'Best and brightest' coming to fix ObamaCare website? Uh oh.

Several years ago when I was teaching a profile-writing class at the University of Chicago, nearly all of my students look puzzled at my mention of the Pentagon Papers case of 1971.

Granted, it occurred before any of them were born.

I remembered that classroom experience when reading Monday of the urgent posting at the Department of Health and Human Services' website Sunday promising that would get better and that HHS (and presumably the president) are calling on “the best and the brightest” to get to work on quickly fixing the glitches and getting the website running smoothly.

Good luck with that. Monday's New York Times paraphrases “one specialist['s]” conclusion that “…as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.”


Obama wakes up

Apparently, a teleprompter somewhere alerted our 44th-least-engaged president that a crisis/opportunity was presenting itself and it was time for him to look up from the 16th tee and act presidential.

What other explanation could there be for President Obama’s sudden focus on the looming government slowdown?

The nation’s chief executive, who has not held a single meeting with Republicans on the 2014 budget over the past couple of weeks, is only marginally more culpable than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who admitted that he hadn’t talked to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) once over the issue just a few short days ago.

Now, everyone is supposed to be impressed by Obama’s statement urging a short-term continuing resolution be passed to fund the government with a promise that issues will be negotiated in the future.


Ignoring ObamaCare opportunity

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous quote, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before,” has never been more relevant than it is today when discussing ObamaCare.

House Republican leadership effectively gave up the fight to stop the law when their 2012 election plan failed, leaving them stuck with another four years of President Obama and two more of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The mantra has turned to the almost whiny complaint that they only control one House and it is unfair to push them to do anything given their woeful position. If only the voters had voted for Mitt Romney and a gaggle of Republican Senate candidates, it could be all different, but they didn’t so the people will just have to live with ObamaCare.

It almost makes you wonder why this crew fought to lead the House Republicans again if they were just going to pout and take their marbles home.


As Big Labor disowns ObamaCare, will Republicans own it?

While Congress was out on recess this August, the 40,000-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) quit the AFL-CIO over the group's acquiescence to President Obama over the perversely named Affordable Care Act (ACA), firing the first shot in the debate over what to do when the law inevitably collapses.


Obama to postpone onset of all diseases

White House sources tell me that after postponing the limit on out-of-pocket expenses under ObamaCare, the president will soon announce he is postponing the onset of all diseases. This will save taxpayers considerable amounts of money. 

If people do not get sick, out-of-pocket expenses will not matter, and profits for insurers, which are way up after ObamaCare, will rise even higher.


Defund ObamaCare: 20 million under and unemployed deserve hope

The headline writers and political spinners will celebrate an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, even though they know this does not reflect the millions of people who have simply dropped out of the economy since President Obama took office.

What they aren’t likely to tell you is that the percentage of Americans participating in the workforce has dropped to its lowest point since 1981.

You aren’t likely to hear that more than 11.5 million Americans who want a job cannot find one or that 8.2 million Americans are counted as employed in spite of being trapped and struggling in part-time jobs when they want a rewarding full-time job.

It is even more likely that you will never learn that in July the number of people who could have been in the workforce rose by 204,000 but the civilian labor force actually declined by 37,000 people.

All you are likely to hear are the hallelujah chorus singing the praises of an unemployment rate that dropped.


ObamaCare delay may hurt both parties


It is hard to see the Obama administration's concession on an employer mandate for the Affordable Care Act as anything other than a) a political panic attack or b) an acknowledgement of failure. 

This "delay" in implementation would never have happened if the administration believed the fragile economic recovery could absorb the blow of businesses cutting back hiring, salaries and hours to comply with ObamaCare — or that Democrats could defend it in the midterm elections next year.

The irony is, and politics is a magnet for irony, both parties could suffer as a result of this delay. Intentionally buried on July Fourth week while the nation turns its focus away from Washington, the news will be chewed over for months to come.