October 7, 2013 at 8:44 am #97630
President Obama says that if Congress does not fulfill its responsibility to pass a budget today, much of the United States government will be forced to shut down tomorrow. September 30, 2013
As you begin a new week, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate.
Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.October 7, 2013 at 8:45 am #97631
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 7, 2013 at 8:46 am #97632
‘THIS IS EXTORTION PLAIN AND SIMPLE’
Watch This for 22 Seconds and You’ll See Why Obama Can’t Give an Inch
BY JONATHAN COHN
House Speaker John Boehner went on ABC News “This Week” to make clear his position: Republicans won’t give the government new borrowing authority until Democrats agree to negotiate about Obamacare and fiscal priorities.
The key exchange takes all of 22 seconds, starting at about 12:25 in the video above. It goes like this:
STEPHANOPOULOS: What the president says is he believes that the consequences of negotiating again over a debt limit and re-creating a cycle of crises are worse.
BOEHNER: Every president in modern history has negotiated over a debt limit. Debt limits have been used to force big policy changes in Washington. And guess what, George? They’re going to be used again.
Boehner is wrong on the history. Congress has increased the debt limit in the course of passing other legislation—the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nice review of recent legislation—and sometimes one or the other party made a big fuss about it. But, as Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein explain in their acclaimed book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, until recently officials in neither party seriously threatened to let the government default on expenses it had already incurred:October 7, 2013 at 8:49 am #97633
The Boehner Bunglers
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 6, 2013
The federal government is shut down, we’re about to hit the debt ceiling (with disastrous economic consequences), and no resolution is in sight. How did this happen?
The main answer, which only the most pathologically “balanced” reporting can deny, is the radicalization of the Republican Party. As Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it last year in their book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect — the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence — reigns supreme.
To see what I’m talking about, consider the report in Sunday’s Times about the origins of the current crisis. Early this year, it turns out, some of the usual suspects — the Koch brothers, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation and others — plotted strategy in the wake of Republican electoral defeat. Did they talk about rethinking ideas that voters had soundly rejected? No, they talked extortion, insisting that the threat of a shutdown would induce President Obama to abandon health reform.
This was crazy talk. After all, health reform is Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement. You’d have to be completely clueless to believe that he could be bullied into giving up his entire legacy by a defeated, unpopular G.O.P. — as opposed to responding, as he has, by making resistance to blackmail an issue of principle. But the possibility that their strategy might backfire doesn’t seem to have occurred to the would-be extortionists.October 7, 2013 at 8:52 am #97634
Boehner: ‘I don’t want the United States to default on its debt, but…’
By Steve Benen
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:37 AM EDT
Over the last few months, the conventional wisdom has been that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is talking tough about a debt-ceiling crisis, but he won’t actually follow through on his threats. The inept Speaker will huff and puff, we’ve been assured, but he’ll pull back before actually blowing our house down. In fact, the argument goes, now that Boehner has shut down the government, the odds he’ll also push the nation into default are even more remote.
Indeed, just last week, the New York Times reported that Boehner has already told his members that he won’t let the nation default, and will rely on Democratic votes if he has to. On Friday’s show, former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R) told Rachel, “We’re not going to default. I’m going to tell you, John Boehner is a friend of mine. We’re both from Ohio. I served with him for 18 years. He’s not going to let that happen.”
And yet, on the other hand, we have Boehner and his chief spokesperson saying the exact opposite. Who’s right? Let’s recap the two facts we know for sure.
First, the debt ceiling must be raised by next week. Let me say that again: the debt ceiling must be raised by next week. We’re not talking about a distant horizon; the deadline is literally 10 days away and Congress hasn’t even lifted a finger on this.
Second, if you listen to what Boehner himself says, the crisis is both terrifying and intensifying. The beleaguered Speaker sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos yesterday.October 7, 2013 at 8:54 am #97635
Reid: Boehner backed out of deal
By Alexander Bolton - 10/03/13 01:42 PM ET
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reneged on a deal they hashed out in private earlier this year to pass a “clean” stopgap bill funding the government.
Reid said Boehner never wanted to wage a protracted battle over ObamaCare as part of the negotiations to keep the government running.
“I know that that’s not the path he preferred,” Reid said. “I know that because we met the first week we came back in September and he told me that what he wanted was a clean CR and the $988 [billion] number.
“We didn’t like the 988 number. We didn’t like it but we negotiated. That was our compromise,” Reid added. “The exact bill that he now refuses to let the House vote on. That was our negotiation.”
Many Democrats wanted to set the funding level in the continuing resolution at $1.058 trillion, rather than at the sequester level of $988 billion.
Reid said he didn’t have to twist Boehner’s arm to get a preliminary deal on a clean stopgap.
