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You know things are bad for the Obama Administration when even comedians are mocking its failures.
Click Here to watch the skit in its entirety. Trust us, it's well worth your time!
The HealthCare.gov disaster puts a clearer focus on the biggest problem within the Obama Administration: Complete and utter incompetence.
As Fred Barnes writes in National Review, that incompetence is setting the President up for three long years of playing defense on his signature legislative "achievement:"
President Obama is facing the abyss. It’s that moment when a president’s plans are overwhelmed by his problems, and he’s relegated to playing defense for the rest of his White House term. Obama’s agenda already lingers near death. His poll numbers have slipped to new lows. His speeches are full of alibis and accusations.
Obama hasn’t reached the point of no return, but he’s close. His biggest problem is the collapse of Obamacare on its launching pad as the entire country watched. And there’s worse trouble ahead. More likely than not, Obamacare will be the dominant issue in the final three-plus years of his presidency. From that, there’s no recovery.
There is, actually--especially with a compliant media that has for the past five years bent over backwards to help push Obama's agenda--but it's unlikely that the president will be able to competently pivot toward, say, immigration reform or any other grand liberal utopian plan that he laid out in his second inaugural address.
For this, the president has only himself to blame. During the government shutdown, his steadfast refusal to negotiate with Republicans has doomed his bipartisan immigration push and made it supremely unlikely that even the most liberal of Republicans will sign on to any of his future proposals.
One by one, media outlets are dropping their support for Obamacare. No, no one thinks that they’re actually doing straight, unbiased reporting on President Obama or his policies now, but at least they’re starting to report on at least one failure—the utter disaster that is HealthCare.gov.
The site’s failures are, quite simply, too big to ignore. But then again, we thought so was the IRS actively persecuting President Obama’s political enemies…but the press has all but dropped that story. And we thought the same thing about the Benghazi investigation, but more than a year later, the only reporter who has ever done any digging on the story, CBS’s Sharyl Atkisson has had her computer bugged by the Justice Department—yet another Obama administration scandal that the media has unceremoniously dropped.
But the failures of HealthCare.gov are simply something that they can’t sweep under the rug, because they affect so many people. And the tone of coverage has in the last two weeks turned from an understanding that these are, as the Administration claims, minor glitches, to a full realization that there is something so fundamentally wrong with the website that even CNN suggested last week that the government should simply start from scratch—scrap the site and build it from the ground up all over again.
As odd as it may sound, however, the media turning on the Obamacare site is actually good news for Obama and his administration, because with the focus on technical issues, the blame can be shifted away from the government to the private contractors who actually built the site.
On the Sunday talk shows, the talking points sent out to Democrats were evident—that they need to hold those who built the site accountable. That should be read as “the private sector.” The blame is on the contractors and not the government, because the government has to be seen as the savior.
That’s the real reason that this tone has changed, because the anger in the mainstream media isn’t going to be focused on Kathleen Sebelius or Barack Obama or anyone else in government, it’s going to be focused on the private sector for its perceived failures in setting up a website this big.
Never mind that Facebook and Twitter and Google and countless other sites can handle many times HealthCare.gov’s traffic every day, the blame is being shifted to the private sector as being wholly unable to handle the law.
And the Obama Administration is setting itself up to turn lemons into lemonade, as it prepares to make the argument that since the private sector has supposedly failed so mightily in building the site, the government needs to step in and save the day and save the law with another step toward a single payer system.
Consider this story on FoxNews.com:
The federal government's online portal to buy health insurance suffered another glitch Sunday when the data services hub, a conduit for verifying the personal information of people applying for benefits under the law, went down in a failure that was blamed on an outside contractor.
"Today, Terremark had a network failure that is impacting a number of their clients, including healthcare.gov," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement Sunday evening. "[Health and Human Services] Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius spoke with the CEO of Verizon this afternoon to discuss the situation and they committed to fixing the problem as soon as possible."
Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, of which Terremark is a part, told the Associated Press: "Our engineers have been working with HHS and other technology companies to identify and address the root cause of the issue. It will fixed as quickly as possible."
