Doodles at the link, but I’m not giving anything away if I tell you first that Clinton is no George W. Bush.
The positive spin: ObamaCare enrollment now up to 365,000 people.
The negative spin: That’s out of 7,000,000 needed by the end of march.
The really negative spin:
The topline figures exclude 834 problems, incorrect Medicaid enrollments, various glitches, ppl who haven't paid. …
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) December 11, 2013
“There is also a lot of worrying going on over people making payments,” industry consultant Robert Laszewski wrote in an email. “One client reports only 15% have paid so far. It is still too early to know for sure what this means but we should expect some enrollment slippage come the payment due date.”
Another consultant Kip Piper, agreed. “So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5% and 10% of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,” he wrote me…
Blue Shield of California said it has sent out thousands of payment request letters…
There’s going to be chaos come spring. A month ago I might have tempered that claim with “there might be chaos,” but there’s no longer any room left for doubt. The insurers simply must get millions into the risk pool, but my back-of-the-envelope math suggests that with less than three weeks before the new policies start to kick in, maybe 73,000 enrollees are actually paid up.
To get to that number, I took the 365,000 at face value and then multiplied by the generous figure of 20%, just in case Robert Laszewski is too pessimistic. The actual figure could be half of that — or even half of the half, if we take the worst-case numbers.
But nobody knows. The White House isn’t talking, Kathleen Sebelius is leading a mock-charge into her own office, and the press seems intent on keeping its collective head up its collective bottom until the next October 1-type crisis rolls around.
Which it will, like clockwork, on April 1. That is, if it doesn’t happen on January 1.
The chaos is coming. Anyone can see it who chooses to look — where is the leadership from the Administration, and where — dear lord where — is our Forth Estate?
No, not me. When it comes to VodkaPundit, this site is run on The Highlander Principle: There can be only one! But it’s been months since Steve Ballmer announced his imminentish departure from Microsoft, yet Redmond still hasn’t announced his successor. Jean-Louis Gassée has a theory:
So where does Microsoft turn, and why are they taking so long? Once you put aside the Mr./Ms. Perfect fantasy, there’s no dearth of capable executives with the brains and guts to run Microsoft. These are people who already run large corporations, or are next-in-line to do so. Exec recruiters worth the pound of flesh they get for their services have e-Rolodexes full of such people — some inside the company itself.
Now, place yourself inside the heart and mind of this intelligent candidate:
‘Do I want to work with that Board? In particular, do I want Bill Gates and his pal Steve Ballmer hovering over everything I do? I know I’ll have to make unpopular decisions and upset more than a few people. What’s in it for me – and for Microsoft – in a situation where unhappy members of the old guard would be tempted to go over my head and whine to Bill and Steve? How long would I last before I get fired or, worse, neutered and lose my mind?’
Consider it a litmus test: Any candidate willing to accept this road to failure is automatically disqualified as being too weak. A worthy contender makes it clear that he or she needs an unfettered mandate with no Office Of The Second Guessing in the back of the boardroom. Bill and Steve would have to go — but the Old Duo doesn’t want to leave.
How does a board replace or sideline the company’s two largest shareholders? Short of a shareholder revolt, it just isn’t possible. But if Gassée is right, Microsoft’s necessary reforms can’t happen while Steve & Bill still sit on the board.
The company can soldier on for years, with its enterprise cash cows to keep on milking. But without any growth markets to exploit, the company will remain ripe for disruption until and unless it gets real leadership.
I’m sure given enough time and resources Kathleen Sebelius may finally be able to get to the bottom of what she’s done.
And after a second thought, the “Fox, Henhouse” headline doesn’t quite do this story justice. Let’s change it to “Smoke, Mirrors.”
UPDATE: Politico’s take? “Sebelius pushes back against GOP critics.”
Well, of course that’s their take.
After all, GOP badmouthing is why ObamaCare is such a colossal cockup.
Just 28 percent give the president high grades for being able to achieve his goals (down 16 points from January); only 37 percent give him high marks for being honest and straightforward (down 5 points from June); and 44 percent give him high marks for being able to handle a crisis (down another 5 points since June).
