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I get it. Conservatives do not believe in government. They believe government is bad and inefficient. As such, one expects ineptitude in their governance. Liberals believe in government, we the people. Government is good and necessary. Government is competent.

The launch of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) site healthcare.gov was buggy and problematic. The healthcare.gov website’s performance is contrary to government that works. Customers' first experience of healthcare.gov, one of three entry points to the Obamacare exchanges, was not pleasurable. It took me three days to get an application in Texas (I started on Oct. 1st).

As a software developer, I thought the rollout of healthcare.gov, given its complexity, would be next to impossible to accomplish in less than a year. I knew it would have a lot of problems upon release. Much smaller undertakings had launches this buggy.

After listening to the hearings today, it is even more shocking that it was marginally functional under the load it was bound to receive. The healthcare.gov website was tested two weeks before launch. Generally sites of this complexity are tested for months and then released to a small subset of its intended audience. This is not a static website. It is a portal that simplifies the access of health care by validating income, insurance type, family structure and much more.

Reading between the lines in the hearing, it was evident that everyone knew the site would have problems. They did not form a circular firing squad but an aura of plausible deniability in front of Congress.

It is my impression that a justifiable political choice was made. Republicans are very good at what they do. They cannot govern but they are efficient in obstructing. Democrats and liberals are sometimes too self-judgmental. Many times instead of fighting for their values and principles they take a path of least resistance. A delay in order to test for a near perfect release was untenable. 2014 is an election year. There is a good chance that as Republicans spin a delay as a fatal kink in the law, many Democrats would become parties to killing it with a thousand cuts. A buggy release would be alpha and beta tested in real time. As more and more people sign up for the coverage under healthcare.gov (the exchanges), it becomes nearly irreversible.

More on these hyperventilating liberals below the fold.

Liberals Hyperventilating

This week Joan Walsh wrote the most sensible Salon piece about the buggy launch of healthcare.gov and its coverage by hyperventilating liberal journalists. She gently and respectfully slapped Ryan Lizza, Think Progress and Ezra Klein for hyperventilating. Many took exception to her critiques. Many wanted liberal purity. After all, what distinguishes liberals from the Republicans is absolute honesty. Liberals call a spade a spade. Right?

Chris Hayes had both Joan Walsh and Ezra Klein on the show to air out their "dispute." It was the first time I did not like Ezra Klein, who is an excellent journalist. His absolutist overbearing moral indignation for being questioned on his tone of objective reporting was completely uncalled for. What was more upsetting is that he did not know what he was taking about. From a software development point of view, he was not qualified to assert as he did success or failure of the functional specs of healthcare.gov’s backend. His unwarranted critiques were just as scary and detrimental to those yearning for the benefits of Obamacare, as are the false assertions by Republicans. He allowed himself by his tonality to be used as the liberal posterboy detailing Obamacare’s failure.

Good reporting does not mean just laying out the facts. The purpose of the press is to ensure transparent government. It is a check on government. Reporting carries responsibilities as well. Where two factions within a government are at war, it is the responsibility of journalists to be truthful but to minimize the possibility that truth will be used to do harm. Ezra Klein said he just does not care who his reporting hurts. He just reports the facts. That is naïve. Many seasoned journalists before Klein new that in the best interest of the country exceptions are made to ensure their reporting did not become a catalyst for others to do harm.

During the week there were many other liberals—other purists on television—complaining about the problems with healthcare.gov’s potential to cause people to give up. It shows how many live in ivory towers. It shows how many of our liberal journalists fail to understand those they purport to care about.

The millions of Americans that have been yearning for insurance will keep trying. The millions of young people that are responsible will eventually sign up. It is silly to believe if one is dying from thirst, they will not keep trying the tap till water flows.

Journalist must do their jobs. The president says Obamacare is not a website. That is a fact. The law has already done much for the vast majority of Americans. It made it illegal for insurance companies to rescind policies. It removed caps insurance companies used to maximize profits at the expense of middle class folk. Effective in January pre-existing conditions cannot cause denial of coverage. Children up to the age of 26 can remain on parents' policies. The donut hole for the elderly is being closed. Small businesses receive subsidies to help with insurance. There are controls and support for clinics and various other healthcare concepts that go completely unreported.

Healthcare.gov is one of the portals to the implementation of Obamacare for the other 15 percent of Americans, those left behind completely by the insurance markets. It was bound to be a difficult task. 15 percent of a population does not have much of a political voice. While many may be more concerned with "journalistic purity" or "liberal purity," those suffering the effects of economic, health, or political marginalization cannot.

It is time for liberals in the media to stop hyperventilating. Report truthfully but with the proper context that does not scare but inform. Otherwise you are nothing more than Fox News Lite.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm with Joan all the way here... (79+ / 0-)

    I was glad to see her voice her opinions on Hayes' show a few days ago.  And you're correct about all the great things the ACA has accomplished already, including forcing insurance companies to issue millions of rebates to the American people.  Every day that goes by brings us closer to recapturing the House, eliminating the filibuster in the Senate, and putting our foot through the floor for the remaining two years of President Obama's term.

    "Really nice, but also very serious about his job." Jackie Evancho on President Obama 6/7/12

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:35:21 PM PDT

    •  I'm closer to Klein on this (7+ / 0-)

      Though my opinion is a bit mixed.

      1) Ezra Klein and team have been the best reporters on this.
      2) Though I do need to translate what they report a bit, since clearly they know nothing about software and IT.
      3) It really is a big deal that they managed the project so badly and were blindsided by the bad rollout.
      4) But they should have just released this as the beta on October first.  Note that would have changed nothing other than expectations.
      5) Thus, had they released correctly, nothing of actual substance would have changed.

      So while I disagree with Klein's tone and some of his opinion on the matter, I completely agree it is a big story that they should be reporting on.  They have been reporting on healthcare every single day for years -- stopping now makes no sense.  This is clearly the big story of the moment.

