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Week In The News: Shutdown, Senate Deal And ACA Struggles

Shutdown ends. Nuclear talks with Iran. An American Medal of Honor. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Lawmakers Wednesday voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Lawmakers Wednesday voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. (AP)

Relief this week.  But not too much.  Imminent economic calamity averted.  That’s big.  Federal shutdown, over.  That’s big, too.  But the whole dance could start again, and soon.  Americans wondering how much of this the country can take.  We’ve got a transit strike in San Francisco.  More travail in the Affordable Care Act rollout.  A moving Medal of Honor winner who was very critical of the US Army.  Nuclear talks with Iran.  And felony charges against two girls for cyber-bullying in the death of a 12-year-old.  Up next On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kristen Welker, White House Correspondent for NBC News. (@KWelkerNBC)

Bob Cusack, managing editor of The Hill. (@BobCusack)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Review: McConnell’s Exit Interview — “This thing that passed the Senate, which, honestly, only maintained the status quo for a few more months, was better than what the House tried to pass and couldn’t pass, because it has a longer CR, which is what we wanted. That’s how challenging it is when you can’t get something more in line with what you’d like to achieve over here. So, my job is to acquaint our members, the best I can, with the reality of our situation, and try to get them to enable me to get us all out of the ditch—and my members weren’t happy being in a 16-day government shutdown and being a day away from rattling the markets by getting close to default.”

Washington Post: Government reopens after shutdown; Obama urges Congress to resist ‘extremes’ — “Obama called on Congress to resist ‘pressure from the extremes’ and ‘understand that how business is done in this town has to change.’ He urged lawmakers to pursue a ‘balanced’ long-term budget and pass comprehensive immigration reform and a new farm bill. And he delivered a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to federal workers as they return to their jobs. ‘What you do is important, and don’t let anybody else tell you different,’ he said.”

Christian Science Monitor: Why a little-noticed chat between the US and Iran is a big deal – “Rarely has there been a greater study in contrasts in Iran than now, as outbursts of familiar, fierce anti-American rhetoric – a staple since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution – are joined by the taboo-breaking surge of high-level US-Iran contact. But Iran experts note that Tehran’s new diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear issue should not be conflated with overcoming the far more challenging historical and ideological differences that have kept the US and Iran arch enemies for a generation.”

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  • Yar

    Senator McConnell says he did not ask for the money, which would increase the amount authorized for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project from $775,000 to 2.9 billion.
    Mitch McConnell, did you pull a Colonel Jessep? “did you order the Code Red?” Claim it or deny it, who is in charge?
    I can’t see McConnell ever as majority leader and here is why. If republicans take control of the Senate, it is not likely because they suddenly decided to move toward the center. If the far right ever grabs power they won’t elect McConnell as their leader. They would pick a Paul or Cruz long before McConnell. The old guard is on the way out!

    • sickofthechit

      As an American and a lifelong Kentuckian I pray your are correct. charles a. bowsher

  • JGC

    I just went on the Heritage Action website because they are requesting stories about how Obamacare has “hurt” you. I just wanted to add my opinion, which is in fact, how the ACA has helped my extended family. And I was surprised to find out, in this unfamiliar “enemy” territory, I was far from the only one who had a positive story about the ACA.

    But my final impressions of the Heritage Action website, are the rank amateur nature of its presentation. The obscene transparency of their goals. The layers and layers of nitpicking carelessness with basic facts from people who are purporting to be healthcare experts. And lastly, with such an organization built on the faulty expertise of rightwingbot interns, fresh out of the Ave Maria Asylum, how they were apparently able to influence an entire branch of our government to the point of near meltdown.

    • northeaster17

      I just shared a part of my story. Thanks for the link

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      When the proponents of an ideology, have to resort to distortion of facts to support their positions, when those proponents can no longer craft a compelling argument based on facts alone, then those who believe the messages of those groups should question the true intentions of those groups. When facts become too painful or inconvenient to acknowledge, there lies the heart of the matter.

      • Fredlinskip

        Sadly, these days, it’s rarely been about facts-
        It’s been about manipulation of hearts and minds.
        Recently I heard something to effect that this current younger generation will be the first one of Americans less educated than the previous?

    • MrNutso

      The Heritage Foundation of which Heritage Action is their advocacy arm was “the” think tank for real conservative ideas including what is now the ACA. It was respected by both conservatives and liberals, even if the latter did not agree with their ideas.

      A good article on the fall of the Heritage Foundation:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-fall-of-the-heritage-foundation-and-the-death-of-republican-ideas/279955/

    • PoliticsWatcher

      Thanks for that link. The funny thing? All the comments are pro-Obamacare, anti-TPer.

      Way to fail, rightwingbots.

      • Don_B1

        In interviews with MSM reporters they just deny that the Heritage Foundation is diminished because they really don’t know how to answer (which is true for a lot of questions they are asked) and so they just repeat nonsense over and over.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Math can be fun and yet can reveal some profound concepts !

    There is a good chance that given our two party system, that uses two different but similar approaches to “kicking the can down the road”, will result in an ending, that isn’t an optimum, considering how much we started with !

    The Collatz conjecture, proposed in 1937 by Lothar Collatz, ask a simple question:

    Is it true that for any natural number, “n”, if n is even, then n/2, if “n” is odd then ((3*n) +1) / 2. Continue this process to create a series that ALWAYS ends in the number 1? !!

    Though unproven as of this date, it has been found to be true for billions of trials.

    Examples from Wiki:

    Start with n = 6,

    you’ll get the sequence 6, 3, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1.

    The sequence for n = 27, takes 111 steps, climbing to 9232 before descending to 1.

    { 27, 82, 41, 124, 62, 31, 94, 47, 142, 71, 214, 107, 322, 161, 484, 242, 121, 364, 182, 91, 274, 137, 412, 206, 103, 310, 155, 466, 233, 700, 350, 175, 526, 263, 790, 395, 1186, 593, 1780, 890, 445, 1336, 668, 334, 167, 502, 251, 754, 377, 1132, 566, 283, 850, 425, 1276, 638, 319, 958, 479, 1438, 719, 2158, 1079, 3238, 1619, 4858, 2429, 7288, 3644, 1822, 911, 2734, 1367, 4102, 2051, 6154, 3077, 9232, 4616, 2308, 1154, 577, 1732, 866, 433, 1300, 650, 325, 976, 488, 244, 122, 61, 184, 92, 46, 23, 70, 35, 106, 53, 160, 80, 40, 20, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 }

    • Yar

      First we don’t have a two party system, we have a three party system, and where only one party ever holds office. The incumbent party always wins elections. To change the system we have to change the rules. To change the rules we have to elect people who will agree on what the rules are before they are elected.
      The Presbyterian Church makes use of ‘interim’ pastors in between regular pastors. The book of order prevents interim pastors from being called as regular pastors. Right now we need an interim congress, one who will undo Citizens United, eliminate voting suppression, regulate campaign finance, prevent lobbyist “bribes” and pass a fair immigration policy. We need to fix the process, the incumbent party will never do what an interim congress must do to return us to a democracy.
      I keep hearing Washington is broken: No, Washington is working just as the incumbent party expects and legislates it to work. The election system is what is broken.
      I believe in separation of church and state, the incumbent party is using the ‘institutional’ church for personal and political power. They are misusing both church and state. The house stenographer’s outburst is but one recent example. She has been brainwashed into thinking she is called by God to promote the Christian church as a political power, which is ironic because the incumbent party of Jesus’ day is exactly what hung him on a cross.
      The theocracy movement’s use of the church for political power is very dangerous, we must to require clear separation of church and state from our leaders for the protection of both church and state.
      @a7686d1cc5384c1e2746f246f688eb2f:disqus, Can you predict the risk of violence to citizens who actually pose a real threat to the power of the incumbent party?
      Our wealth is not in our dollar, it is in our people. I know we have better leaders than money can buy, so how do we get them elected to office?

    • Jasoturner

      It’s gonna be scary the day “On Point” dedicates a show to mathematics!

      • HonestDebate1

        I asked a math wiz friend to speak some algebra and he said, “pi r squared”. I corrected him. Pie are round, cornbread are square.

        • jefe68

          You just made his point.

        • MrNutso

          That’s geometry anyway.

          • HonestDebate1

            It takes algebra to solve geometry, but calculus is where it’s at.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            Let’s hope that we can find a funky function that can deal with the differentiation of viewpoints on this line integral made of an infinite number of on points !

          • Don_B1

            Euclid did pretty well solving a lot of geometry without using any algebra!

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            All’s fair that ends square.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          That’s a positively smashing “trick or treat joke“. The infinitely more humorous punch line is left for the reader as an exercise. :)))

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        Prepare to be intimidated then, because if that day ever comes, I’ll be there.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Yep, it’s time to put on your Halloween costume and scare the devil of ignorance. :)

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      The Collatz Conjecture of 1937 precedes Chaos Theory, which reveals even more starkly how some very simple rules, repeated endlessly, can produce unpredictable outcomes that are indistinguishable from haphazard randomness.

      While Chaos Theory is a triumph of 20th Century mathematics, the phenomenon was appreciated long before the STEM disciplines conquered it.

      Even the ancients appreciated that rule-driven systems were potentially chaotic.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        I’m from Missouri, the “Show Me State”. I hope you will draw me a logistic map, someday ! :)

        • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

          It’s hinted at in Genesis 2:17, but the most remarkable exegesis is encoded in Job, where the Legacy of the Levites (literally “Leviathan”) is characterized as the chaos monster.

          The Levites were the second tier of the priesthood, who simplified the esoteric guidance of the Kohanim into a bureaucratic package of 613 easy-to-learn rituals and rules.

          The Kohanim understood full well that the simplified rules were not equivalent to “Torat Emet” (deep understanding of first principles), and that situations would inevitably arise in which it would be necessary to set the bureaucratic simplifications aside and return to first principles. The failure to do that would predictably result in chaos.

          Today, this is a mathematical observation that amounts to homework exercise for a student of the STEM disciplines.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            I will be talking to you on Monday.

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            OK.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    The mathematician, David Hilbert, one of the most of the most important people that have ever lived, is said to have asked,

    ‘If I were to awaken after a thousand years, my first question would be: Has the Riemann hypothesis been proven? ‘ !

    That funny looking, gobbledygook equation is directly related to something called, “The fundamental theorem of arithmetic”. It is fundamental because it deals with issues about prime numbers. The very building blocks of all the numbers we use, everyday.

    Paul Erdos, another famous mathematician, once said about the Collatz Conjecture ( see, Hailstone numbers) that, ‘mathematics is not ready for such problems. !

    This last statement makes me think of President Kennedy’s great quote, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Well, it was that winning attitude that put that first man on the moon. My plea for your cooperation, in a mathematical crowd-sourcing adventure, is in the same spiritual arena. This great country has so many difficult challenges ahead, as do all of its’ citizens. Together I KNOW we can do GREAT things.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I would like to add one more comment, to this early morning’s, “Week in the News“.
    The scientist’s discovery about, ‘why we sleep’.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/scientists-finally-found-first-real-180058811.html

    This may be a much bigger and influential finding than a person may, at first glance, realize. By finally demonstrating, why we must sleep, the doors for improving the positive effects of sleep have been opened. Any improvement in brain function can only be a force for good in our society. This may even help to advance IQ levels, in the general populace. I hope that we will soon see studies on over-the-counter supplements, such as DMAE, L-Carnosine, Curcumin / Turmeric, Milk Thistle, and Melatonin. These supplements are known to positively effect the brain and liver ( the liver being essential to the removal of toxic materials).

    Further, this study, may help to protect us all against the damaging effects of employers that want to steal our sleep by working us long hours ! I know that when I have worked many long hours, I was unable to think clearly. I also noticed that very many people that work long hours, SEEM to have an inability to think in abstract terms. Of course, there are always exceptions.

  • sameolbs

    I will NEVER sign up for Obamadebacle. I have insurance but if I didn’t, I would risk it. I hear that the website is so bad that it is ready for a breech in the system and a person could be financially wiped out in a day.

    • northeaster17

      That and a bag of donuts will get ya fifty cents.

      • sameolbs

        Have you signed up yet? If not….S hut up.

        • northeaster17

          I will not shut up. The ACA has helped me keep 2 young adults on my ins and stopped the predatory pre existing condition bs we used to have to put up with. If my job ends, and it may, I’ll sign up right away.
          We as a family went 4 years with no ins and no real option to buy any. If you got family, risking it is a poor option for sure.
          Get over yourself.

          • sameolbs

            Did you buy your healthcare yet? The answer is a big fat NO. I think you are an ebt card holder.

          • Don_B1

            northeaster17 just explained that he has insurance coverage through his job. What don’t you understand there?

          • TFRX

            Ooh, the ultimate insult: Moocher.

            Tell me, have you stopped calling them “welfare queens” and “young bucks” driving to store to buy steak?

    • JGC

      That is why Rush Limbaugh is urging people like yourself to sign up with LifeLock. Don’t forget to put in the promo code “RUSH” to get 10% off your LifeLock premium.

      • sameolbs

        F….U. I don’t listen to Limbaugh or commies like you.

        • JGC

          And when Valentine’s Day draws near, Limbaugh often recommends people like yourself call 1-800-FLOWERS. I’ll take a dozen roses, and don’t forget the promo code “RUSH” to get that 10% discount on your order.

          • HonestDebate1

            Okay JGC, you’ve outed yourself and I for one admire you for it.

            i know you cannot be a fan of Rush but you’ve made several comments over the last weeks to hint that you actually listen to Rush from time to time. Don’t be ashamed, hell, I listen to Tom Ashbrook.

          • JGC

            It’s true, I do. I was really hoping to tune in yesterday to hear him frothing at the mouth about the Tea Party Epic Fail, but I had another engagement during his broadcast.

            Plus he gives such good deals on the products and services his advertisers try to shill on the unsuspecting listener. The next time I order something on Amazon, I am going to test putting in the promo code “RUSH” and see what it gets me.

        • keltcrusader

          wow, you are a pleasant person :(

    • MrNutso

      Perhaps a more reasonable solution (though maybe not practical in your circumstances) is to move to a state that has set up their own exchange. Oregon, Kentucky and Maryland are a few that I’ve heard that have had great results so far.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Do you really think you are any safer on ANY other website be it a bank, private insurer or sweater vendor?

      If you do, go ahead and keep gobbling up that ultra right propaganda. Cyber security is, and for the indefinite future will remain… As unstable as the TParty congress as everyone uses similar servers and software and is in a constant race to defeat the latest exploitation of architectural vulnerabilities that they all share.

      If all of this adds to your anxiety heightened by the fear mongering and hate inspiring speech of Rush and all his friends at Fox Blues, consider turning to a so-called news source not fill with such vitriol… Or tune into music rather than news… You’ll be happier and healthier and its cheaper than Valium, Klonopin or Diazepam.

    • hennorama

      Key words above: “NEVER” and “I hear.”

      • sameolbs

        Have you signed up for it yet? Then stop promoting something that you are not even willing to do….BTW, I will never sign up for Obamcare because the IRS is the enforcer of it. I would rather take the penalty. Also, there is data out there showing how much it will cost not only have I heard, I have read. Do some research sheep.

        • hennorama

          sameolbs — Thank you for your response.

          I am curious. Please explain exactly how my seven word post, three of which are YOUR words, is “promoting something.”

          I look forward to your well-reasoned, non-ranting, non-presumptive reply.

      • sameolbs

        I also have read that Obamacare is expensive. The numbers are out there if you do your research. Have you signed up yet? I bet not. If so what is your deductible? What plan did you choose?

    • sameolbs

      Hennarama how much is Obamacare costing you? Did you sign up yet?

