If you thought Chris Christie’s dilemma in a local dispute over a bridge is the most important story of the week, you’re missing some serious infighting among Democrats. Yes, I know the bridge is allegedly the busiest in the world. I also know it’d be a great idea not to broadcast that to the world in these globally troubled times.
Anyway, it appears the Dems are engaged in some serious arguments with their fellow Dems. If these were Republicans, media would call it a “civil war.”
One dustup is over the security of your personal data within the federal data trove. According to Republican congressman Joe Pitts (Penn.) [boldface added], “[T]here is no legal requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services notify an individual if his or her personal information is breached or improperly accessed through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges.”
Hang onto the phrase no legal requirement.
That’s the reason 67 Democrats in the House chose to “break ranks” with President Barack Obama on the matter of information security.
Those Dems defied Obama to join Republicans voting for the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, H.R. 3811. This act is short and sweet—it’s a precedent-setting (hopefully) one sentence in language most anyone can understand:
“Not later than two business days after the discovery of a breach of security of any system maintained by an Exchange established under section 1311 or 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18031, 18041) which is known to have resulted in personally identifiable information of an individual being stolen or unlawfully accessed, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide notice of such breach to each such individual.”
What does Obama have against a law most of us would see as basic common sense?
The White House issued a statement complaining there’s already a system in place for notifications to consumers and H.R. 3811 “would impose an administratively burdensome reporting requirement.” The president, however, must be aware that falsehoods about the bill have already led Americans to distrust the administration when guarantees are made.
For consumers, the legal requirement is a necessary protection, so I agree with the Dems and Republicans pushing H.R. 3811.
Segue to another dustup, this one over Iran. Progressive bloggers are making notes and taking names, with one going so far as to declare Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) “needs to be challenged in a primary.”
Why? Menendez and a number of other Democrat senators disagree with Obama’s policy on Iran. The senators want to ramp up sanctions on Iran despite the fact the president is currently negotiating with the country. Obama’s spokeswoman basically accused her fellow Dems of trying to “push the country toward war with Iran.”
The prog blogger named more than a dozen Dem senators, chastising them for “their idiocy.” The same blogger even called Menendez an “asshole.”
Now that’s a duo of dustups. Legacy media apparently missed the sparks while they concentrated on Christie’s kerfuffle with some local politico in Ft. Lee or New York.
Having watched the Christie debacle yesterday, words come to mind from our former secretary of state. What difference does it make? The Dems are engaging in their own little civil war.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 10, 2014)