      •  "...nothing of actual substance ..." (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, Vicky

        By your reasoning this is A story. It isn't a BIG story. They should cover the facts about the state of the web-page and put it into the same perspective you just did.

        Show and don't tell. Demonstrate your point rather than explaining your point. -Rachael Maddow

        by galvarn on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:45:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But how would a beta have worked politically? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SolarMom, zizi, deh55

        Until I read this article, I hadn't fully considered the political dimension of the healthcare.gov launch.  I mean, obviously it's a website that the right didn't want to go up, and the official spin that Obama knew absolutely nothing until last week is ridiculous, but the decision to launch with massive bugs may have been the only viable political decision.

        Here were their options:

        - Launch it as beta, with, say, only people whose last name starts with a Y eligible to sign up for the month of October.  Right there, that's a public admission that the website wasn't fully ready on time.  From my limited understanding of the technical issues involved here, it's not the volume that's crashing healthcare.gov, it's the ability of the portal to contact multiple points of information.  So we'd have the same basic issues, but we'd only be signing up a fraction of the population, so there would be hard political pressure from both sides to delay.

        - Delay by six months, into 2014.  The problem with tax holidays and debt ceilings and sunset provisions is that once a policy or decision is pushed off to some finite point in the future, it creates political pressure to perpetuate a status quo once the deadline gets closer.  This is why the GOP was so dead set on a one-year delay of the individual mandate -- that delay would have created an air of political inevitability around the idea that Obamacare would never be fully implemented.  The GOP's strategy is delay and defund.  Our side cannot offer up delay as a policy option.

        - Launch a massively buggy website on time.  Take short-term flak in the press now, but get it up there and sign people up and make it clear that we're going in this direction.  The website's up and you can't make us take it down.  The errors will be fixed, but you lost, GOP -- we're implementing it.

        Clearly the administration was caught off guard by the size of the task, and they missed a deadline.  If it was Google rolling out a new product, they'd just delay it by a year and some project manager would be fired.  But once top Democrats became aware of the scale of the problems in healthcare.gov, they realized that delay wasn't an option, because it would play into the Republicans' strategy of delegitimizing the law by any means possible.  So, that's where we are.

        I think in a month or two these bugs will be most likely forgotten, but that a lengthy delay before launch would have led to Obamacare being further delayed and defanged.

        •  beta software = testing (0+ / 0-)

          They should have simply stated this was a beta release.
          You don't have to limit to the "y" names. Beta simply means in testing and as problems arise we will address them. Just blows my mind that the idea here was lack of knowledge on how software or IT works and you come in.with your set of options that shows your comprehension of software is even less.  Non the less you've come to the same conclusion simply calling it a beta would have concluded to. The current bugs will be a thing if the past.  

          •  We're not talking software, we're talking politics (0+ / 0-)

            My argument is that calling it a beta rollout would have been politically unfeasible, and would have led to endless delays as transparent disclosure of the bugs would have provided grist for the Fox News mill.  This isn't a normal software/IT project, and the general public has no appetite for the type of testing you're talking about.

            Try again, arguing from a political standpoint.

    •  Rents must be preserved, embedded, and enhanced! (0+ / 0-)

      The 30-35% rent on delivery of healthcare must be reinforced to keep an ample level of salaries and fund a war chest to suppress calls for Single Payer.  New venues for enhanced rents will come with privatized Medicaid expansion.  Privately managed Medicaid premiums source taxes and the estates of the +55 group.  For the first three years with the Feds picking up most of the tab, the MERP estate recovery will be pure profit for the States.  Actual recovery can be contracted on contingency like mortgage fore closures.
      All in all, at the end of the day when the eligibility engine is fine tuned to keep the actuarial losers in Medicaid share holder returns on equities should improve.
      The Supreme Court will no doubt dust off the Takings Doctrine so status will be quo!

    •  Great point BarackStar. Amen :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarackStarObama
  •  this is the dialectic dance of MSM that does not (8+ / 0-)

    lead to good decision-making by those most affected what with editorial opposition to Faux unneeded now and forever.

    It is time for liberals in the media to stop hyperventilating. Report truthfully but with the proper context that does not scare but inform. Otherwise you are nothing more than Fox News Lite.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:37:54 PM PDT

  •  precisely (26+ / 0-)

    its stupid and counterproductive.  liberals are great at circular firing squads.  its our speciality.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:38:53 PM PDT

  •  You name two "liberal" "journalists" (22+ / 0-)

    and then rant about one, who really is no "liberal" at all.

    If you have a beef with Ezra Klein, and I have my own (since he's no "liberal") why not just make this about Ezra Klein, instead of some blanket stereotype apparently embodied by Klein.

    Seriously, if this is a big problem, you kind of have an obligation to name more than two people.

  •  This whole Healthcare.gov debacle... (10+ / 0-)

    ...reminds me a lot of the Hubble Space Telescope debacle.

    My parents made me a Democrat. Scott Walker made me a progressive.

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:42:01 PM PDT

  •  How about we focus on consumers for a change? (44+ / 0-)

    It's beyond tiresome that both parties have turned the Affordable Care Act into a political chew toy/battering ram, with no concern whatsoever for how the implementation and design actually impact real consumers.

    People struggling to get by in a chronically shitty economy will have a hard enough time trying to make health insurance premiums fit into their increasingly tight budgets. Let's try to show a little empathy and respect for them by not using them as political pawns.  

    Run the program right and focus on consumers.  Talk about their needs, not on political gamesmanship. STFU and fix it and when you're done fixing it, start working on how to make it even better with improved oversight and cost controls.  When they're done with that, start creating some fucking jobs.  The people in Washington DC need to remember they work for us, not the other way around.

