September 28, 2013 at 10:12 am #97214
Welcome to this week’s West Wing Week, this week we take you from Pennsylvania Ave to the heartland of America, to the Rocky Mountains, to the Big Apple and south of the boarder for a packed week of travel with the President and Vice President.
As you spend this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.September 28, 2013 at 10:13 am #97215
Good Morning, EveryoneSeptember 28, 2013 at 10:14 am #97216
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Saved Economy ✔
Women On SCOTUS ✔
Repealed DADT ✔
Rid Syria Of CW ✔
Dialogue With Iran ✔
Ended War ✔
8:22 PM – 27 Sep 2013September 28, 2013 at 10:16 am #97217
Kurt Eichenwald: Are Republicans So Frantic to Stop Obamacare Because They Fear It Will Work?
What is it about Obamacare that compels seemingly intelligent people to explode in bubbling spasms of stupid? Are they misinformed? Unable to see past the rage-fueled partisan sweat dripping into their eyes? Or just plain dishonest?
No matter. At this point, it has become obvious that history will look back on the four-year war on Obamacare as one of the saddest, most bizarre, and most dishonestly embarrassing episodes of our time. I have given up trying to understand the vehement opposition of so many who cannot offer up truthful reasons for their objections, and instead fuel the hatred and fears of the uninformed with the most illogical, mendacious, and fundamentally bizarre arguments that have ever been marshaled. By comparison, Joe McCarthy’s McCarthyistic McCarthyism was an exercise in reason.September 28, 2013 at 10:20 am #97218
Obamacare Is About to Go Live. Here’s Why It Was Worth the Wait.
Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are scheduled to open for business on October 1, just a few days from now. For all the attention that date has received, it is less important than it might seem. Because new coverage won’t actually begin until January 1, most people looking to get insurance on their own won’t start shopping until the end of the year. But October 1 is still a milestone. And with Republicans threatening to let the government shut down or default if Obamacare takes full effect, it’s also a good moment to take a step back and assess the law—to think, in the broadest possible terms, about whether the reforms it has enacted are worthwhile.
The public remains unconvinced, although feelings are more mixed than Senator Ted Cruz would have you believe. While poll results vary depending on wording and source, people tend to have negative views of the law but don’t want Congress to defund it or block implementation; they support the component pieces but doubt the whole package will help them personally. One reason for the ambivalence is confusion: Most people don’t know what the law really does. Americans are also reacting to the unrelenting, frequently dishonest attacks by the law’s opponents. Two weeks ago, this campaign of misinformation reached a new level of absurdity when Betsy McCaughey, a discredited advocate from the 1990s, suggested that Obamacare would turn doctors into “government agents” demanding information about patients’ sex lives. The claim is not true. It went viral anyway.
Still, some misgivings about Obamacare are reactions to what’s actually in the law, because pretty much everybody can find something in it not to like. Liberals are disappointed the law doesn’t cover everybody—and won’t guarantee everybody’s insurance is adequate. That’s true. Conservatives are furious that Obamacare means higher taxes and more regulation. That’s also true. Some employers will alter company benefits or hours for part-timers. Some people will pay more for insurance. Some of the fancy new websites for buying insurance won’t be fully functional, maybe for a while. These are real problems, even if they affect relatively few people.
But compromises, trade-offs, and, yes, unintended consequences have been part of every reform in American history. The minimum wage and child labor laws took money out of the pockets of employers. Social Security raised taxes on workers. Today, Americans cherish those programs because the good far outweighs the bad—because what the country gained, in economic security, health, and freedom, more than made up for what it lost. The same standard should apply today.
If you’re going to judge Obamacare, you can’t do it by looking simply at the minuses or the pluses, as even its advocates are prone to do. You need to look at the whole thing—to see what’s getting better and what’s getting worse. And you can’t do that until you ponder a question few bother to ask: What would the United States look like today if Obamacare hadn’t become law?September 28, 2013 at 10:21 am #97219
James Fallows: Your False-Equivalence Guide to the Days Ahead
A kind of politics we have not seen for more than 150 years
Two big examples of problematic self-government are upon us. They are of course the possible partial shutdown of the federal government, following the long-running hamstringing of public functions via “the sequester”; and a possible vote not to raise the federal debt ceiling, which would create the prospect of a default on U.S. Treasury debt.
….. As a matter of journalism, any story that presents the disagreements as a “standoff,” a “showdown,” a “failure of leadership,” a sign of “partisan gridlock,” or any of the other usual terms for political disagreement, represents a failure of journalism and an inability to see or describe what is going on….
