October 16, 2013 at 8:45 am #98387
As you make it through Hump 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 16, 2013 at 8:46 am #98388
Good Morning, EveryoneOctober 16, 2013 at 8:50 am #98389
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
A year ago today, Pres. Obama said “Please Proceed, Governor” and the rest is history. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXpKq4UYtXw …
7:16 AM – 16 Oct 2013October 16, 2013 at 8:53 am #98390
Rep. Clyburn Slams Ben Carson’s Obamacare ‘Slavery’ Remark
Oct 14, 2013
By Jada Gomez-Lacayo, Editor
There’s no denying that President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care Act has been met with resistance from the right. However, Dr. Ben Carson has taken an extreme view — the neurosurgeon believes that the healthcare initiative is the worst thing since slavery. U.S. House of Representatives Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn completely disagreed, and aired his views on “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin:
“I think that Dr. Carson is trying to find a way to endear himself to conservative voters. He has declared himself a candidate for President… That is the kind of manufactured controversy that has been engulfing this country for a long long time and I’m very disappointed…”October 16, 2013 at 8:56 am #98391
Premiums on Obamacare marketplaces beat expectations, report shows
When open enrollment begins on the online, state-based marketplaces established under Obamacare, premiums nationwide are expected to be around 16 percent lower than originally predicted, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said in a new report released Wednesday.
The administration sees the lower-than-expected premiums as a sign that the plan to drive down health costs for consumers by increasing competition is working. They also point to the insurers entering the individual health insurance market for the first time as a sign of strong competition, as well as the variety of plans that will be available on the market.
For families nationwide, “these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budget,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday.
She noted that, according to the report, six in 10 uninsured Americans will be able to find coverage for less than $100 a month, while the average consumer in one of the 36 states with a federally-run marketplace will be able to choose from an average of 53 different plans.October 16, 2013 at 8:59 am #98392
The Wall Street Journal editorial page has had enough: “It’s time to wrap up this comedy of political errors.”
“President Obama called their bluff, no doubt in part to blame the disruption on the GOP and further tarnish the party’s public image. Now the most Republicans will get out of this is lower public approval and a chance to negotiate with Mr. Obama again before the next debt-limit deadline. If the Senate passes its compromise, Mr. Boehner will have little choice other than to bring it to the floor and let it pass with votes from either party. Mr. Obama will have to deliver enough Democratic votes to pass it.”
“At least that’s better than getting the blame for whatever happens if Treasury stops sending out Social Security checks in order to prioritize debt repayments. The politics of that are little better than defaulting on debt. Republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with and moving on to fight more intelligently another day.”October 16, 2013 at 9:00 am #98393
It’s still extortion for the sake of extortion
By Jonathan Bernstein
October 15 at 4:23 pm
We have two interesting theories today about what’s happening in the House. One is from Neil Irwin, who posits that it’s all about a sunk costs fallacy — Republicans are mistakenly continuing to ask for things they can’t get because that’s the only way to justify what they’ve already given up by following their current strategy. The other theory, well-articulated by Greg Sargent, Jonathan Chait and Danny Vinik, is that Republicans are still fighting for the principle of extortion.
I strongly agree with the latter theory — way back in May, I argued that radical Republicans were fighting over the principle of extortion for the sake of extortion:October 16, 2013 at 9:03 am #98394
October 15, 2013 3:44 PM
Boehner’s Moment of Truth Approaches
By Ed Kilgore
This report from Salon’s Brian Beutler, which echoes others, indicates that any idea John Boehner had of supplanting a nearly-done Senate deal with his own is falling apart:
It didn’t take Democrats long to react to the House GOP debt limit plan, and thus for Boehner to begin dragging the outline to the right, aware that it will either pass with 217 Republican votes, or fail completely, leaving him at the mercy of the Senate.
Harry Reid called the House GOP position “a blatant attack on bipartisanship” and vowed that it “won’t pass the Senate.” Boehner is already reacting, scrounging for more GOP votes by promising to stick it to Congressional staff. National Review’s Robert Costa reports that Boehner is reversing his position that aides should be held harmless in this fight, and will agree to nix the federal government’s contribution to their health insurance as well. It could move further right still. And as before it may not pass anyhow.
The “stick it to Congressional staff” bit is a reference to the Vitter Amendment, that demagogic favorite of the Defunding Obamacare crowd which bans the federal health insurance subsidies that would have been made available after a Republican amendment to the Affordable Care Act forced Members of Congress, their staffs, and executive-branch political appointees into the Obamacare exchanges. The initial Boehner proposal, which I’ve called Vitter Lite, would have applied the provision only to principals, not staff. So restoring the original language is a trophy for the Right and a concession that this proposal will in no way be “bipartisan.”October 16, 2013 at 9:08 am #98395
October 15, 2013 5:59 PM
Three Theories of House GOP Brinkmanship—And One More
By Ed Kilgore
As we await the next development in the fiscal saga, it’s worthwhile to look at three theories kicking around today for exactly why House Republicans are continuing to engage in economy-risking and popularity-damaging brinkmanship, even after they’ve abandoned their earlier audacious demands for (serially) a disabling of Obamacare and “grand bargain” budget negotiations with higher taxes left off the table.
