Obama Touted Obamacare’s Exchanges Even as They Failed Key Tests

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govOn September 26, President Obama stood in front a big crowd at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland and described how easy it would be to shop for health insurance when new health exchanges opened across the nation the following week.

“There’s been a lot of things said, a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion,” he said. His speech was intended to help set the record straight.

“Starting on Tuesday, every American can visit HealthCare.gov to find out what’s called the insurance marketplace for your state.”

From there, he said, the process of buying insurance would be “real simple. It’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side-by-side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak—same way you shop for a TV on Amazon.  You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options.”

“If you’ve ever tried to buy insurance on your own,” he said, “I promise you this is a lot easier.”

But Obama didn’t know that actually using the exchanges would be simple, or easy. He didn’t know that the complete federal exchange system would work at all. He couldn’t have.

Because on September 26, less than a week before the exchanges were set to open, no test had been performed to see whether a user could successfully navigate the federal exchange system all the way from beginning to end.

That’s according to a Washington Post report on the many pre-launch warning signs the administration and insurers had that exchanges weren’t up to snuff. Notably, the Post doesn’t say whether any users were ever able to get all the way through a complete system test before the day that it launched.

The system appears to have failed other late-breaking tests, however.  Another test, reportedly performed just a few days before the October 1 launch, was designed to see whether the system could handle several thousand users at the same time. According to the Post, the site “crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.”

The problem wasn’t fixed. And just a few minutes after midnight on October 1, despite urgings from insurers to delay or limit the rollout, the federal exchange system went down when about 2,000 users logged in simultaneously.

So when officials spent the next few days saying that the problems were due to overwhelming demand, they were not being strictly accurate. Opening day traffic may have been higher than anticipated. But the exchange system locked up under a rather small load.

The problem was not, as top administration tech adviser Todd Park claimed, that a system was designed for 50,000 simultaneous users crashed after being hit with an unexpected 250,000 users at once. It was that the system they built couldn’t handle low and totally predictable user volume.

Maybe senior administration officials didn’t know all the details when they offered their explanations. Communications between contractors and bureaucrats working on the exchanges seem to have been exceptionally poor. But if so, that’s just another administrative failure to account for in this disastrous project.

Even if top officials were initially unaware of the full extent of the exchange problems, it seems unlikely that no one in the administration grasped the risks of launching an online system that didn’t work. And they may have been preparing for that possibility. 

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govA recent report by Adam Mazmanian* in FCW, a tech-policy trade publication, suggests that just days before the exchanges launched, administration health officials may have been making contingency plans. On September 26, the same day that Obama gave his speech in Maryland, Serco, a Virginia contractor got an $87 million update to its existing $114 million contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which managed the exchange implementation process. It’s not clear what the additional funding is for, but Serco’s existing deal, awarded over the summer, was for processing some 6.2 million paper applications through the exchanges.

That suggests that in the week prior to the exchange launch, some in the administration may have been expecting a greater than previously anticipated need for paper enrollment. Certainly the failure of key system tests, and the lateness of other important trial runs, should have highlighted the system’s deep problems and general state of unreadiness.

But the correct response was not to quietly look for alternatives, hope for the best, and mislead the public about both what to expect and, after launch, the true state of what was going on. Yet that’s exactly what the administration did. And, if President Obama’s passive, explanation-free speech yesterday, which urged people frustrated by the online exchanges enroll via clunky manual workarounds, is any indication, it’s what the administration is still doing.

*Disclosure: Like me, Mazmanian is a regular contributor of movie reviews to The Washington Times.

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  • Almanian!||

    So when officials spent the next few days saying that the problems were due to overwhelming demand, they were not being strictly accurate.

    No, Peter - they were LYING. This is the one positive that may result from all the evil machinations of this administration - they lie about EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, and people are starting to catch on. Even the Bliebers.

    So - there's hope that more people will understand what should be obvious to all but the criminally stupid - the fucking US government is not to be trusted, ever.

    And that would be the one good to come from all this. The rest - tears.

  • Rich||

    they were not being strictly accurate.

    There is no sugarcoating it.

  • PapayaSF||

    Obama's previous comments just had a few glitches.

  • Sevo||

    They're 'inoperative'.

  • Enough About Palin||

  • SweatingGin||

    Needs more "Poor Impulse Control"

  • Spartacus||

    They gave the least untruthful answer they could. I don't know why you are so upset.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    uh Suderman, Obama has called in a cell phone company to fix the website, so all this is really moot.

  • Almanian!||

    Can you hear me n....what? WHAT?

    CLICK..bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Verizon! Why not Comcast? Everyone loves Comcast. They're really good at selling insurance.

  • DontShootMe||

    Sears. They always want to sell insurance (warranties) on their appliances.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    JCPennys is the obvious answer.

  • Rich||

    “There’s been a lot of things said, a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion."

    "But, enough about the workings of my administration."

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    "I offer you an honorable compromise. Give us your money and just walk away."

  • Almanian!||

    "...the size of a garden gnome, basically."

    lulz! The Suder Man, always with the Alt Text to make you giggle.

  • sarcasmic||

    You know who else giggled?

  • Swiss Servator, O Luzern!||

    Nitrous users?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    You are welcome.

  • Fluffy||

    If the Light Bringer had ordered that as of October 1, 2013, a train would pass through a tunnel...well, at 12:01 on October 1, 2013, that train would damn well have entered that tunnel.

