The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 10, 2010 — over three years ago. Before its official roll-out date, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent creating a website that doesn’t work. It’s alive, but … it’s basically dead. The federal government had three long years to build the website of their dreams. It had enough taxpayer dollars to fill up endless swimming pools in Scrooge McDuck-ian mansions. In the end, the consumer got something that resembles the tortured soul from Brad Pitt’s 1995 classic ‘Seven.’ For this, no high-ranking officials have lost their jobs.

Obamacare Seven

How bad is it? On Oct. 8th, Ars Technica reported that of the few users who were able to get in, many of them had to have their passwords reset or were put into “authentication limbo.’ Did you waste hours trying to figure out a website that IT professionals have said resembles something from 2003? Then waste a few more hours and hope (and change) you get out of ‘authentication limbo.’

Amid all the attention, bugs, and work happening at Healthcare.gov in light of the Affordable Care Act, potential registrants talking to phone support today have been told that all user passwords are being reset to help address the site’s login woes. And the tech supports behind Healthcare.gov will be asking more users to act in the name of fixing the site, too. According to registrants speaking with Ars, individuals whose logins never made it to the site’s database will have to re-register using a different username, as their previously chosen names are now stuck in authentication limbo.

Even worse, the “fixes” that are slowly rolling out are arguably worse — and misleading for individuals who want an accurate assessment of the costs they face.

CBS reports:

As President Obama promises to fix HealthCare.gov, his administration is touting what it calls “improvements” in design, specifically a feature that allows you to “See Plans Now.” White House press secretary Jay Carney has said, “Americans across the country can type in their zip code and shop and browse.” …

Industry analysts, such as Jonathan Wu, point to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.”

Wu said it’s “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”

Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.

CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than 50 percent higher. The difference: Blue Cross and Blue Shield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.

The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634.

President Obama now says that top experts from Silicon Valley have been tasked with fixing healthcare.gov. Question: Shouldn’t top experts from Silicon Valley have been working on the website from day one?

Working for the federal government means never having to take responsibility for your own incompetence. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a website that doesn’t work, and Kathleen Sebelius keeps her job. The president of the United States essentially pulls a Ned Flanders, says “Whoopsie Doodle,” and the money hose is turned on again. And then, talking heads on television who are so ideologically invested in “the fight” defend the indefensible. Amazingly, Jon Stewart is not one of them.

“The f**king calculator doesn’t work? The one thing that’s been included in computers since 1972? You couldn’t make that work!? … How does the calculator not work?” — Jon Stewart on healthcare.gov.

While many pundits seem to content to play the role of the evergreen air fresheners that hung over the decomposing body in Brad Pitt’s ‘Seven,’ Jon Stewart (at least for now) has taken on the role of Morgan Freeman’s “Sommerset.” Bravo.

If you haven’t seen the full clip yet, I suggest watching the full ten minutes.

 

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

64 comments

  1. I think ABC News mentioned that the system cost 400 million to implement. If they used the open source LAMP software (i.e. Google Wiki article – it’s Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP), it would be easy to add additional servers to a server farm… I would be happy to do this and hire the right people to build and debug it. I’ll keep whatever is left from the 400 million.

    1. Yeesh. I knew it was at least $300 million, but that’s ridiculous. Now they’re bringing in more companies from the private sector for the “fix,” and who knows how much that will cost. Unreal.

  2. Follow the money. Where did it go? I’ll bet you a dollar to a hole in a rubber donut if the truth is known Obama donors and the Chicago Machine had their hands in the till for a great part of all that dough squandered on a non-working site full of bloated outdated code that was written in India.

    Where can I get on the gravy train?

    1. That’s what I don’t understand, Jim. The same people who want bigger government also complain of crony capitalism. Umm … no offense guys, but as the government expands you increase the opportunities for crony capitalism to occur.

    2. the “crony” in that phrase refers to the revolving door between the private sector and the government, a criticism that’s been directed at this health care disaster since Max Baucus took single payer off the table. medicare for all could go a long way in decoupling private sector profit incentives from the basic human need for health care, but that won’t happen, because both parties are dependent on big money from big business.

    3. Hi there, Lizard19. It’s the guy whose comments got sent to the spam folder, and instead of politely asking me why his comments haven’t been showing up, he calls me a “liar.” And then when I tell him what happened he continues down that path.

