House Energy/Commerce Committee: HHS knew all along #obamacare was failing.

Oh, this should provide hours of amusement.

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today unveiled a series of documents provided by the Department of Health and Human Services from July 2013 that reveal the administration internally voicing serious concerns about the progress of the website. Among the concerns raised by senior officials was the ability to meet the October 1 launch date and the impact the compressed timeframe would have on testing of the site. Continue reading House Energy/Commerce Committee: HHS knew all along #obamacare was failing.

Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary?

We still have a Commerce Secretary?  What the hell has the last one been doing for the past five years? Playing tiddlywinks?

Making official what many Democrats have expected for weeks, President Obama plans to nominate Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser, as his new Commerce secretary this morning.

Pritzker’s nomination could prove controversial. She is on the board of Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her wealthy family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.

Continue reading Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary?

#rsrh The REAL bad news for Obama about John Bryson’s ‘leave of absence.’

The news that Commerce Secretary Bryson will be taking a (presumably medical) leave of absence after a series of traffic accidents (including one hit-and-run) last weekend is in fact bad news for the President, but not for the reasons that Politico suggests.  After all, as Ed Morrissey notes, Commerce is not exactly a prominent Cabinet office and Bryson has not exactly been a notable – or even noticed – Secretary.  And while it’s true that Barack Obama’s month has started badly and does not look to be getting better any time soon, this entire event is fairly small beer.

No, the reason why this event is still bad news for the White House is simpler: it’s demonstrating that media organizations like Politico think that titles like “John Bryson’s leave of absence adds to Obama’s bad news” will drive traffic. former PA Governor Ed Rendell to the contrary, stories with this kind of slant suggest that the Media is looking forward to using its favorite story: The God Who Turned Out To Be A Man After All – with Barack Obama being the ‘hero’ of the story*.  At this rate, the President should start practicing his wistful and melancholic looks, since he’s going to need them for the inevitable and interminable retrospectives on his past time in office that will be springing up.  Continue reading #rsrh The REAL bad news for Obama about John Bryson’s ‘leave of absence.’

‘Health Law Implementation Timeline (H.R. 3590 as Revised by H.R. 4872)’

Oh, boy.

Fifty-three pages of fun, fun, fun.  If you ever wanted to know the precise timetable of the government doing to health care what they did to the US housing market and manufacturing sector – more likely, if you gloomily think that you need to know – well, here you go. I’ve been told that there may be some multimedia of the more… typically Democratic… parts of it later; I suspect that it’ll happen after the House staff involved stop twitching.

But You Have Been Warned:

DISCLAIMER: This document represents the best efforts of the Energy and Commerce Committee Republican staff to describe the substantive provisions and effective dates of the legislation. Because of the lack of clarity, internal inconsistencies, and ambiguity in the text, many provisions will inevitably be subject to dispute or alternative interpretations.

I know that pity for House staffers may sometimes be in short supply around here, but you should show some sympathy for the poor Republican folks on the House Energy/Commerce Committee that had to wade through the legislative swill and greywater that is Obamacare for almost a month in order to extract useful information for the rest of us. After all, it’s not like any of their bosses voted for the despicable thing.

Moe Lane

PS: Why did Energy/Commerce have to do this one?

Why, indeed.  It’s amazing that Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 doesn’t whimper every time somebody looks at it, the way that we work it so…

Crossposted to RedState.

Gary Locke: New Commerce pick, guy with a brother-in-law.

Yeah, you know where that last bit’s going.

[UPDATE]: (Via Ed’s original post, and thanks for the link) John Huang? John Huang?
OK, that’s it. Somebody from the White House give me a call. I will personally pick out a Commerce Secretary for you. It will be a liberal Democrat, with no skeletons in his or her closet – I’m actually leaning towards her at this point – and nothing that will make the GOP freak out. As God as my witness, I will not play any partisan games. This is a legitimate offer.
Because you people are embarrassing me with this, that’s why.

Kind of the point, really.

Via Hot Air we hear a story that sounds hauntingly familiar about Obama’s third-time’s-the-charm pick for Commerce (former WA Democratic governor Gary Locke):

LET’S SAY YOU’RE Gov. Gary Locke’s brother-in-law. You bunk at the governor’s mansion. You commute to your nearby job as an executive of a private technology firm.

uring your two years with the firm, the governor signs a bill giving your company a tax break, personally intervenes in a dispute involving your company, shows up for a party there, and signs a federal loan application for your company, whose founders—your bosses—pay at least two visits to the mansion.

At the same time, your company rakes in millions in state aid, lands a fat state technology contract, and is allowed to use government credit authority to float new loans (an authority illegally granted, as a state auditor’s report will reveal this week).

Are you getting gubernatorial favors that average citizens don’t get?

Naaaw, says the governor.

So, where have I heard this before? Continue reading Gary Locke: New Commerce pick, guy with a brother-in-law.

Harold Ford Jr. has tax issues?

It’d be a bit of a surprise to me if he did – I’ve heard a bit about the man, but nothing along those lines – but he’s a Democrat being considered for a Cabinet post (Commerce*), so you’ll understand why I’m asking.

(H/T: Glenn Reynolds)

Moe Lane

PS: Harold Ford does not have a “Merrill problem.”  There are apparently people who are making it a point to make sure that this is known, so I thought that I’d just pass it on.

*Otherwise known as the “fugu fish of the Obama Cabinet.”

Crossposted at RedState.

A helpful suggestion and a question for the President

Since he’s apparently having quite the problem with filling the position, what with the pay-for-play and the lack of vetting and the clumsy attempts at looked-good-on-paper political stratagems. Anyway, here’s the suggestion: Why don’t you just abolish the Commerce Department? After all, your last pick thought that it was a good idea, and you thought his judgment was sound, right? I mean, I’d hate to think that you were too intellectually incurious to actually know that about Senator Gregg.

As for the question: given that you’re probably going to go with having a Democrat back in the position – although I hear that the Libertarians would quite like a go – I was wondering whether you were going to trust him or her with the Census gig?

Moe Lane

PS: Your guy Gibb is just a touch too ungracious for his job. Keep him.

Crossposted at RedState.

The President always wanted to re-evaluate the census process?

Since when?

No, I’m quite serious: since when?

This is all part of this little article (Glenn Reynolds summed it up perfectly, by the way) about Sen. Gregg’s real value to this administration:

MANCHESTER – Sen. Judd Gregg yesterday declined all comment on reports that the White House will strip him of his authority over the federal Census Bureau even before he becomes Secretary of Commerce.

Gregg spokesman Laena Fallon said all comment would come from the White House.

A White House spokesman last evening said, “From the first days of the transition the census has been a priority for the president, and a process he wanted to reevaluate. There is historic precedent for the director of the census, who works for the Commerce Secretary and the president, to work closely with White House senior management — given the number of decisions that will have to be put before the president. We plan to return to that model in this administration.”

Continue reading The President always wanted to re-evaluate the census process?

CBC preparing to oppose Obama over Gregg?

Probably not, but maybe some day the progressives will find their spines again.

Glenn Thrush has a statement from CBC Chair Rep. Barbara Lee that certainly sounds like they’re reserving the option:

“In this light, Sen. Gregg’s record of previously voting to abolish the Commerce Department and his attempts to block President Bill Clinton’s efforts to secure adequate funding for the 2000 census raise troubling concerns regarding his commitment to the department’s core missions.

We may know more when they get around to putting the press release on their own site. Continue reading CBC preparing to oppose Obama over Gregg?