    Because Rand never wrote any caricatures. Not one.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Even if it had to be powered by an obsolete coal-burning locomotive.

  • SweatingGin||

    Notably, the Post doesn’t say whether any users were ever able to get through all the way through a complete system test before the day that it launched.

    That's really the big thing. It's not just that it failed, it's that there must have been people who knew it was going to fail. Someone in the chain said "It'll fail bad" to their boss, and it never got high enough for someone to push the big red button, or someone made the decision to just go all ahead and take whatever credibility hit it caused.

    Thermocline of truth hit hard, and it almost seems like too big of a screwup to be just that.

    I suppose there was no step in the rollout process of go/no-go? I mean, it's not like they set a timer to switch the page from "coming soon" to pointing at the live servers at a particular time. Someone had to switch that. Apparently there was no "can we actually go end-to-end on this?" before that?

  • Loki||

    Someone in the chain said "It'll fail bad" to their boss

    I think the most likely explanation is that Obama's ego is so huge and he's surrounded by so many yes men that no one was willing to actually stand up and say "This isn't going to work and it's going to be a huge clusterfuck." and if there was, that person would probably be fired. Basically nobody's willing to actually state the obvious bad news that should be apparent to anyone with half a brain for fear of causing a huge "Hitler's bunker" (yeah, I went there, sue me) style outburst from the Choco-Nixon.

  • Mr. Soul||

    any IT guy who has worked on a doomed project (all of us) knows that everyone knew, many said and all were ignored. One thing is certain, this is not about talent, its about impracticality.

  • some guy||

    The question is whether you will get paid for the failure. When you are working for the government the answer is almost always "yes". Just don't commit any publicized fraud. You'll get paid and you'll get to bid on the next contract, no hard feelings.

  • Loki||

    Oh I'm sure the "worker bees", the guys actually doing the coding, setting up the databases, etc. probably knew what was about to happen. The problem is that at some point in the chain of command there are too many ass kissers and sycophants unwilling to pass the bad news any further up the chain. So all the people at the top think everything is fine while the people actually doing the work know the project's doomed. I've worked in several aerospace projects like that. I'm pretty much working on one right now, but hey, as long as I still get a pay check I don't give a shit anymore.

  • Cyto||

    Been there, done that. I had one project continually slide because the executive in charge (the company president) issued a new set of priorities at each weekly meeting. My team dutifully explained that this would delay his "top priority" project and got his signature on a change order each and every week for almost 60 weeks.

    When the crap hit the fan in the board room he called me in blind to explain why we had failed to deliver on his top priority project. Since we all saw this coming I was prepared, so I presented everyone with copies of the timeline and every one of his signed-off change orders, one per week, every week for over a year, including new estimated delivery schedules.

    The net result? I was told that they expected results, not excuses. Nice. Probably the same mindset at work at the top of this project. When the executives in charge keep pressing ahead in the face of warnings from below, don't expect them to step up and take the blame when it fails. If you pull their ass out of the fire and produce a miracle they'll be happy to take the credit, if it craters like you said it would, blame rolls down hill. These situations are politics, not engineering, so perception is reality.

  • ||

    THIS. Everyone who had their hands on it knew it would be a disaster from the earliest planning stages. And they said so. And their managers responded with mealy-mouthed business speak, which only confirmed the impending disaster. This is a ship with 50 wheels and 50 different people pulling them hard in random directions.

  • Goateggs||

    I work for an IT company that does a lot of business with CMS, and we refused to bid on this contract. You could tell by the second page of the RFP it was going to be a clusterfuck on wheels.

  • SweatingGin||

    Which really should just make the next three years even more awesome.

    It's an awesome failure of leadership, lack of a clue in the organization for the boss to go in front of the country and say it'll be fixed and work, when he probably figured out it was broken around October 5th.

  • OneOut||

    The upside is that if Benghazi and Syria didn't make this man a lame duck President, Obamacare will.

  • Rich||

    I'll just leave this here.

  • Enough About Palin||

    Look! The emperor has no exchanges!

    /child

  • Michael Price||

    I don't think it's particularly likely that it got to Obama. At each step someone had to decide, inform his boss or keep quiet. The probability it stopped right before Obama is pretty unlikely. You don't get up big in crony-corporatism by being honest.

  • some guy||

    I think we may actually have Ted Cruz and company to thank for this revealing failure. They spent weeks demanding an Obamacare delay, forcing the Democrats to spend weeks vocally refusing that delay. By the time the deadline hit, the admin had no choice but to go live with whatever they had available. To do otherwise would look like they capitulated to Republican demands without even getting a CR out of it.

    Had Cruz and company meekly signed the CR weeks in advance the admin could have more easily admitted that the website wasn't ready and needed to be delayed.

  • Augias||

    I think you are onto something. Ted Cruz is smart and fearless and they are afraid of him.

  • some guy||

    Ted Cruz is doing what's best for Ted Cruz. I doubt he planned anything other than getting attention.

  • OneOut||

    I posted before I read your's .

    Is very curious why they did not accept the life line that the Libertaicans ( I mean that in a good way) were trying to throw them.

    I promise you if Ted Cruz knew the truth
    about the website he would have never tried to stop them.