Joanne Peters blamed Telemark and providing a government-centered solution. The government needs to fix the private sector’s failures. Never mind that it’s calling in Verizon to help. This is being set up as a government solution.
Because for the left, government is the only solution. No matter how many times the government fails, the government needs to come in and fix things. It’s the narrative that has been spun for decades now and it’s the same one that’s starting to form now.
But the problem with this is that every now and again, the mainstream media is starting to let stories like these leak.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don't like what they see.
These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.
Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation.
That is the real problem with the Affordable Care Act. It simply isn’t affordable. Sure, the website is a disaster, but that disaster isn’t allowing many people to see just how much their rates will rise.
Once they do, younger, healthier adults who don’t qualify for any subsidies are going to be far more likely to simply opt out, pay the fine, and go without coverage…just as they have been before the law’s implementation.
That’s a major problem, because in the insurance business, the lower risk customers—the younger, healthy ones—subsidize the higher risk, older, less healthy customers who are more likely to have costly claims.
When there aren’t enough healthy customers to subsidize the unhealthy ones, the law will simply collapse under its own weight.
But there’s where another liberal government solution will come into play. When the costs start skyrocketing, Democrats will ratchet up their calls to get the greedy private insurance companies out of the marketplace altogether and convert to a single payer system which will be paid for by, you guessed it, higher taxes on the rich.
This is Liberalism101: Create a massive entitlement program, get people addicted to it, then ramp up the funding by increasing taxes on the wealthy while at the same time demonizing anyone who criticizes this model as “only caring for the wealthy.”
Mark my words; this is the narrative that will develop, and we’re already seeing the opening arguments.
An MSNBC host and a liberal congressman seem to have forgotten the Democratic Party's long history with the Ku Klux Klan. WISN's Dan O'Donnell gives them a history lesson.
On Wednesday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes ripped on Republican senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio—generally par for the course for Hayes, but what was conspicuous about that segment was that he used a graphic of the three senators’ heads as playing cards, the kings, which spelled out on the screen KKK.
That’s led to some questioning whether Hayes was actually trying to subliminally link Cruz, Paul, and Rubio’s opposition to President Obama to the racism of the Ku Klux Klan.
I’d be more willing to give Hayes the benefit of the doubt and say the graphic was just a coincidence if the day before, liberal Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida didn’t write a fundraising email featuring a picture of a burning cross as the “t” in the word Tea Party.
These sorts of comparisons are unfortunately as common as they are inaccurate.
The KKK was founded in Tennessee immediately after the end of the Civil War as a sort of social club for former Confederate Soldiers whose influence quickly spread through the decimated Southern states. As Columbia professor Eric Foner wrote in his A Short History of Reconstruction, in its early days, the group was loosely bound by one main principle: launching a reign of terror against Republican leaders black and white.
Racism was, of course, a guiding principle, but not quite as guiding as the hatred of the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, the Yankees who early Klansmen believed destroyed their homeland through what they termed a “war of northern aggression.”
The Republican Party had been founded in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin just 12 years earlier, and Lincoln was its first president. The Klan saw both as just as big a menace as the newly freed slaves. Less than a year after Lincoln’s assassination, the Klan’s anti-Republican ideology spread rapidly.
As Dr. Foner wrote:
In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy. It aimed to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.
In 1868, the Klan elected its first Grand Wizard, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. Decades later, his grandson wrote in the September 1928 issue of the Klan’s Kourier Magazine:
I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father … never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was …the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days…. My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat…. My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.
Under the elder Forrest, the Klan’s violence grew almost uncontrollable. PBS’ American Experience reports:
In the time leading up to the 1868 presidential election, the Klan's activities picked up in speed and brutality. The election, which pitted Republican Ulysses S. Grant against Democrat Horatio Seymour, was crucial. Republicans would continue programs that prevented Southern whites from gaining political control in their states. Klan members knew that given the chance, the blacks in their communities would vote Republican.
