Posts Tagged ‘gop



12
Oct
13

Chat Away

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Day One in the Oval Office, Jan. 21, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

He can’t have imagined the GOP hate and madness ahead. Can he?

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Senate Democrats are holding a press conference at 1:30 EDT – coverage continuing at C-Span

12
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Live coverage from Congress on C-Span

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Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall

Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.

Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.

What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Cruzification of the GOP

…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.

…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….

The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.

Full post here

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Ed Henry walking out of yesterday’s briefing because Jay Carney didn’t call the shill for a question – and because, you know, it’s all about him:

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The People’s View: As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out

As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.

What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.

More here

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Our very own Alycee:

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Oh, these people:

ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay

While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.

At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”

More here

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UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail

The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”

Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.

“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”

More here

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UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.

“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.'”

“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”

More here

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Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative

In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.

More here

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@NoShock: The Washington Post engages a troll for the win!!

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Another Great Twitter Exchange of our Time:

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On This Day:

President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

09
Oct
13

Boehner Won’t let GOP House Meet Pres Obama Because He Fears Baltimore Massacre 2.0

Boehner Won’t let House GOP meet Pres Obama because he Fears Baltimore Massacre 2.0

by @zizii2

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A quick trip down memory lane. Democrats had suffered a crushing blow on no other day than the 1st Anniversary of Pres Obama’s Inauguration into office. Jan 20, 2010. We had lost Sen Ted Kennedy’s seat. The fate of the Healthcare bill hung in a balance. It had passed the House earlier in December 2009. The Senate version passed in a cliffhanger moment with ailing WV Senator Robert Bird being wheeled in, and Sen Sherrod Brown flown in by WH straight from a funeral, to cast the critical filibuster-proof vote just a breath before Christmas Day 2009 rolled in, and start of congressional winter recess.

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But come January 2010, the two bills needed to be reconciled. On this anniversary date, Scott Brown trounced Martha Cokeley in the MA senate special election. Democrats’ threadbare 60 filibuster-proof caucus, gone. Healthcare reform teetered on brink of collapse. Many Very Serious People in the Beltway, pundits and Democrats told the President to give or radically scale back his Healthcare quest. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel read him the “Political-Implications-Riot-Act.” WH was in a deep funk.

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Then came the Republican House’s grand invitation to Pres Obama visit their caucus retreat in Baltimore, MD. They probably wanted to humiliate the president for his recent loss, through fake chivalry.

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WH RSVPed with one tiny request, whose acceptance a House GOP member later said was the biggest mistake they ever made. Pres Obama had asked to bring camera crew along.

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First were his opening remarks calling for both parties to work together:

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There’s a reason that the 1 hr 20 minute Q&A section that followed these opening remarks shook the Beltway political universe, prompting media calls for British-style “Prime Minister’s question Time” tradition to be established here in the US, to engender real dialog among political parties. Of course GOP rejected the idea and it fizzled. But for many Democrats, what became known as The Baltimore Massacre, would be grist for partisan loremaking. One man. 183 GOP congresscritters & their families. (Sinews taut). Room darkened, spotlight on POTUS against black curtained backdrop. T’was like oratory in a theater. No notes. Brilliance extempore.

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The entire exchange is worth spending time listening to again in its entirety just for the sheer thrill of watching President Obama glow in the den of the opposition.

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However, there is a segment key to the subject of this essay; that President Obama foresaw exactly the predicament that Republicans would be in now, incapable of saying “Yes” to anything he proposes, offers or agrees with them on, that they become convulsed contortionists.

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Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had asked Pres Obama why he won’t take GOP (harebrained) plans on healthcare reform. He patiently tried to explain to her that Democrats HAD included many Republican ideas into the healthcare bills if they were objectively shown to be workable. But the critical point he made was that their reflexive rejection of anything he’s proposed including personal demonization of him, was going to hurt them in the long run.

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So, 45 months ago President Obama predicted exactly to a T the current GOP Convulsions. We’ve seen this phenomenon play out over and over, but none of those prior occasions have been as dire as the shutdown we’re in the midst of and the looming economic catastrophe should we enter default.

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Speaker Boehner, there is a way to retreat from that feeble ledge. President Obama WILL help you if you let him.

