Monsters from the Libs

At the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez analyzes the inner working of the Krell Machine:

The problems were caused by the “business rules.” But the initial belief among liberal pundits was the opposite. they delightedly concluded they were witnessing a massive success; in the words of one tweet the sound of the exchanges crashing was the sound of ‘millions of Americans buying affordable health insurance and nothing the Republicans can do about it.’ That celebratory shout dwindled to Ezra Klein’s recent whimper. He now believes Obamacare really does have technical problems and the administration should ruthlessly purge these wreckers from the ranks of its contractors.

But nothing is fundamentally wrong and the efforts of Stakhanovite programmers will fix it soon. Megan McArdle, who is by no means a mindless acolyte of everything liberal, asked developer what the words ‘soon’ might mean in this setting and received this reply.

One person familiar with the project says it’s only about 70 percent of the way there, and has heard estimates of somewhere between two weeks to two months to fix it. As a programmer I know points out, “two weeks to two months” is the programming equivalent of “40 days and 40 nights”: “A long time, but I have no way of knowing how long.” When I used to hear estimates like that, I used to assume it would be coming in on the late end of that range, earliest.

But I disagree. This is not just a problem of programmers not meeting their code quotas; nor is this just a 40 days and 40 nights problem. As I noted from the first, it is a “business rules” problem. The thing is speced wrong. Gordon Crovitz, writing in the Wall Street Journal says the same thing.

The functional failures of the Affordable Care Act websites are well-documented, but the fundamental flaw is the law’s mind-numbing complexity. The officials who planned ObamaCare blame their Web engineers, but they’re passing the buck. ObamaCare is a hugely complicated approach to addressing problems in health care that have simpler solutions. …

The Government Accountability Office last year calculated that for the IRS alone, implementing ObamaCare would be a “massive undertaking that involves 47 different statutory provisions and extensive coordination.” Among them: “disclosure of taxpayer information for determining subsidy eligibility,” “drug manufacturer tax” and “high-cost health plan tax.” Senate staffers created a mind-boggling graphic showing ObamaCare’s various agencies and regulators, which can be viewed at

Readers should click on the site to see the chart, but for the convenience of those who don’t have the time here is a thumbnail of that diagram.


Click to enlarge. But warning: it just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger and…

Or to put it another way:

In times long past, this planet was the home of a mighty, noble race of beings who called themselves the Krell. Ethically and technologically they were a million years ahead of humankind, for in unlocking the mysteries of nature they had conquered even their baser selves, and when in the course of eons they had abolished sickness and insanity, crime and all injustice, they turned, still in high benevolence, upwards towards space. Then, having reached the heights, this all-but-divine race perished in a single night, and nothing was preserved above ground.

As Forbidden Planet reminded its viewers almost 60 years ago, the Id is a rather punitive creature, no matter how sophisticated and nuanced the appearance and manner of the outer shell of its possessor, and capable of great destruction when amplified by technology.

Or to return this post to planet Earth, and as a reminder of when an earlier group of punitive leftists conspired to permanently clip the wings on their country’s majestic upward ascension, “The ObamaCare Death Spiral and Britain’s NHS, Coming to an American Town Near You.”


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