GOP Clown Show: Rep. Joe Barton Freaks Out Over an HTML Comment
OK, folks, this one is just unbelievable.
At today’s Republican clown show on the poor performance of Healthcare.gov, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) pulled out a slide showing some HTML code from a page at the site and ranted that it was a violation of HIPAA privacy laws, because a section of the code says “you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Here’s a screenshot of the slide (click to embiggen):
I tried to find the page containing this code at the site but couldn’t; it looks like it might be an error page resulting from some bad input. Barton’s interns must have really been scouring the code to find anything they could use.
But the really unbelievable part? The code Barton ranted about is actually just an HTML comment. The quote about “no reasonable expectation of privacy” appears inside comment markers (e.g. “<!-- this is a comment -->”)
<!--<p>To continue you must accept …
You have no reasonable expectation of privacy…
… for any lawful Government purpose.</p>-->
This is obviously boilerplate text that was part of a template, and instead of deleting an unnecessary section, whoever coded this page simply commented out the part that did not apply. The text does not actually appear anywhere on the site.
That’s right. Republicans are so insanely desperate to destroy the Affordable Care Act that they’re trying to stoke fear over comments in the source code that are not visible to users of the Healthcare.gov site.
You can’t make up this kind of stuff. It’s a perfect picture of GOP derangement.