Quote of the Day

Richard Fernandez:

What was genuinely terrifying was the [Obamacare] rollout, which demonstrated unequivocally that the power elite had become too corrupt to even defend itself properly. The Obamacare exchanges are the single best measure of how competently they are handling foreign policy, national security and economic strategy.
Even though their political fortunes depended on it, the Obama administration was too politicized, inefficient, and compromised to even hire a competent contractor in time to roll it out half-decently. Just think of it. The same administration that brought you this monumental screwup is charge of protecting the world. And before the GOP crows, think this. That bunch of jokers must be more competent then the GOP since they beat them every time.
It was a “the Emperor has no clothes” moment for me. The power elite in Washington is inbred to the point of being genetically retarded. They believe their own propaganda now. They promote their own ridiculous mediocrities. Look at Anthony Weiner! Look at Bill Blasio, or Al Sharpton. Holy Smokes are we in trouble.
The reason its falling apart for them now is because it had to. How were they going to pay for Obamacare assuming they could get anyone to enrol on its ‘Exchanges’? Why are they raising the Debt Limit? To pay for their useless programs? And where are they going to get the money to pay for this debt?
Nobody has any answers. They probably haven’t even thought of the questions.

Read the whole post.

22 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. Ah, but they do have heavily armed gorillas who are happy to assassinate a poor madwoman.

    True she had bumped a traffic bollard. (“Rammed” they claimed. Liars.)
    But they surrounded the car in such a way that they must have seen that (i) she was unarmed, at least with anything visible, and (ii) there was a baby aboard.
    And as she drives off they actually start shooting, putting God knows how many other people at risk.

    And people complain that the thug-in-charge of Syria murders his own citizens.

    Can I take it that the public outcry is … largely silent?

  2. No IT project in the history of technology ever worked for 300 million users. Especially unlikely is a government developed one. Why is the Air Traffic Control system using 1940s software?

    The FAA has spent over US$3 billion on software, but a fully automated system is still over the horizon. In 2002 the UK brought a new area control centre into service at the London Area Control Centre, Swanwick, Hampshire, in Hampshire, relieving a busy suburban centre at West Drayton, Middlesex, north of London Heathrow Airport. Software from Lockheed-Martin predominates at the London Area Control Centre. However, the centre was initially troubled by software and communications problems causing delays and occasional shutdowns.[7]

    And In a Transportation Department office of inspector general report (.pdf) dated Sept. 13, auditors say the FAA has made a “recent discovery of a previously unidentified serious hidden software defect” in ERAM [ En Route Automation Modernization ] that results in brief loss of air control.

    ERAM replaces a four-decade-old long-range radar tracking system known as HOST; it is slated for deployment to all 20 U.S. air route traffic control centers in 2014–a schedule delay of 4 years. The report says the FAA has “paused” with further deployment of the system. “A prudent decision,” auditors say.

  3. We built better in the 40s. We built better in the 70s, then the rot set in.
    @Dearieme – they have to assume it’s a truck bomb and shoot. Or wait to see if it blows up.

  4. As to the week…

    I am beginning to wonder if the Estates were just dismissed….

    We should know more Oct 17th.

  5. VXXC Says:
    October 5th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    As to the week…

    I am beginning to wonder if the Estates were just dismissed….

    We should know more Oct 17th.

    Well and appropriately cited. The obvious follow up would be a question as to whether there is a Tennis Court nearby?

    Serment du jeu de paume

    And perhaps, moving centuries and countries; is there a Calvo Sotelo moment at hand?

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. Information technology failure is standard operating procedure for our government. For exaple, the IRS has tried repeatedly to modernize its computer systems, and has failed repeatedly. The IRS is supposed to administer the penalties for ObamaCare. Good luck.

    The goverment’s answer is more legislation. Look for this solution to ObamaCare, say every year from now on.

    Legislation to Stop Gov’t IT Failures
    Dec 2008 – CIO website
    === ===
    The U.S. Government has a sordid history of IT project failures. There’s the FBI’s virtual case file system, which the agency scrapped in 2005 after sinking $170 million into it; the $8 billion systems modernization the IRS launched nearly 10 years ago; and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ $190 million automation effort, to name just a few standouts.

    Naturally, the government’s solution to its IT project management problems has been legislation. The Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996, also known as the Clinger-Cohen Act, requires federal agencies to hire strategic CIOs who can implement best practices for managing IT from the corporate world in the public sector. Agency heads are required under Section 11317 of Title 40 of the U.S. Code to identify in their IT management plans any major IT project that “has significantly deviated from the cost, performance or schedule goals established” for that project.
    === ===


  7. A recent update on the rollout, so to speak.

    The feds had three years to design this system. Why is no one asking what they were doing all that time? The truth is, before they could design a system, they had to know what was going into it. And that problem can be traced directly to the political motivation to delay much of the implementation of Obamacare until after the election. Once insurance companies were able to figure out what they had to include in coverages, they could estimate premium prices. Recall the sticker shock when those figures came out earlier this year. Now imagine them coming out last summer before the election. Obamacare would have become an issue as it was in 2010 — something the Obama campaign was desperate to avoid.

    We will have to go through these technical problems again next year when the employer mandate is added and all of that data pours into the system. And don’t forget that the small business exchanges aren’t even completed yet.

    I just don’t believe anybody can be this dense. But I am learning. My brief carer in data processing was long ago but I do know something about medicine. We haven’t seen anything yet.

  8. We are observing the underlying causes for the inevitable collapse of any authoritarian state, and which applies with even more ferocious causality in the totalitarian, i.e., the utter incompetence and corruption of the very elites who claim to be, and designate themselves as, the vanguard of the great unwashed mass of the citizenry.

    Look around the world—fiasco after fiasco, not just by the US, but within any example of authoritarian/totalitarian governance.

    They simply don’t know what they’re doing, and they never have.

    Why do I so adamantly support a strictly limited state, and the maximum level of individual freedom and liberty?

    It helps to prevent the usurpation of power by idiots who actually believe they know how to run everything, even when they have never run anything even as complex as the relief shift at a fast food outlet.


  9. Related to this discussion, a fabulous article at The New Criterion, “The Anglosphere Miracle”. I linked to it through Powerline.

    It states so nicely the very argument I have struggled to make clearly both here and at Samizdata.

  10. For those who don’t speak British, in this context a bollard is “a post on a traffic island”.

    On a more general point: It’s interesting, and a little dismaying, to see how many conservatives have adopted leftist terms, often with the leftist baggage attached.

    So those who listen to Rush Limbaugh will hear him attack the Republican “establishment” in a way that will remind people my age of the arguments that the New Left used to make.

    (In brief, by a standard definition, there is no Republican establishment. If you extend the definition to make it match modern America, you will find that Limbaugh is a member of it — and has been since birth.)

    Now, here is Fernandez using a term, the “power elite” forever associated with that radical leftist, C. Wright Mills. (Mills was an ideological associate of Ralph Miliband, for those who are familiar with British politics, but not American academia.)

    (I’ll have a look at Fernadiz’s essay, anyway, since he almost always has interesting things to say.)

  11. Tyouth – Here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

    “The Establishment is a term used to refer to a visible dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The term suggests a closed social group which selects its own members (as opposed to selection by inheritance, merit or election). The term can be used to describe specific entrenched elite structures in specific institutions, but is usually informal in application and is more likely used by the media than by scholars.”

    Scholars of government and politics mostly don’t use the term, because they don’t think it describes anything about American political parties. Those scholars who do use it are usually on the left, often the far left.

    Many talk show hosts have been using it recently — which just shows me that they often don’t understand some of the basics of American politics, and if the hosts are conservative, that they don’t understand that they have borrowed an idea from the far left.

    (Most talk show hosts — believe it or not — don’t even know about the median voter theorem, and that’s been around for decades.)

    If that isn’t reasonably clear, feel free to send me an email.

    (I am not sure I would give an “F” to any student paper that took the concept seriously, but I doubt whether it would get higher than a “C”, even with grade inflation.)

  12. What was the wing of the Republican party that Rockefeller was a part of? Isn’t that wing traditionally called the Eastern Establishment? When I hear Republican Establishment I think Rockefeller Republican and generally that’s my perception of how the term gets used on talk radio. Eastern seems to have gotten dropped because that wing of the party is, I believe no longer confined to that region of the country so it just got shortened.

  13. Whitehall…from what I’ve read, SAGE did indeed work. How *long* it would have kept working, in the event of an actual nuclear attack, is questionable given that the centers themselves would surely have been targeted, and EMP could potentially have knocked out communications links as well as the center equipment itself.

    I don’t think ICBMs made the system obsolete; NORAD (if that’s what it’s still called) continues to have systems for aircraft surveillance. Several years ago, a King Air carrying the governor of Kentucky was flying (with an appropriate clearance) in the DC restricted airspace. The transponder went out; the FAA controller told the pilot not to worry about it since he had him on primary radar. But no one told the military radar-watchers, who observed the transponder go out and scrambled fighters to intercept the plane.

  14. I’d suggest any organization with just a bit of longevity has an establishment. The boat club, the county commission, and especially political parties. Networks of relationships, personal, and too often familial ties that, to varying degrees, dismiss outside influences.

  15. The Republicans have risked a lot with this fight. Decades of small government talk by Republicans has been all talk (a polite way saying ‘lies’), a dog ’n’ pony show to distract Americans while both parties plundered and wrecked the country.

    If the party falters now, it will be too weak to back in 2014 or 2016; if it capitulates, it’s not worthy to back. And any elected Republican without a record of supporting limited government, a real record, not just talk (like Reagan), won’t get my money or my vote.

    Now, here is Fernandez using a term, the “power elite”

    IIRC, Fernandez is a reformed Communist. One of his essays (can’t recall which, alas) defended himself on this very point. I think his apology was in two parts: they (the communists won) and arguments must take place on their territory, and they can’t be persuaded by an alien vocabulary (e.g., quoting the Bible can’t persuade them).

    I agree with you and think he is wrong: opposition to the Democrat/Nazi/Communist party (three names for the same thing) must begin with a complete and total rejection of their ideological vocabulary which well-represents their thinking. In Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind,” he noted that when one’s opponents adopt one’s intellectual categories, the battle has been won. When Rush Limbaugh sounds like a New Leftist, then the old America is dead and gone.

  16. I disagree about the use of the term “establishment” or “elite.” The left used it in the sense of having more money and power. The right uses it in terms of power that is derived from other and more recent forces, such as educational control. The new left is focused on academia while the old power center was business or finance. Finance is now allied with government and big business, which used to be the “Daddy Warbucks” image to the left, is now part of the new fascist state.

    I think it is still an establishment but professors, who hate anyone who makes more money than they do, are now members. Roosevelt, with his “Brain Trust,” seems to have begun the trend, interrupted during the war as the need for results trumped theory for a while. We are now living in an age where theory has triumphed and the the need for results has receded, at least until Obamacare crashes. The 2008 panic was the first example of the failure of theory unlinked to practical results.

    We severed the link between money and stuff. It was no longer necessary to make stuff or to see the role of compound interest. Money became lighter than air. It rose of its own energy. Derivatives caused money to make money without the need for an attachment to reality. The consequences are still not understood. The best explanation I have found is this one. We are still in the age of imaginary power. We will generate electricity from wind and sunlight and don’t need the nasty practical stuff, like coal and oil and dirty rough men building things.

  17. ErisGuy,

    IIRC, Fernandez is a reformed Communist.

    You don’t. (Recall correctly, that is.) Fernandez was part of the anti-Marcos opposition, but very much not a Communist. (Which confused them, and–apparently–you.)

  18. My mistake: you are correct. If Mr. Fernandez is reading this, please accept my abject apology. I am completely and totally wrong about Mr. Fernandez’s past associations. I was mistaken about his belief and about the column which I mentioned.

    I confused him with an (allegedly-former) communist who writes a column at PJM.

Comments are closed.