World View: HealthCare.gov IT Systems a Continuing Disaster
- Moscow police arrest hundreds after a massive race riot
- Al-Qaeda surges back in Iraq following U.S. withdrawal
- HealthCare.gov IT systems a continuing disaster
Moscow police arrest hundreds after a massive race riot
Moscow police detain a man on Sunday (Reuters)
Moscow police arrested more than 380 people on Sunday during a race
riot in which about 1,000 neo-Nazi ethnic Russian nationalists
attacked a vegetable warehouse run by natives of Russia's southern
provinces in the North Caucasus who had migrated to Moscow. This was
the worst race riot in some time between mostly Orthodox Christian
ethnic Russians and mostly Muslim North Caucasians. The riot was
triggered by the knife murder, on Thursday, of an ethnic Russian while
he was out walking with this girlfriend, who later described the
assailant as a Caucasian.
Hundreds of police were sent in to bring
the riot under control, but some reports indicate that the police did
nothing to stop the ethnic Russians from looting the warehouse.
Moscow police promised to pay up to one million rubles for information
that would help to identify and find the murder suspect. Russia Today and AFP
Al-Qaeda surges back in Iraq following U.S. withdrawal
Al-Qaeda has come roaring back in Iraq since U.S. troops left in late
2011 and now looks stronger than it has in years. The terror group has
shown it is capable of carrying out mass-casualty attacks several
times a month, driving the death toll in Iraq to the highest level
Al-Qaeda's forces have been bolstered by bombing attacks
on Iraqi prisons that have freed more than 500 inmates. The Syrian
war has been a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda because genocidal
maniac president Bashar al-Assad is using heavy weapons to slaughter
innocent civilians, and Russia is following a disastrous policy of
supplying an unlimited number of heavy weapons to al-Assad.
the pace of terrorist killings has increased substantially every month
since the American withdrawal, with most of the attacks conducted by
al-Qaeda linked terrorists with Shia targets. On Sunday alone, 42
people were killed in a new wave of bombings in most Shia-majority
cities. One intelligence official estimates that al-Qaeda now has at
least 3,000 trained fighters in Iraq alone, including some 100
volunteers awaiting orders to carry out suicide missions.
George Bush's "surge" into Iraq in 2007 beat back al-Qaeda, and
reduced it to a "few small cells struggling to survive," according to
the Brookings Institution. But now all of that work is coming undone.
HealthCare.gov IT systems a continuing disaster
Long-time readers are aware that from the day it was first proposed in
2009, I've referred to President Barack Obama's health care plan as
a proposal of economic insanity,
because it's a repeat of President Richard Nixon's wage-price
controls, which were an utter, total disaster for the economy. (See
"5-Jul-13 World View -- Eurozone and Obamacare continue their parallel economic collapse".)
I had expected Obamacare to collapse for purely economic reasons, just
as Nixon's wage-price controls collapsed for economic reasons, despite
the kind of overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans
for wage-price controls that is totally absent for Obamacare. Indeed, Obamacare is in fact collapsing for purely economic reasons. The
administration has been forced to grant one waiver after another to
labor unions, Congress, and other political allies; it's used the IRS
to target its political opponents; and it was forced to postpone the
"employer mandate" by a year, and probably forever.
This is exactly
the kind of thing that Nixon tried to do to save his wage-price
controls as they spiraled into total disaster and collapse. The only
significant portion of Obamacare still remaining is the "individual
mandate," which is so full of holes and contradictions that it's
unlikely to survive the winter.
But what I hadn't foreseen is that a critical factor in the collapse
of Obamacare may well be the IT systems. President Obama is calling
them "glitches" that will be repaired soon, but many people are
wondering whether they can be repaired. I've suggested that perhaps
the Obamacare IT systems were developed by a group of kids out
of college whose previous experience was to develop a web site as
a homework assignment and had used this "expertise" in developing
healthcare.gov and other web sites.
An article by Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica supports that suggestion and a lot more. He points out that actual federal employees who do IT
work have been retiring or are close to retirement and haven't been
replaced, so the government has been depending on young
programmers working for outside contractors to do the work.
Furthermore, he points out that the federal government uses old,
outdated hardware and operating systems and that
government-implemented systems, typified by the US Army's Enterprise
Email (EE) program, are shoddy and would never be tolerated in the
You might think that's bad enough, Dear Reader, but now the story
is going to get much worse.
Last week, there were some reports that the Obama administration had
paid $634 million to contractors to implement healthcare.gov. I
checked out the reports, and it turns out that the $634 million figure
is wrong. The implementation cost was a "mere" $93.7 million.
Are you kidding me? $93.7 million to build a high volume
web site backed up by a database? And they're BRAGGING about this as
a low cost? This kind of project in the commercial world would have
cost about $5-10 million, but adjusting for government bureaucracy or
additional technical complications, a figure of $20-25 million might
have been reasonable though very expensive. $93.7 million is high by
several multiples, especially in view of the shoddy results.
So now we can see what must have happened. The Obama administration
poured out tens of millions of dollars to a number of incompetent
contractors with bloated budgets, probably their political pals and
campaign contributors, who employed incompetent young Millennial and
Gen-X engineers and managers to implement healtcare.gov, and you can
see the result. This is similar to the Air Force internet project
that I worked on for General Dynamics before I was fired.
And now the Obama administration is so desperate to save Obamacare
that it will do anything and everything to save it. It is now
going to spend additional tens of millions of dollars to try to save
healthcare.gov. Let's see what happens. Ars Technica and The Blaze
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Moscow, North Caucasus,
Iraq, al-Qaeda, Syria, Bashar al-Assad,
HealthCare.gov, Obamacare, Richard Nixon, wage-price controls,
Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, CACI, General Dynamics
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