It's Friday: Things I think about


Whaddyagonado? Obamacare is a nightmare of the first order and Democrats, as a general rule, couldn’t manage a Cub Scout troop efficiently, much less a massive reconfiguration of health care.

And, as you’d expect, it’s the bluest of blue states with the biggest trouble.

First, Hawaii’s director of the Affordable Care Act state exchange resigned without signing up anybody. Then, Oregon’s director took a leave of absence. Now, Maryland’s health-exchange guru, Rebecca Pearce, has called it quits.

But at least Ms. Pearce went out in style, as explained by Mary Katharine Ham. Pearce was in the Caymans when her site imploded. After spending $107 million on a site that didn’t work, she just up and left for a vacation in the Caribbean.

Even Democrats in Maryland thought that too much of an insult to bear. So she quit.

You must read Ham’s account of this debacle. Warning: Take your Altace first.

One more thing …

Last week one of the big political stories in Nevada was about how Sen. Harry Reid tried to muscle Homeland Security to help out the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas get some cash from its foreign investors.

The narrative Reid’s paid staff tried to sell is that the senator was doing all this because he’s so into helping the local economy. Jobs. Construction. Blah-blah.

Of course, those of us who have watched Sen. Reid for the last 30-some-odd years know that Sen. Reid doesn’t do much out of the kindness of his heart. If he’s going to bat for SLS, there’s another connection somewhere.

And the next day, there it came. Who’s the lawyer for SLS at the time of Sen. Reid’s aggressive intervention? Reid’s son, Rory.

Sad … and predictable.

H/T to the website Ralston Reports for digging it out. Tip to all Nevada reporters: Whenever Sen. Reid goes above and beyond on something, look for a personal interest. I’m telling you, it is always there. Also, just as a sidebar, allow me to add that Sen. Reid doesn’t pay his staff enough for the slimy trail they must clean up on a weekly basis. Reid 2013 is like doing PR for Richard Nixon in 1972.

St. George and his dragon

I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories. Thought you’d find it interesting, too.

At the Welsh church called St. Cadoc’s in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, people for centuries saw an ancient building with plain white interior walls.

Then a thin red line of paint on the wall was noticed. A team of experts was called in to investigate. What they found under 20 layers of limewash were stunning 15th century paintings of St. George and the Dragon. Some say it’s the best ever seen in a British church.

Take a look at this BBC report. Prepare to be amazed.

A real mission accomplished

For those who don’t know the World War II story of the Dolittle Tokyo Raiders, I invite you to listen to this piece from National Public Radio.

A little more than a month ago, three of the four remaining Raiders met for a final toast. It was a culmination of a mission accomplished.

Here’s a video of the complete ceremony. Quite moving.

Unemployment benefits for the employed?

Say what? Yes, that’s what Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, said on the House floor Thursday. She actually, honest-to-God, said:

“Let us vote to provide for unemployment insurance for working men and women. So we can’t be only about our self in this holiday season, particularly as we recognize that the Pope being made man of the year has spoken to the world eloquently about this whole issue of the vulnerable. And so I ask this, Mr. Woodall, and the Rules Committee, let’s put the Van Hollen-Lee-Levin amendment on the floor tonight, tomorrow. Call us back, Mr. Boehner, call us back, Mr. Boehner. Let us vote to provide for unemployment insurance for working men and women so that faces across America will not the tear of desperation on their face. The deal is good, but the people are suffering. We cannot allow this to happen this season of joy and giving.”

Don’t get too excited. The bill Ms. Jackson-Lee speaks of does not provide any benefits for people with jobs. But it does give you a glimpse at where Ms. Jackson-Lee’s head is really at, doesn’t it?

If she could, she’d give unemployment benefits to the employed.

CCOTD — The Coffee Cup Of The Day comes from the launch of the Las Vegas Mercury, a Vegas alternative publication something like the nationally known Onion. It gave the Review-Journal a position in that unusual market. Eventually, it led to the R-J buying CityLife. The cup features a monkey reading the Mercury with the tagline: “Nothings funnier than a smoking monkey.” Geoff Schumacher (now publisher in Ames, Iowa) and Steve Sebelius (R-J political columnist) were mainstays on that extremely talented staff. Here’s to the Merc. One of my all-time fave Las Vegas publications.

Frederick Fact — 800,000 Californians have been notified that they will lose health insurance as of Jan. 1. Yet only 107,000 people have enrolled via the state’s exchange. December needs to be a massive month for Obamacare enrollments in California or the fit hits the shan — big time.