. On one hand, they acknowledged that the cornerstone federal website is not working as smoothly as it should. But you could hardly hear the disclaimer over the din of spin, as the White House launched an aggressive "offensive" from a defensive crouch.
"Healthcare.gov met our self-imposed November 30th deadline and even as we continue to make improvements to the website, we'll also remind the public about how the Affordable Care Act is already making a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans today," said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman. "The benefits of these consumer protections will only accumulate in the weeks and months ahead."
Insurers wary of Obama admin claims about back-end website fixes.Today's final word goes to Stacy McCain, for this tweet:
Insurers still don’t know the full extent of the problems associated with back-end issues on healthcare.gov and are wary of Obama administration officials’ claims they are fixing the problem quickly and fully.
. . .
But they are providing few details about computer-generated errors that have affected roughly one-third of consumers who have signed up on exchanges over the last few months, according to a report in the Washington Post.