Sunday, November 24, 2013

Is Healthcare.Gov a Turkey?
Turkey - A poor and unsuccessful theatrical production; a financial failure; a flop; any worthless, useless, unsuitable thing.  An ineffective, incompetent, objectionable, or unlikable person or thing. As in “For all ordinary purposes, it was simply a turkey,” or “The treasury realizes this law is a turkey.”
Dictionary of American Slang, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1967
The word  "turkey" is also used for fake drug capsule, easy money (turkeys are comparatively easy to catch), an easy task (a turkey shoot), a valise, a 50 cent piece (from the eagle on the coin), and a hobo’s suitcase. Turkey comes from the turkey hen, native to Turkey, which was confused with the American bird.’
Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Checkmark Book,  1997
Is Healthcare.Gov a turkey? 
It depends on what you mean by turkey.  
·         Do you mean turkey in a financial  loss sense? 

·         Do you mean turkey as in an inept t project or production ?  

·         Do you mean turkey as a dumb with not enough sense to come in out of the rain who might otherwise drown  if left alone or suffocate when crowded together with fellow turkeys?

·         Do you mean a human turkey surrounded by incompetent followers or helpers, as in “It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys?”
If we’re going to talk turkey, do you think this thing called will be fixed by December 1 on a goverment wing and a prayer?
Government  is promising a fix by that date.  That’s four days after Thanksgiving, national Turkey Day.   Will government then fulfill Benjamin Franklin’s insistence  that the  turkey,a noble creature in his opinion, ought to have been  America’s national bird, not the American eagle?
According to Bree Fowler, a technology writer for Associated Press, most experts say will  take more time and money to fix than the government admits. Fowler cites Bill Curtis, senior VP and chief scientist at CAST, a French software company, who says  current glitches are just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper problems reside beneath the surface.  
These problems include how to fix and bridge the glitches, subjecting the final producet  end-to-end testing, modifying government policies of rewarding contacts for individual components  to the lowest bidders, and protecting personal information from hackers.  
Curtis says,” Will it eventually work?  Yes, because they have to make it work, but it’ll be very expensive.”  By that comment,  he means money added on to  the $684 million already expended over 3 ½ years. How much longer, no one knows, (Bree Fowler, “Experts: HealthCare.Gov Fix Needs More Time, Money” Associated Press, November 21, 2013),
Will eventually be a turnkey (that's turnkey not turkey)  information?  Time and money will tell.
Now to return to the question posed in my title: 
Is a turkey?
When pondering this question, keep your tongue in your cheek and  these facts in mind.
Turkeys, like some independent contractors, have monocular vision.  This means their eyes are located not in the center of their head, but  on the two sides of their head so they can look at two things at once, like predators approaching from opposite sides.  But turkeys can’t focus on the same image at the same time. 
Turkeys aren’t stupid, just misunderstood. say some, though others  disagree.   Robert Hendrickson in the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins  says, :The domesticated turkey hardly knows what to eat and has to be attracted to food by colorful marbles placed in its feed; it often catches cold by getting its feed wet and frequently panics and suffocates when the flock presses together in fear.”
Because of their monocular vision, turkeys  can’t focus on the same image, or presumably, the same goal at the same time, much less at many different things simultaneously.   Domestic turkeys, bred for their heavy meat, can’t fly. They can't gain altitude for perspective.  They tend to hop around and crowd together against a fence when threatened. Loud noises spook them.  Wild turkeys can fly, and look down from tree branches.  But they tend to be more independent and resist and avoid human intervention and guidance.
I trust this information has been helpful in helping you decide whether is fixable and whether its contractors are likely to behave like turkeys.   The term gobble, taking things down in a single gulp and satiating one's appetite, is not likely to apply here.  Nor will gobbledygook, another turkey-derived term, be helpful.

Turkeys and federal websites are awkward creatures, and it will take time for them or  a flock of subcontractirs,   to stand firmly on their legs or to soar to reach their final destination..
Tweet:  It’s going to take plenty of time and money to fix, and the fix will not occur  after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.



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