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!

2634 Responses to The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

  1. ‘While youre at it could you look into your little constitution booklet that you carry around with you and tell me how inviting a foreign prime minister to speak before congress in hopes of lobbying congressional support against the president of the united states is not Treason???’

    It says the same thing about that as it did about pelosi inviting the Mexican President to speak before congress to lobby for congressional support for immigration. I don’t recall you complaining about pelosi committing treason our needing to be arrested.
    It says the same thing about it as it did about Obama asking the British prime minister to lobby senators in support of his Iranian policy two weeks ago. I don’t recall you complaining about Obama committing treason our needing to be arrested.

    See, you don’t care about the act, only the ideology of the people committing the act.

  2. http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government

    “Each branch of government is balanced by powers in the other two coequal branches”

    Notice the ‘coequal’ part? Congress doesn’t work for the President.
    Now, you’ve just accused Boehner of treason and violating the constitution. Can you support your argument? Where does it say congress can’t bring in a foreign leader to address them?
    Of course if you can then you also admit that Pelosi and Obama are also equally guilty of treason.

  3. ‘My apologies……Saint Ronald Reagan….of course.
    Its always those goddamn Democrats, starting wars and insurrections. And Reagan had nooo idea what was going on there. or anywhere else for that matter. Carter was another one of those commie sympathizers out to destroy the world. Its always those goddamned democrats. Or so it seems?’

    What’s the problem? Don’t like it when someone adds a little balance to your extremist bias?

  4. While you’re looking up things in your little book of facts, look up who is in charge of foreign policy. Or better yet, ,,,who is not.
    What I’ve read the house has nothing to do with making foreign policy.
    It’s solely the Executive branch and the senate. Not the House of Representatives.
    So, why is John bother popping his head up at all??
    The house has nothing to do with foreign policy.

  5. “What I’ve read the house has nothing to do with making foreign policy. It’s solely the Executive branch and the senate.”
    Once again I’m sorry to tell you that you are wrong. Congress has the right to pass sanctions against foreign governments. For example, in the 80s a Democratically controlled congress passed legislation that imposed economic sanctions against South Africa. Dissatisfied with the Administration’s policy of “constructive engagement” and “quiet diplomacy” to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa, the House in 1983 approved legislation applying sanctions against South Africa as part of an extension of the Export Administration Act. Were they guilty of treason? Why did they pop their head up at all?
    The fact is congress isn’t making foreign policy, they are considering sanctions which is in their purview.
    A good example of a house leader attempting to make foreign policy would be 2007 when Pelosi went to meet with Assad in Syria despite Bush’s objections. Her meeting was defined, by Democrats, as “the latest challenge to the White House by congressional Democrats, who are taking a more assertive role in influencing policy in the Middle East”. Was she treasonous? Did you object? Why did she pop her head up at all? Not only did she do that but she also gave Assad assurances from PM Olmert that Israel was ready to hold peace talks with Syria….without Olmert knowledge or consent. So now she was trying to conduct foreign policy for a foreign country. Treason?
    Was boehners action against protocol? Yes. But that’s not illegal. But then considering all the protocols obama has broken it’s a moot point. Maybe if he didn’t go around congress and try to rule by monarchical decree we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Perhpas if showed half an ounce of competence in negotiations we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The fact is he’ll end up giving your friends in iran everything they want and we’ll get nothing in return due to his incompetence.
    Again all you prove is that you don’t care about the act, only the ideology of those committing the act.

  6. Seems like everybody is trampling all over your precious constitution. Do you still think you have one??
    I’ll just ell you again, there’s less than a 3% difference between parties.
    Have you noticed at all that the voting that’s been going on sides against you 96% of the time??
    A 96% favor of lobbyists over you.
    Constitution.
    Why has no one stood up against Canada’s XL pipeline??
    What right does a foreign country have to claim….Eminent Domain ,in this country?
    Looks like the people who live here have been left out again.
    What do you think of the TTP shenanigans.???
    Nobody allowed in the meetings???
    No government, no humans.??
    We finally achieved third world status.
    Where, you just don’t matter anymore.

  7. Congress has a right to vote on it,
    But, the actual policy making is solely the executive branch.
    The senate is the only part that needs to vote on foreign policy.
    The house can vote if they want to, but , it’s not required.

  8. Speaking of congress….
    I was glad to hear the republicans spouting their heartfelt concern for income inequality. They didn’t offer any strategy for fixing anything, just heartfelt concern.
    Too funny.

  9. ‘Congress has a right to vote on it,
    But, the actual policy making is solely the executive branch.’
    ‘The house can vote if they want to, but , it’s not required.’
    Well jackass congress isn’t making foreign policy but it is considering sanctions. There’s a difference.

  10. ‘What do you think of the TTP shenanigans.???
    Nobody allowed in the meetings???
    No government, no humans.??
    We finally achieved third world status.
    Where, you just don’t matter anymore.’

    Let’s see, the guy who wants them is the guy you voted for.
    The guy holding the voted for meetings is the guy you voted for.
    The guy achieving third world status for us is the guy you voted for.
    Perhaps it is you who should answer your question.