One fairly straightforward hypothesis is from WaPo’s economics writer Neil Irwin, who suggests House GOPers are suffering from the “sunk cost fallacy:”
House Republicans pushed a hard line in the runup to the government shutdown, demanding a repeal of Obamacare in exchange for agreeing to fund the government. There was never any way that the White House or Senate Democrats would go along with that, but that was their strategy, and it led to the shutdown of the government.
Two weeks later, Republicans have started to accept that they will not get a full repeal of the health reform legislation, and are trying to work on more attainable goals. But there is a strong current within their caucus that sees the fact that they have shut down the government and attendant decline in popularity as a reason that they must continue to fight.
So they have to “win” something Democrats don’t want to give them, or the “sunk costs” of a bad strategy will have been for naught.October 16, 2013 at 9:12 am #98396
What This Cruel War Was Over
It is not so much the behavior of the lone idiot that matters, but the tenor of the crowd around him.
Oct 15 2013, 9:35 AM ET
On Sunday, a group of conservative radicals held a protest in Washington. Eventually they walked to the White House. One of these radicals felt it was a good idea to wave the flag of slavery, treason, and terrorism in front of the home of America’s first black president. Lone idiots are often drawn to protest action. The behavior of such idiots, while alarming, should not necessarily be taken as an indicator of the aims and thrust of the protest. On the contrary, it is not so much the behavior of the lone idiot that matters—but the tenor of the crowd around him.
If, for instance, you witness a march against military action in Syria and see a Nazi flag among the protestors this should disturb you. But you would be heartened to see the protesters snatch the lone idiot in their midst, eject him from their party with great vigor, and give him some blows for good measure. The flag would still disturb you, but perhaps you might be able to see it as a fringe action, and not the heart of the protest itself.
It is the wisdom of the crowd that matters. The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the idea that the president “bows down to Allah” and needs to “put the Qu’ran down.” The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the notion that Obama was not the president of “the people” but the president of “his people.” The wisdom of Sunday’s crowd held that the police, doing their job, looked “like something out of Kenya.” It’s not so much that a man would fly a Confederate flag, as Jeff Goldberg notes, in front of the home of a black family. It’s that a crowd would allow him the comfort of doing it.
I was in a crowd once. It’s been almost 20 years. But I remember most is how emphatically we were drilled, that day, on the politics of respectability. Our wisdom was conservative—too conservative for my tastes, frankly. But I obeyed the edict of the day which held that had any black man who came to the Million Man March and so much as stole candy bar would doom us all. That was our wisdom. It’s a good memory. But I fear that it is no match for the wisdom of Sunday’s crowd. The blue period is upon us.
MORE: I don’t know if I am effectively communicating what is wrong with that picture and why it is deeply infuriating. If a patriot can stand in front of the White House brandishing the Confederate flag, then the word “patriot” has no meaning. The Nazi flag is offensive because it is a marker of centuries of bigotry elevated to industrialized murder.
But the Confederate flag does not merely carry the stain of slavery, of “useful killing,” but the stain of attempting to end the Union itself. You cannot possibly wave that flag and honestly claim any sincere understanding of your country. It is not possible.October 16, 2013 at 9:15 am #98397
The Morning Plum: John Boehner’s `moment of truth’ arrives
By Greg Sargent
October 16 at 9:01 am
From the very beginning of this whole crisis, two facts have been plainly obvious to anyone who cared to appreciate the basic dynamics of the situation:
1) The incentives always argued overwhelmingly in favor of Dems refusing to concede any meaningful ground to the GOP demand for major unilateral concessions in a context where Republicans were using the threat of extensive harm to the country to get their way. This was the only way to prevent this from happening to Dems — and the country — again.
2) There was never any compromise that could prove acceptable to both Tea Party conservatives on one side, and Obama and Senate Dems on the other. One side believes it must reserve the threat of widespread damage to the country as leverage to cripple the Obama presidency before it destroys the country. The other wants to end use of that as leverage for good. That core difference was inherently unbridgeable.
Today, with Senators close to a deal to reopen the government and lift the debt limit, John Boehner may finally have to come to terms with those two facts, and accept their implications: The only way out of this mess is through an alliance of non-Tea Party Republicans and Democrats.
The collapse of the House’s plan to end the crisis — precipitated by conservatives who said it didn’t extract enough in concessions on Obamacare in exchange for averting widespread harm to the country – once again confirms point two above. Meanwhile, Jackie Calmes has a good piece reporting on the White House’s conclusion early on that the only real option was to refuse to legitimize GOP extortion tactics, having been badly burned in 2011. This basic White House motive should have been obvious for weeks.October 16, 2013 at 9:17 am #98398
Default Was Never An Option
Wed Oct 16th, 2013 at 09:03:53 AM EST
A few days ago, Rolling Stone published a Tim Dickinson article on the inner doings of “the Republican suicide machine.” It’s a big piece, and on page four there is a description of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and their relationship to the business community.
