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October 28, 2012


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I really wish my backup power worked better; I can supply internet and phone for a couple hours, but most outages are 3 hours or more. Last year we were without for more than four days, which was pretty miserable in the cold. I borrowed some watts to fire up the hot water heater, but my own inverters just can't produce the clean waves it wants, and can only run the house-fan for a few minutes at a time. Not enough to heat it.

Stay safe.

low-tech cyclist

SC - what bothers me about the MSM types is that, by and large, they've got the brain cells to become at least marginally knowledgeable about many of the subjects they bullshit about in lieu of research. Their true crime is entitlement-based laziness: they act like they've got sinecures, and essentially they do.

That you and I (and Lord knows how many thousands of other bloggers; we're hardly special in this regard) know more about most issues than they do, despite having day jobs doing other things, pretty much says it all.

So of course they hate Nate Silver and Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall. These guys, as you say, expose them for the worthless slackers they are.

I keep hoping that Marshall will have the opportunity, someday soon, to buy the assets of the WaPo in a liquidation sale, and have the opportunity to take TPM big time under the WaPo masthead.

low-tech cyclist

We're about as ready for the storm here as we can be. Gathered up and secured all the loose stuff outside, recharged rechargeable batteries, checked flashlights and stuff to see if they were working, charged up the cell phones, put gas in the cars - short of having a generator, which I'm not gonna bother with because there's no time we would have needed one between Isabel (2003) and now - we've done everything we can to get the house ready.


So far, it's pretty quiet up here. No high winds yet. We're stocked up on food, water, batteries, candles, matches, gas for car and truck. Tightened up the cabin over the weekend and now we're comfortably nestled into Greenfield apt., waiting to see what happens. IF we lose power, I plan to fire up the car every now and then to use its battery for cell service. We still have a land line and one totally analogue handset, thank goodness. Checked on the DC kids and upstate NY kids. Everyone's hunkered down. Good luck everyone.


This just in from New England Weather Works:
Now up to 17 foot seas south of Block Island RI, 20 foot seas southeast on Nantucket via buoy reports


very valuable info from WaPo, in case you lose I-connection:

kathy a.

stanley! such a good boy.

there was an idiotic column in my paper today about "lib" anxiety, which just kind of pissed me off because there is reason to be anxious.

hope everybody on the east coast is OK. looks like an awful lot of water and wind, already.

kathy a.

nsfw, probably, but excellent.

kathy a.

additional entertainment: romnopoly.

Joe S

LTC, I don't know about the brain cells of the MSM types. Many of them strike me as people who got a C in the one statistics course they had to take in college. A lot of them seem to value precious writing styles and clever arguments over the actual search for truth at the heart of the social sciences. That's part of why they don't like Silver and Krugman- both of them are very good at math and understand probabilities and mathematical models very well. Brooks even admitted once he could never get above a C in a math course- but could write well. You see it alot in law professors where admiration for elegant arguments takes precedence over law interpreted to achieve good social policy.

kathy a.

there is a qualitative difference between sifting through and analyzing a LOT of detailed evidence from multiple sources, and just saying what ya think should be right. silver is impressive, and he has been quite accurate in the past.

i don't actually think that bobo was commenting on silver; it is framed as musing on his own addiction to checking polls, and he also says, "I’m motivated by the power of cognitive laziness." (no quarrels here, i trust.) he is not making a 'cooking the numbers' argument -- although those are certainly making the rounds.


FYI----All major roads (incl I-84, I-95, I-91) in CT closed as of 1 pm. All MBTA trains stop at 2.

low-tech cyclist

Joe - they don't really even have to understand statistics. Like with Romney's budget and tax proposals, all they really have to be able to do is add and subtract with the aid of a calculator or an Excel spreadsheet.

Hell, even though I'm a professional statistician, most of my understanding of Nate's work doesn't rely on knowing any actual statistics. Most of it's common sense things like: you don't want to rely on any one poll but some polls are (a) better or worse than others, (b) have demonstrated house effects, or (c) don't have a track record in a particular state to judge them against. Or that there are national polls and state polls, and there are a few very simple reasons they may not agree, but in the end it comes down to winning states with electoral votes.