  • LinRP

    I read this today, NYT, in the comments of the Insufficient Craziness Theory column. Could not have said it better myself:

    I I get that there are some people out there who really hate their government and don’t like spending money on the civilization it provides. At some point, I think these Tea Party folks need to put their money where their mouths are.

    We need to allow votes by each representative on federal appropriations for their districts. If they don’t like federal money being spent for roads, education, agricultural subsidies, veterans, Medicaid–you name it–then they can vote against those funds for their district. All or nothing. We can reduce their taxes accordingly. Then we’ll see who the true believers are.

    The fine folks who voted their anarchists into office can enjoy the bountiful fruits of their political philosophy. Let’s give them the opportunity to prove that their small government credo is the greatest.

    • jefe68

      That’s already happening in over 20 red states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      This would be classic irony as the red states tend to be the consumers and the blue states the donors in terms of tax dollars.

  • Ray in VT

    Apparently Louis Gohmert sort of implied that John McCain supports Al Qaeda in Syria when he was speaking at the Value Voters Summit last week. McCain responded (yesterday?) by saying “On that particular issue, sometimes comments like that are made out of malice … But if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement. You can’t respond to that kind of thing.”

    • HonestDebate1

      As far as politicians go, McCain is a disgrace and his mushy middle politics fail. He’s a loser. Republicans put up a squishy go along to get along moderate and the Dems chose a hard lined ideologue willing to be astonishingly nasty and shameless. Enough with the moderates.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/17/gohmert-responds-to-mccain-dig.html

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Notice how McCain on the Sunday shows every weekend. Why would the MSM do that? Because he is their go to guy to bash conservatives.

      • Ray in VT

        A hard lined ideologue indeed. Feh. Go ahead and run some Tea Party whackjobs for President and V.P. next time around. I’ll enjoy sitting back and watching the GOP fail to gain the White House again.

  • Jasoturner

    Were I a pragmatic republican, I think I would conclude that the writing is on the wall and the the Tea Party either needs to be excised from the party or sidelined from any leadership positions. It’s the only way the party can hope to rebuild bridges to independent and more conservative democratic voters. It would also help to stop legislating morality and start focusing on tangible inputs into American power and success, such as infrastructure, taxation, education, healthcare and so on. Right now, it’s almost shocking what a train wreck that party is.

    • HonestDebate1

      But Romney won the independents big time. No, I disagree, Republicans don’t need to pander to independents.

      The train wreck is our economy, Obamacare and a feckless foreign policy. We have people who actually believe our deficits are just typical spending, that our debt is no biggee and Obamacare is not a death knell to our economy. People seriously believe Bush wrecked things and Obama is doing all he can to save the Republic as he destroys it. It’s awful and nothing will change until we face reality.

      • John_in_Amherst

        People believe Bush wrecked things because he lied us into a war with Iraq while he dropped the ball on Bin Laden and the Taliban, he kept his wars off-budget while cutting taxes for his rich backers, he allowed financial deregulation to crash the housing market and foster the biggest financial downturn since the 1930′s, stacked the SCOTUS with arch-conservatives bent on rolling back decisions dating back a century, engineered the metastasis of the NSA and its surveillance programs, gutted environmental protection, was duped by Putin, etc., etc.
        People believe Obama has brought most of our troops home from Bush’s misguided exploits, substituted a precise war on terrorists abroad instead of ordering fullscale military involvements in Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, etc., repaired foreign relations with our allies, saved millions of jobs with his management of the auto industry bail-out, has brought health care coverage to millions who lacked it or had it denied due to pre-existing conditions, etc., etc., ALL with NO help or constructive input from the GOP, which has fought him every inch of the way to further their own political fortunes instead of the national good. Is Obama perfect? NO. Would America be better off if it had a “loyal opposition” capable of compromise and offering constructive alternatives instead of anarchic rabble who seek to serve the interests of the wealthy elite, the Christian Right, and the seditious racists and Ayn Rand libertarian fanatics that make up the teaparty? Yes.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          There you go again…

          You spent so many words on your ‘blame Bush” rant that you buried the lead.

          “seditious racists and Ayn Rand libertarian fanatics that make up the teaparty”

          Well, we now know the way you see things.
          More TP mythology. Do you personally know anyone in the Tea Party? You should take advice from the Yale professor who was surprised that his study didn’t meet his pre-conception of the TP. He then realize that his entire source of information about the TP was the NYTimes, HuffPO, Politico and cable news (excluding Fox) and those limited and biased sources gave him an inaccurate picture of the TP.

          • Don_B1

            And who is this clairvoyant Yale professor and please give a link to his writings on the subject.

          • TFRX

            All the moderates backed out of the Tea Party years ago.

            Funny how the mainstream media concentrates on the right wing wingnut base as if their votes count double or something.

          • Don_B1

            The shtick of the MSM is conflict which gets readers looking for “dirty-deeds.”

            Like fires and traffic accidents, the fight between Tea Party members and the rest of Congress gets readers.

          • John_in_Amherst

            I make no bones about my view: The teaparty is perilously close to sedition and/or treason in their actions. Look up the definitions in a dictionary. Look at the definitions in the US penal code. I would not claim that all teabaggers are racist. It is impossible to deny that racism fuels the animus expressed toward our first black president by the teabaggers who wave confederate flags at the gates of the Whitehouse, and who are not repudiated by the rest of the teabaggers.
            Finally, FOX, run by Roger Ailes, a GOP strategist for 20 years prior to ascending to the throne at FOX, has NEVER been in the business of journalism, “fair and balanced or otherwise, it is a propaganda machine for the GOP. So, yes, I do not include them in my repertoire of news sources because they are GOP shills and consistently distort truth beyond recognition to suit the narrative of Ruppert Murdoch and the radical right.

          • Ray in VT

            I really don’t care much for the treason/sedition talk that has been going around.

          • John_in_Amherst

            check the definitions. I don’t like it much, either. But if the shoe fits… These people are not “loyal opposition”, they are dangerous extremists who should be called out, with no apologies.

          • Ray in VT

            I did check the definition of sedition, and their actions might fit, given how rather broad it is, but in the dictionary sense of these definitions:

            incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sedition

            incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sedition

            much of our democratic discourse could fall in there, as I am certainly not putting their words or actions into the category of insurrection or rebellion. I just think of the World War I era and what happened to people who spoke against the government’s policies under the Alien and Sedition Acts, and that is not a road that I want to even look down.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Treason:1.
            the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
            2.
            a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
            3.
            the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

            As for sedition, there is the criminal code:

          • hennorama

            John_in_Amherst — apologies for being completely off topic, but when I read “if the shoes fits” I was reminded of the old joke about the Foo Bird, one variation of which can be read here:

            http://www.amazingjokes.com/jokes/2011-06-10_the-foo-bird.html

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t know where you get your info but the confed flag dude was part of a veterans protest to the closing of the war memorials. It wasn’t a Tea Party protest.

            And I saw him called out on Fox several times this weekend as a lone clown. So like many lemmings you fall pray to the media playing up a single wacko and ignore the merits of the protest.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Oh if that guy was the only case…. Not since Reconstruction has so much uncivil invective been directed at a president. Sheer coincidence that the strong hold of the GOP and especially the teaparty is the states of the old confederacy? And before you trot out the “they weer interested in states’ rights trope, it was the states’ right to legitimize slavery they fought for.

          • Ray in VT

            And the Freedom Watch guy? Just another lone clown?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yup. He was also ‘called out’ on Fox as a clown.

          • Ray in VT

            That would be surprising, given the platform that they give to some clowns.

          • John_in_Amherst

            sometimes even FOX recognizes some cranks as liabilities. They did finally dumped Glenn Beck.

        • HonestDebate1

          Bush did not lie us into war. If you are going to make that claim then you must also say Democrats fro Bill Clinton to NAncy Pelosi lied too. They didn’t. But that’s not the point, Obama is not exactly Ghandi and is war mongering unilaterally and spending plenty. Killing Bin Laden could not have happened without Bush’s policies but it did not make us safer. Obama did not accelerate Bush’s withdrawal from Iraq one single minute.

          Bush is long gone, Obama owns this mess lock, stock and barrel.

          • Ray in VT

            One need not say that Clinton and Pelosi lied to say, correctly, that Bush lied.

          • John_in_Amherst

            you STILL buy the WMD fiction?
            Obama is not Ghandi. But then Ghandi was never in charge of prosecuting asymetric warfare with a foe that knows no international boundaries, and routinely inspires and orchestrates suicide attacks that kill thousands of innocent civilians. Do drones sometimes hit innocents, Yes. Would there be more casualties, both to non-combatants and to our own forces if we sent in troops to capture or kill AQ operatives in failed states across Africa and South Asia?, Yes. As for your assertion on withdrawing from Iraq, we’d still be there, filling the pockets of our mercenary soldiers from Blackwater if Bush’s team had anything to do with it.

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            Not only did Bush maneuver us into war, he bamboozled Congress into passing the Unaffordable War Act.

      • Jasoturner

        50% vs 45% is big time?

        Those are the numbers that Pew reported in the postmortem…

        • HonestDebate1

          Yes, five points is big time. It certainly cannot be said Republicans did not win because of independents.

          • Ray in VT

            Considering that surveys show many to most Tea Partiers further to the right than non-Tea Party aligned Republicans, how are they going to dent Obama’s 15 point win of the moderate vote by running someone further to the right of people like McCain and Romney?

          • Don_B1

            And what percent of the electorate did the Independents constitute?

            We are talking conditional percentages here!

    • John_in_Amherst

      “pragmatic Republican” is proving to be an oxymoron.

      • HonestDebate1

        What is more pragmatic spending into oblivion with no limits or advocating for the slightest constraints on an obscenely bloated bureaucracy?

        • Don_B1

          You advocate severely cutting the social safety net spending but I don’t see the tax loopholes that you would eliminate, and that would have to include the capital gains loophole as well as the hedge fund manager’s loophole. it would also have to include provisions that would prevent the reinsertion of old and insertion of new loopholes, without massive publicity and delay for the public to react.

          Of course you will say, “OK,” but then when the time comes you will count on it’s not being remembered.

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t say anything about the safety net. Tax “loopholes” are tax laws. I would eliminate the Obamacare tax loophole.

            Tweaking the tax code is meaningless. We need growth and jobs.

            Is it your view government cannot be any smaller?

          • Don_B1

            The country certainly does need jobs, to the exclusion of even thinking about the deficit right now, as shown by the Macroeconomic Advisors study I referenced earlier:

            http://pgpf.org/special-reports/the-cost-of-crisis-driven-fiscal-policy

            [download by clicking the "Full Report (PDF)" in red]

            All of which means that the current “Sequestration” should be cancelled/repealed and the further steps planned for in January should be prevented.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Straw-man argument.

          • Don_B1

            Really? [Mis]HonestDebate has consistently called for cutting discretionary spending but also cutting all spending to levels that would require cuts in the social safety net.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB
        • tbphkm33

          Tea Baggers toss around terms such as “bloated bureaucracy” without any examples or even a grasp of what they are saying.

          Only thing I see bloated in DC is the number of workers employed by federal contractors as part of the Nopublican drive to privatize government. With the result that the tax payer pays a contracting company $175,000 for a contractor position – the worker gets paid $60,000 and the contracting company gets $110,000 for “managing/training” the employee. Which most contracting companies do not do, they just fire workers if something comes up.

          The United States is getting fleeced by Nopublican privatization. If the Tea Baggers want a cause to fight for, there you go, end that bloated reality.

          • sickofthechit

            I call it Profitizing government. It’s why they passed the onerous funding requirements onto the Postal Service as regards prefunding all employee retirement benefits according to a formula that no other employer in America has to abide by. Their aim/hope is that if they can get it to “fail” often enough then privatization will occur there. Please spread the word. These niggling one cent increases in postage are insulting. Try mailing three different size packages at the USPS, UPS and FEDEX if you want a little sticker shock! The other onerous requirement is that the postal service can’t use direct price comparisons in their ads.
            SUPPORT OUR POSTAL SERVICE, MAIL A LETTER TODAY!
            charles a. bowsher

          • John_in_Amherst

            also, snail mail is not collected & read by the NSA. At least as far as we know…

      • StilllHere

        The two words, Democrat and pragmatic, are never in the same sentence.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      This is the sort of “Black is White” thinking that makes coming here so entertaining for me.

      • J__o__h__n

        I agree. “Pragmatic Republican” is the silliest thing I have read.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You need to read more.

    • William

      Why kick out the TP? They won the 2010 elections and live rent free in Obama and the MSM minds. It’s great to see them stir up the mix and keep the Washington elites off balanced.

      • TFRX

        Again with your fantasy that Tea Baggers owe nothing to Rove and the Kochs and all their “elites”.

        Persistence doesn’t favor you here.

        • William

          Really? Who “owns” Obama? Hollywood elites, Google, GE, who paid little if anything in taxes. The unions used to have a seat at the same table but now they are last year’s Christmas present and need to pay that Obama-care tax. Strange how that worked out for the “working man” huh?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Rove is doing all he can to stop the Tea Party Movement.

          • PoliticsWatcher

            He’s smart enough to know what a disaster it is for the rest of the GOP.

      • Jasoturner

        I guess because they are fundamentally “destroyers” who vociferously object to change, whereas America needs creativity and innovative thinking if it hopes to compete in this new century. I agree that the TP has some amusement value, but this is not the time for it.

    • MrNutso

      The Tea Party affiliated members of congress will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Their house districts are heavily Republican. Their only competition is to their right during a primary.

      • Jasoturner

        Precisely why a republican grounded in reality should be very concerned indeed…

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    “And now that the government is reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do.”

    And that’s to destroy America.

    He should’ve been more specific. He’s just fine with the lobbyists, bloggers, talking heads, and professional activists on his side. Hell, he’s a community organizer by “trade.” No, it’s only the ones who disagree with him who need to shut up.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/17/do-not-read-this-post-by-order-of-king-barry-the-first/

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      They have similar policies in other countries.

      FTA:
      BEIJING (Reuters) – Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online “rumour-mongering”, friends and a lawyer for one of them said on Thursday.

      Hundreds of people have been detained since August, say Chinese media and rights groups, as the government has stepped up its campaign to banish rumours. Most have been released, but some are still being held on criminal charges.

      http://ca.news.yahoo.com/china-holds-two-bloggers-expands-113154897.html

    • Don_B1

      The “Daily Caller”? Really?

      And on what basis has Mr. Treacher decided that President Obama sought the presidency to destroy America? Because he doesn’t want to see millions of people not getting effective health care? Because he wants to stop the Republicans from turning the country into a plutocracy?

      Those last two goals seem to be the objective of the Tea Party radical conservatives.

  • Fredlinskip

    One thing that disappoints about the whole Ceiling/Shutdown debate charade is “mainstream” media’s handling of it.
    It was as if they were trying to extend crisis in order to boost there own ratings, instead of ascertaining the facts.
    In the end much media seemed to conclude that “this just kicked can down road”- apparently because no Fantabulous Grand Bargain budget agreement had occurred???
    Hello? They really expected budget negotiations, which at best under better circumstances might to be expected to take many months, to begin and end in a week or two?
    Did they honestly believe that manufactured crisis was the environment under which these negotiations should be made?

    And PLEASE quit saying it was just a few brazen TPers “acting up“.
    A few TP’ers does not a majority make. What?
    Or is the implication that TPers are the only GOPers in House of Reps with balls and the rest simply spineless?
    AT any time, Boehner could have called the vote that would have ended it.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      On the flip side the MSM put zero pressure on Obama and Reid to cut a deal after the GOP capitulated and weakened their offer to be laughably minor within 48 hours.. So the MSM might be disappointing but it was business as usual.

