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Pab Sungenis

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 9,612

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Health insurance question

My husband works for a conglomerate based in New York (a gay marriage state). He and I have been in a New Jersey Civil Union since shortly after they became available, registering our union shortly after our 15th anniversary in 2007.

He's coming up on his company's open enrollment period for health insurance, and was pointedly told by the insurance company rep that they wil not offer coverage to me as his spouse, citing DOMA as their excuse. They claim that as a company that crosses state lines they're immune to state regulations regarding recognizing LGBT relationships, and Federal regulations prevent such recognition anyway.

Now, we can't afford another $100-200 taken out of each paycheck to insure me anyhow, and we're not in a position to be able to risk retribution by the company by pushing the matter, but I'm reasonably sure they are full of shit.

What does the law, and case law, have to say about this? Anyone know?

And with the magic words "Paul Tsongas...."

...Romney's Presidential campaign vanishes in a puff of smoke.

Prediction: Joe Biden is the last male Vice-President for at least a decade.

In 2016, both parties will have a woman in the #2 slot. For a while, at least, the job will be seen as belonging to a woman much like we haven't had a male Treasurer of the U.S. since 1949.

Gut feeling here.

Potential bug: forum selection

I clicked on "Post a new thread" on the "My Posts" page and was prompted to select a forum. Although I'm happily none of the following, I was offered a chance to post in:

Forum & Group Hosts
Malicious Intruder Removal
Private Admin Workspace

Is it unintentional that these possibilities were presented to me? A bug? Or are you teasing us mere mortals?

Paul, Ron

Thank you Administrators (or, the failsafe)

I was on the jury for the post that said that Taliban members should be buried in pig skins with pigs blood injected into them. I voted to hide the post, but was outvoted:

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT and said: Anti-Muslim bigotry. Alerter: If you didn't check Terms of Service violation, please re-alert doing so.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT and said: For this forum, this crosses the line. Comments like this one would find a happy home over at free republic.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given

As soon as I was done with jury service, before the results were even announced, I went back to the post's link and re-Alerted, making sure that the ToS box was checked and the Admins would look at it.

Skinner not only cremated the user (who has a history of anti-Muslim posts and really stepped over the line this time) but deleted the post in its entirety.

A great example of how the Admins can compensate when the jury system slips up.

May I just add that I'm very disturbed that all three people voting to leave the post intact chose not to give an explanation. Maybe they, even though they were anonymous, didn't think they could justify their decision?

Why the New Hampshire results are bad news for Romney

New England candidates almost always win New Hampshire in a walk and Romney couldn't break 50%. Worse, this isn't like 2008 where the states were winner-take-all for the Republicans. Romney will end up with, probably, slightly more than a third of the delegates from New Hampshire. The Iowa totals are really up in the air because of the way they're assigned at party conventions and Paul might have actually won the majority of delegates in Iowa because of his organization.

To put it bluntly, Mitt Romney can't get anywhere near close to half of the delegates from any state. Right now, Romney is pulling 31% in South Carolina and 32% in Florida. It's too early for polls in the later, most populous states like California, New York, and Texas so we can't call those, but Romney desperately needs a majority in each of those three to start chalking up delegates. Especially if Perry survives until the Texas Primary.

Worse, these votes so far are keeping challengers in the race instead of winnowing them out. Ron Paul is not going to drop out now, and unless he tanks completely in South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida he won't get out any time soon. Santorum will probably get a boost from South Carolina as will Gingrich. Huntsman may stay in for a couple more weeks. Every name on the ballot makes it that much harder for Mittens to start winning actual majorities.

This becomes a problem when the Republicans pack their bags for the trip to Mouseland and their Convention because the nomination ISN'T first-past-the-post; a candidate needs a majority of delegates to receive the nomination. What happens if Mitt keeps pulling 30-40% at best in state after state? He's not going to get to the 50%+1 of the delegates he needs, which means the Convention will probably be deadlocked on the first ballot.

And what happens on the second ballot? It's a whole new ballgame. The opposition forces will start cutting deals so the weaker candidates get out and endorse the stronger ones. Suddenly signs like "DRAFT PALIN," "DRAFT CHRISTIE," and "DRAFT DANIELS" might start appearing in which case all hell breaks loose. Mitt will have to fight tooth and nail to hold on to his delegates if a more charismatic candidate throws a hat in the ring because (much like John Adams in the musical "1776" he is obnoxious and disliked.

Even if Romney makes it out of a brokered convention there will be no more bounce than your classic dead-cat bounce. He won't be able to use the convention to make his case to the American people and re-introduce himself. His campaign organization will look sloppy for allowing it all to come to that and the Process Stories will rule the day in the media about how fucked-up the Republican machine is at the moment. And if the "not Romney" forces manage to unite behind someone else on the third or fourth ballot he might not even leave the Convention as the nominee.

So, ironically, with two victories under his belt so far, Romney is even further away from the White House than he was before any votes were tallied.

When they get out....

My predictions for when each of the remaining GOP candidates leave the race:

Huntsman: the day after New Hampshire.
Gingrich: the day after South Carolina if he's still in fourth place. If he takes third, then after Nevada (unless he wins Florida).
Perry: Right after Super Tuesday (March 6). Might be tempted to hold out for Texas on April 3, but out of money.
Paul: If he's in the top 3, will try to make it all the way to the convention. If not, after Super Tuesday.
Santorum: Unless the bottom drops out in Florida and South Carolina, goes all the way to the convention.
Mittens: Is in the race for the next thirteen years. He can't stop running.
Posted by Pab Sungenis | Wed Jan 4, 2012, 07:01 PM (1 replies)

Artists Can’t Even Play For The President? Has It Really Come To This?


Last month, a group of country artists performed at the White House for a taping of PBS’ latest “In Performance at the White House” event, this one featuring a mostly country theme. Among the artists who played in front of President and Mrs. Obama were Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, the Band Perry and Lauren Alaina. The show aired on Nov. 23.


“I despise the people that will attempt to entertain this Marxist fool [Obama], and I will remember that they have done so,” said Jim Williamson.


Turns out, I was a little slow on the uptake on this topic, and Bentley was way ahead of me. He already knew what I had not yet fully realized: this country has become so politically divided that the mere idea of entertaining the Commander in Chief is viewed as an act of treason by some on the extreme right.

Lots more at the article, way more than I could quote under fair use. Go read it, it's disturbing. The Dixie Chicks in reverse.
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