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DISASTROUS ROLL-OUT FOR FIRST DAYS IN OBAMACARE: The numbers -- 6, 100, 248 enrollments are pathetic!

With the caveat that these may not be the final numbers, it appears that only 6 people enrolled the first day, followed by 100 enrollments the next day, and 248 enrollments the next … an abysmal showing for a large-program roll out that had at least three years to prepare for the initial roll-out.

The real issue is that, while the IT experts knew what was happening and provided sufficient details and warning to the HHS Administrators and the White House, someone, for purely political reasons and “optics” decided to proceed rather than be criticized for missing a critical deadline. Possibly because they thought that a biased mainstream media might downplay the magnitude of the disaster and hold President Barack Obama from blame. Perhaps, Obama using the same lines he used with Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, and all the others. – I know only what I read in the papers, just like you – and I am outraged and promise to fix the problem. As if daily classified executive briefings never happened.

A word of sympathy for the IT people and supporting staff in the war room and on the front lines … They are doing the best they can and the pressure to perform miracles is intense. Hope they are handling the stress well.

Here is an excerpt from the jargon-filled Obamacare War Room status reports. [My comments in blue] …  

CCIIO [Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight] -Wide War Room Notes 10.2.13 AM

Action Items
-  Share QSSI [Quality Software Services, Inc.] dashboard with Alissa and Mike.
-  Share group contacts for the cross-functional teams with all who are on this meeting invite. 

Overview
On-going issues: High capacity on the website, direct enrollment not working, VA system not
connecting, Experian creating confusion with credit check information, residency issue has a script
being developed for the 900 issues that occurred, and many agent-brokers have not signed up on
EIDM. [Enterprise ID Management]

Resolved issues: Residency issue is fixed going forward, new account management process
developed to handle workload created by furloughs, OH Navigators are now available, and
privacy/security process for state reporting has been validated through its first use by RI. 

Cross-functional teams have been organized to address different buckets of issues, such as Premium Discrepancies, and this meeting will be one way that current issues are directed to those teams. The teams will also be expected to report back to the War Room about the resolution of issues they have been provided.

Agent-broker help desk, lists of agent-brokers for states, and registration of agent-brokers in
EIDM  are discussed.

6 enrollments have occurred so far with 5 different issuers.

CIRT [Computer Incident Response Team]

Capacity- Still high capacity on the website and having EIDM issues, They added more servers overnight. OIS [Office of Information Services] is working on it.

Direct enrollment- (signing up directly on au issuer website) is not working for any issuers, so OIS is diagnosing the problem and looking at short and long-term solutions.

VA- VA system is down, but looking to connect it back up. Important for APTC [Advanced Premium Tax Credit] verifications- when the FFM [Federally-Facilitated Marketplace] can't get an electronic verification, it asks for a self-attestation. The data sent over right now is always correct, but it is not always sent over (no incorrect data is being submitted).

Experian- It is still being worked on- RI was cross-validating credit checks. Experian has a slow helpdesk we are helping them with.

PM (standing item) [Program Manager]

HIOS [Health Insurance Oversight System] notice re data changes - Went out yesterday.

HIOS call today - It is on for today. 3 announcements for issuers, and Carlos will be joining.

Account management - Account managers largely furloughed, so LMI [Logistics Management Institute] is setting up a dedicated line to take calls and triage information.  

LMI 0000337

Process: Data/IT questions will go to XOC, and policy questions will go to ROs if they have answers to take on a collection of issuers, and if it is an issue that does not have a JIRA ticket/ has not been answered, it will go to a CCIIO SME to answer it.

Eligibility and Enrollment

Residency Fix - Residency issue will be fixed going forward. Problem ID: There were 6 servers, and 4 of them didn't have the right production data. 

Notices Issue - The notice you would get wouldn't save, so it would be different later on in your sign-up process. Still being fixed.  '

CHIP- Need more data to determine if CHIP determinations are happening correctly. Will keep
reviewing the data today. 

MIDAS - Should be getting report-outs from MIDAS soon. Talking to OIS to learn more about them. The data transfer went fine; it didn't go fine when matching up with Cognos. The data surprised Cognos (null fields where they didn't expect it), so dashboards didn't populate. CACI is working on fixing it. SMEs being pulled in to look at the data and help advise CACI on fixes. As of midnight last night, they did pull HUB data in.