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07
Oct
13

coup d’état: koch brothers are warlords

COUP D’ETAT: KOCHS ARE WARLORDS

@zizii2

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I have lived through 5 coups d’état. I know a coup d’état when I see one. USA is living through one right now as we speak. A Coup doesn’t have to have guns (yet) and a military takeover of power to be one.

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A nation is manipulated through a series of fiendishly planned rolling crises. Inchoate mass fear grows but its targeting is skillfully re-directed toward infighting, such that it becomes diffuse and rather impotent against the actual instigators. Trust for government and national institutions grows rancid.

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Then a messiah runs to the rescue, suspends the constitution, promises to get rid of “waste, fraud, & abuse.” Says the abrogation of said Constitution is only “temporary.” Commandeers media to support “the people” in their new “Freedom, Liberty, Fraternity”. Flag and anthem totems resurge in fresh parades glorifying the mother/fatherland. Power has been seized. Resistance is futile.

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My native country went 5 times through this familiar choreography in its first 24 years after independence from colonial rule. Western Scholars of “the Third World” posited that these upheavals were the result of societies that had yet to build:

1. Strong Democratic governing institutions, rather than strongmen
2. Consensus of the governed
3. A national Identity rather than ethnic loyalties
4. An educated ruling elite that creates mechanisms for distributing political power efficiently among different constituencies
5. Capitalist ethos that productively harnessed and competitively rewarded the nation’s talents
6. Rule of Law and a Constitution that balanced majority rule with protecting minority rights

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Continue reading ‘coup d’état: koch brothers are warlords’

01
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:0: President Obama meets with beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act

1:30: President Obama makes a statement

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We need a smile:

Andy Borowitz: Millions Flee Obamacare

Millions of Tea Party loyalists fled the United States in the early morning hours today, seeking what one of them called “the American dream of liberty from health care.”

Harland Dorrinson, 47, a tire salesman from Lexington, Kentucky, packed up his family and whatever belongings he could fit into his Chevy Suburban just hours before the health-insurance exchanges opened, joining the Tea Party’s Freedom Caravan with one goal in mind: escape from Obamacare.

More here

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Charles Pierce: The Reign Of Morons Is Here

In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress — or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress – a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party’s 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.

More here

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TPM: Poll Indicates GOP Has Been Deeply Damaged By Shutdown Fight

Republicans in Washington insist they have simply been upholding the wishes of the American people throughout their efforts to block the Affordable Care Act, but a poll released Tuesday tells a very different story.

In fact, the latest survey from Quinnipiac University contains a ton of bad news for the GOP. For starters, 72 percent of Americans said they are opposed to shutting down the government in order to block implemntation of the health care law. A poll last week also showed a wide majority opposed to shutting down the government over Obamacare.

More here

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Steve Benen: Why the GOP can’t avoid responsibility

It’s understandable that no one in Washington wants to be blamed for the government shutdown, even those responsible for it, because crises like these are wildly unpopular. The electorate has come to expect sharp partisan differences, but shutdowns are tantrums that the public tends to find repulsive.

And so, we will hear many congressional Republicans and many in the political media suggest Democrats bear some or all of the responsibility for this fiasco. For those who care about reality in the slightest, anyone making such an argument deserves to be laughed at.

The detail to keep in mind is that most GOP lawmakers aren’t bothering with the pretense. They know that Republicans shut down the government — and they’re proud of it…..

More here

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Washington Post: The nine most painful impacts of a government shutdown

The federal government is shutting down on Tuesday and will stay closed until Congress can reach an agreement on how to fund day-to-day operations. So who gets hurt most by the shutdown?

Everyone’s heard that the panda cam at the National Zoo will power down, but that’s hardly the most serious consequence of a shutdown. The biggest disruptions are less visible — the workers going without pay, the patients turned away from research clinics, and so on. Here’s a rough list:

1) More than 2 million federal workers will go without pay indefinitely — and many of them might never get repaid.

