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Revamped ACA web site home page. 12/3/13
It ain't pretty. But
it's easier to use.
For the last several weeks I've been documenting my attempt to join the Obamacare socialist health tyranny revolution by enrolling in an insurance plan via the web site. It's the government conduit between me and a variety (actually only two) of private insurance companies here in Maine. It's been a lurchy, stoppy-starty process for me, with the biggest frustration coming from the site's functionality---i.e. buttons not working, pages not loading, site down for maintenance, etc.  But the sign-up process itself, in terms of providing information, was fine.

Last week I mentioned that I was one error message (the dreaded "Error ID:500.300588") away from success. I gently suggested that they fix that little glitchypoo (to use the technical term). Lo and behold, yesterday morning I visited the site, clicked the SUBMIT button while crossing my soon-to-be-insured fingers and toes, and the Obamacare angels sang:

You've successfully completed all steps of your application.
Estimated Effective Date: 03/01/2014
The rest is academic:
To activate your new coverage, you must pay your first month's premium by your plan's due date. Your plan will contact you in the next few days with details on how to pay, or visit your health plan online to make your payment now if your plan accepts online payment. Your payment must be received and processed by the effective date to be fully enrolled. Contact the plan's customer service if you have any payment questions or issues. Don't send payment to the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Dr. Sigmond Freud
I think this is my
primary doctor.
As Maine civil war general and Little Round Top hero Joshua Chamberlain would say: "Baddaboom baddabing, baby, pass me a cannoli!" Once they receive my payment of collectible coins from Goldline, I'll be the proud owner of a bouncing baby Silver plan that will save me about $500 a month versus what I'd have been paying without President Barack H. Obama's signature achievement. And now I can hop from job to job without worrying about losing my coverage. (You're on notice, Kossacks: has offered me a cushy two-figure salary to switch teams and do a tea party version of C&J that bashes you effing freedom-killing moonbats. It's tempting.)

I look forward to unpacking all the health care benefits I'll get as I settle into Billy's Silver Pleasure Palace. But for now, I'm just basking in the knowledge that, when I'm a hundred years old, the lamestream hologram media may, during the ACA's 50th anniversary, ask me what it was like to be among the earliest enrollees. And I'll give 'em the standard centenarian response: "Oh, it was a time, back then it was. Yes, it was quite a time." I hope they get my good side.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Thursday, February 27, 2014

Note: Prepare yourself for the coming Billypocalypse.  I regret to inform you that there will be no C&J Monday as we will be stuck in a bar with a priest, a minister and a rabbi.  Lord knows they never shut up.  Back Tuesday with a hilarious punchline.

Searcy Chocolate Roll Festival (Arkansas) sign
16 days!!!
By the Numbers:
Days 'til some shit happens that no one could've predicted: 0
Days 'til the Searcy County Chocolate Roll Festival in Arkansas: 16
Percent drop in obesity from 2004 to 2012 among kids between 2 and 5: 43%
(Source: JAMA)
Rank of the Tesla Model S electric car on Consumer Reports' list of the best vehicles on the road: #1
Cost of a Tesla Model S electric car: $89,650
Percent of Democrats who want Hillary Clinton to run for president: 82%
Percent of Republicans who want their top choice, Jeb Bush, to run: 41%
(Source: CBS News-WaPost poll)


Your Thursday Molly Ivins Moment:

Molly ivins publicity photo  --- small
I'm sorry to say this, but anyone who reads the newspapers regularly and notices the number of religious figures accused of child molestation and other abuses will not be surprised to learn that religious social service programs are like other social programs: Some are good, and some are not. Pretending that they are all somehow superior to state social services doesn't help anything. … As that great orator, the late Texas state Rep. Billy Williamson of Tyler, once declared during a debate over state aid to Baptist-sponsored Baylor, "Yew CAAAAAAAN'T trade the cross for the cookie jar!" And this is the policy record that has been pronounced a triumph by the Washington press corps.
---February, 2001

Puppy Pic of the Day:  No, I don't suspect Rob Ford.


CHEERS to lovin' in the Lone Star State.  While Governor Jan Brewer was still dithering over whether or not to sign the "No Soup For You Because Jesus" law (she finally vetoed it last night), Texas Governor Rick Perry was demonstrating his suckitude at praying away the gays:

Marriage comes to Texas graphic by HRC
A federal judge has struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage, but is leaving it in place pending a ruling by an appeals court later this year.  Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction on the ban Wednesday, then suspended his ruling. Two gay couples had challenged the state's constitutional amendment and a longstanding law banning gay marriage.
Says Lambda Legal:
Marriage equality map as of February 26, 2014
Busy little marriage map.
"The yellow rose of Texas has a distinctly rainbow hue today. That the judge in this case saw fit to issue a preliminary injunction preventing Texas state officials from enforcing the discriminatory marriage bans illustrates his belief that the state was unlikely to prevail at trial. As important, this ruling extends the impressive run of recent victories that have stretched from Utah to Virginia.

