Beltway looks better from here

By Denis Storey


It’s about as miserable as an episode of "The Killing" here in Colorado. The rain hasn’t stopped all week. We’ve had a closed airport, washed out roads and leaky ceilings.

But at least I’m not in D.C. where:

The House launched their best – if ultimately futile – attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with their vote to delay funding the subsidies until the administration comes up with a better way to verify applicant income. Remember, another one of Obama’s quieter summer delays came in the form of pushback on income eligibility verification. This marks the 41st vote by the House to repeal, defund, or dismantle the health reform law. And despite a few Pyrrhic victories along the way, the losing streak should remain intact. Again, I appreciate their resolve, I just wished they were able to channel all that energy into something more productive than the word “no.”

The rats fleeing the sinking ship continues as well, with the AFL-CIO suddenly upset with PPACA. It wasn’t that long ago that these cats were still on board. What the hell happened? I’m honestly starting to believe that no one – and I mean no one – actually read this legislation before it became law. Of course, this declaration comes along a membership drive, so maybe it’s good for drawing in new recruits to the cause. Whatever that is anymore.

Speaking of which, the more I hear about the tech support the administration is using (or not using) to run the federal exchanges, the more nervous I get. I’m almost ready for them to call the Geek Squad – just not the NSA. Seriously, though, the former head of the Social Security Administration aired some dirty laundry this week as he revealed the infighting over the administration’s data hub system and who would eventually foot the bill. How did that not get figured out sooner? He expressed some serious misgivings about it being ready – and secure – by Oct. 1.

And that noise you hear in the absence of chicken hawks squawking and air strikes falling? Those are the reports of the budget cannons (or calculators?) as both sides fire the opening salvos in an almost-certainly drawn-out budget skirmish.

Yeah, it’s a good time to be out West and away from the chronic in-fighting, paralyzing uncertainly and numbing vacuum of conviction.

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