You can be the sort of guy who got a C in his one required math class in college, and still 'get' all this.

low-tech cyclist

Holy cow, paula, that really shuts down the whole state, doesn't it? I assume Bradley Airport's shut down too - good thing SC's already back home!

Speaking of back home, it's blowing pretty good out here in the southern MD exurbs. Calvert County's already closed schools through tomorrow; hopefully everyone else (including the Federal government) follows suit.

We had a couple of flickers in the power at about 11:20am, just long enough to cause some digital clocks, but not others, to reset. If the power goes out for real, we're ready.

kathy a.

that really does shut down the state, paula. scary.

y'all won't be picking on me for living in earthquake country anytime soon, i trust. ;)

hope everybody is OK.


As I understand it, Nate Silver relies on a version of Bayesian subjective probability theory. I first learned about this theory and its uses during the late 1960's from John Craven, the director and then chief scientist of the Navy's Deep Submergence Systems Project. For a time I worked for Dr. Craven and from him became acquainted (and I use that word advisedly) with Bayes and his theory. You see, Craven had used this theory in three top secret searches---loss of a nuclear bomb off the coast of Spain, and two years later the search for both the U.S.S. Scorpion in the Atlantic and a Soviet submarine lost in the Pacific.

Craven discusses this theory and its uses in his book "The Secret War." He had attended a lecture by one Howard Raiffa of Harvards. As he recounts, the lecture wasn't all that esoteric because Raiffa, to illustrate how the theory worked, borrowed on his experiences at the race track. "He noted," writes Craven, "that the betting odds of horses were determined by the bets placed by bettors before the start of the race. After much research, he discovered that bettors accurately predict the odds on a horse winning the race. Six-to-one odds horses won once every six times. Even-odds-on horses won half the time .. . and so on." While Bayes had developed his theory centuries earlier, "the concept" writes Craven, "as applied to operational analysis and game theory was Raiffa's brainchild." It would seem that Silver has figured out how to apply a version of this same theory to predicting election results.

And with the same accuracy and reliability that Craven achieved when he applied the theory to locating a lost nuclear weapon and a sunken submarine. It bears noting that the Navy at first rejected Craven's analysis, but then after, five months of failed efforts to locate the submarine, came back to Craven. Five days later they located the submarine, in 9200 feet of water. And, as Craven proudly told me, "only about two hundred yards of where we predicted it would be."

Which is about the same track record, so to speak, that Silver has recorded over these past several election cycles.

kathy a.

RCH -- my goodness, a lot of references to such diverse sources of ideas. and no links.

i'm not really following your reasoning, though. let's just take the lost submarine problem: that is one problem, and even back in the day, there were some solid leads to where it might be. that's not very much like trying to figure out how all the voters in all the diverse states are leaning at a particular point in time. also, i hate the horse race analogy. xoxo


Kathy, I cite The Silent War by John Craven. I'd begin there. Craven himself makes reference to Blind Man's Bluff. Another good source. And you can go on line to check out any number of interpretations of the Scorpion search, several of which that tell the story as did Craven (I'm relying on Craven's book and what he told me). His critics (or those who believe that he oversold the theory as regards to the Scorpion) fail to examine the Scorpion search with reference Craven's earlier successful search for the nuclear bomb off the Spanish coast. Craven, however, in his book, goes into considerable detail about the bomb search, over which he had what amounted to lead control. When he became involved in the Scorpion search (and I remember the day he was detailed to the effort) he approached the effort in exactly the same way that he had approached the successful bomb search---using the Baysian subjective probability theory. The one search came off pretty much as did the other. The difference being that the Scorpion search was very much aided by SOSUS, i.e. hydrophonic, analysis, which did provide some evidence---although not conclusive----of an explosion and also of submarine movement. This data had the effect of narrowing the search area. But as noted, the fact remains that the Navy had worked for five months to find the submarine with nothing to show for the effort. Five days after they went with Craven's analysis they found it.

Anyway, Craven's discussion of the Raiffe lecture, especially, the professor's references to betting odds, seems to me exactly what Silver is doing. This explains why on every one of his posts he displays all the other "horses," i.e. other polls. He is setting odds. This, after all, is what subjective probability theory is all about. I've heard the term "Monte Carlo" technique also used to explain what Silver does-----Monte Carlo is a close relative to subjective probability theory, i.e. forms of game theory. Hope this has been of some help. rch


Holy cow is right! This thing is getting serious, especially in CT and RI. We're fine up here in the woods, at least, so far.
Best to all in harm's way.