Boehner and Cantor have learned to speak the language of the Tea Party – the majority leader more fluently than the speaker – but their real job is to keep the old Republican-patronage machine humming. In their political bloodlines and in their donor networks, both Boehner and Cantor are deeply connected to the politics of Rove. Boehner’s signature accomplishment was steering George W. Bush’s education initiative No Child Left Behind to passage – a law that [Heritage Action president Michael] Needham decries as “a gargantuan federalization of education” and “an anathema to conservatives.” For his part, Cantor was a key member of the 2003 Tom DeLay whip team that twisted arms in an infamous all-night session required to pass the deficit-financed Medicare prescription-drug plan, a Rove-driven gift to Big Pharma and the most sweeping expansion of the program since the days of Lyndon Johnson.
Looting Main Street
Boehner is renowned as a “Chamber of Commerce Republican” – and the campaign-finance data are unambiguous: In the 2012 election cycle, Boehner was the House’s top recipient of campaign cash from 34 different industries, from hedge funds and investment firms to coal mining, studentloan companies, hospitals, nursing homes and Big Tobacco. He was also the top recipient of campaign cash from lobbyists themselves, raking in $393,000 according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. In D.C., the speaker’s clubby network of staffers and lobbyists is known as “Boehnerland,” and its members include heavy hitters for Citigroup, UPS, Altria, AmEx, Akin Gump and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “The Boehner folks barbecue on Sunday together, they go on vacations together, they name their kids after each other,” says the former leadership aide.
Although he’s positioned himself as a kindred spirit of House insurgents, and has even joined the RSC, Cantor is perhaps more deeply knitted into the Republican establishment than Boehner is. It was Cantor’s prodigious fundraising talents that elevated him to the fast track in 2003, when he became chief-deputy whip after just one term in Congress. Married to a former Goldman Sachs VP, he speaks the language of the investment class and is said to sell financiers on the “return on investment” of their political donations to the party. He’s been a fierce defender of the hedge-fund loophole that taxes the income of top investors at less than the rate of their secretaries – once arguing that taxing “carried interest” at normal rates would hurt “the average blue-jean-wearing American.” Over his career, he’s raised more than $2.4 million from the investment community.
John Boehner and Eric Cantor are a little different than freshman lawmakers like Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida whose day job in 2009 was cutting the balls off large mammals in his veterinary clinic. Rep. Ted Yoho was recently quoted saying that a default on the debt would “stabilize” global markets. That’s the kind of clown that Boehner and Cantor have been trying to humor and placate.
If you want to know why I have been so serene about the threat of default, it’s because John Boehner and Eric Cantor are creatures of big business, and they have almost nothing in common with the Tea Baggers who forced this crisis upon the Republican leadership.
From there, it was easy to game this thing out. Boehner would never get his caucus to pass anything, and he’d be weakened and forced to rely on Democratic votes. He would never default.October 16, 2013 at 9:19 am #98399
IF you live in New Jersey, suck it up and go vote for Cory Booker today.October 16, 2013 at 9:20 am #98400
Chad Pergram ✔ @ChadPergram
Reid & Pelosi spoke just a bit ago. Expecting roll out of Senate deal this am. There’s a scenario to move this in Senate & Hse today.
8:04 AM – 16 Oct 2013October 16, 2013 at 9:21 am #98401
From Charles Pierce:
A great portion of the courtier press that now expresses horror at what is going on now went gleefully along for the ride as it became inevitable. Any members of that courtier press who relished the pursuit of Bill Clinton’s penis, or conducted the absurd campaign of untruth that was waged against Al Gore between 1999 and 2000 lost the right years ago credibly to denounce conservative extremism and Republican vandalism. That means you, Roger Simon of Politico, who was so shocked the other day to discover that racism may have afflicted the process of government since the president’s election, but who once claimed to right to make candidates like Gore “jump through hoops” for the pure hella-fun of it. That means you, Chris Matthews, who chased the presidential dick for two years, all the way through an impeachment process that was a constitutional absurdity, but who now discovers that the campaign of destruction never truly stopped. That means you, Andrew Sullivan, with your current existential torment over How It Came To This. (Pro tip: The Bell Curve? Betsy McCaughey on health-care? Fifth-column liberals? You helped.) This means you, David Brooks, sucking your thumb on book leave while the monster that you got rich feeding grows into its full power. This means all of you who went along for the ride on torture, and on Iraq, and who hid under the bed after 9/11. This is how the power came to rest with Ted Yoho, who is a fool and a know-nothing. This is how historical inevitability is created. This is how its momentum becomes unstoppable. This is how the wreckage piles up.
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