October 4, 2013 at 9:06 am #97524
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful dayOctober 4, 2013 at 9:08 am #97525
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 4, 2013 at 9:10 am #97526
LUVVIE IS BACK!!!
Scandal is BACK! Season 3: Episode 1 Handled It!
October 4, 2013 | Luvvie
Scandal is BACK, yall! I’ve been preparing for this moment ALL MY LIFE (ok 4 months, but still). Gladiators everywhere have analyzed the show to pieces and got our minds ready to see what Shonda Rhimes was gonna serve us for season three and last night was finally the time!
I was in a room with 200 women at the #CBTVScandal watch party at Blogalicious and it was like being in a giant living room.
Chile… look. From the second the show started til the minute it ended, I had to hyperfocus because they packed SO MUCH into that hour. Let’s just get into it.
Rowan’s Rousing Read – Olivia rides in a limo with Daddy Goon (Rowan) and he takes her to some airplane hanger space and proceeds to read our girl for FILTH AND TRASH! He dropkicked her emotions through the goalposts of life, telling her “You opened your knees and gave it to a man with too much power.” WELL DANG, Daddy! NO ONE has ever snatched Liv’s wig like this and all she could so was look down and pout.
When he told her “I am the hell and high water” I had to give props. ROWAN POPE THE KING GOON, ladies and gents!”
After he was good and done, he told her she needs to disappear for eight months and get a new life. She goes along with it and gets on the plane. When she calls Cyrus, he tells her not to run and she decides to face the music. Rowan was NOT pleased!October 4, 2013 at 9:14 am #97527
GOP’s moneymen want lights out at the Tea Party
Thursday, October 03, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:59 PM
We have been discussing here how the GOP’s Wall Street and big business moneymen created the Tea Party Frankenstein, and how they needed to make a course correction. It seems that they are finally beginning to take steps towards that, by starting to turn off the ATM. They are flat out telling the GOP’s head fundraisers that they need to choose between them and the Tea Party.
The Daily Beasts reports on a conversation between Rep. Greg Walden – the House Republicans’ point man whose job it is to maintain their majority – and their benefactors on Wall Street and DC law firms last month.
Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers, couldn’t understand why the Republican Party—their party—seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised later this month.
In response, Walden admitted that the Tea Party has put the fear of God in the Republicans, thus essentially admitting that the real hostage crisis is the Tea Party taking the GOP hostage.
“Listen,” Walden said, according to several people present. “We have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don’t, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.”
Be that as it may, the GOP’s moneymen aren’t buying the Tea Party excuse. No, really. They are literally not buying it.
“We are finding a marvelous way to grab defeat from the jaws of victory,” said Fred Zeidman, a Houston-based businessman who was a major donor to both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns. “The way we are handling this has been a mistake from the beginning. I think we misread where the country was.” [...]
“I am not writing a check to anyone,” he added. “That is not working for the American people.”October 4, 2013 at 9:15 am #97528
Hot mic! Rand Paul caught selling talking point to “win” #GOPshutdown
Thursday, October 03, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 4:52 PM
Rand Paul wants to “win this.” This is the shutdown of the US government, which he apparently thinks is a game. He just got caught on camera telling Mitch McConnell that he thinks they can “win this” by repeating their talking point about how they are willing to “compromise” on just how much of Obamacare they are allowed to kill by holding the operations of the government hostage. Here’s the video:
Dear Senator Paul, people have come before you trying to make the Affordable Care Act into “Obama’s Waterloo.” They have failed, and so will you.
But more importantly, this is not a game, Senator. This isn’t about a sales job that you can do just by repeating your talking point over and over. This isn’t about “poll testing” your “message.” This is about you and your ilk blocking funding needed to keep the government running over something completely irrelevant, and something your forced shutdown cannot accomplish.