Statistics coming in- QSSI has a daily dashboard created every night. First one last night 6 enrollments/834s spread across 5 issuers. No failures. TAls (functional group acknowledgement) and positive 999s back on all 6 enrollments. Issuers include BCBS NC, BCBS Kansas City, and CareSource. Healthcare Service Corporation had the 2 enrollments. 

HUB activity doesn't get into the substance of the enrollment, so we don't know if any of them would be getting subsidies.

Submitted applications increasing (about 300) and CHIP applications are occurring. A bunch of
QHP eligible people as well.

It would be worth tracking the first SADP successful enrollment as well. The dashboard can be shared; they do have not only the name of the issuer but also the Issuer ID on the spreadsheet. If someone can review dashboard for specifics, that would be helpful.

Action Item: Share QSSI dashboard with Alissa and Mike.

Agent-Brokers - The agent-broker helpdesk, list of agent-brokers for states, and registration of
agent-brokers in EIDM are discussed. 

Remedy Access - Working on Remedy access for Agent-broker helpdesk- may be up by end of
day. Booz Allen Hamilton is helping us to expand this helpdesk because we did not plan on
having a large one. 

LMI 0000338

Excerpts ….

CCIIO Wide War Room 10.2.13 PM


Consumer access issues are occurring; some estimates show 40,000 people in the waiting room.
Direct enrollment is still not working.
The paper application is available on marketplace.gov, the partner website, but not
healthcare.gov, the consumer website.
Approximately 100 enrollments have happened as of this meeting.

CCIIO-Wide War Room 10.3.13 AM

As of yesterday, there were 248 enrollments.

Bottom line …

Obamacare is beyond belief. HHS Secretary Sebelius was a cold, calculating shrew when testifying before Congress – saying little of real value. The whole cadre of progressive socialist democrats need to be tossed out of office. And some need to go to prison for a massive bait-and-switch fraud/Ponzi scheme that will eventually destroy the healthcare we knew and loved.

Obama and his fellow travelers are now attempting to blame the insurers; hoping that people hate insurance companies more than politicians. It won’t fly, the insurers, many of whom are warned by someone in the White House to be silent, will mount their own lobbying activities against the democrats who have perpetrated this travesty on America and Americans.

-- steve 


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



2013 HALLOWEEN HORRY STORY -- WANT SCARY? WANT CREEPY? WANT THE TRUTH? WATCH THIS VIDEO OR DIE!

One of the scariest videos ever …

Many a truth is spoken in jest!


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



2013 -- THE SCARIEST HALLOWEEN GOBLINS EVER

Considering the amount of damage these corrupt, lying, progressive socialist democrats have wreaked on America, I hereby declare them the most scary goblins ever.

hclinton O1
p-1 r1

Happy Halloween …

obamapumpkin


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



OBAMACARE: CAN'T HAVE COMPETENT PRIVATE COMPANIES LOOKING AT WHAT OUR POLITICAL CRONIES HAVE DEVELOPED AND SCREWED UP!

Like IBM offering to build a system to contain Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse FREE with no up-front investment and only a percentage of savings after a few years, competent companies such as Amazon and Microsoft offered to help the failing Obamacare web system. Again, like IBM, the government refused to accept competent help. Possibly, in my view, because the government does not want outsiders to see what there cronies have done – and possibly raise issues that could see these firms legally sanctioned and/or fined.

According to Reuters …

U.S. passes up firms’ offers to help healthcare website: committee

The Obama administration appears to have passed up offers from Amazon and Microsoft to help fix the federal government’s troubled healthcare enrollment website, according to documents released on Tuesday by a Republican-led congressional investigating committee.

An October 7 inquiry from Amazon’s subsidiary Amazon Web Services Inc. was turned down by two senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing implementation of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, according to copies of emails provided by the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Microsoft also contacted HHS and the White House with offers of “technical expertise and assistance,” but the company has not provided any such services, a Microsoft representative said in an October 25 letter to the committee. The letter did not say whether the administration had responded to Microsoft’s offers.