  • CatoTheElder||

    This was a bold decision powered by Hope 'n' Change™ because hope is a great strategy when rolling out a vast new system to re-organize 18% of a nation's economy.

  • OneOut||

    What's most amazing is that the Republicans had tried to force them to take an easy out and they still didn't delay the "rollout".

    Why did this happen when the Republicans were trying to get them to delay it for a year ?

    Several possibilities but it's driving me crazy not to already know.

  • Pro Libertate||

    “There’s been a lot of things said, a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion. The following lies will turn that frown into a smile.”

  • Protagoronus||

    So Sebelius threatened to punish insurance companies for speaking up about the truth of the law and its impact to their policies. Now she looks bad because a system developed for these companies does not work.

    I wonder if they felt like they could bring up problems in the development?

  • sarcasmic||

    In my experience it goes something like this.
    Government idiots give their requirements. Contractors submit specs to implement those requirements. Problems come up when developing from the specs. When this is brought up to the government idiots, they say to follow the spec because that is what was agreed upon. When it doesn't work due to those problems discovered in development, the contractor gets all the blame.

  • ||

    Yes, but the contractor keeps all the money, which is why they do it in the first place. The only time I've ever worked with the government was when the consulting company I worked for in Manhattan was hired to write an app for the NYC DOT. To make a long story short, the people in that office were so incompetent that when we delivered them a working app that had taken revision after revision because they were so incompetent, the office boss said "why can't you mark geolocations inside buildings", to which we told her "you were told multiple times from day one that that wasn't possible". The project was shelved and we got paid, and I learned a valuable lesson.

  • playa manhattan||

    How much did that whole thing cost?

  • ||

    I was not the accounts person, obviously, but I seem to recall the number $350,000 being thrown around.

  • playa manhattan||

    Jesus.

  • SweatingGin||

    to which we told her "you were told multiple times from day one that that wasn't possible"

    "Look, here's the email where I told you that exactly. You replied to it asking an unrelated question. I keep a printout tacked to my cube wall."

  • JWatts||

    "you were told multiple times from day one that that wasn't possible". The project was shelved and we got paid, and I learned a valuable lesson.

    Well obviously you didn't learn the correct lesson. The standard response would have been to ask for a lot more money to add that feature. Whether it's possible or not is obviously beside the point when dealing with the government.

  • Cyto||

    At least it was only geolocations. We had a similar project where we were asked to assign cases by language. The problem being that they didn't collect the language of the customer or the language spoken by their employee. After several attempts to explain why we couldn't use the non-existent data for assignment they came up with the perfect solution: Just assign based on the last name. If the name "sounds hispanic", then assign it as spanish. Uh, huh. We'll get right on that one. After some push-back they helpfully told us that names like "Velasquez, Dominguez, etc." are spanish-sounding.

    We dealt with this request repeatedly for a couple of years. Meanwhile, we added the language tracking features to the system on our own initiative after the first meeting. They refused to use it because it took too much time (one extra click). I love working with sales.

  • SweatingGin||

    Needs some change requests that they don't want to pay for.

    That fundamental question that was asked at the beginning?

    "Can you make this so that users can't see the prices until they've logged in?"
    "Yes, but it will cause problems x, y, and z, and we'll need to change this part, which will either change the completion date or the cost, so we'll need sign off on it"

    (5 months later, 1 week before go-live)

    "MAKE IT SO THEY CAN'T SEE THE PRICE UNTIL THEY LOGIN!"

  • OneOut||

    And another contract as long as they don't blame the government or the people who work there.

  • ||

    As a software developer and someone who has worked on web sites, web applications, and web services...this is incompetence on a scale so grand that only government would permit it. It boggles the mind. No tests a week before rollout?!?

    In their staggering incompetence, though, I see a good thing, which is that these morons can't possibly accomplish the many evil tasks and ideas they set out to do, because they're too fucking stupid, narcissistic, venal, and flat out inept to do so.

  • Paul.||

    As a software developer and someone who has worked on web sites, web applications, and web services...this is incompetence on a scale so grand that only government would permit it. It boggles the mind. No tests a week before rollout?!?

    Clearly, you've never worked for a big company with deadlines.

    Who cares if it works? There's millions to be made in parts programs and maintenance fees.

  • some guy||

    If you're making game, just call the fixes "downloadable content". People will pay you to fix the thing that was broken when you delivered it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, but they've hurt you. And they'll go on. . .hurting you.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    ^This^

    I first heard the report that there was no end to end testing done before the 1st on the radio this morning. Like the DJ, I was skeptical. I thought there's no way that something that complex would be released without at least a few trial runs. Even the small scripts that I've coded got full end to end tests. It's amazing what can go wrong in a few hundred lines of code. Then I remembered that the government was behind this project and I could believe it.

    ONLY the government could fuck up on such a scale. If a developer working on a companies new website or app handed it to them untested and it failed miserably, they'd be dismissed and probably sued. Do the same with a government program that literally affects the entire population, and you get an extension and more money to fix it.

    Lucrative work if you have no principles.

  • Brett L||

    All of the developers put the "works on my machine" stamp on it! What do you mean it doesn't work on a test or production environment?

    Now that I have a young Odysseus to my Mentor, I've told him that I will break his fingers, permanently cast him out of coding, and shoot his dog if he ever answers, "it works on my machine" to the question: "Have you tested that code?"

