Republicans in Disarray


Full story here, but the gist of it is that the Republicans snuck a teeny-tiny “expansion” to Obamacare into the doc fix, and Drudge freaked the fuck out, causing furious backpedaling in Boehner’s office.

That “expansion”, btw, removed the $2,000/$4,000 deductible cap for small group policies so people could use their HSA accounts to cover health expenses instead of using insurance. Or, more likely, it lets small businesses offer shitty policies and still be in compliance. I’ll let Richard weigh in on that. I’m just laughing at the shit show.


RICHARD MAYHEW HERE:  The technical change is just that, a technical change.  Basically it allows small group policies to offer weaker Silver and all Bronze level plans to their employees.  Everyone else could offer these plans and meet minimal standards, now small grops can do so as well.

56 replies
  1. 1
    Davo says:

    (shoots gun at feet)

    Dance! Dance for me tea-people!

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    I think what it did was allow small businesses to self insure with catastrophic coverage as a backup. That way they could handle the predictable cost but pass the expense of an employee’s cancer treatment off to somebody with a larger pool.

  3. 3
    EconWatcher says:

    Sure, this kind of thing is fun.

    But you know what would be really fun? An all-out war between the neocons and the Rand Paul wing of the party, because both sides of that divide fight very, very dirty. I’m hoping that’s just what we’ll get in the run-up to 2016.

  4. 4
    Hunter Gathers says:

    How much longer before Drudge discovers the wonders of HTML5? Of course he might actually have to fucking do something for once, instead of aggregating other people’s content, not leaving his domicile during the day (the DayStar will burn him to a crisp) and waiting for Mark Halperin to give him fellatio over the phone.

  5. 5
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    As I said earlier, a lot of really small businesses in this area were offering high-deductible plans and self-insuring for the deductible. The guy I used to work for apologized over and over for having to do that instead of offering the traditional low-deductible plan we had been on, but the monthly payments had gone through the roof and halfway to the moon.

    IIRC, in our case it was 50% of routine charges (doctor visits, etc.) and 80% of the rest until the deductible was met. Still had a decent prescription schedule. So, we all had an HSA card that we used to pay the balances.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    Poor, poor, John Boner, The Squeaker of the Louses, isn’t having a good Monday.

    But he’s just a plain old Badger.

    The Teabaggers, and the rabid sociopathic base, are all Honey Badgers.

    And Honey Badgers don’t do nothin’ that the Honey Badgers don’t wanna do!

    And there’s nothing a plain old orange Badger can do about it!

    Not even if he’s The Squeaker of the Louses.

  7. 7
    MattF says:

    Ahh, then, here’s the way Obamacare seduces Republicans– Boehner was acting like a politician, giving a favored interest group a goodie. Just shaaaameful.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    More Republicans in disarray:

    The former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive who orchestrated the George Washington Bridge lane closures is cooperating with federal prosecutors investigating the scandal, Esquire reported on Monday.

    According to Esquire’s Scott Raab, sources close to the investigation say that David Wildstein has been cooperating with Paul Fishman, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. Raab also reported that Fishman has increased the number of investigators working the case, and has been presenting evidence and witnesses to a grand jury.

    All that supplicating to Sheldon Adelson isn’t going to do a damn thing.

  9. 9
    Tommy says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I can’t stand his politics but I have to admit I kind of like he never changes the site and it has no bells and whistles that are not needed. Won’t make me ever visit the site, but I find something nice about a simple site (said as somebody that does web sites for a living).

  10. 10
    PaulW says:

    This *is* how government is supposed to work: the tweaking and reformation of existing laws to make things in the real world work to the advantage of the majority (or to enough of the minority that the majority can still profit from it).

    It’s just sad that actual governance is now viewed by the Republican base as treasonous, Obama-hugging behavior, rather than a pragmatic gesture to small business owners/people who can work in small healthcare groups with better efficiency. The hatred of making politics entirely personal is gonna blow this whole show up sooner rather than later…

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: Raab calls him the “soon-to-be ex-governor”. I think that’s premature, but who knows? From the helicopter ride to have dinner with Ken Langone to spending about $20 million (IIRC?) to have a Cory Booker-less election to a million to pay a Giuliani aide to write a defense brief, aren’t the people of NJ sick of spending their hard earned tax dollars on this small gov’t fiscal conservative’s ego and ambition and now legal defense?

