ProPublica finds plenty of activity on the federal health exchange, though the open enrollment period ended a little over three months ago. Some 8 million folks signed up during open enrollment, but apparently the last three months have seen almost one million "transactions" on the exchange, which could be new enrollments due to changed circumstances or changes/cancellations in health care plans. Dear Obama Administration: it sure would be nice to know more, since, you know, we are the people, a.k.a. government's owners.
The North Dakota agriculture commissioner's race has attracted a lot of big oil money, thanks to the appearance of a populist Democrat with a long list of specific reforms he'd bring to the job. North Dakota, you may know, produces more oil than some OPEC nations, but folks are getting worried about what'll happen to the land, air, and water, as they should be. On balance, I think the article finds the notion of a Dakota populist (hello, Byron Dorgan!) odder than history does. Best laugh line: an endorsement of the Republican incumbent from "a board member of a large North Dakota oil producer who asked not to be identified in case Taylor wins."
NJ state police captain (and former Sparta, NJ mayor) convicted of, among other things, using FBI databases to conduct personal business. Like what, you ask? Like conducting background checks on players from a minor league baseball team he followed -- now there's fantasy sports for you! -- and trying to vet a home health care aide he was thinking of hiring to take care of his mother, thus proving that Big Data is, among other things, one big damn gingerbread house.
Faced with seasonal price gouging, the town of Somerset, Kentucky decides to buy a gas station to compete with private gas stations. And opposing this move: a complete bunch of morons, including one corporate oil spokeshack who takes small businesses and jobs hostage -- hoping you won't notice that the city gas station employs human beings or that big oil corporations are the ones who really stand to lose -- and one convenience store owner who laments that the city took "the taxpayer money that I have paid them over these years" only to create "socialism." One wonders how he feels about the roads that bring customers to his store and the cops who would protect it -- let alone how he fails to see that the city-owned gas station really belongs to him and his fellow taxpayers.
Finally, Sen. Marco Rubio tells a far-right audience that gay marriage opponents are themselves victims of "intolerance," and even surmises that he'll be attacked as a "hater" and a "bigot" before his speech is over. Actually, the correct term for Mr. Rubio is "whiner," and perhaps also "narcissist," for thinking so many other people are thinking of him at any given moment. And by "intolerance" I'm pretty sure he means "failure to agree with everything I say."