October 21, 2013 at 8:30 am #98596
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the government shutdown came to an end, and the nation averted default. That’s October 11th to October 17th or “The Shutdown Edition: The End”
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 21, 2013 at 8:31 am #98597
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 21, 2013 at 8:37 am #98598
A new CNN/ORC poll finds that 54% of Americans say it’s a bad thing that the Republican party controls the House of Representatives, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it’s a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.
“This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.”
Overall, just 12% of those questioned say they approve of the job Congress is doing.
From PoliticalWireOctober 21, 2013 at 8:56 am #98599
Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:04 AM PDT.
The Magical Thinking Behind Thinking a Grand Bargain Changes Everything
Senator Dick Durbin said some really dumb and unhelpful things on Sunday.
Sadly, he has been saying some really dumb and unhelpful things for years.
Thankfully, with Sen. Bernie Sanders sitting on board, and Sen. Dick Durbin sitting on the sidelines, and in this exciting time where Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined the Senate and Rep. Alan Grayson has re-joined the House, it’s going to be even harder than it was before to end up with Simpson and Bowles greatest dream as our new nightmare. The wretched Grand Bargain. (Not that this means we should let down our guard. Or stay silent about how we feel about Social Security and Medicare when we call our Senators and Representatives offices in the coming weeks and months ahead.) We have options we didn’t have in the past to say “Hell no!” and I have seen no evidence that rank and file Democrats are willing to trade anything related to the social safety net because of some ‘they stood firm’ fantasy mojo that only a Chuck Todd could believe in. So. Dick Durbin pissed me off, but I didn’t lose any sleep over it.
What, exactly, does make me lose sleep at night these days, after the shutdown?
The derpishly daft logic that is the wet sand foundation beneath the Grand Bargain Theory.
Or, why I think a Senator Dick Durbin said some really dumb and unhelpful things on Sunday.
He thinks, in the end, the Grand Bargain will be such a good thing it will justify saying things like this on a conservative propaganda channel that helped shutdown the government that the Democrats just fought tooth and nail to re-open.
“Social Security is gonna run out of money in 20 years,” Durbin said. “The Baby Boom generation is gonna blow away our future. We don’t wanna see that happen.”
He knows this isn’t true. He knows it. But he went on television and said it anyway.
Why? He sees passing a Grand Bargain as a noble act. A restorative act. His belief?
The idea that, once such a deal is agreed to and done, everything changes in US governance.October 21, 2013 at 8:57 am #98600
Obama hosts White House wedding for presidential photographer Pete Souza
By Associated Press,
Published: October 20
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has hosted a wedding at the White House this weekend for presidential photographer Pete Souza.
The White House says the wedding ceremony for Souza and Patti
Lease was held Saturday in the Rose Garden. About 35 friends and family attended.October 21, 2013 at 9:04 am #98601
Friday, October 04, 2013
How #Scandal reveals the Bougie Black Experience (Finally!)
Yeah uh so… if you haven’t watched last night’s #Scandal, just stop reading. Seriously. I don’t need ya’ll up in arms telling me I spoiled it for you. Back away from the blog and come back when you’ve watched television responsibly.
We were able to spend a little more time with Super Spy Rowan Pope, the leader of B613. And while he is still ruthless as all the damns, he also made some good sense. He was wildly derisive of Olivia’s dream to become First Lady. “Were you not raised for better?” Um. Good point. Olivia need not stand in anyone’s shadow so why is she so busy orbiting the sun? In fact, as much as my father wanted me to marry a doctor or a lawyer (bless his heart) he wanted me to become one even more.
My favorite line (and one I’d heard often growing up) came when Papa Pope reminded Daughter Dearest that to survive and succeed in this world, she had to be “twice as good to get half as far.” Now this was so damn real, my older brother (who I hoodwinked into watching with me) and I had to fist bump each other. This is why we need a Shonda Rhimes writing and a Kerry Washington acting in prime time TV. That line is so deeply embedded in the black upwardly mobile experience that we could recite the end of line before she formulated it.
My father drilled this into us from day one and my mother repeated it in case we forgot. It’s why they sent us to private school and forced us to go to cotillion dance classes and charm school. It’s why they took us to the opera and theater and played Pavarotti with as much volume as Gladys and the Pips. It’s why my sister took horseback riding, my older brother played the cello, I learned tennis and my younger brother had a clarinet. They wanted us well-rounded and able to hold our own in any situation this country threw at us.
