Bill Daley: Why fire Sebelius when the Titanic is already sinking, or something

posted at 12:01 pm on October 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Somehow, I don’t think the White House will be grateful for former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley’s analogy on CBS News this morning.  Asked by Norah O’Donnell whether HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should get fired for the ObamaCare fiasco, Daley replied that canning her now wouldn’t accomplish much.  It would be akin to firing the captain of the Titanic — which gives us all yet another excellent sinking-ship comparison (via The Corner):

Responding to a question about whether the administration should demand the resignation of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Daley said, ”To me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg,” Daley said on CBS on Thursday morning. “It’s not going to do much right now.”

Nonetheless, Daley called the launch of the exchanges, which Sebelius oversaw, “a big embarrassment” for the Obama administration, and suggested that HHS may need a change in leadership after it gets the websites “straightened out.”

Actually, firing Sebelius would accomplish two things. First, it would at least demonstrate some accountability for screwing up on the Titanic scale, which so far we haven’t seen, especially if Sebelius was telling the truth about keeping the bad news from Barack Obama until he was blind-sided by it.  Second, removing the management that screwed up the $400 million project would seem to be a big prerequisite to getting it fixed now — especially since, as Daley says, HHS will need a change of leadership later anyway.

The ObamaCare rollout was not just some little project for HHS, after all.  It was the signature legislation of the Obama administration, and also the premiere proof that government could run large markets better than the private sector.  In my column for The Fiscal Times, I argue that the fiasco has far-reaching implications for the progressive agenda, and that the performance of Obama and Sebelius come right out of the comic pages:

When I first started reading comic strips more than 40 years ago, one of the most popular was Bil Keane’s Family Circus, a lighthearted look at childhood and family dynamics. One running gag had to do with the typical child’s response to accountability for errors and mischief.

Keane would draw a ghostlike figure running through a scene, behaving badly with a manic sort of glee while the mother demanded to know who had broken the lamp, created a mess in the living room, or let the dog out.  Keane gave the ghost character the name of the inevitable response from the children – Ida Know. …

When the media demanded to know what happened, the White House responded with a battalion of Ida Knows.  How many people had succeeded in actually purchasing insurance through the federal exchange? Ida Know, White House sources told the Associated Press this past weekend when trying to brag about having 476,000 user accounts set up in the portal.  Did insurers actually get their data and have them enrolled? Ida Know.  When will the system actually work? Ida Know, OMB Director Sylvia Burwell told Bloomberg News.  …

Sebelius followed this up with a series of claims that strained credulity – even among Obama’s allies.  Sebelius told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta that Obama didn’t know of any problems with the web portal prior to its launch – even though Obama was fighting a bruising battle with Republicans over the program and the potential delay of the individual mandate.  She further implied that she had no idea of the disaster to come, either.  However, the Washington Post reported on Monday that the system failed a light-load test days before the website launch, and Reuters reported in August that the system testing was inadequate.

As Ron Fournier wrote in disgust at National Journal, Sebelius’ claim of ignorance is “either a lie … or it reveals an unfathomable lack of oversight.” Even former Obama administration press secretary Robert Gibbs couldn’t swallow that spin, telling Willie Geist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “the reason it defies belief, Willie, is that it’s unbelievable.”

It’s not just ObamaCare that’s sinking.  It’s the entire belief system that government has more competence than the stakeholders in a market to manage and direct it, and that’s sinking in an ocean of Ida Knows.  Don’t miss the conclusion of my essay, in which I point out the irony of begging the private sector for a lifevest, too.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Great column and reference to Ida Know.

Drained Brain on October 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Outrage:

Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Obama doesn’t fire people for screwing up, he throws more money and people at the “problem” And people love him for it.

Cindy Munford on October 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

obama can’t fire Nurse Ratched.

He’d never get another through the committee. It w/b obama’care’ (which he and Carney NO longer name such) 24/7.

Affordable – NOT

Care – NOT

Act – indeed

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Idiocricy

Welcome to the U.S. of Zimbabwe, with the very own O’Mugabe. He won in 2012 as did Mugabe in 2013. He rules the same.

obama killed the last shred of decency, shame and respect the US had left.

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The HHS Titanic’s bow is already under water.

Only the music continues to play.

This morning during the congressional hearings on the site “all systems are working perfectly” every scumhag and scumbag said.

Prognosis – good

Patient – dead

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Evidence #4,898,212 that Obama is running a cult.

In the hearing today, Dem Congressman Tonko NY gave instructions to the Cult

“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”
“that’s an important mantra for us going forward”

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Somehow the Titanic comparison brings to mind a vision of Obama on the bow screaming “I’m the king of the world.”

