When Is Obama Going To Fire Somebody?

It is clear the President has been failed by those under him. So, when is someone going to pay the price?

Obama Sad Presser

Perhaps the most interesting part of yesterday’s press conference at which President Obama announced his “administrative fix” to the Affordable Care Act, came during this segment with CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett:

MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS: Thank you, Mr. President. You say, while the law was being debated, if you like your plan you can keep it. You said, after the law was implemented or signed, if you like your plan you can keep it. Americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over.

Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said that over and over when your own statistics published in the Federal Register alerted your policy staff — and, I presume, you — to the fact that millions of Americans would in fact probably fall into the very gap you’re trying to administratively fix now? That’s one question.

Second question. (Laughter.) You were informed or several people in this building were informed two weeks before the launch of the website that it was failing the most basic tests internally; and yet a decision was made to launch the website on October 1st. Did you, sir, make that test (sic)? And if so, did you regret that?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as — the way it was supposed to. Has I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.

So, clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website. Even a week into it, the thinking was that these were some glitches that would be fixed with patches, as opposed to some broader systemic problems that took much longer to fix and we’re still working on them.

So you know, that doesn’t excuse the fact that they just don’t work, but I think it’s fair to say, no, Major, we — we would not have rolled out something knowing very well that it wasn’t going to work the way it was supposed to, given all the scrutiny that we knew was going to be on — on the website.

There are a couple things that stand out here. The most obvious, of course, is the President’s assertion that he was never informed that there were potential problems with the website before it was scheduled to go live on October 1st. This is something that I take the President at his word for because, as he put it, it’s simply not conceivable that he would be going around up to two weeks prior to the roll out date talking about how easy the website was going to be to use if he had any real indication that there could be problems with the site. It’s the kind of a lie that would just be stupid on his part and, whatever one thinks about Barack Obama, he is clearly not a stupid man who would deliberately go talking up a potentially defective website while at the same time not making sure that his subordinates were doing everything they could to fix the potential problems that he was aware of. What that suggests, then, is that he really wasn’t aware that the Federal Exchange website was in danger of being a massive failure that would be politically damaging to his Administration.

So, that leaves us with a question. Namely, what exactly did the people responsible for this part of the program know prior to the October 1st roll out?

While evidence in this regard remains limited in that regard because both the Administration and the contractors responsible for building the site are remaining very tight lipped, there’s at least some evidence that there were indications that the site would not be ready by the October 1st deadline. Two weeks ago, for example, CNN reported that Administration officials did receive warnings from CGI, the main contractor responsible for building the site, that the Federal website was not ready to go live. There were also reports that last minute changes that were required by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Dept. of Health and Human Services office responsible for administering the PPACA, made the site less stable and that contractors complained that they were not being given sufficient time to conduct the kind of load testing that one would normally conduct on a website of this type prior to the roll out date. This week, we learned of emails from as early as July that expressed similar concerns that don’t seem to have been followed up on.  Obviously, if the website is a bust then a considerable amount of the blame for that rests on the shoulders of the contractors that were hired to do the job. However, those contractors act under the supervision of people appointed by the President, and ultimately the President himself. So, while we’re likely to see legal claims asserted by the Federal Government against CGI and the other contractors, the ultimate responsibility for this as a political matter rests with the President and his team.

To his credit, the President acknowledged this fact repeatedly during yesterday’s press conference, but that’s really only the beginning of solving his political problems. Clearly, the President has been failed by the people underneath him significantly. Either they were aware of potential problems with the website and they both didn’t tell him about it and the led him to believe that everything was going to work fine, their supervision of the project was so deficient that they had no idea that there were going to be problems, or they had no real idea how to properly supervise a project of this scope. Whichever one it is, it was a failure on their part. Ordinarily, when something like this happens in an Administration you start seeing heads roll, but there’s absolutely no indication of that happening in this case at this point. Instead, the Administration seems to be standing resolutely by people such as Marilyn Tavenner, the head of CMS, and Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health of Human Services. This despite the fact that either one of these people would logically be the person most directly responsible for what either was a case of not informing the President of things he clearly ought to have known, or one of the more incompetent cases of project management the Federal Government has seen in quite some time. Additionally, one can point some blame at people in the White House Staff who either weren’t keeping themselves well enough informed of the status of Healthcare.gov, or were similarly keeping the President in the dark about potential problems. In either case, we seems to be getting to the point where the only way the President is going to start righting the ship is if he starts reshuffling a staff that has quite clearly failed him.

