The Fix Is In: Can President Obama Grant An Effective ACA Waiver To Millions Of Disgruntled Citizens?

President_Barack_ObamaPresident Obama is taking a great deal of heat for the cancellations of millions of policies after he repeatedly told citizens that if you like your policy you could keep it. He recently apologized for what seems a classic bait and switch. However, Obama has now announced a fix that raises a more serious question in my mind. Most of us have become used to a relatively high level of dishonesty from our leaders in Congress as well as the White House. This blog has documented whoppers, even perjury, that results in little more than a shrug in today’s political system. However, the “fix” involves the President unilaterally changing that scope and timing of a law. This has been a recurring concern with this President and the rise of the “Imperial Presidency” that he has established within ever-expanding executive powers. I will be discussing this issue today on CNN.

While the line between legislation and enforcement can become blurred, this view is generally reflective of the functions defined in Article I and Article II. The Take Care Clause is one of the most direct articulations of this division. The Clause states “[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . . .” U.S. Const. art. II, § 3, cl. 4. It is one of the clearest and most important mandates in the Constitution. The Framers not only draw the distinction between making and enforcing laws, but, with the enforcement of the law, the Framers stressed that the execution of the laws created by Congress must be faithfully administered. The language combines a mandate of the execution of laws with the qualifying obligation of their faithful execution.

Nonenforcement orders challenge this arrangement by imposing a type of presidential veto extrinsic to the legislative process. The legitimacy of such orders has long been challenged as an extraconstitutional measure. Yet, since Thomas Jefferson, Presidents have asserted the discretion not to enforce laws that they deemed unconstitutional. Jefferson took a stand against the Sedition Act that was used for many blatant abuses against political enemies in the early Republic. Jefferson cited his oath to protect the Constitution compelling him to act to “arrest [the] execution” of the law at “every stage.” Jefferson’s stand represented the strongest basis for nonenforcement in a law that was used against political opponents and free speech.

From Internet gambling to educational waivers to immigration deportations to health care decisions, the Obama Administration has been unilaterally ordering major changes in federal law with the notable exclusion of Congress. Many of these changes have been defended as discretionary acts or mere interpretations of existing law. However, they fit an undeniable pattern of circumventing Congress in the creation new major standards, exceptions, or outright nullifications. What is most striking about these areas is that they are precisely the type of controversial questions designed for the open and deliberative legislative process. The unilateral imposition of new rules robs the system of its stabilizing characteristics in dealing with factional divisions.

I cannot find the authority under the ACA to grant millions of Americans an effective waiver or delay. The White House will clearly defend this as simply an exercise of discretion in the enforcement of laws. There is certainly support in such claims, though they are controversial. I just published an academic piece the explores the constitutional problems with the expansion of the powers of the “fourth Branch.” See Jonathan Turley, Recess Appointments in the Age of Regulation, 93 Boston University Law Review ___ (2013) and Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Adverse Possession: Recess Appointments and the Role of Historical Practice in Constitutional Interpretation, 2103 Wisconsin Law Review ___ (2013). I also wrote a column on the subject for the Washington Post. I fail to see how the legislative process can have meaning if a president can effectively rewrite laws in the name of agency discretion. It is an argument that adds to the already dangerous concentration of executive power under this President.

This issue has nothing to do with the merits of the ACA. As with my criticism of Sebelius for the grossly negligent administration of the law, this is not about how one feels about the law. President Obama will leave a presidency that is dangerously unchecked and Democrats will be saddled with their support of those powers when they are claimed by a president less to their liking.

The President used a clearly misleading argument to secure support for the ACA. He is now trying to reduce the outcry over that argument with a political recalibration of the law. To do so, he is acting in a clearly legislative fashion in my view. I could be wrong. The White House may find a provision in this law (that few members actually read) where it gives him the power to unilaterally grant exceptions and delays to different groups. However, they have not suggested it and I cannot see it. That leave us with the same inherent executive power argument that has been the mantra of this President in areas of surveillance, kill lists, and other areas.

The “fix” makes obvious political sense for the Administration but I fail to see the constitutional basis for such unilateral changes in a federal law.

119 thoughts on “The Fix Is In: Can President Obama Grant An Effective ACA Waiver To Millions Of Disgruntled Citizens?

  1. Dictators & kings do not need permission to do whatever they damn well please – and our current president has been sliding down that slippery slope for a while. Power is a seductive and corrupting influence. Of course he “thinks” everything he is doing is for “the good of the American People” without ever realizing that it is the mere assumption of that power that is damaging our country, our people, permanently, irreparably and beyond measure.

    It is a sad sad day in Amerika – we are witnessing the death of our liberty.

  2. It’s worrying in the context of this president. No president should see himself as empowered to change the law. He has done this time and time again more often than not for the benefit of corporations.

    While I am outraged by what is happening in Washington I feel compelled to object to the “Stepin Fetchit” comment above. It is inappropriate.

  3. I hope that Prof Turley will insist that a cop give him a ticket if he is stopped for speeding or some other traffic violation. It is quite obvious that in any system there has to be some room for common sense to prevail. As one airline used to have in its General Operations Manual printed on every page, NOTHING IN THIS MANUAL will contravene COMMON SENSE! While it is good to obey the written rules and they should be enforced, I think it is more important to use common sense in carrying out them and to carry out the spirit and intent of the law.

    I have violated some rules and regs, but I do so with the full knowledge that I may be called to account for that. My rule has always been, that I do so as long as I can stand before a jury of my peers, and feel good about justifying my actions as being in the spirit of the law and safety concerns. It is absurd for any opponent of ACA to protest at Obama’s action since they are against the whole thing in any case. To insist that he carry out the law that they hate, is more than cynical politics, and can have no consideration for their position. The Constitution DOES have a remedy if Congress feels that he has violated it. They can impeach him and remove him from office. That is the nice thing about the checks and balances.

  4. The line grows longer.

    A month ago I tried to count how many challenges were filed against the ACA and possibly facing the Supreme Court and just gave up the count at 70. There were more to count but my eyes were tired and my computer was threatening to leave the room.

    I suspect he’s (Obama) going to find the out somewhere in the IRS Regulations though their role in the whole matter is also one of the law suits facing the Court.

  5. randyjet, Common sense was called for BEFORE this train wreck was passed. In essence, the prez has put insurance companies into the position where he’s telling them to break the law. You can’t make this stuff up. Obama just regally gave businesses a year waiver. He just told insurance companies to break the law he rammed through Congress. There’s a good chance he’ll break his own law again giving all individuals a year waiver to get insurance. Except for the blue Kool-Aid drinkers, this guy has been standing naked for awhile now.

  6. NS Glad to see that you are omniscient and can devise laws, and things that are fail safe and perfect for all things and purposes. You need to be President or a member of Congress then with your infallible abilities. The rest of us have to deal with our limitations and flaws and use a modicum of common sense to apply laws and regs.

  7. He was wrong and right. He should have added a caveat when he said that, that the insurance companies have offered, within the last year, policies that they know will not be in compliance. It is the insurance companies who are engaging in bait and switch

  8. randy, You can be sarcastic if you like, but these problems were seen by people a long time ago. Obamacare was a Frankenstein piece of major legislation. Even supporters of the law said years ago it had MAJOR flaws. Well, the monster is now out of control. You can’t rewrite history when it’s this recent. Maybe your kids or grandkids can, but you can’t.

  9. This is not a classic bait and switch. This is a classic Koch Brother attack on President Obama by the author of the blog article.

  10. Good point leejcaroll, “bait and switch” lies when a merchant entity has both bait and switch power, then benefits from that power to the detriment of customers who reasonably relied on the bait.