      Let this be known, Lizar19: If I “banned” you, I would have no qualms with telling you. I don’t take kindly to people calling me a liar, but your comments are here. I told you that as long as you don’t go “full troll” I would approve your comments, and that is still the case. I’m assuming since I deleted your “full troll” comment that the system may now be confused as to what, exactly, you are. Are you a spamming troll or are you an semi-reasonable adult? Honestly, I don’t really know either.

      But like I said, if I didn’t want your comments here I wouldn’t play stupid games like saying you weren’t banned when you were. Get over yourself. Even if you were banned, it’s bizarre that you would be so incensed that you’d feel the need to say something to me on Twitter. I feel like I’ve said it 100 times now: Grow up.

      Like I said on Twitter, feel free to apologize for acting like a jerk at any time.

    4. Update: I love being right — all the time:
      “…First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the no-bid contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

      Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

      Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.”

      http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/10/michelle-obamas-princeton-buddy-is-exec-at-company-that-built-failed-o-care-website/

      How sweet it is. However, to blame the failure of the website on it’s creators would now be labeled as a racist hate crime.

    5. I saw the headline on The Daily Caller yesterday but didn’t get a chance to read it. My first initial thought was, “Too bad the media will ignore this.” It will get lost in the avalanche of information and only guys and gals like us will remember. That’s one more reason to blog, blog, blog.

      Thanks for the share. I appreciate it.

  3. “basic human need for health care…”

    Ah…it’s so refreshing to finally meet a supposed actual human being who spouts off the left’s talking points instead of soulless politicians. Wait? Did I say refreshing? I meant dehydrating. 😛

    For the record, there’s a difference between Health Care and Health Care COVERAGE.

    Also, you do realize that if a Doctor, IE, the only person who knows how to save people, feels he’s not going to be properly compensated…what’s the incentive to save people again? What, it it the kindness from the bottom of his heart and his drive to do good? Sorry pal, but though there are good-hearted doctors out there who are probably motivated by that alone, you need dough to survive in the real world (especially if you had to get an educations as long, complex, arduous, and expensive as a doctor’s) and doctor’s will have less incentive to provide the best care possible if they were paid with the pocket change that Medicare and Obamacare are. Sorry pal, but in the real world, it’s private sector incentives that were responsible for most of the scientific breakthroughs and price drops you take for granted and it’s those same incentives that lead people into the Medical career field in the first place. What you’re suggesting (Pure, diluted Red Socialism) and what’s on the table right now (Crony Capitalism that’s a stones throw away from being as bad as Pure, diluted Red Socialism) hinder people’s incentive to be Doctors and thus, hinder the quality of care we’d be receiving, buster.

    Seriously? What are you going to do when the coverage and service provided by your simplistic and emotionally based utopia of ‘Medicare for everyone’ drops in service because Doctors don’t want to do anything for anything less than what they feel they’re owed for all the work they had to do? Put guns to their heads and MAKE THEM perform operations?

    1. I was talking about basic accounting with my brother yesterday, and the following came up: Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ Equity.

      It’s an equation that Lizard19 doesn’t seem to understand, because usually when you follow his logic you get: increased liabilities in ways that never really have a tangible positive effect on Assets or Owners’ Equity. You can have debt (not all debt is bad), but you have to ring it up in a way that will also push the Assets and Owner’s Equity up at a rate that makes the spending worth it. Keep that in mind as you read his posts.

      Speaking as the husband of someone who will be a doctor within months, I can attest to the years … and years … and years of studying that goes into the pursuit. Then there are the long hours. The stress of the job. The continuing education. The threat that some fool will try to sue you because he sees dollar signs above your head. Shall I go on?

      I told my wife years ago that the statists would go after doctors’ salary, and all I have to say is: Vindicated.

      It’s easy to see why a health care provider is almost uniquely well-positioned to bilk you. If you don’t get treatment, you or someone you love might die. It’s a high-pressure emotional situation that makes it extremely difficult to bargain, comparison shop, or just decide to cut back. …

      Doctors aren’t as politically attractive a target as insurance companies, hospital administrators, or big pharma, but there’s no rational basis for leaving their interests unscathed when tackling unduly expensive medicine.