More here

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WH.gov

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Bob Cesca: The Furloughed

The House GOP hasn’t passed a single jobs bill, and meanwhile…

Agriculture Department (84 percent of employees furloughed)

Commerce Department (85 percent of employees furloughed)

Defense Departments (50 percent of civilian employees furloughed)

Education Department (95 percent of employees furloughed)

Energy Department (69 percent of employees furloughed)

Environmental Protection Agency (95 percent of employees furloughed)

Federal Communications Commission (98 percent of employees furloughed)

More here

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TPM: Dem Rep’s Fiery Floor Speech Urges Congress To ‘Stand Up For America’

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ThinkProgress: Six Headlines About The Government Shutdown That Will Destroy Your Faith In Journalism

The government shut down because a small group of Republicans, led by Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX), insist on linking continued funding to repealing, defunding, or delaying Obamacare. Even many prominent Republicans acknowledge that the request is unreasonable and was destined to close the government. Still, in the last 10 days, the House passed three budget resolutions that undermined Obamacare in similar ways.

But some in the media still insist on pushing that false equivalence narrative that “both sides are to blame.”

Here are a few of the most egregious examples:

See here

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ThinkProgress: In Their Own Words: Federal Workers Reveal How The Shutdown Will Impact Their Lives

Come midnight on Tuesday, if Congress doesn’t pass a continuing resolution that would fund the government, it will shut down until one can be passed. For federal workers, this means either facing a furlough or being forced to go to work without pay until the government is funded again. Close to a million federal workers who are deemed to be nonessential could be furloughed, and while they were paid back wages the last time the government shut down and reopened, there is no guarantee.

More here

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Members of the Cabinet watch as President Obama makes a televised statement on a possible government shutdown, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Sept. 30 (Photo by David Lienemann)

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ThinkProgress: 21 Things Republicans Have Demanded In Exchange For Not Shutting Down The Government Or Tanking The Global Economy

Since the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2011, they have repeatedly attempted to use the prospect of a government shutdown or a debt default as leverage. A shutdown would furlough close to a million federal workers and cut off essential services for millions more Americans, while a default on U.S. debt, even according to Speaker John Boehner, could devastate the global economy. While the recent debate has focused on Obamacare, that is just the latest in a series of demands made by Republicans. The following is a list of things that have been, at various times, demanded by Republicans under threat of a government shutdown or default:

See here

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A belated moooOOOooorning! A crazy start to the day, so that was a bit rushed – we’ll catch up with what’s happening through the day.

27
Sep
13

President Obama’s Statement

Wow:

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27
Sep
13

GOP hates Obamacare Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig

GOP hates ACA Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig

@zizii2

When we board a plane what is the first thing Flight Attendants demonstrating passenger safety instructions, tell us to do in case of emergency? “…an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you… secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” That’s Rational Self Interest.

Self-Preservation

With the exception of religious cultists who abdicate control over their own being, we as INDIVIDUALS instinctively strive for SELF-PRESERVATION especially when our life is threatened. It’s an existential article of faith. And nothing crystalizes this fact more readily than when we NEED healthcare to prevent or cure illness.

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Rational Self-Interest in economics is when a person “makes economic decisions that benefit them the most.” Is that not what we’ve been told real capitalism is supposed to be about? Marketplaces, competition, and consumers making choices based on what is best for them? So why do the GOP and their wealthy backers hate PBO for enacting this model of capitalism?

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He is exposing them for their fake capitalism. Jig is up.

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In the perverse Ayn Randian philosophy that the likes of the Koch brothers espouse, there’s talk of pursuing one’s own interests only. But in actuality what they have told their rubes is that they must sacrifice their economic interests in service of ideology. In other words 1%ers preach cultural adherence and ideological purity to their followers while they themselves siphon every public asset and good to themselves. It’s a faith-based heist of the commonweal.

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President Obama co-opted Ayn Rand’s idea of rational self-interest, turned it on its head, and the Republican Kochsters HATE him for it. The ACA challenges the ability of the Bircher puppetmasters and their corporate ilk to control their rubes over the single most important and intimate aspect of their lives; healthcare. But worse for them it has electoral implications, at least in the near term. Kochsters know it, we know it, and ordinary Americans will soon know it too. As VP Biden said, it’s a BFD, positively for ordinary Americans, and negatively for the Kochsters.