The Obama administration said earlier this month it was bringing in high-tech experts to sort out the website, but it has given few details of who may be involved, other than to announce last week that Quality Software Services Inc, or QSSI, will serve as a general contractor to oversee repairs.  Read more at: U.S. passes up firms' offers to help healthcare website: committee | The Daily Caller

QSSI is owned by UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest Medicare insurance companies in the nation, an interesting conflict of interest if nobody is watching the store. Notice, there is no mention of CGI, the prime contractor with ties to Michele Obama and Valerie Jarrett.

Something stinks! Three years to design, code, and implement a fairly standard system that is no more complicated than the largest commercial systems used in day-to-day finance and commerce.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



OBAMACARE, BENGHAZI, NSA, IRS, FAST FURIOUS -- CAN YOU TRUST YOUR GOVERNMENT TO TELL THE TRUTH?

The actual legislation was not the complete law, but an outline …

Those who have not read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act do not realize that it is not a complete law. It is a list of objectives with some method of accomplishing them, but cedes tremendous power to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Administrative bureaucracy and to various, as yet unformed and unimplemented panels, commissions, boards, and appointed individuals. One might ask, what have the progressive socialist democrats brought to pass in America?

Bait and Switch?

There is some speculation that the original Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was crafted by the progressive socialist democrats to be incomprehensible, chaotic, confusing, and above all, unworkable; a law to inflict as much pain and suffering on the American people as to cause them to demand a “single payer” healthcare system that has been the dream of socialists for decades. Even if this were not true, the law – which no voting legislator read in its entirety, much less understood before they voted – was so poorly crafted and hyper-technical, that its implementation has led to massive chaos, confusion, – and yes, FEAR – among Americans.

Lying to the American public once again …

President Obama and his cadre of progressive socialist democrats knew that a substantial portion of Americans who purchase “individual” healthcare policies, would lose their existing healthcare coverage while President Obama was repeatedly telling Americans, without qualification, that they would be able to keep their healthcare and their doctor.

PROOF THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A LIAR

The  promise …

July 15, 2009 as the democrats unilaterally wrote the legislation with no GOP input or proposed amendments …

“So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage -- they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. (Applause.) If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. (Applause.) No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: Fix what's broken and build on what works. And that's what we intend to do.”

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION | WHITE HOUSE

After it was signed into law …      

April 1, 2010 after the legislation was signed into law …

“They’ll have to finally acknowledge that this isn’t a government takeover of our health care system.  They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor.  And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.  No one will be able to take that away from you.  It hasn’t happened yet.  It won’t happen in the future.”   

Remarks by the President on Health Insurance Reform in Portland, Maine | White House

Meanwhile the bureaucrats were working in the background and produced this Internal Revenue Service Report that contained the Administration’s estimates of how many Americans might lose their healthcare insurance plans and be forced to switch doctors …

irs

Using these turnover estimates, a reasonable range for the percentage of individual policies that would terminate, and therefore relinquish their grandfather status, is 40 percent to 67 percent.

These estimates assume that the policies that terminate are replaced by new individual policies, and that these new policies are not, by definition, grandfathered.

In addition, the coverage that some individuals maintain for long periods might lose its grandfather status because the cost-sharing parameters in policies change by more than the limits specified in these interim final regulations.

The frequency of this outcome cannot be gauged due to lack of data, but as a result of it, the Departments estimate that the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 percent to 67 percent range that is estimated based on the fraction of
individual policies that turn over from one year to the next.

Read the IRS Bulletin for your self HERE.

Then while campaigning for his second term in office …

October 3, 2012 during the first Presidential Debate against Mitt Romney … 

Moderator:  You want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Why?

ROMNEY: I sure do. It's expensive. It has killed jobs.

OBAMA: Well, four years ago, it wasn't just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket, but it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. If they had a pre-existing condition, they might not be able to get coverage at all. If they did have coverage, insurance companies might impose an arbitrary limit. And let me tell you exactly what ObamaCare did. Number one, if you've got health insurance, it doesn't mean a government takeover. You keep your own insurance. You keep your own doctor. But it does say insurance companies can't jerk you around. They can't impose arbitrary lifetime limits. They have to let you keep your kid on your insurance plan until you're 26 years old. And it also says that you're going to have to get rebates if insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and profits than they are on actual care.