Sir Charles


I am hardly someone who should get very deep into mathematics, but I think you are absolutely right about what it is that Silver does. And his critics have no understanding of what motivates him or what he is trying to accomplish.

I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he was quick to admit that despite his own partisan regard for President Obama, if his model showed Romney winning, he would prefer to see Romney win. He is invested completely in this probability process and he wants to be correct.

Sir Charles

It is raining like hell here and has gotten pretty windy. (It sounds like a truck driving by.) Thus far, mercifully, the power has stayed on.

I am not looking forward to walking Mr. Stanley this evening. I am not sure that he is too happy about it either.

low-tech cyclist

If we lose power, I figure it'll be between now and dawn tomorrow. My son is already sound asleep, thank goodness, because the wind sounds pretty much as SC describes it. I put a battery-powered night light in the kid's room, just in case: don't want to chance a 5 year old waking up to howling winds *and* pitch blackness.

I'm signing off for the night - hope everyone has a safe one.

Sir Charles

l-t c,

Be well. I am watching the end of Rachel and then strapping on the rain gear and doing the walk, while trying to avoid falling limbs.

My worry on the power front is how long these clowns at PEPCO would take to restore it. We got lucky this summer and only last it for 24 hours, but others I know went without for 4 or 5 days. Not a pleasant prospect.

I have my fingers crossed having made it thus far with the lights on. (Ooh just had a big gust of wind and a light dimming moment -- and then another -- and yet another.) The big thing is to hope that the trees do not uproot due to the huge amounts of water in the ground coupled with the winds. I saw one on its side today when I was on my way home from work. This is a city with a lot of huge, poorly rooted trees and above-ground power lines. It's a bad combo.


Be safe all. Hope you're well-stocked, hunkered, buttoned-down and powered up.

Not sure you should venture out Sir C. Might Stanley do with just a trip to the backyard? Timed right? He could wear his adorable slicker tomorrow.


If you live, work for or love anyone on the East Coast, this was a day to say thanks for big government. In all, 21 states were affected but, since they are part of the US of A, none had to deal with this disaster on its own. And, it's not over yet. http://nyti.ms/TkImzU

Sir Charles

We made it -- it was so windy that I stood in front of him to block the wind a couple of times. I will take the branch on my head -- hell the whole tree -- for my dog.

I am slightly optimistic that we may get through this without a power loss.


Should keep a helmet on hand for dangerous activities, SC ^-^ We have skating helmets and carpenter glasses we used to keep the sticks at bay.

low-tech cyclist

It isn't quite dawn yet, but close enough. We still have power, no trees fell on the house or cars, the storm's moving away from us from here on out (sorry, Pennsylvanians and upstate New Yorkers!), and while we're getting a lot of rain, there doesn't seem to be much wind for now.

So I think we made it OK, and can deal with more mundane problems like how to keep a 5 year old occupied during another day indoors.


We're good up here but getting ready to go out and look around. The paper says there are 3-5,000 homes w/o power, lots of downed trees, roads blocked, but we can't see anything from our windows. It looks like we missed the worst of it, this time.
Some incredible stories coming out of NYC. Real heroes saving people from flooded or burning buildings. IT's good to focus attention for a few days on what really matters.
As for politics, I'll be glad when Tuesday is behind us. I need to move on, one way or another. I have to think this campaign hiatus has to be good for Obama, too. Gives him a chance to show leadership.

kathy a.

i hope prup is OK.

Sir Charles

Well we seem to have gotten through it down here with a lot fewer problems than I anticipated. Power has stayed on for most folks, so I assume that we have dodged that bullet.

NJ and NYC really look like they got rocked. I don't know how you get NYC up and running until you get the subway working again. It's really not a city that can function without the subway.


A hard hat probably would have been a reasonable thing to wear. I headed to the commercial area of our neighborhood where the trees are fewer and smaller.

You had mentioned something about the blogroll in an earlier comment. I am embarrassed to say that I lack the wherewithal right now to alter the bloggroll -- otherwise I would have done so long ago. I have to get with typepad again at some point to do this. There are a few I need to remove and several I would like to add.