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I'm a pretty arrogant guy, I have never been accused of being humble. That said, I can't understand the arrogance of people who do shit like that. (not test or test on a dev machine)

    I had a boss that I was teaching to write VB scripts. One day, I came in and he was bitching that my program didn't work right. After going through the code, I realized he had changed some things. I asked him about it and asked if he had tested the script before releasing it. His answer was "No, I only changed a few variables. What could go wrong?"

    I have never wanted to give someone a Gibbs slap more than I did at that moment.

    But, good on ya for threatening the underling. We need more competent coders out there.

  • Cyto||

    I used to work without a net when the shop was small. 6 or 7 top flight coders can deploy changes to production on the fly and pull it off because they know everything about the system and are all A+ players. Anything bigger than that and you've got no hope.

    Once our company got big enough to support a bigger IT department I put in full dev/QA/Prod separation. It slowed down deployment quite a bit, but it allowed us to have 40 developers working on a couple dozen different enterprise applications without ever having to roll back a deployment. Heck, we even had dev/qa/prod for networking stuff.

    All us old-timers really missed the high-wire act, but full SDLC is the only way to go if you have anything at all important at stake. I can't imagine rolling something out to 500 people that hadn't been thoroughly tested, let alone 30 million. Although for a few hundred million bucks I could probably get over that resistance.

  • CatoTheElder||

    No tests a week before rollout?!?

    The system was not ready to test. It would have been a waste of money to test it.

    Best to rely upon the audacity of hope.

    What do you expect when your tech czar, the Chief Information Officer of the United States, is a public policy grad with a career in politics?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    What do you expect when your tech czar, the Chief Information Officer of the United States, is a public policy grad with a career in politics?

    Not that it's surprising, but it does go a long way to explain the fuck ups. I worked for a company where the head of IT was an MBA with a minor in communications...

    He literally would respond to "that's not actually possible" with something to the effect of "just work your IT magic and get it done, I don't want excuses" and then when the project failed, he'd call us incompetent. I didn't stay there very long due to the fact that I'd have snapped and thrown him out the window eventually.

  • CE||

    The implementation and rollout of the exchanges isn't the problem. Socialism is the problem.

  • prs130||

    AGREED. I would urge my fellow ACA-opponents to stop harping on rollout problems. The websites are eventually going to get fixed, at which point ACA supporters will feel like they just won an argument.

    Quick pop quiz, no cheating: the rollout of the Social Security system back in the 1930s was:

    (a) good
    (b) bad
    (c) in doesn't freaking matter. What matters is that insightful people couldn't convince the others that the SSA was a bad idea, REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL-IMPLEMENTED.

    ACA is bad, regardless of how well-implemented. That's the debate we should be focused on.

  • injanear||

    I would disagree. When you boil it down there's really only two types of people in any society. Those who think long term and those that live for the moment. Our arguements have to appeal to the "live for the moment" crowd for obvious reasons. Point out that the government attempted to build a web service that literally hundreds of companies in various sectors already offer and they f'd it up spectacularly. Then ask them if they trust those same people to now provide them health insurance. Rinse, Repeat.

  • PapayaSF||

    And this is becoming clear as so many people find out that "lower your premiums by $2500" was another lie, and that most people are seeing higher premiums.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've joked about Obamabots like Tony coming here and posting comments on autopilot; I should have guessed that the Obamabot in Chief was doing the same thing in his speeches!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I have a hard time imagining any major politicians doing anything but.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Does the ObamaBot in Chief charge his battery by way of a Solyndra solar tube?

    Maybe Michelle is a fembot!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V1JgodtIls

  • Loki||

    If that were the case they could have at least made her look hotter. I guess the Lightbringer has a thing for wookies.

  • Mr. Soul||

    Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!

  • ||

    Of course he is. Obama doesn't know the first thing about how the system works or why certain things are so difficult. From his perspective, he already successfully did his part, and it was the hardest part of all. That the system is a clusterfuck can only be due to the incompetence of the people who actually built it, and just more proof that we don't deserve his greatness.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • playa manhattan||

    "Mouse Compatible"
    "16 VGA Colors"
    "Fast 48-disk install"

  • John C. Randolph||

    Of course, it's so much easier to shop with a gun to your head! Why didn't Amazon think of that?

    -jcr

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Does anyone pay attention to Obama's speechifying anymore?

  • Paul.||

    NPR.

  • Zeb||

    They don't even seem to have all that much to say about it.

  • Homple||

    The rollout is another experiment to determine the limits, if any, of the public's indifference to the abuses and usurpations of our government.

    No indication of a limit has yet been detected.

  • Rich||

    Good observation.

  • Paul.||

    No one knows if we'll ever read peak indifference.

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    "No one knows if we'll ever read peak indifference."

    Eh. Who cares?

  • sarcasmic||

    In general, people will put up with most anything as long as they're not hungry. So long as poor people are fat, Americans will put up with just about anything from the government.

  • some guy||

    In general, people will put up with most anything as long as they're not hungry

    This is the most important lesson history has to offer. Understand this and all of politics makes sense.

  • John||

    Maybe you are right sarcasmic. One thing for sure, Obama and the Democrats are doing everything they can to test your theory.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's called post rollout end user testing.

  • Sevo||

    Otherwise known as 'fuckup'?