….This isn’t “gridlock.” It is a ferocious struggle within one party, between its traditionalists and its radical factions, with results that unfortunately can harm all the rest of us – and, should there be a debt default, could harm the rest of the world too.September 28, 2013 at 10:23 am #97220
Tea Party Can Get Bent
Sat Sep 28th, 2013 at 09:21:20 AM EST
Other than their ability to destroy the Republican Party, I am just not sure why any of us should care about this.
The clash in Congress over efforts to derail President Obama’s health-care law has lit up tea party groups across the country, reenergizing activists who had drifted away from the movement while intensifying the divisions tearing at the Republican Party.
The standoff, which threatens to plunge the federal government into a financial crisis, has served as a rallying cry for a cadre of conservatives, who are bombarding lawmakers with phone calls, e-mails and social media messages backing a last-ditch effort to hobble the health-care law.
I don’t think these people can be told to “go fuck themselves” with enough emphasis.September 28, 2013 at 10:24 am #97221
Hispanics Grow Cool to G.O.P., Poll Finds
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: September 27, 2013
A new survey shows that Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority group, have grown increasingly negative toward the Republican Party during the political battle over changing immigration law and lean surprisingly liberal on social issues like gay marriage — a combination of factors that presents a steep challenge for Republicans in trying to win back Hispanic voters.
More than 6 in 10 Hispanic respondents said they felt closer to the Democratic Party than they had in the past, while only 3 in 10 said they felt closer to the Republican Party. When Hispanics were asked to offer descriptions of the parties, 48 percent of the responses about the Republicans were negative associations like “intolerant” and “out of touch,” while 22 percent of the responses for the Democrats were negative.
The outlook for Republicans has grown increasingly negative since 2004, when President George W. Bush won re-election with 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. The survey, released Friday by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit research group in Washington, found that 56 percent of registered Hispanic voters identified with the Democrats, while 19 percent said they identified with Republicans, and 19 percent as independents.September 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm #97222
#Koch Bros have conducted a Coup D’Etat right under our noses, & MSM think it’s cute. Unconstitutionally seized state power. Vile!
12:44 PM – 28 Sep 2013September 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm #97223
The House Republican Caucus: Conspiring to Murder American Citizens
Posted by Tom Levenson at 6:01 pm
The breathlessly awaited Saturday meeting of House GOP caucus is over, and we now know what these feral children want in exchange for not blowing up the American economy:
The federal government on Saturday barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after House Republicans, choosing a hard line, demanded a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and the repeal of a tax to pay for the law before approving any funds to keep the government running.
In all the talk about defunding or delaying Obamacare, there’s one thing that hasn’t been discussed much, certainly not by the Village. That would be what delaying Obamacare would actually mean in the real world.
There, we’re looking at dead Americans, needlessly and avoidably cut down before their time.
Here’s the train of thought behind that claim:
The primary goal of the health care reform is to cover as many Americans who lack insurance as possible. As of this year, that is in the neighborhood of 48 million people — roughly 15% of the total US population. Under the terms of the ACA, that number will be cut by 14 million next year, with more to come as the law persists. That’s still well short of the goal for a civilized society, in my view, but 14 million people with access to health care is a real and important social and ethical good (not to mention an economic plus, in many analyses).
Those 14 million people — 14 million individual human beings with hopes and aspirations and real desires to avoid pain, misery and worse — are the primary victims of the morally bankrupt cabal that calls itself the House Republican caucus. If they were to get their way and either fund the government or commit to allow the Treasury to continue to meet obligations already undertaken only on condition that those 14 million must once again go without health care coverage then the suffering that follows is on their heads.September 28, 2013 at 11:02 pm #97224
A very insightful comment on TPM
1 Hour Ago
What’s really chilling is that this is obviously calculated. It’s not merely craziness, although it is sure enough crazy: and it’s not as sloppy as it looks.
We know–because Jim DeMint and the right-wing press have made it abundantly clear–that these people are getting advice on their nullification strategy from the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation (among others). This whole sideshow is a stunning and unprecedented and above all DELIBERATE breach. They are flagrantly breaking faith with our society and our institutions.