      The president in recent months has referred to health care as “a right.” Want to see less doctors? Keep going down the president’s path. You do not have a “right” that would require the federal government to force others to provide a service for you. Talk about scary.

  4. I’ll respond down here.

    I would check out Matt Yglesias’ piece about nurse practitioners vs. doctors because it addresses your misconception that doctors are the only ones who know how to “save people”. they aren’t.

    you do make a good point about cost of doctors, and malpractice insurance is a significant burden. my father-in-law was a doctor, and before he retired his malpractice insurance was 90,000 thousand dollars. that is insane, as well as the exponentially increasing cost of education. those are all factors that have made our health care system snag around 16% of GDP, which is by far one of the highest percentages in the developed world.

    when it comes to health care, I wish conservatives actually had ideas about what to replace ACA with, instead of the nihilistic approach of damaging a president at whatever cost.

    how much did the shutdown cost? oh yeah, 24 billion dollars, but instead of writing a post about that, Doug and others of his ilk will lament about the hundreds of millions of dollars to roll out the flawed website.

    1. “[H]ow much did the shutdown cost? oh yeah, 24 billion dollars, but instead of writing a post about that, Doug and others of his ilk will lament about the hundreds of millions of dollars to roll out the flawed website,” (Lizard19).

      “Doug and others of his ilk.” Heh. Yeah, you tell us, Lizard19. What is your weird obsession with my blog and what I choose to write on? What is the dollar amount of waste the federal government has to reach before it meets the Lizard19 seal of approval? You complained about your non-banning, but if for no other reason I’d keep you around just to entertain my brother.

      When Jon Stewart goes on an epic rant over healthcare.gov, I’m pretty sure that the guy whose blog mixes pop culture and political commentary is going to cover it. Feel free to pimp your own blog over here when you write about all those subjects me and my “ilk” aren’t addressing.

    2. the website is a mess and someone should be fired, the ACA is a mess, our health care system is an absolute disaster. I have no problem acknowledging that because I’m not a partisan who employs selective outrage to score political points.

      but those on the right don’t have any ideas to actually fix the problem, instead you let a small group of nutjobs shutdown the government because they want to damage the centrist president who stole their Heritage foundation idea of mandating individuals to buy insurance.

    3. I, Douglas Ernst, and my “ilk” shut down the government. And President Obama is a “centrist.” Classic.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m in Chicago with my ilk. We’re going to get pizza and have a laugh or two over your analysis.

    4. laugh all you want, but while you’re chuckling over pizza in the lair of the Kenyan socialist, the rest of the world is figuring out how to untether their interests from an American empire in decline.

    5. Show me one time in my roughly 750 posts where I referred to president Obama as a Kenyan. You can’t. Show me one time where I implied he wasn’t an American. You can’t.

    6. I’m using hyperbole. I’m figuring if you laugh at the idea that Obama is a centrist, then you must be detached from reality, like tea party peeps and birthers.

    7. One of the following is true:

      1. You know that I’m not detached from reality — and that I merely have strong disagreements with you as it pertains to public policy — but you continue to drench your statements in sarcasm and hyperbole because you crave attention (i.e., a troll).
      2. You really believe I’m detached from reality, but you keep coming here over an over and over again. What does that say about you? Regardless, you still render yourself a troll.

      I’m done with it. When you act like a troll, your comments will be deleted. I am also not going to spend time going through my spam folder looking for semi-rational comments from you, since the spam filter no longer knows what to make of you. If your comments don’t show up, it’s not going to bother me. You brought it upon yourself.

    8. And tether themselves in a Chinese Empire…that has declined multiple times over its recorded history. Just ask the Tang and Song dynasties.

    9. personperson, I certainly wouldn’t look to China to improve the overall human condition, but that’s what American failure will mean, more influence for China.

    10. I know. Which is why we should STOP with the big government intervention like they have, especially in health care insurance.

    11. personperson, do you really think corporations and wall street should be making decisions about American health care instead?

    12. personperson, “[D]o you really think corporations and wall street should be making decisions about American health care instead?” (Lizard19)

      Translation: Personisperson, do you really trust the free market to work like free markets have worked throughout history?