    The professional political/media/lobbying/think tank  class hoovers up enough of our taxpayer dollars, let's not give them an incentive to turn their cheap tricks into a trillion dollar industry.  We don't need these elitist assholes telling us what we should think or believe or how we should feel, not when millions are homeless and unemployed.  

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:45:40 PM PDT

  •  Healthcare.gov's failings (29+ / 0-)

    Who's been harmed? No one.

    Will it work by December 1? Probably. It won't be perfect. There is no perfect software -- ask Microsoft.

    Who will be hurt or die because of healthcare.gov's failings? Probably no one.

    Get over it.

  •  Eh, this is going to be okay (9+ / 0-)

    To paraphrase Bogie:

    "maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow-- but soon, and for the rest of your life."
    (Until we get single payer!)
  •  Hyperventilation is the symptom, not the disease (39+ / 0-)

    I agree with the author completely; completely fed up with the coverage of healthcare.gov on the Huffington Post, I went to leave a comment, only for me to find that the comment feature was not working.

    The "disease", in my opinion, is for liberals in the media to unduly legitimize their opponents in an effort to sound serious. So strong is the desire to prove that they are not partisan and not hacks, like their conservative counterparts, they overcompensate.

    The healthcare.gov reaction reminds me of the liberal reaction to the first Presidential debate.

    Here we have two incidents, which only marginally affect history, in which liberals have taken a substandard performance, and turned it apocalyptic.

    There's a reason why Republicans believe in yard signs.

    President Obama has the amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

    by NoFortunateSon on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:52:17 PM PDT

  •  Like Governor Dean did today on Georgie. (5+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:52:53 PM PDT

  •  The game isn't over.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willa Rogers, Alice in Florida

    I'd hold off declaring winners and losers. Lots more to come.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:52:54 PM PDT

  •  It's a V1 release (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlk, sunbro, HashHoward, vcmvo2, Phoenix Woman

    Perhaps they could have severely curtailed its functionality to reduce the number of things that could go wrong, but it pretty much had to do it all from day one, so what choice did they really have?

    They'll take bug reports, work on the next release, fix the high-pri bugs and as many of the others that will fit the time allowed, and get out a much-improved version, I'd say in spring 2014.

    I'm also in the software industry, albeit as a writer.

    E Pluribus Unum does NOT mean "every man for himself"

    by Daddy Love on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:53:51 PM PDT

  •  recalling the BIG-PHARMA roll out, (11+ / 0-)

    a much smaller and less complex program, was actually more a shambles of bumfukkery than "obamacare" has been (at least so far)

    republicans have short memories, most particularly the ones who defended those "bumps in the road" at the time as being "reasonable to expect..."

    republicans aren't the only ones with short memories

    apparently

    and/or, never use the same narrative twice

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:55:58 PM PDT

  •  On queue. (10+ / 0-)

    The failed launch? It's the liberals fault!

    Establishment D's never take responsibility. Never. It's always the R's or the L's fault. It's never their own strategery, incompetence or sheer lack of being serious because they're too busy being "serious."

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass
    Pretending that electoral politics is "fighting the good fight" against a government designed to thwart the rights, needs and will of the people is...PATHETIC.

    by Words In Action on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:07:11 PM PDT

  •  Ezra has a long history of (16+ / 0-)

    giving very serious opinions regarding issues about which he is less than well informed.

    He also has a ego the size of Texas.

    Not a good combination in a journalist.  Sometimes he's good, but sometimes, ugh.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:11:00 PM PDT

  •  In the software business (9+ / 0-)

    things never change.

    The decisions are made without listening to the people who design and write the code.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:17:18 PM PDT

  •  "Hyperventilating" (6+ / 0-)

    I'm guessing you don't really NEED this, you were just playing around.  I for myself don't understand why five months after I went through a similar (but functional) process to sign up for Romneycare, I have to go back and do the whole damned thing again, except this time on a website where pages disappear or duplicate, where commands and other entries fail to register, where there are endless streams of undefined terms with no accessible glossary or FAQ page.  And don't tell me to use the phone, I called the number for the state exchange, and the machine told me, "All our agents are currently busy.  Your estimated waiting time is 45 minutes."  45 minutes I'm supposed to sit thee listen to crackly, scratchy Katy Perry music so that then I can talk to a person who might be able to help.  But I wasn't even sure I had 45 minutes of cell-phone battery life left, so I had to hang up.  I am disabled mostly by massive visiion loss.  Not legally blind though, because my "good eye" just passes muster,  so I don't get any help.  Doesn't mean reading things are any easier.  Since the vision loss in my bad eye is 95%+, so my net vision is worse than many people who are technically legally blind.  God only knows if I'll be at all able to reconstruct the existing network of physicians and specialists who have been with me on my case going back to my private insurance while I was still workig and I was able to find a Romneycare plan that most of them belonged to.  Hyperventilating, huh?  Let's trade optic nerves and thenwe'll talk about it, OK?

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

  •  Egberto got it right (23+ / 0-)

    It is obvious that if the administration had delayed the launch, the Repubs would have used that as another cudgel against O'care.  

    If Obama had delayed, the Dems would never have been able to stand firm against the Repub hostage takers.    

    As a technical rollout, it could have waited.   As a political necessity, it HAD to go live.

    It reminds me a little of the Vaporware that private companies announce to head off a competitors software product .     They describe products that don't exist and promise they will be available "very soon".   Microsoft did that with Internet Explorer in order to cut the legs from under Netscape.      IE was late and awful, but netscape is gone and Microsoft still waddles along.

    Whatever the shortcomings of the website, launching it on time moved the implementation forward, and we needed that.

  •  Perhaps you could cite a 'real liberal' (13+ / 0-)

    and not Ezra Klein.

    Funny how liberal-bashing has become sport on a Democratic website.  I find it strange that we're always to blame when something not of our making goes awry.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:20:06 PM PDT

  •  Now if it was MILITARY WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT, (8+ / 0-)

    All the problems would be acceptable - even minor! Look up the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the B-1, the Seawolf sub, and the current F35 (along with many, many more) to get an understanding of how BILLIONS can be wasted on weapons that either don't work, or require years of development and redesign to get them to acceptable status.

    But those are the kinds of things Republicans love, so there's never a word of complaint.

    And of course not to mention Medicare Part D rollout, or the start of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Hey, what color is the Terrorism Warning Display at these days?

    "I have a sheep doing rufi at my house.... come and drop by, we'll put on Zeppelin and eat cheddar cheese!" - Capt. Jean-Luc Picard

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:22:45 PM PDT

  •  They fear Republicans bc they know how to raise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, Micheline, zizi

    ...sustained hell. We do not so we get self congratulatory Left types taking opportunities to be seen as "just reporting the facts".

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:28:00 PM PDT

  •  If you don't know what you are talking about STFU (5+ / 0-)

    After looking at the comments about HealthCare.gov in the MSM and on this site,  most of the people with opinions have no idea about how to deliver large complex solutions like HealthCare.gov.  

    It is clear that the most complex IT task they have ever done is to install an iPhone or Andriod app.  So unless you have been involved in the deployment of large complex solutions where you have not been allowed to do beta testing, STFU.  

    A lot of the experts quoted by the MSM about HealthCare.gov clearly have never worked on these kinds of projects given their arrogant and ignorant quotes.  A true IT professional who understands the complexity of this project would either keep their mouth shut or say thank goodness I'm not working 100 hours a week fixing HealthCare.gov.

    •  I've done large scale web sites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Micheline

      And there is no excuse for some of the work that was done on this site. No CDN for static files? That alone will grind these servers to a halt, and it is stuff that web interns today know about.

      I also agree with the original post here that we libs tend to shoot ourselves in the foot. We should shut up and focus on the solution and not help the fascists who want to take down Obamacare. Eventually it'll get fixed.

    •  I've been an IT professional for over 20 years, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick Aucoin

      and will not "STFU" as to the ineptitude and incompetence that this project.  Ever hear or worked with a complex project with real project management professionals that follow the 6 P's?

      "Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance."

      You learn this in the military when mission critical projects are your responsibility, and you take this life lesson of management of projects with you through out your career, and in life.  There was no excuse for this much incompetence and project design and implementation failures without any redundancy on the back end.  The contractors were chosen based on their superior lobbying and bidding expertise, and not for their real IT hard core experience.  It's that obvious a gaff to those of us that re real professionals and was indicative of the way DC does "business" via the bidding BS process:  Been there,and done that working as a technical security systems Federal Government sub contractor.

      Now try insulting another group of people as you have little credibility with me.

      Beer - Helping White Guys Dance Since 1842.

      by LamontCranston on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:25:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm stunned that people are surprised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain

    I've been dealing with medicare and medicaid for years for my parents, esp. my father who is ill and has alzheimer's.

    I hope ACA works. For now, given my experiences with medicare and medicaid, I can only say you can't expect much improvement. For medicaid in my father's state (CT), you can't even talk to a live human being about the reasons for constant rejection. Instead, a case worker (who never answers email or replies to phone calls or messages) is assigned.

    I think people are going to be surprised by medicare/Medicaid. It's a nightmare. I was once on a single phone call for 6 hours, one call, went back and forth between 4 different offices, and it ended up that I knew the law better than everyone I spoke to.

    Basically, my father was not allowed to change from Advantage to Original Medicare because you can only do so after a 6 month window when you first go on, unless you fall under medicaid. I knew the law but they didn't. They changed this law since then, but the whole thing was nightmarish.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:36:23 PM PDT

  •  Par For The Course (5+ / 0-)
    "His [Ezra Klein's] absolutist overbearing moral indignation for being questioned on his tone of objective reporting was completely uncalled for. What was more upsetting is that he did not know what he was taking about." -E. Willies
    Ezra Klein and Rachel Maddow chuckled to each other on her show about how President Obama wants to cut Social Security benefits, but the Republicans just wouldn't let him do it by agreeing to tax increases.

    Mr. Klein is no friend of the working class.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:38:55 PM PDT

  •  This is confusing (14+ / 0-)

    I see something about "real liberals" in the title, and then a picture of ...

    Ezra Klein?

  •  One word "beta" could have muted this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmscsi, Rick Aucoin

    The design/development/testing time frame sounds ridiculous to anyone that knows anything about releasing software BUT not taking advantage of one simple word to soften the release (and inevitable criticism) was inexcusable.

    Characterizing the Oct 1 launch as a beta release would have bought 4-6 weeks of lowered expectations and the assumption that bugs and performance issues were expected (and would be fixed rapidly).

    We'd all like to see healthcare.gov functioning flawlessly but c'mon established software companies like Adobe release apps like Lightroom with terrible performance issues (on every .0 version) and support the apps with tortuous customer service systems. Microsoft SaaS enables Office apps for automatic upgrades which lock up computers at the most inopportune times and Apple has so many issues with iOS7 that there are 302,000 Google results for "iOS7 uninstall"

  •  Very true. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:50:32 PM PDT

  •  Nobody cares and the media should STFU. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmscsi, varii

    Ezra's claim that somehow the EDI 834 record corruption was a fundamentally different problem than the front end web app was hilarious.  Any/every new EDI partnership starts rocky...for a short time...and when the data coming into the exchange is unreliable and the (many, different) adversarial insurance companies at the other end of the handshake (usually with offshored EDI apps) know they can store up and process all of those 834's in one long night's processing after things settle down and once they can rely on the inputs, Ezra's diagnosis was just plain baseless and illogical.  Kind of what you'd expect if Darryl Issa was to be assigned to certify when the exchanges are ready for prime time before they could go live.  

    But isn't your "hyperventilating" criticism and scolding tone kind of the same? Hyperventilating sucks - even with Republicans as targets ImHo. To me it's to commentary as slapstick is to humor. Most of us can think for ourselves. Reporting facts or frames is always diminished when blemished by someone's personal emotional excesses. So, your "hyperventilating" is like Ezra's hyper-defensiveness. He could have tried really really hard not to descend into defensiveness. Afterall, he is presuming to dissect a dynamic system undergoing round-the-clock change...from the outside. To make  matters worse his followup attempt to detail his argument the next day was technically absurd so more self-defeating.

    I though Joan's original article was fine - unnecessary, more bloviating scold, but fine. It's not uncommon to disagree with...well...anyone. But then participating in the days-long tit-for-tat because she was misinterpreted and misquoted when she should expect such a response in our many voiced silo'ed choir all got self-defeating.

    No, not all huge systems go live buggy, even ones with millions of tx/sec even with larger and more expensive apps than hc.gov. But when they do they get fixed.  

    Being a scold is pretty much always self-defeating. So my own personal scolding is to advise the media to STFU unless they have numbers to report.

    •  Real EDI Failures (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, dancerat, ferg

      Ask the British about real EDI failures.  

      Last year. they had a large bank destroy enough EDI records so that people couldn't get their money from ATMs or pay their bill electronically for almost a week.  BTW, this happened because maintenance of the system was off shored to a low wage contractor.

      When healthcare.gov generates that level of EDI failures which the British experience last year then it would be time for the press to investigate and Congress to hold hearings.  Until then if you don't know what you are talking about or are quoting people who are clueless, do yourself a favor and STFU.

  •  Republicans are overplaying their hand on Bug Gate (4+ / 0-)

    I like using that term, because it shows what a silly, overblown scandal it is.

    Time is not the Republicans' friend. Inevitably, as time goes by, more and more people will get signed up (one way or another) and most of the kinks will get ironed out. Then, their complaints will be reduced to just crying over spilled milk. People will see that Republicans only want to second guess and attack and blame and obstruct...and we need to be there making sure that people see this when it happens.  

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:52:25 PM PDT

  •  Some folks prefer apologists. So be it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Aucoin

    Take comfort that healthcare.gov is not the only website anybody's ever screwed up royally.

    There's a tag line:

    "We're not the only ones to fail so miserably"

    "Ok, we may be the only ones to take $92 million or $200 million or $500 million or whatever the real number is and then fail so miserably, but that's only because most people are not stupid enough to spend that much on a web site."

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM PDT

  •  Software is hard (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmscsi, mrsgoo, varii, Aquarius40, dancerat

    Here is the fact.  Most commercial websites from the dotcom era are gone.  The mostly failed not from a lack of idea or money, but from a lack of a good user interface and management of costs.  Even today, many sites fail because the people working on the software are insufficiently skilled.

    Here is example that was common several years ago.  Everyone was putting in Enterprise Resource planning systems.  Huge amount of money was being spent.  Major consulting and software firms were involved.  The projects almost never came in on budget or in time.  Huge costs overrun, ROI estimates were to the point of being fraudulent.  Even with all this most firms have functional ERP software and it does, at the end of the day, justify the expense.

    Part of the problem with ERP software, and in general, is that consulting firms hired kids right out of college and put them on these very difficult projects.  There was no experience working with production software that had to work, that could not be coddled, that was going to be used by real people.

    You see this problem in some of the articles.  How the young people are not interested in a government job.  Well, so what.  Age discrimination in software starts at 30 or 35.  So lets hire some of these people with experience and skills and let them get everything up and running.  We are making the same mistakes we made 20 years ago, with much less justification.  Back them i could count on one hand those that had ready the O'Reiley HTML book and could hand code HTML.  Now, everyone who calls themselves IT at least thinks they can.  

    And as far as the bad liberal media.  I did hear public radio mention the Mythical Man Month, so kudos to them.

  •  It's pretty funny though that people (13+ / 0-)

    who successfully upgraded their iPhone are suddenly experts on huge website design.  And that they think Amazon sprung full-blown from the forehead of Bezos.  

    I think people just love drama and a chance to pontificate as experts.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:54:59 PM PDT

  •  Amen! I have been cringing all week at the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, rsmscsi, Orlaine, DavidHeart, Vicky

    coverage. And it just drives me crazy when non-techie folks try to sound like they know something. Having come from an IT background, I do appreciate how complex that thing is. But the lack of testing?! WTF!!! I do think some heads need to roll over that once it gets fixed.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 03:55:20 PM PDT

    •  It is a mistake for any progressive to open (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delver, Timeslayer

      their mouth without saying something supportive of a current progressive issue or criticizing the GnoP vermin infesting the House and Senate.  In GnoP land the enemy of my enemy is my friend and way too many Dinos are aiding and abetting GnoP slime.  They make stuff up and use it like Palin's "death panels" so it is a very bad idea to give them any soundbites they could use.

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:07:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd hate to be in customer service ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... of any web site or utility that Klein or Lizza use when their service is down. Holy carp, these spineless losers freak out easily!

    I wonder why they don't write scathing articles and go on TV railing against T-Mobile, Comcast, Verizon or other services that experience outages, poor service or web site issues??

  •  You Might Want To Mention Jon Stewart (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsmscsi, Aquarius40, Back In Blue, Vicky

    in the group that is supposedly a democrat that is hyperventilating over ACA.  He is a comedian, but he reaches many young people and I don't think his bashing the website is helping.  Obviously he is one of those equal opportunity bashing shows that is in it for the money.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:07:41 PM PDT

  •  50% of obamacare was sorting out plans. (0+ / 0-)

    20% cleaning up Medicare, 10% expanding medicaid.

    Only 30% go in through the exchange.

  •  I take issue with this part. (6+ / 0-)
    Good reporting does not mean just laying out the facts. The purpose of the press is to ensure transparent government. It is a check on government. Reporting carries responsibilities as well. Where two factions within a government are at war, it is the responsibility of journalists to be truthful but to minimize the possibility that truth will be used to do harm. Ezra Klein said he just does not care who his reporting hurts. He just reports the facts. That is naïve. Many seasoned journalists before Klein knew that in the best interest of the country exceptions are made to ensure their reporting did not become a catalyst for others to do harm.
    I think the instances when journalists should essentially "pull their punches" so that "the truth will not be used to do harm" are very very very few.  If you are talking about national security harm -- revealing troop movements in war, revealing strategic plans, etc. -- I would agree with you that  journalists have an obligation not to print truth in those situations.  I would also probably agree with you in national security situation -- if we are investigating a terrorist plot, and that gets leaked, and printing will give the bad guys a head's up and let them escape or scatter, a journalist can and should hold the story to give us a chance to get the bad guys.

    But if you are talking about POLITICAL harm, the no, a journalist should not ever withhold the truth because it will do one side or the other POLITICAL harm.  I would agree with Klein here - he has an obligation to print the accurate facts as best he can, and not worry about whose political ox is gored.  

    A journalist who colors his or her reporting of the truth because the truth might be used to do POLITICAL harm is not a journalist, but instead is a partisan commentator.  There is a place for partisan commentators, of course,  but that is a completely different role from a journalist.  

    •  The harm I speak about is the undermining (4+ / 0-)

      of people getting access to healthcare. I know personally the fear many are going through now. I get emails from folks listening to our "Liberals" who want reassurance this thing will not fail.

      To many the insurance issue is real and any assistance in giving the Plutocracy that option to go back to the status quo does harm.

      •  That's a political issue as much as anything (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bailey2001, VClib, Rick Aucoin

        The media is not preventing people from getting access to the exchanges.  There's been plenty of reporting about the website, but also plenty of reporting about the phone number, navigators, other ways of getting coverage.  It's not the media's fault that the website has been so problematic.  Not reporting on the website is not going to make the website any better or worse.  Not reporting on the website is not going to give any more people any ability to get enrolled.

        It's far more of a political issue, because -- as you and others have correctly noted -- the negative reporting about the website hurts the credibility of the program.  But that's the same as to any other program that the government runs.  Negative reporting on defense hurts the credibility of the defense department, but no one would ever suggest that journalists hold back on telling the truth because it's going to hurt the program. Negative reporting on the TARP bailout hurt the credibility of that program and probably had some effect on the markets, but if it was true, journalists had an obligation to report it.  

        And before you say, "it's the law of the land," no journalist has an obligation to hold back any actual truthful facts about "the law of the land."  The Budget Control Act, and Sequester, is also "the law of the land." I fully expect any credible journalists to report truthfully and honestly about that law and the effects of that law and its practical implementation, regardless of which political view it helps or hurts.

        The only time journalists should refrain from reporting the truth is if there is a direct causal link to possible death (like reporting troop movements can get troops killed) or a direct causal link to a national security interest (like if a journalist had learned of the Osama Bin Laden raid before it happened, I would favor holding back on that so as not to alert OBL that they were coming).  

        I think it's hypocritical to expect a supposedly non-partisan journalist to withhold accurate facts -- "truth" -- because it might harm the interests of a President or because it might tend to discredit a controversial law.  Non-partisan journalists have an absolute obligation to report truthfully and accurately on those things, regardless of whether it "helps" or not.  

        •  Need to Understand the issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          To be able to accurately and truthfully report on complex subjects, the reports need a minimum understanding of the technical area.  Most of the stories about HealthCare.gov show a minimal understanding of the subject area.  They are of similar value to a story about the conflicts in Syria or Iraq which doesn't mention the historical enmity between Sunni and Shia

          •  I agree with that. I bolded the specific (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            part of the diary I disagreed with -- it was not about the need to be accurate (which I fully agree with), it was about not reporting the truth if the truth would be used in a harmful way.  

          •  rsmscsi - I spent seven years in the MSM (0+ / 0-)

            a long time ago and it's rare to find reporters who actually know the subject matter they are writing about on almost any topic, particularly if it has any technical elements.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:47:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Egberto - I spent seven years in the MSM (0+ / 0-)

        And never met a journalist who agreed with your statements coffeetalk has outlined in bold. Particularly when it comes to political issues the reporter should not allow their political views to prevent them from presenting the facts, regardless of the political fallout. The ACA, it's website, and roll out, are political issues and will likely be the central issue in the midterm elections. Reporters have no obligation to pull any punches on the ACA, the website or the roll out, as long as their information is factual.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:53:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you are having trouble logging onto the federal (10+ / 0-)

    website, ask your governor or state legislator why you are forced to do so?  Why didn't they accept the offer to have a state website paid for, setup to their state's needs?  It's not the Federal government at fault here.  It's the irresponsible Republican seditionists that have done everything they possible can to sabotage the program.  Over 4.2 million people have submitted applications.  How is that bad?  All the problems are caused by the red states that demanded control of the process then did not live up to their responsibility.

    Ezra Klein is smart and loquacious.  He is, however, trying way too hard to be considered a "serious person".  He can stuff it as far as I'm concerned.

    You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

    by spritegeezer on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:20:31 PM PDT

  •  It's not a Liberal issue, it's a Democratic party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, WellstoneDem, Rick Aucoin

    issue, because we brand ourselves the technocrat competent compassionate party. Thus, screwing up HealthCare.gov is a bit of a negative trifecta in that regard.

    I get it now. It's not the Tea Party. It's the Neo-Confederate Party.

    by DavidHeart on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:34:26 PM PDT

  •  Agree completely. Delay would have been much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky

    more trouble.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:41:09 PM PDT

  •  I agree with your analysis of Ezra on the Chris (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    varii, Aquarius40, Vicky

    Hayes program.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:45:28 PM PDT

  •  Go back to the diaries being posted when the ACA (8+ / 0-)

    was still being batted around as a potential law, when the 'political sausage' was being ground.

    If you do, you'll note that Ezra Klein was the darling of the centrists, and the liberals were calling him every name under the sun.

    Simply being on MSNBC a lot doesn't actually make one a 'liberal'.

  •  Implementation of software often fails. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dancerat, rsmscsi, ferg, ybruti

    Let alone when the Republicans have been trying to sabotage the program.  

    May 5, 2011SAP AG (SAP), which last July introduced its first Web-based software after more than two years of delays, says a recent outage in Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s cloud computing services makes it harder for the industry to convince clients.

    The crash last month, putting Web sites across the U.S. offline, is a reminder of the risks facing the $68 billion industry for Internet-accessed computing services, said Sanjay Poonen, who runs SAP’s global solutions business.

    Hershey Candy experience.

    Hershey's experience with SAP in the Halloween home stretch is markedly different from three years ago. The rollout then of various SAP apps--an investment of $112 million--resulted in a major order-fulfillment fiasco for Hershey in the fall of 1999. The company later blamed a 19% drop in profits for the quarter on the problems, but has never spoken publicly about whether software quality, how the software was implemented, or a combination of the two were to blame

    I've been working with SAP implementation for a Defense Department organization for the last four years.  The initial roll out did not come close to promises and there are still bugs being fixed.  Processes that had work are now manual.  This is a well received video at work.

    You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.- Jeannette Rankin

    by CA148 NEWS on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:18:01 PM PDT

    •  OMG (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rsmscsi

      I LOVE THIS I LOVE THIS I LOVE THIS A MILLION TIMES I LOVE THIS AND IT'S SO TRUE!!

      "I should have remained with my legacy system"  "or Oracle Apps"
      HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

      "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

      by dancerat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finding best insurance pre-Obamacare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    was frustrating, time consuming. Waiting several weeks to get qualified doesn't seem so terrible as long as the January 1 effective date isn't delayed.

    There's no comparing the two, IMO.

    “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ― Chief Seattle

    by SoCalSal on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:50:26 PM PDT

  •  Klein is no liberal (0+ / 0-)

    He's a villager Democrat.  He's "serious people".

    What was wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:01:34 PM PDT

  •  So there's really no level of incompetence... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and dysfunction that's worthy of criticism?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:22:25 PM PDT

  •  Tempest in a teapot, all of it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    You can apply by phone.  you can apply by mail.  Some people are actually doing it by website, although it's slow.

    They're also doing something they should have done before - providing a way for people to review the plans without having to create an account.

    So review the plan on line and pick up the phone.  Or print out the paper application.  Or  go see an insurance agent.

    Or just wait.  coverage can't start til January 1 anyway.

    Sheesh.  It's the coverage that matters, not the way you get it.

    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

    by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:34:54 PM PDT

    •  Don't the phone answerers rely on the website? (0+ / 0-)

      The NYT article on Saturday indicated that they retrieve the same info and process it just as the website does.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:30:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Single Payer Would Have Avoided This Mess (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, Rick Aucoin

    We're quibbling about a website without seeing the forest for the trees.  

    If we adopted single payer we would not need a website that has to "pull" pricing info from dozens of insurance companies throughout all fifty states.

    We could have simply duplicated the existing Medicare site and Social Security sites, which run quite nicely.  It would have been a much easier and cheaper task.

    Thank you Max Baccus for killing the single payer option before you held a single hearing.  Glad to hear you're leaving the Senate.  Good riddance.

    •  It wasn't just Baucus. It was political reality. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, the bargaining probably could have tougher, but reaching consensus on controversial issues was the tenor of the times back before the Dark Ages of November 2010. For consensus-building, you can't start at loggerheads, and you avoid confrontation as long as you can. (Unless it's technical confrontation, which happens at the staff level and hopefully, does not ooze up to the Senator-level.)

      Remember that thousand-plus page health reform bill Hillary sent to the Hill and handed to House Democratic leadership in the last century? People were too polite and politic to say it at the time, but it was a fait accompli that was pretty obviously DOA. You can't hand a complex matter like health care reform to a batch of CongressOnes who think they're really good at policy and who are deluged by special interest pleaders several times a day ... and expect them to swallow it. Not then. Not now.

      I thought single payer was very unlikely in 2009 and I'm even more confident of that now. With some years of experience with the benefits of Obamacare, single payer may seem more realistic as a further improvement in the future. But I wouldn't bet on that. After all, the GOP is still fighting Social Security and Medicare afar all these years.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:43:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think enough attention has been paid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deh55, stivo

    to funding.  It was pretty stingy funding to start with and that was based on expectations before all those states bailed out of setting up their own exchanges.  And the Republicans refuse to increase funding, I believe.  The glitches are not surprising.

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:55:00 PM PDT

  •  Joan (0+ / 0-)

    I like Ezra...Joan presented a mature response.

    Honesty is always the best policy...

    by justohio on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:41:19 PM PDT

  •  The launch sucked and it need not have done (0+ / 0-)

    There is absolutely nothing this website needs to do that involves any sort of new technical ground.

    Thats the bad news and the good news. Its good news because now that sufficient attention to being paid to sorting it out, it really won't be that hard to accomplish. Its also good news because it will make it harder for Republicans to ignore the reports which will ensue of large numbers of people using the site to sign up for affordable health care.

    It should in my view be serious bad news for the careers of those with direct oversight of the launch. But thats a detail really.

    Remember to kick it over.

    by sprogga on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:47:31 PM PDT

  •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar

    digby has been taking Ezra Klein to task for years.
    I don't ever consider him a liberal in fact he is most always annoying.

  •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deh55, Timeslayer

    It's as if President Obama were a volunteer lifeguard, and were attempting to struggle to the water to save a drowning swimmer, while vandals tie sand bags to his legs. When he finally makes it into the water and begins to swim, with the vandals still throwing boulders at him, some of his friends start yelling to everyone within earshot that, "THE LIFEGUARD IS A POOR SWIMMER".

  •  On a semi-related note ... (0+ / 0-)

    As someone with 20+ years of IT experience, 15+ of it on the web, I know that I'm not considered qualified to appear on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, Al Jazeera, or anywhere to talk about politics.

    What I don't get is why Ezra Klein, Chris Hayes, Wolf Blitzer, or any pundut or reporter in the political arena considers themselves remotely qualified to talk about the issues with healthcare.gov's software or infrastructure.

    If they have sources within their own companies giving them information or opinions, they should reflect that. If they are giving their own opinions, they are completely unqualified in this arena, and it shows.

    I want healthcare.gov to work, and I want it to be speedy and responsive. But listening to these guy talk about why it's slow and unresponsive is maddening, because they don't know what they're talking about.

    Incidentally, if you want a hint about the problems with healthcare.gov, visit it with google chrome, hit Ctrl+Shift+I, then reload the page. As you walk through the site, watch how long the responses take, both on healthcare.gov, but more importantly from the other sites from which it requests information. You can't see all of the 'backend' requests (ie, any time the site may be calling a database from another site), but as of last week, the front-end issues/obvious requests to other sites were pretty telling.

  •  Liberals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick Aucoin

    "Liberals believe in government, we the people. Government is good and necessary. Government is competent." - NO! This is incorrect. Liberals believe in GOOD Government, of the people, by the people, for the people. We believe in a Constitutional Democratic Republic form of Government as a necessary civilizing force, but we don't want a kingdom, or a tyranny, or an oligarchy, or fascism. Not all Governments are equivalent. Finally, Liberals don't think that Government, even our kind of good government, is necessarily competent. We know Government is incompetent, bureaucratic, inane, and inefficient, that's why we build in checks and balances and self correcting systems.  

    It is about time that liberals started standing up for themselves and fighting back against the misinformation and mischaracterizations of the Corporate Main Stream Media.

  •  The bad guys are criticizing problems with signing (0+ / 0-)

    Once the bad guys start focusing their criticism on problems with signing up for ACA, this tends to make people WANT ACA (we want what we cannot get right away).

    I think it was clever to make signing up for the ACA hard and annoying.  Moderates, even some republicans, will be annoyed that they can't get ACA and will try harder to get it. You guys underestimate Obama.

  •  Hear Hear. (0+ / 0-)

    Good points here.   I'm no Obama apologist.  Yes, single-payer might have been better.  I hated that we didn't get a public option and all of Obama's maddening search for consensus.  But this is what we got, people.  There's a war on here.  Really.  Klein & Co don't seem to understand that.

    Most of the commentary on this subject, left or right has been based on ridiculously little experience.  People who don't know what they're talking about are suddenly internet and project management experts.

    Those of us who have some experience in the field understand this.  I myself have been involved in one or two web-site rollout clusterfucks by one of our mega-corporations.

    But none of them were this big.  None of them were developed in an atmosphere of basically sniper-fire.  There may have been the usually office-politics empire building going on, but that is far different from the political shitstorm that has embroiled the ACA since it was  passed.

    It won't do any good to "keep the pressure on the Administration to fix this."  I'm sure they're working as hard as they can now.  There was just no way it wasn't going to be this way.

    Conservatives like to make the point that private industry would never do a debacle this bad.  They point at Amazon.com as a counterexample.  Both points are right in a way but also entirely wrong.

    Here's one mistake that private industry would never make.  They would never make massive increases to the scope of a project without increasing the funding, somehow.  But that's exactly what happened when all the red states decided they wouldn't build the exchanges.  The feds said, no problem, we'll do it.  But they procured no budget increases to pay for this.  Once it went from a portal to an aggregator, the whole project changed.   How could they be so stupid?

    It wasn't stupid.  Duh, they couldn't get such increases passed.  Taking on the burden was the only way to keep the program alive.  An ugly choice but it had to fall that way.  Yelling at Obama isn't going to fix that.

    Frequently, Amazon.com is mentioned as a private industry counter-example.  Superficially, this seems like a good argument.  They move massive amounts of product, in all different industries.  But those who make this point are forgetting a few things.  Amazon had what, fifteen years to build this business.  They started in books, mastered that, and then expanded into "everything".  But Amazon had control of their platform.  Those who wanted to sell through them had to set themselves up Amazon's way, using Amazon's interfaces.  Amazon did not have to stitch together a bunch of previously disparate backend systems.  that's a much more difficult task.  The Amazon counterexample doesn't fly.

    I think people know this.  Klein should calm down and think about it some.  It's not about him.  I'm not questioning his motives.  I'm questioning his grasp of the situation.

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 04:19:07 PM PDT

  •  Someone has a problem, not necessarily spelling... (0+ / 0-)

    /grammar. Yes, I missed the Walsh/Klein debate as I usually pass up wonky Hayes in favor of Al, Rachel, even Ed. I do see the forest from the trees and I am grateful to have read the post, which is what I click,

    not the comments.
    I must agree with the others, however, that articles need polish, especially on our side. People who are spectators in the many verbal wrestling matches we have with the wrong-wing can be distracted by spelling/grammatical errors. We NEED to show our discipline not just in the morality of our messages, but their presentation. While I'm not looking to get a penny for my comments, for those who "stumble" upon these progressive exchanges, we need to sell our stories now to get the votes our side needs, from the school board to the Supreme Court.

    So many times in the past have I heard from those who barely participate in our country's democratic exercises their inability to distinguish between the two parties' philosophies (inaccurate then, dishonest now). If we are to maintain the momentum and realize a goal of progressive thought being without party affiliation, we should not chafe at being called "morons" by the other side, but quietly exult when their signs read "morans!"

    And yes, "hyperventilating" within a news cycle also shows a lack of discipline

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