This goes beyond mere hatred for the president; they are encouraging radical disregard for the very rule of law, for the democratic process, for the social contract that has held us together, more or less, since 1865. I have not seen anything like this in my lifetime except for the white terrorism that blazed through the South during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps the Kochs believe the fires of racial, religious and political purification need to burn through our whole society, North as well as South, in order to pave the way for their tax-free, deregulated, Caucasian-dominated Birch Society utopia. Their surrogates in Congress certainly seem to think so.
This almost has the reek of a wannabe putsch, some weird kind of dry-run coup d’etat. Even though they know they’re doomed to be unsuccessful in the short run, they must also know that they are deepening the fissures and weakening the ties that bind us as a people, as well as amping up the rage of their supporters who are (one should never forget) extremely well-armed, and who have been conditioned to react to the rest of us with fear and loathing.
Whatever is going on, this is extraordinarily ugly stuff, beyond bizarre, and as this process unfolds I find it less and less merely strange and outrageous, and more and more to be menacing and destructive at a radical, even revolutionary level. Whatever ultimately happens, these people are doing profound long-term structural damage to the country.September 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm #97225
Kelly O’Donnell ✔ @KellyO
Rep Gwen Moore “This debate is …to punish the people for electing Barack Obama President of the United States..”
9:47 PM – 28 Sep 2013September 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm #97226
Ryan: ‘Nobody Believes’ Obama Won’t Negotiate On Debt Limit
Daniel Strauss – September 28, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT
Nobody actually believes President Barack Obama’s vows to not negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said.
“Oh, nobody believes that. Nobody believes that. He himself negotiated Bowles Simpson on the debt limit with Democrats. That was Kent Conrad’s requirement,” Ryan told National Review. “He himself negotiated the Budget Control Act with the debt limit. Graham Rudman. Bush Andrews Airforce Base. Clinton Gore ‘97. All of those major budget agreements were debt limit agreements. I see this time as no different and I believe he does too. I think most people believe he’s just posturing for now.”
Ryan’s comments come as the House seeks to pass a new continuing resolution bill that also delays Obamacare for one year and also includes a medical device tax repeal. Top Democrats were quick to criticize the proposal after it was unveiled.
Ryan also said he expects the ongoing fight over funding the government to eventually fold into negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.
“I think it will fold into the debt ceiling fight. I think that’s inevitable. And preferable in my opinion. I like combining all of our leverage, which is sequester and the debt limit,” Ryan told the magazine.
Ryan said right now Republicans feel a sense of urgency to do as much as possible against Obamacare before it kicks in on Oct. 1.
“I think that, we’re prior to Oct. 1, when Obamacare starts, and there’s just a great desire to do everything we can before that moment. And that’s understandable. I respect that. I think the Senate’s gonna have a tough vote,” Ryan said.September 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm #97227
EUR Perspective: Time to Head to the Theater for Black Cinema’s Comeback
September 28, 2013 by EurPublisher
*Hey, would you look at that – suddenly, we seem to be in a boom period for African-American cinema.
It’s still not ideal, and there are several problems with the system (as detailed in John Singleton’s very fine Hollywood Reporter column from its Sept. 27 issue) but the simple fact is that 2013 has seen some smashing successes for African-American films – with several great ones having the distinction of being helmed by promising African-American directors.
Lee Daniels’ smash hit The Butler has crossed the hundred-million mark and is a lock for a heap of Oscar nominations. Ryan Coogler’s astonishing debut effort Fruitvale Station introduced a new star to the masses with Michael B. Jordan (seriously, just give him the Oscar right now).
It all just, again, proves that there are audiences out there that will see quality work by these promising young directors, writers and actors as long as they’re given the chance. Therefore, movie-watchers out there, it’s remarkably important that everyone starts going out to see these flicks. Hollywood listens to the cash register – and investing in a night out to see one of these great works of art really does benefit everyone involved. It’s worth seeking out these movies.
Do yourself a favor and go see the great Twelve Years a Slave when it (hopefully) comes out to a theater near you soon. This gripping tale is another lock for a Best Picture nomination; it stars the amazing Chiwetel Ejiofor, was written by the great John Ridley, and was directed by the super-talented Steve McQueen, all wonderfully awesome black film figures.
Please, go see it, and then spend a few more bucks on the Idris Elba-starrer Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom , which should get Elba a Best Actor nomination. Let’s turn these movies into not just hits, but blockbusters – and let’s make sure Hollywood knows that we need more and more great black-themed movies in our multiplexes every week.September 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm #97228
Sahil Kapur @sahilkapur
Steny Hoyer to Republicans: “You refuse to accept the results of the election.”
10:18 PM – 28 Sep 2013
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