    Insurance corporations are state law creatures that are not employees or agents of the federal government.

    They have been doing good and bad business for a long time, in their private domains, outside the federal government domain.

  11. What doors or boxes have we opened that can never be closed….. I recall a story about Pandora’s box ….. Maybe I don’t see the greater good ……

  12. ACA a.k.a. “ObamaCare” is a great idea that is way, way past due. We are the only nation that had institutionalized the law of the Pharisees who walked on by the injured when the Good Samaritan stopped to help.

    The prime resistance to it all along has been induced by the military propaganda machine:

    Pentagonia, capitol of Bullshitistan, well aware of the current political climate, has declared who its greatest enemy is, believing it is health care:

    The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

    But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.

    (The Enemy the Pentagon Should Fear Most: Health Care, National Defense Magazine, emphasis added). We have been pointing out this very strange ideology for a while now, using “MOMCOM” symbolism to isolate the militant energy fighting against the middle class and poor in the United States.

    (Deja Vu – Guns v. Butter Election Looms – 2). The same military NSA folks who watch your every move don’t want you to have health care for some “reason.”

    Indoctrinated?

  13. NS I see that the main problem with the Act is the failure of the administration to hire a private enterprise contractor which knew what it was doing. Your criticism of the current crisis is that Obama should have KNOWN before hand that the contractor could not do the job. That takes some soothsaying that is well beyond most of us. Glad to hear that you do not suffer from that limitation. The basis of the topic is the failure of the contractor which makes it impossible to allow for a reasonable enforcement of the law. Your position and that of the others is that the rest of us MUST be punished for their failures with NO consideration or mitigating circumstances allowed. Good luck with such flawed reasoning since I think that most Americans will agree with Obama that we and he should use our common sense in enforcing the law. I sure hope that you insist that a cop give you a ticket for traffic infractions and not give you a reasonable break. Unless of course, you never make such errors and are a perfect motorist.

  14. The President recognized that the Fox so-called news audience needed a simple sound byte. He would have lost their extremely short attention span had he gone on to say that Health insurance companies are free to change policies whenever they want and historically have raised premium costs on a regular basis. He should have also mentioned that many health insurance executives make hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses and those folks use part of that largess to contribute to political campaigns. His most important comment should have been that everyone is entitled to high quality health care and the only way that is going to happen is with single payer universal health care. But he would have lost their attention after the first sentence.

  15. It’s really gotten to the point that he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. History will reflect the absolutely horrendous way in which this President was abused by those that hate him and not just for his politics. it’s going to go down as a shameful period in the history books. Our grandchildren will ask why there wasn’t a bigger outcry against such disrespect, hatred and obstructionism.

    He does something that those who lost their substandard policies wanted and he still gets bashed. It’s no longer even surprising.

  16. There may be a difference with this case: For example, if a president were to go to war without the approval of Congress (Article One power) – Congress under Article One also controls the purse-strings and could NOT fund that unilateral action by a president – in other words the Executive Branch infringed on the authority of the Legislative Branch.

    In the ACA example, the Legislative Branch is defunding an enacted “law” (not a bill) passed by the Legislative Branch – they are attacking their own law.

    Why couldn’t the Executive Branch “execute” legislation passed by the Legislative Branch? Congress already agreed to it.

  17. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”
    -James Madison

  18. It appears to me that Prof. JT is jumping to conclusions again. After I listened to the Obama Speech 14-Nov-13 at the Washington Post website – (it’s about an hour long with Q&A with MSM); I feel if you listen to it (from the horse’s mouth – as it were) you too will have a different feeling about Mr. Obama and ACA CONTRARY to what Prof JT would like you to feel here.

    In my understanding of it is that 5% of the population would find better insurance policies in the new marketplace. The remaining 95% where grandfathered in with no problems whatsoever. It seems that 5% was screwed by the “marketplace” (i.e. insurance companies). This marketplace is really the bad guy here and not the President. Obviously they do not want to play fair and will do anything to make the roll out hit bumpy roads at all turns.

    So he is not CHANGING the ACA law to accommodate this 5%, as the law already has flexibility to allow the POTUS to do this (IMO). He says they are IMPROVING the the law which implies the inherent flexibility. The video starts talking about the Philippines disaster until time-stamp 02:00:00. Then at 05:10:00 he starts into ACA. He mentions that if the law needs to be changed for unfix-able problems he would work with Congress on legislation to modify. The video is very TRANSPARENT and enlightening. It’s not political and seems quite self-explanatory.

    The video starts to loose focus at the first question about Iran and nuclear weapons but then regains focus at 30:00:00. I think this video will clear up some of your misunderstandings about ACA and the roll out.

  19. Aside from the fact that the botched roll-out of ACA is a grievous, self inflicted wound by the administration; the consensus here seems to be there is no possible legal rational for Obama’s quick fix of the cancellations.

    But Nicholas Bagley writing in the Incidental Economist web site outlines some ideas regarding IRS rule making authority including the idea of “time limited transitional relief” and then makes the statement: “The administration may intend to make the same kind of claim here: that CMS’s generic grant of rulemaking authority has long been understood to include the power to offer time-limited transition relief from regulatory obligations.”

    I think we are faced with a situation where if the administration gets ACA right over the next year or so then no body will care about this. And if they don’t get it right, again, no body will care about the delay – the delay will be the least of their problems.

  20. Also after 9/11, you can pretty much make up anything to be legal: torture, assassinations, Guantanamo, renditions, etc. The U.S. Constitution has become an improve act, not the rule of law.

    The powers that be merely don’t want it to happen. If they did, they would do it illegally, unconstitutionally or just make it up like they have everything else since 9/11.

    Maybe that’s why Americans have lost faith in their government?

  21. Annie people like me who despise this mf of a President do so mostly because he is what one person called a debonair snake oil salesman who was able to con many people into his line of sheeet. It disappoints us that people we love follow a blind faith that his line of sheeet will bring us to a new world of pervasive bliss. I quote one DMiller: “If you still think Obamacare is a viable plan, you’re just one of those people who always see the glass as half full of it”
    I respect that we all have different life experiences and come to different conclusions based on that. I’ve been wrong before and adjust my thinking. In this case this President deserves all the invectives cast his way because he is, dare I say, conducting himself and his “administration” in worse than Nixonian fashion. History will show this dark time where a person almost, I hope, convinced a nation that others were villains while in fact he was the one who damaged the Presidency and trust in government more than the impeached Republican President Nixon.

    We are spurned lovers. Act like one.

  22. Maybe Obama can write another illegal executive order to suspend the laws of physics while he’s at it.

    My wife takes the position that if the Jap/GE nuke mess finishes blowing that she won’t run to the Southern Hemisphere as it makes no sense because if the blow the Northern Hemisphere it’s only a matter of time before the same type suicidal sociopath lunatics blow what’s left in the Southern Hemisphere.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/11/removal-fukushima-fuel-rods-hits-bump-even-starts.html

  23. sonofthunderboanerges
    5% is blowing smoke. Smoke blurs vision.
    Small business is next in line. We were offered 17% increase to renew in December or 30% increase to renew in January when full implementation is required. The law is written is such manner that within another year there will be no grandfathered policies.

  24. indigo,

    We’ve heard nothing but outsourcing to cheap slave markets for decades.

    I would think there would be a way to outsource our health-care needs & health-care insurance to cheap nations.

    I hardly trust this system here to even go in for care anyway.

  25. The President has a constitutional unlimited power of Pardon for any reason. Apparently that includes a blanket pardon. So how exactly is this a far step from pardon, to say that, due to exigent circumstances and his own miscommunication, certain people meeting certain qualifications are exempted (or pardoned) from prosecution for being in violation of the ACA?

  26. “President Obama will leave a presidency that is dangerously unchecked and Democrats will be saddled with their support of those powers when they are claimed by a president less to their liking.”

    Ah, liberal hypocrisy; all the hypocrisy befitting a right winger PLUS the added scienter of knowing better.

    As a certain planet designer and fjord aficionado would say…

    “It’s okay because it’s our guy doing it.”

  27. SOTB,

    I think you understand the political dynamic at work here.

    The Republican’s shot themselves in the foot with the shut down crap and are trying to find a way back.

    The insurance companies found a way to dump the loser policies hoping to gain on the exchanges.

    Obama screwed up royally with the low bid tech guys.

    It’s all going to be fixed but we have to play the game and pretend that single payer is not going to ever happen so that the dumb asses can look smart.

    I have a friend (wink, wink) who has never paid a red cent for healthcare insurance having always enjoyed a “Cadillac” union policy. I repeat …not one red cent for the last 39 years!! He is retiring and finding out that for medicare A and B he must pay $104 a month and so must his wife. But, the supplemental plan to medicare that his union provides is $16 (single, $32 family) a month which covers everything that medicare doesn’t pay and guarantees the meds he takes remain the same price that he now enjoys under his Cadillac plan … approx $20 for a 3 month supply (that would be $6 per month for each prescription) and, AND, he still has dental and vision … heh, heh … aren’t unions just the pits?!

    Sometimes Kool-Aid is just Kool-Aid.

    If you have long term retirement money invested in Medical Insurances companies … get out. If it’s short term profit you’re looking for … stay in.

    However, the ACA is not really the issue that JT is addressing. Seven, eight years ago JT was warning us of the constitutional issues Bush/Cheney were violating and the fact if these issues were not handed immediately the next President would expand on them. Sure enough.

    I understood then and I understand now … he’s right.

  28. Blouise wrote: “Obama screwed up royally with the low bid tech guys.”

    Low bid? I could have done a working website for a fourth of what those guys charged. The problem is incompetence in the administration. The tech guys claimed info was held back from them because of the election.

    Regardless, the website is the least of the problems with Obamacare. The Republicans have been a lone voice in the wilderness about these problems, accused of being haters and racist, but the truth is that the Republicans were right all along.

    Professor Turley is right in how the fix to the law must happen in Congress. The President needs to lead Congress, give his nod of approval toward what he wants to do to fix the problem. He needs to accept the numerous requests from Republicans who have asked to meet with him about health care reform instead of shutting them all out and refusing to meet with them. It is time for the President to bend a little rather than being so rigidly uncompromising. He needs to realize that Republicans have good ideas too, and if he had heard them when this law was passed, we would not be in this big mess now.

  29. DavidM: Low bid? I could have done a working website for a fourth of what those guys charged.

    I can’t program a website, but I have had pretty complex websites created for a pittance. I cannot believe this was anything but a money dump on some friend of the administration.

    DavidM: The problem is incompetence in the administration.

    Maybe. But Obama’s Internet tech crew was stellar when he was a candidate, and deployed a site easily as complex as this in under a month.

    So I have to believe this is not due to bumbling incompetence but planned corruption. To me the truth is (based on what I saw from the inside when in the military) the government can be just as competent and efficient as it wants to be when they really care about something. Even in the late 70’s I saw wonderful tech that only came to light 25 years later. Which leads me to think incompetence is just a convenient illusion they deploy when they have something to cover up, like handing over a truckload of hundreds to some important commercial ally for doing next to nothing.

  30. “So I have to believe this is not due to bumbling incompetence but planned corruption.” (Tony C)

    Makes sense especially when one considers, as you did earlier in your text, that Obama’s Internet tech crew was stellar when he was a candidate as is the Democrat’s entire national site. The democrats are light years head of the republicans in their internet tech abilities so planned corruption makes a whole lot of sense.

    Guess he pulled a Cheney/Halliburton.

  31. I have read about half of these posts from you all and I can only surmise that we are in deep bull butter. Whether you are a liberal or conservative or try to dance between the rain drops between the two, the government that liberals want does not jive with the government conservatives want to restrict. We are two junk yard dogs fighting over the same bone.

    We have a President that bypasses Congressional legislation, I.E. the representatives elected to be the mouth piece of whatever house district or state senate seat We the People elected them to. He changes laws unilaterally, which in my opinion is breach in his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, not because what many of you have said is for We the People or as others have said to placate the companies in the insurance industry. He simply is changing these laws, at times on his own, simply to protect his political ideology and by extension trying to deflect the unpopular spectacle that is the ACA from his fellow Democrats. Congress is just as guilty on both sides of the respective isle, those Senators and House Rep’s have also made an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution yet, either to show solidarity with their party or to keep their nice clean suits out of the mud so they can get re-elected do nothing to fulfill their oath not just to We the People but to the Constitution. I truly believe out Constitutional Republic has never faced a greater enemy than our own elected officials.

    Whether you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican take one minute to look at what has taken place in the last few weeks. If that was a Republican President acting as Obama has acted, the Left would be acting as the Right. We have strayed so far from what our founding fathers intended we have lost our way. There is such a huge divide between the Left and the Right I do not see this country ever being whole again.

  32. Elaine (or Blouise to please forward to Elaine if she is not around )
    Here is a terrific article by Tim Egan for the next time you discuss labor relations and/or the disappearing middle class. It’s about the Boeing union vote.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/opinion/egan-under-my-thumb.html?h

    More OT for Elaine…

    wonderful episode on This American Life tonight regarding preschool program in Oklahoma. I’ll search for a link. It’s first-rate (and the first good news I’ve seen in weeks!)

  33. Blouise, I’ve not kept up with Turley or this thread lately but just caught of glimpse of your note to Tony @ 7:52. Why are you not persuaded that the contracting of federal website designers is a whole lot different from hiring your own team on your own dime? Planned corruption for his legacy program makes no sense at all. What does he get out of it except a failed presidency?

    My apologies for jumping in the middle of your conversation. Very bad form, I know.

  34. While you are at it. Can you RepubliCons undo Social Security and Medicare while you are at it? Those were bait and switches too. I distinctly recall Wendell Wilkie saying that. And Ike. And Raygun. Take it away! We don’t need no socialism here. We need our own separate insurance policies. Oh, insurance is a type of socialism. Ok. We need to stand on our own. We don’t need to assist one another at nuthin but birthin babies. Thank you Turley and Koch Bros for The Enlightenment. CNN is grateful.

  35. [music]
    We don’t need no edu K tion.
    We don’t need no thought control!
    All in all… its another glitch in the road!

  36. I see no one actually listened to Obama’s Press Conference on Thursday. It explained mostly everything. The IT contractors were NOT the problem. They used Sr. Business Analysts to get all Business Requirements, developed a Project Plan with Beta Testing with Life Cycle support that could have lasted about 6-12 months… then the FEDs promptly rejected it and said JUST DO IT. That’s the kiss of death for any e-commerce roll-out. I know as I headed up a Y2K fix program for a Fortune 50 company and we took at least 3 years to plan ahead. It went over without a hitch (mainly because Y2K was mainly bunk). Our biggest headache came from the FEDS as we were a government contractor and they were constantly throwing us pointless monkey-wrenches to fix.

    The President said in the Press Conf that the website is sound. However, it is doing highly complex things in the background none of you know about. It’s not just a HMTL/Javascript web site your teenager could build in one night. It does all kind of secure database queries and data comparisons to the user interface. It’s a nightmare program with probably millions of lines of code and hardly any of it was Beta tested.

    Mr. Obama is NOT breaking any laws nor is he violating the Constitution on this fix. What he’s doing is “built-in” and not a new add-on. If you listened to the Press Conf you would know this.

    AND NO ONE IS BEING IMPEACHED… Jeez dude go back to High School and learned how that’s done in USA. Only ONE person can call for that and he has NO PLANS to impeach anyone as he would look like a complete fool as Mr. Obama has NOT committed any acts of high treason or any kind of misdemeanors. That’s only in your “hater” wishful-thinking.

    And Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. are ALL part of the 95% that was grandfathered in without any cancellations, etc. The 5% is just a small subset of American people who really didn’t have policies that were in line with the new ACA law. The insurance companies did not have to unilaterally cancel them. They could have just modified the policies accordingly; but as someone said it was easier to just dump them and be rid of them making the President look bad. That’s not Mr. Obama’s fault.

    In summary: are we absolutely sure (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that the poor little web-site is getting it’s “monkey-wrenches” from a well-meaning but misguided contractor who thinks he/she is doing a service to their political party? I’m just saying. Phoebe I think that’s your queue but you may need Eric Holder to give you your marching orders… Oh I forgot he’s being impeached!😆

  37. The thinking is that Congress is so dysfunctional that the president has to rule by executive order. Congress has long abdicated to perogative of declaring war, leaving that to presidential order, and now it is doing the same thing with basic law making power.

  38. pdm,

    “My apologies for jumping in the middle of your conversation. Very bad form, I know.” YOU can jump into any conversation I’m having with anyone!

    Truth is, computers flummox me. Allow me to bore you with a few lines of background. My brother was a computer “genius” and turned me onto the technology in the late ’80’s by gifting me a Macintosh 128k and telling me to stay away from Gates’ crappy Windows and IBM. He flew into town, set it up and flew out again. He explained everything to me except how to turn it on (too basic for him). After a phone call I turned it on and immediately put it to sleep. Needless to say the next few days required many phone calls and many temper tantrums on my part … I actually started personifying my Mac as ” The Enemy”. (Every computer I’ve owned has been named thusly and I am presently typing on “The Enemy XII”)

    The only sites available once the internet came to town … again my brother bringing me new Macs and introducing me to dial-up which was some sort of military service … were .edu and some weird military sites that dropped me into chat rooms with people at military bases … god only knows how I got there.

    Present day:

    I read SOTB’s explanation (both this one and the ones he’s offered on other threads) and I even listened to the link he provided (which went on and on and on) but still don’t understand how in the hell they could screw it up sooo badly. And, whether I like it or not, based on my experience from the outside looking in and listening to my brother’s tales from the military, Tony is right about planned corruption and this looks like, walks like and talks like a duck.

    It could be an ugly duckling that turns into a swan and I certainly hope that is the case and SOTB is right, for I know people who need the ACA and need it badly.

    But I will add that one of the main ingredients in a planned corruption is the planned fix.

  39. I get so worked up some days I sometimes forget just how many others out there are equally concerned.

    Another issue is avoiding burnout again and knowing just how far we can push ourselves, maintaining a healthy pace without going over the cliff. (again lol )

    (Tell’em the Truth & they’ll think it’s He’ll)

  40. Blouise says: I will add that one of the main ingredients in a planned corruption is the planned fix.

    I agree. The corruption and incompetence are not incompatible. The corruption can be hiring a friend that puts incompetent people on the job, under-funds the project so they can take massive profits, and rolls out a piece of crap for show.

    As for those that doubt Obama would sabotage his own “signature legislation,” why not? He’s got up to three more years to get it done and the law is the law, screwing up the roll out doesn’t change the law or threaten it. So favors get done to the tune of millions in windfall profits for cronies and eventually the administration makes it work. A year from now Obama will be claiming victory. Twenty years hence he won’t be remembered for the stumbling start, that will be forgiven by success a year from now, and he will be remembered for passing it in the first place. Isn’t that the point of a legacy accomplishment?

    The incompetence will be forgotten as soon as the results are up to par; by everybody, that is, except those that profited from it. It is the nature of the modern media cycle, if they don’t have anything bad to say, they typically do not say anything at all.

  41. WOW!!!!! you mean there are still people out here praising obama even though time and again he has shown his outright disdain for the people in favor of corporations????.. he has lied to us in our faces per si..

    when will the reality that the corporation formerly hiding as a government has shown itself??. and proven time and again it doesnt care about the people..

    obama isn’t a potus he’s the latest ceo. and the last. from here on it will be a one world ceo..they’ve spent hundreds of years putting these plans into place. They’ve been telling us for years in movies, books and speeches what was coming. but at the same time. making it a movie or book also indoctrinated humanity to believe ” thats hollywood. it would,could never happen in real life… WELL IT IS AND HAS..

    just as the new police shows has been indoctrinating the people to accept the cops as 2nd in command lord and masters.. ex law and order the new ones the cops cuss out the lieutenant , and pols whenever they want to.

    they’ve gotten defeated in some things ,but not all… they need to get ww3 going. real soon to put the rest of their plans into action…..

    there is no longer a constitution, no longer rights and freedoms at least for us.. to them we were put here to serve them. even though everything they (1%ers) have they stole from us the people..

    Barry knew damn well what was going to happen with his aca.. as for the company who programmed and designed the website fees… hahaha that was set in stone before they even breathe a word to us about it..

    same as with citytime here in nyc.. when will those still sleeping decide to awaken?

    NO money for food pantries, senior and youth centers, education, jobs nothing… but plenty for specialized military weapons, plenty for skyscrapers, stadiums, parking garages, waterfalls, bike lanes, and big banks.. but none for the people who’s usursy is what pays for it all/…..

  42. Where are the people coming from who rant about Obamacare? Do they want a better system of healthcare or are they content with what they call “my insurance”? The ranting causes others to rant. Let us not wallow in Watergate. Those who wallowed in Watergate missed some of the bigger picture of war and the military industrial complex promoted by Nixon. The Koch Brothers want you to wallow in ObamaGate. Go ahead. Be chumps. Thirty years from now when your grandkids laugh at those who opposed a form of government governed medical care you will be seen as a chump. The “fix is in” alright. The fix by the Koch Brothers who want you to rant about ObamaCare and ObamaGate. Let others wallow in it. I am for fixing the glitches or going all the way to a British or Canadian system. RomneyCare is not bad in Mass. When you go to Mass this Sunday do not listen to the preachers from the Koch Brothers who are wallowing. The fix is in? Jeso. Yeah and medicare and social security are bad for granma and granpa. You can blame Roosevelt and Truman for those two.

  43. http://news.yahoo.com/house-passes-republican-health-bill-39-democratic-votes-071544716–sector.html

    House passes Republican health bill with 39 Democratic votes

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the most significant legislative rebuke to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, 39 members of his Democratic Party voted for a Republican bill in the House of Representatives on Friday aimed at undermining his signature domestic policy.

    The measure, which would allow insurance companies to renew and sell inexpensive, limited-coverage policies that have been canceled because they don’t meet the standards of the new healthcare law that took effect on October 1, passed 261-157.

    The 39 Democrats who supported the bill – nearly one-fifth of the party’s caucus – reflected the alarm that spread within Obama’s party this week over the political damage from the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

  44. Robin,

    I agree with your post.

    Barkingdog, I believe your post is wrong on so many levels, but I’ll have to get back to it later if I can.

    Keep in mind Britain & Canada both have royalty as their head leaders & we in the US fought & won wars against that type crap.