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Healthcare is ground zero. It’s a singular necessity of life in which no one can live vicariously through another person’s. In an airplane emergency if your oxygen mask IS working you hold on to yours for dear life regardless of whether the passenger in seat 53G’s mask is working or not. That’s Rational Self-Interest. You can’t bullshit people about what they are getting or not getting. Healthcare is personal. Too intimate. No one ever forgets what that experience is like or costs. The impact is visceral. The numbers don’t lie. People know that they paid $1500 out of pocket last year for an MRI and now it is covered under ACA.

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Continue reading ‘GOP hates Obamacare Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig’

21
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

9:0 PM EDT: President Obama delivers remarks at the CBC Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards; First Lady Michelle Obama attends.

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Sunday:

5:0 PM EDT: President Obama Speaks at the Memorial for Victims of the Navy Yard Shooting

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The Week Ahead:

Monday: The President and First Lady will travel to New York City for the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. They will remain overnight in New York City.

Tuesday: The President will deliver remarks to the U.N. General Assembly. The First Lady will attend. Later in the day, the President will attend the Clinton Global Initiative, where he and President Clinton will engage in a conversation about the benefits and future of health care reform in America and access to quality health care around the globe. In the evening, the President will attend an event for the DNC before returning with the First Lady to the White House.

Wednesday and Thursday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.

Friday: The President will welcome Prime Minister Singh of India to the White House for a bilateral meeting.

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President Obama waves to the crowd after speaking to workers during a visit to the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant on September 20, in Liberty, Missouri

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USA Today Editorial: ObamaCare foes taking hostages: Our view

Republicans’ obsession with overturning ObamaCare is getting sillier and more dangerous at the same time. Now that they’ve failed to kill the law every way the rules allow — in Congress, the Supreme Court and in a presidential election — the opponents are taking hostages and, in effect, threatening to shoot them if they don’t get their way.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the hostages are the federal government and the U.S. economy.

… If there’s a comic aspect to all this, it’s how much the extremism is being driven by schoolyard taunting between House and Senate Republicans about who hates ObamaCare the most.

But the potential impacts of their strategy, if that’s what you can call something destined to fail, are distinctly un-funny.

More here

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Spandan (The People’s View): CBO Report is Damning for Ideologues – Right and Left

The Congressional Budget Office released its 2013 long term budget outlook on Tuesday. The document is the most significant vindication of President Obama’s economic policies to date, both enacted and proposed, and it is the most damning thing to the president’s economic critics, both Left and Right. The CBO reports that thanks to the president’s strong leadership in investing in America’s future and raising taxes on the wealthy, by 2015, the deficit will have been cut by 80%  relative to the size of the economy from when President Obama took office.

More here

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Paul Krugman: The Crazy Party

Early this year, Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, made headlines by telling his fellow Republicans that they needed to stop being the “stupid party.” Unfortunately, Mr. Jindal failed to offer any constructive suggestions about how they might do that. And, in the months that followed, he himself proceeded to say and do a number of things that were, shall we say, not especially smart.

Nonetheless, Republicans did follow his advice. In recent months, the G.O.P. seems to have transitioned from being the stupid party to being the crazy party.

I know, I’m being shrill. But as it grows increasingly hard to see how, in the face of Republican hysteria over health reform, we can avoid a government shutdown — and maybe the even more frightening prospect of a debt default — the time for euphemism is past.

It helps, I think, to understand just how unprecedented today’s political climate really is.

More here

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ThinkProgress: What You Need To Know About The Funding Extension That Just Passed The House

The House of Representatives has passed a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through Dec. 15 and withhold funding for the Affordable Care Act. The 230-189 vote comes just 10 days before a possible shutdown and includes instructions authorizing the Treasury “to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the debt limit.” Rep. Scott Rigel (VA) was the only Republican to vote against the measure, while just two Democrats — Reps. Jim Matheson (UT) and Mike McIntyre (NC) voted for it.

As the resolution now moves to the Senate, here is what you have to know about the fight ahead…

More here

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Steve Benen: Warren Buffett and Obamacare: A case study

Rep. Jim Jordan, a far-right Ohio Republican, told reporters this week that the anti-healthcare forces have the wind at their backs. “All the momentum is in our direction,” he said. “Warren Buffett said yesterday, ‘Scrap the bill.'”