“These are tough and sobering numbers for the president and his administration,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
More at the link, including a PDF of the full report.
But what comes to my mind is, “Live by the targeted demo, die by the targeted demo.”
Wiggleroom won election in 2008 on three things. There was rational voter disgust with President Bush, rational voter fears about the economy, and completely irrational belief in the power of hopenchange.
Wiggle was reelected with even less. Silly campaigns, aided and abetted by the MSM, like the fictional “war on women,” helped drive targeted voters to the polls. Smear jobs on Mitt Romney, again aided and abetted by the MSM, helped keep other targeted voters at home. (Romney’s near-inability to counterpunch, plus the RNC’s technological inferiority also played big parts; I’m not at all saying they’re blameless for Romney’s loss.)
But what happens when that “supporter” who came to the polls based on little more than than a cute “lady parts” meme she saw on Buzzfeed, is confronted with a not-so-cute cancellation notice, and a non-working website trying to upsell her on unaffordable insurance? What wellspring does Wiggleroom have to win her back?
There isn’t one. Wiggleroom didn’t win on a set on bedrock principles from which he has now temporarily deviated. He ran and won on lies and smears and cutting-edge technology. The smears no longer matter because Romney is out of the picture, and there are no more voters to get to the polls via an iPhone app.
All that’s left is the lies, brutally exposed by the ObamaCare rollout.
Would you believe the Senator’s party affiliation had been mentioned twice before the second sentence (one in the subhead, once in the lede) in a child porn case?
You would, if he were a Republican.
Peter De Lorenzo on GM’s CEO-in-waiting:
[Mary] Barra, if you must know, was given the chief of Product Development title by Akerson even though that’s not the job she performed. The ex-HR Queen was plucked from near obscurity by Akerson and thrust into the role and given the title because Akerson openly said to anyone who would listen, anyone could run product. Yes, he said that. Repeatedly, too. (Akerson applied the same sick logic when he appointed “Amway Bob” Ferguson – the GM lobbyist with no apparent credentials of any kind – to run Cadillac.) Well, in fact, the dirty little secret is that Barra never ran product. Her strength was her knowledge of the GM system, and when Mark Reuss and the True Believers in product development were ready to launch a finished product into the system to get built, Barra was given the task of taking that product and making sure it was executed in the most efficient way possible. But did she actually perform as the head of Product Development? It never happened. Not even close, in fact.
I don’t see why he’s so upset. The HR- and faculty lounge-types have been running the White House for five years now — anyone can run it.
More seriously, can you think of a worse kind of person to run a massive auto company?
That’s no typo in my oft-repeated headline — but it might be the beginning of a new recurring feature. Read:
President Barack Obama’s job approval among American voters drops to a new low, a negative 38 – 57 percent, as the outlook for Democrats running for Congress and the U.S. Senate fades also, according to a national poll released today. He even gets a negative 41 – 49 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old and a lackluster 50 – 43 percent approval among Hispanic voters.
The president’s job approval compares to a negative 39 – 54 percent score in a November 12 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
Today, Obama gets negative scores of 6 – 92 percent among Republicans, 30 – 62 percent among independent voters, 31 – 64 percent among men, 44 – 49 percent among women and 29 – 65 among white voters. Approval is 76 – 18 percent among Democrats and 85 – 9 percent among black voters.
American voters say 41 – 38 percent that they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat for the U.S. House of Representatives, the first time this year the Democrats come up on the short end of this generic ballot. Independent voters back Republican candidates 41 – 28 percent. Voters also say 47 – 42 percent that they would like to see Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate and the House. Independent voters go Republican 50 – 35 percent for each.
You get the feeling 2012′s dirty tricks might prove mere prelude?
It took me until lunchtime to find one today? Either I’m slipping or the law is starting to work — you make the call!
Comprehensive healthcare reform was a worthy priority for the administration. It was undertaken, however, at a time when the country remained financially and economically unstable—and when people of all outlooks were wary about an ambitious remake of a huge part of the economy. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, or the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, it was formulated and narrowly passed on a one-party basis without public opinion supporting it. If he were to do it over, Obama would no doubt take the Lyndon Johnson/Ted Kennedy approach to healthcare reform and enlist a few Republican leaders and ideas, such as tort reform or selling insurance across state lines.
That mindset does not focus on one-upping Republicans in the next news cycle or gaining an edge for the next election. It focuses on serious governance.
That’s Ted Van Dyk, explaining to readers of The Atlantic how the Democrat Party can “save itself” from its self-inflicted wounds. That’s a heck of an unintended consequence.
As I’ve said on other occasions, the quickest way to discredit progressivism is to put it into practice — but, dear lord, the cleanup.
Hot on the heels of Jim Jong Un’s sacking of his top lieutenant comes word of …not much… out of China in reaction:
“China doesn’t have many connections with (North Korea) at the top level to begin with. Jang’s purge means that China lost one of the few conduits they had,” said Roger Cavazos, a North Korea watcher at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability.
Jang, the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Jun, was stripped of his titles for alleged transgressions including instigating party dissent and squandering party funds on drugs, gambling and women.
Under North Korea’s policy of collective punishment, all of his associates are likely to be purged along with him, including many members of the 2012 delegation.
Of all the possible outcomes in North Korea, I figured the really, really bad ones might happen sooner, the really bad ones might take slightly longer, and that this option would take longest of all.
But Jang is gone after just two years — no clue what happens next.
Other than it will either be really bad, or really, really bad.
Well, it blows if you’re Jang Sung Taek.
Here are the scenarios we looked at here almost exactly years ago upon Jong-Un’s ascension:
1. Kim Jong-un, Jong-il’s youngest son, steps quickly and easily into his father’s shoes. All goes swimmingly.
2. Kim Jong-il adviser Jang Song-taek acts as regent to the younger Kim and rules effectively while Jong-un continues to hone his chops in Pyongyang.
3. North Korea launches artillery attacks against the South.
4. North Korea tests a nuclear device.
5. Factional in-fighting will prevent any individual or group from exercising effective control.
6. Kim Jong-il’s death was not natural as reported. Kim Jong-un and other members of the Kim family may be next on the hit-list.
7. The additional uncertainty caused by Kim’s death drives segments of an already hungry, malnourished population over the edge. North Koreans head for the Chinese border in droves.
I added, “Number 2 is what the Party would accept. Dynasty assured, reliable regent in place. Surely this is what they’ll work for.”
Well, it’s what they got — for a while. I guess Jong-Un’s chops are now finely honed.
At this point, what’s left to do other than to shrug your shoulders and ask, “Sure, why not?”
This particular program was started in 2007, and makes clear that not only is there no form of electronic communication the NSA can’t listen to, but there’s no form of electronic communication it doesn’t listen to.
Remember when Professor Wiggleroom could at least claim a sort-of non-partisan and cool competence? Good times:
CNN political analyst David Gergen gave a scathing review of White House operations Sunday, saying recent reports about the president’s lack of interest in the Obamacare rollout borders on malfeasance.
The conclusion drawn about Obama’s signature health care plan stems from a Government Accountability Institute report released last week that said the president met privately with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on only one occasion prior to implementation of the program.
“I don’t think this is simply sloppiness on the part of the White House,” Gergen said. “What seems to me is there’s a case of near malfeasance here.”
The documents, which also include spreadsheets that list the bank’s “track record” for converting hires into business deals, offer the most detailed account yet of JPMorgan’s “Sons and Daughters” hiring program, which has been at the center of a federal bribery investigation for months. The spreadsheets and emails — recently submitted by JPMorgan to authorities — illuminate how the bank created the program to prevent questionable hiring practices but ultimately viewed it as a gateway to doing business with state-owned companies in China, which commonly issue stock with the help of Wall Street banks.
The revolution always begins with promises of power to the people, but it always ends with the privileged sons and daughters of the nomenklatura trading on their connections for riches.