What’s In a Word? And Who Cares Anyway?
This week, Obama, Sebelius, and Carney, introduced new meanings to words like “Let me make this clear! and “What he really meant was…” and “It’s the Republicans’ fault.”
This reminds me of my teenage years. Like “The dog ate my homework” and “You never said it was due today!” Only in those days, they were called lies. Plain and simple.
The president gave a speech this week in Boston on the day of a World Series game that the Boston Red Sox are playing in. With this president, it’s all about him. His propaganda had to be pushed on a city that had recently suffered a blow at the marathon and was feeling good about coming into a World Series game with an opportunity to win something they hadn’t won in over 80 years.
The speech from Boston talked about what a success the Obamacare roll-out was (insert cricket sounds here). Seriously? If by “success” he meant the roll-out of a website built to gather information and allow people to sign up for “affordable health care” where 90+% of the people attempting to sign onto it could do nothing, and I mean truly nothing! (Yes, actual use of the word with true meaning.) They filled in information for hours only to get an error message that their information would not be accepted. Many users stated that even when they entered their date of birth in the proper field it was rejected no matter how they entered it, and that there was no example format, i.e “Date of Birth: 01/01/50 or 01/01/1950”.
And yet the president still said, “many of the glitches had been worked out and many people were having no real issues.” Sure they have.
The president stated a few facts about people that signed up for health care and saved “lots of money” only to find out later that at the time he made the speech just under 50,000 people have “signed up.” Come to find out, “signed up” actually meant “registered” to use the site. Most people thought the president meant the folks were signed up for their healthcare. I have registered on many web sites for information without signing up for the product or services. There is a difference.
The president said many have already saved or found out they will be saving thousands on their plans. Sadly, that’s because they are losing their plans and will pay the $95.00 penalty collected by the IRS through their refunds. What if they don’t get a refund? I guess they’ll just have to write a check.
Many of those who were able to use the site, find a plan, and sign up were greeted with a final screen that said something like: Congratulations you qualify for XYZ plan, please call this number 800-###-#### with the registration/confirmation number on the top of this page.
There are two problems here; in almost every case, the registration/confirmation area was blank and the 800 number provided went to a cupcake shop and deli in New York. Well, finally something I could sink my teeth into!
The president said this would be the most open and transparent administration in history. Yet, it seems to literally take an act of congress to get anyone from his cabinet or staff to come and testify. When they do, in half the cases, they plead the fifth. The other half of the time, they speak with disdain and in a condescending tone.
Queue up Kathleen Sibelius who was recently asked to testify in front of congress. At first she refused. But why? What was there to hide? Is there some kind of national security issue on the Obamacare web site? Isn’t she part of the most transparent and open administration ever?
When she finally did testify, simple questions like “who was responsible for testing the web site” were responded with “I am not sure of the exact person.” Apparently this means, I have no clue if it was even tested. When asked, “Did you know of the issues CGI had with the other projects it did?” she replied, “I am sure they met the bid requirements.” Let me translate that for you, that meant “NO!”
When asked point-blank about security of personal information Sebelius replied, “testing occurs regularly” yet she told the congressman she would get back to him on whether any end-to-end security test of the entire system has ever occurred. The congressman produced a department memo from her own department that stated there have been no such comprehensive security tests and that they were aware days before, because of the sites many issues, they were not even ready to test security.
Jay Carney (in the job that just can’t pay enough) started almost every sentence this week with “what the president meant was…” Apparently when the President says “let me be perfectly clear..” he means “let me use some words that Jay Carney will re-word later to say the things we think you will want to hear so you won’t know what’s going on and be mad at me!”
I will never understand why the president and his team won’t own up to anything. They released the website, period. If he would just say, “we released the site, it’s not quite ready, but we will work it out as you use it” that would go a long way.
But I guess it might be a little harder to be completely honest about some parts. Do you think it would fly if he just said, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about. As we moved forward with the Affordable Care Act we decided that substandard healthcare plans (in our opinion) would not be tolerated. We know what’s best for you. Shut up and pay the fee. Ummm tax. You are going to get this healthcare plan no matter what you say or do. So suck it up, be a good comrade, and, oh yeah, it’s the Republicans’ fault.”