So, when does that start?

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Health Care, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. edmondo says:

    He doesn’t have to fire anyone. The voters will take care of that in 2014.

    Now you know why the Democrats in Congress are in a panic.

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The only fireable offense in the Obama administration is embarrassing Obama. Incompetence or corruption or illegal conduct, no; embarrassing Obama, yes. That’s why so many whistle-blowers have been punished.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    I’m not sure that the Republican House can be fired.

  4. David M says:

    No one that requires confirmation will be fired, that is a given. Others maybe, but not those.

  5. John425 says:

    Apparently, in the Obama administration just saying, “I’m responsible” absolves anyone from actually being, like, you know, responsible.

  6. Geoff says:

    Since you’d need to fire someone fairly senior, I’d imagine that he would need to wait until the end of the immediate crisis. Firing senior leadership in the middle and replacing them midstream is likely to make things worse.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Who’s to be fired? The head of an agency whose successor will have to be confirmed by the Senate? Pray tell, who could survive that gauntlet? Obama could nominate Jim DeMint to head up the Department of Education and he would never get through the Senate because he was obviously a RINO.

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    It looks like the answer is nobody. Firing an official whose replacement would need Senate approval is out because they’d never get a replacement approved. Anybody else is protected by the Pendleton Act.

  9. bill says:

    the lack of accountability in this admin is staggering, every disaster is just swept under the rug like nothing happened and the sheep barely bleat- business as usual.
    maybe the upton amendment will relieve some pressure, may be too late for dems in office?

  10. walt moffett says:

    Just random speculation here, if someone were to “pursue other interests”, could their testimony before a House committee be blocked by invoking executive privilege?

    Otherwise agree with the notion in any major cock up, a head in the basket does make it look like you’re doing something. My preference would be though to find out what went wrong instead of who.

  11. Tyrell says:

    AHA: the worst debacle since the War of 1812.

  12. Tillman says:

    His inability to fire someone due to structural dysfunction allows his opponents to make him seem weak and incapable of the office.

  13. Lounsbury says:

    As an entrepreneur and a CEO, and not subject to USA politics (nor other than intellectually/abstractly concerned with this), the non-replacement of staff on this in the face of massive outside pile-on looks a lot like a typicl crisis sand bagging that one would even see in private sector. One suspects that, if we take Obama as CEO, he’s looking for either (a) an uptick so he can have a win and as an aside shed the problem staff or (b) the symbolic failure to the “internal constituency” (say the Left in his party), like not meeting some deadline that enables the sacrificial lamb. The dynamic of the decision making really looks quite understandable in this context (and not entirely different than say a private firm like a RIM, e.g. if one knows the internal management versus outsider pressure versus management own interests).

  14. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t know if people have noticed, but firing failed executives went out of fashion a long while ago. We replace very few generals, we tolerate manifestly incompetent CEOs, we retain incompetent teachers and, as we know, the US Congress is being run by a troop of Howler monkeys who are quite likely to keep their jobs.

    Something like a dozen book editors saw and passed on a little thing called Harry Potter. Passed on billions of dollars in an industry that thinks in millions at best. And how many were fired? None.

  15. Matt Parker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: If that were true, don’t you think Sebelius would have been fired? He seems pretty embarrassed now.

    He’s not firing anyone now because:
    1. need the warm bodies to fix the problems
    2. firing anyone requiring confirmation hearings would be a huge distraction.

    So, to quote Rumsfeld, he’s fighting w/ the tools he’s got.

  16. rudderpedals says:

    The last time heads rolled it was al Qaeda’s BFF detaching the wrong person’s brainbox from his neck. Take a deep breath. The frenzied reaction to a web site launch failure is sounding a lot like the immediate aftermath of Benghazi!!1!

  17. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    But, but, but, if President (The buck stops there) Obama fires someone, where would the buck
    stop ???