      • Fredlinskip

        Most media outlets at least for 1st week or so, seemed to incessantly point out, that both sides shared equal blame.

        • keltcrusader

          which wasn’t true

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We agree.

          • keltcrusader

            No, the TP and House Republicans, along with “stir the pot” Cruz were solely to blame for the entire fiasco.

          • Fredlinskip

            Which in no way compares with willfully damaging American economy and credibility abroad.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    The future belongs to the Tea Party.

    FTA:
    According to an April survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics, only 39 percent of young voters count on President Obama to “do the right thing,” and only 22 percent trust the federal government. Those are shocking numbers for a group that turned out en masse to support Obama’s reelection.

    - See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2013/10/16/Obamacare-Taught-Millennials-Distrust-Big-Government#sthash.Chd9HzQp.dpuf

    • northeaster17

      Those numbers in no way insinuate that those same voters find any solace in the Tea Party.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        College graduates working at McDonalds living in their moms basements, the blue model has promised a lot and delivered nothing.

        • Don_B1

          They are also smart enough to understand that the Tea/Republicans have made major efforts to prevent the economy from recovering as shown by the Macroeconomic Advisors’ report released by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation this week. It shows that the fiscal machinations of Republicans has resulted in the loss of at least $700 BILLION of GDP and the loss of 900,000 jobs not created.

          See:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/opinion/krugman-the-damage-done.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

        • northeaster17

          A move to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour would work. What’s the Tea Party think about that?

          • Ray in VT

            That people need the liberty to make as little as the free market allows?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Such a measure would only lead to greater use of automation. Reducing the debt would force investment back into the economy and fund more jobs at every level.

    • Ray in VT

      Given how the views of many in the Tea Party, as well as those of the most prominent political faces of that group, are so drastically out of line with the views of young Americans on issues such as gay marriage, I think that you’re setting yourself up for a mighty big fall if you think that the “younger generation” is going to flock to the Tea Party banner.

      • HonestDebate1

        I am not aware that the Tea Partiers have taken a position on gay marriage or any social issues for that matter. They are about smaller government and more freedom.

        • Ray in VT

          Take a look at the surveys and the views of the Tea Party Caucus. It’s funny how many of the latter seem to like government just so long as it pushes their worldview on others. Ken Cuccinelli is a great example. Loves freedom (supposedly). Hates consensual sex acts deemed “unnatural”. Thankfully the Supreme Court smacked him down.

        • keltcrusader

          Are you willfully blind? I think that may be the case since the TP’ers have done nothing but pass, or try to pass legislation, which directly impacts people’s personal lives.
          The only reason they want “small government” is so that THEY can tell people how to live their lives and discriminate against those they deem “undesirable” with impunity.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Seriously? I’ve been unable to find a single TP group that has social issues as part of their platform. Instead of spreading misinformation could you provide a link to the TP group and their platform that includes social issues?

            The theme of the Tea Party that I’ve seen is both fiscal responsibility and personal liberty. Your view is warped.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You real have that backwards. It is the only function of BIG government to tell people how to live their lives. But to be a leftist is to have cognitive dissonance about that.

        • jimino

          And therein lies the beautiful irony of current US politics. The tpers do NOT want their Social Security, Medicare or other programs that benefit them cut, but the people they are so intent on electing are determined to do exactly that. Only in 21st century America . . . .

          • HonestDebate1

            When they go bankrupt they will be cut.

          • Don_B1

            More “starve the beast?”

          • HonestDebate1

            I’d prefer to make them solvent and keep the promise.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        It presents me with opportunity.

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrrok and Jack Beatty:
    Conventional mainstream media wisdom says Ted Cruz, the Tea Party and Republicans lost in the 16 day government shutdown. But then how do you you explain : Obama’s favorability ratings are in George Bush territory and stories about his failure to demonstrate any presidential leadership during the shutdown surfaced in the mainstream media; like the sequester, to the vast majority of Americans much of the impact was not felt or way overblown unless you were a federal employee or planned a trip to a national park ; and finally wall street largely ignored much of the happenings and the impact to the economy will be negligible –Mark Zandi’s estimate of $20 billion impact is nothing but a rounding error in a $15trillion US economy.
    And finally, despite efforts to marginalize Senator Ted Cruz , his star is definitely brighter today than it was 60 days ago. And with the Obamacare roll out looking like the train wreck that even some Democrats predicted, will Republicans really be harmed in the 2014 elections?

    • tbphkm33

      Wishful thinking – the reality emerging over the next few months will not be as favorable toward the Tea Baggers.

      • JONBOSTON

        what reality do you see emerging over the next few months? Do you think the rollout will be smoother, or that more people will be satisfied with their insurance options and its cost ( premiums , co-pays and deductibles), or that the economy will improve and hiring will increase?

  • sameolbs

    Liberals are all for Obamacare but when I ask them what it cost them….crickets.

  • sameolbs

    Fact…Obamacare turned out to be one big debacle.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      It is not fully implemented yet. The system was/is quite messed up before, and it will take time to improve things. But getting Millions of people who are uninsured into the system will benefit all of us, and the overall costs to all of us will come down.

      How would you fix our health system?

      • tbphkm33

        Tea Baggers actually like “death panels” (hence why they talk so much about them). In the Nopublican world its called “no insurance – no healthcare” – if you can’t afford healthcare, then by god, you should do the right thing and scuffle off and die. Just don’t do it within sight of the Tea Baggers country clubs or golf courses.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          When is Obama’s tee time this weekend?

  • Ed75

    The government is reeling back and forth like a drunken sailor, not good. Henry Adams in December, 1861 from ‘Buchanan Dying’ John Updike:
    ‘Every one takes to politics for an occupation, but do you know to me this whole matter is beginning to get stale. It does not rise to the sublime at all. It is merely the last convulsion of the slave-power, and only makes me glad that the beast is so near his end …’ p.xiii
    In our case, the beast is abortion.

    • lobstahbisque

      Honey, you need a new topic, and a new dress that doesn’t make your ass look fat.

      • Ed75

        That’s pretty good. (Unfortunately, until this topic is solved, it will be on my mind.)

        • keltcrusader

          maybe you should take the advice your Boss suggested and give it a rest

          • Ed75

            Well, I just want people to know … when the disaster comes … why it has come.

          • J__o__h__n

            Who gets credit for the next one abortion or gay marriage?

          • keltcrusader

            it won’t come for that reason and you know it. It will come because people like you can’t stand the fact that women can make their own choices and people don’t want to be ruled by your fanatical religion.

  • alsordi

    Two big anniversaries coming up:

    50 years since JFK’s assassination and

    100 years since the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank.

    The US should honor JFK’s wish, which cost him his life, and shut down the biggest ponzi scheme, el grande pinata for the wealthy elites, creator of baseless wealth for the undeserved, and return to a currency backed by gold or REAL labor.

    • sameolbs

      If JFK were alive today, he would not be a democrat.

      • Ray in VT

        Well, it does seem that many GOP positions are dated by about 50 years.

      • northeaster17

        And Reagon would not even survive the Republican primaries.

        • jefe68

          You mean Reagan.
          But I agree, he would not.
          Nor would Nixon.

          • lobstahbisque

            Gee I thought it was RayGun.

      • jefe68

        Where do you get this from?
        It’s really funny how the right rewrites history to fit their agenda.

      • J__o__h__n

        Do you think Lincoln would be a Republican?

        • HonestDebate1

          He’d be a Tea Partier.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            And God is on the Tea Party’s side, too?

          • HonestDebate1

            No, religion issues are not a concern of the Tea Partiers. Why do you ask?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You’re not listening to them, then. Michele Bachmann and others certainly claim that God is on their side.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.

            Abraham Lincoln

            Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin388944.html#7HRo80j8GBrGjWyH.99

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            That quote is hard to verify: http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2008/09/12/did-palin-misquote-lincoln.htm

            Here’s one from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln_and_religion

            “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in
            accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong.
            God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the
            present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something
            different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human
            instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation
            to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably
            true — that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end
            yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He
            could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest.
            Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory
            to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            With humility I say let each of us be about our duty as best as we are able and let the contest continue.
            God bless us all.

          • Ray in VT

            Is that an admission that the Tea Party’s platform is in line with 19th century policies?

          • HonestDebate1

            “19th century policies” is a little bit broad, no?

          • Ray in VT

            True, it’s mostly 19th century economics mixed with 1950s-ish social policy. Thanks for the correction.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ray you are obsessed with imputing a social policy agenda on the TP. It isn’t there. If you disagree with the TP then attack it on the merits — not your fantasies.

          • Ray in VT

            I am merely making statements regarding the opinions expressed by members of the Tea Party movement and elected officials who have taken on that mantle.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Weak!!! Unless you truly believe the TP has some sort of trojan horse strategy.

          • Ray in VT

            Or just accurate.

          • TFRX

            You need to get raped and impregnated by a syphilitic felon in some Values State.

            Rod Serling is writing the script as we speak.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s over the line I feel, TFRX.

          • TFRX

            Eh, maybe. I touched it up a bit.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I’m jut offering my honest critique, as I try to not stray too far over the imaginary line that I have created for myself, although sometimes I really want to write something that is harsher than what I end up posting.

          • TFRX

            Yeah, that’s valid. The proverbial “one” instead of the direct “you” is something I use a lot of.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We are talking about the Tea Party here.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            The parallels between the Abolitionist and the Tea Party Movements are remarkable.

        • Ray in VT

          Only if, like in his day, the GOP was the party for northern liberals.

      • jimino

        Luv your name. Easily the most apt on this board.

      • tbphkm33

        … and yet the entire Kennedy family is still strong Democratic supporters.

        • sameolbs

          They are all about being in the big club now. I wouldn’t be too proud of the Kennedy’s. One left his girl friend under water after a night of drinking.

    • Roy-in-Boise

      Interesting notion on the Federal Reserve Bank. History has shows us how that worked out for Andrew Jackson. How would the outcome be different this time around?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Good news…

    GM will start selling a bi-fuel CNG Impala next summer. It will run on both nat. gas and gasoline. 500 mile range. This is the first bi-fuel sedan by a major manufacturer to be sold in the US.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/10/16/chevrolet-impala-natural-gas/2995585/

    • JGC

      It’s good to see an American company like GM pushing the innovation envelope. Bruce Philp in Canadian Business said about Tesla, “I miss audacity. It used to define the heroes of business, back in the day of sweat and steel. There is something gutless about venture capitalism in the digital era…Progress will always depend on people who take big risks to do impossible things, and who have attention spans equal to the task. That’s the kind of capitalism that lights up factories, creates meaningful work, and keeps money circulating in the communities.”

    • hennorama

      WftC — that is good news.

      One question: where will this vehicle be built?
      (Hint: not in the U.S.)

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    Goodness gracious…..

    MoveOn.org Petition Calls For Arrest Of Republican Leaders For Sedition

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/moveon-petition-arrest-republicans_n_4116820.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

    If anyone has betrayed the Constitution in this mess, its John Roberts.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Allan Dershowitz was on the tele last night calling out the moveon quacks as extremists.

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        The difference being the means. In conventional sedition, there is more than subversion. There is the use of coercive techniques amounting to force (threat of harm). Here, we have some duly elected lawmakers deftly using the rules of game to intentionally derail the game, so as to prevent the process of lawmaking from operating as originally envisioned.

        It is becoming increasingly commonplace for politicians of all stripes to brazenly game the system.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Meanwhile over in Europe,

    FTA:

    So the French socialists are hoping to head off the National Front by preemptively bashing the Roma. (If we don’t bash you mildly, then the people who really hate you will bash you a lot.) It’s not surprising that the socialists are flailing about looking for popular policies. With the next budget subject to inspection by the redoubtable Olli Rehn (a Finn who heads Europe’s new budget process), and with all available taxes already pretty much raised to the max, France’s socialists don’t have many good domestic policy choices left as they look for new cuts.

    (One of the reasons Europeans are so fearful of the Tea Party is that they assume that because it is right wing and populist it is like the National Front in France or Golden Dawn in Greece. Today’s small government American Tea Partiers are much farther from Huey Long and Father Coughlin in their political views than some European right wingers are from the darker demagogues of Europe’s bloody past, and until the European establishments understand this, they will likely continue to misjudge the state of American politics.)

    My favorite part, it makes it seem like most commentors here are European.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/10/15/europe-is-burning-slowly-2/

    • fun bobby

      that’s what I don’t get. we are often told we need to be more like Europe. do we really want tiny streets, little cars, and overpriced small portions of horse meat? do we want human trafficking and machete attacks? do we want overpriced little apartments? do we not want to be free to speak our minds? they can have it

  • Government_Banking_Serf
  • Mark Giese

    Gerrymandering encourages lazy thinking and disengagement. We need competitive races – it forces local discussions of issues and participation by many more people.

    Are you carping about how the other side is so stupid and obstinate???? Would you say the same thing about someone you actually know?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      How would you fix MA?

      We’ve had lazy thinking here forever.

      • axonneuron

        MA is fine, nothing here needs fixing. Romney Care works well enough for us.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Then why did MA reps vote for Obamacare?

          The Obamacare medical device tax hurts the large medical device industry in MA. I know people in MA laid off directly because of that tax.

          Also, small businesses in MA are suing the feds because of Obamacare rules. They were OK with Romneycare.

          Obamacare is much different that RC. I still don’t know why MA reps voted for something that hurts their citizens.

          Obamacare brought no new benefits to MA. Only downsides.

      • fun bobby

        maybe stop electing all these carpet baggers?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          And fake Indians?

      • Mark Giese

        California and Iowa have a new approach to reapportion

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    Shadenfreude Theater of the Absurd

    This season’s episode of Lunatic Drama has been brought to you by the Tea Party in association with the Republican Caucus.

    Please join us again next January for another presentation of Capricious Lunatic Drama, here on Schadenfreude Theater.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Would we be better off with earmarks? Or has Citizens United eliminated the need for politicians to accomplish anything for their constituents?

    • Ray in VT

      That is a good question regarding earmarks. I don’t much care for them, but it did provide a way to make deals.

  • StilllHere

    The sequester and shutdown have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that government is too big. The lesson from the last nine months is that government spending should be cut substantially and Congress only needs to be in session maybe four weeks a year, which would also save a bunch of money!

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What would you cut, and how would you fix our government?

      • TFRX

        I’m sure it’ll all be done the next time a Republican gets in the White House. And the CPAC folks won’t fete him or her if they don’t deliver the government reduction that’s soooo important when a Dem is Prez.

        • northeaster17

          The last Republican certainly left a mark.

          • tbphkm33

            The impostor “President” GW spent more than anyone else. Did not even write his wars of adventure into the federal budget.

          • fun bobby

            what’s a federal budget?

      • hennorama

        Neil Blanchard — don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

      • fun bobby

        where to begin?cut TSA NSA CIA DEA ATF DHS. the main problem we have at all levels of government is the way that appropriations work. bureaucrats must spend their entire budget and ask for more the next year. level funding is their greatest fear and a sign of an incompetent bureaucrat who may have to worry about his job if that happens. as long as this is the paradigm we will have the inefficient, wasteful, unsustainable govt spending we now have. we should give public administrators incentives if they can reduce costs and big incentives if they can find a way to make themselves unnecessary.

    • nj_v2

      Idiotic Teabagger meme: “Smaller government”

      Simplistic bigger/smaller dichotomy is simplistic and pointless.

      Size itself (however “size” is even measured) is not the point. What should the role of government be? How should programs be evaluated? How can waste and fraud be reduced? How do we shift policy to serve the masses rather than entrenched, wealthy, corporate interests?