…. did the Sage of Omaha actually say “Scrap the bill” this week? Wouldn’t that have been a pretty big story?

…. the quote was taken out of context from something Buffett said in 2010. In fact, he actually supports Obamacare with a fair amount of enthusiasm. He said what Americans “have now is untenable” three years ago in reference to the health care system before the Affordable Care Act.

But wait, it gets funnier…..

More here

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Washington Post: Shutting down the government won’t stop Obamacare. It might even help it.

There’s a cold logic behind the willingness of some conservatives to risk everything to stop Obamacare. But it’s not that Obamacare will fail. After all, if the law will just be a debacle, Republicans should let it take effect, ride the catastrophe to overwhelming victory in the 2014 midterms, and then use their massive congressional majorities to repeal it.

Rather, as EJ Dionne writes, the real fear is that the law will succeed. Once Obamacare begins delivering health insurance to millions of Americans it will become effectively impossible to repeal. That’s what’s happened in every other country that’s introduced a national health-care system. That’s why the right needs to stop Obamacare before it begins.

The irony of their strategy, though, is that shutting down the federal government won’t stop Obamacare. It might even help it….

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Complete Guide To The GOP’s Three-Year Campaign To Shut Down The Government

As the nation races toward another budgetary crisis next month, Republican leaders are using the prospect of a government shutdown and the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling as leverage points to undermine the Affordable Care Act — just days before uninsured Americans are expected to sign up for health care coverage — and extract additional cuts to government programs.

Past Congresses have used the debt ceiling as a “vehicle for other legislative matters” or nongermane amendments, but as the timeline below demonstrates, the Republicans that came to power after the 2010 midterm elections demanded something entirely different: they threatened to push the nation into default and shut down the government unless Congress approves deep structural budget cuts during a period of economic recession.

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Washington Post: House Republicans voted to cut food stamps by $39 billion. Here’s how.

The House just voted 217 to 210 to approve a GOP bill to cut food-stamp spending by $39 billion over the next ten years. That’s roughly a 5 percent cut compared with current law.

The House legislation isn’t expected to get past the Senate, but it’s worth a closer look. The bill would spend $725 billion on food stamps over the next ten years, compared with about $760 billion in the Senate farm bill.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a long analysis looking at how, specifically, the House GOP would rein in food-stamp spending through a variety of restrictions on eligibility. About half the savings come from new curbs on aid to unemployed, childless adults between the ages of 18 and 50. Here’s the full rundown of cuts….

More here

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In case you missed it:

The Sterling Road: My Name Is Jason, I’m A 35-Yr-Old White Male Combat Veteran…And I’m On Food Stamps

My name is Jason. I turned 35 less than a week ago. My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I’ve never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan.

Oh, and I’m now on food stamps. Since June, as a matter of fact.

Why am I on food stamps?

The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving.

I mean, if that’s okay with you:

… Mr. or Mrs. Republican congressman…..

More here

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Jeffrey Goldberg: From Iran to Syria, Obama’s Toughness Is Paying Off

There is one main reason why Iran is making conciliatory noises about its relationship with the U.S. and about the future of its nuclear program, and there is one main reason why Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian dictator, is signaling his intention to give up his stockpiles of chemical weapons.

The reason: President Barack Obama’s toughness.

Yes, I know. Toughness isn’t a quality lately ascribed to the president. But hear me out.

More here

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Media Matters: Syria And The Beltway Media Crackup

On the night of September 10, hours before President Obama addressed the nation about developments surrounding the crisis in Syria, NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams huddled with Meet The Press host David Gregory to analyze the day’s top story.

Events were moving quickly. After weeks of Obama threatening to use military strikes against Syria in the wake of President Bashar Al-Assad being accused of gassing his own people with chemical weapons as part of a “massive attack,” a sudden diplomatic opening had appeared. Rather than bombing Syria, the United States might be able to work with Russia and get Syria to voluntarily hand over its chemical weapons.

Good news? Not necessarily according to Williams and Gregory….

….. The Syria coverage represents a clear case of the press adopting style over substance, as well as channeling Republican spin. Of treating foreign policy as if it were a domestic political campaign and insisting that a story unfolding half-a-world away was really all about Obama and how it affected (and/or damaged) his political fortunes….

