Don’t we hold our officials accountable, anymore? Updated.

December 30, 2013
"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”

The answer in too many cases, sadly, is “no.” Via The Campaign Spot, here’s a summary of the fiasco that is Oregon’s Obamacare exchange, probably the worst in the nation (1):

In Oregon, the state exchange still couldn’t enroll anyone online at the end of December. The state is relying entirely on paper applications and had to hire an additional 400 workers to process them. Some patients scheduled to go on dialysis next month are still waiting for answers from the exchange about what plans are available. The advertising campaign, directing people to the dysfunctional web site, was pulled down after spending $21 million. The exchange’s board extended a deadline by a week, announcing the decision one hour before the deadline. The $178,992-per-year chief information officer, who helped design the $160 million site, resigned for “personal reasons” earlier this month . . . citing the death of her mother-in-law. This CIO lived in Sacramento, California. Rocky King, the state exchange’s director, resigned for “health reasons.” (Hopefully he won’t have to rely on the exchange to get insurance in whatever new job he starts.)

The state’s already spent over $40 million on the site, itself, on top of the $21 million for advertising. So, one would think, Governor Kitzhaber, who’s been a big supporter of Obamacare, would be in trouble for reelection next year, right? Right?

Yeah, right.

According to an article quoted later in the piece, Kitzhaber is almost a shoe-in for reelection. After all this, voters won’t turn to even another Democrat?

Not that I’m laughing and pointing at Oregonians. Far from it. In California, we continually reelect or elect to other offices pols who do terrible jobs, yet time and again they escape accountability for their performance. It’s indicative of a more fundamental problem: too few people pay attention to the jobs their elected officials are doing, or perhaps even care at all. Elections and politics, though we trust the winning candidates with vast sums of money and essential public services, are just a bother to too many people, who just tick a box on the ballot rather than take seriously the responsibilities of a citizen. Increasingly literally, they just “mail it in” and, for the public, the public’s business is an afterthought.

I know we all have a lot that demands our time and that state, local, and national issues can be mind-numbingly complex, but the pols are not the only ones with “job responsibilities.” We have them, too, as citizens: the duty to pay attention, so that we can audit and judge our officials performance when an election rolls around.

Otherwise, we get the Kitzhaber we deserve.

Footnote:
(1) Though Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont are finalists for that honor, too.

UPDATE: And here’s a similar example at the federal level. One of the bureaucrats charged with overseeing the Obamacare rollout is retiring, with pension intact. Naturally, we should celebrate her career.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Shocker: Syria to miss deadline on Obama WMD deal

December 30, 2013
Not again?

Wishes he’d never heard of Syria

Hey, didn’t the Assad regime get the message that Obama really meant it when he said he was really, really serious about getting Syria to give up its chemical weapons? Keep this up, and he’ll go tell Putin on them:

Syria’s failure to move part of its chemical weapons arsenal to a Mediterranean port has prompted warnings that the disarmament deal struck with the country is falling seriously behind schedule.

A Norwegian navy frigate sent to escort a convoy carrying Syria’s mustard gas and sarin stockpile has said it has been advised to expect a substantial delay.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body in charge of the UN-backed plan to destroy 1,300 tonnes of Syria’s chemical weapons, said it had put in place all the necessary “logistical and security” arrangements.

However, it added that tomorrow’s deadline for the shipment of the weapons-grade munitions cannot be met and could only proceed if President Bashar al-Assad’s government “intensified efforts” to move the material.

I’m sure they’ll get right on that.

Of course, everyone knew this would happen: Obama leapt at the deal brokered by Russia because he had stupidly opened his mouth and laid down an ultimatum he wasn’t prepared to back up. In the meantime, Assad has gained more time to defeat the rebels, his Iranian paymasters keep Syria as a client state and bridge to their proxies in Lebanon, and American influence in the region sinks lower as Obama can’t even enforce the minimum terms of a fig-leaf agreement he and Secretary Kerry touted as a major breakthrough.

That “smart power” sure has paid off, no?

via Jim Geraghty

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Antarctic ‘research’ fiasco – ‘would you, could you, in a boat’?

December 30, 2013

The climate change movement is falling apart and ending in farce, as this “scientific expedition” shows. BTW, click through for photos of ships sunk in the Antarctic in recent years. Maybe we should worry about the ecological damage incompetent visitors are doing.

Watts Up With That?

This will be a top “sticky” post for awhile since interest is high – new stories will appear below this one – Anthony

UPDATE:Josh channels the boat people

UPDATE2: Another irony is discovered, this one doubly deep.  See update 2 below.

UPDATE3: see WUWT and Weatherbell help KUSI-TV with a weather forecasting request from ice-trapped ship in Antarctica Akademik Shokalskiy

UPDATE4:AMSA: Helicopter rescue of Akademik Shokalskiy likely to commence shortly

(It’s off again, then now its on again, with report the helicopter has landed)

UPDATE5: All the passengers (tourists and scientists) are off the ship

UPDATE6:Tough questions need to be asked

UPDATE7: Trouble on the rescue ship – reaching open water not so easy

As we reported previously on WUWT here and here, the saga of the “climate scientists/tourists trapped in ice” continues to fascinate many. Now a second ship has given up on rescue, after the Chinese…

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