      No, in Teabagland, none of that matters. It’s “Big Government.”

      • Ray in VT

        Why do they have to be such size queens?

        • jefe68

          Could be they are challenged in that area.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe. ;)

          • jefe68

            I was alluding to their brains.
            But that the groin does come to mind given how many people on the right like big guns.

    • jefe68

      Really? So $24 billion added to the deficit due to the shut down. The sequester is having a negative effect on scientific and medical research.

    • tbphkm33

      Nopublican’s/Tea Baggers just do not understand governmental finances. With an GDP of $17 trillion, how is the U.S. government too big???

      Yes, the military is too big, but maybe if we had more meat inspectors we would not continue to have contaminated food outbreaks that kill people.

      The Tea Baggers live in an alternate reality within an increasingly irrelevant political party.

    • fun bobby

      its like the govt is too big to fail

  • nj_v2

    “Lessons learned…”

    Haha!

    For the Teabaglicons, the lesson is that when they lose, they haven’t been crazy enough.

    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/the-insufficient-craziness-theory/?_r=1&

    The Insufficient Craziness Theory

    By ANDREW ROSENTHAL

    Every time Republicans suffer a rejection of the most right-wing items on their agenda, a significant number decide they haven’t been sufficiently crazy. That was the conclusion that many Republicans drew from the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012. And now that Republicans in Congress have been forced to surrender in their fight with President Obama over the budget, health care and the nation’s credit, some are drawing the same conclusion.

    In this view, as Dylan Scott pointed out on Talking Points Memo today, it was not the far-right that caused Speaker John Boehner problems, it was those pesky moderates (whoever they may be). ”I’m more upset with my Republican conference, to be honest with you,” said Rep. Raul Labrador, Republican of Idaho. “It’s been Republicans here who apparently always want to fight, but they want to fight the next fight, that have given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight. So if anybody should be kicked out, it’s probably those Republicans.”

    He said they “are unwilling to keep the promises they made to the American people. Those are the people who should be looking behind their back.”…

    (snipped)

  • J__o__h__n

    How is Boehner emboldened? He has been shown to be a weak leader who can’t control his caucus.

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      Boehner’s standing among Tea Party conservatives in his caucus may have actually improved.

      Orange hue glad?

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Several viewpoints…
      a) Now he can say shut up and listen you tools.
      b) He enabled their plan until it their donors felt threatened.
      c) He led them to victory because in the Republican bubble defeat is victory, damaging our economy promotes growth and hostage taking is an act of heroism.

    • fun bobby

      a lot of older men have trouble controlling their caucus

  • TFRX

    Welker is quoting Michele Bachman about the shutdown without mentioning how batflap unhinged Bachman is, in rherotic, position, and deed?

    Please get some guests who are out in the real world and don’t need to worry about making enemies inside the Beltway.

    • Ray in VT

      But doesn’t every reasonable Republican/real American think that we are living in the end of days?

      “Now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s End Times history.”

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/08/1245335/-Rep-Michele-Bachmann-declares-that-we-are-in-the-End-Times-His-day-is-at-hand#

      • TFRX

        Bill Maher just makes too much sense here:

        ” If you think the world is about to end, that’s your right, but you don’t get to vote on next year’s budget, because it doesn’t concern you.”

        • Ray in VT

          That is a good point. Maybe they should abstain if they think it might not be around anyways.

        • jimino

          I tell my acquaintance who is a “rapture ready” believer that we both agree on one big point: We both would be happy to wake up tomorrow and have everyone like him gone from the face of the Earth.

          • TFRX

            If they’re rapture-ready, just ask to borrow all the power tools from them you wish. They won’t be needing ‘em and you’ll give them a good home.

      • fun bobby

        it does say the tree of life will fruit 12 times a year

        • Ray in VT

          It says a lot of things. It also says not to wear a shirt made of two fabrics.

          • fun bobby

            behold and rejoice! it has come to pass that the tree of life is in fact now producing 12 crops per year.
            I have always been leery of those cotton poly blends.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Fighting when defeat is certain is… stupid.
    In the caee of Mitch McConnell… Bravery is certainly worth a 4 billion dollar bridge.

  • William

    Senator Cruz reminds me of the unknown Chinese man that stood in front of the Leftist government tanks in Tiananmen Square. Sure, he know he would loose, but at least he tried to make a difference.

    • jimino

      My recollection of the Tiananmen Square showdown was that it wasn’t a fight over making sure as many people as possible didn’t have access to health insurance and affordable medical care. Maybe I watched the wrong coverage of the event.

      Or your comparison could just be laughable.

      • William

        A uprising from the common man against a Left wing government there and here. Obama did encourage people to not listen to talk radio and read various blogs. Not an encouraging sign to the rest of the world.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      “Leftist” Chinese government is virtually the opposite of reality. They are a one party corrupt dictatorship.

      Ted Cruz is an egomaniac and he is an ass.

      • William

        PRC is hard Leftist state with single party (Communist Party) rule. The interesting thing to watch is will Internet continue to erode the Leftist government’s power in China.

    • J__o__h__n

      That is a disgusting comparison.

    • StilllHere

      He is certainly as courageous, but much of the vilification is racist in its origin.

      • Ray in VT

        I was unaware that Canadians were a race.

        • lobstahbisque

          You can always tell it’s a Canadian because the the top of their flopping heads aren’t attached to the rest of their bodies.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s a dead giveaway. Cruz must have had corrective surgery.

      • jefe68

        Pathetic dribble.

    • nj_v2

      Tom read this idiotic comment on the air, but he mispronounced “loose” thus depriving the comment of its full idiocy.

      • StilllHere

        LOL, all you’re good for is spellcheck! Pathetic maroon.

        • jefe68

          Pathetic maroon.

    • jefe68

      Pathetic.

  • toc1234

    two things we have learned from the shutdown.. a) the Cruz faction has no idea how to negotiate and b) Obama is not a statesman.

  • nj_v2

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/gop-post-shutdown-civil-war

    The Post-Shutdown GOP Civil War in 23 Quotes

    Fighting words on the right in the wake of the debt ceiling and government shutdown crises.

    The just-concluded government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis revealed a deep and profound split within Republican ranks, as tea party crusaders pushed for brinkmanship to thwart Obamacare and establishment-minded GOPers freaked out over the historic hit their party was receiving in public opinion polls. Even after the conflict was settled (at least for a few months)—with the congressional Republicans essentially waving a white flag—the civil war within GOP and conservative circles continued unabated. Once the deal went down, mainstream GOPers immediately blamed the “suicide caucus” for harming the party and pledged to block future shenanigans of this sort, and tea partiers in and out of Congress dismissed the “surrender caucus” and vowed to continue the fight as the next D-Days approach (January 15 for funding the government, and February 7 for the debt ceiling).

    This ugly episode hasn’t resolved the tensions within the GOP and the conservative movement—it has exacerbated them. Here is a list of post-deal quotes from key players in this civil war that show the internecine battle is not likely to end soon.…

    (snipped; click on article for quotes)

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Did the shutdown not slow down or halt the effort to fix the problems with the healthcare roll-out?

  • StilllHere

    My hope is that the $109B of cuts called for under Obama’s sequester for FY14 spending will not be negotiated away. This is a good start but much more needs to be done.

    • northeaster17

      According to various reports the shut down cost about $21 billion. How will the Republicans make restitution?

      • StilllHere

        Cost to whom? How calculated? Various reports suggest the net cost was a $147.59 billion gain to the economy. I’ll try to find a link for you.

        • jefe68

          The tax payers.

  • TFRX

    Eh, I’ll pass on the centrist senators (i.e. Republican) luv, especially as reported from inside the Beltway.

    There’s just something funny about how “centrist Republican” senators are so often like “Invisible Boy”: They’re so very often centrist up until the point their vote is needed for cloture, then they disappear.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hahaha — Susan Collins, Olympia Snow, McCain, et al have done a lot of damage over the years on important votes.

      • TFRX

        Hahaha. Funny how your “bar brawl”, the fight between you (“TrueConservatives”) and them (“moderate” Rs) can’t happen without it becoming everybody else’s crisis.

  • William

    Jack,, with so many American unemployed or working part time, why can’t the Obama administration give the contract for Obama-care web site to an American company?

    Is it not in the Obama’s administration’s self interest to employ Americans and make sure this web site works?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Not only was it awarded to a Canadian co. It looks like it was an incompetent company.

      This might be a case where we should follow the money.

    • fun bobby

      the company who got the contract was a big campaign contributor

  • TFRX

    Jack Beatty: Of course the agenda will be less ambitious. One wing of Congress is dedicated to aiming their own cannon into the hull of the country’s ship.

    Please let’s not forget how non-shocking and common the cry is from right-wingers are saying “secede, break up the country, default”.

    Where is that almost-compulsory flag-lapel-pin-wearing patriotism that was such a meme when Republicans were in the White House?

  • Coastghost

    Today’s first hour prophesies 2014 to be the year in which the argument “the Democratic Party vs. America” is made by Republicans or Tea Partiers or conservatives or libertarians or all of the above, along with however many independents they attract with the prosecution.

    • StilllHere

      Hard to argue with, they take your money, they read your emails, they listen to your phone calls, and then they do it all over again but even more so.

  • SuziVt

    I have heard various republican tea party politicians saying, “No, the world did NOT come to an end!” and “The sky isn’t falling.” They keep down playing the damage the near-shutdown actually did. Every time I have to hear them defend their stand and state that they will regroup and come back to fight again, I want to tell them of all the people that have lost two weeks of wages or sales that real people have lost due to their fanaticism. These people don’t have a savings account to help them through unforeseen crises. And if they do, it was earmarked for something like medical expenses to Xmas for their children. So Ted Cruz thinks this fiasco was a success? I would implore the citizens, that vote, to remember this on election day. These people discount the average citizen’s financial situation. First, they were totally against medical coverage for every U.S. citizen. They did NOTHING to come up with a plan of their own until it looked like Obama would succeed in passing a new health care system, that would treat every citizen as equally deserving of adequate coverage in a health crises. Only then, did the republicans start “talking” about a better plan than Obama’s. Still, they came up with nothing. Now they want to shut down the government (except their personal gym) and have no empathy for the average citizen that was hurt by their tantrum. That is anything but patriotic. That is anything but humane. They’re selfish fanatics and not to be trusted. This debacle cost the tax payers over $20 BILLION dollars! And for what? Vote the bums out.

    • tbphkm33

      Well said.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama refused to negotiate even after the GOP offered some absurdly minor but popular changes within 48 hours of the shutdown.

      So a valid view is the GOP owns the first 48 hours of the shutdown and Obama owns the rest.

      • SuziVt

        Oh please, will you stop already? The “Obamacare” plan passed. Just because he didn’t come back to the table and give them what they wanted, you’re going to blame him? You say, minor, but popular changes? I wouldn’t call them minor. Popular? With whom? Definitely not with a majority of American citizens. If you gauge everything according to the extreme right wing tea party republican’s perceptions and views, then I get your point. The tea party is not popular with the majority of U.S. citizens. The majority of the country wants a new healthcare plan. Many of the minority of people that didn’t approve of Obama’s final plan felt (read my lips) he didn’t take it far enough! If the changes were so popular, why did the congressional approval rate dip down into single digits? Mr. Obama tried repeatedly to negotiate with the republicans in the past. Everyone knows it did no good, unless you’re a tea partier & possibly a racist, and success might mean simply making him ineffective as a president. The congress is extremely unpopular right now. You want to try to blame Obama for that? HA! I see you’re still trying to reinvent your own reality.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Thank you for your view.

          The TP may not be popular right now but the principles that they stand for like fiscal responsibility, moving to a balanced budget, limited government, personal liberties poll extremely well.

          The Dems and the media have been successful in demonizing the TP. After 2010 they saw the TP as a threat to their big government, statist agenda.

          So yes, it looks like the TP has a marketing problem.

          (and did you really need to play the race card?)

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I have another question. Do you think it is appropriate for the President to change the ACA law 19 times– lawlessly? Doesn’t it bother you that he didn’t go back to Congress to request those changes?

  • axonneuron

    Any roll out of a large enterprise level web portal is going to be fraught with issues. This is a matter of load testing which you really can’t do until the thing actually is lost. Give it time.

  • toc1234

    a feeble/half-baked plan begets a feeble manager…

  • MrNutso

    What’s the average success of the Federal exchange and state run exchanges? I wonder how much better the Federal roll out would have been if a majority of states had created their own exchanges?

    • toc1234

      The law is the law. The law gave the states the option. So it is another example of the ACA being a dog of a law… furthermore are you saying the states are more capable of handling healthcare than the Feds?

    • jefe68

      States have set up their own exchanges. At least the ones who are participating.

  • setaspell

    Obama lost the progressive and the democratic heart when he agreed to let the “Bush tax cuts” not expire. Since that day, his strength to negotiate to the GOP has only been pushing his stone back uphill. He has “negotiated” already.

  • pwparsons

    “Taking a deeper look at the government’s policy direction, however,
    shows that the semi-fascist Tea Party has permanently enshrined large
    parts of its fundamentalist capitalist agenda. From taxes to spending
    cuts that eviscerate services for the working class and boost the rich,
    their program has become an accepted part of the bipartisan consensus,
    with the full assent of President Obama.

    The president himself, in his post-shutdown remarks, made this quite
    clear when he stated that this has not been a “political” fight but
    instead a “failure in governance.” In other words, Republicans had no
    need to shut down the government to get agreement on austerity measures —
    this could have been accomplished instead in the disguise of a
    “compromise.”

    This can be seen clearly in the counter-proposal the Democrats offered Republicans at one point to avoid a shutdown: locking in 100 percent
    of the sequester cuts. These cuts, which affect the whole range of
    pro-worker social programs, were originally designed by Democrats to be
    so extreme that they would force Republicans to the table. Now it is
    perfectly acceptable for these “unthinkable” cuts be made permanent from
    the White House’s point of view. “(From
    Right-wing Tea Party: Losing a small battle while winning a war
    ’Conventional wisdom’ on government shutdown is empty and wrong
    ANSWERCOALITION.ORG) “WHEN FASCISM COMES TO AMERICA…”THIS IS HOW…

    • William

      Sequester was Obama’s idea and only cuts the growth in spending. Obama has said he wants entitlement reform and budget cuts so these are his signature issues.

  • MrNutso

    It’s raining men.

  • NewtonWhale

    Tom, instead of ranting about the rollout of Obamacare, why not do some research? You will find that it is partly caused by poor management, and partly the result of deliberate sabotage by Republicans:

    “Obamacare’s architects assumed that most states would opt to run their own marketplaces, with federal officials running only a few. The assumption proved wrong: Pretty much any state with a Republican governor or Republican legislative control said no, adding to the administrative burden on HHS. But 14 states plus the District of Columbia are managing their own markets. Mostly it’s places you would expect—progressive outposts like California, Washington, and New York—where Obama and his policies are most popular. But Kentucky, where a Democratic governor and group of dedicated officials have worked diligently to deliver the law’s benefits, is also on the list.

    As a result, Obamacare in these places seems to be working more or less like it’s supposed to work. Consumers are getting opportunities they never had before—to shop for insurance plans, each one with clearly defined benefits that make true comparisons possible, and to receive substantial financial assistance that provides many with thousands of dollars a year in assistance. And, from the looks of things, people are taking advantage of it. The Advisory Board, which is tracking state figures, says that about 180,000 have completed applications for insurance and, of those, 50,000 have enrolled.”