    That so called royalty also has a job called “Groomer of the Stool”, maybe you’d like to apply for it & wipe the queen’s bottom while you’re attempt to fix the USA? lol

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-15/internet-now-weaponized-and-you-are-target

  45. Tony C. and Blouise – Blouise I feel your pain re: ‘pewters… I remember AARPANET and ASR Teletypes. And even the first Hazeltine (or tyne?) video monitors with light pens. Our computer teacher gave us paper computers to learn on. I even built a analog one back in the 60’s. I remember playing tic-tac-toe on some sort of Sperry Univac (or Eniac?) with nixie-tubes. Back then I was just trying to figure out (the late) Ted Maiman’s ruby crystal laser that he CLAIMS he got the idea while at Hughes Aircraft. Computers fascinated me long after that. Yes I have all the old MAC dinosaurs gathering dust in my cellar. Museum pieces by now. I’m into tablets now (no not Alka-Seltzers!:-) ). I was in Philly then and was lucky that Franklin Institute was there to countenance me while I played hooky from public school.

    Tony C – OK I see your point but it would be kinda’ dumb to pull a stunt like that assuming Eric Holder is sitting on his hands. You do know that Eric is not the type to accept nepotism even if it’s his boss. The boss is exempt from Eric but not the relatives or cronies you claim Mr. Obama is benefiting with NBC’s. Phoebe (FBI) eats that crap for breakfast! I’ve seen them in action on stuff like that. Not even the POTUS can stop that hound when it gets a bone. Trust me… Jim Comey is no J. Edgar Hoover (even without the dress – sorry Jim bad joke I know😦 )

  46. Oky1 – I don’t get you… Do you really think this crowd is even listening to your Sarah Palin low-effort-thinking process? Can you see Russia from your house too? Give it a rest! It’s starting to get a little ripe in here. Mr. Obama is NOT the enemy. So don’t tread on him OK Oky?

  47. G.Mason – Yeah I guess the 5% that were screwed by the insurance companies really like their policies that had no “…emergency treatment, hospital stays and prescription drugs…”? Is that even a healthcare insurance policy?

    The bill would have passed without the 39 Democrats who are looking for re-election next year. Most of them are from that state that passes their own dumb-azz laws like illegal immigration-reform, birther-nonsense requirements, and succession from it’s own state creating a 51st state. Wouldn’t that mean we would have to change ALL of our flags? Good luck with that… :rolls eyes:

    Don’t worry this dumb-azz bill won’t get past the Senate nor Mr. Obama. It’s just more saber-rattling by sun-tanned playboy from Cincinnati. You know the one that refuses to call for articles of impeachment (& removal) on his boss? Why? Because if something ever happened to VPOTUS Biden (like it did heart-felt Cheney), he’d become the next POTUS!

    G_d forbid!😯

  48. SOTB: I think government contractors (and I worked for them several times in a 25 year career as a consultant) are more savvy than you give them credit for.

    Eric Holder cannot go after anybody that did not break the law.

    I have seen government contracts with major defense contractors that specifically exclude all measures of efficacy or functional operation; surely a software contract for many millions of dollars will have many caveats built-in as escape clauses; nobody in their right mind would guarantee no bugs for a software contract.

    In fact, the bugs could easily be part and parcel for the graft. You deliver for $X, which sounds like a reasonable price, but the contract also specifies all the maintenance and repair will be charged at, say, $750 an hour per person and holy cow, it turns out we need about a year to iron out all the bugs we handed you. Oh well, that is what happens when you use untrained overseas programmers, and we were forced into that by the time and cost constraints you gave us. Oh, and the bill for the fix is going to be about $5X, please be sure to pay those invoices on time.

  49. Oky, Thanks for the video. I hope everyone here takes the 20 minutes to watch it.

    I read people that I like and respect calling NO BID CONTRACTS, “Low bid contracts” and put in the context of Mr. Turley’s speech. Mr. Turley talks about “calling things by their right name” as a definition of wisdom. Then this word game on contracts is Orwellian.

  50. Tony C The same thing happens in private industry as well. I have first hand experience with Honeywell’s FMS on the EMB-170. I flew that plane for almost one year when it first came to our airline, and I was appalled that Embraer gave the contract to Honeywell since their work on the EMB-145 was really bad. I asked one of the many tech reps who were in the States trying to work all the bugs out of the plane, WHY did you use Honeywell? Their response was that they asked Collins, RCA, and others if they could do the work within three years. They all said, NO it would take about four or five years. Honeywell lied, and said SURE they can do it in three years. They got the contract. By the time I left, Honeywell was up to the 26 load fix and it STILL did not work. We could not use vertical guidance, nor the RNAV approaches or FMS ones. We had to sort of fake it when leaving certain airports for the clearances and could not use the autopilot.

    Unfortunately the system also controlled the engine parameters as well, so that a number of times, I taxied out for takeoff, and had to come back for a computer engine malfunction. The engines were fine, but the computer was not.

  51. Sonofamotherlessgoat or what ever your name is…

    The House calls for impeachment and the Senate is responsible for trying the proceedings of impeachment, where you get one person can call for impeachment is beyond me. Unless you are referring to Boehner not having the stones to actually allow the House to bring forth the process then yea I agree with you there, he is a coward.

    Every time Obama or ANY President for that matter makes changes to a law without allowing Congress to have their say is committing crimes against the constitution because they are not upholding their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

    And you are correct it is wishful thinking that Congress do its duty and impeach Obama because the Democrats are to busy protecting their golden goose in the White House and insuring that as little or no damage come to the Democrat political label while Republicans are so afraid of negative press that nothing is going to happen.

    And as a matter of fact I do hate Obama, I hate all the liberals that think the Constitution exists solely as an opportunity to further their communist progressive social experiments. I do not need you or the government to tell me how to live my life. When I need to put food on the table to feed my family that means I have to go get a job…not go ask the government to give me a hand out while other hard working citizens have to pay the freight.

    The ACA is so unpopular that to even get it passed into law the Senate, specifically Harry Reid, used a gimmick to get it passed, because he knew that once the Senatorial seats were set and all Senators had a chance to vote on the bill on its merits it would not have passed. Then of course Obama steps in after the bill is law and makes this change and that change just so it wouldn’t hurt his party in upcoming elections.

    This country was not founded to establish a government to “make life fair” this country was founded to provide equal opportunity to freedom and liberty.

  52. SOTB,

    I hope I was able in my explanation to pdm to dispel any notions that I consider myself tech savvy. I really did try to understand all the points you made in your posts but have to admit that you had me muttering to myself. Back in the 60’s my father took me to a symposium on this new technology called computer science. He was a highfalutin exec so naturally the thing was held in a hotel’s grand ballroom after a multi-course dinner (those guys never met in the basement room). PC’s hadn’t been invented yet and the talk was all about these huge pieces of equipment in gigantic air conditioned rooms using something called binary numbers. There were lots of slides and tech talk and I admit I zoned out completely.

    He figured it was the coming thing and that I was going to be running my own business (selling my music) so needed the knowledge. (same reason he made me get an MBA)

    After the program and as we were exiting the ballroom he warned me that there was lots of opportunity for graft in this new science so beware. The tech talk flew right over my head but that warning stuck. 😉

  53. “Oh, and the bill for the fix is going to be about $5X, please be sure to pay those invoices on time.” (Tony C)

    lol … yep, the fix is always the real moneymaker and you are sooo right about years down the road when the problems with the roll out have been forgotten. Legacy intact.

  54. The Colts were cocky going into the 1968 Super Bowl. They were certain their legacy would be “intact.” Arrogance and cockiness are self destructive.

  55. Blouise wrote: “you are sooo right about years down the road when the problems with the roll out have been forgotten. Legacy intact.”

    I think this will be forgotten about as much as “Monica Lewinsky” and “it depends upon what the meaning of the word is is.”

  56. Jake: When I need to put food on the table to feed my family that means I have to go get a job…

    And if you cannot work? Or if you look for a job and no job is to be found? Would you rather starve, or steal from a store, or get a government funded sandwich?

    Jake says: not go ask the government to give me a hand out while other hard working citizens have to pay the freight.

    If, when you were working your taxes paid for food for citizens unable to work, then when you are unable to work, you are entitled to help with food too. It is not a hand-out, it is something all people are entitled to when they cannot work, either physically, or medically, or due to the demand for work being smaller than the supply of workers to do it.

    In all of those circumstances you would condemn adults and children to death by starvation over your petty jealousy. That is not the majority view in this country, and so we reject it, and too bad if you don’t like it; you can always get your revenge on us by quitting work altogether and earning so little that we feel compelled to feed your petty, angry ass, because even if we hate you, we don’t want you to starve. We just aren’t as brutal or vindictive or uncaring as you are, Jake.

  57. DavidM: I think this will be forgotten about as much as “Monica Lewinsky” and “it depends upon what the meaning of the word is is.”

    Then you fail to understand human psychology, David, because these two things are not equivalent at all.

    Getting a blow job in the Oval Office is not a technical glitch or correctable fumble of a new government service. The saving grace for the ACA rollout is quite simple, a functioning website. I can open my (virtual) rolodex and collect the names of at least five of my fellow contractors that could blast through that task from scratch in a few months. The NSF and other government agencies can find 50,000 even more highly qualified people to press into service in a matter of weeks. For most of my former mercenary comrades, write a big enough check and they will drop what they are doing and show up in the morning. (I’ve even seen contractors successfully scale back a commitment at one company to 40% time in order to address emergency support problems for a previous client; it is not impossible.)

    Money talks in the tech industry. The ACA website not working is not salacious, it is not adultery, it is not sex. It betrays absolutely nothing about Obama’s fundamental character. It is a business screw-up the vast majority of workers have experienced themselves in their own company, a slight embarrassment forgotten the minute somebody else embarrasses themselves in the same way.

  58. ‘I think this will be forgotten about as much as “Monica Lewinsky” and “it depends upon what the meaning of the word is is.”’ (davidm2575)

    How right you are which is why Bill Clinton can’t draw a crowd today and is just so piss-poor at fund raising. The Monica thing did him in. (I have nooo idea what Terry McAuliffe was thinking when he used Clinton in Virginia.)

    And I understand your angst. After all your guys, Bush and Cheney, can’t even leave the country. It’s sooo unfair.

    But … she lowers her voice to a whisper and furtively looks left then right … we all know it’s a plot by those godless liberals and atheists to deny republicans their god-given right to rule. Carry on Christian Soldier … the War on Christianity has begun and you must fight the good fight!

  59. Law Signed by George Washington May Convict Obama Fraud Conspirators

    Document Expert: Obama Basically Bought Off NBC / MSNBC
    Forger Knew Obama As Kid (states is a woman)
    Misprision of a Felony – Misprision of Treason
    “From Forgery to Treason”

    Typesetting Expert Doug Vogt discusses his latest legal efforts to prove that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forged document.

    Doug also discusses a little known bill signed into law by none other than President George Washington. This law may convict many of those who have conspired to help cover up Obama’s fraudulent documents?

  60. Well I guess my comment won’t be released from the spam filter… I thought it was well written (of course – right?:-) ) I didn’t use any cuss words – I think.

    Tony C. When I look at it that way I totally see your point. I have seen that type of IT scam executed back in the day when I was there. And from major Fortune 50 to 500 companies too. It was kinda’ SOP I think. The coders called it “job security”. Maybe that’s why we had Phoebe setting up shop in one of our skyscrapers downtown. When they showed up day-1 they promptly took down our Ethernet LAN with their TOKEN-RING cards (they had interfaces they claimed would connect to RJ45)! Tried to tell them to just wait until our infrastructure techs could set up a router for their little remote spy-office. This was during the days of Louis Freeh and his desire to tap into major corporations networks via back doors.

    Blouise – I feel your pain. Just trying to follow that Physics professor and Gene H. was daunting for me. My brain is still smarting from the experience…:-)

    Yes I remember when a computer filled an entire floor of a building. And used Hollerith Punch Cards or IBM cards or punch tape. Come to find out IBM was using those punch cards back during WW2 but for Hitler not USA. Guess what they used them for? Another bad legacy for IBM?

  61. Tony C and others: ‘Corruption was built into the contract.’

    Of course it was but not perhaps in the way you envision. All government contracting is corrupt, it has never been cost saving for the taxpayer and the OMB has known and stated that for decades. It’s worse than that now because the ability to get contracts is a business speciality in itself. There are business’ that offer training in just that field. This is actually reflected in the offers to contract and contracts themselves; the number of levels or embeds is often stated in the language -no more than X numbers of subcontractors between the primary contractor and the sub-contractors delivering the goods or services.

    I recall reading during the Katrina clean up that some contractors were being looked at because the contracts were let at some outrageous @ton (of debris) cost, like $45.00 and the contract capped the embeds at 3 but primary contractors were embedding 5 layers deep and paying $5.00 @ton to the people doing the work.

    Ther are a couple of articls I read about the ACA contracting that illustrate the point exactly:

    “But Sunlight reviewed contract award information from USASpending.gov and FedBizOpps.gov, and found 47 organizations that won contracts from Health and Human Services or the Treasury Department to manage, support or service the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Among them were top contractors like Northrop Grumman, Deloitte LLP, SAIC Inc. General Dynamics and Booz Allen Hamilton. All five of those companies provided information technology services to either the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or the Internal Revenue Service, the two agencies tasked with building back components of the health insurance exchanges.

    All but one of the 47 contractors who won contracts to carry out work on the Affordable Care Act worked for the government prior to its passage. Many–like the Rand Corporation and the MITRE Corporation–have done so for decades. And” continues

    http://reporting.sunlightfoundation.com/2013/aca-contractors/

    And this article connects the dots:

    “… Development Seed President Eric Gundersen oversaw the part of healthcare.gov that did survive last week: the static front-end Web pages that had nothing to do with the hub. Development Seed was only able to do the work after being hired by contractor Aquilent, who navigated the bureaucracy of government procurement. “If I were to bid on the whole project,” Gundersen told me, “I would need more lawyers and more proposal writers than actual engineers to build the project. Why would I make a company like that?” These convolutions are exactly what prevented the brilliant techies of Obama’s re-election campaign from being involved with the development of healthcare.gov. To get the opportunity to work on arguably the most pivotal website launch in American history, a smart young programmer would have to work for a company mired in bureaucracy and procurement regulations, with a website that looks like it’s from 10 years ago. So much for the efficiency of privatization.”

    ” but an examination of the expertise base of the main private contractors shows that the same firms keep appearing in different sectors … The expertise of these corporations, their core business, lies in knowing how to win government contracts, not in the substantive knowledge of the services they provide. … This explains how and why they extend across such a sprawl of activities, the only link among which is the goernment contract-winning process. Typically” continues

    http://crookedtimber.org/2013/10/15/neo-liberalism-as-feudalism/

  62. Tony,

    You are making a lot of assumptions. Just because I hate Obama and liberals for using this country for their social experiments does not mean I want the infirm or elderly to starve. I do however expect people that have kids take responsibility for their children and take on the responsibility to raise contributing members of society, just as I have done. As usual your typical liberal attempt to vilify those that do not believe as you do is par for the course from the liberal handbook.

    There has been one time in my life that I could not find work and I turned to my family and to my church for help and support. It was the most shameful thing I ever did to go and ask for help. For two weeks I borrowed from family and volunteered at my church and my family and church saw me through that time. But you fine liberals have taken shame out of being on the government rolls. Nothing in this life is free and absolutely life is not fair. And no matter how hard you liberals try you will never make that dream come true. The best any of us can do is to empower ourselves to strive for anything better in our lives. I know you would love for me to bend my knee to you liberals and your ever controlling government, but I will not. I will not take when I have the ability to do for myself. I will not capitulate to your ideals because they are NOT American. Your beliefs belong in places like Russia, but here in America we KNOW how to do for ourselves. If you want to blame anyone for no jobs in this country then look no further than your progressive ideals. Your political ideology has closed more business in this country because over regulation and over payed incompetent unionized workforces.

    You calling me angry does not bother me one single bit. I am angry, angry at what you liberals have done to the best nation this world has ever seen. And that majority you speak of is only a majority in the slightest bit. When people realize, as many are now, that the lies the President told them about the ACA your majority is going to dry up.

  63. Lotta, many thanks for the two informative links. I have the greatest respect for both Blouise and Tony, I guess that’s why I’m so shocked that it is their belief that it is a planned failure (and I guess a planned miraculous rescue to come) and that such a plan will somehow work to Obama’s advantage. A bridge much too far for me…

  64. pdm, I also share your respect for Blouise and Tony and seldom if ever find any disagreement with any analysis either might advance on an issue. This time I think that there is a process failure so deeply ingrained into the nature of the entire contracting process that it literally goes without saying. It is hiding in plain sight if one knows where to look. The problem is that one doesn’t know where to look or how to look, it takes investigative reportage to do that and that is in short supply in the MSM.

    One doesn’t have to speculate that there was a corrupt money-dump on a specific contractor; every contract let is a corrupt money-dump on whichever contractor secures the contract. Looking beyond the normal business of contracting for any meaning or rationale is IMO unnecessary.

    If Congress were serious in their shock and horror they wouldn’t be asking about this contract, they would be asking about the process. But they know about the process, they use it and cultivate it protect it and go to work in it as soon as they leave office.

  65. Insomnia strikes again, so I thought I catch up on a little reading.

    Interesting thread.

    I agree with Blouise and Tony that this is a planned failure and I come to two scenarios: 1) Planned with Obama’s knowledge and 2) planned without his knowledge.

    The first scenario is the most likely if you apply Occam’s Razor. Government contracting is a miasma and as SOTB noted there is (actually quite a lot) of precedent in the IT community for engineering “job security”. In addition, it could just be garden variety incompetence or stupidity. I did catch some of the hearings on the matter and honestly some of those IT guys should be ashamed of their responses.

    However, to address the second scenario and pdm’s “a bridge too far” I submit the following supposition. This can be distinctly turned to Obama’s advantage. I even see the appropriate response from the health care insurance industry playing into this. As they balk at reinstating policies, they give him the leverage needed to push them from the table even further by opening Medicaid as a remedy. If the later, it would be a brilliant play politically against the insurance lobby and would result in Obama being remembered as the President who brought universal health care, leaving the insurance industry no move they’d likely be willing to take as it would significantly harm their profits and that is the true driver of their business, not people’s health. That would not be a bridge too far, but one very well built.

    The proof will be in the eating of the pudding.

    The eating of the pudding is how, if and when the technical side of this problem is fixed.

  66. Jake says: You are making a lot of assumptions.

    Some are not assumptions but inferences; i.e. logically derived conclusions. Those aren’t the same as assumptions.

    Jake says: does not mean I want the infirm or elderly to starve.

    “Want” has little to do with it. Apparently you also do not want to be forced to pay for the food that prevents their starvation, or you want that to be voluntary, or you want that system to be 100% error free or non-existent, or you want churches to do it, or whatever.

    There can be many things you want, and pointing out one of them to prove your goodwill is insufficient proof. All that matters is whether, in the end, the infirm and elderly are starving because your entire collection of prioritized “wants” somehow absolves you of all responsibility for doing anything about the starvation of the infirm and the elderly.

    Jake says: I do however expect people that have kids take responsibility for their children and take on the responsibility to raise contributing members of society, just as I have done.

    And this is what I am talking about; here is another “want” of yours (your “expectation”) you propose to start the process of mitigating your responsibility toward others.

    Jake says: As usual your typical liberal attempt to vilify those that do not believe as you do is par for the course from the liberal handbook.

    Here you take a poke at absolving yourself of all responsibility, helping others is a tactic of the “enemy” (in your mind, liberals), and we are “vilifiying” you as if your selfishness was somehow a crime!

    You are claiming victimhood here, and the reason is obvious: You want us to feel sympathy for your own lack of sympathy.

    Jake says: There has been one time in my life that I could not find work and I turned to my family and to my church for help and support. It was the most shameful thing I ever did …

    And further, you claim that asking for help is “shameful.” So now, in your view, the infirm and elderly that need help should be ashamed at needing help. Those that cannot find work, through no fault of their own, should be ashamed at that.

    If you get wheeled into the E.R. with a gunshot wound to the chest, a wound which is no fault of your own, you need the help of a doctor and surgeon. Should you be ashamed of that? Should you be able to just take an Exacto knife and some fishing line and extract the bullet, stop the bleeding, and suture up the arteries on your own? Is this the premise, that any help ever provided shames the recipient?

    Jake says: But you fine liberals have taken shame out of being on the government rolls.

    Apparently not enough, since you still regard it as shameful. I do not, and I am not on them. There is no shame in being helped, there is no condescension in helping.

    The only shame is in theft, but I see no reason to consider legitimate aid theft. To do so is ridiculous, reducing human misery and preventing undeserved harm is a fundamental good.

    Jake says: Nothing in this life is free and absolutely life is not fair.

    I am so sick of hearing that, it betrays so much ignorance and stupidity it boggles my mind.

    Actually, everything in this life was free. Nature provides, free, everything you need to survive indefinitely, and you wouldn’t have to work any harder at that than a hobby a few hours a day. I can throw with accuracy; every day I walk my dog through the woods and I see ten thousand calories worth of birds and squirrels I could knock out of the trees, using free rocks on the ground. Water falls from the sky, free. Everything you need to build a shelter, free. Or a fish trap that can feed a village, or a fire to keep you warm and cook your food.

    The only reason things are not “free” is because of other people, Jake.

    And yes, life is not fair. So what is the point of saying so? It proves nothing. Murder is not fair, but we punish it, and that makes life more fair. Theft, fraud, slavery and rape are not fair, but we have done quite a bit to make life more fair than when nothing was done about it.

    That’s the whole point, dummy! If life was fair, we wouldn’t have to do anything to make it fair. Saying that life is unfair just emphasizes the point that we need rules and regulations in order to make it MORE fair.

    Jake says: And no matter how hard you liberals try you will never make that dream come true.

    And no matter how hard we try we will never be able to stop every murder, and we will never be able to stop all thefts, or rapes, or accidents. So is your premise now that we should not even try to address those problems? That if even one rape occurs anywhere on the planet, we have completely and 100% failed in our attempts at preventing rape and never should have tried such a fool’s errand in the first place?

    What a childish view of the world you have.

    Jake says: The best any of us can do is to empower ourselves to strive for anything better in our lives.

    No it isn’t. That is one thing you can do. You can also empower others to strive for something better in their lives; for example by providing them an education, or preventing their starvation.

    Jake says: I know you would love for me to bend my knee to you liberals and your ever controlling government, but I will not.

    On the contrary; Jake. Stand up. You do me no good on your knee and I have no desire to command you without demanding the same from myself. Put on your work gloves and work beside me, we have people that need our help.

    Jake says: I will not take when I have the ability to do for myself.