  18. Pinky says:

    I don’t know why you’re rushing right to “Obama isn’t stupid”. I’m not saying this as a partisan: I really don’t know why. Skip the academic credentials for a moment. We’ve all known bright people without them, and dumb people with them. Just look at his resume and his time in office. Where’s the evidence that lets us breeze past the “Obama is stupid” theory? He’s only done two exceptional things in his life, in 2008 and 2012, and those don’t reflect so much on his intelligence as on that of the voters. OK, that comment was partisan, but still, where’s the proof of his intelligence? Listen to him talk. Look at the rookie mistakes he’s making five years into the job. Look at his legislative record, his policy gaffes, anything! Convince me.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let’s see… who should have been fired?

    Eric Holder is the subject of Articles of Impeachment. Two of the counts are pretty much indisputable — perjury and contempt of Congress.

    Lois Lerner, late of the IRS, directed the illegal targeting of Tea Party groups and released highly confidential tax records of the National Organization for Marriage. She was suspended with pay, then allowed to retire.

    The ATF officials who oversaw Operation Fast & Furious were promoted and/or transferred; the only official who was punished over it was the guy who blew the whistle on the idiotic idea.

    On the other hand, Obama fired General McChrystal, along with several other top military officers, so we know he does know how to fire people, and is wiling to do it under certain circumstances…

  20. An Interested Party says:

    I’m just curious if Doug ever wrote a similar post about George W. Bush or any number of CEOs of companies that have performed disastrously in one way or another…

  21. Pinky says:

    @An Interested Party: If you’re genuinely curious about that, you can probably look it up. If you’re attempting to smear him as a hypocrite, though, you should at least get your ducks in a row. Otherwise, you’re just wondering aloud if he stopped beating his wife.

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: I’m just curious if Doug ever wrote a similar post about George W. Bush or any number of CEOs of companies that have performed disastrously in one way or another…

    Feel free to do your own homework. There’s a “search” function up in the top right, or you can dig through the archives. That’s what I used when I needed to find the article where Dr. Joyner talked about how George Zimmerman had chased down Travyon Martin “with gun drawn,” which had zero foundation in anything.

  23. wr says:

    @Pinky: “Convince me”

    He’s actually white.

    Now you can acknowledge that he’s not only smart, he’s a hell of a lot smarter than you.

  24. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Two of the counts are pretty much indisputable — perjury and contempt of Congress. ”

    Quick, find someone in this country who doesn’t hold this congress in contempt.

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: I have no problems believing that Obama’s smarter than you. Hell, Obama’s dog is smarter than you.

    But is Obama as intelligent as everyone claims he has? Really lacking in actual evidence.

    George W. Bush was an Air Force pilot who mastered a plane that had a reputation as a widow-maker. He had to master electronics, navigation, spacial dynamics, geography, math, and a slew of other skills to fly the F-102 successfully. That he not only survived his time in the cockpit, but never lost a plane shows that he had a certain amount of intelligence.

    Where is there a similar benchmark for Obama? How about some scholarly works from his days as a Constitutional law professor? Or when he was on the staff of the Harvard Law Review? Some challenging skill he mastered?

  26. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    Skip the academic credentials for a moment. We’ve all known bright people without them, and dumb people with them.

    No, you’ve never actually known dumb people who were editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review. That is, ipso facto, a job only available to exceptionally intelligent people. To people who are, in fact, considered to be exceptionally intelligent by their peers at Harvard Law School.

    Or, in simpler terms, you’re a moron.

  27. crysalis says:

    When is Obama going to fire somebody?

    Translated: “Who can I find to blame for this clusterf**k to hide the fact that I’m a brazen liar?”

  28. John425 says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Rafer Janders: @Rafer Janders:

    Why is there no body of work credited to him while at Harvard? I think it’s akin to Elizabeth Warren claiming to be a Cherokee. LOL!

  29. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    George Zimmerman

    Obviously just saying that name still gets you all hot and bothered…

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ Rafer Janders

    Obviously you have not heard that Obama is black. There is just no way he can be that smart…

  31. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    Odd to see how simply getting health care reform passed doesn’t show how silly your post is.

