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!

2895 Responses to The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

  1. ‘He apparently isn’t finished lying to you people yet.
    Now he’s in favor of a 2 state solution, so, what happened??’
    Yeah, because obama has never flip flopped has he? Yet when he does it you make an excuse.

    ‘Maybe if we just send more state of the art weapons over to bebe, he’ll feel safer knowing he might not get hit with a stray rock.’
    Civilian casualties are the last thing Israel wants. But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself.
    I guess you don’t.

    ‘If anyone of your people thinks he’s such a grand leader maybe they should move to Israel.’
    Why didn’t you move to Venezuela when you thought hugo was the greatest thing since sliced bread?

    Of course you probably prefer this guy to Netanyahu don’t you?
    “Khamenei continued: “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure. ”
    At this point one has to wonder based on the way obama treats Netanyahu if he’s anti-semitic like you? Maybe that’s why you like him so much?

  2. Furthermore missy I believe Israel must maintain a qualitative military edge and defensible borders. The United States must continue to ensure that Israel can defend itself from terrorist organizations and hostile states, including Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others. Unilateral actions, such as the Palestinians’ membership efforts before the United Nations, are unhelpful, and I would support vetoing a membership application.

  3. ****Civilian casualties are the last thing Israel wants. ****
    L o lol
    T h e last thing Israel wants is no Palestinians in sight.
    So, then, you are totally incapable of answering any question without blaming Obama???

    **Furthermore missy I believe Israel must maintain a qualitative military edge and defensible borders. The United States must continue to ensure that Israel can defend itself from terrorist organizations and hostile states, including Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others. Unilateral actions, such as the Palestinians’

    Well, by golly, don’t we all.
    Problem is this…we can’t afford to feed our own children in this country. Why would you think you can afford to pay for Israel’s defense????
    With the new republican budget on the table planning to cut, cut cut,cut. Who do you plan to get the money from???

    Are you just totally incapable of answering any question without asking another question??
    My English teacher would never allows that.
    Modestly because, she said it makes you look like a fucking idiot.

  4. Actually I answered them. But yet you cannot answer a single question without changing the subject can you?

    ‘****Civilian casualties are the last thing Israel wants. ****
    L o lol
    T h e last thing Israel wants is no Palestinians in sight.’

    My mistake. I forgot to correctly attribute that quote. It’s from a lady by the name of Elizabeth warren. I guess you don’t agree with her?

    ‘I believe Israel must maintain a qualitative military edge and defensible borders. The United States must continue to ensure that Israel can defend itself from terrorist organizations and hostile states, including Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others. Unilateral actions, such as the Palestinians’

    Also by EW straight from her website when she was running for the senate.
    I just assumed that if I followed her lead I would be thinking like a progressive.

    You want me to answer questions, perhaps you should start answering some yourself.

  5. ‘My English teacher would never allows that.
    Modestly because, she said it makes you look like a fucking idiot.’

    Heard that a lot from her did ya? I see you still don’t listen to her advice

  6. You find those quotes here
    m.elizabethwarren.com/issues/foreign-policy

    firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/08/28/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza-sounds-like-netanyahu/

  7. Time to call it: For millions, 401(k) is a failure

    CNBC
    CNBC
    CNBC

    1 day ago

    ? ? ?

    ?

    ?

    You need to know this number: $18,433.

    That’s the median amount in a 401(k) savings account, according to a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Almost 40 percent of employees have less than $10,000, even as the proportion of companies offering alternatives like defined benefit pensions continues to drop.

    Older workers do tend to have more savings. At Vanguard, for example, the median for savers aged 55 to 64 in 2013 was $76,381. But even at that level, millions of workers nearing retirement are on track to leave the workforce with savings that do not even approach what they will need for health care , let alone daily living. Not surprisingly, retirement is now Americans’ top financial worry , according to a recent Gallup poll.

    It’s time to call this one. For millions of Americans, the Great American 401(k) Experiment is a failure.

    “In America, when we had disability and defined benefit plans, you actually had an equality of retirement period. Now the rich can retire and workers have to work until they die,” said Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School for Social Research who has proposed eliminating the tax breaks for 401(k)s and using the money saved to create government-run retirement plans.

  8. hooray!
    work till you die!
    you gotta love that………American Exceptionalism.
    but,
    theres still hope…
    with…
    government run retirement plans.

  9. Decided to change the subject eh? I guess you coukdnt answer any of my questions.
    I guess Liz is no longer your girl since apparently she’s a zionist, wait so are you, wait no you’re not, or are you?

    So where does it say anywhere that any one other than you is responsible for your retirement? The whole point of that article is that idiots like you are either to stupid to invest in your 401k properly or just don’t invest. You and Teresa, the lovers of free choice that you are, see as an answer forcing people to invest? Yes that’s what she is talking about. You must contribute a part of your income to plan she determines to be appropriate for you whether you want to or not.

