WASHINGTON D.C. - The Chief Technology Officer for the White House, Todd Park, is so busy fixing the Obamacare website that he can't testify in front of a U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee.
Park may be slapped with a subpoena if he doesn't stop techno-geeking around and show up to sit in the hot seat so a few U.S. congressmen can ask him a few questions. They want to find out more about what's going on with all the glitches in the Obamacare website.
U.S. REP. ISSA DOESN'T PLAY: Darrell Issa, a Republican House of Representatives member, said he and his peers want Park to explain why HealthCare.gov is performing so poorly. Millions of Americans have been prevented from enrolling online for health insurance policies.
This reporter visited Park Thursday and asked him why HealthCare.gov isn't working properly. Park snorted, then whimpered, saying: "What do you mean it isn't working properly? Twelve American families have successfully succeeded in enrolling for health benefits online."
Park explained the website is remotely controlled by the movements of a fish in the Atlantic Ocean. It's not some little minnow, either, but a giant that likes the deep of that extra-large pond known as the Atlantic Ocean.
BIG FISH STORY: "Yes, fish swim around a lot and we had this silicon chip placed into this big grouper. Maybe he's a flounder, I don't know. It doesn't really matter. He's always pretty close to the bottom. When he swims in and out of old shipwrecks at the bottom of this trench, we lose transmissions with this fish. That's why we're having so many problems with HealthCare.gov," Park said.
A fish was used instead of an antenna or any other electronic grounding device, like a space satellite or a large dish grounded onto a mountaintop, simply because a fish is always on the move.
"Computer hackers will have a much harder time hacking into a website dependent on this salt water creature. Moss doesn't grow on a rolling stone," Park said.
Park's role with HealthCare.gov is nebulous. But he's hard working and dedicated. He's been finagling around, trying to get all the bugs out of the system; and he oftentimes works around the clock. He even sleeps on a mat in his office some nights.
When this reporter met with Park in person, he appeared to be in his late 70s or early 80s. He looked haggard, hunchbacked, pallid, and his overall disposition was choleric. He seemed to be sleeping standing up as I interviewed him, in fact.
CONFUSED AND CONDEMNED: All of a sudden Park's eyes popped wide open. Obviously, he'd come to: "What do you mean? Do I look elderly? Is that what you're implying? I'm only 40 years old. It's this flipping, flapping website! It must have taken off 30 years of my life in the past month. I've only had two hours of sleep in the last 32 days. My head's software and Barack Obama's the hard drive. He's a mean taskmaster and knows less about computers than William McKinley. Did you know when McKinley was our President we didn't have computers?" he snorted.
"No, I didn't know that," I said calmly.
"I almost singlehandedly constructed HealthCare.gov in three months when I was Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services. That was three years ago. It seems like 303 years ago now," Park added.
"I really think it would've gone off without a hitch if we didn't hitch the whole blasted thing onto that stupid fish! It was a coterie of Navy Admirals that came up with this bright idea. They've been spending a lot of time and money trying to train these groupers and flounders to be deep water sailors. Suicide bombers. Strap explosives to their fins and train them to head straight into Al Quaeda submarines. It's been triple top secret. All this is off the record. Anyhow, blame the Navy, not me!" Park said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Issa, always a tough critic of virtually everything Obama does, has launched a number of probes into the Obama Administration's dealings. Issa even has his own "10 Most Wanted Chart" and various photos of President Obama's moods and faces take up every spot on this list. "PUBLIC ENEMY #1!" cries out in bold lettering above the poster-sized banner in Issa's Washington congressional office.
lIES, LIES & MORE LIES: "I'm not going to lie to you, I think this whole Obamacare thing is as nutty as a fruitcake," Issa said. "There was no real overseeing the creation of building this website. Some U.S. government offices and federal contractors seem to be the culprits who managed the creation of this electronic nightmare."
"The way this website interacts with U.S. citizens is comparable to being put together by a murder of crows or a gander of geese," Issa hissed. "It crashes worse than a helicopter that lost one of its blades. We should've just grabbed a couple hundred folks from a day labor outfit and put them to work. Even grabbing a bunch of people at a bus stop would've done the trick."
Issa confided that "there have been rumors that the website's transmission system is based on a silicon chip that was buried inside the scales of a fish swimming around in the Atlantic Ocean. Can you believe this? All the nuts are falling from the tree!"
He noted that when he grills Park in front of the oversight committee, he's "going to be totally transparent. I'm just going to say, 'Now Todd, we've heard rumors that the entirety of HealthCare.gov is dependent on some freaking fish out there in that hideous pool right over there to the east a few miles. A flounder or a grouper or something. Is this true? And if it is, why in the world did you put the entire project into the hands of a stupid fish?'"
"Ah, Congressman Issa, sir, I don't think fish have hands."
"Well I'll say fins then. Or scales. Or gills. Or whatever the hell fish have. I don't know. . .Ah hell, boy, you know what I mean."