October 11, 2013 at 8:59 am #98027
NC student wins election and defeats cynicism
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 11, 2013 at 9:02 am #98028
Good Morning, Everyone:)October 11, 2013 at 9:03 am #98029
NBC/WSJ poll: Nearly two-thirds say not raising debt ceiling would be a serious problem
By Mark Murray, NBC News
With House Republicans set to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss raising the debt limit and ending the government shutdown, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 63 percent of Americans believe refusing to raise the debt ceiling would be a real and serious problem.
Andrea Mitchell talks to Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. James Clyburn about the recent developments to avoid debt default while still keeping the government shutdown.
That’s up from the 55 percent who said this in July 2011, during the last political fight over raising the debt ceiling.
That opinion might explain why House Republicans have proposed temporarily raising the debt limit — though not ending the government shutdown — when they meet with the president at the White House.
But there is a partisan divide here: 72 percent of Democrats believe not raising the debt ceiling would be a real and serious problem, versus 57 percent of Republicans and independents who think thisOctober 11, 2013 at 9:06 am #98030
Tea Party: Obama’s too mean
By Steve Benen
Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:06 PM EDT
Tea Party Republicans are not known for their timidity. We are, after all, talking about a group of right-wing activists and lawmakers who push an agenda that’s as aggressive as it is regressive, reject compromise, and demand brutal policy consequences for everyone who stands in their way.
It is therefore rather amusing to hear about President Obama being a big meanie.
When tea-party Republicans arrived in Congress in 2011, many were energized and ready to shake up Washington — whatever the cost. But now, some are claiming that it is President Obama who is playing too rough.
Amid the government shutdown and debt-ceiling standoff — which has raised rhetoric sharply — they say the president has demonized what they consider healthy political opposition.
“The difference is, I don’t think his predecessors have antagonized the other side,” says Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who was president of the tea-party-packed House Republican freshman class last session.
The sentiment was echoed by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who said Obama’s willingness to antagonize Republicans is “not good for the country.”
Wilson is perhaps best known for heckling the president during a speech to a joint session of Congress. He’s the guy complaining about Obama antagonizing him.October 11, 2013 at 9:10 am #98031
Mark Murray ✔ @mmurraypolitics
Headline from the new NBC/WSJ poll: Shutdown debate badly damages GOP, while Obama’s approval ticks up to 47%
5:30 PM – 10 Oct 2013October 11, 2013 at 9:11 am #98032
Mark Murray ✔ @mmurraypolitics
By 22pt margin (53%-31%) public blames GOP more for the shutdown than Obama — a wider margin of blame than GOP got in poll in ’95-96
5:31 PM – 10 Oct 2013October 11, 2013 at 9:12 am #98033
Mark Murray ✔ @mmurraypolitics
Just 24% have fav opinion of GOP, and only 21% have fav opinion of Tea Party — all-time lows for both. Dem Party fav is at 39%
5:32 PM – 10 Oct 2013October 11, 2013 at 9:12 am #98034
Mark Murray ✔ @mmurraypolitics
And Dems have a +8 advantage on the poll’s generic-ballot test, up from +3 last month before the shutdown
5:32 PM – 10 Oct 2013October 11, 2013 at 9:14 am #98035
LUVVIE’S SCANDAL RECAP IS UP!
Guess Who’s Gooning at Dinner: Scandal Episode 302 Recap
[ 11 ] October 11, 2013 | Luvvie
If there’s one thing Scandal continues to do, it’s to out-goon itself. There’s just so much bad-assness in this show, and I am now comfortable truly crowning Rowan Pope as King Goon of the World. My man has no chill and no dambs to give about anyone but the republic. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” spilled A LOT of tea and I am just ready to talk about it so let’s get into it.
Back to the Past (flashback) – The show starts with a flashback from five years before, with Olivia rocking her past pain wig. She’s at dinner with Poppa Goon, and is irritated by him. She’s just there so he can pay her law school loans and he’s there to make up for sending her away after her Mom died (I’ont think she’s dead). After he tells her he’s trying, she tells him she’s dating Senator Pudding Pop (Edison Davis), who wants to marry her but hasn’t met Pops.
Olivia returns to the train station after dinner and muggers try to come for her but Hobo Huck comes outta nowhere and hands out a serious can of ass-whooping as Liv runs away.October 11, 2013 at 9:15 am #98036
October 10, 2013 1:31 PM
The “Grand” Perspective
By Ed Kilgore
As we all go down our various rabbit-holes in trying to understand the fiscal crisis situation, much of which seems to be playing out in John Boehner’s nicotine-soaked brain, it’s appropriate to step back and look at it all from a broader perspective.
What’s ultimately going on here is that congressional Republicans (and their “conservative base”) are determined to do something big on “entitlements,” despite their loss of the White House and the Senate in 2012. Yes, they are strategically divided between conventional conservatives pursuing Paul Ryan’s well-trod path of indirectly undermining the entitlement status of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid though stealth and gimmicks, and Tea Folk determined to make a frontal assault on Obamacare as the “tipping point” after which America lurches into socialist slavery. But it’s all part of the same big policy goal of stopping any extension of the New Deal/Great Society legacy and then reversing it.
But the Republican obsession with their version of what is so imprecisely referred to as “entitlement reform” is exceeded by another obsession of theological dimensions: opposition to high-end tax increases. Their nemesis, Barack Obama, has refused to give them “entitlement reform” (even a pale version of it) without high-end tax increases. So they are stymied unless fearful liberals are correct that Obama will, with enough pressure, cave and give GOPers what they want without what they refuse to accept as a price. This whole hostage-taking exercise is a test of whether they can generate enough pressure to make Obama surrender his iron equation of “entitlement reforms” and tax hikes. That’s what the current Republican demand for “grand bargain” talks is really about, as Ezra Klein noted this morning at Wonkblog:
Republicans don’t want to raise taxes. They want to get the spending cuts they support in return for nothing. And that’s what the shutdown/debt-ceiling fight is about now. The Republicans believe that instead of trading taxes for entitlement cuts they can trade reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling for entitlement cuts. Since they actually support reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling that means they’re not trading anything at all.October 11, 2013 at 9:26 am #98037
@sarahkendziorToday my toddler punched me in the face then asked for comfort because he hurt his hand. Now I’m worried he’s a Republican.October 11, 2013 at 9:28 am #98038
Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall
By Steve Benen
Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:48 AM EDT.
Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.
What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.
* Approval ratings: While President Obama’s approval rating improved after GOP lawmakers shut down the government, Republican support has collapsed. In the new poll, 70% of Americans disapprove of the way in which GOP lawmakers are doing their jobs. Republicans have reached a level of unpopularity unseen in the history of the poll.
* Shutdown: Asked who bears responsibility for the shutdown, a 53% majority blame congressional Republicans. Less than a third (31%) blame the president.
* “Obamacare”: Despite the difficulties the Affordable Care Act has encountered since the open-enrollment period began, support for the law has increased.
* Generic ballot: Democrats enjoy an eight-point advantage in the congressional midterm elections (47% to 39%), as compared to a three-point advantage last month (46% to 43%).
* Government activism: By a 52% to 44% margin, Americans believe the government should do more, not less, to solve problems. In June, the results were evenly split.
* Patriotism: A 70% majority believe congressional Republicans are “putting their own political agenda ahead of what is good for the country.”
Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.October 11, 2013 at 9:29 am #98039
Paying the Piper
Thu Oct 10th, 2013 at 12:12:43 PM EST
Beyond all the sturm und drang, the basic reality is that pretty much everything the Republicans have been doing all year has been bullshit. They don’t know how to get their party unified enough to make a deal with the president on the budget. That’s why they tried to compel the president to make a deal under duress, so they could avoid actually spelling out their demands in any specific way.
Here’s the best rule for determining what John Boehner will do in any situation: If there is a way for him to delay a moment of confrontation or political risk, he will do it. That’s why Boehner’s current plan is to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks while keeping the government shut down.
Business is freaked out and will be furious with him if he triggers a default. So he’s raising the debt ceiling for long enough to get them off his back. And tea-partiers will be furious if he abandons their quest to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government. So he’s leaving that part in place.