Listen up. The President will not negotiate with economic terrorists like yourself. You will not “win” your little game. And in 2014, you will pay for this at the polls.October 4, 2013 at 9:16 am #97529
The Morning Plum: Republicans and their voters are stuck in 2011
By Greg Sargent, Updated: October 3, 2013
If there is one factor causing the current crisis, it may be this: Many House Republicans won’t let go of the idea that they still retain the leverage over Obama they enjoyed in 2011. That leverage was artificial and fleeting — the product of singular circumstances that have largely been reversed. But accepting this very idea represents abject surrender on their part — not only to them, but to their voters.
Today House Republicans continue to hold out against letting a “clean CR” funding the government pass with mostly Dems. Instead they will roll this fight into the debt limit battle, supposedly giving Republicans more leverage.
The Post’s Paul Kane has a great piece this morning detailing why House Speaker John Boehner is opting for this course. Boehner is so weak that he cannot afford to alienate House Tea Partyers twice — on the shutdown and again on the debt limit — so better to fight the good fight now and compromise in the debt limit fight, when the consequences of failure are far more dire. So Boehner is keeping Tea Partyers happy as long as possible. This anecdote captures it perfectly:
“We’re more united in the conference now than we’ve ever been,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold, a second-term lawmaker. Eighteen months ago, the speaker “couldn’t pick me out of a lineup,” Farenthold said. “He now blows me kisses.”
That’s everything in a nutshell right there. Many House Republicans now demanding Boehner exercise maximum tactics to block Obamacare – such as Farenthold – were elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Their formative legislative experiences included the heady debt ceiling showdown of 2011, in which Obama — badly weakened by the 2010 election results, and fully convinced Republicans would allow default, because an economic meltdown would ensure his 2012 defeat — bowed to the leverage the default threat gave them, resulting in the terrible 2011 austerity deal that still haunts us today.
But all those conditions are no longer operative. Obama won reelection decisively, and now it’s House Republicans who stand to lose the most politically from default and economic havoc. All indications are that Obama now believes he made a major mistake in 2011 and is determined not to repeat it. Indeed, now the incentives run strongly against legitimizing use of the debt ceiling as a tactic to extract concessions.
What’s particularly worrisome is that many House Republicans don’t seem to understand or accept any of this. Stuck in 2011, they continue to proceed from the premise that agreeing to fund the government at sequester levels, or raising the debt ceiling, represent leverage points for which they should be rewarded by concessions in return. It’s true Obama legitimized this idea in 2011. But today’s Tea Partyers don’t seem capable of understanding that this leverage was artificial, rather than an enduring fact – the product of circumstances that have dramatically shifted — and that Democrats are determined not reproduce those circumstances for them.
And so, when these lawmakers insist they must not “surrender” by funding government or raising the debt ceiling without unwinding Obamacare, what they really mean is that letting go of the very idea that those things give them leverage is itself surrender. One House conservative put it perfectly: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” Really? Why?
This makes the basic give and take of governing impossible, but these lawmakers have no incentive to drop this basic posture, because if they do, they risk a primary. Indeed, today’s CBS News poll finds 57 percent of Tea Party Republicans approve of shutting down the government over Obamacare. But 72 percent of Americans overall disapprove. And that means Boehner, at some point, must find a way out of this jam. But that in turn means he can’t “blow kisses” at Tea Party lawmakers forever.October 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #97531
I’ve seen it in a few places, but I’m glad it’s getting traction:
that the GOP has no idea why it shut down the Government.
keep on saying it, because it’s fucking true.
THEY SAID it was about Obamacare…but, do you see how they’ve been backpeddling on it, ever since the exchanges opened?October 4, 2013 at 9:25 am #97532
Republicans have no idea why they’ve shut down the government
By Jonathan Bernstein, Updated: October 3, 2013
There’s one question I think all reporters should be asking Republicans today:
Why are you against passing a clean CR and reopening the government?
That’s pretty basic stuff — and something that many House Republicans, in the third day of a shutdown, seem to have no idea how to answer.
