Friday Morning Open Thread: President NFLTG

Politico finds itself agog:

In what’s supposed to be an anti-establishment year, Barack Obama is feeling like the man.

The White House is mapping out the final two weeks until Election Day to take advantage of a president who all of a sudden everyone wants to see more of. Not only will he be out on the trail almost every day of the final week, but he’ll also be targeting millennials on late-night shows, online outlets and radio; taping more robo-calls and radio ads for the down-ballot candidates he’s prioritized; and hitting Donald Trump. He’ll also be making the positive case for Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats…

Obama is having a really, really, really good time, loving the love, loving all the people now knocking on the White House doors appealing for his help — and he wants everyone to know it.

“You’re still fired up,” Obama said, as he entered to cheers in the backyard of one of his early donors Monday morning in La Jolla, California, looking out at the Pacific Ocean in front of him.

The polls help: He’s supercompetitive, and there’s nothing he likes more than winning. Except, maybe, a crowd going wild cheering for him. Or making fun of Trump. Or sticking it to the Republicans who did everything they could to attack him the past eight years, only to produce this campaign. Or most of all: watching all the things people said would sink his presidency — from Obamacare to the Iran nuclear deal and everything in between — looking like they’re all about to be cemented with Clinton being elected president.

Aides are bubbling. Longtime supporters feel like they’re finally getting the president they thought they elected eight years ago, cutting down and through his opponents, proudly talking about liberal policy and neither apologizing for it nor getting into the pragmatic talk about compromising.

Now he’s looking to drive it home…

Asked whether Obama feels vindicated, Earnest — who’s been with Obama since he was campaigning in Iowa in 2007 — suppressed a smile.

“He feels good that the argument he is making to the country is resonating not just deeply in the Democratic base, but all across the country. That’s a very satisfying thing,” Earnest said. “The president is pleased about the current trajectory of the race.”…


With that cheery thought in mind, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?

Cobbling together quasi coverage

In comments, PowerMAD asks a good question about the risks of running naked:

What are the consequences (beyond the obvious gambling that nothing’s going to happen) of dropping health insurance for Nov/Dec, with the plan to re-up for January? I’m about to turn 61, unable to get a full-time job that pays anywhere near what I need to get by, so struggling to make it as a freelancer. My health is okay. Husband is about to turn 53, but he’s got some problems – nothing life threatening, but semi-chronic. A major client of mine has dried up w/o warning; I’ve got a couple new ones in the pipeline, but won’t be generating actual income until January.

There are a lot of things to untangle. First, a scenario of significantly variable income is an excellent reason to buy insurance on Exchange. When times are good the advanced premium tax credit might be either very small or nil. However if there is an unexpected income drop, the advanved premium tax credit can be updated for the following month once the new income information is entered.

At the age of the couple, I would be terrified about running naked for two months but when there are no good options, bad options are the only ones to choose from. I am assuming they had coverage since January 1. That means they would have had ten months out of twelve with qualified coverage. The mandate penalty only kicks in if there is a gap of at least three months. The mandate will not apply in this scenario.

Now what are the options that are possible to provide at least the semblence of coverage?

First, I would check out Medicaid eligibility. I don’t think that will be a viable option but it is worth ten minutes.

Secondly, in the ACA, there is a three month grace period for non-payment of premiums after the first premium of the policy period is paid to effectuaatte the policy. It is effectively a floating one way option for people in this situation (it has some policy implications but we’ll ignore those today).

If they do not pay the November premium, the insurer is still on the hook for the first thirty days worth of charges. The insurer can go back for the unpaid premium debt and any cost sharing that would have been incurred from any services. Now let’s assume that the December premium is also not paid. At that point, the providers eat the cost. The insurer now holds two months of premiums and any potential cost sharing as a bad debt that it can collect on. once the insurer gets paid and the account is brought back to current, the providers will get paid. Due to the time of the year, the policy is then terminated on December 31, 2016 and a new policy is needed for January 1, 2017 but in other times of the year, this implicit option can go for three months instead of two months.

The problem then becomes January coverage as a new policy is needed and it does not go into effect until the first premium is paid. I don’t have a good hack or exploit for that. February coverage, given the details is simpler, a policy could be bought in early January and paid for in late January and things go back to the way they were.

You know the drill, we’re nine hundred ninety two thou short of a mill

We raised over 8K in the last 15 hours, let’s keep it going.

Goal Thermometer

Saturday Morning Open Thread

Since some of you may have missed Michelle Obama’s speech yesterday, here’s something inspirational to start the day. Per CNN:

First Lady Michelle Obama denounced the caustic campaign style of Donald Trump on Friday, demonstrating a new willingness to wade into this year’s messy political battle while arguing for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

While she didn’t mention Trump by name, the first lady aimed squarely at the Republican candidate’s most pronounced positions and tactics, including his persistent challenges to her husband’s eligibility for office.

“There were those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years, up through this very day, whether my husband was even born in this country,” Obama said in Fairfax, Virginia, during her first solo campaign appearance for Clinton. “Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they go low.”…

In her half-hour-long remarks, she argued Trump’s brand of politics should be kept far from the Oval Office, predicting his bombastic style of campaigning wouldn’t mellow if he wins…

… “If a candidate is erratic and threatening; if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fears and lies on the trail; if a candidate has no clear plans to implement their goals; if they disrespect their fellow citizens, including folks who made extraordinary sacrifices for our country; let me tell you, that is who they are. That is the kind of president they will be, trust me.”…

At her campaign rally, Obama worked to convince her and her husband’s supporters that Clinton is also worthy of their votes. The rally on the campus of George Mason University was timed ahead of the commonwealth’s October 17 voter registration deadline.

“When I hear folks saying they’re not inspired this this election, I disagree. I am inspired,” she said, urging the crowd to register to vote and actually cast ballots for Clinton…

And that reminded me, what with one thing and another, I never got around to sharing Variety‘s recent interview with the First Lady:

… Obama, 52, calls herself “a product of pop culture.” She is convinced of its influence on the public consciousness — in her case to build awareness of her signature policy initiatives, specifically ones tied to healthy eating and exercise, girls’ education, support for military families, and college advancement…

“What I have never been afraid of is to be a little silly, and you can engage people that way,” Obama says in an interview with Variety in her upstairs White House office, decorated in an eclectic mix of abstract art and framed mementos from her tenure. “My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen. So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.”

Has it worked?

The first lady is convinced that it has.

A case in point: The Carpool Karaoke segment highlighted one of Obama’s key initiatives, Let Girls Learn, a worldwide plan of action to promote girls’ access to education. She and Corden also sang “This Is for My Girls,” which songwriter Diane Warren wrote several years ago but was recorded as an anthem for the initiative, with Elliott, Kelly Clarkson, Janelle Monae, and others participating, and AOL Makers producing….

Obama explains that as she launched the initiatives, she knew it would take “reaching people where they lived on a day-to-day basis, and the next step was, ‘How do you do that? Where are the people?’ Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

She adds: “A lot of our audiences are kids and teens, and they want to be in on the joke. And they’ll listen again. We’re just a little looser with this stuff than most traditional first ladies.”…

What’s on the agenda for this fine fall day?

Weekend Movie Review — Vote Early Vote Often

Between the FYWP/Firefox issue and various political happenings, last weekend’s inaugural Weekend Movie Club kinda got short shrift. Tireless commentors Schroedinger’s Cat and Mnemosyne will be doing a movie review every weekend, posted to SC’s blog and cross-posted here. Here’s your chance to vote for the next review:

I grew up watching Hindi movies and more importantly listening to Hindi movie numbers. I must have heard and watched many more songs than the movies themselves. Growing up I used to turn up my nose at most of the offerings that came out of the movie industry which is now popularly known as Bollywood. There was a dichotomy between commercial cinema and art cinema and there very few popular Hindi movies that didn’t insult your intelligence or so it seemed to me. For twenty odd years, the new Hindi movies that I must have watched could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Now that I am at a distance from both my childhood and Bollywood, I think I may have judged those movies harshly. Hollywood can be pretty formulaic too. They have different formulas, that’s all. Since last year I have been rediscovering Indian cinema, particularly Hindi movies, mainly through their music. Through my YouTube meanderings, I have stumbled across many gems. The list of movies that I want to see keeps growing by the day. Either I have become more forgiving or the movies have gotten better. For example, there are many more movies with female protagonists which don’t have a love story as their focus, than the Hindi cinema of yore or even present day Hollywood. Here is a list of three movies with strong female leads…

Clink on the link to watch the trailers and vote for Queen, Neerja, or Jai Gangaajal. (Or, I assume, to suggest other movies for the Two Movie Kittehs to review.)

Monday Morning Open Thread: Happy Nice Thoughts

Soldiering on…

At an event in northern Virginia on Friday, Mrs. Obama will urge voters to register ahead of the state’s Oct. 17 deadline, the first of what aides say will be a series of appearances in the coming weeks in support of Mrs. Clinton.

Mrs. Obama’s steps into the campaign spotlight underscore her transformation from a once-reluctant political spouse into a confident public figure, a role she says she has embraced more fully during President Obama’s second term.

Mrs. Obama’s communications director, Caroline Adler Morales, said the first lady’s focus would be on encouraging voters in swing states, particularly young people and African-Americans, to register and vote.

Her message, Ms. Morales said, will emphasize “the qualifications and demeanor a president needs, the values we hold dear as Americans and our shared hopes for the future.”…

Apart from holding strong to those values and hopes, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?

Guest Post: End of Life Doulas

By: Prescott Cactus

plural noun: doulas

a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.

Elena Gooray over at Pacific Standard Magazine writes about End-of-Life Doulas. She spoke with Deanna Cochran, 55, Austin, Texas, an end-of-life doula, hospice nurse, and founder of the End of Life Practitioners Collective. It’s an international organization that provides support for family and a community for practitioners.

What Deanna is trying to do is open up to the world to the conversations about death in an all encompassing way. Giving birth is a 9 month ritual culminating with bringing a life into the world. Death can be a sharp pain, a cold body and a financial transaction with a funeral parlor. . . If we let it be.

The birth experience includes OB-GYN’s, maternity wards, pre-natal care, sonograms and baby showers. Deanna’s organization tries to expand our lives to include the same richness / fullness to death that birth currently receives. Her organizations site even has a Podcast devoted to Palliative Care and every modality or idea that could possibly relieve suffering at the end of life.

Time marches on and we as a society embrace new life with vigor, but death with fear and apprehension. This won’t change unless we expand ourselves. Take a look around Deanna’s site. With years of hospice experience, I’m learning some new things.

Special thanks to valued front pager Richard Mayhew for the heads up on the article and valued commenter raven who recently lost a good friend JA.

Prescott Cactus