November 1, 2013 at 6:40 am #99221
First Lady Michelle Obama and special guests Elmo and Rosita welcome school children from around the DC area to the fall harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden. October 30, 2013.
Rachel Maddow – GOP filibuster abuse still bedevils Reid
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 day.
Harry Reid to Maddow: If Cruz is 2016 GOP Nominee, It Will Be ‘Entertaining’November 1, 2013 at 6:41 am #99222
Good Morning, EveryoneNovember 1, 2013 at 8:58 am #99225
By CHARLES M. BLOW
All their gripes are too easily dismissed as sour grapes. You shut down the government to try to kill Obamacare, then open hearings to try to fix it? C’mon.
And it points to a bigger Republican problem: the party is too consumed with ax grinding and not concerned enough with idea generation.
When is the last time you heard a truly big idea coming from the right that could become law and could move this country forward? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Exactly. Silence.
They are less interested in making laws that get things done than in making laws that prevent people from doing things. They want to halt progress and rewind it a few decades. For them, what used to be is always better than what can be, and that is a fatal logic flaw in a dynamic society.November 1, 2013 at 9:01 am #99226
I am amused how DC conventional wisdom swung wildly from “GOP lose House over shutdown” to “Dems lose Senate over Obamacare” in just 2 weeks
6:16 AM – 1 Nov 2013November 1, 2013 at 9:03 am #99227
If We Can’t Have It, You Can’t Have It Either
David Kurtz – October 31, 2013, 10:58 AM
There’s a lot of backstory to today’s showdown in the Senate over President Obama’s nominees to DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Sahil Kapur reports on much of it here. There’s no question that the showdown implicates the filibuster, or the abuse thereof by minority Republicans. We have more on the historical trendlines on the filibuster of judicial nominees here.
But there’s more to this particular face-off than the usual opposition to judicial nominees or the fight over whether the use of the filibuster has crippled the Senate. In this case, the underlying battle is just as if not more important than the supposedly larger issues it implicates.
What’s happening in this case is Senate Republicans are blocking wholesale the confirmation of any new judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The reason is simple: The D.C. Circuit tilts conservative right now and so long as the empty seats on the bench remain empty, that conservative tilt remains.
Republicans — and the anti-regulation crowd they represent — are particularly concerned about the D.C. Circuit because it has jurisdiction over many of the rules and regulations that the federal government writes. That makes it the front line in the battle between regulators and the regulated, between consumers and business, and between the liberal and conservative legal establishments over the scope and power of the administrative agencies who implement the laws Congress passes.
Republicans have now transcended the usual political debate over who should occupy the seats on this court and moved into the realm of blocking anyone nominated by a Democratic president, regardless of their merit or qualifications, from sitting on the court. It’s a scorched earth policy. If we can’t have it, you can’t have it either.
Republicans now prefer to break the court than let Obama exercise his constitutional prerogatives. To try to obscure this fact, Republicans have invented basically from whole cloth an argument that there are too many judges on the D.C. Circuit, that there’s not enough legal work for them. No matter that the law provides for the current number of seats on that bench. Senate Republicans don’t have the votes to change the law. And that’s not even getting into the chronic underfunding and understaffing of the federal judiciary writ large.
One of the many ironies of this showdown is that Republicans have begun accusing President Obama of trying to “pack the court,” which is a phrase with powerful historical connotations that have zero bearing here. It’s like arguing that the Voting Rights Act is a tool for discriminating against white people. Argue the precise opposite of the truth and you confuse the casual observer.November 1, 2013 at 9:05 am #99228
The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (10/31/13)
Reporters debunk some of the claims made about the Affordable Care Act. Lawrence talks to Michael Hillzik and Wendell Potter.
—————————————–November 1, 2013 at 9:16 am #99231
Dear Dems: Like it or not, your fates are tied to Obamacare
By Ryan Cooper
October 31 at 11:45 am
Democrats have been taking a beating in the press over the bungled Healthcare.gov rollout. The president and his senior staff were clearly not aware of the problems bedeviling the website beforehand, and Republicans, sensing blood, have been baying for…something. (What exactly is not clear, unless you count total capitulation and repeal.) This is leading to a sense of rising panic in the party — today, the White House is sending some top aides to Capitol Hill to try to calm anxious Senate Democrats.
The Democrats should hang tough. Though it may be necessary to patch the law at some point, they shouldn’t stampede themselves into passing a fig leaf bill that would harm the proper functioning of the law. Like it or not, Obamacare is the hill the party has chosen to fight or die on. No fig leaf will save them, should the administration be unable to make the law work.November 1, 2013 at 9:18 am #99232
The Morning Plum: The deficit is falling. In Washington, that doesn’t matter.