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/326425-reid-boehner-backed-out-of-deal#ixzz2h2YhxP00
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on FacebookOctober 7, 2013 at 8:55 am #97636
Boehner Urges G.O.P. Unity in ‘Epic Battle’
By JONATHAN WEISMAN and ASHLEY PARKER
Published: October 4, 2013
WASHINGTON — With his troops anxious for a way forward, Speaker John A. Boehner began a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Friday morning with a recitation of letters from local schoolchildren on how they deal with stress.
A shower helps, one child counseled. So does a nap.
But on the matter causing all the Congressional stress, the speaker offered no clue as to how he expected Congress to get out of the dead end it has found itself in, with the government shut for a fourth day and no clear path to raise the federal debt limit to avoid the nation’s first default. “We are locked in an epic battle,” the speaker told his rank and file, those who attended the meeting said, urging them to “hang tough.”
The overarching problem for the man at the center of the budget fight, say allies and opponents, is that he and his leadership team have no real idea how to resolve the fiscal showdown.
They are only trying to survive another day, Republican strategists say, hoping to maintain unity as long as possible so that when the Republican position collapses, they can capitulate on two issues at once — financing the government and raising the debt ceiling — and head off any internal party backlash. Republican lawmakers say Mr. Boehner has assured them privately that he will not permit a default.October 7, 2013 at 9:02 am #97637
Three scientists have won the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology after discovering how cells precisely transport material.
James Rothman and Randy Schekman, both from the US, and Thomas Sudhof, from Germany, shared the prize.
They found the way “vesicles” act like a fleet of ships transporting their goods to the exact destination.
It is crucial for the way the brain communicates, the release of hormones and parts of the immune system.October 7, 2013 at 9:03 am #97638
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Raising the debt ceiling DOES NOT increase the federal debt. Anyone who says it does is lying. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57606253/debt-ceiling-understanding-whats-at-stake/ …
7:40 AM – 7 Oct 2013October 7, 2013 at 9:08 am #97639
Opinion: Boehner is leader in name only
By Juan Williams – 10/07/13 06:00 AM ET
The sparks flying from the polarized politics that shut down the government make it hard to see how history will record these events.
Only one fact will clearly hold over time: Never before in American history has the Speaker lost control of his caucus to people who are not elected members of the House.
National Review reported last week that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told key members of the GOP House caucus to oppose Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to move away from stalled efforts to derail the Affordable Care Act and instead begin negotiations on the debt ceiling.
The conservative publication’s story described the Speaker’s leadership team as “startled by Cruz’s attempt to shape House strategy and work against the Speaker.” It was more than an attempt. The House members followed Cruz’s instructions.October 7, 2013 at 9:11 am #97640
The Shutdown Prophet
Washington couldn’t have gone dark without a radicalized Republican Party. Or maybe it was destined to all along.
By Jonathan Chait
Published Oct 4, 2013
… The debt ceiling turns out to be unexploded ordnance lying around the American form of government. Only custom or moral compunction stops the opposition party from using it to nullify the president’s powers, or, for that matter, the president from using it to nullify Congress’s. (Obama could, theoretically, threaten to veto a debt ceiling hike unless Congress attaches it to the creation of single-payer health insurance.) To weaponize the debt ceiling, you must be willing to inflict harm on millions of innocent people. It is a shockingly powerful self-destruct button built into our very system of government, but only useful for the most ideologically hardened or borderline sociopathic. But it turns out to be the perfect tool for the contemporary GOP: a party large enough to control a chamber of Congress yet too small to win the presidency, and infused with a dangerous, millenarian combination of overheated Randian paranoia and fully justified fear of adverse demographic trends. The only thing that limits the debt ceiling’s potency at the moment is the widespread suspicion that Boehner is too old school, too lacking in the Leninist will to power that fires his newer co-partisans, to actually carry out his threat. (He has suggested as much to some colleagues in private.) Boehner himself is thus the one weak link in the House Republicans’ ability to carry out a kind of rolling coup against the Obama administration. Unfortunately, Boehner’s control of his chamber is tenuous enough that, like the ailing monarch of a crumbling regime, it’s impossible to strike an agreement with him in full security it will be carried out.
The standoff embroiling Washington represents far more than the specifics of the demands on the table, or even the prospect of economic calamity. It is an incipient constitutional crisis. Obama foolishly set the precedent in 2011 that he would let Congress jack him up for a debt-ceiling hike. He now has to crush the practice completely, lest it become ritualized. Obama not only must refuse to trade concessions for a debt-ceiling hike; he has to make it clear that he will endure default before he submits to ransom. To pay a ransom now, even a tiny one, would ensure an endless succession of debt-ceiling ransoms until, eventually, the two sides fail to agree on the correct size of the ransom and default follows.
This is a domestic Cuban Missile Crisis. A single blunder could have unalterable consequences: If Obama buckles his no-ransom stance, the debt-ceiling-hostage genie will be out of the bottle. If Republicans believe he is bluffing, or accept his position but obstinately refuse it, or try to lift the debt ceiling and simply botch the vote count, a second Great Recession could ensue….October 7, 2013 at 9:13 am #97641
The Worst Bluffer in the World
Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 09:02:05 AM EST
Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. little more than five years ago knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen.
Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt — unprecedented in modern history — will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.
Your move, John Boehner.October 7, 2013 at 9:22 am #97642
The Morning Plum: John Boehner doesn’t really want to `negotiate’ with Obama
By Greg Sargent, Updated: October 7, 2013
With the government shutdown dragging into Week Two, and the debt limit deadline creeping closer, Republicans continue to insist the cause of our current governing crisis is that Obama and Democrats refuse to negotiate with them. On ABC News yesterday, John Boehner repeated this talking point again and again.
Yet in the process, Boehner revealed what this invitation to “negotiate” really means. He implicitly confirmed Republicans will only negotiate in a context in which Republicans can employ the looming threat of disaster for the country as a way to unilaterally increase their leverage, and will not negotiate without being granted this leverage. Here’s the key exchange, with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Democrats, including Senate Democrat Harry Reid, has said he’s more than willing to have a conference, more than willing to have a negotiation, but not under the threat of a government shutdown, not under the threat of a default.
BOEHNER: So it’s my way or the highway. That’s what he’s saying. Complete surrender and then we’ll talk to you.
This is an extremely important and revealing moment. Boehner is explicitly saying that the Democrats’ refusal to negotiate in a context where the threat of widespread harm to the country gives Republicans leverage – and their insistence on negotiating outside this context — represents a demand for ”complete surrender” by Republicans, and hence is a non-starter. But in this scenario, Republicans would not be giving up anything, other than the very leverage Republicans presume the threat of widespread harm to the country grants them. For Republicans, agreeing to negotiate without this unilateral leverage would itself be surrender!
Indeed, later in the interview, Boehner agreed not raising the debt limit would mean widespread economic damage:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Treasury Department put out a report just the other day, where they said it would be unprecedented and catastrophic, that would be the impact of failing to pass a debt limit. They’re going to say, credit markets could freeze. The value of the dollar could plummet. U.S. interest rates could skyrocket. The negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse. Do you agree with that assessment?
BOEHNER: I do.
Stephanopoulos also asked Boehner what concessions Republicans would be willing to make in this “negotiation” he’s requesting. Boehner couldn’t name any, and indeed, he even ruled out conceding anything on new revenues.
A lot of folks have been willing to accept Boehner’s demand for “negotiations” at face value. But let’s be clear on what he is really asking for here. Boehner is actually ruling out any negotiations in which Republicans don’t enjoy the leverage that the threat of a massive economic meltdown confers upon them. And he’s also saying Republicans will make no concessions of their own in them.October 7, 2013 at 9:23 am #97643
That Thing About Unions Being Waived from Obamacare? Another Whopper Lie.
Posted on October 7, 2013 at 7:31 am by Bob Cesca
Last week, we proved that the congressional Republicans and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have been serially lying whenever they’ve said that Congress is “exempted” from the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In fact, not only is Congress not exempt, but Obamacare specifically mandates that members of Congress, as well as Hill staffers, leave the Federal Employees Benefit Health Plan and attain health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. Furthermore, it was a Republican lawmaker, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who proposed this amendment to the Obamacare law in the first place. And on top of everything else, it was Boehner who lobbied the Office of Personnel Management to allow the government to continue paying 75 percent of the cost of premiums under the marketplace insurance plans.
So you’d think being caught red-handed in a huge, whopper lie would perhaps dictate some restraint from Mr. Boehner. Perhaps he’d do well to cool it for a while — to exercise a little more caution about what he blurts out while appearing in public.
Appearing on Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Boehner did it again. The leader of the Republican Party lied about the Obamacare law. Boehner was asked about a previous remark in which he said he wouldn’t attach the de-funding of Obamacare to a continuing resolution. Deftly changing the subject, Boehner replied:
But providing — providing fairness to the American people, under Obamacare, is — all we’re asking for. My goodness. They give big businesses a waiver. They give all these unions a waiver. And yet they’re forcing the American people to buy a product, buy a product that they do not want and cannot afford.
Yes, he went there again. More organizations are unfairly exempted from the law, he said. Notice, however, that he didn’t toss Congress into the mix this time, so perhaps he’s making progress. But let’s zero in on one particular sentence: “They give all these unions a waiver.”October 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #97644
U.S. nabs al Qaeda leader in Libya
By Steve Benen
Mon Oct 7, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
For U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, it was a busy weekend, which produced an important victory.
Four vans with tinted windows converged in a comfortable Tripoli neighborhood as a leader of Al Qaeda returned home on Saturday from early morning prayers. As his wife watched with alarm from a window, the men — armed with silencer-equipped weapons, some masked and some not — smashed his car window. Within moments, they were gone, taking with them one of America’s most wanted terror suspects. [...]
The seizure of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, better known as Abu Anas al-Libi, from outside his home in Tripoli, where he was living largely in the open, represented a long-sought victory for the United States.
If his name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason: Abu Anas al-Libi is believed to be responsible for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
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