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115230/obamacare-implementation-what-feds-got-wrong-states-got-right

    • toc1234

      As for the federal exchange, the Washington Post’s Juliet Elperin reports it’s so crowded, nobody goes there anymore: “The number of visitors to the federal government’s HealthCare.gov Web site plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use.”

      Elperin notes further that “less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week”–a total of just 36,000. The Daily Caller puts the figure at 0.4%.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      More people have signed up to live on a Mars colony than Obamacare.

    • Fredlinskip

      Part of GOP’s recent reckless abandon may be due to their realization that citizens of other states can more easily access the benefits of ACA, which when you get down to nuts and bolts, reflects poorly on their “leadership”.

  • lmmaloney

    If the Dems have any sense, they’ll bring back Howard Dean to the DN and apply the 50-state strategy that won the 2006 and 2008 elections. Offer centrist Democrat candidates in Republican districts, and give Republican voters who can’t stomach the Tea Party a candidate they can support!

    • J__o__h__n

      The 50 state strategy was a waste of money. The districts are gerrymandered and it is the Republican primary that determines the winner. Centrist Democrats are not going to win solid Republican districts.

      • lmmaloney

        That’s exactly the kind of defeatist thinking that got the Dems clobbered in 2002, 2004, and 2010. Compare the results. In 2006 and 2008, when Dean was in charge of the DNC, Democrats took the House, the Senate, and the presidency. Then Rahm Emmanuel saw to it that he was turfed out, and legions of House Dems he had helped get elected in “Republican” districts lost. Yes, redistricting hurts, but sensible Republicans need somewhere to go.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          See Scott Brown -ex Senator

          • Ray in VT

            What bills is he pushing in the Senate these days?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            How “kings and queens” has been talking to?

          • fun bobby
          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You nasty fellow. You coerced me to click on that. You could have picked the Mrs. Brown music video to link. :)

          • fun bobby

            I am kinda disappointed only the link showed up above and not the picture

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t see the pictures in firefox until I refresh the page.

        • J__o__h__n

          They won swing districts not conservative districts that they had no chance in. They lost them in a reaction to Obamacare and because Democrats are too stupid to vote in mid term elections.

          • lmmaloney

            You’re right up to a point. That’s exactly why we need a relentless push from the DNC and state parties. See the Cook Report cited below: more districts are now “swing,” even if only temporarily. The massing of money on the other side is a serious obstacle (Dems didn’t lose in 2010 because of the ACA, but because of the hysteria the Republicans ginned up.) But a lot of business and financial people are spooked by what just happened, so if Dems are smart they will start collecting from them.

        • Ray in VT

          But there were other factors that worked in their favor during those years, namely an unpopular President and his war.

          • lmmaloney

            True, but the shutdown and debt ceiling cliffhanger aren’t exactly popular. The Dems better not let people forget it! Of course, being Democrats, they’ll probably go back to “being nice” and giving concessions like stupid, pointless, hurtful cuts to Social Security that will make people throw up their hands and give up on them.

          • Fredlinskip

            Good point.
            Hope not.
            But, their not giving in to the recent threat to drive country off cliff, if ransom not paid, has done much to reconfirm my commitment to Party.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=32606540 Brian Belgard

          You seem to be leaving out one very important factor in this assesment.

          George W. Bush.

          ’06 and ’08 were blood lettings for frustration with the top of the ticket (he wasn’t actually on the ticket in either election but still the face of the party)

          Also, the 50 state strategy did a great job of grabbing seats that were comlpetely unsustainable once the boogie man was gone. Voters realised throwing the bums out did nothing to substantially help economic performance and became disillusioned and went back to voting with their guts.

          • lmmaloney

            And this year we’ve got the do-nothing (except damage) Republican House. Better two years (or four, if the 2016 Dem nominee has good coattails) than more of this! The 2008-2010 Congress passed lots of important legislation, not least the ACA, that’s going to stick and do good things. Since then, Congress has passed how many significant laws? Zero. NONE! When you’ve been driven into the ditch, just getting back on the road is a positive step!

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=32606540 Brian Belgard

            That’s actually a really good point.

            While I think my original statement about the “horse race” issues of a 50 state strategy is still sound, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the end goal is improving peoples lives and enacting policy, not on “owning” all three branches of governemnt.

            It would be refreshing if more politicians took a results oriented approach to running campaigns, rather then just focusing on staying in power.

    • fun bobby

      yeeeeaaaahh!

    • StilllHere

      He’s been labeled as unstable by the press, I’m not sure there’s been enough time for the public to forget.

      • lmmaloney

        Well, that’s just silly, and manufactured by the right-wing media. Anybody who’s ever seen him, talked to him, listened to him (except for the single two-second yell hyped by the media, but inaudible to those in the room) knows he’s social liberal, but fiscal conservative. (Just ask VT Democrats about his budget-balancing, against their wishes!) Howie’s really tight with a nickel, so to accuse him of wasting money is truly ludicrous!

      • lmmaloney

        Anyway, I’m talking DNC chair, not an office to which people are elected by the public, and not much in the public eye, anyway.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Some folks haven’t seen the story about the Yale study and the Professor’s self reflection on his own biases and the media bias about the Tea Party. So here it is….

    “Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him.

    “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I
    pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote.

    “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with
    theTea Party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.””

    http://www.politico.com/story/

    • StilllHere

      Wow, I’m guessing Tom and Jack will ignore; but that is certainly interesting!

    • lobstahbisque

      Again?

  • ianway

    The “free press’s” apparent inability to continue to clarify the facts of who brought about this shameful debacle, and their continued unwillingness to not confront the LIE that all parties are equally culpable, is a big part of our continued movement toward a failed state, if we are not there already.

    • StilllHere

      Exactly Democrats wouldn’t negotiate, they should get all the blame! But dont hold your breath waiting for the MSM to do the right thing.

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

        We don’t “negotiate” laws in this country. We have representatives who vote on bills, for or against. Once a bill becomes law, it is…a law. I guess Republicans don’t understand this simple fact.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Dred Scott was once ‘settled law’.

          • axonneuron

            Apples and oranges.

          • Fredlinskip

            Thanks to Conservatives.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Gee wasn’t it the Republicans who finally un-settled it.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. Those darned liberal Republicans.

          • lobstahbisque

            Lincoln was the first RINO.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think so. Republican just meant something much much different back then. Generally speaking it was northern, liberal, in favor of the exercise of federal power, as opposed to the southern, conservative and states rights Democratic party.

          • lobstahbisque

            (I know) but thanks for reiterating this fact.

          • Ray in VT

            I figured that you probably did.

          • Fredlinskip

            Yes it was, but please understand “Conservatives” have switched party affiliations during our History.
            GOP Theodore Roosevelt was first to create first “officially” Progressive ticket for example.
            The strongest “Conservative” bastion has always resided in some of the Southern States

          • Ray in VT

            and those most southern and conservative states have reaped such great benefits from those policies. A true inspiration to the rest of us.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            7 quick replies. LOL

            I must of hit a nerve.

          • Fredlinskip

            No I’m just home, recovering from illness, killing time.

          • Ray in VT

            Just making sure that the northern liberals get their due, no matter what party they were a part of.

        • StilllHere

          You don’t appear to understand how a democracy works nor have any appreciation of history. Many laws are ammended or repealed. I hope you don’t vote.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Right. And Republicans tried 41 times to repeal the ACA and they failed each time.
            So Bubba, take your arrogant snark and shove it; obviously you have experience with that.

          • keltcrusader

            He is a pathetic troll, Renee, feel free to ignore him. That is what most of us do.

          • Fredlinskip

            Have at it, but don’t bring down your country in the process.

        • axonneuron

          And if you don’t like a law you have to to muster the votes to overturn it. Not hold the country hostage.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Read Madison in Federalist #58.

          • axonneuron

            Madison seems to be worrying about the majority rule aspect. What’s your take away?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Madison thought it was appropriate for the House to use the power of the purse as a counter to executive overreach — like changing a law via executive order instead of going back to congress to request those changes. All part of the balance of powers.

          • axonneuron

            I’ve heard that also. Do think he really think he meant it to go to this extreme? Bringing the country to a grinding halt?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t think the country was brought to a grinding halt. Only 17% of the government was shut down. Yes, Cruz started this but it could have been quickly stopped if Obama hadn’t been so obstinate. His behavior was really unprecedented. You have to be honest — the GOP quickly weakened their counter offer to having Congress live with the full Obamacare and a one year delay of the mandate. Both popular. He couldn’t work with that?

            He also refused to sign the bills the GOP sent to the house that funded the bulk of that 17%. Why? Because he thought it gave himself political advantage.

            There is plenty of blame to go around.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Actually, no. The blame lies squarely on the Republicans. This new narrative that you right wingers are trying to spin is just more of the same lies and distortion we have been hearing for years.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            What did I say that was lie or distortion?

            I’d be happy to correct the record if you could offer new facts into evidence.

          • axonneuron

            I believe the President was looking at this in the context of all the interactions he’s had across the aisle. He’s negotiated in the past with the Republican party and gotten very little or nothing in return.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I disagree. I believe he (incorrectly) saw this as an opportunity to win the house in 2014. There is a strong argument the GOP played into his hand. He knows he won’t get his agenda through (carbon tax, immigration, etc.) without a change in the house in 2014.

          • axonneuron

            Well, that’s your opinion.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yup.

          • Fredlinskip

            Obama didn’t initiate the foolish and damaging course of action that was Shutdown/ceiling crisis.
            It’s real difficult to dress it up as anything but colossal stupidity.
            But not to worry, those that live in Fox “News” and right-wing radio bubble won’t skip a beat.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obama didn’t start it but he easily could have stopped it.
            And if you watched Fox they railed against the Cruz style tactics from day get go. They brought out the big guns every day — Hume, Krauthammer, Rove — all against the tactics.

          • Fredlinskip

            Too bad they couldn’t convince Boehner

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Even McCain finally said Obama has gone too far.

          • axonneuron

            And then their’s the tone of the last 5 years. The Republican and the Tea Party splinter group have demonstrated pretty clearly they detest anything the President puts forward and is only interested in obstructing him at pretty much at every turn. Remember Mitch McConnell and his dedication to make the President a one-termer? The atmosphere for negotiation has been poisenous(sp?) for a while.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, it has been poisonous!! But is really any worse than the hate on the ‘illegitimate’ Bush. And once the Dems won over congress in 2006 he did work them. He prided himself in not vetoing bills.

            Also, IMHO Obama did himself no favors by not building bridges like has been famously reported with Gingrich/Clinton and O’Neil/Reagan. I chalk it up to lack of leadership experience but maybe it is something else.

          • axonneuron

            The President came into the office with the intent of working across the aisle publicly said so but was rebuffed at pretty much every turn. As I said before, the Republicans publicly stated they were dedicated to making him a one term president. He tried to build bridges and they were immediately blockaded. He took a lot of heat from his side of the aisle for making the attempt, if you recall.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Hmmm. Actions speak louder words. He was emboldened by solid majorities in the House and Senate in 2009. When meeting with the GOP on the stimulus his response to feedback was “we won”.

            He then brought in congress for an ‘outreach’ meeting and used it to publicly berate the appointed spokesman for the other side — Paul Ryan.

            No, he did a lot damage in this first two years. And then after the GOP won the house in 2010 he never engaged in the serious outreach and bridge building that previous presidents did.

          • lobstahbisque

            Another bridge to nowhere…..

          • axonneuron

            It wasn’t just the government. There was a large ripple effect, all the contractors that were thrown out of work, the effect on the market and so forth.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I never said that there wasn’t an impact.

            You have to concede that Reid and Obama believed they had the political advantage and they used it to full effect. They maximized the pain by shutting down open air memorials and denying death benefits to war dead even though it was in the bill that was passed the week before the shutdown.

            I blame the press. They could have done more to pressure Obama to negotiate once it was clear that the GOP was offering token face saving counter offers.

          • axonneuron

            The President/Senator Reid shut nothing down. The funds were denied the agencies who administer these items. Pretty simple. And WWII memorial was open one day later. The death benefits were taken up by private organizations. And frankly, the President had already negotiated on the ACA; the penalty to businesses was delayed for a year. It’s just been clear to anyone that the real goal of the TeaParty has always been to derail the ACA and he probably felt he’d given enough ground already.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The WWII memorial was open only to vets under a 1st amendment exemption. Not the public. The Lincoln memorial and all the other memorials were open in all previous shutdowns. How do you explain the park service put up cones to block the viewing of Mt. Rushmore on the side of the highway. They spent money to keep people OUT.

            ” the President had already negotiated on the ACA;”
            When did he go back to Congress for that change? I missed that. He has no authority to unilaterally change a law.

          • Fredlinskip

            Yeah I sure wish Obama hadn’t been so obstinate as to defend Constitution like he did.
            Then we could look forward, to infinite amount of extortionist practices in the future.
            You’re a hoot.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Defend the Constitution?

            You are a hoot. Some serious kool-aid drinking.

          • Fredlinskip

            GOP damaged our nation’s economy because they disapproved of ACA, a law brought on by constitutional procedure and all branches of Gov.
            And you think that supports Constitution?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK, Obama refused to sign ANY of the partial funding bills after the military. That refusal clearly ‘damaged’ the economy and went against the ‘constitution’ using your logic. BTW – the usual order is to fund the government with piecemeal bills. It was Obama and Reid that insisted on doing it differently.

            Why? Politics!!

          • Fredlinskip

            Obama refused to allow GOP to fulfill the not-so-clever strategy to simply fund just their favorite programs.
            You either fund Gov or you don’t

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Dodge. That isn’t the usual order.

            There are two sides to every coin. You can only see it one way.

          • Fredlinskip

            I see it that GOP closed Gov and then attempted to reopen just the programs they liked.
            Sure seems like that’s what happened.

          • Fredlinskip

            No he didn’t intend that when all constitutional processes were exhausted to start taking prisoners- just like he wouldn’t have approved of Civil War.

        • fun bobby

          if that was true we would still have prohibition and slavery

          • Ray in VT

            Both of those were changed by amending the Constitution. Perhaps the opponents of the ACA should go with that approach.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB
          • Ray in VT

            Let me know how that works out.

          • fun bobby

            good point. this should be much easier to fix like repealing the “tech tax”

          • fun bobby

            I did not know the ACA was a constitutional amendment. I thought it was a regular law that can be repealed whenever congress and the president want to

          • Ray in VT

            I did not say that it was. You merely cited two instances which were solved via the amendment process. By all means, let the House vote on repealing the ACA. It worked the last 42 times, right?

          • fun bobby

            its funny that you think the solution to their problem is to give up. perhaps they will give up when you all give up on gun control. how many times did gays fail before they got the right to marry?

          • Ray in VT

            I think that gun control is a poor comparison, as a number of measures have succeeded in passing historically, it’s just that today’s NRA fueled fringe wants to dig its heels in even on things like background checks, which enjoys some pretty broad support. I think that gay marriage is a somewhat better comparison. If they want to keep butting their heads against a wall by passing bills that won’t pass, then let them, but it won’t change the result at present. Getting different people in office could, but that option failed until 2017 when Romney went down in flames.

          • fun bobby

            we already have background checks. the NRA represents the interests of a large swath of Americans the minority of whom actually pay dues every year. Are you lamenting Romney’s loss?

          • Ray in VT

            Except that there are plenty of holes in the background check system, and I don’t know if I would say that the NRA represents the interests of a large swath of Americans. They claim to, but as a gun owner I have never felt that they were looking out for my interests. I am just happy that Romney, along with Allen West, were spared the indignity of a public sector job.