      Price controls put in place by governments all over the world have worked so well over the course of history, so perhaps we should allow the government to decree that all check-ups, open-heart surgeries, kidney replacements and and brain surgeries can be no more than $100. And doctors aren’t really any better at doing their job than nurses, so we’ll mandate that those “greedy” doctors get paid no more than 10% over the average nurse’s salary in the region they reside in.

  5. I heard today that the program team only had 2 weeks to test the system. They did request several months. I have to agree with the programming representatives. Two weeks is not enough time to test a system that is used in several states and also the federal level.

    I still insist that you can run a LAMP (i.e. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) combination much lower that 400 million dollars. In fact, if you gave me a budget of 400 million, allowed me to build it upon LAMP and hire my own experts – it will cost far less and be much sounder and bug free. I understand that Yahoo runs on MySQL databases. How often has that crashed? And I would also be able to have support contracts in place, to resolve any open source issues.

    But they hired a firm with the name “federal’ in it. I wonder if they farmed things out to India and 3rd world countries and kept the profits for themselves?

  6. the free market is a fantasy, something used selectively by the right when it suits them. I sure wish the free market was working 5 years ago, because then the insolvent big banks would have been forced to declare bankruptcy and they would have been broken up and their assets sold off. we would be in a much different place, nationally, if the alleged free market was allowed to function.

    1. “[T]he free market is a fantasy,” (Lizard19).

      Gotcha. Thank you for once again being clear about who you are and what you believe. It’s also humorous to see you act as if the financial collapse had nothing — nothing — to do with government regulations warping the behavior of individuals and institutions operating within the free market.

      Where did subprime mortgages come from? Apparently fantasy land, where free market demons came up with them.

    2. the financial collapse absolutely had to do with regulation, specifically Bill Clinton’s neoliberal economic team deregulating Glass-Steagall, which was a depression-era regulation that kept investment banking separate from commercial banking. we don’t get “too big to fail” without Bill Clinton.

    3. Hey Douglas, what would you say to this comment here:

      “LMFAO. Grade-A moron here thinks that Capitalism and Socialism are incompatible!!! Even though its been happening for close to a century. Laughs!!! Someone obviously never graduated high school….”

    4. Howard Dean is the guy who said that we need to have a mix of capitalism and socialism, which is telling.

      “We are going to have both, and which proportion of each should we have to make this all work.” — Howard Dean.

      Ed Morrissey addressed it some time ago:

      But the silliest notion of Dean’s patter is that somehow we’ve just come to the conclusion that the US is going to have both capitalism and socialism. That has been true in the US at least since 1933 and FDR’s New Deal. It became even more true during LBJ’s “Great Society” efforts. We have had a mix of socialism funded by capitalism for several decades, and not coincidentally, we have the national debt to show for it. The debate now is whether we want corporatism in the finance, energy, and health-care fields, which will be an entree to complete government control of those industries in the long term, or whether we want to pursue the free-market solutions that actually create and expand prosperity.

    1. Nancy Salgado has worked at a McDonald’s in Chicago for the last 10 years, earning minimum wage while struggling to support her 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
      So she recently called the fast food chain’s employee hotline — known as McResources Line — to see whether the company could help improve her situation.

      But all she got was advice on getting government assistance, such as food stamps and Medicaid, to supplement her low wages.

      “I was pretty upset,” Salgado, 27, told Business Insider in a phone interview Thursday. “It makes me mad because I was expecting another answer instead of, ‘Here’s how you can get federal money.’”

      Umm, what did Nancy expect them to say? Here’s some advice: Minimum wage jobs were never meant to support a woman with a family. If Nancy wants some advice, I would suggest acquiring human capital, learning marketable skills, and then convincing McDonald’s or another organization that she is worth more than minimum wage.

      Salgado said she has tried to get government assistance in the past, but it has been too complicated of a process.

      Really? Seriously? That’s a good one.

      I’m not really even getting the point of linking to this story. What was McDonald’s supposed to say to make you happy, Lizard19? What does Nancy’s husband have to say about all this? Or … is he missing?

    2. so you have no problem with corporations maximizing shareholder profits by dumping low-wage workers health care and food assistance needs on the government? sounds like these companies rely on evil socialist programs to line their shareholder pockets with more money. and you’re ok with that Doug?