Source: First Obama-Romney 2012 Presidential debate 

And today …  the very latest spin from President Obama who said nothing about the “vast majority” or qualified the statement that “ If you liked your plan you would get to keep it. Period.” …

October 30, 2013 Remarks by the President and Governor Deval Patrick on the Affordable Care Act [My comments in blue]

Now, it is also true that some Americans who have health insurance plans that they bought on their own through the old individual market are getting notices from their insurance companies suggesting that somehow, because of the Affordable Care Act, they may be losing their existing health insurance plan.  This has been the latest flurry in the news.  Because there's been a lot of confusion and misinformation about this, I want to explain just what's going on. [You don’t understand, so I am going to ‘splain it to you Lucy!]

One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured, but also the underinsured.  And there are a number of Americans –- fewer than 5 percent of Americans -– who've got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident.  [ Five percent can equal millions of American citizens!] Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy.  So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good. 

Now, if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it.  That’s what I said when I was running for office.  That was part of the promise we made.  But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you've got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage  -- because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning. [Any plan that does not meet government standards, is by definition, substandard! So I am not to blame if those your plan was offered by one of those “bad-apple insurers or that the evil insurance company is forced by the government to change their bad plan to conform with government standards – thus destroying your “grandfathered” plan! ]

And today, that promise means that every plan in the marketplace covers a core set of minimum benefits, like maternity care, and preventive care, and mental health care, and prescription drug benefits, and hospitalization.  And they can’t use allergies or pregnancy or a sports injury or the fact that you're a woman to charge you more.  They can't do that anymore.  (Applause.)  They can't do that anymore. 

If you couldn’t afford coverage because your child had asthma, well, he’s now covered.  If you’re one of the 45 million Americans with a mental illness, you’re now covered.  If you’re a young couple expecting a baby, you’re covered.  You’re safer.  The system is more secure for you and it’s more secure for everybody. 

So if you’re getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace.  That’s what it’s for.  Because of the tax credits we’re offering, and the competition --

THE PRESIDENT:  Because of the tax credits that we’re offering and the competition between insurers, most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected.  You’re going to get a better deal. [Most people is not all people!]

Now, there’s a fraction of Americans with higher incomes who will pay more on the front end for better insurance with better benefits and protections like the Patient’s Bill of Rights.  And that will actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick.  But nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage, or drop you as a customer altogether.  Those days are over.  And that’s the truth.  (Applause.)  That is the truth.  [99% (99/100) is also a fraction!]

So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it.  For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it.  For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal. [5% will get a better deal as defined by the government. But it does not mean these people will be able to keep their current insurance plans they like or the doctors they choose.]

So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are cancelling people’s plan without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier, and stronger benefits and stronger protections, while others will be able to get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace, and that many will get new help to pay for these better plans and make them actually cheaper -- if you leave that stuff out, you’re being grossly misleading, to say the least.  (Applause.)  [If anyone explains it differently that me, Barack Obama, they are misleading you.] 

Source: The White House

You can keep your plan and your doctor – but the government’s terms and conditions make this next to impossible. I didn’t lie when I told you that you could keep your crappy substandard plan issued by one of those bad-apple insurers. I just didn’t tell you that when the government demands changes to these plans, they lose their grandfather status and your sorry ass is out in the cold along with all of the other people who are being forced to share socialist pain and misery.

The truth …

  • You cannot add additional millions of people to a healthcare system without increasing physicians, facilities, diagnostic equipment, and the rest of the medical infrastructure to provide adequate individualized care.
  • In addition, you cannot incentivize insurance companies, medical facilities, and medical personnel to contain costs without denying and delaying healthcare – possibly to the point where a patient is no longer able to receive effective treatment or dies.
  • You cannot allow bureaucrats to dictate to physicians the type and level of care needed to responsibly treat patients.
  • The government is not serious about curtailing waste, fraud, and abuse as they restrict the number of qualified fraud investigators and refuse to implement commonsense systems that would flag fraudulent practices before they became million-dollar front page stories. If the government want to curb waste, fraud, and abuse as they have claimed for decades, they would have done it before this. Of course, they would lose the fiction of funding programs by claiming that curbing the waste, fraud, and abuse will pay for a significant portion of the program.
  • As long as special interests can influence corrupt politicians, nothing will change except the gulf between the wealthy special interests and “We the People.”

Washington is all about corruption, deception, and misdirection – none so much as President Obama and his cadre of progressive socialist democrats in the Administration and in Congress.

Bottom line …

oc-defund

Remember this when you stand in your polling spot in the 2014 congressional election cycle. Which party lied to you the most? And, could those lies affect your health and the health of your family. The progressive socialist democrats created and passed Obamacare, with no GOP input or amendments. It was unconstitutionally passed using a Senate rules trick and the finished bill was never approved by the House of Representatives.

We are so screwed!

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



GLOBAL WARMING -- FIND YOUR OLD EARTHWORM STARTER KIT -- IT MAY BE WORTH MILLIONS

When I was twelve, a few of my friends and myself pictured ourselves as earthworm moguls – purchasing an earthworm “starter kit” from a magazine ad and then selling earthworms back to the company for a guaranteed profit. It involved building an earthworm growing container, filling it will the proper mix of soil and nutrients, and of course, adding the contents of the critical “earthworm” starter package containing live earthworms. If I remember correctly, our newfound riches would finance new bikes and a radio. That is, until a few of the mothers meeting at our house asked why we were hammering and digging in the back yard. It seems the regulatory authorities of our time, our mothers, put an end to our project based on sound environmental reasons: lack of permits, noise pollution, disruption of the backyard, and the general ickyness (a term of art) of the entire project. We used the worms to fish in Ballona Creek, now a massive system of storm drains, with little luck. Oh well!

Now there might be a new earthworm project that yields big money with zero work! My type of childhood dream. Hell, my adult dream as well.

Earthworms Invade New England -- Do they speed or slow climate change?

Beavers reshape landscapes with their dams. Wolves control elk populations. Sea otters protect kelp forests by eating sea urchins. These are what ecologists call “keystone” species: critters that control an ecosystem and have a disproportionate impact on other species. And in the forests of New England, what are the keystone species?

Put earthworms on the list.

Kudzu vines grow madly, covering power lines. Zebra mussels muscle-out native mussels in Lake Champlain. Burmese pythons devastate local wildlife in the Everglades. These are invasive species: non-native animals and plants, carried by people into new locations, that take hold, disrupting and reshaping local ecosystems. And in the forests of New England, what are the invasive species?

Put earthworms on that list too.

None of the earthworms in New England's forests are native. There are sixteen earthworm species reported in Vermont—and they’re all exotic; fourteen are European and two are Asian. And many of these worms are invaders, spreading silently underground. “Perhaps ten or eleven are invasive,” says Josef Gorres, a professor at the University of Vermont.

“He’s an earthwormologist,” says Don Ross, with a wry smile. But the research project Ross is leading is no joke. Also a professor at UVM, Ross, a soil chemist, wants to better understand the effects of all these earthworms on the soils of New England's Northern Forest. He and Gorres know the worms are upsetting forest ecosystems — and they also think the worms have a role to play in global climate change. But what that role is — good guy or villain? — they’re not sure.

Earthworm excreta

Which is why, on a gentle hillside in the town forest of Hinesburg, Vt., Ross, Gorres, three other scientists, and five students dig a hole in the ground. Surrounding them, a stand of youngish trees — paper birch, sugar maple, white ash — forms a pleasing green glow. The trees are reclaiming a farm field abandoned in the 1930s. Each tree, as it grows, sucks in carbon dioxide from the air, converting some of it into leaves and wood. In other words, a forest stores carbon from the atmosphere that would otherwise contribute to the greenhouse effect — and global warming.

But for all the carbon being stored in these trees aboveground, a roughly equal amount of carbon is stored belowground. And that’s where the earthworms come in.

Graduate student Meghan Knowles holds up a clump of soil. “Most of this is earthworm poop, because this is such a highly invaded site,” she says. “Most of this soil has been processed by earthworms.” Then she teases apart the clump. “We’re sifting through the litter to try to find earthworms and then we’re going to look for middens — mounds — that are an indication of deep burrowing species,” she says.

