December 1, 2013

"Inside the West Wing, where junior researchers monitor Twitter and other social media, officials knew the political controversy had moved beyond the broken website."

"Now it was about a broken promise. But for Mr. Obama, the mounting criticism was more than political. It felt personal."

From somewhere deep within the NYT front-page article "Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama," by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael D. Shear. Even further down, this tickled me:

Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, a conservative Democrat who faces a tough re-election campaign in 2014, was one of the first to sense the danger....
Don't you love the heightened sensory awareness that comes from facing reelection?
On Nov. 6, Ms. Landrieu and the other “2014ers” marched to the White House...
Marched!
....where they spent two hours in the Roosevelt Room upbraiding the president and his advisers. 
Upbraided!
Aides to Mr. Obama say the meeting was called, in part, to give Democrats a chance to publicly criticize the president — a message that Vice President Biden delivered to Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic whip, in a separate meeting with several freshman Democrats.

“Just attack us,” Mr. Biden said, according to one person present. “Blame us.”
It's the theater of blaming... those who don't face a 2014 election.

Meanwhile, there's there's the "war room" for fixing the website, that's located "next to a shopping mall, close enough for frequent food runs to Chick-fil-A or Five Guys Burgers and Fries." So it's okay to like Chick-fil-A again?
In the White House, aides to Mr. Obama know that Republican attacks will keep coming.... Mr. Obama, meanwhile, is trying to turn the page...
At a closed-door fund-raiser Tuesday night at the Beverly Hills home of the basketball star Magic Johnson, Mr. Obama made only scant reference to the law that he has long hoped will define his presidency....

“I’m absolutely sure we’re going to make sure this country provides affordable health care for every single American,” Mr. Obama told the donors. “And if I have to fight for another three years to make sure that happens, I will do so.”
When someone says he's sure he'll make sure and make sure I'm sure he's not so sure.

63 comments:

America's Politico said...

Obama said on the first day he was for open govt. This HC.gov mess is a case study of closed govt. Who are these outsiders (former campaign workers)? Is it ethical for govt. to use outside help with a proper hiring process? Is there a conflict of interest? What about long-term employees? Are they denied? Will the academic community do a vigorous analysis of the failure of HC.gov? Is it fair to say that in the annals of govt. projects, HC.gov will be known as the titanic of failures?

Finally, what does it mean for 2016? What is Hillary! response. Remember: Clintons are coming. Clintons are coming. As Miley said: We can't stop, is their motto.

What is GOP doing? Will they do hearing and hearings on HC.gov? They failed on Benghazi? Will they fail again?

Michael K said...

The funniest part is that they don't know the half of it.

Next summer, when 100 million Americans have lost their health insurance, as Phil Gramm once said, "They'll be hunting Democrats with dogs."

Ralph Hyatt said...

The problem the democrats are facing is that the law is working exactly as it was designed to.

They passed it and now people are finding out what is in it (higher prices for less health care in order to subsidize health care for others) and a lot of them don't like it.

And they realize that they were lied to about the law.

Some may even be contemplating such crime think as, "If he lied about that, what else is he lying about?"

Skookum John said...

Breathtaking incompetence. This calamity will torpedo progressive big government for generations, and it's only just getting warmed up.

Tom said...

Obamacare.gov, Brought to You by Bigot Chicken


I wonder if all these contractors have health insurance?!

Original Mike said...

"But for Mr. Obama, the mounting criticism was more than political. It felt personal."

It's personal for the cancelled cancer patients, too. But by all means, let's concern ourselves with Obama's feelings.

SteveR said...

So when Landrieu marched to the White House was she carrying a big gavel?

pm317 said...

It is all kind of sad even to read the excerpts you put out (and I am not in a mood to read the article). Are they even thinking about everyday people hurt by this? There is a story on Instapundit about the Cancer patient Elliot getting audited by IRS now, presumably after he went on Kellyfile. Assuming his story is true, it was as if he was writing a suicide note on the program -- he said he would not get a new pricey policy and put his family through it and he would just let nature take its course.

pm317 said...