  12. 12
    Origuy says:

    @Tommy: His father owns, which is a useful site that just has a huge number of links on one page. Very retro and low-key.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I had EvenTheLiberalMSNBC on mute as I did paperwork this morning, and they seemed to be rotating between The Plane, Pistourious, and Jeb-Mentum. Nothing that made me want to un-mute when I looked up. Lots of Chris Cilizza

  14. 14
    Tommy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I got rid of cable a few weeks ago. I was paying more than $150.month. Plus, well I found myself sitting in front of the TV when I should have been doing other things. With Hulu and Netflix, well there isn’t a lot of news. At first it was hard, cause I work out of my house and used to have MSNBC on for most of the day where I just listened to it. I’ve now gotten used to it and I have to say my blood pressure must be a lot lower.

  15. 15
    Tommy says:

    @Origuy: In my opinion it is so easy to do stuff on the Internet these days that everybody wants to do stuff with their sites they don’t need to. I had a client meeting last week and the client wanted all these bells and whistles. I asked him why, and he couldn’t explain. He just saw other sites doing it so he wanted to do it. I told him I might not be the best fit for him. I am anal about standards and I think a site should be visually appealing, but I a not a fan of adding features that are not needed. You should respect your audience and make sure a site loads fast, can be viewed on multiple devices, but I am not adding stuff he doesn’t need.

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:


    An all-out war between the neocons and the Rand Paul wing of the party, because both sides of that divide fight very, very dirty.

    The neocon wing would win. They fight dirtier.

    But they’d lose votes in the general, cause the Paul wing is way spiteful and would stay home.

  17. 17
    Origuy says:

    @Tommy: I agree. Restaurant sites are terrible about this. Five minutes loading a Flash animation so that I can find out when they close and menus that can’t be printed out.

  18. 18
    Tommy says:

    @JGabriel: I also don’t know who the tea party folks are. Sure I see them on TV but in my “real” life I’ve never really met one. A lot of my family, friends, and even clients are Republican. But not tea party. They are more of less government (like regulations) and less taxes crowd. In fact they like government just fine as long as it is something they support. Oh and for some reason they tend to think we need to bomb a lot of nations.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    @Origuy: No kidding. A flash animation landing page is awful and useless. I detest them. And with flash, it’s hard to copy/paste address info or whatever if you want to quickly email or text it to someone.

    I tried a neighborhood restaurant for the first time recently. Went to their website to find out their hours. They were nowhere to be found on the website. WTF? You’re a restaurant. Knowing when you’re open is key to people coming there. And restaurants are sometimes closed on Sundays or Mondays, so knowing that information is also important.

    Location, phone number and hours should be on every page–header or footer–so people can find it easily. Menu should be easily accessible via an obvious link. Everything else is extra.

    I finally had to go to Yelp to find out the hours of this restaurant. Called them and turns out they don’t take reservations. That info wasn’t anywhere either. Stupid.

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    @Origuy: I have a lot of canned phrases I use with clients because the same topics come up time and time again. One of them is just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.

  21. 21
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: LOL. I ALWAYS have the contact info on every page. I’ve had clients ask why, shouldn’t it just be on the home page. Isn’t it kind of redundant? I am it isn’t redundant if somebody is trying to contact you.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: I know tea party people. Turns out one was even married (briefly) to a distant relative of mine. He was the local organizer of the tea party in his area and was all full of himself about it. It was 2009 when I met him so it was the early, exciting days in teabagger land.

    Outside of that, some old white guy in my neighborhood sometimes wears a Tea Party t-shirt when he walks his dog. And I’m acquainted with others. Except for this guy who married my relative, they’re all over 60 and white.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: You are exactly right. It can be smaller on the pages that aren’t the Contact page, but having it everywhere is an excellent shortcut. People are checking your website, they’re on the Awards or Menu or Portfolio or whatever page and decide they want to call you. Having the phone number right there is ONE LESS CLICK for them and that means there’s A GREATER CHANCE that people will pick up the phone. People don’t like making the effort. Make it easy for them.