I came through without significant difficulties (for which I feel quite lucky). Lots of wind but relatively little rain, and while I live almost on the ocean I don't live on a beach or right at sea level. For those who recognize the landscape (e.g. Sir C.) Lynn Shore Drive was closed to most traffic all day, but this morning I didn't see much evidence of damage along Lynn Shore Drive or the Lynnway. I know yesterday New England Cable News reported that Lynn was suffering power outages (along with Swampscott & Salem), but I lucked out that way, too.

kathy a.

today's bullpucky: wapo's cohen calls obama "the president who seems not to care," because obama does not look as emotional about poor people as RFK did in film clips. oh sure, he's voting for obama, but with sadness. WTF? how does this drivel add anything?

low-tech cyclist

Richard Cohen could noticeably improve the quality of op-ed commentary by disappearing from the face of the earth.

I accidentally tripped across that piece of drivel while looking for info on the effects of the hurricane in the DC area, and I had to wonder, once again, why the WaPo doesn't think it's an embarrassment to what's left of its good name to continue printing this guy's godawful nonsense.


OJ, l-tc, SC--Glad to hear it.
Bruce Springsteen must be beside himself. I don't know about Asbury but its twin, Seaside Heights, is not much more than a pile of splintered boards with a rollercoaster skeleton sitting out in the Atlantic. Just saw a photo.

Sir Charles


Glad to hear things are okay up there. My folks were supposed to fly in yesterday for a visit, but wisely rescheduled for Thursday.


And perpetrated by a dame named Sandy. The cruel irony.


RIP Seaside Heights of my youth. http://on.fb.me/VBDvwo


kathy, the comments are loading so rapidly on that bullpucky as to be unreadable. A maddening and ill-timed column. Really. No mention of the actual responsibilities of office that Obama has been bearing. The comparison is absurd.

Here's a straightforward counterpoint to that at Rolling Stone. "I Never Thought I'd See a Creepier Politician Than Nixon." Special emphasis: get out and vote!

Oddjob. Good to hear from you. From what I can gather, even the Cape was relatively spared. Marshes to ocean through for a time.


There was coastal flooding on at least parts of the southern Cape, but from what I gather the hardest hit areas in New England were the CT & RI coasts (along Long Island Sound).

I've lived here since '99 and during that time I've come to realize that on the whole this coastline (the "North Shore", the coast from Boston north to Gloucester) seems safer from harsh ocean storms than does the southern coast (from Chatham, MA south to NYC).


I cannot stomach another photo-op of Romney doing his version of the Ryan-at-the-soup- kitchen moment. You can find them by following Mitt at his 'disaster relief events.' Dave Weigel at Slate and on his twitter feed will fill you in. Canned goods, paper towels, TP, bottled water. Yeah, the Red Cross can't wait to devote its resources to the distribution of such. This photo is from a stop in Ohio and I'm almost sure that I went to high school with the woman on the left. I remember her and I'm sure she's no clue that Romney would plan on privatizing disaster relief. Maybe Halliburton is in the wings, running low on stuff to do, contracts to deliver.

The bullshit machine didn't even take a short break.


Sorry -- wrong photo. It was the second photo from this story at TPM. She's holding up the "Uncle Sam Wants You" graphic, "Obama You're Fired," clever Donald Trump-inspired souvenir t-shirt.

kathy a.

hear ya, nancy. RED CROSS SUGGESTS FINANCIAL DONATIONS, because the last thing they need to do during disaster relief is sort random canned goods and so forth. there is not time; there are not resources.

your old blankets and jackets, your non-perishable food items, etc. -- those can all be used by your local shelters, food banks, homeless outreach programs.

please remember that romney's "hey, i'm bagging donated goods!" photo op is about as good as his disaster relief plan gets. he has said he wants to dismantle FEMA and send it back to the states. (of course, today he is saying something different, so you can roll the dice if you choose on what he'd do, but remember that it might be your disaster on his watch...)

kathy a.

does anyone know anything about what will happen to accomodate voters affected by the storm? at this point, i'm thinking of people who lost power, who are dealing with flooding and damage; people in places where that is happening, and also transportation is currently out.

maybe there can't be a real plan yet; there are too many immediate problems, and the storm is not over, and the extent of the damage is not known. but i hope there are coordinated local plans soon, though, to get as many voters to the polls as possible.