On the edge of the hole, a thin layer of leaves on the top surface is visible and then an even mix of blackish-brown soil goes down into the darkness. “Look at this patch,” say Gorres, “there’s this leaf layer and then we’re straight into the top mineral layer.” Yes, Dr. Watson, worms have been here. In a forest like this without worms, there would first be a “duff layer,” which is a spongy, bouncy layer above the deeper mineral soils, “and this just doesn’t exist in here anymore,” says Gorres. The worms have, literally, eaten it.

Carbon on balance

This efficient decomposition is why home gardeners love earthworms: they break down organic matter, releasing nutrients. But in a New England forest they’re not so benign, since in breaking down that organic matter they redistribute carbon throughout the soil, changing the basic layering of forest floors — and the tree and understory species that depend on this system. “A lot of plants that use the duff layer as a germination medium or a seed bank will no longer be around,” says Gorres.

The worms also release carbon dioxide as they eat, adding to the forest’s carbon emissions. It might seem that earthworms are all villain in the drama that is the global carbon cycle. But not so fast, the Vermont scientists say.

“When the earthworms first invade, they change things dramatically and there is a big carbon loss and change in the forest floor,” says Don Ross, holding up three different species on his hand. As these earthworms move through the soil, they’re ingesting mineral particles along with organic particles, glomming them together inside their digestive track. And “when they poop,” says Knowles, “they produce what we call an aggregate.”

Over time, it seems, these soil aggregates might physically protect the organic carbon inside them, forming a barrier to the microorganisms that could otherwise break it down. “So the question is,” Gorres asks, over the long run, “do earthworms create a negative balance or positive balance on carbon?”

Part of this research project — sponsored by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative, and exploring eighteen forest plots across Vermont — aims to answer that question. “Earthworms create these stable aggregate structures,” says Knowles, who is doing a lot of the digging and lab work to get to the bottom of this question. “And so I’m trying to quantitatively distinguish between what earthworms are creating and what is already here, to figure out if earthworms are increasing that physical protection of carbon.”

Carbon credits

This is a matter of more than scientific interest. “When we’re trying to set up policies about how to increase sequestration of carbon from the air,” says Sandy Wilmot, a forest scientist with the State of Vermont and a partner on this project, “it would be very helpful to know how to manage the soil as well as the aboveground.” For example, differing forestry techniques clearly affect aboveground carbon storage, and are likely to also influence belowground carbon too. They may also have an effect on the likelihood of earthworm invasion.

Human-generated carbon — and its capture — is starting to develop into big business. Around the world, various types of carbon markets are emerging in the effort to slow and regulate climate change. Credits in these markets generally depend on being able to show that carbon is being sequestered out of the atmosphere — and held long-term. But belowground carbon is nearly impossible to include in these markets, or other mitigation efforts, because it’s hard to measure.

“Forest soil carbon is poorly understood and so it’s often not counted or even removed from some forest carbon protocols,” says Cecilia Danks, a social scientist at UVM. “I’ve been brought in to this earthworm project to try to figure out: is there a carbon market connection? You don’t get credit in the market right now — for the most part — for forest soil carbon.” This research effort aims to move toward a better accounting of carbon in the Northern Forest, and, perhaps, Danks hopes, the chance for New England forestland owners to get a return on the carbon stored below their feet, even carbon passing through the bowel of an invasive earthworm. Source: Earthworms Invade New England

Do you see a malignant picture developing?

Another farm subsidy … pay a researcher to certify the number of earthworms in a sample, extrapolate the result to a large area, generate a piece of paper known as a carbon credit, and sell it to the Wall Street Wizards so they can re-sell it to a gross polluter of the environment so they can avoid installing expensive pollution controls and keep polluting for profits. Passing all of the carbon credit cost to their ratepayers in the form of more expensive energy, and by extension, to the general public in the form of higher prices of goods and services.

There might be money to be found in those earthworm “starter kits” after all. Perhaps something to supplement the incomes most of my – now senior citizen – buddies dreamed about as kids.

Bottom line …

UN-ENVIRONMENTALISM

Global warming and manufactured environmental rules are all about money and political control. Nature will do what nature will do – and we cannot control the global climate any more than King Canute could stop the tides or man can adjust the output of the Sun or the position of the Earth. It appears that the intersection of money, politics, and global warming science screws everyone and everything.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



I can't help wondering how corrupt the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is to push for a flawed immigration reform bill?

