The President's Weekly Address:
Lena Sun & Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post: "... several states running their own online exchanges are reporting a rapid increase in the number of people signing up for coverage, a trend officials say is encouraging for President Obama's health-care law. By mid-November, the 14 state-based marketplaces reported data showing enrollment has nearly doubled from last month, jumping to about 150,000 from 79,000, according to state and federal statistics. The nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which has been tracking the data, called the most recent numbers 'a November enrollment surge.'" ...
... Robert Pear & Michael Shear of the New York Times: "The Obama administration said Friday that it would give people eight more days, until Dec. 23, to sign up for health insurance coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1 under the new health care law." ...
... Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times: "President Obama's healthcare law ... now depends more than ever on insurance companies, doctor groups and hospitals -- major forces in the industry that are committed to the law's success despite persistent tensions with the White House.... Since 2010, they have invested billions of dollars to overhaul their businesses, design new insurance plans and physician practices and develop better ways to monitor quality and control costs.... Healthcare industry officials generally view several GOP proposals, such as limiting coverage for the poor and scuttling new insurance marketplaces created by the law, as more damaging than helpful to the nation's healthcare system." (Emphasis added.) ...
... Dorothy Wickenden of the New Yorker speaks with John Cassidy, Rick Herzberg & Ryan Lizza discuss the state of ObamaCare:
... The Making of a Clusterfuck. Eric Lipton, et al., of the New York Times: "Interviews with current and former Obama administration officials and specialists involved in the project, as well as a review of hundreds of pages of government and contractor documents, offer new details into how tensions between the government and its contractors, questionable decisions and weak leadership within the Medicare agency turned the rollout of the president's signature program into a major humiliation. The online exchange was crippled, people involved with building it said in recent interviews, because of a huge gap between the administration's grand hopes and the practicalities of building a website that could function on opening day. Vital components were never secured, including sufficient access to a data center to prevent the website from crashing. A backup system that could go live if it did crash was not created, a weakness the administration has never disclosed. And the architecture of the system that interacts with the data center where information is stored is so poorly configured that it must be redesigned, a process that experts said typically takes months. An initial assessment identified more than 600 hardware and software defects -- 'the longest list anybody had ever seen,' one person involved with the project said." ...
... CruzCare, the Ted Cruz Healthcare Reform Plan:
... Viva Vermont! Salvatore Aversa of Occupy Democrats: "The ACA provided states with federal funds to institute a Medicaid expansion.... Vermont decided to take it a step further by setting up their very own single payer system.... The program will be fully operational by 2017, and will be funded through Medicare, Medicaid, federal money for the ACA given to Vermont, and a slight increase in taxes. In exchange, there will be no more premiums, deductibles, copay's, hospital bills or anything else aimed at making insurance companies a profit. Further, all hospitals and healthcare providers will now be nonprofit." Thanks to contributor Julie L. for the link. ...
... CW: Also, thanks to all the contributors who helped me understand the way hospitals and insurance carriers, including Medicare, "calculate" the costs of the medical care.
Bullies, Left and Right, Are Kicking Sand in the Face of the Turtle:
... Matthew Boyle of Breitbart: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on a conference call organized by Karl Rove's Crossroads organization for large donors and their advisers on Oct. 30 that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is a 'nothing but a bunch of bullies' that he plans to 'punch ... in the nose.'" ...
I think what we really need is an anti-bullying ordinance in the Senate. Now we've got a big bully. Harry Reid says he's just going to break the rules and make new rules. It's never been done this way before. -- Sen. Rand Paul (RTP-Ky.)
We thought he said if you like the Senate rules, you can keep them. But instead ... they just broke the Senate rules in order to exercise the power grab. -- Mitch McConnell
James Risen of the New York Times & Laura Poitras: "Officials at the National Security Agency ... pledged last year to push to expand its surveillance powers, according to a top secret strategy document. In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.'s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency's eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to 'aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.' Written as an agency mission statement with broad goals, the five-page document said that existing American laws were not adequate to meet the needs of the N.S.A. to conduct broad surveillance.... The strategy document [was] provided by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden...."
For the editors at the Wall Street Journal, the Founders wrote the Constitution to cater to Republicans. Hamilton Nolan of Gawker checks the record.
What I don't understand is how Gov. [Rick] Scott [RTP-Fla.] said for about 30 seconds that he was for more health care for the poor, for about the 1 million people that aren't getting it right now. And then, the Medicaid expansion, he didn't lift a finger to get it done. And as a result of that, those million Floridians that can't afford coverage, they're getting sicker or they're going to die. It is unconscionable to me how you can turn your back on people like that. -- Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist ...
... George Bennett of the Palm Beach (Florida) Post:Charlie "Crist, the former Republican governor who's now seeking his old job as a Democrat, will attend a Palm Beach fundraiser hosted by actor George Hamilton [Friday] night. He met with reporters [Friday] afternoon at the train station near downtown [West Palm Beach], using the venue to criticize Republican Gov. Rick Scott for refusing federal money for high-speed rail in 2011. Crist, who called Scott 'a tea party governor,' also slammed the incumbent for failing to push for an expansion of Medicaid in the state this year after declaring his support for it."
The Assassination of President Kennedy
The Dallas Morning News covers the city's events memorializing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy.
The New York Times reprises its coverage of the assassination.
John Cassidy of the New Yorker can't quite let go of conspiracy theories. CW: Like any good journalist, Cassidy is not content with the who, what, when & where. He also wants to know the why. And we don't know know why Lee Oswald killed President Kennedy or why Jack Ruby killed Oswald.
The Texas Board of Bible Studies. Motoko Rich of the New York Times: "The Texas Board of Education on Friday delayed final approval of a widely used biology textbook because of concerns raised by one reviewer that it presents evolution as fact rather than theory. The monthslong textbook review process in Texas has been controversial because a number of people selected this year to evaluate publishers' submissions do not accept evolution or climate change as scientific truth. On Friday, the state board, which includes several members who hold creationist views, voted to recommend 14 textbooks in biology and environmental science. But its approval of 'Biology,' a highly regarded textbook by Kenneth R. Miller, a biologist at Brown University, and Joseph S. Levine, a science journalist, and published by Pearson Education, was contingent upon an expert panel determining whether any corrections are warranted. Until the panel rules on the alleged errors, Pearson will not be able to market its book as approved by the board to school districts in Texas."
New York Times: "As Secretary of State John Kerry and top diplomats from five other world powers swept into Geneva this weekend for the second time in two weeks, they struggled to complete a groundbreaking agreement with Iran that would temporarily freeze Tehran's nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more comprehensive accord."