Quote of the Day

“How could a president whose signature achievements include the health-care law and two brilliantly tech-centric presidential campaigns screw this up so badly? How could he say even as late as September 26that the site would work ‘the same way you shop for a TV on Amazon’? How could he repeatedly make the false promise that all Americans could keep their insurance plans, and then take so long to recognize that he was wrong and mobilize to correct it? This is hardly Kathleen Sebelius’s fault. It is Barack Obama’s fault — a failure of management for sure, and possibly one of character. There is something rotten in the inner-management cocoon of the White House, and if the president doesn’t move to correct it, his situation will truly be hopeless for the rest of this term.”

Frank Rich (yes, Frank Rich) at New York Magazine

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8 comments on “Quote of the Day

  1. momshieb says:

    I can’t click “Like”. We need a “sigh” button on here.

  2. danielfee says:

    I like Frank Rich, but he exhibits what is wrong with the media. He is a smart guy and knows why the “brilliantly tech-centric presidential campaigns screw this up so badly.” Because government does not run like a campaign. When someone is running a campaign it is essentially a dictatorship. It is a top down organization in which the candidate directs and decides where and how money is spent. Obama’s tech team was prohibited from even bidding on this ACA contract. If they had been permitted the story line would have been cronyism. The government has its institutional rule and procurement processes in place and must be worked through. In addition, in a campaign you do not have an active opposition group that is attempting to undermine every effort you make.
    The real failure has occurred with journalism. The press core has predetermined its story line, “second term presidents are always big failures.” So everything is viewed through this lens. Syria disarming its chemical weapons without the U.S. attacking is a “failure” according to the media. Give it a few days and they will come up with a story line as to why the deal with Iran is a failure. The ACA website doesn’t work well, so it is Obama’s Katrina. A better comparison is it is Obama”s Medicare Part D. Frank blew it on this one. He has swallowed the Washington press corp garbage that has been claiming the end of Obama’s presidency and his ability to get anything done since the week after his re-election.

    • But they knew that doing a government website would be a slow and cranky process with the vendors needing lots of time to get answers from bureaucrats. They also knew that given the GOP’s intense hatred of both Obama and Obamacare, they couldn’t roll out a website that simply didn’t work. A few bugs, of course, but not the useless piece of crap that showed up on October 1. It was cruel and sadistic to unveil that website and have people perform an exercise in futility. I blame them for not making damn sure the thing worked on time and then for going live anyway.
      And I do think the deal with Iran is a failure.

  3. danielfee says:

    Yes, the administration knew that the government procurement processes would create its own set of problems. My objection with Frank Rich’s comment is that he uses the canard about Obama’s tech savvy as if they could have been put in charge of the Obamacare roll out.
    As far as Iran goes, I don’t know why you jump to the conclusion that it is a failure. We went round-and-round on Syria and I know that you said you were much more hawkish on foreign policy, but it is a little premature to declare the Iran deal a failure. As I see it we got them to put a temporary halt to their enrichment program, degrade that portion which has reached 20% (which means they just admitted publicly how far they have gone for the first time), and agreed to an aggressive inspection process. In exchange we are releasing about 5% of the funds that being held due to the sanctions. Sounds like a good way to test Iran’s sincerity to negotiate an end to their nuclear program. Of course the Iran deal could fail, but in Syria so far Assad has followed through on his commitments so far and now they agreeing to go to Geneva and negotiate towards an end to the civil war. If we had bombed do you thing there would have been any chance to get Assad to dismantle his chemical weapons and go to Geneva? The best quote I heard today about Iran was distrust but verify. I don’t know who said it, but it sounds like the best approach.

    • The 20% stuff is easily reversed. The 5% stuff puts you about 3/4 of the way towards weapons grade. The plutonium plant at Arak continues to be built. We get partial inspections, nothing at sites like Parchin.
      Having invested billions of dollars and decades of work, the Iranians aren’t going to back off now. I see ethnic/religious imperatives here. As Persians, they want to dominate the Arabs. As Shiites, they want to dominate the Sunnis. This religious battle has been going on for almost 1500 years, which is how the Iranians think, while we think in terms of two-year Congressional cycles. The analogy here isn’t the Soviet Union (trust but verify), but North Korea. Iran will end the same way, not with our testing their sincerity, but with their testing a nuclear bomb. If I’d known this would happen, I would have voted for Mitt, and I really, really can’t stand Mitt. I truly believed O wouldn’t let the Iranians get nuclear weapons, but I don’t believe that now. I will not be having a merry little Christmas.
      As for Syria, Assad gave up some chemical weapons and got legitimacy in return. We’re working with him and his government. He has plenty of other ways to kill his people, and he continues to use them.

      • danielfee says:

        Then you should have known because this is what Obama said he would pursue in 2008 and again in 2012. He has said all along that he was elected to end wars not start them. The problem is that the neo-con foreign policy only has one arrow in its quiver. Bombing and war is the only play in their playbook. It has been a failed policy for decades, cost the country trillions of dollars and many lives. But still they want to run the same play over and over again. Iran was not pursuing a nuclear program until George Bush put them on the axis of evil, and then attacked Iraq, another member of the axis. This is the first pause in Iran’s nuclear program since it started. That is a good thing. The other option is to allow them to keep expanding the program while a final deal is being negotiated, or of course just start bombing now. I don’t know how anyone could view this as a better situation.
        I am sorry but the neo-con position that Iran must give up its entire program before negotiations start is just silly and intended to lead to an attack on Iran.
        I still don’t think that Obama will ever let Iran get a nuclear weapon. But he is not a cowboy. He will pursue a diplomatic solution to the end and if it fails then use military force. At that point he will have the world behind him, except of course the Republicans who will find some reason to oppose the use of force. You know, just like they were prepared to do with Syria.
        We are getting far more of Assad’s chemical weapons destroyed now that we could have hoped for by bombing him. Yes, we are working with him and his government because we have to in order to get to the chemical weapons and destroy them. If that makes him feel legitimate, so be it as long as he doing what we want. Don’t change the goal. Ending the civil war was never the reason that Obama was threatening military action. He said from the beginning that would need to be done under Geneva.

      • I’m not talking about the neo-con position, I’m talking about the U. N. position in the sanctions resolutions. This agreement backs off of the U. N. position. I don’t believe O will use military force against Iran under any circumstances, and I think the Iranians now know that for sure.
        Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

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