The Affordable Care Act stumbled out of the gate with their website, Healthcare.gov. It was a bust. Face it, there's nothing but bad news involved with the rollout except the number of people who tried to log on initially. That was very encouraging news. But if you can't buy what you're advertising for sale, you're bust. And so went the site and so went the President's credibility.
Fortunately, the fix is in. Oh, not like in a horse race, but as in a fully working site replacement. There's only one catch. It's not the government's site. It's a free site that three computer jockeys designed themselves over a few days and nights. It's healthcare.gov only it works. The site is called HealthSherpa.com and all you have to do is put in your zip code and all the rates and plans come up for you. Since it's inception, they've added on a feature that calculates your tax subsidies as well. So this site is good to go.
It's up and running right now.
And it's simple too. All the federal government needs to do now is take it over. And the three 20 year olds, Ning Liang, George Kalogeropoulos and Michael Wasser who built it are willing to give it up -- to the government -- for free. They did it as a public service. Of course they should be paid for this, but look at what we can do here as a country with education, advanced technology and some collective brainstorming. MailOnline reports:
The website claims: 'The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.'
The programmers are also adding features to the site, such as a section on tax subsidies. But the three 20-year-olds say they worked on the project as a service rather than to make money.
CBS News made this report:
If the Republicans were around in 1776.
If Democracy had been proposed by the colonists.
If we needed all 13 colonies to join up or we'd perish.
If the Town Criers were all from Fox News.
What would that be like? Well, thanks to Mark Fiore, we can get see for ourselves: CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW to be magically transported back in time.
Well, when you come down to it, someone or someones really blew it on the Obamacare Internet signup rollout -- healthcare.gov.
Now keep in mind, I'm talking about the internet website component, not the ACA law itself. I'm sure there will be some tolerance with the deadline that won't be announced until the website is fully operational. That now has a Nov.30th target date according to the LA Times and I wouldn't hold my breath that there aren't still going to be some glitches then, as well.
Two weeks ago I ordered a book from Amazon -- a print version, not an eBook. When it arrived I opened it in great anticipation and didn't get 20 pages into it when it suddenly jumped to page 211 and it was upside down and backwards in page order. Frustrating and impossible to enjoy with all the turning and flipping.
Evidently, the machine that prints, cuts and binds the book together had a glitch which nobody in the print department caught.
I returned the book and Amazon sent me overnight a new and properly assembled copy. I'm happy. They're happy. And the book is actually quite good. So I can overlook the glitch and move on.
With Obamacare and Kathleen Sebelius, things are a bit rockier. She's gotten the blame, and probably deserves it. Whether there was adequate pre-rollout testing or not, it's time to get it corrected and get everyone signed up -- fix the problem and make everyone happy. Effort, not finger pointing gets it done. I'm not demanding Amazon be shuttered or that the head of the company resign because of a glitch. Get real. Sh** happens.
If we are going to force her out now for a mistake in overseeing her responsibilities, maybe we should be calling for John Boehner to resign as speaker of the house. He failed this country miserably. He refused his leadership obligation to bring a bill to the floor that would have allowed a vote to keep the government funded. He refuse it out of personal and political choice. No logic, no concern for who his actions impacted. Just plain selfishness. There was nothing stopping him from calling for a vote. He singlehandedly allowed the government as a whole, to become defunded.
Where's that outcry now? And he shut down an entire government, not just blew the launch of a website.
Putting things in perspective, Boehner failed us miserably, and we let him stay. We even helped him after he corrected his error and let there be a vote. We immediately started working with him and his party to come to a new bill structure that will prevent another catastrophic shutdown. Democrats are helping, not tearing things down. Democrats were offering suggestions, not standing on the sidelines criticizing, rooting for this government to fail.
So maybe instead of ripping the Internet website, which clearly is a bust, they should be offering suggestions and calming the nerves of the country so that the rollout of the entire ACA can take place as smoothly as possible. Then, if they're right, the program won't work. It'll go away. But if they're wrong, the country prospers and flourishes and like Social Security and Medicare, we have found some strong programs to help us all.