Drained Brain on October 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Instead of national security, or executive priviledge, or privacy excuses, the Dems have chosen this as their “Excuse of the Decade”

WDATPDIM

(What difference, at this point, does it make)

BobMbx on October 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

OT, but all is on topic, really.

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM

THE HEARINGS: Health care site contractor gives testimony…
Sebelius faces political challenge of a lifetime…
Finger-pointing…
ANGER…
Pelosi: ‘Just fix it’…
Troubles a sign of things to come…
SICK: Millions of Americans Losing Health Plans…
Senate Dems To Back Delay…
Obama ‘Credibility Melting’…

Flawlessness.

Bmore on October 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Patient – dead

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

“Hey, we’re sorry your family member died but….you should see our billing system! Its AWESOME! We’ll be able to debit your fathers’ checking account for his co-pay before COB today, so you won’t have to worry about that.”

BobMbx on October 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

In the hearing, Dem Congressman McNerney said that the important point is that there is incredible demand.

—-
500,000 people applied and took it for a test drive.

AND NOBODY BOUGHT THE PRODUCT
—-

Then he chanted “fix it, don’t nix it” 2 times.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

He’s got a point; nobody in power is talking about firing Obama either.

Fenris on October 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make?

David Blue on October 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

It’s not just ObamaCare that’s sinking. It’s the entire belief system that government has more competence than the stakeholders in a market to manage and direct it

Rush is making this point right now.

Obama not even competent enough to implode healthcare in such a way that government appears to be the only solution. Instead they’re getting the blame.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Come on everyone. Can’t we just move forward? All of this piling on serves no purpose.

BacaDog on October 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

500,000 people applied and took it for a test drive.

AND NOBODY BOUGHT THE PRODUCT

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

In the meantime at least that number are being dropped from their existing plans.

The contractors cheerfully assured the Dems that the system was going to be fixed quickly (I have my doubts about that). But more to the point, when does the public get fed up with the incompetence? If I were Mary Landrieu, I’d be a bit nervous right now.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Got a successful private sector business? You did not build that, the government did. Got an unsuccessful government website? The government did not build that; private sector contractors did.

KW64 on October 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Come on everyone. Can’t we just move forward? All of this piling on serves no purpose.

BacaDog on October 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

How exactly can we move forward when the system is broken? There is no mechanism for moving forward. And more to the point when the Wicked Witch of the Midwest and a lazy stupid coward manage to squander half a billion dollars on a system that doesn’t work, somebody should be held to account.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Here is Obama demonstrating a WORKING healthcare.gov on July 2010!

Why isn’t it working 3 years later?

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Somehow the Titanic comparison brings to mind a vision of Obama on the bow screaming “I’m the king of the world.”

Drained Brain on October 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

If Obama is playing king of the world, it is more likely to be from the stern.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Is the Cruz-Lee strategy considered brilliant yet?

mjbrooks3 on October 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

So, two weeks ago Obama was left by his HHS secretary to shut the government down rather than accept a one year delay of the individual mandate. That alone should be cause for firing, because now Obama has to go back and ask nicely for a bill that he could have had two weeks ago.

MTF on October 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM

This will have no impact on the Progressive worldview. We already hear them say “it must be wreckers and saboteurs!” The hunt for Emanual Golstein is on!

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM

More chanting

“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM

“The Statue of Liberty is kaput”

Electrongod on October 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h767n_gaCc

H/t Jaibones

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Heh. I was channeling Juan Williams.

BacaDog on October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

mjbrooks:

Let’s not rewrite history. Lee-Cruz has nothing to do with it. O-cared failed on its own. If anything Lee-Cruz delayed the public’s recognition of this Charlie Foxtrot. Imagine what would have happened if the rollout was the sole function of attention.

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Here is Obama demonstrating a WORKING healthcare.gov on July 2010!

Why isn’t it working 3 years later?

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Well, for starters, notice how he didn’t have to provide all sorts of personal information and get that information verified before he could move forward?

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

“The Statue of Liberty is kaput”

Electrongod on October 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Thats disconcerting.

BobMbx on October 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

More chanting

“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”
“Fix it. not nix it”

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I thought you were joking, but I just heard it on Rush Limbaugh. Parody is dead.

Fenris on October 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I thought you were joking, but I just heard it on Rush Limbaugh. Parody is dead.

Fenris on October 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Several Dem Congressmen are chanting during live hearings.

Think about that.

I’m not kidding about a cult.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

“Hey, we’re sorry your family member died but….you should see our billing system! Its AWESOME! We’ll be able to debit your fathers’ checking account for his co-pay before COB today, so you won’t have to worry about that.”

BobMbx on October 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Except the social security system says he’s still alive, so we’re going to keep sending SS checks to his last known address. We’ll catch up to that next year and then insist all funds be reimbursed with interest and penalities for defrauding the SS gubmint….

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Heh. I was channeling Juan Williams.

BacaDog on October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Oh, there is going to be a lot of liberals out there saying “let’s not focus on blame- let’s just fix the problem.” And other Dems will be out there channeling Pelosi and claiming that the GOP sabotaged all the good stuff they were trying to do with Obamacare. Harry Reid will probably call dissent terrorism again.

It leaves the GOP with an interesting situation since the Dems are now looking at delay (at least some of them). Does the GOP join them or do they just say “nah we tried and were told no last time. We’re good.”

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:42 PM

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Cruz-Lee were asking for what six Dem Senators are beginning to ask for…

mjbrooks3 on October 24, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Then he chanted “fix it, don’t nix it” 2 times.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Fixin’ like Nixon.

Christien on October 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Several Dem Congressmen are chanting during live hearings.

Think about that.

I’m not kidding about a cult.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Shouldn’t the GOP chair have screamed at them that issues need calm discussion, not yelling?

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Why the GOP just won’t stay out of the way of this trainwreck amazes me.

McConnell and Boehner should tell the Senate and House Dems to do what they want. If the Dems want to delay it, tell them fine, we won’t stand in the way. Let them completely own this clusterfark completely.

When your enemy is self destructing, get the hell out of the way.

BacaDog on October 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Mr. Brooks:

That is factually incorrect. Cruz was trying to defund it not delay it. The smart play was no delay and let O-care blow up in the Democrats face in 2014.

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Baca:

That was the Boehner-McConnell strategy until Ted Cruz screwed the pooch and now his supporters are doing an instant rewrite of history to make sound like the suicidal shutdown was a brilliant gambit.

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Bill Daley: Why fire Sebelius when the Titanic is already sinking

Well, the captain of the Titanic went down with his ship.
So I guess instead of being fired, is Daley perhaps suggesting Nurse Ratched should commit jigai (the female form of seppuku)…

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

The more intransigent the Administration gets on this, the more they attempt the lame spin around this, and the more accountability and responsibility is dodged, the better the case that ‘Big Government’ is not the most competent, effective, and efficient way to do anything, let a long ‘big’ things.

For all but the lowest LIV, you can’t look at this EpicClusterFark and not ask yourself, what would happen to me in my current job if I screwed the pooch this badly? Would I be able to deflect or point the finger somewhere else? Would I be able to, with a straight face, not only fail to accept responsibility for a fiasco, but try to point the finger elsewhere?

Does the GOP join them or do they just say “nah we tried and were told no last time. We’re good.”

The best course for the GOP right now is to stay on the sidelines. Don’t launch any new major initiatives or let the Administration deflect attention from their ACA debacle. They want to bring up Amnesty, ask pointed questions as to how their ‘fix’ for immigration will not be the clusterfark that their ‘fix’ for healthcare was.

The Democrats own this. They rammed it through not wanting or needing any GOP support. They didn’t want the input of the GOP – and as recently as 10 days ago was castigating the GOP for wanting to delay the individual mandate. I wouldn’t even support the Dems trying to delay the individual mandate now – reminding them they had their chance.

I’d let the Dems circle the bowl for a few months on this…right up to the time to talk on the next CR….

Athos on October 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Several Dem Congressmen are chanting during live hearings.
Think about that.
I’m not kidding about a cult.

faraway on October 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

They should have ended their litle cult session with a round of Jonestown Koolaid…

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Says the man from the corrupt Daley family of Chicago.

RdLake on October 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Actually, firing Sebelius would accomplish two things. First, it would at least demonstrate some accountability for screwing up on the Titanic scale, which so far we haven’t seen, especially if Sebelius was telling the truth about keeping the bad news from Barack Obama until he was blind-sided by it.

Not all the fault of Field Marshal Sebelius if this White House has cultivated a “don’t you dare bring any bad news” culture, as many have reported.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Bill Daley’s comparing firing Sebelius to firing the captain of the Titanic hides the real reason many Democrats, and especially Obama, don’t want to fire Sebelius.

If Sebelius is fired, Obama will have to choose her successor, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate. Republicans in the Senate have enough votes to filibuster a nomination, and they will certainly want exhaustive hearings to ensure that the nominee is competent enough to handle the problem, but not too liberal to try to turn a failed Obamacare into a single-payer system. Meanwhile, any delay in confirming a new HHS Secretary will further delay fixing the problems with the website, increasing the pressure on Obama to delay the individual mandate.

Steve Z on October 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

C-L were trying to damage the ACA while acquiring political capital with a guilt-by-association approach.

Mission completion.

mjbrooks3 on October 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Not all the fault of Field Marshal Sebelius if this White House has cultivated a “don’t you dare bring any bad news” culture, as many have reported.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

The Samurai had a good way to deal with dishonor on the field of battle….

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Mr Brooks:

Simple questions:

Would the O-care roll out have been any different without the shutdown?

Would the Republicans have acquired politcal captial with the guilt-by-associaiton approach anyway?

Would the Republican have lost political captial without the shutdown?

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Responding to a question about whether the administration should demand the resignation of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Daley said, ”To me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg,” Daley said on CBS on Thursday morning. “It’s not going to do much right now.”

Hence the difference between democrats and republicans. Sebelius screwed up royally, yet she is defended with a dismissive “what difference does it make (now)” attitude. Yet republicans, with their perception that Senator Cruz and Lee screwed up over the shutdown, are ready to tar and feather those two.

olesparkie on October 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Points well taken.

I think that the Tea Party base was pushing for a confrontation and C-L-et al gave it to them.
The GOP establishment then took the Liberal Dem approach of pejorative attacks in an effort to get their establishment way.
Hence the bloody mess…

In the end, the country wants what C-L tried to give them.

mjbrooks3 on October 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Would the O-care roll out have been any different without the shutdown?

Would the Republicans have acquired politcal captial with the guilt-by-associaiton approach anyway?

Would the Republican have lost political captial without the shutdown?

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Bottom line, the slimdown had nothing to do with the rollout. It was funded by part of the government that didn’t get furloughed.

And, IMO, the slimdown actually helped the GOP despite the best efforts of the surrender weasels. It made GOP opposition to Obamacare crystal clear just before stuff really started hitting the fan. Two weeks ago Ted Cruz was talking about defund or delay while the Dems were out there saying absolutely not under any circumstances.

In short, the slimdown, affirmed who owns this debacle.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

oles:

Don’t talk about the speck in someone else’s eye. Look at the plank in your own eye.” (I know that is not the precise bibilical quote) The reason that Cruz faction is getting slammed is because anybody who disagreed with them were branded cowards and RINOs.

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Responding to a question about whether the administration should demand the resignation of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Daley said, ”To me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg,” Daley said on CBS on Thursday morning. “It’s not going to do much right now.”

olesparkie on October 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The other part of this is – Captain Smith didn’t need to be, or even could be fired – since he went down with the ship.

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I’m glad Nomad stepped up to the plate.

You admit Cruz had nothing to do with the failed rollout and since
O-care passed with zero Republican support so the public knew that Republicans were saying “I told you so.” Not only that the Administration was already pointing that out when they complained that Republicans aren’t helping.

There is no doubt that the Democrats owned this baby from the beginning.

Therefore the shutdown had nothing to do with public perception of who owns O-care.

jerryofva on October 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

C’mon, has this administration fixed ANYTHING they’ve screwed up? There are loose ends and ongoing investigations into all the scandals they’ve created, but I can’t name a single scandal that’s actually been resolved nor name a person who was actually fired. Resignations, yea, but has anyone gotten terminated?

So now since 60% think Obama’s health care plan is a joke. And what are they going to do? Delay it a few weeks. The jokes keep coming!

scalleywag on October 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I’m pretty sure that White Star fired quite a few people after the Titanic went down.

And, if I recall correctly, the whole company went out of business in about 2 years.

Chris of Rights on October 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Contractors Hired To Build Obamacare Exchange Say They Asked For “Months” of Testing Before Going Live, HHS Gave Them Less Than Two Weeks…

Resist We Much on October 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Again, calling upon my experience building websites of this nature and size, I’d say six to eight months of integrated system testing would do it, if you had a staff of sufficient size and were sufficiently ready for testing at the start.

Chris of Rights on October 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I’m pretty sure that White Star fired quite a few people after the Titanic went down.

And, if I recall correctly, the whole company went out of business in about 2 years.

Chris of Rights on October 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

From your mouth into God’s ear :)…If only this ‘company’ that runs the country into the ground went out of business in two years (le sigh…)…on second thought I’d be happy with even a partial ‘company re-organization ‘ in 2014 :)…

jimver on October 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I’m pretty sure that White Star fired quite a few people after the Titanic went down.

And, if I recall correctly, the whole company went out of business in about 2 years.

Chris of Rights on October 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Correct, they were absorbed by Cunard, later owners of RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth, etc.

Several high-rankers got sacked first, though, including a couple of board members. They couldn’t fire Titanic‘s designer, though. He went down with her that April night in 1912.

Titanic had two sister ships, Britannic and Olympic. While serving as a hospital ship in WW1, Britannic was torpedoed and sunk in the eastern Med.

In the 1920s, Cunard scrapped Olympic, a barely decade-old ship. Officially, the reason was “deficiencies” in design, like the W/T bulkheads not going all the way up to the weather deck, which definitely falls into the “WTF were the designers thinking?” category.

But the persistent rumors in the industry were that they couldn’t get anyone, crew or passengers, to sail on what was considered a “jinxed” ship due to the fate of her sisters.

cheers

eon

eon on October 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM

So Obama, Clinton, Sebelius, and McAuliffe all get away with the excuse “I’m so high up in management that I can’t possibly know what is going on below me.” or “I am the boss, I don’t have any control over individual departments below me.” Implying that, at a certain level of management, you cease to have any knowledge, control, or authority over the operation you are in charge of.

But Romney was expected to have precise knowledge and control of all Bain activities, even after he stepped down as CEO.

tdarrington on October 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

No Fault NON accountable Federal Government!

Firing her would show that you will be held accountable for your actions.
While we are at it make sure that Bill Daley never gets a government job again with the protectionism attitude towards management that he has displayed.

jpcpt03 on October 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Correct, they were absorbed by Cunard, later owners of RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth, etc.

Several high-rankers got sacked first, though, including a couple of board members. They couldn’t fire Titanic‘s designer, though. He went down with her that April night in 1912.

Titanic had two sister ships, Britannic and Olympic. While serving as a hospital ship in WW1, Britannic was torpedoed and sunk in the eastern Med.

In the 1920s, Cunard scrapped Olympic, a barely decade-old ship. Officially, the reason was “deficiencies” in design, like the W/T bulkheads not going all the way up to the weather deck, which definitely falls into the “WTF were the designers thinking?” category.

But the persistent rumors in the industry were that they couldn’t get anyone, crew or passengers, to sail on what was considered a “jinxed” ship due to the fate of her sisters.

cheers

eon

eon on October 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Right now I’m imagining Captain Obama on the bridge of USS Obamacare, sipping tea with two fingers and giving the ‘full speed ahead’ command to First Mate Sebelius. The DNC band plays on, led by Dingy Harry.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Right now I’m imagining Captain Obama on the bridge of USS Obamacare, sipping tea with two fingers and giving the ‘full speed ahead’ command to First Mate Sebelius. The DNC band plays on, led by Dingy Harry.

slickwillie2001 on October 24, 2013 at 3:42 PM

and SloJoe is blasting the iceberg with his shotgun….

dentarthurdent on October 24, 2013 at 4:35 PM

The short-term government shutdown was not suicidal, and it may look brilliant in hindsight, circa November 2014.

Late September of 2013, House Republicans had two deadlines: the Government needed a CR to be funded beyond September 30, and people were going to start signing up for Obamacare on October 1. They probably didn’t know that people would have trouble creating accounts on the website, but they did know that premiums and deductibles for Obamacare insurance would be higher than people paid previously with employer-sponsored health insurance. So, in order to save the American people from the higher premiums and deductibles, before they became “the law of the land”, House Republicans tried to negotiate a deal: we’ll only fund the government if the individual mandate is delayed a year.

Obama and the Senate Democrats refused to touch Obamacare, but Republicans did obtain a CR that only funded the Government for three months. While the shutdown may look now like a victory for Obama, all the problems with the Healthcare.gov website are front-page news, people and Democrats are starting to fear Obamacare, and we will have another debate about funding the Government in January.

By then, Obamacare might look so scary that lots of Democrats will want to delay the individual mandate, and a CR with such a delay could pass both houses of Congress with bipartisan support, and Obama would have the choice of either admitting that his “signature achievement” is a disaster or vetoing the bill and shutting down the government himself.

Republicans could then claim “We told you Obamacare was a disaster back in October, and if you give us a Senate majority we’ll repeal it entirely and bring everyone’s health insurance back to the way it was in 2010.” By then, even some Democrats would want to repeal other provisions of Obamacare that would otherwise cause the health-insurance industry to tank.

If anyone is wondering why blue-state Blumenthal (D-CT) is having doubts about Obamacare, his state capital of Hartford is a leading center of the insurance industry. Hmmmm…

Steve Z on October 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM