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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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October 23, 2013 - 10:23 am

The Obama administration’s pitiful handling of its signature policy is forcing ardent Obama supporter Ezra Klein into growing up. A little.

The White House has refused requests to name the outsiders they’ve brought in (for the Healthcare.gov “tech surge”), to name the companies that are involved and to explain how the surge is being organized. It’s thus impossible to say what the surge actually is or how it’s working.

It’s easy to imagine reasons for their reticence. They don’t want reporters to know where to go for further leaks. They don’t want people who are donating their time to come under political pressure, or appear to bear responsibility if the site isn’t fixed, or simply to be bothered by a lot of outside inquiry and scrutiny when they should be fixing code.

But it’s also possible that the scope of the surge is less impressive, and more insider-focused, than the administration is implying. That might actually be a smart move if you take a “mythical man month” view of the problem. On the other hand, that would also mean that the White House is largely relying on the people who did such a poor job building HealthCare.gov in the first place to fix it.

Secrecy is just how this administration does business. It refuses to say how many people have enrolled in Obamacare. It asks insurers to cover up enrollment numbers. It goes after reporters who report leaks that don’t show the administration in the best light. Obama himself slams bloggers and then secretly meets with bloggers to get them to push his message.

They’re a creepy bunch. Dollars to donuts hardly anyone in Silicon Valley wants anything to do with Healthcare.gov, and those who have been brought in previously worked either for the administration or the campaign. “Team Obamacare” wants that covered up because they like cover-ups, and because it looks bad that Obama who failed to call in support for the Americans in Benghazi can’t even call in a tech cavalry to save himself.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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After spending 30 years in the software industry, I'm more than a little skeptical, too. As somebody else pointed out, it's a little like having a baby; you can't speed up the process by putting more women on the project.

My experience is, the more programmers you throw at a software project, the less productivity you get. Half the time the new programmers advise, "Scrap the existing software, start over from scratch, and do it my way". The other half of the time, the new programmers spend months just trying to figure out how the original code is supposed to work, so they can fix it.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Drudge had a link on Tuesday that Obama had asked Verizon for technical support.

Which sounds fine until you realize that Verizon is a telecommunications provider, not neciessarily a software company, or a company that writes and debugs code.

What are the odds that the rubes would realize that?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
My cousin has Verizon.... doesn't work worth a darned in the sticks.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
One has to assume that the project managers for this disaster are just as incompetent as the CEO of this effort (they probably believe that by getting 9 women pregnant they can have a baby in one month as opposed to waiting 9 months for a baby with just one woman).
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Surge? What surge. What is this kid Ezra babbling about some kind of surge?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Dollars to donuts hardly anyone in Silicon Valley wants anything to do with Healthcare.gov, and those who have been brought in previously worked either for the administration or the campaign."

Never underestimate the ego of Silicon Valley bigwigs who think "fixing healthcare.gov"; would be a great item on the resume. Or think this could get them later access if they send a couple of grunts over to help.

Ezra must have put himself in the contractors' shoes: You're sitting there, here comes the contracting officer (a gov't employee) who basically says "Some smarter guys are coming to fix the stuff you were working on, you should help them fix your mistakes.". Guess how well that plays with human nature?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Or think this could get them later access if they send a couple of grunts over to help. "

They'd have to have some pretty short term wants, because whoever succeeds Obama won't be calling them up to bestow favors.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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