The administration’s effort to respond to the catastrophic rollout of the federal Obamacare exchange seems at this point to consist of having special teams of IT experts from inside and outside the government—in the president’s words, “the best and the brightest”—come in and help fix the healthcare.gov site. Even if you put aside the fact that the phrase “the best and the brightest” was popularized by the title of a David Halberstam book about how smart people can do stupid things (in that case, mismanage American foreign policy and march the nation into the Vietnam War), this idea seems very problematic. Anyone
The always excellent Michael Cannon of Cato has a post over at Forbes with advice for the free-market movement about what to do next in the fight against Obamacare. He suggests that, rather than fight among themselves about whether or not the Cruz-Lee strategy was good or bad, they should focus on the following four things: 1.Stop the Medicaid expansion in the states. 2.Get states, employers, and citizens to challenge the IRS’s illegal Obamacare taxes. 3.Educate states about how to block the IRS’s illegal taxes legislatively. 4.Urge House investigators to subpoena all materials related to the IRS’s illegal taxes. His whole piece is a must-read
Governor Chris Christie (R., N.J.) has decided not to appeal a ruling allowing same-sex marriage, and social conservatives aren’t happy about it. Bob Vander Plaats, an influential social-conservative leader in Iowa, tells National Review Online that the move doesn’t do any favors for Christie’s potential 2016 presidential run. “This would suit him a lot better if he were running as a Democrat,” he says, adding that while social conservatives “had some cautionary flags raised already,” the move is uniquely problematic for the governor. “This just adds more concern to those cautionary flags,” he says, “because not only is he backing away from
My article on the homepage today looks at the challenging prospects for immigration reform in the House of Representatives, in particular the desire among conservatives to forestall any efforts to proceed to a conference committee with the Senate and the Gang of Eight bill: With President Obama renewing his efforts to pressure House Republicans into passing immigration-reform legislation, opponents of the Gang of Eight bill hope to increase awareness about the potential pitfalls of going to a conference committee with the Senate and to pressure House leaders to refrain from doing so… Conservative opponents of the Gang of Eight bill have been
President Barack Obama has called French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH´ oh-LAWND´) and discussed France´s anger over reported aggressive surveillance tactics by the National Security Agency. The call comes after a French newspaper said the NSA swept up 70.3 million French phone records in a 30-day period. France has summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain and called the practice "totally unacceptable."
The impasse that shut down much of the federal government for 16 days has left Americans in the sort of throw-the-bums-out mood that presaged two recent tumultuous elections in which control of the House of Representatives shifted from one party to the other. In a nationwide USA TODAY/Princeton Survey Research Poll, just 4% of those surveyed — equal to the margin of error — say Congress would be changed for the worse if nearly every member was replaced next year. Nearly half say it would work better. About four in 10 say a wholesale overhaul wouldn´t make much difference.
recently had a small piece in the magazine where I made the point — now fairly commonplace — that Obama’s campaign was much better at running web operations than the Obama administration is. I wrote of Obama’s invocation of Apple’s “glitchy” roll out of the new iPhone: People have had a lot of fun with this low-gear spin. Apple doesn’t force you to pay a fine if you don’t buy an iPhone. If the late Steve Jobs had handled the rollout of its most important product in a generation this badly, he’d probably have been looking for a new job. The
President Barack Obama caught a pregnant woman who began to faint during his speech about healthcare reforms today, joking ´That´s what happens when I talk too long.´ Mr Obama reached out to help prospective Affordable Care Act beneficiary Karmel Allison who was standing directly behind him as he discussed the glitches of the new healthcare website in the Rose Garden of the White House. Around 25 minutes into the speech, Ms Allison became unsteady and started to lose consciousness and the President turned around and grabbed her by the arm before she fainted. Scroll down for video
The Mark Twain Prize, handed out each year in the Nation´s Capital, is generally a nonpartisan affair meant to toast the funniest people in pop culture, period. This year, both the honoree and a key presenter couldn´t resist the chance to get political during the ceremony. The night belonged to beloved sketch comedy star Carol Burnett, who used the debate over the recently ended government shutdown in her acceptance speech: This is very encouraging. I mean it was a long time in coming, but I understand because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington. With any luck,
SPARKS — 1:27 p.m. update: The Reno Gazette-Journal has confirmed Michael Landsberry, a math teacher at Sparks Middle School, was shot and killed this morning after a student opened fire, wounding two others and killing himself. His family said today the fact that Landsberry is being called a hero for trying to get the student shooter to put his gun down before being shot and killed is no surprise. (Snip) “He could have ducked and hid, but he didn’t. That’s not who he is.” Besides teaching eighth grade math, Michael Landsberry was also in the Nevada Army National Guard.
It’s past time for the media to begin asking President Obama tough questions about the IRS conservative targeting scandal. After all he was involved, publicly, from the beginning. Last Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I serve as Chief Counsel) filed its Second Amended Complaint against the United States, the IRS, and a legion of IRS officials. This Complaint, in which we represent 41 organizations in 22 states, presents perhaps the most complete story yet of the IRS conservative targeting scandal. And it is an ugly story indeed. What was sold to the American public as a low-level scandal perpetrated
So few insurers offer plans on some of the new government health insurance exchanges that consumers in those states may pay too much or face large rate increases later, insurance experts say. An average of eight insurers compete for business in 36 states that had exchanges run or supported by the federal government last month, the Department of Health and Human Services says. (Idaho has since started its own exchange.) But just because an insurer sells in a state, it doesn´t mean it sells in every area of a state so many residents have far fewer options. Many state-run exchanges also have far fewer than
Crossville - In the 1940’s and ‘50’s when situation comedy reigned on radio and then TV, William Bendix played Chester Riley, a father and husband who frequently created situations that turned out humorously badly for him, and his famous line was “What a revoltin’ development THIS is.” That line occurs to me frequently when I witness the awful outcomes of the political dark comedy in Washington. As I write this, we have a President who thinks he does not have to negotiate with Congress on significant budgetary matters; who has politicized the IRS to target and silence groups that he
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be among the most qualified presidents in years if she was elected in 2016. "If Hillary Clinton does run, she´ll be one of the best-prepared people -- and she will win, I believe, if she runs," said Pelosi, D-Calif., in an interview for ABC´s "This Week" broadcast Sunday. "She´ll be one of the best-prepared people to enter the White House in a long time. She´ll — she would be a great president." Pelosi didn´t mention Vice President Joe Biden, who also is believed to be seriously considering
President Obama went on national television Monday to address the "kinks" plaguing Healthcare.gov, reassuring consumers they could also sign up for Obamacare by calling a 1-800 number while the website is fixed. Journalists and political operatives mocked the president´s sales pitch on twitter.
In the latest sign of the evolving GOP civil war, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today slapped Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the leader of the anti-Obamacare faction, for talking about killing the health care system more than working to end it. At a media breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Thomas Donohue said that he would like to work with Cruz on issues, but conceded that he doesn’t know the Republican. When asked about indications that the business community would like the senator to “sit down and shut up,” Donohue said, “Well, that might be one thing
Federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say. (Snip) One major problem slowing repairs, people close to the program say, is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency in charge of the exchange, is responsible for making sure that the separately designed databases and pieces of
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) will retire after two terms in office to spend more time with his family, he tells The Hill. The decision opens up a Republican-leaning, competitive district and a coveted spot on the House Ways and Means Committee. "This is something my wife and I have been talking about for months," Griffin said. "We just couldn´t for sure commit to three years at this point given the ages of my kids." Griffin was elected to an open seat during the 2010 Republican wave election and easily won reelection last fall. He called serving in Congress "the honor of a lifetime" but says he
Budget cuts mean only two Army brigades are combat-ready, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday. Odierno made the admission at an Army conference, where he said thousands of soldiers might not be properly trained for deployment. “Right now, we have in the Army two brigades that are trained. That´s it. Two,” Odierno said at the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference. “The worst-case scenario is you ask me to deploy thousands of soldiers somewhere, and we have not properly trained them to go, because we simply don´t have the dollars and money
"The Affordable Care Act is not just a website," President Obama said at the Rose Garden today. "It´s much more." It´s like a chamois, it´s like a towel, it´s like a sponge. Another way of putting it is that ObamaCare isn´t just a technical failure. And it isn´t just an economically unsustainable scheme. Now it´s a rhetorical disaster too. Even by the standards of Obama speeches it was terrible. It was so bad, it was the ObamaCare website of political oratory. Fine, blame us. After all, we called for an Obama speech. But remember that what we called for--it was right there in the subheadline--was an
Despite his anger at President Obama, Glenn Beck has not exactly looked back fondly on the George W. Bush years. He’s slammed the last president as a “progressive” Republican, and repeated the same point on Monday responding to Jeb Bush‘s criticisms of Ted Cruz and the shutdown strategy. Beck suggested that after years of Bush progressivism being pushed on the public, maybe people should stop listening to them. Beck first tore into Bush’s argument for an alternative health care plan, calling it borderline “fascist” and saying the Republican establishment is no longer contending that the government shouldn’t be involved in health
As you may have heard, President Obama opted to do a speech from the Rose Garden rather than granting a one-on-one interview or holding a press conference to provide a State of the Affordable Care Act. Quite frankly, it was his only option. Because if even a High School journalist was given direct access to the President, or if one member of the White House Press Corps actually did his or her job—which they certainly did not during a press conference right out of an SNL skit 12 days ago—real questions that weren’t asked would certainly be asked now, including the following:
NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd dug into White House Press Sec. Jay Carney on Monday following President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden address where he discussed the problems associated with implementing the Affordable Care Act. Todd repeatedly asked Carney who “misled” Obama and what advisors “let him down” ahead of the implementation of the ACA. “Five days before the launch, the president said it’s a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health care plans the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak,” Todd recalled. “Who misled him?
Members of Congress must pay secret fees known as “party dues” to the Democratic and Republican parties to secure and maintain top committee chairmanships and assignments, newly uncovered internal documents reveal. (Snip) Senior congressional staffers say the committee price lists have long been rumored to exist but that few people on Capitol Hill have seen them, giving them an almost "mythical" quality. The book contains copies of the Democratic and Republican price lists detailing how much money lawmakers must raise to obtain and keep their seats on congressional committees.
The media are doing a good job covering the ObamaCare launch problems. But like their coverage of President Obama´s disastrous performance in his first presidential debate with Mitt Romney, there is a partisan motive at work here. The media want ObamaCare to succeed and believe that pounding away at the site problems will motivate the White House to get the site fixed. While the tech problems are real and worth covering, so are five other ObamaCare catastrophes. But the media won´t cover those because to do so might further undermine the program: 1. Millions are Losing Their Health Insurance