We don’t see enough of that (for lack of a better term) Huxtablism on TV or in movies or if we do, it’s shown with a sneer as if all folks with a little bit of bouge are snobby and too busy looking down on everybody else to remember that they are black too. Trust, we remember. I’m so over the stereotype. But let’s move on…
So as we watched them detail Liv’s life in boarding school, on ski slopes and onto Princeton, we cheered. Not because her life was perfect (whose is?) or because she has overcome a “turbulent” family life (more to be explored there no doubt). I love Olivia Pope because she is bringing a multi-faceted view of the black experience to a wide audience.
It’s not just the steamy cocoa with Fitz or the brilliant dialogue with OPA or the droolworthy wardrobe. It’s that she’s allowed to be excellent and flawed, educated and silly, superb and sinful, paid and played. Her life may be going to hell in a hand basket but she’s going to keep the ratchet in the closet and go down looking and sounding classy as hell. Even more importantly, she has the brain power, the upbringing and the education to put the basket back together and keep it moving. Olivia Pope is black ‘n bougie, ya’ll. Amen.October 21, 2013 at 9:06 am #98602
Freedom Isn’t Free
Posted by dpm (dread pirate mistermix) at 8:49 am .
Blake Farenthold, TX-27:
We asked him about the people who say he’s lost their vote; people like retired veterans who were on the verge of losing their disability checks next month.
He said the stalemate in Washington was necessary to achieve party goals.
“I feel like my mandate when I was elected was to go reduce the size of government, lower taxes, and increase freedom, and freedom isn’t free, and sometimes you have to make a small sacrifice to move forward with what you’re after,” Congressman Farenthold said.
In 2010, Farenthold won an 799 vote squeaker over long-time Democratic Rep Solomon Ortiz in a district that stretched from Corpus Christi to Brownsville and was 70% Hispanic. In 2012, re-districting moved Brownsville and other southern counties out of the district and added in some rural northern counties to make TX-27 a R+13 safe seat, and Farenthold won 57-39. His new district is just under 50% Hispanic and majority minority (55%), so pissing off veterans is probably not in Blake’s best interests, but he’ll probably survive the next election if he learns to shut his fucking mouth. That said, this should be an interesting district to watch for voter suppression, and the effect of doing nothing on immigration reform.
It’s easy to say “50 state strategy” and talk about fighting in districts like TX-27 but think about the task of recruiting and fundraising. If you’re running for this seat, you’re essentially waiting for lightning to strike. In a target-rich environment like 2014, the DCCC isn’t going to put money into a R+13 when there are so many swing districts up for grabs. Farenthold can raise a couple million bucks by virtue of being a Member of Congress. Your job is going to involve a year of begging for money to raise probably 1/3 of what Farenthold can. As you raise that pittance, which is just enough to hire a couple of staff and get some ads on the air, you’ll have to put thousands of miles on your car traveling the district to address whatever social clubs and party gatherings will hear you. It’s a year or 18 months of hard labor, bad food, little sleep, taking shit from mouthy Republicans, kissing babies and kissing ass, all with the almost certain reward of being crushed in November.October 21, 2013 at 9:08 am #98603
Rubio: House GOP likely to kill immigration reform
10/21/13 08:00 AM
By Steve Benen
With Washington’s crises having subsided, at least temporarily, attention now turns to what, if anything, Congress can accomplish in the coming months. For Democrats, it’s an easy call: the Senate has already approved comprehensive immigration reform bill, which now enjoys the support of the American mainstream, business leaders, religious leaders, GOP strategists, and leaders from the Latino community.
For Republicans, it’s far less clear. Last week, some notable GOP lawmakers said their government shutdown effectively killed the immigration bill’s prospects. Yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) echoed their arguments.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said that President Obama’s handling of the 16-day government shutdown has made the path to reforming the country’s immigration system more difficult.
Republicans’ lack of trust for the president, Rubio said on “Fox News Sunday,” makes the prospect of a final bill bleaker than ever.
“The president has undermined this effort,” he said. “I certainly think that immigration reform is a lot harder to achieve today than it was just three weeks ago,” he added.
What’s harder to understand is the assertion that the president has imperiled the legislation by hurting Republicans’ feelings when they shut down the government.
