Blinded!

October 25, 2013 - 4:43 AM

I am more than a little irritated that the Congressional Republicans have allowed the nation's attention to be switched from Senator Ted Cruz and the House Cruzettes back to the astonishing incompetence of the Administration of President Barack Obama.

It was just a week ago when the whole country - including me - was weeping and wailing over the biggest windmill tilt in the nearly 400 years since the publication of Volume II of Don Quxiote as House and to a lesser extend Senate Republicans insisted on defunding ObamaCare as the price for fully reopening the Federal government.

But, let's don't start that again.

Since the Senate and then the House passed what is known as a Continuing Resolution (that was more-or-less what was on the table before the whole shut-down thing started) we have had the opportunity to actually watch the grand opening of the Affordable Care Act - ObamaCare.

And, to use the official - often pompous - language of the Broadway stage: "It's a stinker."

You've read all the coverage about how people from Seattle to Miami have been frustrated in their attempts to register on-line.

About how the White House first denied there were any problems, then inferred that the problems were due to the billions of Americans so eager for ObamaCare they crashed the site; then referred all questions to the Department of Health and Human Services; and then deferred to people who knew what they were talking about as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney walked away from the podium earlier this week.

You're well-aware of the nearly half-billion dollars that was spent on building the on-line system and how HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was too busy to attend a Congressional hearing until someone got a gander at her schedule that showed she had time to attend a mental health reception in Boston.

You may not be as aware of a statement the Secretary made to CNN's Sanjay Gupta (who was considered for the position of U.S. Surgeon General and thus would have been working for Ms. Sebelius). She said: "If we had an ideal situation and could have built the product in, you know, a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years. But we didn't have five years."

As Ross Perot is reported to have said to the General Motors board of directors (of which he was, briefly, a member) when told it took five years from concept to showroom for a new car: "It takes five years to develop a new car in this country. Heck, we won World War II in four years."

I worked for Electronic Data Systems - EDS - after Perot had left, but the engineers had a saying about major new software systems: "It will take twice as long as we'd planned, cost twice as much as we'd budgeted, and do half as much as we'd hoped."

Sebelius said she had never phoned the White House to tell them the website might not be ready. I Tweeted that might be true, that she never personally picket up a phone and called, but it is impossible for me to believe that no one in the White House called the HHS HQ on Independence Avenue to ask if this thing was going to work.

If so, then the rumors of no one being willing to bring Obama bad news must be true and if they are true then we're in way more trouble than I thought we were.

In addition to the ObamaCare woes, German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the National Security Agency of tapping her cell phone. The White House denied it, but it is not clear to me and probably not clear to the Germans how the White House keeps track of every cell phone the NSA is tapping but didn't know the ObamaCare website was garbage.

SIDEBAR

I just looked up what the German word for "garbage" is thinking that would be an amusing way to conclude that sentence.

Know what it is?

Müll

We are NOT amused.

END SIDEBAR


Saudi Arabia is making it ever more clear that they are not amused by Mr. Obama's foreign policy, sending Prince Bandar - who was the Saudi Ambassador to the US for decades - to publicly say the Saudis are angry at Obama:

-- For having allowed the Russians to take control of the Syrian situation;

-- For not helping the Bahrainis when they were dealing with street violence;

-- For not having moved the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis at all; and

-- For cozying up to the Iranians.

There's more, but the major point is that the Congressional GOP blinded us to the failings of the Obama Administration in bright lights over the shut-down fight.

Now that they've lost that battle, we can see all the more clearly that Obama is in a slump.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to Don Quixote, to Angela Merkel, and to Saudi Arabia. Also a really interesting Mullfoto of a building I do not own in San Francisco.