By Greg Sargent
October 31 at 9:21 am
This week, as mandated by the recent deal to reopen the government, lawmakers are entering into budget talks to replace the sequester, whose spending cuts continue to lay like a wet blanket over the recovery. This week, the deficit fell to its lowest point in five years.
You’d think those two things would be related. Not in Washington. More specifically, not for Washington Republicans.
This morning, the signs continue that Republicans will not give any ground to Democrats who are requesting new revenues as part of a deal to replace the sequestration cuts at higher spending levels. But beyond this, it’s already clear that Republicans — again — are defining the terms of these talks so that the only “compromise” they will agree to is one in which only Dems are making concessions.
Here’s how one House GOP leadership aide puts it: “I’d say the two highest priorities are using oversight to continue to make the case against Obamacare, and using the budget conference to lock in the spending cuts we’ve achieved — without the tax hikes.”
And here’s how Paul Ryan’s opening statement to the budget conference committee put it: “If this conference becomes an argument about taxes, we’re not going to get anywhere. The way to raise revenue is to grow the economy.”
Here’s what you are going to hear in the days ahead from Republicans: We don’t need to make concessions to replace the sequester at higher spending levels, because it’s Democrats, not Republicans, who want to get rid of the sequester. But the key context here is that Republicans are on record as decrying the sequester cuts, too, particularly since they will fall more heavily on defense next year.November 1, 2013 at 9:20 am #99233
The Morning Plum: Americans not ready to give up on Obamacare
By Greg Sargent
November 1 at 9:14 am
With Democrats continuing to grow more skittish about Obamacare’s awful rollout problems, the Kaiser Family Foundation is out with some important new polling that deserves a careful look from Dem Congressional officials — and political commentators.
The most important finding in the Kaiser poll — which is in some ways the gold standard of health care polling — is that significantly more Americans want the Affordable Care Act kept or expanded than want it repealed and replaced with a GOP alternative or with nothing at all. Here’s the key finding:
What would you like to see Congress do when it comes to the health care law?November 1, 2013 at 9:21 am #99234
October 31, 2013 4:40 PM
Red State Dawn
By Ed Kilgore
If you really want to understand a political party’s actual agenda, it’s useful to take a look at jurisdictions where its lawmakers can basically do whatever they want. That’s what Irin Carmon does in a heart-wrenching essay at MSNBC by looking at the antichoice playground of Oklahoma, where conservative Republicans walk very tall.
She looks at the Sooner State and its abortion politics through the experience of an economically struggling couple (which already had three kids), Eric and Jessica Davis, who discovered their unborn child had a lethal abnormality. Thanks to the Oklahoma legislature’s enactment of a post-20-weeks abortion ban with no exceptions for such circumstances, they had to travel out of state to terminate a pregnancy the mother desperately wished she could have in conscience carried to term. And even then, thanks to Republican legislation in adjoining states, it was difficult, and may soon be impossible, for a couple like this one to find anywhere to obtain an abortion that could in no way be attributed to parental convenience or even to doubts about the “personhood” of the fetus.
Carmon’s main point is that in places like Oklahoma, the dominant GOP policymakers are entirely indifferent to any sort of nuance, and are following a strict party line aimed eventually at the prohibition of all abortions. The only limitation being placed on extremist abortion legislation is by a state judiciary in which past Democratic appointments have left a fading stamp. And in that respect, the state is a bit of a microcosm of the country, where Oklahoma’s laws are among those provoking an eventual Supreme Court review that could lead to a repudiation of the right to choose nationally.
So this story might not be so unusual soon:November 1, 2013 at 9:40 am #99238
‘I’m showing my son mercy’
10/31/13 07:00 AM
By Irin Carmon
On their last night in Dallas, the ramen noodles and microwave popcorn were finished. The money for the motel had run out too. So on a hot August night Jessica and Erick Davis and their three young kids slept in the Mazda rented for the trip.
It had only been a few hours since Jessica’s abortion. Because the procedure needed to be performed later in her pregnancy, it stretched over three days.
“I cried until I could fall asleep,” she said.
Earlier that month, at home in Oklahoma City, the Davises were told that the boy she was carrying had a severe brain malformation known as holoprosencephaly. It is rare, though possible, for such a fetus to survive to birth, but doctors told them that he would not reach his first birthday. “He would never walk, lift his head,” Jessica, 23, recalled in an interview.
“I could let my son go on and suffer,” she said. Or she could accept a word she didn’t like – abortion – “and do the best thing for my baby.”
“It took everything we had so that our son would not suffer” Jessica Davis
The Davises’ ordeal was always going to be painful. But the grim path that led them to a night in the car was determined, nearly every step of the way, by a state that has scrambled to be the most “pro-life” in the nation. There are no exceptions for families like the Davises.