    GAH! It’s not like this is rocket science. It’s basic human behavior. People just don’t get it. Their website is one of their main faces to the world. If you need customers or clients, MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO CONTACT YOU!

  24. 24
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: My brother married into a huge all Republican family a few years ago. Around the holidays I am the only liberal in the room. What I find positive is all their kids and grand kids from like 10 to 20 are not so much like their parents.

  25. 25
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: You hit the nail on the head. One less click. I mentioned earlier I respect people that visit the sites I design. One less click is a show of respect. I want to make it easy for them to contact me or give my client business. Anything that hinders that isn’t acceptable.

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I am anal about standards

    That’s no way to get rich.

  27. 27
    CaseyL says:

    @Violet: Maybe those restaurants are fronts for laundering dirty money. They have to look legit, so they need a website; but the last thing they want is actual customers :)

    (I lived in Miami during the height of the cocaine wars era. There were always high-end shops, quite a few of them, mostly art galleries, that stayed in business despite having no customers, ever. We just assumed they were money-laundering operations.)

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    You should make the parts you most want the user to do the easiest to do, and that means putting them on every page. You always want the person on your web site to turn into an actual customer, so you should put the most important information necessary for that to happen where it’s easy to get to. If you’re selling stuff online and there isn’t a way of going to the checkout on every page, you’re doing it wrong.

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    @CaseyL: Now that is funny. I have more work then time, but I’ve always wanted to target restaurants if that wasn’t the case. Just redesign their site and send them a link on my test server. So many of my clients offer services, nothing that sexy about them. Hard to find useful visuals.

    I’d love to have the chance to have wonderful pics of the food to highlight. Heck I pay a lot of attention to sites cause it is what I do for a living and I am stunned by how terrible restaurant sites are. IMHO they should be like the best out there for all the reasons Violet and others have mentioned.

    I mean check out this site:

    Maybe the best restaurant in the world and I can’t even find any pics of the food.

  30. 30
    Walker says:


    Flash is evil; it leaks memory like a sieve. There are many Flash games (notably the original Plants vs. Zombies) that if you run them for around 30 min, they will lock your computer hard. Adobe has known about these memory leaks for a decade and refuses to do anything about it.

    After enough kernel panics, I decided to block all Flash. Any website that I visit that uses Flash replaces it with a box with the word “Flash” in it. And I promptly move to another site.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    @CaseyL: Some could be. The one I’m talking about definitely isn’t. It’s owned by the chef and her partner. They’re big into farm-to-table stuff. Active in the community and local food scene. We went and it was packed and the food is excellent. But the hours are nowhere to be found on the website. And yes, it does have opening and closing hours.

    Knowing what I know about this chef/owner, I am surprised her website doesn’t supply the info. It’s such a key bit of information for a restaurant. The website was even revamped from the last time I’ve looked, maybe six moths ago. I expected better.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:


    They have to look legit, so they need a website; but the last thing they want is actual customers :)

    I don’t think that works for a restaurant. You want some legitimate cash flow for the dirty money to hide in. I figure ridiculously overpriced booze would be a great way of doing it.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @Walker: I’ve got a flash blocker as well. It definitely makes things run better on my computer.

    Don’t iPads not use Flash?

  34. 34
    Tommy says:

    @Roger Moore: I literally had a client a few weeks ago say they didn’t want a phone number on their site. I kid you not, I couldn’t make this up, they didn’t want anybody to call them. They said they could just email them. I was like are you high? That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Their site is “live” and it doesn’t have a phone number Oh and they bought the domain but didn’t want to pay $1.99/month for an email address at said domain. They are using Gmail. I tried to explain that made them look pretty “Micky Mouse” but alas I got nowhere.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: I see pictures of the food when I click through. There’s no set “Pictures of Food” link, but if you click on Menu or Stories or Staff or any other link there are rotating photos of the restaurant, ingredients (like an artichoke) and some of the dishes. It’s quite artsy. I’m sure that’s the mood they’re trying to convey. Whole damn thing is in Flash, though. Hate Flash.