    Here’s the thing with 401ks…its your choice. If you want to invest you can, if don’t you don’t. But of course because you’re too stupid or lazy to take advantage of it you need someone to coddle you and do it for you. It must really suck to be a helpless idiot.

  10. In Teresa’s own words “What we need in this country is not a voluntary, do-it-yourself saving system. It’s completely inappropriate for the way we live.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/retirement-gamble/teresa-ghilarducci-why-the-401k-is-a-failed-experiment/

    So, as someone who in the past claimed to support free choice and free markets tell me how does a system that is ‘not voluntary’ equate to free choice and a free market?
    Is this like your zionism? You’re only a zionist when it’s convenient but your not when it’s not?
    Talk about lack of conviction.
    If you want to see a government run system look not further than the disaster that is the California and Illinois state run pension plans. As soon as those democrats in office need more money to win votes where did they turn? The pension plans which are now severely underfunded.
    Good luck with that, I’ll take care of myself.

  11. Pension plans are severely underfunded???
    Now why would that be???? Whatever could cause the pension funds to be underfunded??
    Hmm.
    A better question is where did the money go???
    Oh, that’s right , it all goes back to Reagan again, doesn’t it???
    At the same time the vice president , of General Electric said. ”
    Nowhere in the bible does it say workers should have all these things, and it’s time we started taking them away.”

    $18,000 dollars.
    The account average is $ 18,000.
    I am pretty sure they said there would be a lot, a lot more in there than that.
    Screwed over yet again by the people you keep demand c.f. ending.

  12. ‘Whatever could cause the pension funds to be underfunded??’
    In the case of the states the government, the very entity you want to take care of you, spent it. It had nothing to do with Reagan. The states with the biggest pension problems? All run by democrats. I know you’ll somehow try and blame this on the corporate supremecist but the reality is the people you want to provide for you don’t care about you. They will spend your money just as quickly as any corporation would, probably quicker.
    Reagan? Did you not state that anything that happened in the 80s was ‘ancient history’, your words not mine, and was therefore irrelevant to today’s happenings? Or was that one of those convenience things for you? What I brought up was inconvenient for you to admit so you decided it was ancient history? Now that you think you have something to argue about all of the sudden it’s no longer so ancient? I believe that’s called a double standard.

    So, then, you are totally incapable of answering any question without blaming Reagan???

    ‘$ 2000 / year for 20 years equals $ 18,000.
    Hmmm.
    No wait.
    Ok, yep that’s right.’

    Actually no it’s not but that’s also only one way of looking at it.
    $18000 saved up over a 40 year career means that person only saved $450 a year! What else were they spending their money on?
    The ONLY person responsible for your retirement is you. Not the government, not the corporation, not anyone but you.
    Why is it you feel so entitled that you think other people should pay for your excesses and failures in life?

  13. See,what I mean. You truly say the stupidest shit.
    ***The ONLY person responsible for your retirement is you. ***
    Yeah, you and Jamie dimon and all the rest of your fabulous CEOs at Goldman Sachs etc.
    If what Reagan did in the eighties is still having an effect on what’s happening today, then, yes it’s relevant. It was the Reagan admin that lifted caps on ceo pay. What’s happening today? CEOs are driving the companies right straight into the ground and still walking away with Huge golden parachutes. For what??? $5 Billion for what?
    Why should the ceo of United heathcare be rolling in $ 2 Billion per year??
    Because Reagan said its ok???

  14. *****Actually no it’s not but that’s also only one way of looking at it.
    $18000 saved up over a 40 year career means that person only saved $450 a year! What else were they spending their money on?****

    If you compound 450/ year for 40 years, you will have a shitload more than 18,000. Lrgr

  15. ‘If what Reagan did in the eighties is still having an effect on what’s happening today, then, yes it’s relevant.’
    So why didn’t clinton change it?
    Why didn’t obama and the democrats change it when they had a super majority?
    They didn’t therefore they are as much to blame as Reagan, so he’s not relevant.

    ‘Why should the ceo of United heathcare be rolling in $ 2 Billion per year??’
    Because the shareholders think it’s a good idea and it’s their money. If you aren’t a share holder then it’s really none of your business.
    Why shouldn’t he?
    Why should the government determine what someone makes? I thought you believed in a free market?

