Obamacare

Lost in the Sprawl of Infinite Bureaucracy

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Highly illogical…

In the classic Star Trek episode "A Wolf in the Fold," a malevolent alien presence take's over the Enterprise's computer, wreaking havoc aboard the ship. Commander Spock eventually defeats the presence by commanding the computer to calculate pi to the final digit. Last week, the Congressional Research Service attempted what turned out to be a similarly endless task—estimating the number of new bureaucratic entities created by ObamaCare—and reported that it, too, could not compute. From Politico:

Don't bother trying to count up the number of agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law. Estimating the number is "impossible," a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count "unknowable."

…The law says a lot about some of them and a little about many, and merely mentions a few. Some have been authorized without any instructions on who is to appoint whom, when that might happen and who will pay.

Those agencies created without specific appointment or appropriations procedures will have to wait indefinitely for staff and funding before they can function, according to Copeland's report. And others could be just the opposite: One entity might not be enough and could spawn others, resulting in an "indeterminate number of new organizations."

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  1. This whole thing is turning out like a lottery scratcher… The more you scratch the more you lose.

  2. Are you out of your Vulcan mind?!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    1. I’m a doctor, not an accountant!

      1. In the classic Star Trek episode “A Wolf in the Fold”…

        Perhaps a different “classic” episode (wait, aren’t they all classics?) would be in order here, given the circumstances. I nominate “The Trouble With Tribbles.” What was it again that finally killed them? Would it work on Congressmen?

        1. Didn’t robot Santa Claus kill them?

          1. “Your mistletoe is no match for my TOW missile!”

            1. Ah, thus explaining the phrase “TOW the lion.”

              Did you know that TOW breaks down to “Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire data link, guided missile”? Generously, I read that as TOWDLGM.

              1. They told me, many years ago, it was Tube-launched, Optically-sighted, Wire-guided Missile. I never heard the “wire data link” phrase in association with TOWs before today.

                What’s really fun is when the wire breaks.

                1. TLOSWGM.

        2. “What was it again that finally killed them?”

          Tainted grain. Heavy on the taint.

          1. Maybe it was just a gluten allergy. Or perhaps an adverse reaction to GMOs.

            You know, I never thought about it before, but Enterprise showed us how the smooth-forehead Klingons came about as mutations, in consequence of genetic experimentation run amok. Was the “taint” in the quadro-triticale grain yet another manifestation of that propensity for dangerous genetic manipulation (though intentional, on that occasion)?

        3. Perhaps, but not in the form it killed the tribbles. Would quadrotriticale ferment into a good hefeweizen?

    2. Stop Vulcan around.

      1. Q: What does the Enterprise and toilet paper have in common?

        A: They both orbit around your anus looking for cling-ons!

        (Thank you to the singular wit of 6th grade)

        1. That’s Vulcan stupid.

          1. Oh, Borg off.

      2. Vulc-an
        Vol-ohk
        Vulcan, Volohk,
        The Volker

        (sung to “The Clapper” jingle…)

  3. And others could be just the opposite: One entity might not be enough and could spawn others, resulting in an “indeterminate number of new organizations.”

    I don’t know if he’s describing a growth of bureaucracy or a growth in a lymph node . . .

    . . . both of which are just as deadly.

  4. The needs of the many will weigh less than the needs of the bureaucracy or The Won.

  5. Time to break the magnetic containment field of the matter/anti-matter device in the belly of the beast.

  6. “could not computer”?

    How the devil did Radiohead get into the memory banks?

    Bones! Stimulants!

  7. …bitter dregs…

  8. Estimating the number is “impossible,” a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count “unknowable.”

    Then, with all due respect, this law is bullshit.

    1. Its not really a law. This along with the financial bill basically just wrote a blank check to the bureaucracy to do whatever thay want.