“I’m absolutely sure we’re going to make sure this country provides affordable health care for every single American,” Mr. Obama told the donors. “And if I have to fight for another three years to make sure that happens, I will do so.”
If we didn't have a fucking lapdog media, they would be parsing sentences like this, and shaming him.

At least we have you doing it and for that I am grateful. And since you are not avowed republican and you voted for him, they can't dismiss you easily.

pm317 said...

While the fucking media lapdogs worry about Obama's feelings and political future, here are some others trying to give us some useable information about the disaster that is Obamacare. It seems like gutting the middle class to give insurance for the poor and the sick -- wasn't there a better way?

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

The urgent race... A RACE? Who is RACING against whom/what? Waddya mean, RACE?

Somebody running somewhere? To somewhere? Away from something?

Did a quick Ctrl+F word search of all 7 NYT article pages. The word appeared only once in the body of the article.

First few paragraphs of the article describe chaos and panic, but nothing about a "race."



Ipso Fatso said...

"Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, a conservative Democrat....."

Landrieu is about as conservative as David Brooks...Oh!!!

Michael K said...

"Mr. McDonough added a nightly 7 o’clock meeting in his office to demand updates. "

"Demand updates."

When the tech geeks raised concerns about their ability to deliver the website on time, they are reported to have been told "Failure is not an option." Unfortunately, this is what happens when you say "failure is not an option": You don't develop backup plans, which means that your failure may turn into a disaster.

These people have joined a cargo cult.

Paul said...

So a junior reseracher now watches, what, Twitter?

Why not Fox News. They might even get a clue.

David said...

It's not about a web site. The web site can be fixed and is well on its way to that. They can fake it until it's really fixed.

It's about the structure of the health law, the cost, the impact on quality of service and choice of providers, the legalized graft and corruption that will derive from this, the negative impact on innovation and the fleeing of providers from the system.

These are harder critiques to make, and the Republicans can't credibly make them without an alternative.

Just what is that alternative? Tell me again.

America's Politico said...

Michael K.

Mr. you got it wrong:

Failure is always an option. There is no such thing as: Failure is never an option. This is a myth cooked up by Hollywood. Great engineers have a failure dashboard where they know what failures lead to what risks and then they work against to make sure all risks are mitigated.

Failure is always an option. You work to mitigate it,

Obama folks are wrong. But, I digress.

The Clintons are coming.
The Clintons are coming.
They can't stop to the White House.

Bob Boyd said...

After the SEALs got Bin Laden, Obama was all 'I directed this' and 'I decided that'.

Now President Gutsy Call is telling us he's in the process of analyzing just how come he actually didn't have anything to do with this cufking POS website.

It makes me wonder what Obama would have said if the Bin Laden raid would’ve gone bad. Would he have blamed it on underlings who didn’t keep him in the loop? Would he have told us no one was angrier than himself?

Birkel said...

"Meeting was called..."
"Marched..."

Those two things don't fit terribly well together.

Stanley Smith said...

@Bob Boyd:

Yes.

cubanbob said...

The West Wing needs better script writers if producers and sponsors of the show want better ratings.

Michael K said...

"On the night of Oct. 28, Ms. Jarrett, one of Mr. Obama’s closest confidantes and a guardian of his personal credibility, took to Twitter to defend him — and to shift the blame.

“FACT,” she wrote. “Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

The tweet touched a nerve; it was not the first time the Obama White House had used the insurance industry as a scapegoat. Ms. Ignagni’s members were furious. “Here it comes — we knew it would happen,” one executive recalled thinking. "

Lie down with dogs and get up with fleas. The insurance people should have known better. They were right in 1993.

Maybe they didn't want to be audited.

pm317 said...

It makes me wonder what Obama would have said if the Bin Laden raid would’ve gone bad.