Greg already quoted the previously unknown Republican representative Marlin Stutzman, whose Kinsey gaffe defined the shutdown: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
Now, via Brian Beutler, we have a Tea Artier, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, giving a gibberish answer to the question of why they’re still out.
Greg says, with some justification, that this is about Republicans stuck in 2011. That’s a part of it. At a deeper level I think what’s happening here is, as I said back in May, extortion for the sake of extortion: holding the nation hostage in order to prove their True Conservative credentials is the principle they’re fighting for, with the specific demands sort of irrelevant to that.
Either way, what Republicans have been up to since about Saturday night has been stumbling from one Fox-ready talking point to the next, while moving farther and farther from actually having any idea of what, specifically, they believe is worth shutting the government down over. And don’t forget: 20 Republicans now publicly support the clean CR that would reopen the government, and reports have it that anywhere from 100 to some 180 privately would be happy to see that result, even if they are too fraidy-cat to vote that way.
Note, by the way, that it’s perfectly fair to ask Democrats why they oppose the House’s later offer (a CR that would delay the individual mandate for a year and demagogue Hill staff health insurance). The difference? They actually have an answer to that one.October 4, 2013 at 9:26 am #97533
What the White House fears most about the debt limit fight
By Greg Sargent, Updated: October 3, 2013
Right now, the primary fear among senior Obama administration officials is that John Boehner and the GOP leadership don’t grasp just how damaging Obama believes it would be to the remainder of his tenure — and the office of the presidency itself and the proper balance of power between it and Congress — if he were to concede anything in exchange for GOP support for a debt limit hike.
Yesterday’s meeting between Congressional leaders and Obama, in which he reiterated his refusal to negotiate over the debt limit, went some way towards driving that home to the Speaker, senior administration officials believe. But there’s still some worry that perhaps GOP leaders still think the President will fold in the end, and that as a result, they still don’t grasp just how much pressure there is on them to resolve internal party differences that are making it impossible for Boehner to agree to raise the debt limit without extracting concessions Tea Partyers would view as a victory.
Obama and his senior advisers view the debt limit battle as a “must win” fight — not one where the difference can be split in any meaningful sense. They see it as a battle that, if not concluded decisively, could have lasting ramifications not just for this presidency, but for others to follow. Some of this has to do with the electoral calendar. If Obama were to offer up anything meaningful in the way of policy concessions in exchange for a debt limit hike now, that would only make a worse showdown more likely later, particularly in 2014, when members of Congress are up for reelection and Republican lawmakers are facing possible primary challenges, particularly in conservative districts.
Publicly, the President escalated his warnings today about what default would mean for the country, and the Treasury Department released a report warning of the consequences brinksmanship itself would have for the economy.
Beyond this presidency, Obama and senior officials think that if the debt limit continues to be seen as a legitimate lever with which to extract major policy concessions, it could mar the appropriate balance of power between future presidents and Congresses. This is a defining moment, one in which it is imperative to stabilize the imbalances that continue to convulse our system, largely due to the deeply unhinged expectations of the Tea Party, and the outsized influence it continues to wield over the GOP and its leadership.
Obama liked to say in 2012 that the election would break the Tea Party fever — or “pop the blister,” as he put it. That obviously didn’t happen. Now — given the calamitous damage default could unleash, and given the continued damage future threats of default could do to the economy and political and governmental system — a clean and decisive victory is viewed as an imperative.
By this same metric, of course, a cave — should it happen, which Obama is adamantly resolved against — would be a catastrophic, epic failure.October 4, 2013 at 9:30 am #97534
John Boehner gives away the game (a bit)
By Greg Sargent, Updated: October 3, 2013
Multiple reports today inform us that John Boehner is privately telling colleagues that in the end, he won’t allow default and will even let a debt ceiling hike pass with mostly Dem votes if it comes down to it. Plenty of folks are rightly skeptical about this development. But it’s not entirely without significance.