Is there a plausible strategic logic to this plan? None that I can see. The putative reason for delaying the debt limit is to open fiscal negotiations with Democrats. But Republicans have been dodging fiscal negotiations with Democrats for most of the year. Why? Because they don’t want to compromise on the budget. They want unilateral concessions.
Obama won’t give Republicans unilateral concessions. Any deal Boehner strikes with Democrats will have to contain some concessions to Democrats, which will further enrage the tea party. So there’s no deal Boehner can cut on the budget that won’t anger the base, which brings us back to the same stalemate — waiting until the next debt-limit hike, when he needs to prevent catastrophe again.
Meanwhile, he’s keeping the government shut down because a shutdown, while damaging, carries no hard-and-fast deadline like the debt limit. The damage is cumulative. But the damage is also very real, both to the country as a whole and to the GOP’s image. Since there’s no particular moment when he absolutely has to confront his own crazies, Boehner will just wait.
When your base is riding around on Medicare scooters, you don’t want to make slashing Medicare and Social Security your number one priority. But it is their number one priority. Everything we’re witnessing is a consequence of this simple fact.October 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm #98044
Cowering Delusional Fools
Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 09:58:35 AM EST
According to Jonathan Strong at National Review, Republicans are beefing up security at their district offices because federal workers are going to miss their paychecks today. He also says that Republican lawmakers are spooked by the polls.
A new poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal is putting a new sense of fear into the hearts of House Republicans. The poll showed Republicans’ favorability had dropped to its lowest rating ever for that poll while Obama’s ratings remained stable.
Nonetheless, they are still engaged in delusional thinking.
Still, Boehner allies fear a CR without something in it related to Obamacare would face the wrath of the right flank of the conference. However, Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise suggested on CNBC last night he would be fine with some concessions unrelated to the health-care law.
The options on the table for a small Obamacare win are the same that have been talked about for some time: delaying the individual mandate, repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, repealing the medical-device tax, and eliminating the Obamacare subsidy for congressional staffers.
They are not going to get any ObamaCare win. They aren’t delaying the mandate. They aren’t eliminating the “Death Panels.” They aren’t going to get to screw their staffers out of their employer subsidy. And, if the medical-device tax is going to be eliminated, it will only happen after the Republicans capitulate, and only if the revenue is completely replaced.
But, whatever. Let them keep their delusions a little while longer. At least they’ve smartened up enough to be afraid.October 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm #98045
October 11, 2013, 10:18 am 7 Comments
The War On The Poor Is A War On You-Know-Who
Lots of people have been referencing this Democracy Corps report on focus-group meetings with Republicans, and with good reason: Greenberg has basically provided a unified theory of the craziness that has enveloped American politics in the last few years.
What the report makes clear is that the current Republican obsession with attacking programs that benefit Americans in need, ranging from food stamps to Obamacare, isn’t about some philosophical commitment to small government, still less worries about incentive effects and implicit marginal tax rates. It’s about anxiety over a changing America — the multiracial, multicultural society we’re becoming — and anger that Democrats are taking Their Money and giving it to Those People. In other words, it’s still race after all these years.
One irony here is that at this point it’s the liberals who believe in America, while the conservatives don’t. I believe in our ability to change while retaining our essential nature; I believe that today’s immigrants will be incorporated into the fabric of our society, just as Italian and Jewish immigrants — once regarded as fundamentally incompatible with American ways — became “white” by the middle of the 20th century.
Another irony is that the great right-wing fear — that social insurance programs will in effect buy minority votes for Democrats, leading to further change — is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. The GOP could have tried to reach out to immigrants, moderate its stances on Obamacare, and stake out a position as the restrained, sensible party. Instead, it’s alienating all the people it needs to win over, and quite possibly setting the stage for the very liberal dominance it fears.
Meanwhile, a key takeaway for us wonks is that none of the ostensible debates we’re having — say, the debate over rising disability rolls — can be taken at face value. Yes, we need to crunch the numbers, but in the end the other side doesn’t care about the evidence.
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