The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

It’s too early to write the history of the Obama administration. But, at this point, it looks like, for the most part, that history may be summed up in three words: coulda, woulda, shoulda. I “coulda” signed an immigration bill, but Congress was too busy shutting down the government. I “woulda” closed the gun show loophole, but the NRA wouldn’t let me. “I “shoulda” done something about climate change, but I just ran out of time.

The one, big exception is the Affordable Care Act. That is the one concrete thing President Obama has accomplished. As Joe Biden would say, that’s a “BFD,” which is why the breakdown of the Obamacare website is so inexcusable. It will be fixed, but it never should have collapsed in the first place.

Launched on October 1, the same day Congress shut down the federal government, problems with the website designed for people to sign up for one of 36 state health exchanges popped up immediately. Customers had to be cleared before they could shop (just the opposite of most commercial websites). The website shut down in the middle of many searches, dropping all stored data, and forcing customers to start over from scratch. Rates were often misquoted, and inaccurate information relayed to insurance providers.

And what was the response of the Obama administration? One pitiful excuse after another. First, they declared that the problem was simply too much traffic. They didn’t expect so many people to check it out, they lamented, so they couldn’t handle the volume, which made no sense at all. How can you preach for years that millions of Americans are eager to buy health insurance — and then say you’re surprised when millions of Americans are, indeed, eager to buy health insurance?

At the same time, the White House minimized problems with the site as the kind of “glitches” every new site experiences, but which would quickly work themselves out. Except that experts soon confirmed that difficulties navigating the site stemmed from serious system failures, and not mere glitches.

Then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius told CNN that part of the problem was that so many people going to the website were not “tech savvy.” Which may be true, but which is also why the site should have been designed as fool-proof and easy to use. Not to mention that countless “tech savvy” people reported they couldn’t find their way around the website, either.

Finally, 21 days after launch, President Obama admitted the problems were serious, expressed his anger and frustrations with the website failures and announced he was bringing in a team of the best and brightest, the so-called “tech surge,” to straighten out the mess. Good move. But, one must wonder, why the best and brightest weren’t hired to design the system from the start, instead of CGI, a Canadian firm, who, according to USASpending.gov, were paid upward of $634 million — for nothing. HHS would have been better off subcontracting the whole operation out to Amazon or ProFlowers. They know how to handle traffic. They thrive on it.

It’s not all bad news. Where the federal government has floundered, state governments have soared. On my show, I’ve heard nothing but success stories from those 14 states — California, New York, Washington State, Maryland, Connecticut and others — where governors have embraced Obamacare and set up their own websites. Under Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky leads the pack, signing up an average of 1,000 new health care patients a day. Ironically, it’s only in those states where Republican governors have rejected Obamacare that the administration has run into trouble.

Nevertheless, opponents of the Affordable Care Act are enjoying this meltdown a little too much. They love the fact that the launch is having so many problems. It just reinforces their stale old argument that the ACA should be delayed or dumped altogether. But they’re only kidding themselves. Obamacare is here to stay. It’s already helped millions of Americans. Problems with the website, which is only one part of Obamacare, will soon be fixed. By January, as many as 30 million more Americans will be able to sign up for the health care they need for themselves and their families, at bargain rates never before available.

In the meantime, this isn’t rocket science. The Obama administration should stop making lame excuses, admit they dropped the ball big time, and just get busy and fix the darned thing. Fast!

1566 Responses to The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

  1. Jeffg says:

    ‘The problem was this, for all of the meetings and hearings and discussions about for profit colleges, pelosi and company had, not one single republican ever showed up. They would not even discuss it. Totally off their agenda.’

    So… Did you make that up or get it from one of your ‘independent journalist’?
    Sounds like just the opposite was true. How did you not know this? Perhaps your independent journalist arent providing with all the news? Maybe just the news they want you to hear? What’s that called? Oh yeah, propaganda.
    What hearing and or discussion did pelosi and company have that not one single republican ever showed up for?
    You’re on the record as saying its so. The question is will you support it or change the subject?
    Odds are you’ll change the subject.

  2. Jeffg says:

    Yes proclivity. As in your proclivity to lie.

  3. emile says:

    It is not my proclivity to intentionally lie.

    Pelosi has stated this over and over. Try switching channels sometime.

  4. emile says:

    The reason it dragged on and on was because the republicans were nowhere around. What?? You’re shocked??
    There is a reason this has been noted as the most WORTHLESS congress of all time.

  5. emile says:

    Excerpt;
    ***“We will not participate in the hearing scheduled to take place on June 7,” says a May 31 letter from Sen. Michael Enzi, the top ranking Republican on the panel, to Harkin, adding that “until the Majority demonstrates a sincere willingness to hold fair hearings on higher education, we will not participate in any hearings on this issue.”***

  6. jeffg says:

    Your comment was:
    “The problem was this, for all of the meetings and hearings and discussions about for profit colleges, Pelosi and company had, not one single republican ever showed up. They would not even discuss it. Totally off their agenda”
    Key phrases-‘ for all of the meetings and hearings and discussions about for profit colleges, Pelosi and company’; ‘not one single republican ever showed up’; ‘not even discuss it.’
    Now lets evaluate the FACTS shall we?
    Pelosi NEVER held a hearing, meeting or discussion on for profit colleges, except for the ones with her rich donor who owns one. When it came time to vote she voted in a manner that was not supportive of Harkins position. Therefore the statement ‘for all of the meetings and hearings and discussions about for profit colleges, Pelosi and company had’ is FALSE since it was only Harkin who held hearings and Pelosi had nothing to do with them (they were senate hearings not house hearings), in fact she was opposed to them.
    If you continued to read the article you would see that the hearing being boycotted was the FIFTH being held. The republicans attended the previous FOUR. Therefore the statement that ‘not one single republican ever showed up’ is FALSE. In fact Enzi did show up at the FIFTH hearing so there was a republican present at each hearing, aka ALL hearings.
    Why did they boycott them? Let’s see: “An April 13 letter from every Republican on the HELP Committee laid out a litany of concerns about Harkin’s four previous hearings on the Schools.
    The hearings have been “disorganized and prejudicial,” the letter said. “As a result, the record includes the testimony of a witness now accused of improperly attempting to influence a Department of Education rulemaking, the potentially false testimony of another witness, the Majority’s unprofessional treatment of Republican-selected witnesses, and a [GAO] report so flawed the managing director of the investigative unit was reassigned and the entire unit reorganized.”

    If you go to the April 13 letter you’ll find this:
    “Therefore, we respectfully request that you reconsider your plan to hold the hearing tentatively scheduled for May 10, 2011, and instead work with us to find constructive solutions to the problems faced by all institutions of higher education. Should you decide to decline this request, we will not participate in the next hearing on for-profit institutions.”
    So it was definitely on their agenda and they asked Harkin to work with them therefore the statements “They would not even discuss it. Totally off their agenda” are also FALSE.

    In fact the one not willing to discuss it was Harkin. From the linked May 31 letter:
    “On April 13, 2011, we wrote to raise our concerns about the conduct of the Majority’s investigation of for-profit institutions. Since then, the Majority has made no effort to address these concerns or engage us in a constructive discussion of how this committee can meet the urgent challenges faced by all students regardless of the institution of higher education they are attending.
    Furthermore, we are troubled by statements from the Majority staff suggesting that the continuation of this investigation is motivated in part by a desire to embarrass the institutions you were unable to persuade to participate in the previous hearings.”

    That’s four false statements in the space of two sentences. If that’s not a proclivity to lie then what is it? Inability to comprehend?

  7. emile says:

    My ability to comprehend??

    You leave out the vital parts.
    One would assume in your argument that the republicans were ready and willing to bend over backwards to come up with a compromise that could be voted on and passed. The truth is, this, couldn’t be farther from the truth. Inline with all the rest of their antics, they maintain that it’s the democrats causing all the problems.
    Harry Reid has bills he won’t bring up for a vote, they are working their asses of trying to get this done but democrats are obstructing the process. Take the jobs bill voted down in the Senate by republicans. Then, John boehner stands there and says, but, where are the jobs?? Republicans have voted against 500+ bills they may have helped this country. But, Nein, Nein, Nein.

    It’s all the democrats fault, right?
    The most worthless congress of all times. The worst destruction if our political system of all time, the worst time of inequality of all time, the highest the DOW has ever been of all time.
    All brought to you by the same people you keep defending, starting with the Koch brothers.

    Here’s a. Little history lesson;
    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/14/the-back-story-of-citizen-koch/

    Nice people, you keep defending.
    I didn’t know tar sands oil doesn’t float.

  8. emile says:

    A $100,000 for the pelosi’s. Jeezus. That’s not even a drop in the bucket.