Success has many fathers and he appropriated one of them.

Michael K said...

"During October, the federal government has reported, just 106,000 people picked new health plans, a vast majority of them through state-run exchanges. "

All those people signed up for Medicaid. Oregon has had zero Obamcare signups. Plus the fact that there is no interface with the insurance companies that pays the premiums.

sinz52 said...

So the Obama Administration feeds a story to the usually sympathetic New York Times to make us feel sorry for Obama and Biden.

I don't think it's going to work. When you get scammed and back out of the scam, you're not going to have any pangs of conscience out of depriving the scammer of his livelihood.

One more thing: If you want to tell the difference between a legitimate news story and slanted opinion masquerading as news,just count the number of adverbs and loaded verbs and loaded adjectives in the news story. "Marched"???

wildswan said...

The alternative is insurance vouchers for those who can't afford insurance just as one alternative to the present public school system is school choice vouchers. Another is home schooling. A third is allowing students to transfer to another school district.

In a wider sense, the answer is not centralized state planning. If you want to be kind you could say that Obama and Co. were blindsided by the changed social situation since the ideas of socialism were first debated. Then there was no social safety net so when a social plan such as that of Bismarck in 1870 was tried that plan functioned in an "empty space". But now such a plan as Obamacare is jostled by alternatives introduced by private enterprise over the years. Centralized state planning on any issue has to be better than the alternatives which many people already have if it wants to successfully switch everyone to the state plan. That's unlikely to say the least.
Facing these difficulties, Obamacare was incredibly catastrophically badly planned. And this is still the case. Getting the website fixed, not the payment plan, is the latest example of fantastically bad planning. People are being put off insurance because of Obamacare but not able to really sign up for new insurance which is too expensive and, anyhow the payments can't go in.

CWJ said...

"Aides to Mr. Obama say the meeting was called, in part, to give Democrats a chance to publicly criticize the president"

I liked this line the best. What's "public" about a meeting inside the White House without the press or public present.

Original Mike said...

"Just what is that alternative? Tell me again."

Oh, I don't know ....

Matthew Sablan said...

It wouldn't be so personal if he hadn't staked his reputation on it, period.

paul a'barge said...

o.m.f.g.

who could have voted for Barack Hussein Obama?

who did this to America?

Matthew Sablan said...

One of the first things I learned as a team lead in college is that failure is not only an option, it is the default option. Everything you do is to try and select an option that doesn't include elements that might lead to failure. The very notion that "Failure is not an option" is shamelessly poor planning.

pm317 said...

Why is it the responsibility of the Republicans to provide an alternative? Designing or reforming healthcare is serious work and who wants to put manhours into it if you won't be taken seriously.

Original Mike said...

"Why is it the responsibility of the Republicans to provide an alternative? Designing or reforming healthcare is serious work and who wants to put manhours into it if you won't be taken seriously"

You make a good point. Republicans ideas were given no respect when the Democrats had both houses of Congress. Democrats could cram this turkey down the country's throat, and they did. However, if a GOP alternative is not brought forth it gives support, in the minds of some, to the Democrats argument that they aren't willing to help "fix" it.

I think the Republicans need to stay as far away from "fixing" it as possible. This turkey is not fixable. It needs to be replaced. What Republicans need to do instead is to coalesce around an alternative and run on it in 2014. If projections for the coming year of tens of millions more losing their health insurance and spiking premiums come true, they'll be in a good position to fix this for real*.

*(Obama will still have the veto, but you do what you can when you can.)

Bill said...

AAlthouse: "Don't you love the heightened sensory awareness that comes from facing reelection?"
"... when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." -- Samuel Johnson
"... unfortunately, what the mind inevitably concentrates on is that, in the morning, it will be in a body that is going to be hanged.” -- Terry Pratchett

St. George said...

The President says he wants to provide "affordable" health care to every American.

Delusional, he is.

Original Mike said...

