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Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately.  I’ve just gotten to the point where the horrible awfulness of politics and our national priorities have beat me down into a mewling pulp.  Between the inevitable Democratic skittishness and incompetence on the one hand and staggering levels of bad faith and nihilism from the Republicans, my anger gland has worn itself out.  I’m sure I’ll recuperate soon enough but for now, it hurts!!
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It saddens me to no end when I think upon the fact that millions of Republicans really do believe the bolded bit below:
While policymakers “are attempting to punish people for being poor,” and “people are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor,”

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It’s really hard to imagine how bad the news is going to collectively be once all of the Edward Snowden documents are finally released.  Every new revelation is more depressing.

In today’s news, it seems that the NSA has been indiscriminately hoovering up the full content of internet communications by directly tapping into fiber optic cables located outside the U.S.

US intelligence access to the mounds of data held by Google and Yahoo goes far beyond the court-approved PRISM program, which was described in some of the first National Security Agency (NSA) leaks to come out this summer. Top secret documents published today by The Washington Post reveal that the NSA has tapped into overseas links that Google and Yahoo use to communicate between their data centers.

The newly revealed program, codenamed MUSCULAR, harvests vast amounts of data. A top-secret memo dated January 9, 2013 says that the NSA gathered 181,280,466 new records in the previous 30 days. Those records include both metadata and the actual content of communications: text, audio, and video.

Remember how this was all supposed to be a big nothingburger because it’s all just metadata, you pansies?  (Fuck you, Diane Feinstein.)

Nope, the NSA has basically had access to the full content of every piece of data that Google and Yahoo have transmitted between their respective data centers.

As a silver lining to this latest facepalm, we did get access to the most precious national security-related PowerPoint slide in like forever (no, this is not an Onion drawing):

GOOGLE-CLOUD-EXPLOITATION1383148810

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Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that the launch and current operation of the federal health insurance exchange website is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad thing.  Was it a case of bad management?  Yes.  Bad engineering?  Yes.  Should people be fired?  Yes.  Bad optics?  Yes.  The worst thing since Zombie Hitler taking over Jerusalem?  No.

Jesus tapdancing chriiiiiist already.  It’s a fucking website.  Yes, a website.  A fancy complicated thing that the government wouldn’t have even rolled out if this were 2003.  (Remember forms?  The DMV?  The Social Security Office?  The IRS phone line?  Fax machines?  Stamps to mail shit in?)

I think we’ve all come to realize that about 75% of the shit that Andrew Sullivan gets hysterical about is gonna end up being a huge nothingburger when looked on in retrospect.  And, boy howdy, is he fucking hysterical right now:

The Obama team waited until the website roll-out to make their case – hoping, presumably, to capitalize on what they imagined would be a great online experience. Then came the mismanaged disaster

If the federal government were a business, and the ACA were a new product, its stocks would be in the toilet right now. If Apple made an iPhone that experienced massive failures on the consumer end from the start, it would be withdrawn…

The president now needs to rise to this occasion or have his own singular policy choice, like Bush’s, become a synonym for government incompetence. Confess, Mr President. Americans forgive failures explained forthrightly. They rightly never forgive those who cannot plainly and clearly admit error and take responsibility.

Yes, CONFESS!  Rend your garments and wail out upon the congregation how “Yes!!  I have SINNED, Lord!  Forgive me of my trespasses!!”

This is such a depressing example of how fucking shallow we’ve become and how utterly obsessed we are with optics uber alles.

Will enrollment in the new health insurance programs be impacted in the short term?  Yes.  Will Obama and the Democrats get egg on their face?  Yes.  Might we have to delay the individual mandate for a bit?  Probably.

But, hey, NEWS FLASH!  Websites get fixed.  In the interim and for years to come, millions upon millions of people will have their lives transformed by finally being covered by affordable health insurance.  These are people who will become free to start small businesses without being shackled to the sweet health plan they get by working at DepressedTech LLC…  People living on the edge of medical bankruptcy who will have a better chance to not have their lives ruined for the foreseeable future by a sudden unexpected illness…  People who won’t be tossed in the ditch once some crafty insurance adjuster ferrets out a preexisting condition…  People who will remain alive because they didn’t avoid getting treated for a dangerous condition “because they just don’t have the money right now.”

Ferfuxake, nearly 10 million young adults have gotten health insurance over the past few years just by virtue of the fact that they’ve remained covered by their parents’ health plans.

I know a fuck-up is a really sexy, exciting thing to put on the news.  Congressional Republicans haven’t stopped wetting themselves over the orgasmic opportunity to hold hearings to sternly find out the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why!” of this most catastrophic communist betrayal of these United States since suggesting that our kids eat healthier foods, the President lying about quitting smoking, BENGHAZI!11!!!, Michelle Obama giving a mean look to the Statue of Liberty!!

If literally the worst actual, factual thing you’ve got to bitch about is a buggy website, then how’s about we all get a little fucking perspective, justifiably needle the President about it for a while and then take, like, a million long, deep breaths.

Sheesh.

Something to bear in mind: If it were 10 years ago, the government would not have launched a  website that allowed people to register for Obamacare online.  People would have had to call a phone number or mail in forms.
That unyielding austerity hawkery is really paying some huge dividends for the GOP.
Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the federal budget, versus 77 percent who disapprove. Among independents: 20-78. Among moderates: 14-85.  Among seniors: 18-79. Fewer than one in three regard the GOP favorably.
A most-excellent quote of the day:
The low calibre of many United States legislators is a well-documented fact…  A case in point concerns the article by [U.S. Senator] Mark Kirk in Monday’s Daily Telegraph arguing against concessions to Iran… Senator Kirk deserves to be dismissed as an ignoramus whose advice on tying one’s shoes should be treated with the utmost caution.