For those of you keeping score, the number of courts that have ruled in favor of marriage equality stands at 19.  The number that have ruled against marriage equality: big fat goose egg. Yeehaw.

P.S. Texas state Senator Dan Patrick was so dazed and disoriented by the ruling that he forgot what team he was batting for on twitter:

tweet by Texas state Senator Dan Patrick that was later deleted re: gay marriage ruling on 2/26/14
He later apologized to his fellow Republicans for accidentally letting the truth slip out.

JEERS to human roadblocks.  Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is preventing the confirmation of the new Surgeon General nominee because he---Dr. Vivek Murthy---believes that gun violence is a threat to public health.  And, of course, people who believe gun violence is a threat to public health are a threat to gun industry health.  Whew---dodged a bullet over that guy, huh.

CHEERS to FLOTUS power.  A collaboration between C-SPAN, New York's Siena College and the White House Historical Association has produced the latest ranking of our First Ladies, and it's no surprise (to me, at least) that Michelle Obama made the top five.  But coming in first place, edging out Abigail Adams, Jackie Kennedy, Dolley Madison and Michelle, is the one and only Eleanor Roosevelt:

Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor, gee I think you're swell.
You're my pride and joy et cetera.
She transformed the role of the First Lady, becoming the first to host a weekly radio show and a press conference in the White House to only women reporters. She had a daily syndicated newspaper column, “My Day,” where she expressed her opinions on political issues.  [Said] Dr. Levy, Director at Sierra Research Institute: “Not only is she most highly rated overall and in many of categories, but among First Ladies of the 20th -21st centuries she is seen as best on advancing women’s issues, as the strongest communicator, greatest political asset, performing the greatest service to the country after leaving office and as creating a lasting legacy.”
In her honor, today the C&J cafeteria will slather anything you want in Good Luck Margarine.  It's delicious!

CHEERS to green-lighting the gals.  Speaking of girl power, On February 27, 1922, the all-male U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.  Shortly after, the justices' wives released them from their chokeholds.

JEERS to the blowings of the blowhard.  Rush Limbaugh would very much appreciate it if we'd stop turning people away from the Republican party by telling them the truth about it:

Sign depicting President Obama as a Muslim.
SHAME on Democrats for forcing
Republicans to crank out stuff like this!
“Racism has been whipped up by the left, by the Democratic party as a means of silencing its opponents.  The Democrat party is not about self-reliance and rugged individualism and freedom, they’re about dependence, they need people depending on them.”
That's right, libmoochers.  Just shut up already instead of trying to make us rugged tea party individualists face the fact that we classify Hispanics and blacks as wetbacks and subhuman mongrels.  At least we're united in hatin' on the atheists and Muslims, right?  Yeah, Rush.  Far right.


Five years ago in C&J: February 27, 2009

CHEERS to stories that give me hope.  As the world crumbles around us there are still signs that, if nothing else, America continues to rank #1 in unintentional comedy:

First came the iPhone.  Then, there was the "iFart" flatulence noise download.  Now, there's "Pull My Finger"---and next could come the lawsuits.  A Florida-based company has accused a Colorado competitor in federal court of trademark infringement and unfair business practices over the phrase "Pull My Finger."
Yes, folks, we're going to weather this storm.  As long as the great American frivolous lawsuit survives, America survives.


And just one more…

CHEERS to rhymin' Simon.  Happy 207th birthday to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born February 27, 1807 in…oh, wow!...Portland, Maine!  He's best known for the error-riddled poetically-licensed Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, which most schoolkids recite at least once in the lives.  But I'm more partial to the poem he wrote after being inspired by nearby Portland Head Light: The Lighthouse...

Portland Head Lighthouse
Ain't that a sight.
The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,
A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides
in the white tip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
with strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

Well, he ain't no Dr. Seuss. But not bad. Not bad.

Have an illuminating Thursday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

"You have no idea what's coming": Bryan Cranston warns of imminent catastrophe as Bill in Portland Maine's face and spine-chilling roar are revealed in Cheers and Jeers trailer
---Daily Mail


Which February birthday gaggle would you rather do lunch with?

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