I has always believed that the United States Chamber of Commerce was all about business, lower regulations, lower taxes, economic stability, and above all the promotion of a domestic business agenda. But, after reading this article, I believe I may be mistaken. It appears that the Chamber of Commerce is all about promoting an anti-business progressive socialist democrat agenda that is bad for our nation, bad for our citizens, and bad for business.

Do these people not see the damage and destruction they will cause by implementing a bill that will change the fundamental economic and social fabric of the United States and assist in the perpetuation of a corrupt single-party political system?

Do they understand that the democrat-proposed legislation will disadvantage legal low-income minorities in favor of low-income illegal aliens. And, in many cases force good workers to cede their jobs to formerly illegal aliens who do not cause their employer’s to be surcharged or penalized under Obamacare?

What the hell are these people thinking? 

Chamber pushes Boehner to pass immigration bill

Business and progressive groups rallied at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Oct. 29 to reassure Speaker of the House John Boehner that he’ll get their political support if he schedules a major vote on immigration.

“He’s said in the press that the House should take up immigration reform and he plans to do it,” said Randel Johnson, the chamber’s vice president for immigration.

“I think he want to get this done, but it is our job to show that there is support in the business community and the evangelical community and in other conservative Republican groups that they’ll be there to back him up when he makes his decisions,” he told The Daily Caller. Source: Chamber pushes Boehner to pass immigration bill | The Daily Caller

Checking out Randel Johnson …

Randel K. Johnson joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on December 1, 1997. As senior vice president, he is primarily responsible for labor, immigration, and employee benefits issues pending before Congress and the federal agencies.

Consulting with the Chamber’s member policy committees and his staff of 11, Johnson determines the Chamber’s position and sets strategy on a wide variety of issues that fall within the jurisdiction of his division. These include union-driven initiatives such as card check legislation, ergonomics, and blacklisting regulations; pension funding reform and health care; civil rights and wage and hour; and comprehensive immigration reform, including visa and border policy. Johnson regularly testifies before Congress and is widely quoted in the media on employment and immigration issues as a recognized expert in these fields.

Johnson serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Forum and the Lutheran Immigration Refugee Services agency and on the Quality Alliance Steering Committee. Previously, he was a member of the Department of Homeland Security Data Management Improvement Act Task Force on border entry and exit issues, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Immigration Task Force, the 21st Century Workforce Commission, and the Carnegie U.S.-Mexico Migration Study Group.

His prior experience includes six years as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor where he was the special assistant to the Solicitor of Labor for Regulatory Affairs and the department’s liaison to the Office of Management and Budget, specializing in the areas of equal employment opportunity and occupational safety and health. He also served as a lobbyist in the labor relations, immigration, and job training areas with the National Association of Manufacturers; as an attorney with the Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges; and as a law clerk to a Baltimore city trial judge immediately following law school. Between college and law school, Johnson worked for IBM in Bethesda, Maryland.

Another lawyer-lobbyist who looks awfully like a progressive socialist democrat? A man with an agenda that may not bode well for America and her citizens?

Bottom line …

Speaker Boehner should be tossed out of office like any other RINO that attempts to convey a permanent underclass to the progressive socialist democrats and their dream of an unassailable permanent majority in all areas of government – much like Mexico with its oligarchs and corrupt politicians.

The United States Chamber of Commerce should be calling for common-sense steps that should precede any call for immigration reform and which I have previously described.

Any honest, rational individual or politician would demand the following:

  1. A simple count of the number of illegal aliens existing within our borders. This can be accomplished by existing law which requires illegal aliens to register as illegal aliens. Illegal aliens would be given six months to register or forfeit their registration rights. Any person not registered as of a given date would never become eligible for any immigration reform program that contained a path to citizenship.
  2. An environmental impact study consisting of an examination of the impact of financial, social, and cultural implications of any immigration reform act.
  3. An improved identity card that would replace the millions of forged or stolen documents that currently exist. I have proposed a technical numbering scheme that would allow the current Social Security numbering system to co-exist with an improved system so that impact on existing citizens is minimized.
  4. A lockdown of our border, enforcement of existing laws, and the prosecution of anyone who circumvents those laws for political purposes.