  9. The number of new bureaucratic entities? It’s an irrational number.

  10. Prediction: the federal government turns into a bunch of listless zombies as it tries to process this paradoxical bureaucracy which cannot exist in real time or space. Then a desparate posse led by Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer, Ozzie Guillen, and Carrot Top marches on Washington, decapitating every bureauzombie they see, as well as some unfortunate innocents. But then an Abramsesque plot twist appears, as Jan Brewer is herself discovered to be a zombie and starts pulling Sheriff Joe’s brain out through his nasal cavity with a stick and eating it like so much roasted marshmallow. The day is only saved when Ted Williams’ head resurrects and gnaws Brewer’s neck in half.

    1. Are you serious?

    2. If there are an infinite number of possible realities, then in at least one of them, Carrot Top is the savior of the world.

      1. I bet there’s a lot more realities where he destroys humanity.

        1. . . .and this is one of them.

  11. Commander Spock eventually defeats the presence by commanding the computer to calculate pi to the final digit.

    When faced with a similar threat, all Carl Kolchak had to do was to electrocute it.

  12. The only silver lining I can find with this is maybe insurance will get so expensive that people will stop using insurance, eat the $600-some federal tax they have to pay every year, and just pay their doctors directly with cash.

    1. That was their plan all along: To realize an extra $100-150B annually and let the free market muddle along as best it could to REALLY solve the problem under the regulatory regime. Then blame “market failure” for any problems down the road. Quite astute of you to notice that.

  13. You will be assimilated…

  14. Is the Enterprise Apple or PC?

    1. Cray

      Robert Cray…

    2. It’s Android, but they still have resistive touchscreens.

      1. …and as we all know, resistive is futile.

        1. Futility is resistant.

  15. He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

    1. My favorite grievance of the DoI, and one that tells me we’re way, way overdue.

  16. At the risk of being too picky, the Star Trek episode in question didn’t have the word “A” in it. The name is simply “Wolf in the Fold.” Yes, this IS indicative of way too much viewing of all 79 original Star Trek episodes as a child. 🙂

    1. Wait.

      It’s possible to view to much Star Trek?

    2. The phrase is Virgilian. I like saying it that way because it sounds like a Star Trek species.

  17. Wow! A Jeppson version of a Dalton E-6B flight computer…On the Enterprise, star-date whatever.
    Why would they put a *museum* on the Enterprise.
    The US Navy stopped requiring knowledge of astro-navigation with a sextant,time-piece and tables a couple of years ago.
    Wonder if the malevolent presence infected the Hewlett-Packard calculators.
    Oh wait…HP stopped making calculators 10 years ago…

    1. HP stopped making calculators 10 years ago…

      You can still get the 12C in an updated, faster version none-the-less. I sent them an email asking for a faster 11C or 15C, but no dice.

      I believe the 12C continues, BTW, because it is an approved device for some accounting licensure exam.

      1. Yeah, it stinks they only sell the financial version of that beauty.

        1. As much as I like my 11C, I don’t demand a rehash of the same device: it’s the form factor (and the feel of the buttons) that I crave.

          I own one of the spiffy graphing one. It is very cool but I loath the beast ’cause it is a pain to keep around. Instead I still carry my 11C around (and it’s 20 years old now), and note which of my colleagues have one, so I know which estate sales to attend in case mine dies…

          1. I caught a coworker with the financial one the other day… I was so jealous – even though I have no use for the thing. But yeah, the form factor was great and the RPN was a revelation to me about a thousand years ago in high school. Sad to see they eventually drifted away from that in favor of algebraic….

    2. You lie! The HP-12C is certainly still made, along with other HP calculators.

      1. Yeah, they still make them, but no new development is going to happen. They shut down the design shop years ago.

  18. “Commander Spock eventually defeats the presence by commanding the computer to calculate pi to the final digit.”

    In the new timeline, he’s too busy banging Uhura to save that asshole Kirk’s bacon every week anymore.

    1. That’s a good consolation prize when a jumped up cadet steals your command out from under you.

  19. The law says a lot about some of them and a little about many, and merely mentions a few. Some have been authorized without any instructions on who is to appoint whom, when that might happen and who will pay.

    [insert exclamation of surprise]

    1. To me, it sounds like a perfect opportunity for spoils-system patronage, in the best American tradition.

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