  36. 36
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: This may sound hard to believe, but I find a lot of folks that do what I do strong arm their clients into not including a phone number cause of “art” or something. I come from a business background and taught myself programming on the side so I might approach things in a somewhat different manner.

    But I find it is easy to “strong arm” a client. It is like when you take you car in for repairs. You are at the mercy of the shop if you don’t know anything about cars. It is the same with a site. I have to dumb down what I tell them by like a factor of ten cause (1) people have no idea how the Internet works and (2) most won’t even mention when they don’t understand something, cause they don’t like to admit they are not tech smart.

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I just checked and their menu is a freaking PDF file. I mean when a dinner there costs about what I charge to do a site, I expect a little higher standard :).

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: Yeah, I know the artsy web design types. They make a pretty website, but ultimately a website needs to meet a need, otherwise why bother. If the need is to look pretty, then great, have at it. If the need is to represent yourself to clients and aim to bring in more clients, then for crying out loud, you have to make it obvious how to contact you.

    It’s like someone beautifully decorating an office and not putting out any kind of sign or even a door.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: I have mixed feelings on a PDF menu. On the one hand, it’s an exact replica of what you’ll see in the restaurant and you can download it and view it in your preferred viewer. That’s a plus. On the other hand, it’s kind of cheesy, sends you off the site, and some people have problems viewing PDFs. So those are downsides.

    I think French Laundry changes their menu daily, so a PDF menu may be the easiest way to go. I’ve seen restaurants that have links to PDF plus a menu in the website itself to give people options.

  40. 40
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I have a client that sells health and lifestyle benefits packages. They are basically reselling them so we have to use a third party payment site. I tried to place an order and honestly had a hard time figuring it out. I went to the client and said they should process payment. If I couldn’t figure it out think about that 65 year old retired person that isn’t on a computer 15+ hour a days.

    Honestly I don’t think he understood my concern.

  41. 41
    shelly says:
    Maybe the best restaurant in the world and I can’t even find any pics of the food.

    Isn’t that a big ol’ sunny-side up fried egg on their home page?

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I had EvenTheLiberalMSNBC on mute as I did paperwork this morning, and they seemed to be rotating between The Plane, Pistourious, and Jeb-Mentum.

    Nothing about Sy Hersh reporting that Turkey was responsible for the sarin gas attacks in Damascus? That seems tailor-made for them.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: There are workarounds for that. Large print that says “Payment processing will be done by [Company X]. You will be leaving our site and going to another website.” Or, working with the third party processing site to integrate into the website. Alternatively, on the third party processing site, having instructions saying “You are now on [Site X]. When you are done paying, to return to [Original website] click HERE.”

    I have to pay something for our local government via a third party site. It’s cumbersome and also takes forever to process so you’re in that scary place of “Is it really working or has it hung up?” with no one to call. For some organizations, like our municipal government, it’s probably better they outsource the processing though.

  44. 44
    Tommy says:

    @shelly: It depends. If I hit refresh a few times I get it. When I looked it was the outside of the building. They make some of the most visually stunning food anywhere in the world. I don’t want one pic here or there. I want a lot of them. Even more so when I might spend like $500 to have a meal there :).

  45. 45
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Tommy: I’ve met a few Teahadists. They’re surprisingly pleasant, intelligent people in person – they just get bent when they talk about “That Guy.” One is latina – and that one I’ve yet to figure out past the IGMFY slamming of the immigration door on anyone behind.

    There’s a lot to be said for the epistemic closure of the GOTea sphere that contributes to the Teahad. Without Beck, Limbaugh, Malkin et al chances are there’d be far less Reichwing agitation, but so long as they’re in the public space it’s impossible to tear these volk away from the books/radio/podcasts/etc. From what I’ve seen the followers of Teahad are less the wild-eyed BigGubmint-is-SATAN-and-BHO-is-its-Enabler (and sending UN peacekeepers in black helos to cart off all Gud Ahmurrcans to FEMA camps while they enforce Agenda 21) than the “wow! really? yikes” followers who’ll gladly pay to remain [mis]informed and work to remain [mis]represented in Congress but don’t actually subscribe to the totality of Full Metal Wingnut. They’re small-government, low-regulation and low-tax folks who don’t actually realize that the Teahad is libertarianism to the Nth power (generously seasoned with racism, bigotry and fearmongering) and that they’re being had. The folks you describe aren’t really that far removed from Improvised-Voter-Fraud-planting, self-immolating suicide-lite bombers (refusing practical health insurance reform just because WINGNUT is a slow, painful, impoverishing form of self-destruction after all): they just sound less unreasonable when you talk to them.

  46. 46
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: I am looking at a lot of options, some of which you mentioned. The biggest thing is I am begging the payment company to indicate that their name will be on the credit card statement, not my client. I am pretty sure a lot of people must order the packages and then are confused by the charge on their statement.

  47. 47
    shelly says:


    Umm, now it’s a big scallop or.. And the fried egg’s back. Only it doesn’t really look like a fried egg now…what is it? A little space ship?

  48. 48
    J.Ty says:

    To be fair, the French Laundry could have a picture of poop as their entire website and it wouldn’t affect business. I could probably point them to some dipshit “UX Designers” who’d recommend that in order to be all edgy and in-your-face, come to think of it.

    Restaurant websites always suck though, it’s really weird. I’ve tried to make a cottage industry out of redesigning them but nobody ever wants to pay for it. Maybe they put the whole decade’s website budget into the first Flash build?

    But nothing bugs me more than the Nondescript Startup Website. Some Modernizr, some third-party javascript scaffolding, alternating one- two- and three- column spaces for some nice lickable graphics and text about how we’re changing the world through ________ing ________ (let’s go with “democratizing parking”), pictures of the four people who work there, and no way to sign up for the product or contact them outside of a PR flak.

    Great industry we’ve got out here in SF.

  49. 49
    Tommy says:

    @shelly: Well instead of a rollover of the image with a quote from Keller, maybe they should tell us what we are looking at :)! I am something of a foodie and I am not sure what the heck that is.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:


    I just checked and their menu is a freaking PDF file.

    That kind of makes sense for a place that changes its menu frequently. They make a PDF menu that they can print for the diners and post on their web page for people who want to look at the menu on-line. It would be more elegant to produce the menu in some simple format and then have it automatically formatted separately for print and on-line, but it’s a lot better than not having a menu at all, or only having a horribly out of date one.

  51. 51
    jl says:


    ‘ lickable graphics ‘

    Seems like a good idea for a restaurant, so I don’t know why you call them crummy.
    I’d be more willing to try out a restaurant that had lickable graphics.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @shelly: @Tommy: I don’t think the French Laundry has to do anything. They could have a one page website and they’d still be booked out a year in advance.

    I’m kind of the other way about food pictures on restaurant websites. I don’t want pictures of all the dishes. It’ll make it feel like a low budget Chinese restaurant menu. I’m fine with some images and they don’t really need to be labeled. I get that they’re trying to evoke a mood. I think the French Laundry website works well enough. At least you can find a phone number! But it’s Flash, which I detest, so marks off for that.

    I’ll put it this way–it’s not nearly the worst restaurant website I’ve encountered, that’s for sure.

  53. 53
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: Maybe not the best example. I am looking at my favorite place by me and it is a train wreck. I am a really good customer and I might have to ask to speak to the owner the next time I am in having their amazing veal and artichoke dish.

  54. 54
    J.Ty says:

    @jl: It’s an industry term I guess, heh. Icons that look 3-D and shiny and stuff, e.g.

    The new paradigm is “flat design”. Go to if you dare, they switched to a flat design last fall and now the site’s (even more) unreadable.

  55. 55
    Jasmine Bleach says:


    Don’t iPads not use Flash?

    No iOS devices (iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads) can run Flash.

    But I still play the original Plants vs. Zombies on them . . . go figure!

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    No iOS devices (iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads) can run Flash.

    And Adobe has stopped producing updated versions of Flash for Android, so it requires jumping through several hoops to install on any reasonably modern device. Not working for the two most popular mobile platforms seems like a good reason to avoid it, even if the general problems with Flash weren’t enough.

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