What is it, specifically, that Obama did over the last three weeks that left the GOP even more obstinate than before? Republicans demanded the president undermine the health care system, and he declined. They demanded concessions in exchange for a debt-ceiling increase, and he didn’t go for that, either. So Republicans have decided to kill immigration reform? That makes sense, how?October 21, 2013 at 9:11 am #98604
That’s not what ‘ransom’ means
10/21/13 08:40 AM
By Steve Benen
During the most recent Republican debt-ceiling crisis, the White House used a provocative word grounded in fact: the GOP was demanding a “ransom” before they’d allow the federal government to pay its bills. In an odd twist, now it’s Republicans trying to flip the script.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sat down with National Review’s Robert Costa last week, and condemned Democratic demands as part of a “grand bargain.” In recent years, the Obama White House has told Republicans that he’d consider entitlement “reforms” if they’d consider new tax revenue as part of a broader compromise. McConnell told Costa, “[W]e don’t think we should have to pay a ransom to do what the country needs.”
Yesterday, McConnell used the same line.
President Barack Obama was holding up a bipartisan fiscal deal by demanding a “ransom” of $1 trillion in new tax revenues, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell charged on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, every discussion we’ve had about this in the past has had what I would call a ransom attached to it: $1 trillion in new tax revenues,” the Kentucky Republican said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
This reinforces fears that Republican leaders quite literally don’t understand what a compromise is.
If I go to my favorite sandwich shop for lunch, and then try to take the sandwich without paying, the guy behind the counter wouldn’t be too happy. “Let’s complete our transaction,” he’d say. “I’ll give you your lunch and you give me $5.” It’d be kind of odd if I replied, “Why are you demanding a ransom for my sandwich?”
But that’s effectively McConnell’s argument. Obama is prepared to complete the transaction: Democrats will make a concession on entitlements if Republicans make a comparable concession on revenue. The Senate Minority Leader’s argument is that the president is being unreasonable – to insist on a compromise is to insist on a “ransom.”October 21, 2013 at 9:18 am #98605
A confederacy of hate
David Corn and Sam Stein join Chris Matthews to discuss what is becoming of the Republican Party under the influence of the far right.October 21, 2013 at 9:20 am #98606
David Axelrod ✔ @davidaxelrod
Isn’t it ironic that the most ardent opponents of the Affordable Care Act are now complaining that people can’t sign up fast enough?
8:44 AM – 20 Oct 2013October 21, 2013 at 9:22 am #98607
Coast Guard Discovers A 4,000-Pound Mat Of Tar In The Gulf
[....] Petty Officer First Class Michael Anderson tells the Times-Picayune that the tar mat is a mixture of “80 percent to 90 percent sand, shell and water and 10 percent to 20 percent oil.” Crews are now working on cleaning up the mess, and will search nearby waters for any additional pollution.
Mats and balls of tar have continued to wash up on gulf shores, despite the more than three years that have passed since a rig explosion left oil spewing into the gulf’s waters[....] But despite the lasting impact that BP’s oil spill has had on the region, the company discontinued its regular searches for remaining oil earlier this year.[...]October 21, 2013 at 9:26 am #98608
Fugitive UBS executive Raoul Weil held in Italy
OCTOBER 21, 2013 8:41AM
Former Zurich-based UBS’ head of global wealth management Raoul Weil, pictured in 2005, has been arrested in Italy for allegedly hiding $20 billion from the taxman for wealthy Americans. Source: Supplied
A FORMER top executive at Swiss banking giant UBS wanted in the United States for allegedly helping wealthy Americans hide $20 billion from the taxman has been arrested in Italy, police say.
Raoul Weil, 54, had been staying in a luxury hotel in the city of Bologna where he checked in under his real name, triggering a police check because he is on an international fugitive list.
“He was arrested at the hotel and he is now being held in prison. He did not explain why he was in Italy,” a spokeswoman for Bologna police told AFP.
The officer said the arrest took place on Friday but explained that details of the case were only being released on Sunday because of police policy.- See more at:October 21, 2013 at 9:27 am #98609
Richmond Times-Dispatch refuses to endorse for Virginia governor
By KATIE GLUECK | 10/20/13 9:53 PM EDT
A major Virginia newspaper announced on Sunday that it “cannot in good conscience” endorse Terry McAuliffe or Ken Cuccinelli in the state’s gubernatorial race, which has shaped up to be a deeply negative contest.
“We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal,” opined the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a lengthy opinion article.
The newspaper, which endorsed Mitt Romney for president and has a history of endorsing Republicans for governor, blasts GOP candidate Cuccinelli for the way he clinched the nomination. He “rigged the process,” the article charges. It also challenges his approach to hot-button social issues, as well as to subjects like transportation funding.October 21, 2013 at 9:27 am #98610
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