  32. Crystal says:

    Tony Trenkle, the CIO of CMS did resign. But we all know that people’s desire for accountability will only end with Sebelius. Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico summed it up perfectly. He can’t fire Sebelius because he can’t replace her:

    Not because President Barack Obama wouldn’t be able to find someone else to do the job, or that anyone’s too pleased with the launch of the Obamacare website. But the White House and Democrats on the Hill know a potential confirmation fight would be so torturous and difficult that they’re better off sticking with the Health and Human Services secretary they’ve got, despite all that’s gone wrong on her watch.

  33. Tillman says:

    @Pinky:

    but still, where’s the proof of his intelligence? Listen to him talk.

    …what about him talking makes him sound stupid? That he dithers and stutters occasionally? Or that he says stupid things?

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    This clown needs to be impeached. I can’t believe you people still defend him and blame republicans.

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: No, you’ve never actually known dumb people who were editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review. That is, ipso facto, a job only available to exceptionally intelligent people. To people who are, in fact, considered to be exceptionally intelligent by their peers at Harvard Law School.

    Circular logic: see logic, circular.

    So, just how does one demonstrate one’s intelligence in order to be selected as editor-in-chief? During one’s tenure? After one’s term of office?

    Obama’s got a sterling resume, but very little in terms of deeds. He’s so wonderfully talented and intelligent and wonderful, but what the hell did he do with that besides constantly advance himself? He’s written two books — about himself. he’s used every political office purely as a stepping stone to the next one, never actually doing much in any of them. His state-level career was aimed at getting him to DC, and once in DC he worked to get into the White House, never actually doing much in the job he currently held.

    Editor of Harvard Law Review? That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee. Plus, that was 20 years ago. What the hell did he do between that and the White House?

  36. Pinky says:

    @Tillman:

    …what about him talking makes him sound stupid? That he dithers and stutters occasionally? Or that he says stupid things?

    I’d hate to have to choose between those. He says completely unthoughtful things in a delivery that tries to be deliberative but comes off as stumbling. He sounds, in other words, like what a dumb person thinks a smart person sounds like. He’s like an essay written by a 14-year-old without the earnestness. Since 2004 I’ve been trying to figure out what people see in him, and I’ve still got nothing.

    To other commenters: Yes, a black emperor can have no clothes.

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Eric Holder is the subject of Articles of Impeachment. Two of the counts are pretty much indisputable — perjury and contempt of Congress.

    Yes, the subject of articles of impeachment drafted by a core group of malevolent Republican sociopaths.

  38. G.A.Phillips says:

    Yes, the subject of articles of impeachment drafted by a core group of malevolent Republican sociopaths.

    How the **** do you get this applied to the republicans and not the democrats or Obama ?

  39. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Yes, the subject of articles of impeachment drafted by a core group of malevolent Republican sociopaths.

    I can never remember the difference between ad hominem and poisoning the well. Which is this, or is it both?

  40. G.A.Phillips says:

    This one goes out to King O http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPhaqg3h1kg and all of his worshipers.

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Yes, the subject of articles of impeachment drafted by a core group of malevolent Republican sociopaths.

    Yeah, a group of malevolent psychopaths who, unlike you, realized that Holder had 1) defied a legal order from Congress and 2) lied under oath.

    But we’re in the age of Obama, where the law means whatever Obama decides what it means. Today, that is; who the hell knows what Obama will say the law means tomorrow.

  42. DrDaveT says:

    This isn’t rocket science. You find out who was the highest person in the chain who knew that the website wasn’t ready, but didn’t pass that information upward. You fire them. The one thing no executive can afford to ignore is hiding critical information.

    What probably happened is what always happens with big projects on public deadlines. A few weeks out, they figured they were probably screwed, but reasoned (correctly) that their expected payoff was higher if they hid that fact and hoped for a miracle than if they went to their bosses and told them that it wasn’t going to work on time. Two weeks out, when they knew it wasn’t going to work on time, it was too late to do anything about it — so hoping shifted to praying, and they continued as before.

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Pinky: I can never remember the difference between ad hominem and poisoning the well. Which is this, or is it both?

    With Al-Ameda, along with so many of the other commenters here, it’s called “Standard Operating Procedure.”