  11. ‘Why has no one stood up against Canada’s XL pipeline??’
    Because most people support it
    ‘I’ll just ell you again, there’s less than a 3% difference between parties.’
    No actually before you claimed it was 17%. But yet even at 3% you never seem to be able to hold them accountable, only republicans.
    Seems to me you only break out the 17%, now 3%, line when I back you into a corner.
    So if boehner is guilty of treason is pelosi? Will you answer or avoid the question?

  12. How can you not think its its treasonous to invite the head of Israel here to lobby against your President??
    I don’t know about what pelosi was after. Or why.
    Going to see a foreign leader is so much different than inviting them into the country to speak before your congress in hopes of lobbying your president to change his mind.
    Who’s next ?? Putin???
    Wang Chung Un of North Korea?
    Maybe Castro should weigh in.

  13. the Senate is the only vote needed. If the house wants to vote on it, fine. For reasons other than foreign policy, like, for show and tell Tuesday’s.
    A house vote is not required.
    The Executive Branch and the Senate.
    As its written the burden of passing the foreign policy is solely on the Senate. Not writing it. Or voting against it .
    I’m sure with nazis in both houses we’ll be seeing all sorts of new things.
    After we get obamacare off the books and out of the way.

  14. ‘How can you not think its its treasonous to invite the head of Israel here to lobby against your President??’
    How is it any more treasonous than the president asking a foreign leader to lobby congress for what he wants when he knows they are opposed… Members of both parties even.
    We have three separate but equal branches of government. Congress doesn’t have to do what the president washes and they ate fully empowered and within their rights to act against him, especially when he had prettier that he is inept at negotiations. It would appear you aren’t so opposed to monarchical rule after all.

    ‘I don’t know about what pelosi was after. Or why.’
    In other words you don’t want to answer. She was trying to negotiate foreign policy for the house directly with a foreign leader, acting against the president. Now what do you think of her actions?

    ‘the Senate is the only vote needed. If the house wants to vote on it, fine. For reasons other than foreign policy, like, for show and tell Tuesday’s.’
    No idiot. Actually the house doesn’t vote on it at all. And guess what they aren’t planning on it. They are however considering sanctions which is not a treaty but punishment against another country. ONLY congress can impose sanctions, not the president. The sanctions don’t even stop Obama from negotiating a treaty, they’ll just piss off the iranians. This is nothing more than Obama getting his panties in a wad.

  15. Nothing on Obama and his secret tpp negotiations? Even though he’s only’3%’ better you always bow down to the dear leader don’t you. Guess that means you only 3% better.

  16. Obama is not allowed into the negotiations. CEOs only. No one else.
    What Obama says is basically inconsequential.
    I mean he’s only there to defend the constitution, right. And we don’t need anyone doing that anymore.
    They’re called…..Corporate Supremecists.

  17. Available at gpo.gov
    18 USC. 2381. Treason
    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be im- prisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    So, how is inviting the PM of an ally treason based on current law?

  18. ‘Obama is not allowed into the negotiations. CEOs only. No one else.
    What Obama says is basically inconsequential.’
    Really? So why in his state of the union address did he ask congress to give him fast track authority? Are you saying Obama is really a corporate supremacist? They would make you one to dinner you always defend him. Interesting

    Then there’s this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/02/19/why-the-trans-pacific-partnership-is-in-trouble-on-capitol-hill/
    ‘At the White House, Obama heard an earful from from Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), two outspoken liberals with close ties to the labor movement and other liberal constituencies.

    Kaptur said she had a simple request for Obama: Let Congress and the public see the details of the TPP before Congress is asked to give him fast track authority.

    “He did not say yes,” she said in a recent interview. “That means that we would be faced with a fast-track vote that would lock our ability to amend without even knowing what’s in the agreement. I can’t do that. Not when we have $9 trillion of accumulated trade deficit, which is the reason for our budget deficit, because we’re losing middle-class jobs in our country and we’ve outsourced millions of our jobs, a third of our manufacturing base is gone.”

    Grayson said he wanted to remind Obama that the U.S. faces hundreds of billions of dollars in trade deficits with other countries.

    In response, Obama “didn’t give me any sense that, any reason to believe that these free trade agreements that are being negotiated now are going to be any different than the ones we’ve negotiated in the past,” Grayson said in a recent interview. “They’ve consistently, and almost to an unbelievable extend, exacerbated our trade problems. I told the president specifically this: That what’s actually happening is that we’re buying goods and services from foreigners and creating jobs in their countries and they are not buying our goods nor our services. What they are doing is buying our assets and driving us deeper and deeper into debt. So we lose twice, we lose because those jobs go overseas and because we go deeper and deeper into debt.”

    Despite the Democratic opposition, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that “we’re going to continue to press” for fast-track authority.’

    I know, I know, Grayson is one of those extremist right wing tea party hacks… Isn’t he?
    No, Obama owns TPP. The only person not admitting is you. That would be…. Denial.

  19. ’21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair.

    Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. But ninety-five percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities. More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China. Let’s give them one more reason to get it done.’
    Barry Obama, 2015 state of the union address.
    http://news.firedoglake.com/2015/01/21/obama-pledges-to-push-trans-pacific-partnership-in-state-of-the-union/

  20. this is just more Union destroying smoke and mirrors. You know who the #1 country in TPP will be?? China. So, the wages in China will be the wage example for TPP.
    This of course will create jobs. The lower the wages, the more jobs created. We can’t sell anything to other countries because the shareholders have created a phenomenal money machine. And the fact that China doesn’t want to trade goods with us because the only goods we have were purchased from China.
    So, they would be trading with themselves.
    We could make things here, but, Chinese wages will never pay the bills. Picture a whole nation of homeless people. Working all they can, for .12 cents /hour.

  21. So Obama is really anti union? Oh my!
    I thought he had your best interest at heart.
    In the end you only yourself to blame, after all you voted for him… Twice.

  22. Yet more facts that interfere with your ‘it isn’t Obama’ fantasy
    ‘The T.P.P. has emerged as the linchpin of Mr. Obama’s strategic shift to Asia, giving the United States a way to counter the economic inroads made in the region by a rising China. The deal is supposed to be followed by the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with Europe, though those talks have much farther to go.

    “If the United States succeeds in these trade negotiations, and I think we will, Mike would have forged some of the most important institutions that the president will leave as a legacy,” said Thomas E. Donilon, a former national security adviser, whom Mr. Froman served as a deputy before being named trade representative in 2013.

    A California-born lawyer who has known Mr. Obama since they were classmates at Harvard Law School, Mr. Froman, 52, exudes a genial charm. But it masks a relentless drive that propelled him from senior posts in the Clinton administration to a career at Citigroup, where he earned millions of dollars before resigning to join the Obama administration.’

    I liked ‘T.P.P. has emerged as the linchpin of Mr. Obama’s strategic shift to Asia’ and …'”most important institutions that the president will leave as a legacy,…”
    So it’s Obama’s linchpin and Obama’s legacy.
    And to whom did Obama trust this to? This thing that he’s not ‘allowed into’? None other than his Harvard classmate and a Clintonista.
    The only reason Obama may not have gone to the negotiations wasnt because he wasn’t allowed but because he was out golfing with his 1%er friends.
    Well, he may not have your back but he sure as hell got your vote.

  23. I must be finally getting through to you.
    He doesn’t have any business there, right? The corporate supremacists are going to do whatever they want, anyway.
    Nice job passing the XL pipeline deal.
    What we’re waiting on now is Obama’s guaranteed Veto.
    Hooray.another job well done by our Republican leadership.
    More tax money well spent.
    But, are we getting our money’s worth??
    I know I am, because I don’t pay taxes, or have job,
    Just sitting around waiting for uncle sugar to bring me some money and Jesus to bring the pork chops.

  24. Why havnt we heard from any of your Nazi pals about the TPP?? It looks like it’s always been the dems trying to find out what’s in it.
    Why?
    Are the republicans just not curious??? Don’t care, or already know.
    When your country is already owned by foreigners. Not totally only 1/7th.
    They can put all the cash y they want into the elections.
    Canadians included.
    Kochs are planning to dump a pile on the elections,too.
    Like a $Billion …..a $Billion??
    I am positive I know who they want to represent.
    Guess what….it ain’t you

  25. ‘He doesn’t have any business there, right?’
    Actually he does since its his pet project. He could stop it today if he wanted, but he doesn’t. As far as the corporate supremacist, the can only participle if Obama ask them to, after all he’s in charge. What was it you said?. That’s right ‘If youre the one in charge when all the bad shit happens…its your fault.’
    So if Obama signs tpp then it’s his fault, by your definition.
    ‘Why havnt we heard from any of your Nazi pals about the TPP?? It looks like it’s always been the dems trying to find out what’s in it.’

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6182126

    So if my ‘pals’ are Nazis for supporting it that would make your pal Obama Der Fuhrer for leading the effort to pass it.
    Only difference is those I voted for are against it as am I. It is you who voted for the fuhrer, not I. Thus by definition you would be a nazi or a dupe

  26. m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6583076
    thehill.com/homenews/house/231238-obama-tells-dems-to-keep-their-powder-dry-in-trade-fight
    Now der fuhrer is telling the democrats what news not to read. It appears he wants to control the information.
    ‘”Get informed,” Obama also advised, “not by reading The Huffington Post.”‘
    And look, your fuhrer says tpp will be good for you!
    ‘”We share same values and are looking out for the same people,” he said, according to the source.’

  27. .12 cents/hour is of course better than nothing.
    What about that sucking sound big ears warned us about.?? Was he right?
    Somehow we need to keep the whole phony palace afloat.
    Once we’re all working for .12 cents /hr our goods will begin demand everywhere.
    The demand for jobs will far outweigh the low wages.

  28. Looks like there are ‘nazi’ democrats in the house and Senate.
    It would appear the fuhrer is consolidating his power base. How does feel to know you voted for a nazi?
    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/231082-new-democrats-want-assurances-on-party-support-on-trade

    Perhaps in the future you should think before you use unneeded rhetoric and hyperbole to hide behind your lies. The reality is it’ll come back and get you eventually and it only makes it readily apparent that you can’t support your argument

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