    ‘See,what I mean. You truly say the stupidest shit.
    ***The ONLY person responsible for your retirement is you. ***’
    Are you saying you’re incapable of investing your own money? My 401k is doing very well. But then I pay attention to the market everyday and make trades as needed. But then unlike you I’m not a helpless fool

  16. ‘If you compound 450/ year for 40 years, you will have a shitload more than 18,000. Lrgr’

    You’re absolutely right but I tried to keep it simple for you.
    At an assumed rate of 5% average over 40 years in order to save only $18000 you would have be able to only spare $11.83 a month. Better?
    It actually supports my argument which that the problem isn’t the 401k but that people don’t save. You support forced savings whilst I support free choice. Go figure.

    Perhaps if the policies you support weren’t driving jobs away we wouldn’t have this problem. Wait until Obama pass tpp, it’ll only get better,he said so.

  17. ***A bully initiates the fight not defends***
    What about a bully who steals 1000 acres of land and then convinces you that he is a victim???
    Who is defending what here???

  18. So, it’s true …figures lie…and, ..liars figure???
    Where did all the money go?? Now the sappy worthless bags o shit havnt saved enough to give to Jaime dimon . We went from $ 450.00 down to $ 11.83.
    You should quit while you’re ahead, looks like you’re just confusing yourself.

  19. free markets???
    We’re not capable of having a truly free market here….without…more government.
    The market has been left on its own for quite a while now, what has happened.
    Too big to fail is creating jumbo sized corporations that are buying up ALL of their competition. Profit at all costs. Can they be trusted to be honest about…anything??? When everything is a hindrance to the corporation making more money, I don’t see how.
    This also dates back to the wonderfulness of Reagan and willingness to overlook the errors of too big too fail.
    Now they’re saying they are too big to split up.
    And there’s you, defending the corporations and losing the control of your country.
    Welcome to the Corporate states of America.
    If you didn’t like the government before……….you really won’t like it now.

  20. ***Perhaps if the policies you support weren’t driving jobs away we wouldn’t have this problem.***
    This is a different problem . The bush admin. Was paying American corporations to relocate overseas. Yup. Ÿour tax dollars at work. Being used to relocate American companies overseas. It was called the OAS.
    Makes you want to break out a song…. How about ” My country tis of thee” ?

    So, tell me about how your market today is not a socialist development. The shareholders waiting around for free money.
    Should we run this country like a business? Socialist in behavior.
    What your plans??
    What does ayn randy think of it??
    Ted has proven he’s an idiot.
    Do you want a republican to run the country??
    Stopping the cash flow now is the absolute worst thing to do.
    No money..no wealth creation.
    All the money controlled by the chosen few doesn’t leave much room for the American Dream, does it”?
    The Koch carbonated states of America.

    ” I don’t want my fair share, I want it all”. – David Koch
    David Koch for president???

  21. How about
    Walker-Ryan
    Walker -bush
    Walker- Paul

    The kochs are piling money on Walker , and you know how politics are….now…..whomever spends the most money wins.

  22. ‘So, tell me about how your market today is not a socialist development. The shareholders waiting around for free money.’
    The only one waiting for free money is you by shareholders put their own money into the game and risk losing it. You pit nothing in and want something out of it.

    You complain about the republican candidates but say nothing that your party has already decided who you will vote for. Hillary has already been ordained as your choice. Didn’t you say she was a pig bathing in the oil mans money? But that was after you proclaimed her the best SoS ever. I guess you’re ok with all this ‘donations’ she accepted from China or her brother using her influence to get special favors for his business deals. See, if not for your one sided hypocritical faith you would have nothing.

    ‘The market has been left on its own for quite a while now, what has happened.’
    I suggest you look at the 70000 plus pages of the tax code or the millions of pages of new regulations released each year. Heck there’s even a regulation for how much salt per square foot you can distribute on ice to keep people from falling. Use too much you get fined by the government, use too little and you get sued by the customer who falls. Win win for the government either way.

  23. 70,000 pages of laws.
    So what???
    Why don’t you go look at how many offenses actually made it to court???
    While you’re at it go take a look at all the lovely courthouses we have in this country and count how many of your pirate pals have ever been in one.
    You are too funny.
    Jaime Dimon was in a senate hearing and did the equivalent of telling them to go fuck themselves.
    Oh yeah, the laws, the laws, the laws.
    No wait…….what laws??

  24. Did you just learn something at eco Watch?? We’ve known this for years.
    TPP a is all your baby! You just don’t know it yet.
    We’ve been working toward this moment since bush 41 announced……..A New World Order.
    The TPP would allow its members to discount local sovereign laws in favor of a world tribunal.
    For anything they didn’t like. Like say a Buy American Program would cause undue stress on foreign manufacturers.
    This is gonna be great. Finally the corporations will be able to make some money.

  25. It’s all a big secret so shhhh’
    It’s your republicans behind it all. But, they’re not really republicans, right??
    This is what get once your voices have been stifled, go ahead complain, blame Obama, the democrats, whatever, your voice will never be heard.
    These are the people you keep defending.
    Are you happy yet.??
    Are you done yet??
    Are you any smarter yet??

