START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

Time: D H M S

Dance Band on the Titanic

"Possibly because of my love affair with ships and boats, the Titanic story has always fascinated and still grips me, but one scene in particular always gets to me: the sight of the ship's band, there on the decks as the ship was sinking, not panicking, not running for their life, but doing their duty by sitting there and playing and giving strength and comfort to those who were about to die with them and the lucky few in the boats."

--Jack Chalker, Dance Band on the Titanic

So, this is the type of stuff flying around Twitter today:

Wait, what? Ben Carson reportedly turned down offer to serve as HHS Secretary: https://t.co/rQBEuPRoRo

— Adrianna McIntyre (@onceuponA) November 15, 2016

Lot of buzz around Bobby Jindal for HHS Secretary right now. (See item on Trump transition.) https://t.co/LDlHkrScBb

— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) November 15, 2016

Source: "Going from Carson to Jindal is like going from a space cadet to Captain Kirk. He might crash the ship, but he knows how to fly it."

— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) November 15, 2016

Of course, this is all meaningless, as either of them would be horrible.

Meanwhile, Paige Cunningham of the Washington Examiner asks:

the real question here: what happens to @charles_gaba and his projections if ACA is repealed?

— Paige W. Cunningham (@pw_cunningham) November 15, 2016

To which I responded:

It’ll free up some time for me to plan my family’s move out of the country before the kristallnacht “gritty reboot” starts. I hope. https://t.co/d0WRLqD0cj

— Charles Gaba (@charles_gaba) November 15, 2016

For those who think I'm exaggerating or joking around: I am not. Or, at least, my wife and I have already started making some initial preparations just in case. We're renewing our passports, and we just had to cancel a home improvement project because there's too much uncertainty about what our situation will be a year from now, and it's better to keep things as liquid as possible. This morning I took a quick peek at Zillow to see how much we might be able to get for our house, and so forth. Not panicking (yet); just a few basic housekeeping items. Just in case.

Steve Bannon--an open white nationalist whose publication, Breitbart, has morphed from a "normal" right-wing slanted "news" outlet into a pure white nationalist propaganda publication, was one of the leads of Donald Trump's campaign the final few months leading up to election day, and is now going to become Trump's "chief strategist" once he takes office in January. The Ku Klux Klan is holding a Victory Parade in North Carolina, and former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke sent his congratulations to Trump on his victory. The Southern Poverty Lawn Center reports that hate crimes have skyrocketed over the past week.

Oh, and just this morning there's these:

After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly.

— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) November 15, 2016

Note: Eliot Cohen is a highly-respected Republican national security strategist/wonk.

Fear not; I'm sure Trump and Bannon will Finally come up with a lot of Solutions.

(The second photo is a reference to the 1980's miniseries "V" which those under 40 probably won't get...and yes, I know there was a reboot a few years back, but I'm guessing they didn't include the baseball caps).

New York Magazine:

So far, the Trump camp has not responded to the criticism of Bannon, and what has come out of the campaign has not been encouraging. “Bannon is going to be keeper of the image of Trump as a fighter against the status quo, and Reince is going to utilize his personal connections with the speaker and others, to make the trains run on time,” Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio state official and a member of the Trump transition team, told The Wall Street Journal. When you are trying to convince America that its new leader is not a fascist, it’s best not to make any Mussolini references.

This is an absolute nightmare for anyone concerned about voting rights. Kobach is a key architect of the GOP's voter suppression strategy. https://t.co/E9OmQGHw63

— sean. (@SeanMcElwee) November 15, 2016

Just called a Republican congressional office I deal with often and was told the press relations staff is no longer speaking to reporters.

— Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle) November 15, 2016

So yes, my family and I are, depending on the moment, scared shitless. And in case you still think I'm overreacting, please read this all the way through.

I've committed to keeping this site up and running as long as possible, at least through the end of next April. I promise that I'll do my very best to post regular updates about both the ongoing 2017 Open Enrollment Period as well as the confusing, chaotic, constantly-in-flux developments about what the taking-complete-control-over-everything-in-two-months Republican Reich has in mind for healthcare policy.

After that...I honestly can't tell you what's going to happen to the site, to my family and I, or to the nation.

--Charles

p.s. If anyone happens to feel like helping cover our potential travel costs, this would be a good time to do so.