Patterico's Pontifications


Anyone Try to Create an Account at HealthCare.Gov?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:51 pm

I just tried. About four times in a row.

I said I was from Delaware, a state that uses the federal Web site, because I was curious to see how it worked.

The first time, the answers to my security questions were all insults to Obama — but they were different. What was my favorite toy as a child? “Obama may blow me.” What kind of cuisine do I enjoy? “I can’t stand Obama.” And so forth. I was told my account could not be created, because the answers to my questions were not distinct. And to try again.

OK, I said Obama in each one, I thought. I had better change it up.

I had to retype my name (John Doe) and my email address (Hushmail, set up for this purpose), each time I tried to create an account again. As for the security questions? OK, time to get serious — kind of.

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Not true — and, admittedly, not particularly funny (this is not Ace of Spades, people!) — but certainly distinct. And yet:

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What was not “distinct” about my answers?

Apparently, Obama is going to do some kind of “tech surge” that everybody knows will fail. So: what should Republicans’ strategy be? Sit by and watch as they fail miserably? Or something else?

I’m sorry, your answer could not be accepted at this time. Please try again.

Brutal Video: Guy Tries for Hours to Enroll in ObamaCare With No Success

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Ed Morrissey sums it up:

Hours on website: five. Hours in live chat attempting to get assistance in navigating the website: three. Hours spent taking Barack Obama’s advice and talking to the call center: four and a half, a third of which was spent yesterday after Obama gave out the call center number and assured Americans that they could enroll by phone. Insurance enrollments from all of the above effort: zero.


UPDATE: Obama tells you that if the Web site does not work, just call. And when you do? You get someone who tells you to go the Web site. (Thanks to Sammy F.)

A business run like this would fail. But it’s the government! So you have to do it, and it will be done badly.

UPDATE x2: It was known this would happen. (Thanks to narciso.)

L.A. Times Emits More Bull$&!% About the State of the Budget

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

At the L.A. Times, Lisa Mascaro works hard to expand on the David Lauter spin that the budget is hunky-dory under Obama:

Interest in a big fix for the nation’s budget has faded among Democrats because many no longer believe it is necessary or worth the political perils. The deficit has declined rapidly, and the national debt, now $16.7 trillion, is projected to be stable or even declining as a share of the economy well into the next decade.

. . . .

Although the politics have shifted as the battered GOP struggles to regroup amid deep internal divisions, the nation’s budget problems remain difficult and economically daunting: The country is on a budget trajectory that, while substantially improved from the recent recession, remains unsustainable.

It’s nice that she admits it’s “unsustainable” — but the rest of this is claptrap.

It falls once again to Tom Blumer, who took apart Lauter’s nonsense, to correct Mascaro’s deception:

Lisa Mascaro, with the help of Brian Bennett, David Lauter and Michael A. Memoli, added to that effort late Saturday afternoon. In an item primarily about the politics of the Washington’s next scheduled fiscal standoff in mid-December, she did the usual spin on this year’s budget deficit (writing that it has “declined rapidly,” while conveniently forgetting that this year’s shortfall will be higher than any non-Obama deficit in U.S. history). She also gave undue credence based on poor historical accuracy to Congressional Budget Office projections which claim that “the national debt … is projected to be stable or even declining as a share of the economy well into the next decade.” But she ventured beyond the careful but misleading realm of the previous two statements into flat-out falsehood when she wrote: “The country is on a budget trajectory that, while substantially improved from the recent recession …”

Her Saturday writeup claimed that the national debt is “now $16.7 trillion.” No ma’am. It was actually $17.075 trillion as of Thursday, the latest figure available at the U.S. Treasury, thanks to the post-shutdown unwinding of the Treasury Department’s accounting and money-shifting tricks. These “undo” actions caused the debt to go up by a record $328 billion in a single day.

Substantively, yes, I realize that Mascaro added that our current path “remains unsustainable” at the end of the sentence I quoted above. That doesn’t change the fact that she has given her readers the completely false impression that the U.S. in far less fiscal and economic peril now than it was 4-1/2 ago, when the “recent” (cough, cough) recession ended.

. . . .

Only economic illiterates or blind partisans could pretend that a nation with a debt-to-GDP percentage in the 70s is “substantially improved” in comparison to four years ago, when the percentage was in the low 50s, and where the predicted situation at the end of this decade is now over 15 percentage points worse.

Once again:

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So relax!

P.S. It’s off topic, but while we’re bashing the Times, let’s not forget this “let’s trade Texas for England” piece sent to me by a few people. It’s self-refuting, which is nice, as it saves me the effort.

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