If ObamaCare stinks as bad as I anticipate (and I'm not talking about the website), I look forward to Hillary explaining how ObamaCare is not HillaryCare. Romney had a similar millstone which he was not able to shed (for good reason, ObamaCare is RomneyCare).

Bill said...

NYT: "During October, the federal government has reported, just 106,000 people picked new health plans, a vast majority of them through state-run exchanges. "
Michael K: "All those people signed up for Medicaid. "

No that's just for O'care exchanges. The current figure is about 195,000. New York and Connecticut seem to be the standouts, with about 20% of their goals achieved ... after 30% of the enrollment period elapsed.
http://www.enrollmaven.com/

pm317 said...

I look forward to Hillary explaining how ObamaCare is not HillaryCare.

I think she can defend easily enough. The plan she proposed during 2008 was not anything like Obamacare. And given that she would not have golfed while they were building it, would also have helped. I think it was studied calculation on Obama's minions to make Obamacare the same as Romneycare because they 'knew' Romney would be the candidate for 2012. I don't really think much serious thought went into conceiving Obamacare in 2009 other than simple political calculation.

pm317 said...

I don't really think much serious thought went into conceiving Obamacare in 2009 other than simple political calculation.

{add} and political ideology from the likes of that freak show of Ezekiel whatever.. He should be made to sign up and live under Obamacare -- high premium, high deductible, one doctor and nothing outside the network..he should make that high sacrifice to cut costs and give poor people the chance to get health insurance.

Sorun said...

"But for Mr. Obama, the mounting criticism was more than political. It felt personal."

When it's personal for Obama, it's at least somewhat racial.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"The plan she proposed during 2008 was not anything like Obamacare."

If anything, it was even more statist; like the criminalization of doctors providing care outside the plan.

chuckR said...

"Failure is not an option" is getting a bad rap here. It is associated with the Flight Ops team for Apollo 13. James Lovell's Lost Moon describes what he and his crew were up against and the success of the true MacGyver lash-ups created by Mission Control that brought them back.
But then, NASA had already proven several times over that they could put men on the moon, while Obama's confederacy of dunces can't make a functional website. How's that unwritten 40% going?

EDH said...

When someone says he's sure he'll make sure and make sure I'm sure he's not so sure.

"If promise to covet property, propriety, plurality, surety, security, and not hurt the state, say what.

> What?

Ah-hem, take your stand."

Original Mike said...

"If you don't answer the question, young man, we're going to have to gag you."

Archie said...

The lying bastards have run a shuck that crossed the death line. They came to believe it themselves. Obamacare will never work but it will lurch along doing incalculable harm before it is completely extinguished. We are on a death watch.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama

It's always about race.

Rusty said...

St. George said...
The President says he wants to provide "affordable" health care to every American.


He has failed.

Birkel said...

Bill,
How many of those 195,000 have paid?
If the answer is zero everything that has followed is a lie.
Given the number of lies demonstrated so far I challenge you or anybody else to provide verifiable facts.

The presumption is on the liar to prove an assertion.

Freeman Hunt said...

By golly, we never did mean to hurt the poor man's feelings. Shucks.

Original Mike said...

Glenn Reynolds: "Obama’s a putz."

I hope Glenn can stand up to an IRS audit.

Kansas City said...

Obama (and other politicians) live in such a dream world. He says:

"I’m absolutely sure we’re going to make sure this country provides affordable health care for every single American."

First, as democrats are allowed to do, he conflated "health care" with the subject of Obamacare - "health insurance." He desribes a goal that Obamacare does not even pretend to achieve - affordable health care for every single American. Even promoters of Obamacare say that there would be about 30 Million Americans without health insurance. And, since prior to Obamacare we provided free health care to anyone who could not afford it, he is talking about something that for many people is less than what they were receiving (if necessary) prior to Obamacare.

And the crowd no doubt cheered wildly in their shared dreamworld. Oh well.

the wolf said...

“And if I have to fight for another three years to make sure that happens, I will do so.”