  44. G.A.Phillips says:

    With Al-Ameda, along with so many of the other commenters here, it’s called “Standard Operating Procedure.”

    Or all they ever got.

  45. Pinky says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Stop talking about the actual charges. A-A said that that the House Republicans are evil. That should be the end of the conversation.

  46. JKB says:

    It’s hard to fire your co-conspirators, they can turn state’s evidence. Even if that evidence is only given in the public domain, say those burgeoning tell alls we’ll start seeing.

  47. David M says:

    @al-Ameda:

    malevolent Republican sociopaths.

    Seems like a relatively charitable description, given the makeup of the group attempting the impeachment (publicity) stunt.

  48. beth says:

    Wow, this place is turning into Red State. What a shame – there used to be intelligent conversation on this site.

  49. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Tell you what, loser. Why don’t you apply for the job of president of the Harvard Law Review and go fly a jet (or at least get Daddy to pressure the brass to mark down that you’ve flown the jet when you’re off base getting blasted), and then you can tell us which is harder.

    Oh, wait. That would require you to accomplish something in your life besides skipping out on a hospital bill.Silly me.

  50. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Editor of Harvard Law Review? That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.”

    Actually, it will get you a position as a clerk to a supreme court justice or a high paying job at one of the nation’s premiere law firms.

    It’s adorable how you are so desperate to deny accomplishments you could never dream of. But then, since the day you started posting as Jenos you’ve consistently displayed a loathing for people who actually accomplished something with their lives. Wonder why that is.

  51. Pinky says:

    @beth: Beth – I’ve never been to Red State, so I don’t know what it’s like. Is your problem that we’re becoming too rightward, too argumentative, or just plain dumb?

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Editor of Harvard Law Review? That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

    Actually, it will get you a six figure starting salary at one of the best law firms in the country and a fast track to a partnership.

    Your success envy is showing, as well as your lack of understanding of the wider world that exists beyond your rather limited horizons.

  53. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: I can see where you’re coming from, but I think your standard of sounding smart is higher than the general expectation. You should also consider that our last president didn’t set the bar high in terms of sounding smart. In fact, that’s probably half the reason people consider Obama smart.

    We have to realize that the image this administration has attempted to project since before Day 1, back when he was a president-elect in 2008, has been of competency and intelligence. You add up everything they’ve done since then and they’re falling short. How short they come up is a partisan matter, but I don’t think anyone has [too many] illusions about it.

  54. Tillman says:

    @beth: It only turns into a slugfest when Jenos and Clavin and wr start baiting each other. Over and over and over and over. It’s like, Jesus, you guys realize it annoys everyone else, right? Or, worse, it appeals to the dumb tribal part of our brains instead of the reasonable part.

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Actually, it will get you a six figure starting salary at one of the best law firms in the country and a fast track to a partnership.

    At which point, you goddamned better start producing. But Obama didn’t do that; he went into a series of positions where he’d never have to actually produce anything, achieve anything, do anything of any substance. A Constitutional Law lecturer who never wrote a single scholarly paper. A “Community Organizer” — fancy term for “rabble rouser.” A legislator who voted “present” on almost every single bill of substance.

    I’m not saying that he’s not intelligent, that he’s not capable of doing things of substance. I’m just saying that the evidence that he is and he can is seriously lacking.

  56. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Odd that you left President who helped finally pass health care reform off the list. An achievement made all the more impressive by the Republicans deranged opposition.

  57. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The term “reform” implies “improvement,” and that remains to be seen. And I was also talking about the time before he became president.

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    With Al-Ameda, along with so many of the other commenters here, it’s called “Standard Operating Procedure.”

    Actually, it’s called recognizing those Republican legislators for the malevolent slime that they are.

  59. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The parts the GOP hasn’t been able to sabotage are working perfectly, but the parts that they’ve obstructed will still end up being an improvement in the long run.

    It’s sad the GOP cares so little about access to health care in the states they control.

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Stop talking about the actual charges. A-A said that that the House Republicans are evil. That should be the end of the conversation.

    I believe that I referred to:

    a core group of malevolent Republican sociopaths

    I did not say that all House Republicans are evil. I think that ends the conversation on a positive note, don’t you?

