HH: It’s Thursday, we are lucky. Columnist To the World and spokesperson for Canada, Mark Steyn, joins us to explain why his country screwed ours so royally. Hello, Mark Steyn.
MS: Hey, enough of that. I love that opening number. That’s what Ted Cruz is going to have instead of Hail To The Chief when he enters the room. I love it.
HH: I don’t know where to begin with you, but I do note that Toronto’s police chief says the authorities have received an alleged drug video involving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Have you seen that story, yet?
MS: I think I’ve actually seen that video. That’s from ages…Rob Ford lives almost literally next door to my uncle in Toronto.
HH: Oh, no.
MS: And he is loathed by all the liberal do-gooders in Toronto. And they will do anything to topple his regime. And he has a blithely indifferent attitude to most of this.
HH: Oh, two reporters with the Toronto Star are saying they’ve seen this video, but it’s not been released publicly. I thought we might trade you Marion Barry and Pipeline rights for Ford and some new software code, Mark Steyn.
MS: No, no, I’ll tell you, because I have no idea whether the mayor of Toronto is some crackhead. But as crackhead mayors go, he’s way better than Marion Barry. You can see this.
HH: (laughing) Oh, that’s not actually saying too much. I’ve got to go to yesterday’s hearing. I want to play for you a montage. There’s no way to go through the Sebelius testimony. We put it all together in 23 seconds. Here are the greatest hits from yesterday.
KS: The website has never crashed…whatever…clearly, I am not hot swapping code…no, sir, we are responsible for the rollout…whatever…I assured him, and, that we were ready to go…no, I haven’t lost my confidence in them…no one indicated that this could possibly go this wrong…don’t do this to me…whatever.
HH: Don’t do this to me, Mark Steyn. The rest of America said yes, exactly. What did you think of yesterday?
MS: I thought it was pitiful, really, although it was worth it for the hot swapping code soundbyte. You know, somewhere there’s like, somewhere, there’s a hapless gang of trick-or-treaters tonight who will knock on the door, and Kathleen Sebelius will welcome them in for some hot swapping code. It’s not a pretty site. But I don’t, in the end, this is serious.
HH: Oh, it’s terrible.
MS: And it’s serious, because you know, we’ve talked about health care on and off for years now, and I’m philosophically opposed to it for reasons of individual liberty, that I don’t think the states should have jurisdiction over my bladder or anything else. But that’s a philosophical argument. John Roberts attempted to find a Constitutional justification, twisted himself into a pretzel. Most people don’t care about philosophical or Constitutional arguments. That’s not where they live. This has failed. If Obamacare had worked, they would have gotten away with it. But it’s failed in utilitarian terms, which is why it damages the big government brand, because big government claimed it could do this, and big government has instead disrupted millions and millions and millions of lives to no conceivable benefit. And the President’s thing after, and lied to the people about it, and the President didn’t have the grace to apologize for that yesterday. In fact, he double downed on his lie, his new lie being that oh, less than 5% of the population will be affected, and they’re going to wind up with better plans. In other words, they’re going to be paying an extra $300 dollars a month because, you know, previously, if you were a healthy 57 year old male, you weren’t covered for getting a hysterectomy. Well now, under Obama regulations, the 57 year old male will no longer be at risk of a hysterectomy. IN other words, he’s saying this is the liberal project. We know better than you, and if it costs you more money, so be it.
HH: Oh, it is so aggravating. I have had called to my attention today Michael Hiltzik’s story in the Los Angeles Times, in which he basically calls people, the woman he profiles, a dumb blonde for not understanding how much better the new program is for her than the one she is complaining about losing. The media is in essence gone into full overdrive to tell us we don’t know what we want, Mark Steyn.
MS: Right, right, which is the classic liberal argument. It’s the Bloomberg argument. Bloomberg knows better than you how much Coca-Cola you should drink. Likewise, Obama knows better than you what’s the best health plan for you. And it’s an interesting distinction. You talk about this story in the Los Angeles Times. I think there’s a difference between staffers and freelancers, because as far as I can tell, every freelance writer in America has been kicked off of his or her health plan, Kirsten Powers on the left, Michelle Malkin on the right, David Frum somewhere in the middle, Deroy Murdock.