Who exactly is he fighting? It's his own bad law and dysfunctional website that are not working. Obama's made a career out of fighting imagined enemies; in this statement he simply implies there is some enemy preventing him from fulfilling his promise. An enemy other than his own incompetence and the incompetence of the people he' surrounded himself with.

rehajm said...

If you want to tell the difference between a legitimate news story and slanted opinion masquerading as news,just count the number of adverbs and loaded verbs and loaded adjectives in the news story.

This applies equally to other parts of speech with soft meaning, oft used by the administration and the media, like 'struggling' and 'dramatic'.

n.n said...

Intelligent design practiced by mortal beings has a well-earned notoriety for causing gross misalignments in economic, cultural, etc. development. The same people who gave us Obamacare, are the people who "resolved" the "breeder" problem with normalized abortion. These people offer no solutions which do not consolidate capital and control in their hands. The indulgence is purchased at the highest cost to individuals, society, and humanity.

Oh, well. People wanted the appearance of a quick fix. Many are incapable of self-moderating, responsible behavior. While others are happy to exploit libertine or base behaviors to profitable ends. History does indeed repeat itself.

Andy Freeman said...

> "Failure is not an option" is getting a bad rap here. It is associated with the Flight Ops team for Apollo 13.

It's "associated" by virtue of being in a screenplay and then a book. It isn't something that engineers say; it's something that non-engineers think motivates engineers. (Hint: false sayings don't motivate engineers. Good beer works for most.)

Gene Kranz used that saying in his book about Apollo 13 because the movie made it famous but he didn't say it at the time.

There's a movie about this sort of error ("print the legend") The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Clyde said...

Sounds like Biden was channeling Artie Fufkin from This Is Spinal Tap.

From IMDb.com:

Artie Fufkin: [after nobody turns up, at an album-signing promotion] You know what I want you to do? Will you do something for me?

David St. Hubbins: What?

Artie Fufkin: Do me a favor. Just kick my ass, okay? Kick this ass for a man, that's all. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I'm not asking, I'm telling with this. Kick my ass.

Zach said...

"Failure is not an option" is getting a bad rap here. It is associated with the Flight Ops team for Apollo 13.


It works in the context of the screenplay, but it wasn't a contemporary quote. (Even in the screenplay, it's a rallying cry by someone who's *part* of the team, rather than someone *overseeing* the team.)

More to the point, the idea that failure was not an option was not the way that Apollo was structured. A large number of the Apollo mission parameters (such as orbiting the moon before separating the lander from the command module, etc) were chosen because they gave mission command more options in the case of a critical failure. Reading accounts, a large majority of the practice runs were devoted to the possibility that things would go wrong, so that controllers would have to make a call on whether or not to scrub the mission and how to do it. Among other things, the idea of using the lunar module as a lifeboat had already been worked out as a possibility before Apollo 13 ever launched.

So in the context of Apollo 13, "failure is not an option" means "we will spend huge amounts of time planning ways to contain and work around failure, in order to protect the ultimate mission," while in the context of Obamacare, "failure is not an option" means "we will spend no time planning for alternatives to the main plan, despite evidence that the plan is currently not working out."

Original Mike said...

"So in the context of Apollo 13, "failure is not an option" means "we will spend huge amounts of time planning ways to contain and work around failure, in order to protect the ultimate mission,"

Bingo.

Steven said...

But, but, but, sp what if it felt personal? He's got a "first-class temperament"! He can handle it with grace!

gk1 said...

Not even the B team house
lefties are showing up to defend this stinkburger. What does that tell us?

John Lynch said...

Amateurs.

gregq said...

Dear Barack Obama,

You are a lying sack of shit. It was despicable and disgraceful of you to tell people "if you like your [insurance] plan, you can keep your plan", when you knew you were doing everything in your power to make that impossible.

If you take this personally? you should. Because you, personally, ar a scum bag.

creeper said...

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

John Burroughs