  26. so why is Obama it’s main proponent?
    I notice that every time obama does something you like you extol him. When he does something you don’t like it’s the republicans or the ‘corporate supremacist’ who are making him do it.
    It’s or the other. He’s either a puppet or he is not. Which is it?
    Or do you prefer to hide from the truth and continue to blindly follow the blind?

  27. Things are falling apart for you aren’t they?
    Elizabeth supports Israel defending itself against Palestinian aggression.
    Bernie supports Israel defending itself against Palestinian aggression.
    Hillary is in bed with China.
    Obama is negotiating secret trade deals in backroom.
    What are you going to do?

  28. Are you really that far out there???
    If Obama pisses off the poor people, who cares??
    Everyone knows by now, A poor mans anger means nothing.
    Do you now believe Obama isn’t running the show?
    Or do you need to believe it, so you can blame him??.
    Your people have blocked him at every turn, now, you stand to get what you want you’re still complaining”?
    Corporate world rule by your corporate Supremecists.
    Why are you still complaining???

  29. ‘Do you now believe Obama isn’t running the show?’. That’s your position, when its convenient.

    ‘Or do you need to believe it, so you can blame him??’. You mean when he says he supports TPP I shouldnt believe him? Your not very clear in your questioninig.

    ‘Are you really that far out there???’ I would suggest that you are. What exactly did you find far out?

    ‘Your people have blocked him at every turn,’ oh poor poor obama. If only it weren’t for those darn People blocking him he could have been the monarch he deserves to be. But no, instead he’s forced to be only but 1 branch of a system designed to provide checks and balances. Sure he can violate the constitution with an occasional executive order but what is that compared to being KING and issuing decrees from on high? Poor poor Obama. If only missy could have her true king she would be happy to do as she was told, to be slave to his demands. But no! Instead she may have to get a job instead of living off the work of others. Life must really suck for the two.

  30. See, you truly are a fucking idiot.
    Is it Obamas fault the corporations are taking over the entire planet?.?
    Has Obama used less than half the executive orders that say, Reagan used”?
    If Obama is my king, fool, he is also your king.
    You just can’t overcome the racism in you, can you?? You know what they say about bumping into racists all day, right???

  31. Racist? That would be a label wouldn’t it. Seems everyone needs a label in your little world. What sort of fear and insecurity would lead to this. Everyone gets a label……except you. What you’re saying is that by condemning the actions of one Black person, I am condemning all of them? Halfwit.
    See, can’t have your cake and eat it to….

    “Our economy has gone into the toilet over the past 30 years, and President Obama and his advisors think “free trade” is the solution. Like Bill Clinton and both George Bush, he’s so enamored with it he’s backing the biggest trade agreement in world history, the Trans Pacific Partnership. “….Thom Hartmann on alternet.
    Obama could easily stop TPP, if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. He’s more concerned about his legacy than he is about his country. Just like the iranian deal. He will go down as the worst president ever, and that’s fact, not racism.

  32. “You know what they say about bumping into racists all day, right???” seeing as you’re the one bumping into them all day that would make you a ….racist

  33. “Has Obama used less than half the executive orders that say, Reagan used”?”
    Reagans EOs had concurrence from congress and we’re not used to legislate. Obama refuses to work with anyone who doesn’t do exactly what he wants and, per his own statements, has used EOs to go around congress violated the constitution.
    There’s a difference.

  34. “Now that President Obama and his corporate team intend to spring it on us and start ramming TPP through Congress. He recently arranged a briefing to woo House Democrats to support it — but he even classified the briefing as a secret session, meaning the lawmakers are not allowed to tell you, me or anyone else anything about what they were told.

    A gag order on Congress? Holy Thomas Paine! The only reason Obama is desperate to hide his oligarchic scheme from us is because he knows the people would overwhelmingly oppose it. So he’s resorting to government by sucker punch. It’s cowardly … and disgraceful.”
    Jim Hightower alternet aka “independent journalist”
    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/jim-hightower-obamas-terrible-trade-pact-scam-must-be-stopped

    Did you catch that “Obama is desperate to hide HIS oligarchic scheme”. Hmm..obamas scheme? According to alternet. He has the support in congress, from both democrats and republicans to stop this, but he won’t. Why is that? I thought he cared about you?
    So are thom and Jim also racist for disagreeing with obama or just me?
    If it’s just me what did I say that was racist? Remember, you’re the one who admitted to making anti-semitic remarks, and called Asians “coolies”, and supported throwing bricks at women, and wanted to cut people’s heads off if they didn’t do,as you wanted. So really, be called a racist by you is rather meaningless….isn’t it.

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