Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The education of Barack Obama

Peter Berkowitz, of the Hoover Institution, has written an excellent article which collected some of Obama's statements admitting that the world is different from what he expected:
  • On the failure of the Obamacare website: “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” 

  • On the failure of his Palestine-Israel peace initiatives: “I think that we overestimated our ability to persuade them to do so when their politics ran contrary to that.” And: “I think it is absolutely true that what we did this year didn't produce the kind of breakthrough that we wanted, and if we had anticipated some of these political problems on both sides earlier, we might not have raised expectations as high.” 

  • On the failure of the budget-busting "shovel-ready" stimulus package: “shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”
Columbia and Harvard owe America an apology for letting a man so uninformed graduate from their universities.

People who put their personal information on public social media have no idea that their personal information is public

Low-information voters that we often discuss are likely low-information about many other subjects as well.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Obama discovers that business is complicated and government is incompetent

Many have noticed the contrast between the technological mastery of Obama's presidential campaigns and Obamacare's IT disaster.  In yesterday's press conference (full transcript here), Pres. Obama explains some lessons learned:
[O]ur IT systems, how we purchase technology in the federal government is cumbersome, complicated and outdated. And so this isn’t a situation where — on my campaign, I could simply say, who are the best folks out there, let’s get them around a table, let’s figure out what we’re doing and we’re just going to continue to improve it and refine it and work on our goals.

If you’re doing it at the federal government level, you know, you’re going through, you know, 40 pages of specs and this and that and the other and there’s all kinds of law involved. And it makes it more difficult — it’s part of the reason why chronically federal IT programs are overbudget, behind schedule.
Obama discovers that the Federal government is a big non-functional bureaucracy bound up in red tape.  Surprise!  One might have thought that this is the kind of thing he should have considered putting 1/6th of the US economy under the control of a website to be built by the same Federal IT people who he now knows are "chronically" "overbudget" and "behind schedule."

Separate from IT, Obama discovered something about the health insurance:
What we’re discovering is that part of the problem has been technology, hardware and software, and that’s being upgraded. But even if we get the — the hardware and software working exactly the way it’s supposed to with relatively minor glitches, what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy. And another mistake that we made, I think, was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and lot of different benefits and plans and — and somehow expecting that that would be very smooth, and then they’ve also got to try to apply for tax credits on the website.
Obama has discovered that health insurance is complicated, maybe too complicated to fit into a website. Who would have thought so?  As a candidate, Obama promised to slow "the rise of the oceans" and to heal "the planet."  Five years later, he has discovered that a mere website to sell insurance is beyond his skills.

The politics of liberalism is founded on naivety and Obama excels at it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Romney's Uncanny Predictions

Romney may have been a mediocre candidate but he certainly had a better handle on what Obama was about than the legacy media:

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Friday, November 08, 2013

A liberal's inability to distinguish reality and fantasy

In the Abilene TX Reporter-News (hat tip: BoTW), Ann McFeatters writes about global warming.  Her otherwise predictable column ("science is right, the burning of fossil fuels ... already is causing extreme weather...") does have one interesting sentence:
We have seen enough science fiction movies to know how fragile our ecosystem is.
Apparently, when she writes that the global warming "science is right," she means the science fiction.

A similar confusion was demonstrated in this news article from the San Francisco Chronicle that ran soon after Arnold Schwarzenegger began his run for governor in 2003.  At the time, Schwarzenegger was an unknown so the newspaper attempted to determine the candidate's political views by quoting lines said by the fictional characters that he played in movies.

When talking about public policy, we conservatives may cite Locke or Hayek.  We should recognize that, to liberals, such sources are inconsequential compared to what they saw in the latest Hollywood movie.
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