    3. Again: Why should a company pay a woman with the exact same marketable skills as a high school kid thousands of dollars extra a year because she decided to a.) have two kids (possibly out of wedlock) and b.) not do anything to amass the human capital necessary to demand more responsibility and more pay?

      Businesses deal with reality. The reality is that this woman (as kind as she may be) has apparently done nothing in ten years to convince those who work with her on a daily basis that she deserves more responsibility. Given the turnover rate at these sorts of businesses, my guess is that she’s had many supervisors. Interesting.

      With that said, I’m not sure why you’re implying that I would be for zero safety net for people who legitimately fall on hard times. I don’t think any reasonable person is against that. I’m sure Nancy is eligible for plenty of student loans. Might I suggest going back to school or learning a trade? Again, she should try and work something out with her husband … if he’s there.

      Salgado said she has tried to get government assistance in the past, but it has been too complicated of a process.

      If Ms. Salgado has absolutely no one in her life who can help her with the “complicated” process of getting government assistance, I really don’t know what to say. Tell her to call me. I’m a complete stranger and I’d be happy to give her a few hours of my time.

  7. why? why does Costco pay it’s employees so well? why did Ford pay his employees enough to afford the cars they were making? because the consumer is the US economy’s golden goose, and when you squeeze consumer discretionary spending, the economy sputters.

    minimum wage, if it kept up with inflation post-1968, should be at least $10.50. you should focus on that, Doug, instead of Nancy’s baby daddy, or daddies. and I have to wonder why you would suggest this woman take on debt with a student loan? there are going to be lots of millennials wondering why they took on so much debt for a college education when they realize what the reality of this hollowed-out economy will mean for them.

    I really wish people understood the larger dynamics at play, like the consequences of financialization. there is so much manipulation happening—that’s why I think any notion of a “free” market is ridiculous.

    the price of goods and services—like health care, gasoline, food, and a college education—keep going up. why not minimum wage?

    1. You do realize that all companies are different, and that Costco’s business model doesn’t necessarily translate to every other business out there, don’t you? You seem to be making this strange case that all companies either fit into a “Costco” block or a “Walmart” block. Odd.

      And yes, I will concentrate on Nancy’s home life. It makes a rather large difference if Nancy is a single mom (without an education) raising two kids instead of a mother who has a husband there to support her as she seeks out skills that will help her family thrive and prosper. The fact that you would gloss over that detail is telling.

      I said Nancy might consider going to school or learning a trade. Yes, not all debt is bad debt. I would not suggest running up tens-of-thousands of dollars on an English degree unless she’s confident she can parlay that into a decent job. Since she can’t figure out how to get government assistance … I’d tell her to think long and hard about what she wants to do.

      Is Nancy really saying that she’s worked at McDonald’s for a decade and she’s never received a single raise? I worked at Walgreens and at a fruit and vegetable stand along the highway when I was in high school, and I got a raise at each place within months. I’m pretty sure I would have quit (or learned some marketable skills) if I didn’t exit the minimum wage zone after a year.

      In Lizard’s world, unpaid internships are probably pretty despicable as well.

    2. Reason number 19,531 why I love my brother:

      Instead of asking why McDonald’s pay structure isn’t the same as Costco, wouldn’t the better question be to ask why this lady isn’t working at Costco? Is she being held hostage at McDonald’s? It’s the accounting equation all over again: McDonald’s must increase liability (her wage) for no additional benefit. She could increase her liability (student loan) and perhaps earn a management degree and run the McDonald’s….or Costco…or whatever, increasing her assets. And maybe show her kids a nice lesson about education. Lizard keeps harping on inflation, but the sure ticket to inflation is to hand people money for no other purpose than to give them more money. Why stop at $10.50? Make it $50, and I’ll work there.

    3. hand people money for no other purpose than to give them more money? that is precisely what the Fed is doing with its “quantitative easing”. and keeping this charade going has nothing to do with the democrat/republican binary.

      there are people who get what’s going on, Doug. you should step outside the conservative echo chamber and take a look around sometime.

    4. Clearly instead of making capital flow through the economy, the fed should give money to min wage workers. Wait, we tried a similar experiment before and the auto unions artificially jacked up wages and pensions in Detroit, and industry went bankrupt or left. So Detroit is in the mess it’s in now, so let’s repeat this on a national scale. Sounds like a plan.