          • fun bobby

            i think it could be improved if we actually got states like Massachusetts to share their databases on mental illness adjudications. the “universal” thing is a red herring. no one who sells guns to criminals will go to a background check. its already very illegal to do that so making it more illegal will not help and it will make it so some other wise legitimate sales would become illegitimate and it would also increase the price of guns which is clearly the goal. there are already background checks at gun shows. every loonie who has shot something up recently has passed the background check or stolen their guns from someone who did. as a gun owner in Vt if you want to find out what gun control is like move here and see how you like it.

          • axonneuron

            Slavery repeal required a war, we don’t need to go there. Prohibition required repeal of an amendment, which happened because a majority of people were against it. Not because 40 members of the House held the country hostage.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The majority of the people are against Obamacare — the Dems are ignoring them.

          • axonneuron

            What are you basing that on?

          • jimino

            They oppose “Obamacare” but favor all of its component elements.

            Any poll on the subject more a reflection of widespread ignorance than what people actually favor.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Excellent. Just like when the policies of the Tea Party are polled they rank very high but the Tea Party brand is much lower.

            Hmmmm. I guess there are ‘marketing’ problems on both sides.

          • Fredlinskip

            They favor ACA- but not Obamacare

          • fun bobby

            repealing an amendment requires much more than a simple majority. do you think using the term hostage advances your point?

          • axonneuron

            Only because it’s true.

          • fun bobby

            are you unable to separate metaphor from reality?

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            What part of Republicans tried and failed to repeal the ACA 41 times do you not understand?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Supporters of gay marriage failed many, many times but they kept trying. Do you have a problem with gay marriage supporters?

          • lobstahbisque

            Gay marriage supporters have God on their side, republicans are just limp-wristed gammy-handed wimps.

          • fun bobby

            the upvote is just because I had to laugh at the term gammy-handed

          • lobstahbisque

            Thanks.

          • lobstahbisque

            The gays have gone to the courts and won cases. We should submit the ACA to court scrutiny and see what happens.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Ha ha. Same sort of false comparison we have come to expect from you right wingers.

          • fun bobby

            and how many attempts were there to end slavery before that succeeded?

          • jimino

            Did those get repealed during a debt limit negotiation? I gotta read that history book I guess. What is the title?

          • pete18

            No, a civil war. Thank god they didn’t have a government shutdown to end slavery, hoo-boy that would have been extreme.

          • Fredlinskip

            Dang “resistant to change” Conservatives (see dictionary definition) unwilling to give up the free lunch their abominable practices provided.

    • fun bobby

      it takes two to tango

  • TFRX

    Means-testing Medicare is just another way to turn it into a meme that “Medicare is something poor people get”. And we all know what happens next.

    (PS For those who don’t know what happens next, ask the food stamp-receiving working-class whites.)

    • fun bobby

      free stuff? or fraud?

    • hennorama

      TFRX – Medicare financing is a significant issue, and is far more urgent than Social Security. In my view, everything has to be on the table, to ensure Medicare’s financial stability.

      40 percent of Medicare costs are paid out of general Federal Revenues, 38 percent from payroll taxes, 13 percent from beneficiary premiums, and the remaining 9 percent paid by states, taxes on Social Security, and interest on the trust funds.

      This is in marked contrast to Social Security, which gets little to no general Federal Revenues (except the recent years when payroll taxes were reduced).

      There are four parts to Medicare:

      Medicare Part A, Hospital Insurance; (this gets virtually no Federal general revenue)

      Medicare Part B, Medical Insurance; (72% funded from Federal general revenue)

      Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage), which was formerly known as Medicare + Choice; and

      Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage. (74% funded from Federal general revenue)

      See:
      http://kff.org/medicare/fact-sheet/medicare-spending-and-financing-fact-sheet/

      There’s a great report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, titled “Policy Options To Sustain Medicare For The Future” available here:

      http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/8402.pdf

      Just so you know, the KFF paper is over 200 pages. They tackle the following five major areas, and discuss a variety of options in each:

      Medicare Eligibility, Beneficiary Costs, and Program Financing

      Medicare Payments to Plans and Providers

      Delivery System Reform and Care for High-Need Beneficiaries

      Medicare Program Structure

      Medicare Program Administration

      • TFRX

        If only you had the ear of Beltway types, I wouldn’t need to say this again and again:

        People who conflate Medicare and SocSec are willfully ignorant. Problem is, there is a surfeit of lazy-ass morons in the media enabling those who want to destroy it (because they’re successful programs which got generations of folks to vote for Dems) and want to “manage” the program monies privately (less efficiently than they are now).

        For these reasons, “entitlement reform” is alomst a red flag. It’s pretty much something that Beltway Inbreds all agree on to sound “concerned” and not be left behind by the Catfood Commission types. And damned if any of them have to live with what they’re doing.

  • ThirdWayForward

    The Tea party will be with us as long as the Koch Brothers keep pumping money into right wing institutions that can fuel primary threats to more moderate Republicans.

    They have injected over $250 million to animate the Tea Party threat, and this money is the only way that a relatively small faction of radical conservatives can have so much leverage over the Republican Party.

    I learned recently that the father of the Koch Brothers was the founder of the John Birch Society, which was the last large scale wacko-psycho movement on the Right. This explains a great deal, and it also means that it is unlikely the Kochs will come to their senses and put a stop to this nonsense.

    We are in for a rough ride. The Tea Party and their plutocrat puppet-masters have learned nothing. Look for a re-run in January.

    • StilllHere

      Somebody’s got to talk about the Detroitification of our country!

      • jimino

        “Detroitification”

        Is that when you encourage businesses to destroy good-paying US jobs by shipping them overseas, leading to great financial gain for a tiny number of the financial elite, followed by the well off essentially abandoning any obligation to the well being of their locale?

        If so, we agree for once.

        • StilllHere

          No, it’s definitely not. I’m talking about Detroit, Michigan, in the real world. Where runaway government spending dragged a city to the brink of extinction.

          • Fredlinskip

            Too bad they didn’t receive some of the runaway benefits of the huge pork barrel spending that many Red state cities received during W’s reign.
            In the interests of austerity, this spending immediately dried up at the election of Obama.

          • StilllHere

            Really, seems like the deficits ballooned under Barry! Democrats paid off somebody with the money they stole from hard-working Americans but who?

          • fun bobby

            I have a feeling whoever it was was too big to fail

          • TFRX

            Your “seems like” is just another reason why nobody should follow you out of a burning building.

      • fun bobby

        I am more concerned about the chicagofication of MA

        • StilllHere

          Well, the Chicagoification of DC is complete, and the path of least resistance appears to be MA for sure. Good luck.

          • fun bobby

            hopefully we can get this carpetbagger devil out of here before MA is unrecognizable

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How did a good guy like Charlie Baker lose? Oh yeah, the spoiler Cahill.

  • MrNutso

    Come on Jack, how is winning by 11% a bad election result?

    • northeaster17

      He negleted to mention that the Tea Party people tend to come out to vote in greater numbers than other demo’s. So the 20 point margin shrinking should not have been a surprise. If this was a Repub primary situation Booker would have lost big time.

  • TFRX

    Jack says “Right wingers don’t have to take draconian steps now about the ACA”. And “the government has to get people to sign up”.

    Yeah, and half the government is dedicated to making it fail. Nobody from the red-run, poor-health-result states are sitting their with their hands in the pockets saying “We’ll see what happens”.

    They are actively sabotaging this.

    This is akin to the NOAA issuing a tornado or blizzard warning, and the local governors saying “It’ll be fine. Stay put. Don’t cancel your cookout”.

    They’ve spent years pissing in the punch bowl. Now they ask why it tastes funny?

    Please, righties in government, stop “helping”.

    • Fredlinskip

      I wonder if part of the GOP desperation that would cause them to manufacture crisis, is due to the fact that some states governments have so thoroughly rejected ACA that many of their citzens will soon be envious of other states’ that have taken full advantage of some of the better aspects offered through ACA.

  • J__o__h__n

    The NJ date was set to make sure that Christie didn’t have to run against an expected Booker voter turnout. It wasn’t set to help the Republican candidate. And it resulted in needless costs for a special election scheduled on another date – very fiscally responsible.

  • katy jones

    re the ACA rollout.. I feel it is incredibly naïve for anyone to think that in a country this size, an undertaking of this enormity and complexity is going to roll out with anything but many, many problems. Your average US citizen can’t understand why they might have to sit in a doctor’s office waiting room for half an hour past their appointment time — they can’t possibly grasp the reality of this situation, and hence will get up in arms completely unreasonably. In such a situation, a “heads are going to roll” stance would just be so much posturing for the uninformed. Much rolling up of sleeves and trying to tackle the problems is needed. The transition from theory to practice is a minefield. No amount of preparation could have made such a thing ‘smooth’.

    • axonneuron

      Well said.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Central planning of 18% of the economy and something as important as the health system was never a good idea.

      They can’t get the RMV service model correct imagine scaling that to something as complex as the health system.

    • JGC

      On the other hand, we are able to see examples where the rollout proceeded fairly well, like Kentucky and Washington state, and a few others, so I guess there are lessons that can be learned here. As an enthusiastic Obamacare supporter and a dismayed observer of its rocky rollout to the greater portion of the country, it gives me no joy to say it could have been done better.

      CGI Group was not meeting its goals in the progression of their contract. I just saw they placed a full page advertisement in the Globe and Mail last weekend, saying they are looking for 900 new IT and support hires, to reply to their Human Resources dept. and they promise you will “be contacted within 48 hours”. There is obviously some sort of desperation going on here, I have never seen them do an ad like this before, and in fact even though they are one of the largest IT companies in the world (four times bigger than Blackberry at its height), they specifically prefer to “operate under the radar”. HHS has got to hold them accountable.

    • MrStang

      A difficult task, but already thousands of families have signed up for health insurance in the past two weeks when that choice, that opportunity did not exist before.
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-08/california-tops-28-000-in-health-exchange-enrollment.html

      Thousands of people with pre-existing conditions are no longer shut out completely from access to healthcare. Thousands of children will get their first health physical. No it is not perfect (I prefer a single-payer system in the US, like medicare for all) but it is far far better than what these know-nothing Koch/Petersen TeaPublican Zombies have in mind for this country.

      As We Stay Strong the axis of greed, ignorance, and inhumanity will be defeated.

      • Fredlinskip

        “Axis of Evil”?

  • SuziVt

    Are the democrats going to let another opportunity slip by without pointing out to the country how these incredibly selfish tea party nuts DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!!! They care about themselves! They HAVE healthcare! How easy for them to stick with the old system that leaves so many people with nothing. Those aren’t even the one’s that are on or below the poverty level. The ones being forgotten are the ones that work hard, but don’t make enough to pay for living expenses and health insurance. The tea party doesn’t care that so many people lost pay during the furlough. It didn’t just affect government workers, far from it. The tea party republicans remind me of some corporations and their lawyers that try to figure out the cost vs loss of life, as in drug side effects (aka deaths) or automobile glitches. (If we have a recall, it will cost us millions. On the other hand, if we let it slide there will only be a small number of casualties, costing us very little.) We are small potatoes and trying out a new aggressive healthcare for all is not cost effective according to them. Shutting down the “non essential” government workers was viewed to be cost effective. Only costing us $20 billion also deemed cost effective. What on earth are they going to decide is cost effective next? Those in congress already have their gravy train pass for life. They’ve actually been determined to be “essential” (lucky for them), they have an incredible pension (VERY LUCKY) and they have a sweet health insurance policy (SO LUCKY) and the tax payers are paying for ALL of IT! They also get to vote on their pay raises. I really need to talk to my administrator. LOL

  • ianway

    1. The Senate (Dems and Reps) came up with a budget deal they agreed upon, including numerous concessions on behalf of the Dems in respect to what the House Reps wanted in order to have the bill pass. 2. On the basis of the refusal of some 40 members of the House, the House rejected the deal, and put forward a demand that The Affordable Healthcare Act be repealed. Everyone agrees that if the original bill as negotiated was allowed to come to the floor it would have passed. Instead, Congress, the President, and the country was held hostage by some 40 people demanding a law of the land which had withstood some 40 challenges prior to this (based on Constitutional processes for dealing with disagreements) be repealed. 3. Obama would not agree to repeal a law that the Congress enacted, that the Supreme Court upheld, that the President campaigned on, and on the basis of which he was re-elected by a large majority of the American electorate. 4. Everything that happened since devolved from this original demand of a tiny minority of Tea Party fanatics (I use the word advisedly) who have the arrogance to believe they are right and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or believes, and the ordinary processes of governance and the well-being of the country and citizens at large be damned. It was not about budgetary disagreements, it was about the Affordable Care Act. There is no equivalency here.

    • William

      Obama changed the law after the Robert’s court rewrote part of it (changed fine to a tax) and gave out exemptions. Even his largest support base, unions, objected to. it. So why not give a clean Obama-care law with everyone being treated the same? Is it not odd, a guy that runs on a policy of “making outcomes fair”, decided to make his law unfair?

      • Fredlinskip

        It was never about “delaying” ACA.
        If you take issue with legality, take it up with Supreme Court.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Actually it isn’t clear that the courts can resolve this kind of separation of powers issue. The remedy is the power of the purse within congress.

          • Fredlinskip

            Perhaps, but it isn’t about power of extortion.
            Might as well go kidnap Obama’s kids, if that’s your strategy.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You go to far.
            Our system is about checks and balances. What balances the House power is elections every two years. That concern is why they caved within 48 hours. Obama didn’t seize it because he thought he could get more.

          • Fredlinskip

            They “caved” because delaying individual mandate was not going to happen.
            And then GOP let debacle drag on for 16 days to the country’s detriment.

        • William

          So, it’s ok to “tailor” a law for certain people, or what is the old expression “separate but equal”..oh yes….lets go back to those “good old days”.

      • ianway

        I think everybody knows the motion was not to change the law, to make it better,to fix problems, but to repeal it, a motion which the Congress has already spend a ridiculous amount of time having to address, and expressing in their rejection of repeal the will of the majority. The Tea Party isn’t interested in the regular operations of Congress and the will of the majority expressed through it. They’re like the disgruntled employee who holds other employees hostage on the argument that the company has done him some wrong and claiming that he has no other means of redress. The arrogance of such a point of view is breathtaking.

        • William

          Are Liberals interested in regular operations of Congress? “This war is lost”. per Senator Reid this is a great statement to make during the war in Iraq. Was he trying to encourage the enemy we were fighting in Iraq? I would say that is how it was received by them. He is pretty arrogant don’t you think?

          • jimino

            You think we won? Who did we defeat?

          • William

            We eliminated a madman who if alive now would be buying or building nukes to counter Iran. Bill Clinton himself said he had to go and he got his signature bill, The Iraq Liberation Act, passed in 1998 to ensure the madman would be removed.

    • Fredlinskip

      It WAS about ACA.
      When it quickly was realized that they couldn’t “win” on that front- there was a sleight of hand maneuver to divert attention to Budget by the abrupt formation of a GOP Super Duper Committee.
      “We’re not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

      • fun bobby

        after any successful negotiation both sides should feel they got what they wanted

        • Fredlinskip

          Negotiations shouldn’t be held under threat of extortion.
          Bad idea.

          • StilllHere

            Some extortion is always implied.

          • fun bobby

            hyperbole is a bad idea

          • Fredlinskip

            What word(s) would you prefer

          • fun bobby

            actually what you just said sounds much less hysterical. that was not hard was it? it would also apply to either side of the most recent political theater

          • Fredlinskip

            Glad to oblige.
            Still… only one side initiated the debacle, and (ahem…) held country hostage in protest of legislation that had passed all branches of gov.

          • fun bobby

            the “sides” are an illusion to distract people

          • Fredlinskip

            ahem…only one si.., I mean party, threatened to bring about what likely have been cataclysmic consequences to American Economy unless legislation that had passed all branches of Gov was severely curtailed.
            End of quote.

