I know I haven’t been around much, but the book has actually picked up speed and started action like a book. I figure I’d better take the good news while I can get it.
In the meantime, though, I’ve been reading a book by Steven Pinker called The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
This is a very long book, and I have been reading it for a very long time. I started on October 1st, and I will probably finish sometime today.
When I do finish, I’m going to have a lot to say, m ost of it not complimentary.
In the meantime, however, I wish to point out that it gave me a piece of information I am very happy to have.
Do you know all those studies that purport to show that liberals are just smarter, brighter, more intelligent than conservatives?
We all roll our eyes and go: politicized social “science.”
And that’s probably true.
It turns out the liberals the study finds to be more intelligent than conservatives are not left-liberals or progressive.
They’re classical liberals.
(At one point Pinker says something about how libertarians have “a lot in common” with classical liberals. That’s because libertarians are classical liberals.)
Anyway, on top of that, the smartest of the classical liberals are the ones who are classically liberal–
Free minds and free markets, as the Reason Foundation likes to say.
Although, according to left-liberals, I’m supposed to ate them, because they get a lot of money from the Koch brothers.
At any rate, it was sort of good that that came along to make me happy, because I was having a fairly stunned reaction to the stupidity of conservatives over the last couple of weeks.
Welcome to the shut down and the dumbest political maneuver anybody’s made in a very, very long time.
For those of you who do not live in the US, it’s important to note that the shutdown started on the same day (October 1, again) as the health care exchanges opened for the start of Obamacare.
And it’s also important to know that the shutdown happened because some members of the Republican Party wanted to defund Obamacare in any future continuing resolution, as a step to getting rid of it.
So for the last two weeks, what we’ve had is nothing but stories about the shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crisis and yada yada yada.
Into which have dropped stories here and there about how the launch of Obamacare is coming along.
And when we’ve heard that the launch is not going well, we were told: that’s because the Republicans won’t fund the government.
And the launch of Obamacare has not been going well. In fact, it would be difficult to exaggerate just how badly it’s been going.
Some of the problems have to do with the fact that the software seems to have been designed by a malignant chimp.
It’s the government, so for some reason I can’t understand, they couldn’t just go out and buy a bunch of existing software that had proven workable and fit the paradigm.
Apple didn’t even bid on doing the design. Which says something about the bid process or something.
But the software mostly just doesn’t work, and there are too many and the process is set up in such a way that some mistakes can only be corrected by filing standard appeals, instead of just going in to rework your account.
The system declared a friend of mine to be unmarried and earning no money in 2013 and directed him to Medicaid. He’s married and makes more money than will even allow him to get a subsidy. He has to file an appeal. The system has spoken. End of discussion.
But there’s a lot more that’s going wrong, and it’s not a matter of software.
Practically everybody who has been buying insurance in the individual market is getting royally screwed.
Virtually everybody who has plans from the individual market is having their plans cancelled as of January 1, 2014, because the plans don’t comply with Obamacare requirements about coverage. They don’t include things like maternity coverage, well child coverage, mental health coverage, and a whole laundry list more.
The replacement plans people can buy come with premiums twice as high as the ones they’ve been paying–but with the same large ($4500 or more) yearly deductibles.
A fair number of people are looking at a situation where they will not be able to buy insurance at all, with or without a subsidy, and some of those people are chronically or severely sick.
Even a number of liberal bloggers have started to blow up about this–writers tend to be freelance, and if they’ve got insurance they’ve been buying it in the individual market–and the more official liberal commentators having started calling the whole thing “a disaster.”
That was Ezra Klein. “A disaster.”
In other words, if Ted Cruz and his friends in the House had kept their mouths shut and passed a “clean’ CR, they’d right now be very close to getting that year postponement of the individual mandate, they’d have a country full of people leaning more to their side on the subject of the ACA–hell, they might even be on the way to maneuvering a rollback or a repeal.
Instead, they’ve given the Obama administration the perfect cover, and the Obama administration is going to use it.
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