  61. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    At which point, you goddamned better start producing.

    In other words, you claim that being the editor of the Harvard Law Review is worthless is patent BS, and even you, dim bulb that you are, knows it.

    I think enough time has been wasted on you today.

  62. Pinky says:

    @Tillman:

    How short they come up is a partisan matter, but I don’t think anyone has [too many] illusions about it.

    Are you saying that people don’t have [too many] illusions that Barack Obama is intelligent? (Forgive me if I read that wrong.) There are people on this thread, people in the press corps, people across the country who think he’s the smartest president we’ve ever had. And I mean, really. The man has no intellectual curiosity. Clinton loved policy. He couldn’t get enough of it. Still can’t. Bush I knew foreign policy backward and forward, at a playing level the rest of us couldn’t understand. Reagan, who beat Bill Buckley in a debate about the Panama Canal Treaty, was every bit as intellectually vibrant as Clinton, and Carter was an Annapolis grad and nuclear engineer. Obama is at best the fourth smartest president out of the most recent six.

  63. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda: What you did, twice, was post a non-sequitur attack on House Republicans. First, in comment #3, as if the problem with the heatlh care webside is their fault; second, in comment # whatever, in an apparent deflection from the charges against Holder. If you want to argue that the charges aren’t fair, or that the House Republicans are to blame for the website, please do. Give Beth the quality conversation she desires. But if you take cheap shots, don’t expect us to pretend we don’t notice.

  64. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    There are people on this thread, people in the press corps, people across the country who think he’s the smartest president we’ve ever had. And I mean, really.

    I have never met a single Democrat, and I know a lot of them, who thinks Obama is smarter than Bill Clinton. Please start making up better nonsense.

    BTW, I think Reagan was smarter than he is given credit for, and he obviously had great political talent. but to compare his intellect to Clinton’s is a joke. No wonder you are gravitating towards Jenos.

  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The parts the GOP hasn’t been able to sabotage are working perfectly, but the parts that they’ve obstructed will still end up being an improvement in the long run.

    Please define “sabotage” as you mean it in this context, and provide examples. ‘Cuz so far it’s all hysterical whining.

  66. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, in brief, apart from one line on his resume, you can’t show Obama’s much-vaunted intelligence? That one mention is all you need? And he gets to coast on that for the rest of his life?

    Christ, you’re shallow and gullible. But that’s been apparent for some time.

  67. Pinky says:

    @David M:

    Odd to see how simply getting health care reform passed doesn’t show how silly your post is.

    Getting 60 Democrats to vote for a health care bill they wrote?

  68. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Please define “sabotage” as you mean it in this context

    Since you clearly showed just a few days ago that you don’t know what the word “sabotoge” means, I think you are in a poor position to demand definitions from others. Educate yourself on the topic, and get back to us.

  69. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Refusing the Medicaid expansion
    Refusing to implement state based exchanges
    Refusing to aggressively regulate insurers on the exchange
    Hindering program outreach

    All deliberate steps by the GOP to sabotage a health care reform for political reasons

  70. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    So, in brief, apart from one line on his resume, you can’t show Obama’s much-vaunted intelligence? That one mention is all you need?

    Well, he defeated Hillary Clinton, who had advantages over him that ran into orders of magnitude, for the the 2008 Democratic nomination. He proceeded to crush John McCain, who enjoyed similar advantages, in the general.

    Then he bitch slapped Mitt Romney, the supposedly brilliant executive and manager – a guy who once saved a drowning man – in the 2012 election.

    Seriously – try to craft an argument that can’t be popped as easily as a soap bubble. People will start to think you are shallow and gullible 🙂

  71. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Let’s look at those moves:

    1) The states were given the choice of accepting or rejecting those. They exercised their right to choose.

    2) Again, the law gave the states the option to do so or not. Some chose not to.

    3) The insurers on the exchanges are already tightly regulated. Hell, they even have to spend a certain percentage of all premiums on health care, Sounds like they are being regulated already.

    4) “Hindering program outreach?” You mean, like hiring “navigators” who will be entrusted with highly personal information and are subjected to NO background checks? We’re already seeing how that’s working out. You sure you wanna endorse that?