HH: Yeah, oh poor David. Oh, Hiltzik is legacy columnist, and I would encourage you to read that piece. We’re going to talk to him today. He’s coming on. We’re going to talk to the woman he profiled. Let me play for you, though, something that if I had said it, or if you had said it, Mark Steyn, we’d be off the air. Here is Andrew Sullivan on with Anderson Cooper talking about why Obamacare failed so miserably.
AS: See, here’s one explanation. When Obama was asked once what his basic, deepest flaw was, he said deep laziness. And I wonder whether this is not the equivalent of that first debate last year. The guy just didn’t focus, played too much golf.
HH: Can you imagine if Rush Limbaugh had said deep laziness, Mark Steyn?
MS: No, no, I know. I know, and I think that’s right, Hugh. It’s actually that he’s not a detail guy. He never thought this through, and that’s why there’s been a disconnect. And his speechwriters never thought it through, and I think that’s why there’s this disconnect between the political presentation of it and what was actually going on behind the scenes.
HH: Oh, here’s Clarence Page on my show from Monday after he had got done telling me he didn’t think the President was sincere when he made his representations about not losing your health care.
HH: He knew he was lying?
CP: Probably. Probably. But that’s one of those political lies.
HH: So Mark Steyn, the whole Manhattan-Beltway media elite is involved in excusing the President’s duplicity and telling Americans not to worry because they’re better off, even though millions of them have lost it.
MS: Yeah, yeah, I mean, this is the argument, that it was a necessary lie, because he’s made life better for you. And to make life better for you, at the cost of an extra two or three hundred dollars a month, it was necessary to lie to you. I mean, this is appalling to me, because essentially, it’s colluding in the corruption of government at the highest level, which again is characteristic of Obamacare, because it’s not just that for three years they’ve known that potentially up to 100 million, I think it’s 93 million or something, 93 million Americans were going to lose their health plans, the health plans they liked. They’ve known that for three years.
HH: Let me read you three paragraphs that were sent to me by my friend, Hank Adler. “Google, Red Hat, Oracle and other technology companies are contributing dozens of computer engineers and programmers to help the administration fix the U.S. health insurance exchange website. The help is arriving as the government’s main site for medical coverage remains plagued by repeated outages a month after its October 1 debut. Michael Dickerson, the site reliability engineer on leave from Google, and Greg Gersham, innovation director for the smart phone application Mobambo, are among those helping, the Obama administration said today. “They are working through the analytics of what happens on the site, to prioritize what needs to be fixed,” Julie Bartel, a spokeswoman for the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters on a conference call. Dickerson is working to improve the stability of the website, while Gersham is “helping the development process be more agile.” Mark, they’re starting over, none of these people have been cleared, I don’t trust them, I don’t know why anyone would trust them.
MS: No, I think that’s actually the biggest issue here, is the lack of privacy in the American medical system. And I think that’s going to become a huge issue once it all becomes a bit more political, and once they start leaking this or that candidate has an embarrassing pimple on his bottom, or whatever detail they manage to uncover. I think the lack of privacy in American health care is one of the major flaws for this. But also, these Google guys know that they’re being asked to put a gloss on rubbish. The fact that the secretary declares that she doesn’t know how many enrollees there are, she knows, just at the end of the day, whether it’s Amazon knows how many books were bought at Amazon.com yesterday, Wednesday, just as I know at my own more modest operation how many books were sold at www.steynonline.com. Everybody who has a website knows that.
MS: So when they say they don’t have the enrollees, they’re lying to us. They’re still lying.
HH: Here’s the biggest lie of all. Here’s number five, Sebelius yesterday, cut number five.
KS: They indicated to me that we would always have risk, because this system is brand new, and no one has operated a system like this before to any degree. So we always knew that there would be the possibility that some things would go wrong. No one indicated that this could possibly go this wrong.
HH: That is such a lie, Mark Steyn. You’ve been saying it for a decade. I’ve been saying it for as long as you’ve been saying it.
MS: Yeah, I mean, basically what happened is the United States government took over another G-7 economy. It basically took over the entire French economy. It swallowed it whole. So it’s the equivalent of making a website to navigate the entire French economy.
MS: That’s the scale of what they did. No one has ever attempted, you can do it if you’re the Bolsheviks in 1917 and you’re taking over a semi-feudal ramshackle country like tsarist Russia.
HH: And you’re willing to shoot the people who won’t go along. Mark Steyn, www.steynonline.com, let it be counted that we’re all going there right now, www.steynonline.com. He has good metrics. We trust him.
End of interview.