Across the South, the Klan and other terrorist groups used brutal violence to intimidate Republican voters. In Kansas, over 2,000 murders were committed in connection with the election. In Georgia, the number of threats and beatings was even higher. And in Louisiana, 1000 blacks were killed as the election neared. In those three states, Democrats won decisive victories at the polls.
Democrats. Not Republicans, not Tea Partiers. Democrats.
It seems Chris Hayes and Alan Grayson and anyone else confused about the nature of the KKK’s political affiliation simply doesn’t know their history.
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over the failure of the HealthCare.gov website. Politco reports:
“Your continued silence on these important inquiries after refusing to testify raises serious questions about the administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability,” Ryan wrote in a Tuesday letter to Sebelius that was obtained by Politico ahead of scheduled release on Wednesday.
Ryan plans to release a series of letters, going back to Aug. 15, that he says shows a pattern of refusal to testify in front of the House Budget Committee on the health law. Ryan, who strongly opposes Obamacare and says Sebelius should resign over the HealthCare.gov problems, says he wants to know the costs of the recently announced “tech surge” to repair the site. He’s also interested in the cost and management of the federal tax subsidies.
Seeing as Sebelius didn't resign last year after obvious violations of the Hatch Act, we would think it unlikely that she resign now.
Still, it's good to see Congressman Ryan taking a bold, principled stand following several months of campaigning for amnesty.
An interesting admission from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as the Washington Post reports today:
Private contractors in charge of the new federal health-insurance Web site told a House committee Thursday that they did not have enough time to thoroughly test the system before its problem-riddled rollout early this month.
Executives of two of the four companies represented at the hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they needed “months” to conduct the testing, rather than the two weeks or less they were given before the Oct. 1 launch.
This is yet more reason to believe that Republicans were right all along in calling for a delay in the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
Even the people responsible for creating the site have essentially admitted that it shouldn't have been launched on October 1st.
A piece on CNN Money is calling for the Obamacare website to be scrapped entirely and wholly rebuilt:
Experts say the major problems with the Obamacare website can't reasonably be solved before the end of 2013, and the best fix would be to start over from scratch.
After assessing the website, Dave Kennedy, the CEO of information-security company Trusted Sec, estimates that about 20% of Healthcare.gov needs to be rewritten. With a whopping 500 million lines of code, according to a recent New York Times report, Kennedy believes fixing the site would probably take six months to a year.
Wait a minute...CNN is now saying that the implementation of Obamacare needs to be delayed by up to a year so that it can be fixed?
Wasn't there a whole political party who has been saying this for a while now?
Remember how Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Ron Kind famously said they wouldn't accept their salaries during the 16-day government shutdown? Well, forget about that. WTAQ Radio reports today:
Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin says she'll pocket the $7,600 she's entitled to receive for the 16 days of the shutdown.
A spokesman for House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse says federal employees are being paid retroactively for their time off from work -- and Kind will accept the money as well. Spokesman Peter Knudsen tells WAOW-TV in Wausau Kind did not support shutting down the government, "unlike some of his colleagues in Congress."
Well thank you for clearing that up, Congressman. That makes it far less hypocritical and dishonest.
A new study from the MacIver Institute demonstrates that you really, really shouldn't choose that platinum plan!
A MacIver Institute analysis of this data found the most expensive plan on the Obamacare exchange in Wisconsin is a platinum plan for a family of four with a monthly premium of $1,852.10. On the other extreme, the cheapest plan available is a catastrophic plan for a 27 year-old individual with a premium of $109.29.
The average healthcare premiums on the Obamacare exchange in the Badger State will cost $184 to $1,430 per month depending on the plan according to the analysis by the MacIver Institute.
Families will face the highest premiums on the Obamacare exchange. The lowest average premium available for a family of four - two 30 year-old adults and two children - is $621.07 for a catastrophic plan. A platinum plan for a family will have an average monthly premium $1,429.54, while a mid-level silver plan will have a $924.92 average monthly premium.
There is a silver lining, however. HealthCare.gov makes it impossible for a family to sign up for any of these plans!