  • Lord Humungus||

    sounds like the first company I worked for out of college. Terrible testing and crappy code = fixes by Customer Support. Guess who worked in customer support - me.

    We had to make every new release work with the customer base, often having to do major rewrites. But somehow we got 1/2 the pay of the staff programmers since we weren't "real coders".

  • JWatts||

    It seems like this would have all gone a lot better if they'd just had a simple HTML page with a Form to print, fill out and then mail to someone capable of competently processing insurance information.

  • JWatts||

    On second thought, that's probably setting the bar too high. Maybe they just could have had a note telling you to go pick up the correct form at your local post office. That seems about the right level of competence.

  • Rich||

    Yeah! And they could open up *new* post offices to serve the disadvantaged folks who are not close to an existing one!

  • Loki||

    The USPS is saved! Not to mention JERBZ!!!!11!!!!

  • PapayaSF||

    If they had just given ehealthinsurance.com a $100 million contract, they might have ended up with something that worked.

  • johnl||

    The website is just a small piece of the problem. This is a decision engine with complex rules and links to lots of other data stores and services. Even if everyone's personal information was already uploaded in a file, the system still couldn't work, because the decisioning and external interfaces are more complex than the website. If the website is wrong, the guts are wrong too. The 800-F1UCKYO won't work and forms wont work either.

  • Enough About Palin||

  • Killazontherun||

    If I had gone into the medical profession I would have designed a cosmetic surgery that would turn the sound of farts into wind chimes. Set up my practice in Beverly Hills and got rich, bitch.

  • Sevo||

    “If you’ve ever tried to buy insurance on your own,” he said, “I promise you this is a lot easier.”

    What was that about Nixon and used cars?

  • Zeb||

    The time I bought health insurance on my own it was pretty damn easy. About 15 minutes in an office with a one legged man and I was good to go.

  • Loki||

    Serco, a Virginia contractor got an $87 million update to its existing $114 million contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which managed the exchange implementation process. It’s not clear what the additional funding is for

    Payoffs and kickbacks for cronies?

  • John||

    It is the only thing they know. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have your first no kidding hard core Prog President also be a Chicago machine politician.

  • robc||

    You not counting Wilson for some reason?

  • John||

    Different form of Progressivism. Wilson is somewhat different from the insane new left of today.

  • robc||

    Its a continuation of the same thing.

  • John||

    It is all a continuation of the French Revolution. But I wouldn't call Obama the first Jacobin President. And regardless, no one but lefty historians and disgruntled Libertarians even remember Wilson much less know what he was. For America today, Obama is the first hard core Prog president.

    And it is my post. I get to shade the meanings of the words as I see fit. If you want to define Prog to mean everyone from Wilson to today, write your own post. I view the post Vietnam new left as something different, if derived from, the old Wilson progs. Could you stop being such a fucking pendent? Just maybe?

  • Killazontherun||

    And regardless, no one but lefty historians and disgruntled Libertarians even remember Wilson much less know what he was. For America today, Obama is the first hard core Prog president.

    You may be interested to know that Leonardo DiCaprio is looking into buying the rights to a recent book that white washes Wilson. It looks like the court historians are attempting to revive his reputation like they did Truman's.

  • John||

    Well, Truman did integrate the Army. Whatever you think of Truman, Wilson was a hundred times worse.

  • Killazontherun||

    I always considered that a fairly big notch on his belt. Truman ending his presidency on an unpopular note and not seeking reelection as a result made him a persona non grata in the Dem Party establishment for two generations.

  • Killazontherun||

    My ninth grade American history teacher tried to sell us on the idea of Wilson was too progressive for his own time, and if WWI did not interrupt the Progressive Movement we would be today (1980s) living in an advanced society. He still has a fan base among the true believers.

  • PapayaSF||

    "Too progressive for his own time" means "everybody hated that crap." Wilson damaged the "progressive" brand so much that they dropped the word and stole "liberal" (which, of course, was in turn sullied by the '70s, so they went back to "progressive").

  • Zeb||

    Sadly, I don't think Wilson's reputation needs a lot of revival. Most people seem to think that he was one of the good ones. I can't see why, but it does seem to be the case. Even if you love the other progressive shit, he was a hardcore racist who got us into a horrible and pointless war.

  • Killazontherun||

    By the turn of that century black writers were talking about the KKK and the harder aspects of racism as a thing of the past. The second coming of the KKK was part and partial to the Progressive Movement as its origins were actually in the mid West, a fermentation carboy for leftist causes then, with a nationalist (hint, those flags in cross burning pics pre 1970s are not Confederate ones) and socialist agenda. Wilson was very much a part of this social trend and did what he could to advance it; he even screened Birth of a Nation in the White House. The irony that modern progressivism is associated with anti-racism while they still advocate for policies that foster cyclical poverty can not be lost.

  • robc||

    pendent:

    1: jutting or leaning over : overhanging
    2: supported from above : suspended
    3: remaining undetermined : pending

    I will try to avoid jutting or leaning over from now on.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The thing they have in common is that they are always on the hunt for the perfect system, the perfect method for managing the teeming mass of humanity. For their own good, of course. That must never be doubted.

  • Loki||

    For their own good, of course. That must never be doubted.