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The Great GOP Mental-Health Hypocrisy

Since the D.C. shooting, Republicans care about mental health! Yet they opposed—and want to defund—the law that does more to advance the cause than any in history.

So now we’re being treated to the charming spectacle of Republicans, or a few of them anyway, purporting to care about mental-health treatment in the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shooting. How touching. This doesn’t mean, of course, that they care about mental health. They’re just coming up with something to say in the wake of the tragedy that sounds to the willfully credulous like action and that won’t offend the National Rifle Association.

Meanwhile, they have devastated mental-health funding since you-know-who became president. And more important than that, they voted against, and are now preparing to vote en bloc to defund or delay, the law that will do more to address mental health and give society at least a chance that future Aaron Alexises will get treatment that could prevent them going on shooting sprees since … well, pretty much since ever.

More here

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On This Day:

Sept. 21, 2011: “The First Lady reacts to something the President whispered to her at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in between events related to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City” (Pete Souza)

Sept. 21, 2010: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk along the Colonnade of the White House (Pete Souza)

Sept. 21, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden during a tour of the Studio Museum in Harlem, in New York (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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MoooOOOooorning! And huuuuuuuuge thanks again to UT for all of yesterday’s posts – and to the Toon Master, Amk.

And thanks to the mighty blog tyrants, it’s been an amazing week at TOD, around 100,000 hits since last weekend – lots of them for Zizi’s post on PBO’s foreign policy, LL on Chuck Todd and Co, and UT’s newsie round-ups. Thank you, legends!

We’ll try and put all the visits to good use in the days ahead by doing lots of features on Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Happy Saturday!

20
Sep
13

The President Tours The Ford Stamping Plant

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President Barack Obama arrives on Air Force One at Kansas International Airport with Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver

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Governor  Jay Nixon (D) greets President Obama

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President Obama meets with the greeting party

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President Barack Obama touches a Ford truck while on a tour of the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant Liberty in Liberty, Missouri

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President Barack Obama tours the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant Liberty

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President Obama delivers a speech on the economy

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Supporters watch President Barack Obama speak at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant Liberty

Continue reading ‘The President Tours The Ford Stamping Plant’

19
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the family of Senior Master Sergeant Roland Paramore (not pictured) aboard Air Force One prior to departure en route to New York, Sept. 19, 2011(Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

10:45 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with members of the press (C-Span)

11:0: The President delivers remarks at a meeting of his Export Council, Eisenhower Executive Office Building

1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

4:25: The President attends a DNC event, Capital Hilton Hotel (Closed Press)

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Esquire: Aliens in Their Own Nation

For the Republican Party, what began as a tactic — vilification of its opponents — became a habit that became a conviction. Its anger and distrust have become the dominant political fact of our time.

We have a problem with our Republicans. They don’t much want to govern anymore, and we can’t govern without them. This has been a long time coming, but at some point in recent years, America’s Republicans, especially elected officials but also a large part of the rank and file, stopped seeing Democrats and many other Americans as their political opponents and started viewing them instead as the enemy, a nemesis bent on destroying the country.

Certainly a significant factor underlying this phenomenon is white insecurity in a changing world, especially in the old Confederacy, in which the 21st-century Republican party has bunkered itself. But whatever the reason, given the symbiosis between the only two political parties we have allowed ourselves, this extremism endangers the governing arrangement that has held for the last century or so — and by and large worked spectacularly well…

More here

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Jamelle Bouie: The Obamacare Swindle (It’s Not What You Think)

Health-care reform isn’t going anywhere. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from using it to raise money from gullible Tea Partiers who want it defunded.

House Republican leadership does not want a government shutdown over Obamacare, but the agitation of conservative activists might make one inevitable.

….. Conservatives must know they have nothing to gain politically from taking this stance, which raises the question: why do it? One answer, as suggested by the National Review’s Robert Costa in August, is money. Tea party organizations, he writes, “aren’t worried about the establishment’s ire. In fact, they welcome it. Business has boomed since the push to defund Obamacare caught on. Conservative activists are lighting up social media, donations are pouring in, and e-mail lists are growing.”