At least the argument won't be over a technical wonkish issue - an IT guy's/gal's headache. We here at TPC have a website with a much smaller sphere of users. We crash from time to time. Certainly when you have millions of hits, you're going to have tons of problems. So let's cut the government some slack.
Iinstead of calling for someone's head right now, let's let Speaker Boehner and Secretary Sebelius keep their upper extremity and their jobs, and root them on, support them and help them help us. Then, when things start running more smoothly, review the situation and call upon them to explain themselves or ask them to resign.
Decapitation right now serves nobody... though it will be view-able on Facebook: (inside joke -- click here)
Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News in-house physician and frequent medical expert for the gab fest called Fox News, thinks that Walking Dead, the AMC hit series, is actually bad for you. Yup, those deteriorated, puss-festering, voracious flesh eating walkers are hurting culture right now. Hey, if some undead creature was coming to eat me, I'd be alarmed too. But doctor, doctor...
Oh, please. For years, Zombies and undead have been part of literature, films and folklore. It goes back hundreds of years, and I think it's safe to say, the number of sightings of real undead creatures is limited. And the number of attacks on humans is even less. Maybe even zero.
So why the alarm? Well, the good -- or sell-out Dr. Manny Alvarez -- wrote in a Fox News column that with American society's obsession with "The Walking Dead" and the inevitable zombie apocalypse, our focus is being pulled away from "music, education, science or the classics."
I see. Music, education, science and the classics are imperiled. That's a worthy alarm bell to ring. But where's the nexus between Zombies and the imminent harm our American society is facing?
Music: The Zombies are an English rock band, formed in 1962. The group scored British and American hits in 1964 with "She's Not There." Hmm. 1962 is only 50 years ago. We didn't seem to be harmed by them or their song. And just two years ago, Creepshow gave us this music classic:
Education: Dr. Mayim Biyali, (yes Blossom on TV but now a real life PhD in neuroscience) works with a group called STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. They teach middle school and high school students. WIRED reports:
The program uses models of zombie outbreaks loaded onto TI graphing calculators, computers, or iPads to demonstrate everything from brain damage (natch) to the patterns in which disease spreads. It’s brilliant, really. Students, inundated by walkers from World War Z to The Walking Dead, already understand the basics of zombie behavior, which provides a gruesome yet entertaining mnemonic device for understanding much more complex ideas.
Science: "Zombie science is a reality. Huffpo reported on it back in February of this year:
Researchers in New Mexico say they've created zombie cells -- near-perfect replicas of mammalian cells that can perform many of the same functions despite the fact that they're not actually alive. But instead of pursuing and eating people as sci-fi zombies often do, these experimental cells may someday do our bidding -- finding use in commercial applications ranging from sensors to catalysts to fuel cells.
The Classics: Well, we have so many to chose from. Authors through the years including Mary Shelly, H.P. Lovecraft, S.D. Perry, Stephen King. Where would we be without film classics like Dawn of the Dead or the shining jewel, Night of the Living Dead.
Bottom line, Dr. Outoftouch Alvarez, the undead have been with us for centuries and they will be for many more to come. Their "existance" whether real or imagined is not hurting society. If anything, it's giving us and our imaginations ways to imagine how we can make a better life for those of us who are still living. Care to join us?
I know that Paddy had posted this video earlier on her evening video distraction a few days ago, but I only had the time to catch it and thought it was worth a second glance. Usually commercials, especially in this country, run from stupid to mindless with a skosh of insanity in between. It's no wonder people DVR shows and watch them in time-shifted form. Doing that allows you to skip the claptrap drivel. TV series are filled with worthless insipidness -- necessary to pay for the episodes -- but ads that do nothing but insult the average mind.
Here's an example of a commercial that will surely sell it's product by making you think, feel, aspire to do something great while capturing your emotions.
Where is this kind of commercial, Madison Avenue? This is what Don Draper would be doing if MAD MEN was contemporary.
Warning: This ad has been known to make adult (wo)men sniffle, and good (wo)men great. According to MailOne it has already been viewed over three and a half million times on YouTube, with over 40,000 likes. Thanks Thai phone company True Move H:
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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