    Of course, it's not because they're realy just power hungry authoritarian cunts. That would be those other, EVUL bastards from the other team. You know, the ones who hate teh gayz and want to be all up in the womynz snizzes and shit. And don't even get me started on those libertardians wanting to impose liberty on everyone! /derpitty derpty dum

  • John||

    Here is what Sad Beard was telling the world about how Obamacare was going to go back in July

    You have to understand that the media, for non-ideological reasons, is just massively biased toward negativity about this kind of thing. . . . You add in the fact that Republicans have a vested interest in making hay about problems plus the fact that liberals have never been all that enthusiastic about the Affordable Care Act's reliance on private insurers, and a lot of negative coverage is baked into the cake. But fundamentally a lot of this criticism comes in the form of comparing the reality of the ACA to an abstract idealized system rather than comparing it to the status quo.

    Yesterday he was reduced to claiming that the Obamacare roll out doesn't discredit all of liberalism. That sound you hear is the sound of Sad Beard's dreams being crushed.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....TopOpinion

  • ||

    Yeah, that media that has been sucking Obama's balls for the last 5 years was going to negatively present this shitstorm because of bias.

    Newsflash Sad Beard: The media is biased but it ain't in the less statist direction.

  • SweatingGin||

    It's amazing, too.

    This could have been a small screw up.

    "It's a tough project to build this exchange and we had a tough timeline. We're delaying the rollout of the exchanges for 2 months, with a similar delay in the penalty, to make sure everything works perfect at go-live time."

    Republicans yell and scream, and there's a slight black mark on it. If things are rolled out 60 days later and work, no one cares (leaving aside the insurance death spiral and other problems with ObamaCare). Hell, maybe you have a slight investigation that turns up "Work on the exchanges was started late for political reasons". Who cares? Sure, Republicans will scream, but Joe Independent doesn't care.

    Instead, they said "Turn it on! Force people to buy through it when it doesn't even work!"

    Now that's a scandal.

    "I said... hop in"

  • John||

    I am not sure an extra 60 days would have fixed this thing. They would have had to at a very minimum made it so people could get a quote without setting up a full account to make this work. I would imagine they viewed that as something even worse than the exchanges crashing.

  • Spoonman.||

    Fundamentally Obamacare is a ridiculous idea. This is just the first glimpse of how broken it is.

    Imagine a plant breeding program based on Lysenkoism with a roll-out deadline for the first new potato. That's what happened.

  • John||

    The whole thing is based on the fantasy that you can insure more people for more things while cutting costs and allowing people to keep the health insurance they currently have. Math is a brutal mistress for Progs.

  • Killazontherun||

    Even in his skewering of Sibelius (okay, that's an awesome last name to have) John Stewart showed his stupidity by advocating nationalized health insurance. He claimed that it's too important of a social function to leave at the hands of the profit motive. As if the only thing markets are good for is to get people to buy shiny baubles to distract themselves from the futility of their lives. Markets exist because scarcity exist. Proglodytes get is exactly backwards with their claim that it is 'unrealistic to leave social goods in the hands of profiteers and expect acceptable returns'. It is unrealistic to expect acceptable returns from a system that is explicitly designed to immunize its actors from the consequences of market based incentives to deliver goods and services at an acceptable level of performance.

  • John||

    Markets ration by who has the most money and wants the item the most. Progs hate that. At heart Progs are moralists. They want things rationed by who they fell morally deserves it the most.

  • Sevo||

    "They want things rationed by who they fell morally deserves it the most."
    And what they get is things rationed by political connections.

  • robc||

    ^^THIS^^

    This has project death spiral written all over it.

  • Sevo||

    There was an article mid-September as I recall quoting a guy who said it will 'open' on time, but you may have to rethink what "open" means.
    Boy, did he ever have a handle on it!

  • Loki||

    Now that's a scandal.

    Shriek was assuring this morning in the AM Links that this isn't a real scandal. Because BOOOOOOSSSSSHHHHH!!!!!111!!! IRAQ!!!!111!! Or some such bullshit.

  • John||

    Meanwhile, the prospect of delay is now on the table.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....ite-house/

    I guess they figure their low information supporters will never notice it when they do exactly what they were calling the Republicans treasonous for asking for just last week.

  • sarcasmic||

    You should know by now that ideas are to be judged not on their merit, but on their source. If Republicans want to delay this, then it's treason. If Obama wants to delay this, then it's the wise and prudent thing to do. Sheesh. Don't you know anything?

  • John||

    Of course.

  • SweatingGin||

    Think of how great that could be! In October, Obama can shut down the government to avoid delaying Obamacare. In December when the CR expires, he can shutdown government to force a delay in Obamacare!

  • John||

    That is just crazy enough to happen. And his various enablers in the media will be calling the Republicans terrorists for not wanting to delay the law.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Suddenly "it's a law" won't be such a trump card.

  • Cyto||

    Of all of the stupid political arguments in the "talking point" era, the late "it's the law" gambit has got to be the dumbest. Every talk show in the country had people calling in to say that "this isn't how you challenge a law - you have to take it to court!"

    Dumb on a half-dozen different levels.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well obviously you don't try to change a law via the legislative branch...

  • ||

    It's what happens when you farm work out to India

  • Warty||

    Go back to lurking, dipshit.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I'm loving every minute of this. Between this and the shutdown it's been a great October for libertarians.