Oklahomans brag that theirs has become the reddest state. Republicans hold super majorities in both chambers and every single seat in the U.S. Congress. Republican Mary Fallin is governor. Every single Oklahoma county rejected Barack Obama–twice. The changed political landscape allowed Oklahoma to become a staging ground for the anti-choice movement’s strategy to undermine Roe v. Wade, one seemingly narrow restriction at a time.
“We are the guinea pigs,” said Ryan Kiesel, a former state lawmaker who is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.November 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm #99247
‘The President’s Devotional’ excerpt: Marriage ‘ran deep’ for President Obama
by Josh DuBois | November 1, 2013 at 6:53 AM
The following is an excerpt from The President’s Devotional, written by Josh DuBois, who served as director of faith outreach for the Obama White House from 2008 through 2012.
It started on the campaign trail in 2008. We were in the back of a black SUV, heading to the Saddleback Civil Forum in Orange County, California. After quizzing me on the Ten Commandments (and poking fun at my friend and his body man, Reggie Love, for not knowing all of Moses’s instructions by heart), then-Senator Obama looked at me with a wry smile and said: “You know, you really should get married.”
“I’m working on in, Senator, I really am. Things are going pretty well with my girlfriend . . .”
“Well, you should get married. Time for you to settle down.”
It was the first of several inquisitions. There was the time we gathered in the Oval Office with a dozen faith leaders to launch the Faith-Based Advisory Council, when President Obama interrupted the proceedings to ask, “You engaged yet?”
There was Father’s Day 2010, when we visited a local nonprofit, and backstage before his remarks, the president introduced me to a group of fathers and kids by saying, “And this is Joshua, my faith-based director. He’s a great guy, but he’s not a dad yet himself—he’ll get there, if we could only get him married.”
And there was the afternoon before a picnic on the White House lawn. We had invited teenage boys from local high schools to the White House, along with some famous adult mentors. I was sitting in a foyer called the Diplomatic Reception Room when President Obama walked in. Before I could begin briefing him on the event, he interrupted me. “Really, what’s the holdup? Why haven’t you popped the question?”
Surprised but grateful for the opportunity to have a longer conversation on the subject, I started in with a range of excuses. “Sir, I’m saving more money for a ring, and a wedding. . . . I’m waiting for the job to slow down a bit so that we have more time to spend together. . . . I’m—”
And the president interrupted me again. “Listen, Joshua. Do you love her? Do you think she’ll be a great wife?”
“Well, yes. Yes sir, I do.”
“Then you can’t let that other stuff stop you. Marriage is the best decision you can make; it sounds trite, but it really does complete a person, rounds you out. If you’ve made up your mind that you want her to be your wife and the mother of your children, then that’s all you need to know. You really should think about popping the question—you need to get married.”
Marriage ran deep for President Obama. In fact, I came to know it as the mooring force for his life. Growing up with his grandparents and seeing their relationship firsthand, the future president embraced their marriage as an island of stability in an often-tumultuous childhood.November 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm #99248
Sean Hannity says that 12 Years A slave “exaggerates the bad parts of slavery”. There were good parts? That man is evil.November 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm #99249
aegan Goddard @politicalwire36m
Bill de Blasio when asked if he would give Joe Lhota a job in his administration: “No. Next question.”
http://politicalwire.com/archi… …November 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm #99250
A Hateful Cult
Fri Nov 1st, 2013 at 10:13:40 AM EST
I don’t think that there is any prospect of conservatives declaring peace on the safety net. The conservative movement has become a cult that is unmoored from Christian teachings about helping the needy. Their need to punish anyone who has fallen on hard times is almost limitless. I don’t even think it is connected anymore to a desire to use church charity as a substitute for government assistance. That used to be the idea, but a different value system has been internalized. Now, the overriding ethos animating conservatives is the “takers vs. makers” meme, which argues that people who need help are fundamentally unworthy and should be considered political adversaries.
It used to be that a lot of conservatives thought they could improve their position vis-a-vis God by devoting some of their time to helping the poor, the mentally ill, the drug-addicted, and the homeless. I think that idea has been replaced by the idea that they can kick those people in the teeth until they die, and then they can light them on fire.
I don’t expect Catholics to support the new conservative movement to the same degree that they have in the past, and I think the evangelicals will start moving away soon, too. We’re already seeing the division on immigration reform.
I mean, it shouldn’t be necessary for the president of the American Enterprise Institute to tell conservatives that “this war against the social safety net…is just insane.” The fact that he feels the need to say something like that tells you all you need to know.
The conservative movement has crossed some invisible line and they are now one of the most malevolent and dangerous and anti-American movements that we’ve seen arise in this country.
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