      You’re right. Because I don’t make time to read your blog, then I must be in a conservative echo chamber. Gotcha.

    5. Ah yes, the 1%. See you at the Missoula Occupy Rally. Or not.

      Lizard, do you know why I go to Carl’s blog and Hube’s blog? There are a number of reasons, but one is because they’re generally nice guys. If I met them in real life I’d have a beer with them. The same goes for Lightbringer. Check out some of our disagreements when you get a chance. There are many of them. Regardless, if he had a blog, I’d go to it. If he was in D.C. and wanted to grab a beer, I’d buy him one, or two or three.

      Do you ever wonder why I don’t go to your blog? If not, too bad — I’ll tell you. It’s because you have a really bad attitude. Everything you say is drenched in cynicism and anger and fear and jealousy. I don’t want to ban you because I want people to be able to voice their opinion on my blog (good or bad), but I damn well won’t bring your negativity into my life any more than is necessary.

      Seriously, I suggest you take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why, for as bright as your are, you allow yourself to be so emotionally poisonous.

    6. Lizard19 – you make some salient points here, but it falls on deaf ears after you come in hot with all kinds of nasty “Kenyan lair” bullshit sarcasm. It only serves to close people’s mind to any subsequent rationality you present. Why bother at that point?

    7. “Lizard, do you know why I go to Carl’s blog and Hube’s blog? There are a number of reasons, but one is because they’re generally nice guys. If I met them in real life I’d have a beer with them.”

      Doug: if I’m ever in Washington, I’ll take you up on that offer.

    8. You got it, brotha! I mean it. A trip to D.C. requires a lot of walking … so I’ll have a few places in mind where you can rest your feet and get a good meal.

    9. FYI your dollar amout for the cost of living comparison is not correct Lizard. Also for the record a person working minimum wage can afford a McDondald’s burger.

      Your statements do not hold water.
      I suggest that you take some econmics classes and learn about things such as market rate and the growth of nations based on economic systems you may be shocked. Also if you look you went “personal” first.
      You are either a troll or you tend to be very narrow sighted.

  8. Like I have been saying… Stewart is awesome. He does the news better than the news. His business is political comedy, and given how dysfunctional our government is, business is GOOD. He leans left, but isn’t afraid to call the their crap for what it is. You don’t see a lot of that.

    1. Here’s the thing with Stewart, though: He rips the Obamacare roll-out for what it is, and then he completely denies that, philosophically, conservatives have arguments that deserve to be taken seriously. Instead of saying, “Hmmm, maybe that whole limited government things has some merit to it … or maybe there comes a point where government has overreached,” he’ll go into a tangent on the tea party. He’ll ascribe weird motives to individuals who, at their core, are merely venting frustration with the very same incompetence he ridicules on a nightly basis.

    2. Douglas to be fair he has to maintain his audience and by making a statement that they do not agree with could cause issues.

    3. Yes. So either he stands on principle and does the right thing, or he lives a lie. But at what price? If he can’t find a way to keep his audience while standing on principle, then that’s his problem. He’s the one who has to look himself in the mirror every morning.

    4. I agree with you 100%. I think he is a smart man that panders to his audience. It is a shame because he could be a more positive influence to a young generation that is in dire need of some good direction.

    5. I think you and I are in pretty close agreement about fiscal conservatism, but the harsh reality is that the Republican reality doesn’t match their rhetoric. It hasn’t for ages. They are big on spending and a-okay with big government. Stewart covered this with Rep. Cantor three years ago.

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-october-12-2010/eric-cantor

      Here’s an excerpt:
      Stewart: “You voted for No Child Left Behind. You voted for Read ID. You voted for the Medicare bill which was a trillion dollars unfunded. You voted for the Patriot Act. In what way are you a limited government? In what way do you want to shrink government because your record clearly is not… doesn’t speak to that?”

      Cantor: “We understand we got fired and there was a reason.”

      Stewart finished later that it’s a “fallacy that limited government is the principled stand of conservatives. It’s only limited to the s*** they want to do.”

      Stewart is a comedian, but he also sometimes asks the tough questions real news should be asking politicians. And the real un-asked question facing the US is not a government measured in “big” or “small” clichés, but what is the *right* size for our government? The answer is too long for this post, but I think you and I would agree on most of it. And as always, no party (including the Tea Party) is willing to make the case to the senior citizens that Social Security needs a serious overhaul, to the military that it needs a serious belt-tightening, and to those enjoying the golden eggs from our ever-hungry golden goose–entitlements–needs to find another means of sustaining themselves.

    6. I think your first error here is considering Eric Cantor a conservative. Conservatives tend to be Republicans, but the vast majority of Republicans are not conservative. Hence, the rise of the Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already).

      The Tea Party doesn’t have enough clout to actually push back the tide at this point — and it doesn’t help that they take fire from the media, Democrats AND Karl Rove Republicans.

      I like Ted Cruz’s message, even if I disagree with his tactics. I wish we had more guys like Paul Ryan in Congress. I like Rand Paul, even if I disagree with him on some foreign policy stuff. I applaud Marco Rubio for trying to do something about immigration, knowing full well that he’s going to bleed political capital.

      The problem, as I’ve said before, is that Americans are addicted to their government drug, and any attempts to ween them off it is met with howls and screams from the addicts and the pushers.

      At this point, I’m content to watch it all implode. I’ll continue blogging, but if the majority of Americans want to call guys like me insane because I think the path we’re on is unsustainable … so be it. You can only outrun the math for so long. One day, America will be forced to pay the piper. If Americans want to keep voting community organizers into office, they shouldn’t complain when the U.S. resembles the south side of Chicago.

  9. I heard you, but the last sentence was a bit off. Romney wasn’t a reincarnation of St. Reagan, who himself didn’t have a small government record. It’s doubtful, if Reagan were still alive, he would even make the Republican presidential primary today, but back to Romney. Romney might have made some changes, but people seem to forget we don’t have a king, so whomever is in the executive seat isn’t going to effect that much change. That fruit ain’t exactly ripe, but it’s the other branch that’s rotten. Let’s be honest, not much would be different under a Romney presidency. Just like Obama isn’t far off from GW.

    I agree with the Tea Party on some fiscal fronts, but they are far too extreme to win over the moderate or independent vote, and therefore will never “turn the tide.” They have no chance of winning if they don’t win over the center so they are relegated to squabbling with their party against the old guard Republican bureaucrats. I also sense a very dangerous, near-anarchist “watch it all burn” streak in them, so I can’t jump on board, even though they make sense in some areas. It’s much like the Occupy movement: some of what they say makes sense, but that sanity is lost when the radical element comes out. Both fringes (Tea Party and Occupy) are too nutty for most, and that’s why they fail to gain real traction and will continue to do so.

    1. Yes, I realize that the president isn’t king, which is why I mentioned men like Paul Ryan and Rubio earlier in the reply. In regards to Romney, you neglect to mention that the guy had to win — and govern — in Massachusetts. It bothers me when people try to make a guy out to be more liberal then he is when, at the end of the day, he needs to figure out a way to stay in office while still inching his constituency in his direction.

      I’ve been to tea party rallies, and the most of the people I’ve talked to are not “extreme” or “radical.” As I mentioned before, at some point the tumor becomes so big that even the procedure needed to cure the patient risks death.

      “Think of the federal government or the national debt like a tumor. It grows and it grows and it grows. At some point, even the operation needed to save the life of the afflicted could end up resulting in death. The tumor gets too close or attached to vital organs. Too much blood loss would occur if it was removed by anyone except the most skilled surgeon. The body has grown too weak to survive attempts to excise the cancer.”

      You call the tea party extreme, when the truth is that they’re the only ones crying out loud to the American people that the tumor is about to fuse with our vital organs.

      What you call the “watch it all burn” streak is really their acknowledgement that we’re sitting in a house on fire while the majority of the American people act as if it is someone else who is going to get burned. I believe the tea party will be vindicated by history, at which point the media will try and revise it.

    2. I find it interesting how a party that wants to restore our liberty gets called extreme. Going back to our original founding plan that made us successful is now called extreme.
      Sad really

  10. Speaking of sins and sinners, if the country does get more conservative, when do you think we’ll have to eat the Libertarians?

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