More here

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Carol E. Lee: Obama Administration Weighs Iran Talks At U.N.

The Obama administration is preparing for high-level meetings next week with the Iranian government on its nuclear ambitions and is open to a direct exchange between President Barack Obama and Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, at the United Nations, according to senior U.S. officials.

The recent softening between Washington and Tehran gained new momentum with the release by Iran in recent days of 11 political prisoners, including a prominent human-rights lawyer freed on Wednesday. The releases were seen as a signal to Washington of a desire for better relations on the eve of Mr. Rouhani’s first visit as president to the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

More here

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Greg Sargent: If We Get A Debt Ceiling Crisis, It’s Because Republican Voters Want One

If we are going to have a debt ceiling and default crisis — with all of the havoc it may well entail — it may well be because Republican voters want such a crisis, even if it causes serious economic harm. No, really. That’s what a new poll shows. The new Washington Post/ABC News poll on the debt ceiling tells us something remarkable: Among Republicans who believe that not raising the debt ceiling would cause serious harm to the economy, a majority of them wants Congress not to raise it anyway. By contrast, Americans overall see it in the opposite way.

Meanwhile, the poll also finds that 73 percent think not raising the debt limit would “cause serious harm to the U.S. economy,” versus only 22 percent who say it wouldn’t. How to explain the divergence? It turns out it’s largely driven by Republicans. By contrast, among Americans overall who say not raising it would cause serious harm, they tilt in favor of raising it by 54-35. Independents who say not raising it would cause serious harm also tilt in favor of raising it by 58-36.

More here

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Steve Benen: Bernanke Stuns With Ongoing Stimulus

One of the day’s biggest stories was also one of the day’s most pleasant surprises. The Federal Reserve postponed any retreat from its long-running stimulus campaign Wednesday, saying that it would continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to encourage job creation and economic growth. […]

But let’s not overlook why Bernanke came to this conclusion. There were, of course, multiple factors, but The Hill reported, “The Fed said one of the primary reasons for the decision was the fiscal fight in Washington, which it said is ‘restraining economic growth.'” The political world tends to ignore this for reasons I find endlessly frustrating, but the chairman of the Federal Reserve has repeatedly told Congress, in fairly explicit terms, that Republicans are hurting the economy. Bernanke has drawn direct, unambiguous connections between weak economic growth and the specific policies pursued by Republican lawmakers.

GOP officials ignore Bernanke because he tells them what they don’t want to hear, and many in the media ignore his assessments because Americans aren’t supposed to hear about Republican responsibility for the struggling economy.

More here

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Greg Sargent: The Conservative Alternative To ObamaCare Isn’t An Alternative To ObamaCare

So House conservatives are planning to roll out their long awaited alternative to Obamacare, some three years after they first promised to do so — and after more than three dozen votes to repeal it. The conservative alternative wouldn’t do nothing at all.

“Individuals who purchase coverage approved for sale in their state could claim a deduction of $7,500 against their income and payroll taxes, regardless of the cost of the insurance. Families could deduct $20,000.” The trouble with this, Leavitt says, is that deductions disproportionately benefit the rich. By contrast, Levitt notes, Obamacare gives low income folks subsidies in the form of tax credits, which disproportionately benefit the poor.

More here

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I love the smell of GOP infighting in the morning

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Brian Beutler: GOP Deludes Itself On Shutdown Threat

it’s easier to remember that what we’re hearing on the right is the din of 275 Republicans and thousands of movement conservatives caterwauling at each other. It’s a fascinating story. It’s genuinely newsworthy that John Boehner and company were cowed into giving Ted Cruz and his boosters on the right a vote on the doomed strategy they’ve been demanding. Assuming the defund Obamacare bill passes the House — not a given! — it’ll be extremely revealing to watch Senate Republicans figure out what to do with it, and hear what they say when it inevitably fails.

More here

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On This Day:

President Barack Obama and Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi pet Bo at the conclusion of their meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 19, 2012. Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watch at left (Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to a crowd of over 6000 at Minges Coliseum on the East Carolina University campus, Sept 19, 2012

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets students from the East Durham Children’s Initiative upon arrival at Raleigh-Durham Airport in Morrisville, N.C., Sept. 19, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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