Dinsdale loses narrowly in Brandon

Rolf Dinsdale fell less than 400 votes short of an upset in Brandon-Souris tonight, while Ted Falk walked across the finish line in Provencher. Despite some high-profile campaigning from opposition leaders, and even some “non-campaigning” from Stephen Harper, no seats changed hands in today’s by-elections.

Byelections today

Byelections hit the polls in Brandon-Souris and Provencher today.  Provencher being the closest riding to Grand Forks, I took a bit of an interest in the race. On Thursday afternoon, I sent out some e-mails, but only one of the campaigns returned my query.  All I can say is that if Natalie Courcelles Beaudry doesn’t win tonight, it will not be because she didn’t answer e-mails.

Band-aid on a seismic fault

Reid’s end of the filibuster puts a temporary end to gridlock on most political appointees — something that normally changes with the administration automatically in most democracies.  Still, the changes don’t go so far as to allow for simple majority approval of laws — also a standard feature of most democracies.

So while it resolves a pet peeve of the Senate Majority Leader, the move doesn’t actually do anything to substantively change Washington, and the Senate remains a backward relic yet to enter the 21st Century.

Health Exchange still not working

After a month and a half, the HealthCare.gov isn’t past a live alpha stage.  The truly dedicated have played enough phone tag to muddle through, but that’s not really an achievement to be proud of.

I’m offended by this mess on a personal level.  I was there on day one and it failed.  I was there in the first week, and my application still runs into a dead end.  The fact that people are not just getting paid, but getting paid even more, because their code doesn’t work, is absolutely infuriating.

Insurers deflect outrage, deserve some themselves

healthflavouredUnfortunately but not unsurprisingly, Washington is falling over themselves to let people buy into crappy “health insurance”. You know, just one more year.  That couldn’t hurt the already catastrophically mismanaged launch of the entirely new way insurance is sold in America, right?

It sure is a boon for those firms that prefer the old ways.  High rates, never actually covering anything or anyone actually sick.

What I don’t get is why insurers didn’t just pushing policyholders onto a new plan, as they usually did in the past  Wouldn’t this be a great time for insurers to tell their clients about the new policies on offer? Hmmm, it’s almost as if mailing out thousands of termination letters might make people angry with you and switch to your competitors. Oh well…

Border bill dies in House

georgelouis_wikipedia_Berlin_Wall_death_strip,_1977The much-touted immigration and border security theatre bill (S. 744) the Senate passed in June will never see daylight in the House.  I can’t say I was a fan of the bill, and Hoeven-Corker in particular, which threw good money after bad into the Border Patrol.

What little good there was in the measure was its tepid solution for giving undocumented immigrants a path out of slavery. But why fix a problem when you can argue about it again during the election?