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I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.
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Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )

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Away

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:47 pm
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[personal profile] schnoodle
My wife and I are currently in Rhodes, my in laws are also here as they booked 2 weeks away we only booked a week due to our budget. I'm feeling a bit frustrated, my father in law seems to think I'm rich and keeps getting me to buy drinks when he's not doing that he states how much their half is when out for meals so the waiter will take the menus and he'll start working it out and say that's €23! I feel like saying what you not paying for us then?? I mean I understand working things out when the bill arrives but he acts like we're going to cheat him out of money. It's just the way he is, he likes to know what's going on and make sure everyone knows what's going on. Normally it's not a problem but when on holiday it becomes a bit much. It's like they want to know when we're going to wake up so I'm setting alarms but then they're like well wake up whenever, but when are you going to wake up?
My wife said the other day she doesn't really want to have sex anymore, it's too painful and she doesn't really feel in the mood any more. I understand all the hormone therapy messes with her emotions and she can be really irritable. She almost went mental at a waiter today and she gets snappy. I've asked her many times this week what I've done and she apologises saying it's not me.
I feel frustrated and feel sometimes I can't win. I want a sex life and for it to be fun, I'm hoping it will happen. My wife says she wishes she wanted sex to feel closer but just isn't up for it.
I've contacted the careers advisor to see if I can sort my CV out and start searching again.
My dad called yesterday and seemed angry that I was in Greece with a how can you afford it kinda attitude and sounded disappointed. I said we'd booked it like a year ago and how was his holiday and he seemed to calm down a bit.
My wife still talks about moving to north England or Wales somewhere cheaper, that stresses me out a little.
One thing I have notice as well and I brought to my wife's attention is the fact she tries to assign blame even if it's no ones fault. There's been a few times when she says it's not my fault it's yours because I didn't do something or other and if I had it wouldn't have happened. I reply I didn't think it was your fault, I didn't think it was mine either I think it just happened and no one is to blame. She will then reply saying ok, but it's not mine. That gets frustrating I said to her sometimes no one is to blame so please stop blaming me for things, as I never blame you for anything.

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I am angry about subscriptions

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
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When I rule the world the mechanism for cancelling a subscription will have to be at least as easy as the mechanism for setting one up.

So, for example*, if you can take out a subscription to the Financial Times online in about 30 seconds online, by clicking on a few options, then you should be able to cancel your subscription by clicking on something on your subscription details on their site. And they should not require you to email their support desk, reply with a second email explaining why you don't want it any more, and then answer a phone call wherein they offer it to you cheaper and then have to insist that, no, really, you don't want it any more.

The rule shall, instead, be that if ten random people take longer to unsubscribe than they did to subscribe that your home page will be replaced by a big flashing sign reading "We will treat you badly in the hope of holding on to your money."

Secondary rule: No introductory offers. Free trials are allowed (but must be easily cancellable, as above), but you can't offer new people a better deal than your existing customers. Introductory offers are a way of tricking people into signing up, and then hanging onto them when inertia stops them from cancelling/moving. Instead you must offer a good deal in the first place, which is sustainable, and which is easily compared to your competitors. I know this makes life harder for companies who are trying to hide long-term costs from their customers. I really, really, don't care.


*Or, possibly, exactly what happened to me at lunchtime.

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