The Post’s account points out that this may be a trial balloon designed to gauge how this will play with conservatives. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Boehner has been reiterating that Boehner does not intend to allow default, even as that spokesman is simultaneously reiterating that he will expect concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit, anyway. Why? Because a “clean” debt limit cannot pass the House.
This is a variation on the glaring absurdity that’s been at the heart of Boehner’s position for some time, i.e, the simultaneous insistence that he knows the debt limit hike must happen — and that the contrary is not an option — even as he asks us to grant the presumption that the prospect of default gives him leverage. The twist added here is that this leverage is derived from the fact that only way to avert default is for Dems to give up enough in concessions so a high enough number of Republicans will vote to raise the debt limit to get it through. The game is that Boehner knows it must be raised — wink, wink — but all those crazies in his caucus will need some goodies to get them to go along.
Note these details from the Post’s write up:
In a series of small-group meetings in his office suite, Boehner has told fellow Republicans that he will not permit a vote on a “clean” short-term spending bill that does not end or delay parts of the new federal health-care law. But the aides indicated that Boehner is willing to risk infuriating some of the most conservative House GOP lawmakers by relying on a majority of Democratic votes — and less than a majority of Republicans — to pass a debt-ceiling increase.
What still needs to be nailed down is whether Boehner is prepared to allow a vote on a “clean” debt ceiling increase. Quotes from his spokespeople suggest not, but on the other hand, if a debt ceiling increase is going to pass with mostly Dems, it would have to be clean. More clarification here would be useful.
More broadly, what seems to be going on here is that this is Boehner’s “big give,” as one Dem aide put it to me sarcastically. Boehner is signaling flexibility in the sense that he just may be willing to give Dems the “clean” debt ceiling increase they want, but only in a larger context where Dems will be expected to make concessions in exchange for keeping the government open. In other words, whether or not Boehner ends up being open to a “clean” debt ceiling vote, the larger picture will remain that Democrats will still have to hand over a series of concessions in exchange for GOP cooperation in returning us to something resembling governing normalcy.
So in one sense, this isn’t much of a concession. On the other hand, the mere fact that Boehner sees a need to telegraph nominal flexibility to begin with could be a key tell. With Obama warning that Wall Street should take the possibility of default seriously, Boehner seems to see a need to underscore, again, that he will not allow default under any circumstances, and that keeping alive any doubts about this is politically untenable. Dems will look at this and probably only be even more encouraged to hold to a hard line on both the government shutdown and the debt limit. Boehner’s trial balloon is also useful in the sense that it makes the glaring absurdity that’s always been at the heart of his position even more glaringly absurd.October 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #97536
The Wendy Davis Scouting Report
October 3, 2013
How does the new prospect look going into her first big-league season?
The 2014 political season is just beginning to ramp up, and, for fans and the professionals, it’s time to start gauging which races to watch—and guessing which candidates can go all the way. Thursday will mark the emergence of one of the hottest Democratic prospects to come out of Texas in more than a decade: State Senator Wendy Davis, who’s set to announce her candidacy for governor. But hold on to your hats, sports fans, ’cause this one is gonna get messy.
Davis garnered national attention this summer when she successfully filibustered an abortion ban that was passed in a later special session of the state legislature. Over 100,000 people watched a live feed, and in Texas thousands stormed the capitol in a show of support unprecedented in recent memory. By all accounts, today Davis will tell the world that she’ll be the standard bearer for a team with that’s lost more than 100 consecutive races statewide: the Texas Democratic Party.
But Texas Democrats are in the midst of a major set of changes, many of which aren’t easy to see or assess, particularly from outside the state. There are the steady demographic shifts; the state is becoming less and less white, as the Latino population, which leans two-to-one Democratic, continues to grow. At the beginning of the year, the Obama campaign’s national field director Jeremy Bird announced his soon-ballyhooed plans to turn Texas blue, creating the group Battleground Texas. The group promised to invest in field organizing and build strong volunteer-driven grassroots—a strategy state Democrats had been notably slow to embrace, despite low turnout among the groups most likely to vote for them.October 4, 2013 at 11:38 am #97538
Why Wendy Davis’s announcement is a big deal
By Danny Hayes
October 3 at 2:34 pm
When Wendy Davis announces Thursday that she is running for Texas governor, it will be a victory for women’s representation. Not because she’s likely to win. As a Democrat in a state where Republicans have monopolized statewide office since “Seinfeld” ended, she’s not.
But because the main barrier to electing more women in the United States is getting them to run in the first place, Davis’s emergence – the result of her 11-hour filibuster against an abortion bill in the state Senate in June – may be critical for encouraging other female candidates to throw their hats into the ring.
This is important to keep in mind, because popular discussions often identify sexism in the media or voter discrimination as the reasons that women constitute just 19 percent of Congress, and hold 10 percent of governor’s seats and 12 percent of big city mayor’s offices. But a spate of recent political science research suggests that those aren’t the primary impediments to women’s electoral success.
For instance, Deborah Brooks’ recently published book shows that voters don’t hold male and female candidates to double standards on the campaign trail. In a series of experimental studies, Brooks finds that female candidates who act tough, get angry (gated), shed tears or commit gaffes are treated no differently than male candidates who do the same thing. Recent work by Kathy Dolan as well as me and Jennifer Lawless finds the same: Voters don’t stereotype women politicians in ways that prove detrimental.October 4, 2013 at 11:42 am #97539
Meet Chad Henderson, the Obamacare enrollee tons of reporters are calling
By Sarah Kliff, Updated: October 3, 2013
(Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters)
Ask and, apparently, you shall receive.
Just moments after writing a blog post Thursday morning, about the lack of information on Obamacare enrollees, Enroll America reached out with contact information for Chad Henderson, a 21-year-old in Georgia who had successfully enrolled in coverage on the federal marketplace.
It was a little difficult to reach Henderson, mostly because so many other reporters wanted to talk to him. “I’m supposed to talk to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in a half hour,” Henderson said. “And The Wall Street Journal is supposed to call.”
Luckily, Henderson managed to squeeze me in for a few minutes. He’s a student at Chattanooga State University who lives across the state border in Flintstone, Ga. (population: 3,456). He describes himself as a supporter of President Obama who has anxiously awaited Obamacare’s rollout.
“I haven’t had health insurance for 14 years,” Henderson said. “My dad put me on BlueCross BlueShield, but the premiums kept rising, and we dropped it since he wasn’t making that much.”
Henderson is a part-time worker at a day-care center. He did not qualify for tax credits to purchase health coverage because his income is below the poverty line. Since Georgia is not expanding the Medicaid program, that meant Henderson was essentially responsible for his entire premium.
He logged onto the Web site around midnight on Oct. 1, ready to purchase coverage. Part of his decision was ideological: He wants the health-care law to succeed.
“I’ve read a few articles about how young people are very critical to the law’s success,” he told me. “I really just wanted to do my part to help out with the entire process.”
The sign-up process took about three hours.
Like other Obamacare shoppers I talked to, Henderson passed the time by watching news coverage of the government shutdown, which was happening at the same time.
“I had to wait like everybody else,” he says. “Millions of people apparently got on the Web site. It took me til about 3 a.m. to create an account. That was probably the longest thing. After creating an account and getting logged in, it was pretty smooth sailing.”
Henderson purchased a health insurance plan with a $175 monthly premium. While that price does fit in his budget, he was also hoping for a better deal.October 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm #97543
The Republican Hardliners Aren’t Conservatives, They’re Radicals
The legislators driving the direction of the GOP aren’t interested in smart, limited government. They’re aiming to eviscerate even the parts that work well.