  • Loki||

    I honestly don't know if I can have one more bite of their painful humiliation. I find I'm just a little stuffed.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Because on September 26, less than a week before the exchanges were set to open, no test had been performed

    This wasn't Obama's fault. The website wasn't ready to test. Testing it would be a total waste of money. He had to roll it out anyway.

    That's the "hope" part of Hope 'n' Change™

  • ||

    Faith-based engineering. I've seen it before.

    Just have a lot of motivational meetings, talk about the awesome shit you're going to do, and all those smart people you hired will make magic happen. No need for actual planning or management or schedules. All you need is a lot of enthusiasm and faith that you'll make it work.

  • John||

    That and money. Thus keep throwing money and resources at it and the smart people will figure it out and make it work.

  • ||

    Yes. Who the fuck cares how the technology works? Just hire some smart people. They can do anything.
    You don't need to be smart if you can just hire a bunch of smart people to make the magic happen.

  • John||

    It is the bean counter MBA mentality. Every output is some kind of linear mathematical relationship to the inputs that created it. So if you want more output, just throw more resources at the project.

  • ||

    Oh, and those naysayers who think your plans are impractical are just malingering defeatists. They must be purged.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What are you talking about? The website is up and working perfectly now.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    That's brilliant. ;-0

  • Killazontherun||

    Looks too much like the real thing to go near that mofo. I mean, sure WE know its a parody, but some shuffler for the real thing might mistake our interaction with it for loose paperwork.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ that looks so incredibly amateurish.

    This website is the perfect metaphor of Obama's competence.

    Take it from a Canadian. I can spot - snaps finger - mediocrity from a mile away.

  • John||

    It looks like something a high school debate team would have put together over a weekend.

  • Killazontherun||

    Take it from a Canadian. I can spot - snaps finger - mediocrity from a mile away.

    You guys will always be first in humor for me.

  • Killazontherun||

    Except for that Jim Carey thing.

  • ||

    "for Obama's competence."

    And yeah, comedy we're good at. Even the French-Canadian stuff is batshit hilarious.

  • OldMexican||

    [I]f President Obama's passive, explanation-free speech yesterday, which urged people frustrated by the online exchanges enroll via clunky manual workarounds, is any indication, it's what the administration is still [misleading the people].


    You're just saying that because you don't want people to get healthcare.
    You're just saying that because you don't want people with pre-existing conditions [whatever the fuck that means] to get insurance.
    You're just saying that because you want people to die quickly.
    You're just saying that because you hate children.
    You're just saying that because you want people to pay through the nose for basic care.
    You're just saying that because you hate Obama.
    You're just saying that because you hate black people.
    You're just saying that because you're a racist.
    You're just saying that because...

    [One of these days, maybe when the Second Coming happens, liberals will finally forward a couple of sound arguments.]

  • Loki||

    Those are sound arguments. As in they sound like the irrational blatherings of mental infants.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Don't go insulting mental infants like that.

  • JidaKida||

    Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with it.

    www.AnonWonders.tk

  • Lady Bertrum||

    That's what Obama said.

  • John||

    In other news, Iranian women are still really beautiful.

    http://www.askmen.com/gallerie.....ure-1.html

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    +1 Sarah Shahi

  • GILMORE||

    I can testify to that. I had a fling with a 1/2 Iranian girl who looked very much like your case-study... very very much so.

  • John||

    We had an attorney detailee at my office for a while. She was a good attorney and a very nice person. But she was so attractive you were often left speechless around her.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Honestly, the sight of the Chocolate Nixon frantically hawking a 1-800 number on national television brought a smile to my face. All he needs is the $50 plaid sport jacket.

  • John||

    It is too bad that SNL is run by leftist douche bags who are terrified to make fun the Chocolate Nixon. That whole press conference screamed Dan Akroid in a leisure suit doing an infomercial.

  • PapayaSF||

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    My favorite

    All Sham, No WOW!

  • Paul.||

    There is no justice until all Americans can get healthcare like this.

  • SusanM||

    I'm stealing "Chocolate Nixon".

  • GILMORE||

    ""But the correct response was not to quietly look for alternatives, hope for the best, and mislead the public about both what to expect and, after launch, the true state of what was going on. Yet that’s exactly what the administration did""

    You'd think that the "correct response" to a blown gun-running scam in Libya which resulted in the death of a State dept official and some CIA-hired ex-SEALs would require some *serious brain work* from the TOP MEN concocting a sensible cover story which would have layers of valid information masking actual inter-relationships of....?

    Nope. "It wuz a YouTube video. And a parade! Yep. Parade. Well, demonstration! or parade. Whatever, same diff. Who cares anymore.!"

    That's the level of sophistication running the Damage Control Dept. in todays white house. Why are we expecting some vast improvement all of a sudden, again? We have seen time and again = they treat EVERYONE as though they are 3/4 brain dead & bone-stupid with the remainder. Anyone who fails to swallow the excuse-pablum is probably FAUXNEWS READING TEABAGGERS AND KOCHS AND WRECKERS AND RACISTS

  • John||

    Exactly. These guys have spent five years being adored by the media and told how smart they are and the media going to any lengths to cover up for them. Hell, as idiotic as the cover story for Bengazi was, it worked. Candy Crowley put her fat ass into the breach and made sure no one could call it what it was until the Chocolate Nixon was safely re-elected.

    They have no idea how to even concoct a consistent or believable lie. Hell, they have never had to do that. So they never learned.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's easily the most inept administration since Buchanan, and that's only because of the Civil War thingee that I say that. I could do much better, and I know shit.

