Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and

Has anyone thought about switching the computer on and off?

I swear, that cures a good 75 percent of the problems I have with my creaky PC. Isn't a quick reboot at least worth a try at healthcare.gov?

The Obama administration had a painful week, digitally speaking. Americans eager for affordable health insurance had a terrible time logging onto the Obamacare entry portal. Republicans, who've hated the program all along, couldn't believe their luck. Democrats were seething at the White House for hanging such a juicy target on the president's prized legislative achievement.

And no one could fully explain why the nation that created Apple, Microsoft, Intuit and Facebook needed to hire a second-tier Canadian firm to host our most important social program in 50 years.

But here's what we all know from our own digital disasters and what Washington soon enough will learn:

The programming problems will be sorted out eventually. That will take far too long, cost far too much and make all of us feel like idiots.

But first, would someone please turn the machine on and off!

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1. I didn't do anything different.

2. It just stopped working, that's all.

3. You want me to click the -- what?

4. My whole life's in those files!


5.Send someone over -- now!

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Ebay? Craigslist? Some local garage sale? Where would a heartless thief try to unload a hot bell inscribed with "26" and words "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings"? The memorial bell, dedicated to Sandy Hook shooting victim Caroline Previdi, was stolen from Casone Beach in Island Park. . . . If Great Neck has serious health concerns about the newly approved hookah lounge on Middle Neck Road, why allow inside -- but not outside -- smoking? Isn't inside worse? . . . Green enough for you? Assemb. Fred Thiele scores a perfect 100 from ELP / Environmental Advocates, greenest in all of Albany. . . . Those contractors protesting the beat-up roads of Smithtown? Are they more outraged at the abundance of potholes or the dearth of paving contracts? . . . What caused Mount Sinai's "excessive" school-budget surplus -- too much taxing or too little spending? Whoever heard of an "excessive" surplus, anyway? . . . Why is the "Bias Free Zone" sign in front of Southampton Town Hall coming down? Did the sign encourage public civility -- or just cause folks to shake their heads and ask: "huh?" . . . Dina Lohan's back in court? Are you sure? She and her family live such quiet lives. . . . What explains LI's higher-than-average college tuition hikes? Richer parents? More financial aid? My money's on No. 3: Deeper debt! . . . Why stop with Daylight Saving Time? Why not agree that every fall we'll knock 10 pounds off the scale?

THE NEWS IN SONG: "Are We Not Men?" We are, of course, Devo: tinyurl.com/devodevo


If fall feels familiar in Huntington, this may be why: Nick Volugaris has done an amazing job nursing Kerber's Farm back to life. The working farm and beloved farm stand on Pulaski Road, whose roots go back to the early 1940s, had been on life support for the past four or five years, sure to be lost to the next developer who drove by. But the Huntington High grad grabbed the place, whipped it into shape in no time and has almost magically peeled the years away. All fall, it's been farm-fresh fruits and veggies, homemade pies and jams, chickens chirping and bees buzzing out back, a full array of what today's foodies like to call farm-to-table fare, It's as close as we may ever see again to Huntington the way it used to be -- before the houses, the malls and the rest of us arrived.

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