    Well thanks, we appreciate that. Fraud and theft of services by people that don’t need them are definitely problems we have, and if that bothers you, perhaps you can give us some help in curtailing that. We will even pay you, you will be ensuring aid goes to those that need it, reducing taxes. Just be sure you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, Jake, some people really do need help, and we are looking for law enforcement, not cruelty.

    Jake says: I will not capitulate to your ideals because they are NOT American.

    No, they are American. I am an American. The vast majority of Americans believe in aid, including social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    I don’t know how you manage to define “American Ideals” that the vast majority of Americans reject! If anything, your ideals are not American, they are the minority view.

    Jake says: Your beliefs belong in places like Russia,

    Why be so specific? I think my beliefs DO belong in Russia, and everywhere else on the planet. I would not advocate for them otherwise.

    Jake says: If you want to blame anyone for no jobs in this country then look no further than your progressive ideals.

    No. Only unchecked greed without regard for any pain or suffering it causes would explain the lack of jobs in this country, and that is not a principle of our ideology, it is a principle of yours.

    Our jobs are lost because our regulations that protect workers, like OSHA, do not exist in some other countries, so workers there can be abused, injured, endangered and killed without consequence by employers. So greedy corporations that care nothing about people or their suffering go there, and successfully manufacture products cheaper than if they were forced to keep workers safe in the USA.

    It is unchecked greed that makes them move there. Abusing and killing people in the name of profit is profitable. That is why we have to punish so many forms of crime in the first place, Jake, because the things we call crimes are very profitable when they go unpunished.

  67. Tony C – I’m reserving a place on my “man crush” pedestal for the likes of Gene H., Otteray Scribe, and Mike Spindell. I’m dusting it off right now and putting you up there. I like your clarity of thought and apparent perspicacity. I may have to put you next to Christopher Langan (OMG there SOTB goes again!):-)

    I just can’t disagree with you – well except you know what… My neuroplasticity deficits are showing. I just realized YOU’RE the Physics professor I was refering to earlier – duh!

  68. lotta,

    I sincerely thank you for all the research and presentation of same. If it was more than Tony C knew, it was a heck of a lot more than I knew!

    Perhaps what was missing was a really good, overall Project Manager and I, seriously, have just the man for the job … Slarti.

  69. Gene,

    In regards to your ‘the second scenario and pdm’s “a bridge too far”’ … I think that is exactly what will happen and that the insurance companies, blinded by the flashing dollar signs, failed to look beyond the casino lights to other consequences which is typical greed at work. Obama would be a fool to let such a serendipitous gift go to waste.

  70. Tony,

    Sorry man, I just do not believe in what you believe in. You are wrong about so many of your line item responses to my post. I do not believe as you do so I am a “Dummy”. Again typical liberal bull shit, ‘You don’t believe as me?!? You are soooo stupid.’ Your arrogance is unjustified and your condescension is tired and stale. It sucks for you that you are tired of hearing that life is not fair, generally you liberals do not like to hear the truth about things when you know you have no power to change it.

    And do not lecture me about the great majority of the people. You liberals are hanging on by your fingernails and the only time you can get the populace in this country to put Democrats in a position of power is when you bribe enough of the weak with government hand outs and fantasy Utopian scenarios. And you can stow your liberal line about me not caring about the infirm and bunny rabbits. I do care, however I am perfectly content on using my own judgement of when people do truly need help or are just trying to scam me. I do not need your government telling me when and when not I should have compassion.

    And you call me childish in my views when you can not even allow another to have a view that is different as yours. Well I am not going to waste anymore time on you. There is no point in arguing with someone that obviously believes his “Wants” as you say, are the only valid wants to be addressed.

  71. pdm,

    Way back up-thread you posed an excellent question that really opened up the discussion and I am going to repeat: “YOU can jump into any conversation I’m having with anyone!” and add … any time. :)

  72. These whacky plots make the cokehead, paranoid Oliver Stone look positively sane. I just saw Nancy Pelosi on MTP. Where does she fit in on this Machiavellian plot? If there’s a movie Cheri Oteri has to play Nancy. Pelosi has had so much plastic and botox she looks younger than Cheri Oteri now. I expected for Howdy Doody to ask her a question and for Nancy to say, “First, the most perfect Spartan cheer.”

  73. Jake says: generally you liberals do not like to hear the truth about things when you know you have no power to change it.

    On the contrary, I agreed with you that life was unfair. But of course you cannot acknowledge that the point of rules and regulations is to make life less unfair, can you? We certainly have the power to change it: Punish unfairness, add a cost to unfairness, and it will no longer be such an attractive option to the sociopaths like you.

    Jake says: And you can stow your liberal line about me not caring about the infirm and bunny rabbits.

    See, you actually dismiss the value of caring by pretending the objective is to preserve “bunny rabbits” instead of human beings, children, the elderly, the malnourished and physically disabled and others that did nothing to bring their current hardships upon themselves.

    That very dismissiveness proves you do NOT care about them; you equate human beings and human suffering to that of a food animal.

    Jake says: You liberals are hanging on by your fingernails

    Well then, Jake, you have nothing to worry about. Why be so angry? We will fall soon enough, and your Utopian vision of selfish brutality will finally be realized. Except, of course, it won’t. You know you are lying, you know there is nothing you can do about it, you know you are in the minority and cannot win, and that is why you are angry.

    Jake says: I do not need your government telling me when and when not I should have compassion.

    We are not telling you what to feel, Jake. Feel about it however you want. Be angry, if you like, it is your Right. Just as many of us are angry about policies passed with which we disagree vehemently. Who knows, maybe your anger will convince somebody you are being oppressed and deserve relief.

    But we are not going to let you take a free ride on our dime, you will contribute your fair share no matter how you feel about it. The aid provided delivers a value that all people enjoy, and if we made paying for it voluntary, free riders would profit more than the contributors and within a generation the system would fall into despotism and rule by brutality.

    We aren’t stupid. We won’t let that happen. The best good for all is done by preventing the free riders that want to gain all the selfish benefits of a highly developed society with a decent safety net without paying anything for it (and then pretend they “made it alone”).

    You may be too dumb, or too self-centered, or too tight-fisted to recognize how our care for others ultimately benefits you by lowering prices and increasing safety and your profits. Fine, we do not have to cater to the dumbest or most selfish in our society. Be angry if you want, but you will pay your fair share, and be entitled to your fair share of the benefits whether you want them or not, whether you realize you are reaping them or not.

  74. SOTB: I’m dusting it off right now and putting you up there.

    Thanks, but no need. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery; just use my arguments where you see they apply.

  75. LottaKatz – Have you noticed that most of the contractors you pointed out a mainly big-league “spookish” types? I mean SAIC was one until it split from Liedos this year. If you needed anything super-duper cool, and you were a spook, SAIC was your go-to company. Especially SAIC-Bechtel. Booz-Allen is the NSA contractor right? General Dynamics makes the POTUS’ secure cell phone. Can someone smell some “fish” here? Why does the ACA website have information privacy issues with this cyber- “monsters” at the helm? “Sumtin’ ain’t right here” – Dr. Henry Lee (CT Forensic Scientist)

  76. Jake wrote to Tony C: “You are wrong about so many of your line item responses to my post. … And you call me childish in my views when you can not even allow another to have a view that is different as yours.”

    Jake, most in this forum have an enormous ego and hubris to match that makes cordial discussion with dissenters not possible. They constantly project that upon anyone who thinks independently, and if you have a conservative or traditional paradigm, or worse yet, a theistic worldview, it is simply more than they can handle. They go berserk as if they have a mental disorder with personal attack after personal attack. I want you to know that others who are more open minded to a wide range of concepts, who read the exchange between you and Tony (which I think is a pseudonym) can readily see the vacuous nature of Tony’s laments against you.

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