  • John||

    And their incompetence is getting to the point that it is destroying people's faith that the government can do anything. I view that as one of the up sides of Obama. But I don't think his supporters are going to like how that works out after the Black Jesus leaves office and they no longer can depend on white guilt to keep people voting Dem.

  • Pro Libertate||

    For the first time in a long while, I think a majority of Americans, for different reasons, are getting tired of the government's bullshit.

  • Paul.||

    I think a majority of Americans, for different reasons, are getting tired of the government's bullshit.

    I agree. Let's create a new agency to fix it.

  • Paul.||

    Nope. "It wuz a YouTube video. And a parade! Yep. Parade. Well, demonstration! or parade. Whatever, same diff. Who cares anymore.!"

    That's the level of sophistication running the Damage Control Dept. in todays white house.

    I dunno, seems to be working for them pretty well. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not happy it's working for them, but I can't deny the success.

  • GILMORE||

    ""I dunno, seems to be working for them pretty well. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not happy it's working for them, but I can't deny the success.""

    &

    ""I never thought I'd see the day when a Secretary of State would be able to get away with saying that in testimony in front of Congress about an incident in which an American diplomat and others had been killed... and nothing else happens. Yet here we are.""

    Both thoughts are similar to my own.... but my feeling is that the D.C. Narrative Control system is slipping somewhat.

    What has surprised me is the degree to which GOP and Dems seem to be willing to always play off the same script (with some exception). and how partisan media like your CNNs and FOXs really do stick to very limited, agreed-upon narratives for their respective audiences. I think the Snowden thing really blew some of this apart... where someone decided to operate outside the Pre-fabbed news machine, and we get actual 'unscrubbed' info. And the media outlets freak out, not knowing how to react (recent Richard Cohen flip flop noted)...

    I don't know. I'm on PL's feeling here, where I suspect that the "one size fits all" BS that gets flogged around as News will be insufficient for an increasing number of people. And I also think the Benghazi thing has yet to see resolution. Who knows.

  • Loki||

    Whatever, same diff. Who cares anymore.

    "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    I never thought I'd see the day when a Secretary of State would be able to get away with saying that in testimony in front of Congress about an incident in which an American diplomat and others had been killed... and nothing else happens. Yet here we are.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, on the other hand, why should they bother with plausible excuses? They understand better than we do that the major media will carry their water no matter HOW inane their story. They'll buy into whatever nonsense you throw at them and make the story go away as quickly as possible. After which they'll respond to anyone bringing the issue up that it's "old news". Given that, worrying about a cover story is a waste of time and effort.

  • PapayaSF||

    It occurs to me that from the neo-Keynsian/Krugmanite perspective, isn't it all good? Isn't a hugely expensive failed website just as much an economic stimulus as burying money to be dug up, or faking an alien invasion so we can have a war?

  • ||

    There's no sugarcoating this.

    Cologne doesn't hide B.O..

    (repeat performance from previous post).

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "But Obama didn’t know that actually using the exchanges would be simple, or easy. He didn’t know that the complete federal exchange system would work at all. He couldn’t have."

    You mean the used car salesman in chief was being less than truthfull?

    I am shocked!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    "Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Barry. What's your name? Julia? Hey, my Mom's name was Julia. Beautiful woman, a saint really. So tell me, Julia, what can I do to get you in this policy today? You want to test drive? OK, just sit right here and pull up the exchange. Oh, wow, look at that, must be a little glitch in the system. Never seen that happen before, never. But don't worry, we've got world class tech guys here and they'll fix that, pronto. So, what kind of monthly payment were you looking for, Julia?"

  • trshmnstr||

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasps for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This man is one of the big reasons I quit Team Red.

  • Paul.||

    They tried to turn it around with Romney. But those teabilbobagginsfuckers ruined it.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    The more the Obamacare implementation stumbles, the more I am beginning to believe that Obama actually WANTED the so-called "shutdown" to last for a while, so he would have some cover while his top (wo-)men struggled behind the scenes to fix the exchanges before a full unveiling that would be conveniently delayed until the end of the shutdown. The longer the shutdown continued, the more he could kick the GOP "obstructionists," especially for preventing Americans from enjoying the benefits of the new health care regime, yet the more time he would have to shore up Obamacare up, so as to be able to come out smelling like a rose on the other side of the "great crisis." I think it must have come as a disappointment to him that the GOP finally settled (capitulated, really), leaving the spotlight free to swing fully onto the Obamacare fiasco.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Of course.

  • juliajuli27||

    my best friend's step-aunt makes $73/hr on the laptop. She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $21645 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go
    ===========================
    http://WWW.Works23.Com
    ===========================

  • AlbedoAtoned||

    Ooh! I want to tackle this one.

    Okay, so you say she made 21645 in a month at 73/hr. I should round this number up, but I will go easy on you and round it down. So she worked 296 hours in a month, which means she worked 74 hour weeks and almost 11 hours a day. And this is if she had no days off in a . 1 day off meant that she worked over 12 hours a day, and 2 days off meant she worked almost 15 hours a day.

    Maybe she just chose to work her ass off for most of her days, but I doubt one would have much time to enjoy the money they were earning so it makes me think that if this were legit, your work hours would be borderline slavery.

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