    What you’re whining about is that opponents of Obamacare — who have always been open and honest about their opposition — didn’t roll over and play dead once your side declared victory. “Sabotage” would involve things like putting poison pills in the legislation, promising to support things and then refusing to do so, encouraging people within Obamacare to work against it, and so on.

  72. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Nothing you said changes the fact the GOP has been trying to both sabotage the law and criticize the law for the results of their own actions.

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Oh, so now it’s “sabotage and criticize?” Nice walkback. So we’re not allowed to criticize laws now?

    You gave examples of “sabotage,” and not one of them stood up. No wonder you’re backpedaling.

  74. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s a deliberate campaign to sabotage the law and criticize the parts that were directly affected by the sabotage. They are complaining about problems they intentionally tried to create.

  75. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: So… the term “sabotage” means whatever you say it means, like how “the law” means whatever Obama wants it to mean.

    If we can’t agree on the definitions of words, then we can’t have a discussion. And when you choose to make up your own definitions for terms, then you aren’t interested in having a discussion.

    But just to make a point… would you consider this an act of “sabotage?” A lot of Democrats voted for the war in Iraq, then turned around and did all they could to undo that vote. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were two of the most prominent.

  76. David M says:

    The lack of problems in the states where the GOP was unable to sabotage the implementation is a pretty solid indicator that the problems were due to the GOP not the law itself.

  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Say, isn’t it about time for Obama to “pivot to the economy” again? Or find another foreign crisis?

  78. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: You mean, the states where they chose to implement the exchanges, and not the states where they chose to not implement the exchanges? Both choices presented in the Obamacare law?

  79. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes. They made a decision to not implement the state exchanges to try and sabotage Obamacare. This has been obvious for a long time, it’s just unfortunate it worked for a while.

  80. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos – just the other day you insisted that “sabotage” was a strictly covert activity, which of course is wrong. Are you now saying that you have actually looked the word up and you think you understand what it means?

  81. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Give Beth the quality conversation she desires.

    Your concern for Beth is duly noted.

  82. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Fine, you agree with the use, then you give the definition. I’ve always understood it to have an element of covertness and/or betrayal, and neither aspect applies here.

    Of course, we could always settle it the Star Trek way, and get the quote from Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country:

    Four-hundred years ago, on the planet Earth, workers who felt their livelihood threatened by automation, flung their wooden shoes, called sabots, into the machines to stop them . . . hence the word: sabotage.

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  86. anjin-san says:

    1sab·o·tage noun \ˈsa-bə-ˌtäzh\
    : the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage

  87. David M says:

    @anjin-san:

    They have to pretend that GOP hasn’t sabotaged the implementation so they can keep criticizing Obamacare.

    Remember the GOP won’t stop talking about how the federal government should be smaller and things are better handled by at the state or local levels. Yet when they had the chance to run state-based exchanges, they threw their “beliefs” out the window in a misguided attempt to stop Obamacare. There’s no other reasonable explanation as to why people who hate the federal government’s involvement in health care would decide as a group to have the feds run the exchanges.

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly

    (southern drawl)Well, right there’s yer problem… Obamacare don’t need anything to help it not work, it’s done busted all on its own.(/drawl)

    Still, a strong word when the biggest examples cited are “certain groups were presented with choices under the law, and exercised one choice over another.”

  89. fred says:

    The only people who nee firing are the 39 blue dog democrats who undermined the ACA and voted with GOP this week. Everyone of them should be primaried and DNCC better take action on that front. Just like the first Romney debate, Pres Obama’s display at the news conference this week was pathetic and disappointing. He needs to show more grit and fight for Americans. His apology was to aid insurance companies and not help most Americans with junk insurance coverage get better coverage. Remember GOP plan is to give health care vouchers with lifetime limits to Americans. Most Americans and News Info Marketplace have really short memories. Pres Obama needs to get his mojo back.

  90. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    You need to improve your coding skills. For you, heavy use of the (humor fail) tag is indicted.