Sir Charles


I think the hope is that things will be up and running in at least some limited fashion by next week.

It seems that the bulk of the problems exist in New York and New Jersey, neither of which are terribly at issue in either the presidential or senate battles. I also think a place like NYC can probably undue a lot of damage in seven days in terms of at least getting the polls open.

I am a little concerned about Tidewater Virginia, which is an important source of votes for Obama -- but they got hit early and I think should be up and running by next Tuesday.

Having said that, we were talking to relatives in Bethlehem PA today and they had lost power, my son's college in NJ is shut for the week and where he is staying there is no power, and it is clear that the restoration of power and repair of the transit system in New Jersey is going to be long and difficult.


Any word from Grover Norquist? Government. Pledges. Shrinking. Bathtubs.

Where's he?

jeanne marie


low-tech cyclist

Yeah, I'm eager to hear more about the conservative vision for dealing with disasters of this scale.

Sir Charles

Perhaps it was a metaphor and New Jersey is the bath tub to which he was alluding.

low-tech cyclist

Avert your gaze, liberals: Politico is even stupider than you think. Tweeted by Jonathan Martin of Politico:

Avert your gaze, liberals: Nate Silver admits he's simply averaging public polls and there is no secret sauce

It's a little bit more sophisticated than that, of course: it's a weighted average, giving higher weights to pollsters with a proven track record over those that don't, and more recent polls over older ones, and compensating for house effects and such.

But at the heart of it, yeah, it's poll averaging. Didn't everyone who reads Nate Silver know that already?

Krgthulu follows up with an excellent post about the MSM's belief in the importance of scoops and inside sources, while they swim in a sea of information that they don't bother to make sense of for their readers.


FYI, New York Times is providing free storm coverage at nytimes.com

Also, in case you need a place to work in NYC or know someone who does, here's an interesting co-op that has popped up overnight:


Re: Gov Christie et al.
Can't help but recall Eric Cantor's callous remarks re: disaster relief last year, when New England was reeling from Hurricane Irene. Now, Virginia is hurting. I wonder what he has to say today.

low-tech cyclist

Well, New Englanders aren't good, God-fearing people - they vote Democratic almost all the time nowadays. So it's different, you see.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

First, thanx, Kathy and Sir Charles, but I'm fine. For some weird reason, my part of Midwood has been lucky with both Irene and Sandy. Almost no major damage, none to the house -- not even a flooded basement -- and the neighbors lost a shutter, but that's all.

I haven't been off the block, but Em walked to therapy and reported she saw one apartment house that may have had its door shattered, but that's all -- the stores were open, everything was messy and things were blown all over, and leaves are everywhere, but that's minor.

On the other hand, our best friend was stranded in her eighth-floor apartment without eletricity or phone service for over twelve hours. And people elsewhere well, you;ve seen the pictures.

It might have been worse for me if the subways were a factor, but my knees and legs have reached the point where climbing that many stairs -- it's elevated out here -- is not conceivable in a non-emergency.

(I don't known why the local area is immune, but I'm thinking about learning to doven.)

And I've seen little serious discussion on how it might affect the election. The states hit were mostly blue states, and, iirc, few of them have early voting -- NY never has had it, I don't think Jersey does. People in these states are going to have a lot more on their minds than getting to vote. And one thing I've seen nothing on -- which may simply be my cutting back on political reading -- is what parts of the states were hit. For example, in Jersey, it was pretty much the whole state, but, for example, a place like Hoboken is, I think, strongly Democratic. In NYC, most of the ares hit hardest were in the more Republican areas. But in PA, which is still tricky, I think most of the worst damage was in blue areas, which could tilt the state.


Nate Silver has spent hundreds of articles talking about what he does. Anyone who's taken statistics and has access to the same dbs as his should be able to get the same answer as him, it's not really a secret.

I don't know why they think it is. Perplexing, actually. I loved his tweet:


Can't help but recall Eric Cantor's callous remarks re: disaster relief last year, when New England was reeling from Hurricane Irene. Now, Virginia is hurting. I wonder what he has to say today.

