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Hey everyone. I think this is my first call for help diary since I joined Kos back in 2004. I hope the community can help me answer a few stupid questions about enrolling in the Affordable Care Act.

First off I am sorry I haven't been writing diaries since the election. I have been reading and "lurking" a lot just not really posting. A lot has been going on. I checked into the site tonight because of two very big things happening.

First and foremost we have this stupid Government Shutdown. Every time a Republican in the House speaks I face-palm. Partially because I can't believe how stupid these people are but also because the only time they make any sense to me is after suffering a slight trauma to my head.

Second we have open enrollment for Obamacare, and it's on that issue that I need some help. So if you're in mood to offer advice please follow me down below the cloud of Cheeto dust and see if you can answer my questions.

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Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM PST

An Open Letter to the GOP.

by DeanDemocrat

Dear GOP establishment,

I don't know who to address this to. For the past 4 years it has been confusing to watch you grasp at straws hoping to grab onto something, anything that you can use as a weapon against the other side. My side. To be blunt you have no leadership. It's partially George W. Bush's fault. By choosing Cheney, a man who was never meant to run for President, he left an empty slot in which the next leader of the party should have been standing.

As a result it appeared as though you defaulted to George W. Bush's primary opponent John McCain in an attempt to distance yourself from the Bush years and move the party in a new direction. When that didn't work you were again left without a leader. So filling the void came Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and a parade of people who make a living pushing your party into an ideological corner. The end result was the failed candidacy of your most recent standard bearer, Mitt Romney.

You used to the party of Dwight Eisenhower. Now you are the party of Sarah Palin.

While I am probably the last person you would listen to for advice, and while I am not generally prone to trying to help my "political enemies" this is not simply "concern trolling" on my part. I genuinely want to help you. Follow me below the fold if you're ready to at least consider some real advice from a concerned citizen.

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Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM PST

Today was... weird. (Updated)

by DeanDemocrat

So the other day I wrote a diary called "Wednesday Morning is going to suck!" about the day after Obama's inevitable win and how I wasn't sure how all of my co-workers, who are such crazy Right Wing Romney supporters -would react to his loss.

They were fasting, praying, and utterly convinced that a Romney Presidency was Mormon prophesy waiting to come to fruition. A few people commented on my diary curious about what the actual aftermath would be.

So here is my report. It might be short, but here we go.

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Win or lose tonight, tomorrow morning is going to suck.

I have purchased a large bottle of champagne. If President Obama wins tonight I will definitely pop it open. If Mitt Romney manages to win, I might down the whole thing! But hangovers will be the least of my worries come Wednesday morning. I'm far more worried about the reactions of my coworkers. You see I work with a group of very very right wing individuals who also happen to be Mormons. In fact everyone I work with except for my manager is a Mormon.

Working with right wingers the day after an election is bad enough. But trust me, when people are dedicated to a candidate not just because of their ideology, but as a matter of faith, things get ugly fast!

They will not take the news of an Obama victory very lightly. Nor would they take the news of a Romney victory very gracefully. I don't know what to expect, but I know it will be bad. Follow me below the fold and let me introduce you to my work environment.

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For years we called it the "Echo Chamber."

It is a place where Conservatives speak only to each other, about only conservative ideas. It originally consisted of talk radio plus a few conservative newspapers like the New York Post and the Washington Times. With advent of Fox News the Echo Chamber grew and amplified. The expansion of the Internet meant the birth of conservative websites like FreeRepublic, TheDrudgeReport. NewsMax and WorldNetDaily which allowed conservatives to speak only to each other even more.

The arrival of the blogosphere ushered in conservative blogs like RedState, Politico and a few dozen others. Soon the contents of the Echo Chamber began reverberating off the walls at a fevers pitch, creating an unintelligible noise like the sound of a thousand ducks quacking for no reason, toward no end, forever. The quaking became so loud and so dense, that no outside ideas could penetrate the walls.

Bill Maher calls this "The Bubble"

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So in just under 24hrs from NOW we will start getting results in for the 2012 Election. It will be underway, ballots cast, counted and reported!

24hrs from NOW? You ask. It's barely Monday morning!

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM PDT

Framing The Aftermath.

by DeanDemocrat

It happens every election. The ballots are cast and counted. The winner is declared and within a few hours of the concession speeches the media begins reading tealeaves to try and figure out what swung the electorate toward one candidate or the other.

Generally there are few good tealeaves that do actually deserve to be read. Shifts in the polls leading up to the final days and exit polls taken on Election day being chief among them. But as valid as these two sets of data points are, they do fall short in some regard. That is why win or lose it becomes our responsibility as activists to underscore what we see as the overarching themes and true turning points of this campaign in it's aftermath.

We must frame the post election debate and there is no better time to start coordinating our talking points than right now.

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Have to give a shout out to Rachel Maddow who on her show reminded me of this report that was finished in September and then quickly vanished down the memory hole before it could get any wide spread coverage!

Back in September when we were all focused on Mitt Romney's many daily gaffes, not the least of which was the 47% tape, Republicans in Congress asked the non-partisan Congressional Research Service to analyze the connection between lower tax rates on so-called "job creators" and economic growth. They were no doubt hoping this non-partisan, highly respected group which congress has pretty much always depended on for hard facts and figures, would come back with solid evidence that cutting taxes on the super rich is good for the economy.

Turns out facts are stubborn things.

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Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:47 AM PDT

My Dilemma: Evil vs. Evil

by DeanDemocrat

I live in the High Desert area of Southern California. Aptly named due to the fact that it is very high (approx. 4,000ft above sea level and fairly northward for a desert) and very very dry. To give you an idea of where this is, I live in San Bernardino County. It is the largest county in the Continental United States, squeezed right in between the borders of Nevada and Arizona. Totally land locked and about as far away from the coast as you can get while still in California.

From where I live it's about a 3 hour drive to Las Vegas.

I live in the 41st Congressional District soon to be the newly reformed 8th District. As you may know Nancy Pelosi is currently the Representative for the 8th District. But California is stupid and the new district lines for this year have changed everything around. As a result starting next year Majority Leader (fingers crossed) Pelosi will suddenly be representing the 12th district despite the fact that it's roughly the same patch of real estate she's always represented.

They're just renaming everything and expanding the districts in ways that group lots of like minded people together.

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Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:15 AM PDT

Zingers for Obama/Biden

by DeanDemocrat

When the news broke that Mitt Romney was memorizing zingers for the first debate the idea got a big round of belly laughs. Twitter went crazy with Zinger based Hash Tags, the left of center media mocked the idea roundly, and we all had a bit of fun here on Daily Kos.

I was actually surprised by how few Zingers were actually used at the debate. Romney had maybe 2 or three that he used a few times. But they were really pretty lame. I was more surprised to see how few Zingers President Obama used at the debate. I remember about 2 years ago the President Obama Facebook Page was collecting suggestions from Facebook users for analogies on specific issues.

They would put out an example analogy like: Cutting Education to balance the budget is like cutting off your hand to lose weight.

And there were thousands of responses on these posts. They did one of these posts probably once a week for awhile there and they always had thousands of comments suggesting analogies for different issues ranging across every possible political scenario you could think of.

At the time I thought for sure Obama's campaign was collecting these for use at the debates. Yet we didn't see any on Wednesday. Perhaps the candidates just never had the chance to unleash their respective Zingers. The debate went off in such an odd fashion that most of subjects they may have had a zinger for were never mentioned at all. Whatever the case may be, I believe there is in fact a place for a good Zinger or two in debate.

The problem with the reported Mitt Romney zinger story was that for all we knew he had no other debate strategy. Since he had been a bumbling idiot on TV mere days before the debate took place it seemed as though he had no comprehension for the issues and was going to try and zing his way to victory.

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Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:00 PM PDT

Romney's Non-Tax Cut.

by DeanDemocrat

By this point we have all heard it. Romney dropped a major rhetorical flip flop at the debate the other night when he claimed, with a straight face that he did not have a plan to cut taxes by $5 Trillion Dollars, and he didn't know where President Obama was getting those numbers. In the following days we have seen pundits, even the normally great Ezra Klein on MSNBC twisting themselves into pretzels trying to explain it. Basically the argument goes a little something like this...

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Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:11 PM PDT

Biden's Burden.

by DeanDemocrat

Joe Biden faces Paul Ryan next week on Thursday night in the one and only Vice Presidential Debate. You can expect a similar tactic as Romney's to come from Paul Ryan next week. By tactic I mean lots of lying about what Romney/Ryan has said they plan to do, coupled with some weird new substitution and more"it is so because I say so" type rhetoric.

This is what Biden is up against.

Tonight President Obama tried to nail Jello to the wall. It should be perfectly clear to team Obama that pinning Romney's past positions and statements to him while effective, is not by itself enough. The Romney campaign clearly made the calculation that being seen as a flip flopper is not as bad as being seen as "severely conservative" and so what we saw was a relaunch of a patently more moderate Mitt Romney.

So instead of framing Romney as the out of the mainstream ideologue that he is, President Obama was forced to deal with this much more evasive, much more vapid reincarnation of Romney. The flip flopper who simply changes his position again and again, pretending that's always been his stance, and you just never understood it.

Given this change The President did a good job toward the end when he wrapped all of Mitt Romney's debate answers together in an overarching theme of lots of ideas and no plans. The mistake was that this strategy took up the entire debate before it paid off, and the payoff wasn't a total smack down.

But if there is anyone who can take on the Jello-Twins, it's Joe Biden.

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