  91. Mikey says:

    @David M: I’m generally in agreement with you on the GOP’s aims, but I think you’re missing the mark a bit with this assertion. States were given the option in the law to implement their own exchanges or use the Federal exchange. The Federal government should have assumed, for the sake of capacity and readiness, that all 50 states would use the Federal exchange. That was unlikely, of course, but they should have worked from that assumption. That they weren’t ready for 30 states to use it isn’t the GOP’s fault, and it is certainly not “sabotage.”

    Now, if it is found out the GOP worked within the Federal government to hinder the ability to handle the number of states that chose to use the Federal exchange, that would certainly qualify as sabotage. But simply exercising the choice made available in the legislation is not.

  92. anjin-san says:

    @ Mikey

    GOP members of Congress are refusing to provide constituant services for Obamacare. Does that qualify as “sabotage”? It’s pretty clearly a fail to carry out their obligations to the people in their districts.

  93. David M says:

    @Mikey:

    Does refusing to allocate more funds when the size of the federal exchange increased count?

  94. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san: Failing to comply with the law like that makes their hue and cry about the administration’s actions pretty hypocritical, doesn’t it?

  95. Mikey says:

    @David M: Now that’s something that would hinder the ability of Fed Gov to operate the exchange, so I’d say it would. But at the same time, it’s within the House’s legal authority to allocate the funding.

    Another thing that is technically legal but seems aimed at making implementation as painful as possible is the individual GOP-run states declining to expand Medicaid. I know that requirement was stricken by SCOTUS, but not expanding Medicaid creates a big hole into which a lot of the working poor will fall if they have to buy insurance through the exchanges.

  96. David M says:

    @Mikey:

    I’m not claiming the GOP is doing anything illegal or outside the law when I say they are sabotaging it, just pointing out that they are complaining about problems they caused or are equally responsible for.

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: GOP members of Congress are refusing to provide constituant services for Obamacare. Does that qualify as “sabotage”?

    That’s up to their constituents to decide. But I’m finding that hard to believe — constituent service is one of the biggest things Congresscritters do, because it’s usually cheap and easy and gets solid results for elections. I seriously doubt that any member of Congress, when their office gets a call from a constituent who is having trouble with Obamacare, wouldn’t have a staffer at least look into it for them.

  98. Mikey says:

    @David M: Ah, I see. My misunderstanding.

  99. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    But I’m finding that hard to believe

    Of course you are. It makes the GOP look bad. Things that make Obama look bad on the other hand, you take as gospel, regardless of the source.

  100. anjin-san says:

    GOP to constituents: Questions on ObamaCare? Call Obama

    Republican lawmakers say they anticipate a flood of questions in the coming months from constituents on the implementation of ObamaCare, which will pose a dilemma for the GOP.

    People regularly call their representatives for help with Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Yet, Republicans believe healthcare reform spells doom for the federal budget, private businesses and the U.S. healthcare system. They’re also enormously frustrated that the law has persevered through two elections and a Supreme Court challenge and believe a botched implementation could help build momentum for the repeal movement.

    Some Republicans indicated to The Hill they will not assist constituents in navigating the law and obtaining benefits. Others said they would tell people to call the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    “Given that we come from Kansas, it’s much easier to say, ‘Call your former governor,'” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R), referring to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    “You say, ‘She’s the one. She’s responsible. She was your governor, elected twice, and now you reelected the president, but he picked her.'” Huelskamp said.

    “We know how to forward a phone call,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

    “I have two dedicated staff who deal with nothing, but ObamaCare and immigration problems,” he added. “I’m sure there will be an uptick in that, but all we can do is pass them back to the Obama administration. The ball’s in their court. They’re responsible for it.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/153566-gop-constituents-questions-obamacare-call-obama

  101. G.A.Phillips says:

    Wow, this place is turning into Red State. What a shame – there used to be intelligent conversation on this site.

    LOLZZZ!!!!!!

  102. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: That is both truly disappointing and very short-sighted.

  103. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    That is both truly disappointing and very short-sighted.

    Yes. In other words, business as usual for today’s GOP. Ideology isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

  104. David M says:

    How we got Obamacare to work

    Odd. Somehow something that the GOP says can never work is working. Not only that, but it is working better where the GOP wasn’t able to undermine the implementation.

    I wonder what lesson we should be taking from that?