Steve King is doing his best to pinch hit for Cantor....

low-tech cyclist

George W. Bush is in the Cayman Islands today, paying a visit to Mitt Romney's money.


OJ--that's disgusting.
As the waters recede, I expect rescuers will find many, many more bodies in those flooded cars, splintered buildings and under trees. Some, undoubtedly, were buried in the sand and will never be found. Now, we've got to worry about the cold weather, infectious disease and lack of resources. If you think about it, along the coast, we have the equivalent of a developing nation appended to the larger society, one hit by an earthquake (think Haiti/DR), then a tsunami(think Japan). But, yeah, make light of dead babies, guys getting heads smashed by falling trees and old ladies freezing to death in their high-rise apartments. Sneer at one million people made homeless overnight. Use the whole bloody mess to steal a few anti-Easterner votes in the corn belt, who would like to believe we are all a bunch of selfish, craven moneygrubbers who hate the Constitution and Christmas.
As I pointed out long ago, NY, NJ, MA, CT, PA, MD (and maybe VA)are benefactor states -- meaning they send down to DC more tax $$ than they get back -- and Iowa is not. We'll remember you the next time you come screaming for drought relief.

low-tech cyclist

George Will, descending to new lows:

Much of the Democratic Party’s vast reservoir of condescension is currently focused on women, who are urged not to trouble their pretty little heads about actual problems but instead to worry that, 52 years after birth control pills went on the market and 47 years after access to contraception became a constitutional right, reproductive freedom is at risk. This insult may explain the shift of women toward Romney.

Kindly blow me, George. Once you wake up sufficiently to do so.

First of all, even if women continue to have a Constitutional right to contraception, that does little good if they can't afford the pills. Many women are struggling to get by and feed their families, and simply can't afford birth control on a regular basis. But Republicans are bitterly against any requirement that insurance companies cover contraceptives for women as part of standard health insurance policies.

Second, a Romney victory would surely result in Roe being overturned at whatever point Justice Ginsburg retired or was unable to continue to serve.

Third, anyone paying attention can hardly have missed the GOP's increasing hostility towards contraception. It hasn't been just a matter of its inclusion in health insurance coverage, but also things like passing laws giving individual pharmacists the right (of 'conscience') to not fill prescriptions for contraceptives, without jeopardizing their jobs.

Fourth, the GOP has been passing 'personhood' laws that, if ever found constitutional, would require legal treatment of a newly fertilized egg on the same footing as adult citizens like you and me. Once Roe is overturned, there would be no Constitutional barrier to such laws.

Fifth, once such laws are passed, all that is needed to outlaw birth control pills is to define them as abortifacients.

Aren't you glad that access to contraceptives isn't an 'actual problem'?

I sometimes go awhile without reading bozos like Cohen and Will (and Krauthammer and Gerson and the rest of those idiots), so I occasionally forget just how bad they really are. Then I read them, and remember.

low-tech cyclist

Michael Gerson's turn:

The final [ObamaCare] bill was passed through a maneuver — the reconciliation process — that embittered opponents and assured that a future GOP majority would engage in retribution. The final votes were secured through federal promises to states that smacked of bribery.

You have a right to your own opinions, Mike, but you don't have a right to your own facts.

1) The Senate, in December 2009, passed the Affordable Care Act by a 60-40 majority.

2) In early 2010, the House passed the Senate bill. This bill was the Affordable Care Act as it now is, except for a few minor tweaks. And reconciliation was not involved at all in its passage.

3) Reconciliation was used to pass a few tweaks - including the removal of those "federal promises to states that smacked of bribery" such as the provisions known as the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase.

So he's wrong in every particular. Obamacare was, in the main, passed without reconciliation. The final votes for the parts of the bill that passed via reconciliation weren't rounded up by any process smacking of bribery, but by the removal of those bribes. And there's nothing particularly objectionable about reconciliation process: it is a very common legislative tool in our Congress, and an increasingly necessary one to get any business conducted at all, now that the GOP minority has de facto required a 60-vote supermajority to pass practically any legislation at all.

I wonder if Gerson found it objectionable any time that the Senate passed legislation via reconciliation anytime during the 2001-2006 period. Somehow I doubt it.


Kindly blow me, George.