          • fun bobby

            clearly distracting the masses with a two party façade is an effective tactic

  • MrStang

    The ‘Historically Stupid…” Koch/Petersen Teapublican Zombies must be voted OUT OUT OUT in 2014

    “Cook Report expands the House playing field: Also in 2014 news, the Cook Political Report moved additional House seats into its competitive column. “In the interim, we are shifting our House Topline from a Republican gain of two to seven seats to a minimal net change of up to five seats in either party’s direction, with larger Democratic gains possible if Republicans continue to pursue unpopular and self-destructive strategies,” the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman writes.”

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/18/21023897-first-thoughts-measuring-the-shutdowns-impact-in-virginia?lite

  • Ray in VT

    Apparently now that Fox doesn’t have a government shutdown to downplay it has gone back to pushing Benghazi myths.

    • tbphkm33

      Got to keep the propaganda/brainwashing pipeline open.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Yes sadly the shutdown didn’t interrupt NPR.

        • Ray in VT

          It’s an essential service in fighting the right-wing echo chamber.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            And Mao devoted more resources to propaganda than on food during the cultural revolution. And many starved. But they were expendable.

          • lobstahbisque

            Mao.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you.

          • Ray in VT

            Just think what good some of the backers of the right wing media entertainment complex could do if they moved their money to food instead of misinformation.

          • fun bobby

            actually glenn back has done just that with massive food drives all over the country

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, so he’s used the highly profitable vehicle of misinformation and conspiracy spreading to do more than just present a questionable view of history? At least some good may come from his shenanigans.

          • fun bobby

            what’s funny is that while the president was on TV lying blatantly about a video being the cause of the incident at bengazi glenn beck had already identified the CIA connections that would not be revealed by the mainstream media for months. he says a lot of crazy stuff. he is a self anointed “radio clown”. his fox news show was terrible. I used to listen more when I was in the car all day his radio show is actually pretty funny, even he hated his fox news show.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Just think of the starving children that could be feed if some of the environmentalist would speak the truth and demand the removal of the ethanol requirement and let the price of corn return to normal.

            http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/09/09/eu-biofuels-boondoggle-raising-global-food-prices/

          • lobstahbisque

            fed….environmentalists

          • fun bobby

            he may have been suggesting a soylent green type of solution for those starving kids

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thanks again.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, it’s been an unfortunate side effect for somewhat reducing GHG emissions from fuel.

          • fun bobby

            and making the fuel so it eats up small engines

          • northeaster17

            Hemp……….

          • fun bobby

            yeah whats up with obamas DEA continuing to prevent ND farmers from growing hemp? someone should kick him out of the choome gang

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Yes please.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You are channeling Hillary now.
      “What difference does it make”
      #benghazi
      #4 dead Americans
      #2016

      • Ray in VT

        Well, Fox News did help build that. #distortionbycropping

        • fun bobby

          #letsfindoutwhattheciawassellingtowho
          did I just tweet something? do you just put a # before something?

          • Ray in VT

            That is a very legitimate question to be asking. It is just a shame that the focus has been on other issues. And yes, I believe that all that you have to do is throw out a # and then something after it. The magic of technology.

          • fun bobby

            beck was all over it

          • StilllHere

            You’re driving the twittersphere and NSA crazy with these tweets of yours!

          • fun bobby

            have you seen the NSA southpark yet?

      • Mike_Card

        She resigned. Even after her comment got taken totally out of context. WTF are you on about??

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Well I was simply responding to the silly angst that Fox news is trying to hold the regime accountable on transparency.

          We should hold politicians accountable no matter which party they belong to. It is clear this administration has not been forthcoming on benghazi, fast and furious and the IRS. Stonewall city. I don’t care if it might be embarrassing. Just like we should have demanded accountability on how the Bush regime got WMD wrong.

        • WorriedfortheCountry
          • hennorama

            The most telling part of the exchange between Press Secretary Jay Carney and Fox News Washington Correspondent James Rosen was when Carney said (at about 6:40 into the video in your link),

            “…and I know that we’re creating an exchange here for Fox, and I’m mindful of that …”

            It was also interesting to watch the man seated in front of Rosen, who seemed to be getting a headache and apeared to be stifling a yawn as this exchange wore on. And on. And on.

            With absolutely no new information.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT — are they still showing the same ‘fire and smoke’ video they seem to have been playing in a loop for 13 months?

      • Ray in VT

        Probably, but to that they have added their anonymous “expert” who makes claims counter to those of the DOD regarding the availability of support.

  • hennorama

    Please answer the following with the first thing that comes to mind.

    QUESTION: What is Obamacare?

    What I find interesting is that President Obama and supporters of the PPACA have allowed others to negatively define Obamacare. This is in marked contrast to the way the Obama campaign acted quickly, and was able to negatively define Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential campaign.

    • Fredlinskip

      I never understood why Obama from the getgo was so quick to lay claim to the word Obamacare “because he does care”.
      By allowing that moniker, he immediately alienates 1/2 the populace.

      • J__o__h__n

        The half who already didn’t like him were already calling it that. Did liberals claiming that they weren’t “liberals” but “progressives” stop the right from whining about liberals?

        • Fredlinskip

          It doesn’t explain the strange phenomena that so many people approve of ACA than they do Obamacare.

      • hennorama

        Fredlinskip – thanks for your response. You make a good point.

        The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s acronym (PPACA) is unworkable as a publicity tool, as is the shorter ACA acronym.

        The authors should have learned from the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001, AKA the USA PATRIOT Act.

        Or even the proposed DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).

        Oh well.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I’m surprised he allows the media to describe the ACA has his signature achievement — the most important part of his legacy.

      This monstrosity will certainly be a blot on his legacy but I’m sure the paid distortionists(oops, historians) will spin it favorably somehow.

      It is ironic that the only ones trying to save Obama’s legacy now is the Tea Party — by killing this beast.

      • StilllHere

        They’re working overtime already.

        • SuziVt

          Do you EVER try to see both sides objectively? Of course you would call historians “distortionists.” Unless they agree with you on EVERYTHING, they are not to be trusted to document the events as they happened.
          I certainly hope the Obama health care plan works out, because I love this country and I don’t want anyone to suffer, even poor ones that can’t afford to pay for health care insurance. (Don’t blame me, blame my Christian upbringing.) Most new programs have a bumpy ride before they are effective and run smoothly. I can live with that and am willing to make sacrifices to insure fair health care for ALL.
          Don’t flatter yourselves, the tea party is NOT trying to save Obama’s legacy. They want to kill it for the simple reasons, 1. They want to see that Barack Obama is a failed president. 2. They do not want their tax dollars to go to help those less fortunate, financially, than they. They already have good medical insurance and the tea party reps are the most selfish political group in this country, except the underground nazis. Yes, they may be more self serving.

          • northeaster17

            GW Bush still looks abominable in the eyes of history. That’s just one reason the right pushes so hard to destroy a far from perfect Obama. Some might call it revenge. They thought they had Clinton to ease the pain of Nixon.That’s what it’s really about.

          • pete18

            “a far from perfect Obama.”

            Funniest euphemism ever posted in this forum.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Oh no Suzivt’s on to us…

            LOL

          • jimino

            She’s part of a growing cohort, thank God.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t want Obama as a President to fail. However, I do want some of his terrible policies to not be implemented because I believe they will damage the country.

            I was happy when the president appointed the Bowles-Simpson commission. However, I was sorely disappointed when he did NOTHING with their recommendations to attack our long term debt and deficit.

            Regarding the ACA, let’s look at what it is purported to accomplish: 30 million uninsured will now be insured. Those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. The ACA scheme will now cost $2.6T to achieve this goal. There will still be 30 million uninsured after all these costs. There are much cheaper and less invasive ways to accomplish these goals.

            Look at the numerous promises used by the President to garner public support. –like it will save the average family $2500 on their existing insurance. All these promises have been documented as broken. Are we allowed to revisit these broken promises now that the bill has been passed so we can find out what is in it.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323374504578217720567917856
            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/360617/obamacare-snake-oil-charles-c-w-cooke

            No, the Tea Party isn’t this evil Obama hating monster that you believe it is. We are just trying to correct a wrong.

          • SuziVt

            The ACA is not a scheme. You can disagree with it, call it flawed (in your opinion) but it is not a scheme! That’s paranoid thinking. Really, if there are much cheaper, less invasive (by that, I gather, no money out of your pocket to help those less fortunate than you) ways of insuring all Americans, then why hasn’t the republican party presented such break-throughs to the government? Why haven’t I heard of these? (I don’t listen to Fox) What are these more effective health care solutions? And what documentation on “numerous promises broken”?
            If the tea party wants to have it their way all the time, then they have some work to do. They need to get their people elected as a majority in Congress, the Senate, and as president. Until then, they had better learn the art of compromising and listening and working with people that don’t think exactly as they do.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You can do a lot for $2.6T. Oh, by the way, the promised cost of this scheme was $800B. Another broken promise.

            There are many GOP alternative plans out there. Dr. Tom Price, a congressman from GA was promoting his ideas this summer. Dr. Ben Carson has some ideas as well.

            Personally, I would like to see some systemic changes that promote cost reductions, increased competition, transparency in cost and quality. I also find giving states control appealing because local government gives better oversight and accountability. Let CA try single payer if they like. If it works then other states will emulate it.

            We need to drive the cost curve down. Obamacare promised this but has failed.

            http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/tom-price-democrats-will-turn-against-obamacare-85030.html

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            One other thought about broken promises. There will be many unintended consequences. The medical device tax has already caused layoffs in the device industry. There is an incentive for employers to stay below 50 employees. There is another incentive for employers to keep works below 29 hours per week. We are starting to see anecdotes. Documentation will follow.

            You may not like this term but it is a scheme. It is centralized planning. It restricts personal liberty. It is an experiment with 18% of our economy. It was never a good idea.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Suzi, there also appears to be a large flaw with Obamacare. What is to prevent people from paying the $95 fine — wait until they get sick — and then sign up for health insurance? Now that pre-existing conditions are waived there is nothing stopping them.

          • StilllHere

            People would never do that.
            They also don’t take food stamps they’re not entitled to and don’t need, don’t take unemployment when they don’t qualify….

          • keltcrusader

            AMEN

          • fun bobby

            I wonder if those Christians whose faith demands they eschew western medicine will be exempted from the fines for not purchasing it

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — you can see the “exemption from the fee for not having health coverage” here:

            https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

          • fun bobby

            well then we just need to inform the people of the south and they can all get exemptions and then the problem should be solved. if anyone can get an exemption how are we going to “expand the pool” enough that it becomes cheaper for everyone somehow?

      • Ray in VT

        I’ll take the historical community over the “experts” all over talk radio and the conservative media outlets.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Some are better than others in both venues. :)

          • Ray in VT

            That is certainly true of just about every field.

      • fun bobby

        what else is there? is he going to crow about the naked scanners or the NDAA?

        • StilllHere

          The scanners are naked. Are they good looking? I’ve yet to see a good looking TSA agent.

          • fun bobby

            I had a nice thick lesbian patdown once that was pretty great

      • hennorama

        WftC – thank you for responding.

        The PPACA/Obamacare is President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, unless one gives him credit for preventing another Great Depression. President’s seldom get credit for things that DIDN’T happen, however.

        I disagree completely with the remainder of your post.

    • brettearle

      It is still fully, and totally, inexplicable, how bereft the Administration has been–with regard to explanation, clarity, communication, and media sophistication, for ACA.

      And it goes all the way back to the President promising to put the initial hearings on C-Span.

      what’s more, I am still waiting for that summarized pamphlet guide, coming to me by either USPS or else by down-Load PDF.

      • hennorama

        brettearle – thank your for your response.

        The long timeline of the implementation of the PPACA explains part of this issue, but the communication has been horribly inadequate.

        See:
        https://www.healthcare.gov/timeline-of-the-health-care-law/#part=1

        The long rollout, combined with the other issues occurring simultaneously (two wars, preventing another Great Depression, financial reform, saving the US the auto industry, mass shootings, various natural disasters, etc.) explains another part.

        Still, the communication and public education were and are sorely lacking. According to the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2013,

        “…the public’s level of awareness about exactly which provisions are – and are not – included in the health care law has generally not increased in the three and a half years since the law was passed. Of the provisions asked about, only one – the individual mandate – is recognized by a larger share now than in 2010 as being part of the law (79 percent now, up from 71 percent). Levels of awareness of other key provisions have either remained stable or declined over time.”

        See:
        http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2013/

        Sheesh.

    • fun bobby

      a give away to insurance and drug companies?

      • sickofthechit

        There is the 20% rule on overhead costs which while admittedly worse than Medicares 10% or so, it is still a far cry better than “the skys the limit”.

        • fun bobby

          its a great deal for the big insurance companies since now everyone is required to buy

          • StilllHere

            Or risk death! But then there are death panels at the White House. What to do?

          • sickofthechit

            So support Universal Wellness Care as a start. Or support a downward expansion of Medicare (The Best Health Care in the US according to its beneficiaries).

          • fun bobby

            those sound like fine ideas, what does that have to do with the current debacle?

      • hennorama

        fun bobby – your reply is appreciated.

        Indeed, those two industries are likely to see increased overall profits. Whether that’s a “giveaway” is a matter of opinion.

        • fun bobby

          when the government passes a law that dramatically leads to increased profits it is called a giveaway

    • sickofthechit

      A shy first step towards Universal Care?

      • hennorama

        sickofthechit – thank you for both of your replies. Your joke was cute-ish. :-)

        The PPACA was and is a compromise between the failed health care system prior to its enactment and implementation, and what you described as “Universal Care” that is perhaps also known as “single payer.”

        This is a major change and will be disruptive for some time.

        The health care industry is responding to the ACA and is already squeezing costs out of their systems. The trend is toward more vertical integration, with hospital groups AND insurers buying up physician groups. Costs will be wrung out through greater efficiencies and a push to greater productivity.

        Hospitals seem motivated to buy access to physicians, to ensure they have a supply of providers for their system.

        Insurers seem to want to ensure that their members will have continued easy access to primary care providers.

        Both hospitals and insurers foresee a shortage of physicians. Demand for primary care will spike, since the ACA will give millions of previously uninsured people access to health care. What this means for PCPs is yet to be seen. Given the increased demand, there may in fact be at least a short-term uptick in PCP salaries but greater patient loads.

        There are other trends to lower costs, with the the so-called “Docs in a box” retail clinics being one, and the greater use of physician assistants being another. Increased usage of patient care teams is another obvious example, with the idea being an integrated collaborative approach rather than the more traditional physician-centric somewhat dictatorial approach.

        Howard Dean is predicting a boom in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and expects them to start competing in the Healthcare Marketplace in the very near future.

        For more on ACOs, see:

        FAQ On ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained ACO is the hottest three-letter word in health care:

        http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2011/january/13/aco-accountable-care-organization-faq.aspx

        Howard Dean on the ACA and Affordable Care Organizations:

        http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/DeanRe

    • Bruce94

      A step in the right direction when you consider the pre-Obamacare reality in the U.S.–a step toward granting universal access to healthcare, controlling its costs, and maintaining its quality in recognition of what every civilized, advanced country in the world has accepted, that is, healthcare as a human right AND a step based on an approach that uses the existing insurance market and employer-based system as well as a bedrock conservative principle of personal responsibility, otherwise known as the individual mandate.

      • hennorama

        Bruce94 – thanks for your thoughtful response.

        As I wrote to another member of the forum, “The PPACA was and is a compromise between the failed health care system prior to its enactment and implementation, and what you described as “Universal Care” that is perhaps also known as “single payer.”