  9. Jeffg says:

    Doesn’t change the fact that your entire set of statements were false. Nice try at changing the subject…again

  10. Jeffg says:

    ‘Republicans have voted against 500+ bills they may have helped this country. ‘

    No they didn’t. I challenge you to prove it.

  11. jeffg says:

    were these poor folks working for their money or watching it grow?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/glimpse-kennedy-fortune-article-1.802334

    Rough life being part of ‘America’s Royalty’

  12. emile says:

    Nice segue…back to the 60s….again. In the 60s we didn’t have any billionaires, did we? What will it be in another 50 years. Gazillionaires. Or just one person left here on earth?

    But wait, the CIA admits spying on the Senate intelligence Committee, who was…..investigating……the CIA! Taadaa!
    Is your government investigating your government??

  13. emile says:

    Who was it that couldn’t stand the idea of Rich Democrats??
    The Kennedy’s were a busy bunch, contrary to what you want to imply. Were they pirates, bootleggers, oil barons , were they founding members of the John birch society? Were they trying to destroy their govt?? Were they Chickenhawks?? Priveledged? Were they founding members of the tea party brigade?
    I just don’t see a parallell with the Kochs., at all.
    Did Camelot really piss off the elite?

    Were they using social engineering, or cognitive dissonance to control the masses?

  14. Jeffg says:

    ‘Nice segue…back to the 60s’
    Actually it was 1998, a bit removed from the 60s.

    ‘I just don’t see a parallell with the Kochs., at all.’ Of course you don’t because you’re a hypocrite.
    Consider that Smart in 1998, Merchandise Mart and other properties were sold for $625 million — a 50 year return on profit of nearly 2,000%. None of the heirs put a dime into that business yet they made millions. If JFKs, Teds and RFKs last name wasn’t kennedy, and their dad wasn’t their dad would we even be discussing them? No.

    ‘In the 60s we didn’t have any billionaires, did we’
    In 1990 their net worth was $850 million. With no additional investments and at a 10% annual rate of return they would now be worth a minimum of $8.3 billion. That was before they sold Merchant mart for $625 million.
    ‘The Kennedy’s were a busy bunch, contrary to what you want to imply. ‘. Really? Doing what? And how is that different from the kochs? Just because you worship them doesn’t make it different.

    ‘But wait, the CIA admits spying on the Senate intelligence Committee, who was…..investigating……the CIA! Taadaa!
    Is your government investigating your government??’
    Yeah. It all started in 2009. Who was president then? Hint, not George bush. Who was the director of the CIA. Leon Panetta. Who appointed him? Not George bush. So the CIA under obama, whom YOU voted for, not I, spied on the senate. So it looks like your dear leader is spying on the govt, and the citizens and journalist and our allies.

    Can’t prove anything about those ‘ 500+ bills they may have helped this country.’? Or any of the other lies you’ve told?
    Looks like the republican house passed a immigration bill. Harry Reid’s senate went on vacation without finishing the job. Yup, do nothing senate.

  15. Jeffg says:

    thehill.com/homenews/house/200228-house-dems-to-senate-dems-pass-our-bills

    “Out of the 195 House-passed bills that are now stalled in the Senate, 31 were written by Democrats, and many have been awaiting Senate approval for close to a year.

    Most of these Democratic bills are non-controversial. But House Democrats are stressing the importance of passing them…

    ….Only half of the stalled Democratic bills have a companion measure in the Senate. All but one are being sponsored by Democratic senators. The exception is Rep. George Miller’s (D-Calif.) Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predator’s Act, which has a companion bill crafted by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).”
    I guess using your logic Harry Reid supports violent Predators since he won’t let this democratic measure come to vote. Hey, isn’t that a ‘war on women’? Or is he denying women a right?

    thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/213780-republicans-block-bill-to-end-tax-breaks-for-outsourcing

    Republicans voted against it becuase Reid won’t let republicans offer ammendments. Harry Reids senate is ‘Harrys way or the highway’, how is that ready and willing to bend over backwards to come up with a compromise’ on Harrys part?

    What happened to your VA bill? Can’t explain your sharing concept?
    No specifics on national ed day? Just generalities about ‘concern’. Go to opencongress and look at all the resolutions they have awaiting a vote and all the ‘whereas’ comments. Scary stuff missy. Theres a “United States Intelligence Professionals Day” and it’s been resolved that you are encouraged to “observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities”. Oh my! What are these activities? will there be a parade? There’s even ‘a resolution supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, and for other purposes’. Oh no? Are the zionist behind it?

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