Somehow I doubt the experience would be worth the bother.

kathy a.

somehow, g. will manages to convince me that things are even worse than i thought. nothing like a dinosaur mansplaining how i need not worry my little head about the fucking dismantling of female lives...

but let's turn back to more immediate events than women everywhere being stripped of our abilities to personally manage our own bodies. let's talk about disaster relief.

via krugman , a ">http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/10/fema-case-study-difference-between-democrats-and-republicans"> case study of republicans vs. democrats on FEMA.

if you want "heckuva job brownie" for your personal local disaster (hurricane, earthquake, flooding, blizzard, wildfire, etc.), then mittens "hey, i can bag random canned goods that my staff bought for this photo op!" is your man.

he is pretty much that good on ALL the issues! just ask ann "we should dismantle public schools, because charters are so much better." or ask veepers-candidate "cut everything; you people should just be self-sufficient like ayn rand" ryan!

i'm sure the olympic-contending romney family horse would have something to say, except he is scheduled for massage until after the election. no worries! that $77,000 tax deduction pays for a LOT of massage. you should try it!


I've heard the comments that 'Oh, there was a medical exception to no birth control policy' - yeah, have you ever tried to get care under those? Either the insurance company accepts what your doctor writes down, or they second guess it.

What it results in is people getting denied access, randomly, to a medicine that only work if you are totally consistent in taking it over long periods of time.

Oh, and PS? Those women at the college outside of Washington that were testified about? They did get their medically-necessary prescriptions denied. So what if the policy was to allow exceptions to the rule? They still got denied! ARGH.

kathy a.

crissa -- anybody who has ever wrangled with an insurance company about something important knows that. e.g., my son's preventive asthma meds only got approved AFTER he spent 3 days in the hospital. and his pre-approved time in a treatment program for something else? it got dis-approved 6 months later for "lack of medical necessity" (i was not supposed to worry, because they were only screwing the provider), and only re-approved after i got really pissed and rallied a metric buttload of medical necessity.

about birth control: it is a medical necessity for women who want it, period.

low-tech cyclist

I confess I'm clueless as to why insurance companies wouldn't rather pay for birth control, anyway. Would they rather pay for care during pregnancy and childbirth?

It just seems that insurance companies will wrangle over every damned thing. I think the real point is that if they wrangle enough, they wear you down, and then you submit fewer claims in the first place.

And this sorta thing is EXACTLY why elderly people shouldn't have to contend with the private insurance market: there comes a time in life when you either don't fully have your wits about you, or if you do, you just don't have the fight in you to wrangle with the insurance companies - at the time in life when you are most in need of health care and health care coverage. This is why we need Medicare to remain a single payer program.

Mitt Romney can take his damned vouchers and shove them up his ass, if he can get his head out of it for long enough.

kathy a.

actually, the insurance companies are willing to PROVIDE CONTRACEPTION for free, under their plans -- but the bishops still don't want it. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/07/10/514182/obama-defends-contraception-says-its-not-fair-for-catholic-institutions-to-deny-birth-control-to-women/?mobile=nc


It's like the 'you should pay for health care!' which makes no sense: When you need it, you won't be able to work, you might not be able to shop or do anything at all. It's stupid.

It costs us more to provide health care without these items than with them. That's what I've begun telling people who whine 'I don't want to pay for contraception!' Are they willing to pay more for health care without them?


I don't know that I will make it through one more day of Stanley's imploring gaze on the screen without making a trip to the pound for an unplanned adoption. Sarah McLaughlin could make good use of the photo...well the slicker and carpet would have to be shopped out.

Also, having groused about WA state's move to vote-by-mail only, have to say that with all the potential for shenanigans in our swing states, mail-voting sure looks to be a wise move to make. Not sure how suppression efforts could succeed since the votes are still hand-tabulated and a paper trail exists. In WA we can track our ballot.


The FEMA thing always made sense to me in the context of the gun control obsession. I thought it was code for the guvmint will round you up and put you in FEMA camps.

kathy a.

crap -- i never can keep track of all the codes, mandos! well, in any event, it is comforting that storm victims can go take their semi-autos and shoot the shit out of something. probably nobody will even notice, unless they hit a first responder or something.


Ohio. By hook or by crook.
Florida redux.

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