Brian Beutler at Salon on how criticism makes Obamacare stronger. In response to his colleague Joan Walsh's suggestion that liberal writers stop reporting on Obamacare problems because the President "already knows" about them, Beutler writes, "Liberals are contributing to the ongoing public relations fiasco, but that’s a good thing for the law. If the only people making noise about Healthcare.gov were its avowed enemies, decision makers in the administration would be much more likely to create false bases for denying the extent of the challenges." Further, "No matter what the press has done, nobody who’s actually in the market for insurance would have mistaken the rollout for a success, and what ultimately matters is making sure the website becomes a reliable service for consumers." MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweets, "I co-sign what @brianbeutler says here." Justin Green, the online editor at the conservative Washington Examiner, jokes, "Evergreen line from @brianbeutler: 'Joan is giving Obama and his administration too much credit.'"
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones on Healthcare.gov's problems. Though the administration has announced a "tech surge" to fix its online insurance marketplace, "throwing programmers at the problem isn't likely to help. It takes months to get up to speed on a big piece of software, and you can't contribute fixes until you've done that. Like it or not, the website is going to get fixed by roughly the same team that wrote it in the first place," Drum explains. Bottom line? "The reaction to Obamacare's problems really doesn't matter much. Within a few weeks, either the website will work or it won't. If it works, everyone will forget about the late-October panic fest. If it doesn't, Obamacare is screwed. The reality on the ground, not the spin, is all that matters now." Tom Lee, the director of Sunlight Labs (a non-profit using technology to increase government transparency), tweets, "Smart thoughts on healthcare dot gov from @kdrum, who was a technical manager before he became a blogger."
Chris Cilliza at The Washington Post on Obama's Jon Stewart problem. "Stewart, the host of the wildly popular Daily Show on Comedy Central, has emerged as a harsh critic of Healthcare.gov and the Obama Administration’s inability to fix it," Cilliza writes. Obama should be worried because Stewart delivers the news to young people, and Obama needs young people to sign up for the exchanges. How does Obama fix it? "Maybe appear on the show — as he has done six times before, including twice as president. Stewart would, undoubtedly, challenge Obama on the problems with the site but would also give the president a platform by which he could address the growing public perception that the law (or at least the Web site) just isn’t working." Jim Roberts, the executive editor of Reuters Digital, tweets, "Good piece by @thefix."
David Dayen at The New Republic thinks the media is being too nice to Alan Greenspan. The former Fed chairman is on a media tour to promote his new book this week, and Dayen thinks interviewers are letting him off easy. "Anyone who’s paid attention to the economy the past few years knows how ridiculous it is to fete Greenspan, the main architect of the policies that led to the Great Recession. ... his penalty should be to scrounge up the funds to pay JPMorgan Chase’s $13 billion fine with the Justice Department." Greenspan ignored the housing market bubble that led to the 2008 crisis — "He deserves some manner of punishment for that, not a week full of deference and respect." Matt Yglesias, the economics writer at Slate, tweets, "Sorry to say it, but I think @ddayen is a bit too soft on Alan Greenspan." Dayen jokingly responds, "damn, now I need to do a rewrite!"
Kevin Roose at Daily Intel says it's crazy investment time again. "With five years of air between Lehman Brothers and the present, the seal has been lifted. Athletes and virtual currencies are being traded alongside Ford and General Electric. Venture capitalists are pitching start-up stocks to the unwashed masses," Roose writes. And so, "the age of bullshit investments is back." Why is it a bad idea to invest in a football player? "It bases returns on the unpredictable performance of professional athletes, it gives stock that can only be traded on a private, relatively illiquid exchange, and its single-athlete stock can be converted into common Fantex stock whenever the company feels like it." But what's scary is that these bad investments won't result in a crash like 2008. "It will be a slow flow of assets from the information-deprived to the information-rich, in the form of fees and other completely legal wealth transfers."