Then, knowing the facts, we can begin to design a rational work, resident, study, and citizenship program. Perhaps even implementing international laws that provide that a child’s nationality is that of their parents.

 I get that the Chamber really represents the largest companies seeking cheap labor … the very same companies that may be influenced by union coercion and actually outsource more American jobs if the economic situation declines. I get that big business and big government wants to expand the labor force to pay into Obamacare and Social Security. I get that both parties appear to be equally corrupt when pushing their own agendas.

But isn’t it about time that we look out for America and her citizens before we authorize an invasion from a foreign sovereign nation whose former citizen’s loyalties remain outside the United States? People who have refused to assimilate and adopt the American culture?

Time to get real and look at the long term rather than the short term political advantage. Anyone who votes for immigration reform without taking the preliminary steps should be thrown out of office.

-- steve

 


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



John McCain: Enemy Collaborator sells out American Sovereignty

Like an evil clown, John McCain is a traitor to his party and to the American people. Being an enemy collaborator under physical pain and duress in a Vietnam prison is excusable, selling out your nation to foreign sovereign interests is not.

McCain: We'll Try to Pass Immigration Changes After GOP Primaries

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gave the clearest indication that proponents of comprehensive immigration reform may make their final--and strongest--push to get legislation passed next year after House Republicans make it through their primaries.

Read more at: McCain: We'll Try to Pass Immigration Changes After GOP Primaries

Bottom line …

Any honest, rational individual or politician would demand the following:

  1. A simple count of the number of illegal aliens existing within our borders. This can be accomplished by existing law which requires illegal aliens to register as illegal aliens. Illegal aliens would be given six months to register or forfeit their registration rights. Any person not registered as of a given date would never become eligible for any immigration reform program that contained a path to citizenship.
  2. An environmental impact study consisting of an examination of the impact of financial, social, and cultural implications of any immigration reform act.
  3. An improved identity card that would replace the millions of forged or stolen documents that currently exist. I have proposed a technical numbering scheme that would allow the current Social Security numbering system to co-exist with an improved system so that impact on existing citizens is minimized.
  4. A lockdown of our border, enforcement of existing laws, and the prosecution of anyone who circumvents those laws for political purposes.

Then, knowing the facts, we can begin to design a rational work, resident, study, and citizenship program. Perhaps even implementing international laws that provide that a child’s nationality is that of their parents.

Corrupt democrats and republicans must be purged from our government before the America we know and love becomes just another unexceptional socialist country, ruled by oligarchs and union bosses, with misery and poverty for all.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



VIRGINIANS AND ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT VIRGINIA: SAVE YOUR STATE FROM CLINTON CRONY Terry McAuliffe!

If you care one whit about the United States Constitution and the creeping interference with your life from corrupt progressive socialist democrats, you may wish to vote for Ken Cuccinelli and let Terry McAuliffe go back to his dodgy deals with cronies.

The choice is clear …

Bottom line …

Will the Virginians stand up for America, for our Constitution and reject those progressive socialist democrats whose Orwellian political-speak proves they do not understand the difference between good and evil when they conflate up and down, right and left, and attempt to disarm law-abiding Americans to create a bigger pool of victims requiring an even bigger state-run police force?

Enough is enough! Time to get off your sorry asses and vote to protect yourself and your family from a progressive government likely to run amok.

Ken Cuccinelli is one of us – someone who will stand up for our rights and against a increasingly corrupt progressive government. If only he was here in California to check our progressive socialist democrats, I would be a happy camper.

If you are in Virginia – get out and VOTE! Vote as if your life and the lives of your family and neighbors depend on it. Because with the state’s implementation of Obamacare – it might just save your life!

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



YELLOW PAGES OPT OUT: I AM CURIOUS ... DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY USE THE YELLOW PAGES ANY MORE?

After almost tripping on another unrequested directory left on my doorstep, I started wondering: Does anyone actually use the Yellow Pages any more and why do those advertisers still pay good money for listings in the era of the interwebs?

Perhaps the most important answer came from the folks at Honest Slogans

yp

How to opt out …

oo

Opt out HERE!

Meanwhile, watch your step.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell