21 October 2013

President Obama's Rose Garden Shamwow

Three weeks after the launch of Obamacare open enrollment, President Barack Obama held an event in the Rose Garden regarding the so called Affordable Care Act. 

With all of the reports of problems with the Obamacare launch, there was some expectation in the Lamestream Media that no drama President Obama would get mad about what Time called "His Broken Obamacare Website". Maybe the President would act like a leader and fire those in charge of the bureucratic bungle, such as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.   

Unfortunately, the press availability in the Rose Garden seemed like an extended  25 minute Shamwow commercial. The only element missing was the pitch line "But wait, there's more."

The big news per Jake Tapper at CNN is that the website malfunctions were not called glitches but were upgraded to kinks.   So after funneling $500 million to Quebec's CGI to set up the fatally flawed web portal Healthcare.gov, President Obama suggested using the call center, or letting health navigators assist them in signing up for the mandatory coverage lest they be taxed. 

Despite the $54 million which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has earmaked for health care navigators , they had no  background checks and the staffing contracts were awarded to Seedco in Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and New York.  Seedco  is the same company which settled a civil fraud lawsuit in 2012 for faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22 million federal contract. 

Signing up for Obamacare involves revealing all sorts of personal information that is rife for identity theft.  There are already reports by Watchdog.org in Tennessee that scam artists are posing as navigators who coax medicare recipients for their information.   But there also shady characters who are designated as ACA Navigators.  Rosilyn Wells, the only Obamacare navigator in Lawrence, Kansas had an outstanding warrant for check kiting and has a $1700 state tax deficit.  This makes USIS's flawed background checks on Wikileaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis look thorough. 

Sadly, Sebelius does not have any time to testify before Congress  about the flawed Obamacare roll-out, but could attend the inaugural Kennedy Center forum the night before.  Perhaps to quell the blow back from this P.R. faux pas, Senate Majority Leader Dick Durban (D-IL) went on Sunday talking head shows to insist that Sebelius will ultimately testify.  Presumably, it will be before the Senate so there is a choreographed kabuki show where Democrats chastise Sebelius more in sorrow than in anger.

Vince Offer (a.k.a. Shlomi)
But such factual side shows take the focus away from the center stage in the Rose Garden rally.  One of the stalwart arguments against Tea Party Conservatives efforts to attach defunding Obamacare to the Continuing Resolution was the mantra that "It's the law".  Listening to the Celebrity-in-Chief's sales pitch, he soft peddled the kinks but felt compelled to sell stories to the American people of why it was a good deal for you.  If Obamacare were a good deal, the White House stenographers pool known as the elite liberal media (a.k.a. the Lamestream Media) would have plenty of positive stories to buttress the ACA.  Instead, Mr. Obama had to try to channel the spirit of Billy Mays or imitate Vince Shlomi,  the Shamwow Guy, to sell his already passed public policy.

If that was not enough, it just so happened that a person prop in back of President Obama fainted and the President caught her.

This was a phenomenon quite prevalent when candidate Obama was running for President in 2008.  It seemed to have mostly disappeared during the first term, but made some reappearances while on the hustings for his Re-Election campaign in 2012.

Considering the content of the Presidential high pressure pitch for "the law" despite its evident early shortcomings, fainting seemed apropos for the Rose Garden feint. 


No comments: