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Borowitz writes: "The N.S.A. leaker Edward Snowden today reached out to the United States government, offering to fix its troubled Web site in exchange for immunity from prosecution."

Edward Snowden during an interview while still in Hong Kong. (photo: Guardian UK)
Edward Snowden during an interview while still in Hong Kong. (photo: Guardian UK)

Snowden Offers to Fix Healthcare Website

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

21 October 13


The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

he N.S.A. leaker Edward Snowden today reached out to the United States government, offering to fix its troubled Web site in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Speaking from an undisclosed location in Russia, Mr. Snowden said he hacked the Web site over the weekend and thinks he is "pretty sure what the problem is."

"Look, this thing was built terribly," he said. "It's a government Web site, O.K.?"

Mr. Snowden said that if an immunity deal can be worked out, "I can get to work on this thing right away-I don't need a password."

In addition to full immunity, Mr. Snowden said he is requesting that he be allowed to work from home.

At the White House, President Obama offered a muted response to Mr. Snowden's proposal: "Edward Snowden is a traitor who has compromised our national security. Having said that, if he knows why we keep getting those error messages, that could be a conversation." your social media marketing partner


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-136 # indian weaver 2013-10-21 16:44
Obama is an idiot, not a president. Obama is the traitor to the American Constitution and manifold laws, domestic and international, which he ignores and has broken. Obama's comment is laughable. I'm very jazzed he's so humiliated by the French, Mexican and Brazilian criticisms of his NSA illegal wiretapping. When Obama opens his mouth, we laugh, not listen.
+45 # marvingentz1 2013-10-21 23:30
Yes, but will you feel the same way when Cruz and the Republican Central Committee pay for the repair of the web site?
+3 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-22 11:11
You forgot your snark button.
+35 # ssnbbr 2013-10-22 08:28
As Foghorn Leghorn said, “It’s a joke, I say it’s a joke son.” The article is all fake. It's called satire. Look it up.
+10 # Phlippinout 2013-10-22 09:38
Which choice was better? which moron would you have preferred? Which presidential candidate would have stood up to the military industrial complex and lived to tell? All our choices for president will be the same filthy liars as the next. MOstly because we do not have a democracy. There will be no great leader for the US because the cards are stacked. If it feels better to blame Obama, go ahead.
+9 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-10-22 11:53
TO:indian weaver
The Republican leaders of both houses were asked to dinner, White House. When they arrived, they realized " mother fxxxxx, he is still black."
+10 # bmiluski 2013-10-22 12:43
Indian weaver is a troll......trol l.......troll.. ..... When he trolls we laugh not read.
-78 # RMDC 2013-10-21 19:08
Well, this puts Obama in a real fix -- does he love his healthcare boondoggle more than he hates Snowden. If anyone knows the bugs that can get into government web sites, it is Snowden. He'll get them out and in the process get Obama's ass out of the fire. But Obama won't go with Snowden.
+29 # Brooklyn Girl 2013-10-22 10:11
+4 # James38 2013-10-23 12:34
LOL, this is just one of the MANY things RMDC fails to understand.

I am reminded of the definition of Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcasm and the people who don't get it.

He is permanently stuck on the cold, windy side of the chasm, milling around with the rest of the clueless.
-89 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-21 21:08
Obama, like Feinstein, is either a monstrouly disengenuous idiot, or a very naive fool. In both cases, they are so bizarrely stupid they cannot distinguish the highest form of patriotism from the most evil treason.

That is why they are so viciously treasonous.
+41 # marvingentz1 2013-10-21 23:35
Walter, both you and RMDC are overlooking the massive failure of another corporate privatized boondoggle.

This one is almost as bad as our national prison system and Halliburton forgetting to feed our troops in Iraq.
0 # James38 2013-10-23 13:43
And the entire "War of Lies" in Iraq, (and the US Embassy in Iraq),

and..... The mind boggles at actually trying to fill out this list.

The Drug War.

Vietnam "war" (even worse than GW Bush's private war in Iraq)

Keystone Pipe Line

The madness of the Tar Sands Project it proposes to service.

Mountain Top Removal, destroying the environment for profit (and continuing the destruction of the Climate as a "bonus")

Citizens United derision - er, decision, by the "corporate privatized boondoggle" SCOTUS - who gave us the Shrub disaster.

I miss anybody's faves? (I'm sure I did.)

But there is a way out of the energy mess.

See "continued" below:
+1 # James38 2013-10-23 13:56

In the midst of the discussion of some truly funny satire, here is some very serious and important information.

The LFTR/MSR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor/Molten Salt Reactor) is a non-polluting, grid ready, 24/7 power source.

It is less expensive to build per watt than Coal, Solar, or Wind power plants.

There is also a limit to Solar and Wind power. The grid can absorb only so much power from these sources before the storage or backup problem becomes critical. Until now no economically viable solution for the variability of wind and solar has been found. When the grid limit is reached, adding more solar and wind potential costs double because you need additional coal or gas plants equal to the capacity of the wind and solar - as backup. It sounds like a Catch22 because it is.

LFTR technology is proven and can be developed and ready for widespread use in a short time. Liquid fuel reactors are completely fail-safe. Operating at atmospheric pressure with already liquid fuel, they can not melt down or explode. If there is any problem, they go into cold shutdown automatically, with no external power or operator intervention necessary. An unlikely fuel spill from any cause simply hardens on the floor, and can be scooped up for re-use when the reactor is fixed. LFTR fuel spills are measured in square meters, not square kilometers.

+1 # James38 2013-10-23 13:59

We need to insist on an immediate re-start of the LFTR/MSR research and development program by the US Government, and an equally immediate push to get the Nuclear Industry to drop its narrow focus on new types of solid fuel reactors. While they are safer than the older solid fuel reactors, all solid fuel reactors are much more expensive, and all of them generate "nuclear waste" that must be reprocessed or stored.

The LFTR uses presently stored waste as fuel and leaves behind less than 1/100th of material for storage - and this material is far less radioactive and becomes harmless in 200 - 300 years, instead of the 20,000 years of storage needed with solid fuel reactor waste.

Read "Super Fuel - Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future" by Richard Martin

"Thorium - Energy Cheaper Than Coal" by Robert Hargraves


Also see this excellent presentation by Kirk Sorenson of Flibe Energy:

Thorium: An energy solution - THORIUM REMIX 2011 - YouTube
0 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-10-23 23:57
You are the one who said DU is non-toxic, like eating ice cream.
0 # James38 2013-10-27 06:16
No, Eldon, that was not me. Some one of the Santa's elves that constantly romp around the inside of your skull, maybe?

DU when pulverized is toxic like a lot of other heavy metals. And yes, it is very slightly radioactive.

The main use for DU (which is nearly pure U238) in the future will be as a fertile element (like Thorium) that can be used as fuel in a LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor)
+8 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-22 11:13
Enough about Cruz and the rest of the teahadists. The topic of conversation is the Obamacare website.
+10 # bmiluski 2013-10-22 12:45
Could you please ask your republican tea-bags to give you some other words to misuse. I know, I know, you're a troll ergo you can't think.
+105 # karenvista 2013-10-21 22:23
I can never understand why people on this site can't Google "satire?" What is it with you guys.

It is a joke!!!!

But it would actually be a very good deal for the government rather than giving the incompetents a few billion more to fix their mistakes after being overpaid from the start.
+49 # keenon the truth 2013-10-22 02:35
So with you, Karenvista! I'm beginning to wish RSN would just edit out the posts from the people who don't get the satire. I am embarrassed for them!
+12 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-22 11:14
But making fun of them is so enjoyable!
+1 # James38 2013-10-23 12:38
Yeah, but it is too much like masturbating. Fun, but there is no response. They just keep on missing the point. Nobody home.
0 # ChickenBoo 2013-10-23 12:53
Quoting karenvista:
I can never understand why people on this site can't Google "satire?" What is it with you guys.

It is a joke!!!!

But it would actually be a very good deal for the government rather than giving the incompetents a few billion more to fix their mistakes after being overpaid from the start.

OMG! You got me!! I thought it was real until I saw it was a satire! Ah phooey! I was so excited. I wish it WAS real! Ha! You guys (RSN) are good!
+52 # tigerlille 2013-10-21 22:38
Perfection. Borowitz really nailed this one. And a plausible scenario; I bet Snowden could fix it, and if it were done anonymously, Obama might be desperate enough to go for the deal. I love his "muted" response, above. LOL. (Yes, I know this is satire.)
0 # bingers 2013-10-24 13:25
And the reason it has problems is probably because the government didn't do it, but had a private company do t for them. Going with the lowest bidder is always a good idea. (In keeping with the satire)

Of course no corporation ever has a problem with rollouts.
+49 # Bourbaki 2013-10-21 22:53
indian weaver, RMDC and Wally

I trust yours are double secret satire in the spirit of double seceret probation from the classic Animal House.

If not, my bad, givin' ya too much credit.
+39 # Mickeyfilm 2013-10-21 23:00
This is hilarious!!!!
+20 # goodsensecynic 2013-10-22 02:36
Yes, it's quite funny, but not as funny as "indian weaver," "RMDC" and "Walter J Smith," who are either bigger pranksters than evidence of Andy Borowitz or else evidence that the United States of America is doomed.

Laugh? Cry? You decide ...
+9 # goodsensecynic 2013-10-22 02:37
Which Tea Partier stuck in that extra "evidence"?
+25 # marvingentz1 2013-10-21 23:41
If you want to really learn what fubarred the Obamacare website, try downloading AT&T or Bank of America to find out why they added so many mysterious fees on your last statement. Let me know if you ever get to talk to a human being.
+29 # artic fox 2013-10-22 00:07
tea-baggers and republicans:

Beware the Ides of June and November
+26 # Richard1908 2013-10-22 01:24
Satire, English comedy and my own sense of humour -three things Americans don't understand.
+7 # Tje_Chiwara 2013-10-22 09:16
Ah, Richard . . . Americans are "the World" . . . they include Indian Waiver, Snowden, lots of English and a bunch of Irish . . . even a couple Republicans! Don't do a Ted Cruz or Boehner and act like you know what "Americans" want or understand . . . Our "exceptionalism " is precisely the fact that we have been the best amalgam of cultures created so far, east west north south, even if elements of our society get a bit loony and anti-democratic sometimes . . . Our blending makes us stronger, if we can just get everyone to hang together --- a project that the Commentary on this site sometimes causes me to worry . . . Come on guys! Let the idiots have their say!
+1 # Texas Aggie 2013-10-22 11:17
For a look at what blending should be, check out:
0 # James38 2013-10-23 12:53
Nice tune, the girl is lovely - what a nice voice - makes me think about the amazing differences between men and women - but they need to temper their sentiment by adding a real abo or two to the group - and they surely need to sing out about the recent horrific backsliding into reactionary stupidity by the Australian public who elected a new government marked by actual climate change denial.

This flying in the face of Australia's suffering from some of the worst early manifestations of Climate Change - huge flooding and fires and drought.

They may be Australian, but they have not overcome their own homegrown teabagger/stupi d crowd.
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-10-24 00:04
Any country which ranks low in critical thinking skills will have abundant numbers of climate deniers. The U.S. is a prime example. U.S. students rank 25 in the world in math and science based on the upper 25th percentile. That is how war criminals like Bush and Cheney get elected.
+30 # Annietime13 2013-10-22 02:25
Dear Edward ,
I hate that your eyes are always so sad
Perhaps you read this by Andy and actually smiled
After all, Obama was once touted as an extremely practical man
This would literally kill 2 birds with one stone
Who is the Betrayer and who is the Betrayed???
Not a difficult question really
Who is for the people of America versus the destroyers
Who wants all of us to have the freedom of privacy
And who is all tied up in fear. (the terrorists are attacking
my pacemaker )!!!!
MICHAEL HASTINGS,,,,,,, ,,and who is still threatened by his values
I hope you are comfortable, and happier than your eyes reveal
We here very much admire your courage
We once thought Obama believed in us as you do
Obama needs an excellent computer specialist
You certainly have the resume and the Hutspa!!
Of course, even as Andy makes us smile, we all know Washington would
Never go for it
Who wants a compromise where Nobody Loses
Just not The American Way" ..........
GodSpeedYouWhereeverYou MayGo
Many of us thank you, every day
+3 # ishmael 2013-10-22 08:55
Wow. Quite a little hommage there.

Satire is great here.
+2 # EternalTruth 2013-10-22 13:10
"This would literally kill 2 birds with one stone"

I think you need to look up the meaning of "literally".
But I agree wholeheartedly with you sentiments.
0 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-10-24 15:43
If they are seagulls, it can be done littorally with one stone...
+4 # cwbystache 2013-10-22 06:00
Heh heh. Wonderful.

I'm reminded of news coverage I listened to when the father was visiting the son in Russia--first the BBC said the father was glad that Edward was there and was "free", and in the next hour of my listening, to NPR affiliate KJZZ out of Phoenix, that coverage said the father was glad that Edward was there and "happy". My my.
-5 # truthbug 2013-10-22 06:18
Not funny, and I don't appreciate being tricked. However, I laughed when I read the title, assuming Snowden was attempting some kind of clever publicity.
-9 # bigbizequalsbiggov 2013-10-22 08:28
He said he thinks he's "pretty sure what the problem is." We really don't know whether Snowden could fix the web site or if he could even be of help in fixing it... however, if he COULD assist in fixing it, it would be stupid to waste his capabilities. One thing we DO know: Snowden definitely has huevos... and a big ego!
-4 # RightForAReason 2013-10-22 07:41
Just what I want. Snowden having access to my personal information.
-4 # ishmael 2013-10-22 08:46
LOL. Great comment.
Discretion isn't a strong point, obviously.
+8 # satorarepo 2013-10-22 07:59
Satire is sometimes even more futile than resistance. I have loved Andy Borowitz since his daily appearance long ago on CNN, light-hearted and shrewd. But the impassioned comments that his too-deft words provoke here from readers with lit fuses, are just too painful. Andy is a brilliant mocker, but only to those capable of wisdom and shame. I think that RSN's best contribution to balance and sanity would be to not indulge the anger of those who are ready to explode. Nobody likes to have it blown into their face when the fan blades are reversed and what hits them is not pie.
+1 # ishmael 2013-10-22 09:44
"But, there's been a vast, vast conspiracy to listen in on just who is applying for health benefits ... And by golly, I don't like it .... "
+8 # fettenberg 2013-10-22 10:03
Somehow, this seems entirely plausible to me...I think it would be great if it REALLY HAPPENED!
+9 # Brooklyn Girl 2013-10-22 10:09
To all the people who are taking this article seriously, IT'S SATIRE. Andy Borowitz writes SATIRE. It even says that right at the top.
+4 # James38 2013-10-23 13:02
Love you, Brooklyn Girl! You keep right on telling them!

It is amazing how many of these doofuses just don't get it.

I think they actually may not know what the word "satire" means. When you say it, they just slide on by - without even wondering what that was.

It is a somewhat complicated concept. It has two or three logical steps in it, and that is obviously beyond teabagger mental capacity. Anything conceptually more complicated than "See Dick run." is invisible to them.

This is actually a hopeful realization, because the number of people actually that stupid is limited, and the number of people cynically dedicated to manipulating them (think Cheney, Koch, etc) is also limited. Therefore the ones who actually have undeveloped mental capacity are gradually waking up to discover they have been duped, and are changing sides.

It may be helpful to point out repeatedly that following the latest teabagger/Koch line - drill more oil, frack more gas, dig more coal - will lead to massive climate disasters. They are the leaders of the "Worst Generation", the generation willing to destroy the future for their own children and grandchildren for easy big profit now.

One minor question: Is GW Bush actually as stupid as he looks, and as his ideas of "reality" indicate, or is he just more deeply cynical and greedy and lost in addiction to money and power than most of them?

In either case, he is clearly a War Criminal, along with Dick and Condi.
+3 # bmiluski 2013-10-22 12:53
Not to put a damper on all this hilarity but, I just heard on NPR news that people who already have insurance are going onto the ACA site. I wonder how many of them were told to do so by their republican tea-bag handlers.
+6 # tabonsell 2013-10-22 14:51
Wow, the stupidity is exceptionally thick and heavy today, especially at the top.

Maybe they haven't gotten the word or are too dense to understand the word.

The malfunctioning website was the product of outsourcing its creation to a company in the PRIVATE SECTOR; the private sector that right-wingers always tell us "can do everything better than government."
-4 # JSRaleigh 2013-10-23 13:12
Borowitz usually bores me, but this one is actually funny. The blind squirrel does occasionally find an acorn.

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