Oct 3 2013, 8:30 AM ET
In their third iteration of shutdown poker, House Republicans eagerly seized on a new approach: to demand the removal of all subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs for health insurance. They framed this as treating Congress just like other Americans. It is utter nonsense. Most Americans have health insurance through their employers, and the lion’s share of their insurance premiums are paid — tax free — by their employers. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act will change this. Members of Congress and their staff have traditionally been treated the same as other federal employees; they purchase insurance on the federal employees health insurance marketplace, with 72 percent of their premiums covered.
A capricious amendment to the Affordable Care Act offered by Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, moved senators and their staffs off the federal employee health marketplace and onto the new Affordable Care Act exchanges, but it left ambiguous whether their subsidies would remain. (Grassley, remember, engaged in sham negotiations with his “friend” Max Baucus for many months in 2009 to find common ground and compromise on a health reform plan that was based on his own ardent support for the Republican plan to counter the Clinton health plan in 1993-94; he, however, pulled the rug out from under those negotiations and denounced in the strongest terms things he had strongly supported before Barack Obama became president.) Urged on by a bipartisan group of senators, including Tom Coburn, who feared that the removal of subsidies — a unique punishment — would result in a major brain drain in personal offices and committees, the administration said that the subsidies could remain, albeit in a very constrained form.
For the past month or more, Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has blocked every significant action in the Senate, whether important for national security, homeland security, or the ability of Senate committees to function, in return for his demand to knock those subsidies out. Now House Republicans have jumped on this faux-populist bandwagon, knowing that anything that smacks of special privilege for Congress — even if falsely so — will be popular back home.
I have talked to enough Senate staffers and senators to know that the fear of a brain drain is real. Many of the most seasoned committee employees, who have enough seniority to retire but who stay in their jobs because they love public service, will bail out if their pay is suddenly cut by several thousand dollars due to the loss of the employer contribution for health insurance. So will plenty of staffers making $40,000 or $50,000, for whom the hit would be proportionately more severe. The Senate as an institution will suffer significantly from a loss of institutional memory and savvy that contributes to a functioning chamber and better laws being written — which ought to be a goal of liberals and conservatives alike.
But many senators who privately complain about Vitter’s obstructionism and demagoguery have been unwilling to stand up and vote to stop him; Republicans in the Senate voted in lockstep to support the House planOctober 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm #97544
The Morning Plum: Conservatives have no endgame in shutdown fight
By Greg Sargent, Updated: October 4, 2013
With the government shutdown now dragging into Day Four, there’s increasing chatter this morning that Republicans are trying to steer the debate away from Obamacare and are trying to roll the government shutdown battle into a fight over the debt limit. The idea seems to be that this will somehow increase Republicans’ leverage.
But the very vagueness of the strategy is now becoming a serious problem among top Republicans, who are furious with conservatives for leaving the party in this position. And conservatives have no answer for them; they can’t articulate a way out of it, either. The New York Times reports on an anecdote that perfectly captures where we are:
On Wednesday at a private luncheon, several Senate Republicans — Dan Coats of Indiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — assailed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has led the movement to block funding for the health law.
Ms. Ayotte was especially furious, according to two people present, and waved a printout from a conservative group friendly to Mr. Cruz attacking 25 of his fellow Republican senators for supporting a procedural vote that the group counted as support of the health law.
Ms. Ayotte asked Mr. Cruz to disavow the group’s effort and demanded he explain his strategy. When he did not, several other senators — including Mr. Johnson, Mr. Coats and even Mitch McConnell, the minority leader — joined in the criticism of Mr. Cruz “It just started a lynch mob,” said a senator who was present.
Despite the uproar, Mr. Cruz did not offer a plan for how his party could prevail in the shutdown battle and suggested his colleagues were defeatists.
This is perfect. Not only was Cruz unable for articulating a strategy for winning the fight he insisted the party wage, he also attacked fellow Republicans as defeatists for being angry about it.
This basic disconnect is why the GOP is currently spinning its wheels. Politico reports that John Boehner is now looking towards the debt limit, rather than just the government shutdown, as a way of extracting concessions from Democrats, and adds details about a private meeting:
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