A thousand and one posts

Wow, that last post was my 1,000th post here at Balloon Juice. I was not expecting that when I first got started here.

I’ve been a Balloon Juice reader and primarily a lurker since before the Cole Conversion time. Over the summer of 2013, I saw a lot of good questions about the ACA and how it would effect our community. I got in touch with a front-pager I know in real life and asked if I could write a couple of posts to answer a couple of questions. He e-mailed John and John gave me the keys to this place. I figured that I would twenty to thirty thousand words in forty or fifty posts and then I would be done.

Over the past three years, I have eight hundred or more health insurance posts with about half a million words written.

That was a slight miscalculation.

I’ve rediscovered how much I like to write about a subject that I like. Every day I get to answer a question, explore something that I heard something about but now need to explain, or advocate for a slightly better world with tweaks to the current policy universe. I’ve been able to point people in the right direction when they are getting screwed over. We’ve been able to go through complicated choice structures to get community members taken care of when they know they need to do something but do not know what they have to do.

At the same time, my education has deepened as the community here and a second community of wonks, advocates and researchers. If I need to know about anti-trust law, I have a couple of world class experts who share their time with me. If I need to know more about Medicare, I can talk to people who are on it, I can talk with CMS techno-wonks, and national level advocates. If I need to learn more accounting, there are plenty of people who will share their knowledge and expertise with me.

I never thought I would have written here for more than a couple of months. But between all of you, the community and John’s amazing ability to let things flow, I am more energized than I ever thought I would be a thousand posts ago.

I don’t have to tell you fucking anything …

Sit down to write post on election polling. Read comments in Tuesday Morning Open Thread. Say fuck it – let the punters field this one. Cut, paste. Wander off to search out another drink.

dm says:
August 9, 2016 at 7:39 am

I see these polls and I think: Bradley Effect Bradley Effect Bradley Effect. Who wants to admit to a pollster that they’re voting for an idiot? So… expect Trump to do better at the ballot box than he does in polls.

one_particular_harbour, fka Botsplainer says:
August 9, 2016 at 7:46 am

My prediction all along has been that Hill is actually underpolling, that conservative women aged 50+ will go ahead and vote for her in the privacy of the voting booth. They’re polling differently because they’re worried about people overhearing, return calls, direct mail, etc.

Trump reminds them too much of their husbands.

It’s gonna play hell with exit polls, while leading to squealing accusations of rampant fraud.

Expect big surprises, maybe even in the plains.

Amir Khalid says:
August 9, 2016 at 8:02 am

My own suspicion about the polling is that I don’t know if the Trump campaign is capable of performing to its candidate’s polling. He might poll at x% in such-and-such state, and fall short of that number on election day because he didn’t have the organisation to get the vote out for him.

Shalimar says:
August 9, 2016 at 8:28 am

@Amir Khalid: I am not sure a major American party has ever had a candidate who thought his supporters would all go to the polls on their own because he was so awesome. If great organization was really a big difference between Obama and Romney/McCain, then it should mean Trump gets at least 5% below his projections. And his projections are beginning to look really horrible.

Have at it.

ETA: The discussion in the comment thread is wonderful. I love you all. rikyrah wins though.

rikyrah says:
August 9, 2016 at 10:08 am (Edit)
Pound these muthaphuckas INTO THE GROUND!!!!

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Compare & Contrast

It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And as spouses and partners and boyfriends, we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships.

The good news is that everywhere I go across the country, and around the world, I see people pushing back against dated assumptions about gender roles. From the young men who’ve joined our It’s On Us campaign to end campus sexual assault, to the young women who became the first female Army Rangers in our nation’s history, your generation refuses to be bound by old ways of thinking. And you’re helping all of us understand that forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn’t good for anybody—men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise. These stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves.

This fall we enter a historic election. Two hundred and forty years after our nation’s founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party’s presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality.

I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance. I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too. And I want them to help do their part to ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will.

That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.

Apart from GOTV — and watching the Olympics — what’s on the agenda for the day?

Olympics and Other Open Thread

By request.

Thursday Evening Open Thread: He’s Certainly Earned It…

… and it may actually distract the Twitchykin from attacking Hillary, at least for a few hours on Saturday. Per The Hill:

Obama is celebrating his 55th birthday Friday night with a star-studded celebration at the White House, with Beyoncé and Jay Z attending. Kendrick Lamar, the president’s favorite rapper, will also show up, according to the New York Post.

R&B star Usher will perform for the first couple and their guests.

It’s Obama’s last birthday as president, and he is planning to go out in style.

Several stars from the worlds of entertainment, sports and music have scored an invite. The guests include comedian Ellen DeGeneres, singer Stevie Wonder, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson and basketball legends Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning…

The party is taking place one day before the Obama family leaves for its annual vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Obama’s birthday falls on Thursday, and he is keeping things strictly business, according to his public schedule…

Happy birthday, Mr. President, and may nothing more immanently serious than Donald Trump’s campaign interrupt your vacation.

What else is on the agenda as we prepare to wrap up another busy week?

Biennial Selfie and House Update

Still fat, more gray. I tried to smile.


Who owns a house? This guy.

So I went to the house and was in for a little surprise. The former owner left his dog in there for months (which we knew), but he had supposedly removed it after the neighbors and my mom called the game warden. He said he did, but apparently took it out and put it back in and told no one. So when I went over to change the locks, I was greeted with a very sad and emaciated dog.


He’s a very sweet old dog, doesn’t bark and is starved for attention. I gave him a tiny tiny bit of food because you have to be super careful with how much food you give a dog who has gone through this, and will give him some more tonight, as well as plenty of water. Unfortunately, he has shit all over the entire house and there is dog hair everywhere.

Tomorrow I am taking him to my friend the vet to see if he can be saved or if it is more humane to put him down, and if he can be saved I guess I will just pay the vet to do everything that needs to be done and my sister’s animal rescue in Pittsburgh is going to take him and get him the home he deserves. Everyone in town is just livid and furious, and the older lady next door who had been feeding him when she knew he was there almost broke down in tears. If I see this asshole I am going to have to really exercise a great deal of self control so that it does not become a felony encounter.

I’m new to this adulting stuff, so I hired a real estate attorney to deal with all the paperwork, and in the short term all I am going to do is get the yard taken care of and powerwash the fence and the house because the neighbors have suffered enough. Phase two will involve a dumpster and ripping out all the carpet and basically just deep cleaning the entire property until it is sanitary enough to work in.

After that, electrician and plumber, my friend is a contractor and will have him look at a few things, and when that is done, I will start painting. Since I am starting new, I have the luxury of actually choosing the colors for the interior, so that is nice. Then the flooring. It’s a 1910 house so I am hoping underneath there is some hardwood thick enough condition that hasn’t been refinished 100 times and is good enough for another sanding and finishing. If not, I’ll explore options.

I’m mentally exhausted. This is more excitement in one day than I usually have in six months barring personal injuries, which, I’ve noticed, come less frequently now that I am sober.