        “This is a major change and will be disruptive for some time.”

        And quoting a Paul Krugman op-ed, which essentially agrees with your comments:

        “The essence of Obamacare, as of Romneycare, is a three-legged stool of regulation and subsidies: community rating requiring insurers to make the same policies available to everyone regardless of health status; an individual mandate, requiring everyone to purchase insurance, so that healthy people don’t opt out; and subsidies to keep insurance affordable for those with lower incomes.

        “The original Heritage plan from 1989 had all these features.”

        See:
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/conservative-origins-of-obamacare/?_r=0

        Krugman referenced the following site, as “a useful resource for tracking the history of the ideas embodied in the Affordable Care Act.” See Section II. Policy Origins of Individual Mandate:
        http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004182

        Republicans used to support these ideas, but since they were enacted by Democrats, they must now oppose them.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • Bruce94

          Whenever possible, I pay attention to what Krugman has to say, but lately haven’t had the time to read much of his material. I use a news aggregator and don’t peruse the original sources as much as I would like to if I had more time. The Heritage history is interesting and undercuts the assertion by some ACA critics that Obama was uncompromising or failed to incorporate ideas from across the ideological spectrum. Thanks for the link though. I’ll check it out.

    • sickofthechit

      What people with bad grammar who like him say?

      I know, I’m not as funny as I think. My ex-wife told me that. charles a. bowsher

      • StilllHere

        She was right.

  • sickofthechit

    Pundits, talking heads, their assistants, staffs and others who do not qualify for the ACA should stay the hell off the site and quit criticizing it for its poor performance. You are the problem.
    charles a. bowsher

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I’ll agree to your terms if only those who use Obamacare pay for it and if you promise to change Obamacare so it doesn’t muck up the rest of the health care system and economy (like encouraging business to limit hours to below 29/week).

      • sickofthechit

        It seems to me your ire ought to be directed at the businesses who seem to have no compunction about throwing their employees under the bus. charles a. bowsher

        • thequietkid10

          There are thousands of business, each run by different people in different circumstances. There is but one government and one source of law.

          • StilllHere

            … run by an imbecile, at least judging by the results.

        • fun bobby

          should they pay for healthcare for their workers twice? should they pay taxes for govt care and pay premiums for the same care?

          • sickofthechit

            You made my head shake violently. Not out of agreement, but out of disbelief. Ok, clue me in, what are you talking about?

          • fun bobby

            now that the government is subsidizing low income workers healthcare with tax revenue if businesses decided to also pay for insurance premiums they would be paying twice. you are asking businesses to make a decision that goes against their bottom line. for publicly traded companies that’s illegal

    • sameolbs

      Have you sign up yet? Please enlighten us, how much will it cost you?

      • sickofthechit

        Not yet, I am appearing pro se in an important piece of litigation and it has deadlines that must be met. I will be signing up as soon as I get this 75 page brief paired down to the required 25 pages for filing Thursday… I have been uninsured for the last 12+ years so I am looking forward to meeting with my old doctor or whoever is willing to see me. charles a. bowsher

        • fun bobby

          good luck with that. if you need more time and have a good excuse emergency motions to extend time are pretty easy to file. obomacare should only take a few minutes online right?

          • sickofthechit

            They may be easy to file, but if you are constantly going to the judge on the little things, he may not be there when you need him. I was lucky to draw an excellent judge who as far as I have seen and heard rules fairly on everything. That’s all I want, a chance to be heard by an impartial jurist. I am fighting a losing battle, (Sovereign Immunity with maybe a 1% chance of winning), but if you have ever had municipal sewage flowing into your home thousands of gallons at a time you might understand why I am pursuing this. I’m tired of their – well you know what I mean. charles

          • fun bobby

            that’s why I said a good excuse. your opponent will most likely will most likely file a motion for summery judgment. make sure you reply properly as that’s how they beat 90% of pro se litigants

    • fun bobby

      are you claiming that the failures are caused by the people at fox news trying to sign up?

      • sickofthechit

        They certainly aren’t helping. Do the math.

        • fun bobby

          yes doing the math is a good idea.in total how many “Pundits, talking heads, their assistants, staffs and others” do you think there are?

          • StilllHere

            I would question their computer skills. Aren’t they luddites? Look elsewhere compiracy theorists!

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Does anyone else know a person that is getting their hours cut because of the ACA?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I know of several people who lost their jobs because of the ACA medical device tax. 5% cut across the board to get ready for it.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    hennorama, as our resident treasury watcher, is there anything to that rumor that the US debt has increased $328B in one day?

    • hennorama

      WorriedfortheCountry – thank you for your question, although I must decline the title of “resident treasury watcher,” as I am merely a casual observer.

      Please allow me to clarify your question, as the response depends on your definition of “US debt.”

      Not to get too technical, but there are two debt measures published by the Treasury Dept. – Total Public Debt Outstanding, and Total Public Debt Subject to Limit. As explained previously, these differ slightly. The latter was part what of the most recent “clown show” hubbub was all about. Anyone interested in the differences should go to:

      http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_publicdebt.htm#GenInfo

      By the way, the debt limit was not actually increased by “the deal” that was struck, but instead was SUSPENDED until February 7, 2014.

      Here are the most recently released debt figures as of October 17, 2013, and the increases compared to the previous day. All figures are rounded to the nearest $ million:

      Total Public Debt Outstanding: $17.075590 Trillion (less prior balance $16.747361 T) = $0.328229 T increase. ($328.229 Billion)

      Total Public Debt Subject to Limit: $17.027544 T (less prior balance $16.699396 T) = $0.328148 T increase. ($328.148 Billion)

      See:
      https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=w&fname=13101700.txt (TABLE III-C Debt Subject to Limit)

      As indicated in an article on washingtontimes.com (which I’m guessing was your source), this was “…because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” — the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.”

      “Under the law, that replenishing happens as soon as there is new debt space.”

      See:
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/18/us-debt-jumps-400-billion-tops-17-trillion-first-t/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

      For the record, this is no surprise whatsoever. These were not new financial obligations, but merely those that were put off temporarily under the management of the Treasury, using the so-called “extraordinary measures” indicated above.

      The $328 Billion represents about six months of the CBO’s Baseline Budget Projections for the 2013 Fiscal Year deficit ($642 billion).

      See:
      http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44172-Baseline2.pdf (Table 1)

      In case anyone is so motivated, you can make a contribution to reduce the Federal debt.

      “How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?

      “There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:

      “You can make a contribution online either by credit card, checking or savings account at Pay.gov

      “You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it’s a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

      Attn Dept G
      Bureau of the Public Debt
      P. O. Box 2188
      Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188”

      See:
      http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_publicdebt.htm#DebtFinance

      Hope that answered your question.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You are too modest.

        Thank you very much.

        • hennorama

          WftC – you’re welcome, as always, and thank you for your very kind words.

          My ego is quite healthy; I simply only take credit when and where it’s due.

          • HonestDebate1

            … or not.

  • Bruce94

    Interesting, the tired “rocky rollout of the ins. exchanges”
    trope that includes the disenguous call for Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation goes unchallenged. Maybe the Republican
    Governors in 24 of the 26 states that refused to set up the exchanges for their uninsured constituents should resign as well. And those Republican officeholders who prevented Medicaid expansion under the ACA in their states should be fired.

    Funny, the New Federalism and States’ Rights principle is trumpeted by those who hailed the Supreme Court decision striking down enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act and unleashing a torrent of legislation disenfranchising minority and low-income voters in their states, but when it
    comes to providing healthcare to their citizens, they shirk their responsibility and default to the fed. govt.

    And I suppose it’s just a coincidence that the worst problems with the “rocky rollout” seem to be occurring in those states with GOP governors, insurance commissioners or legislatures where the task of creating these exchanges was avoided and deferred to the feds and where in some cases the ACA was greeted with hostility and hysteria by govt. officials.

    http://www.obamacarefacts.com/

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The left accuses the likes of Ted Cruz as either extremist or crazy.

    Yet they is very little talk about another Senator. One that apparently needs a reality check.

    “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says global warming poses “a far more serious problem than al Qaeda” and accuses energy companies of being willing to “destroy the planet” for profits. ”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/329229-sen-sanders-global-warming-far-more-serious-problem-than-al-qaeda

    Apparently the good ole Senator didn’t read up on the latest science.

    “Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it is the consensus of expert opinion.”

    “To be precise, Prof Tol calculated that climate change would be beneficial up to 2.2˚C of warming from 2009 (when he wrote his paper). This means approximately 3˚C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8˚C of warming has happened in the last 150 years. The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose reports define the consensis, is sticking to older assumptions, however, which would mean net benefits till about 2080. Either way, it’s a long way off.”

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9057151/carry-on-warming/

    • jefe68

      I think he’s an opportunist. He’s extreme in his views, as are you, but he’s not crazy.

      Bernie could be correct if we have an increase in storms like Sandy. But I’m waisting my time here as you don’t believe in Climate Change. So what’s the point?
      This is just another excuse to fill the forum up with even more false equivalences.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Bernie Sander’s an opportunist? Say it ain’t so.

        • jefe68

          You know I was on about Cruz.
          You think you’re funny, but you are legend in your own mind pal.

    • lobstahbisque

      The real global threat is Russia. I know because president Romney said so, and I believe him.

      • StilllHere

        Well there was some reason Obama felt he needed to “have more flexibility.” Apparently he’s afraid of them.

        • HonestDebate1

          Putin has played Obama like a fiddle from day one.

          • fun bobby

            that guy can play the fiddle too? is there anything he can’t do?

          • lobstahbisque

            Oh goody, it’s Mo, Larry and Curley singing the praises of a Communist gay- bashing thug. How Amurkin.

  • Michele

    So heads should roll to fix the problem with the online Affordable Healthcare program? Yeah, that makes sense…no continuity so they can start over and fall further behind. Brilliant.

    When did the only acceptable outcome for any program/issue become perfection? If that was always the case NOTHING would have ever gotten done or been accomplished.

    • fun bobby

      is there a good reason why it should cost 5X as much and not work?

      • Michele

        Five times as much as what? And by the way the site is working, perhaps not at full capacity but it does work.

        • fun bobby

          as it was budgeted to cost.

  • MrStang

    Babbling Zombies:

    “Two-thirds of regular Republicans believe the federal budget deficit has grown this year and 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans agree.

    Both are wrong; the budget deficit is projected to fall this year from $1.1 trillion to $642 billion.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-18/the-tea-party-by-the-numbers.html

    The Koch/Petersen Teapublican Zombie Virus is Rampant.
    OUT OUT OUT in 2014

    • fun bobby

      drink!

    • HonestDebate1

      Geesh, the new normal. Do you realize how massive a $642B (if true) deficit is? In this economy?!!

  • MrStang

    “This is hilarious in a pathetic kind of way: last Friday, Sean Hannity invited three “regular families” onto his show to relate their horror stories about premium hikes and business-killing regulations under Obamacare. Eric Stern decided to call all three of them to find out what was really going on.

    Answer: nothing. One of them was apparently just lying, and the other two hadn’t even checked the exchanges, where they would have found that they could get better coverage for considerably less than they’re paying now.

    That’s just sad. Hannity runs a big-time show with well-paid producers, but they apparently couldn’t find even a single true example of someone who got screwed by Obamacare. How hard can that be? Even liberals acknowledge that some people will end up worse off. But Hannity’s staff couldn’t be bothered. I guess he figures his audience doesn’t really deserve any better.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/10/sean-hannity-cant-be-bothered-truth

    • hennorama

      Sean Hannity presenting false information on his show? I’m shocked, SHOCKED to find that is going on!

      About as shocked as Captain Renault was about gambling at Rick’s in the film “Casablanca”:

      [Rick]: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

      [Captain Renault]: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

      [Croupier]: Your winnings, sir.

      [Captain Renault]: (sotto voce) Oh, thank you very much.

      [Captain Renault[: (aloud) Everybody out at once!

      See:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583/quotes?qt=qt0429972

    • Fredlinskip

      You’re surely not doubting the credibility of Fox “News”???
      SAY IT ISN’T SO.

      Ever wonder why Fox with all their $ has no actual investigative reporters.
      They interpret the news provided by others under watchful eyes of Roger Ailes, a former political operative in various GOP campaigns, and the fair and balanced Murdoch organization.

      • fun bobby

        as opposed to the non partisan mother jones?

        • Fredlinskip

          I don’t knowthat much about MJ. Does it not have investigative reporters.
          Do they interpret the news provided by others under watchful eyes of Roger Ailes, a former political operative in various GOP campaigns, and the fair and balanced Murdoch organization/

          • fun bobby

            its a “lefty pinko rag” (from their own site)

          • lobstahbisque

            Sort of from their site.
            “My brother says you’re a lefty pinko rag. True?”

            AND….

            “We’ve noticed, [though], that the people who resort to name calling are often just trying to distract the public from their own misdeeds.” ……

          • fun bobby

            you have a lot of free time huh?

          • lobstahbisque

            “Stifle, Edith”, he said archly…..

          • jefe68

            Seems like you do as well.

          • fun bobby

            no one compares to you jefe

          • jefe68

            I’m not on here everyday and when I am it’s for maybe an hour or so. Unlike some.

          • Potter

            “pinko” as in communist—boy are you old and stale.

          • fun bobby

            that was their description and yes their politics are old and stale. what is it about communist China Russia or Cuba that people who want to be communists want to emulate?

        • jefe68

          False equivalency alert.

  • hennorama

    usereason – you may want to get better informed. Your tax adviser should be able to help. Here’s some info that you may not be aware of:

    The Small Business Administration has recently issued guidance that defines and explains the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) counting rules. See:

    http://business.usa.gov/sites/default/files/Calculating%20FTEs%20for%20businessUSA.pdf

    And here’s an online FTE calculator:

    http://www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org/fte-calculator

    The calculations are backward-looking. In other words, “the employer looks to the size of its workforce in the prior calendar year.”

    ===========
    “Penalties For Failure To Insure

    “For firms which do not offer insurance any insurance, have more than 50 employees, and have at least one employee receiving insurance subsidies, they must pay a tax of $2000 per subsidized employee. The tax is applied to all of a firm’s employees (after excluding the first 30), not just those that are subsidized. For example a firm with 51 employees would pay $42,000 in new annual taxes, and an additional $2,000 tax for every new hire.

    “For firms that do offer insurance, the penalty is the lesser of $2,000 for every employee (after exempting the first 30) or $3,000) for every employee receiving a subsidy.

    “The National Federation of Independent Business has a clear and informative table which examines the taxes assessed under different scenarios here: http://www.nfib.com/Portals/0/PDF/AllUsers/Free%20Rider%20Provision.pdf”

    Source:
    http://www.obamacarewatch.org/primer/employer-mandate

    There’s also an article titled “What Are Obamacare’s Penalties for Small Businesses?” on findlaw.com that gives a good overview.

    See:
    http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2013/09/what-are-obamacares-penalties-for-small-businesses.html

    The healthcare.gov website also has a great deal of info for small businesses. You can start here:

    https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/

    Or here:

    https://www.healthcare.gov/businesses/

    Hope that helps.

  • Don_B1

    Investigate how California got independent committees to perform all the redistricting before the 2010 elections, which meant that the new districts drawn as a result of the 2010 Census included a lot more “up-for-grabs” districts and Democrats won enough to get a “supermajority” in the State Legislature. Thus they were able to raise taxes and change other laws that were hurting the state economically.

  • davecm

    Have you got your Obamacare surprise letter from your insurance company????? If you have individual insurance coverage get ready for a shock. I have seen one letter to a family of four from BCBS that beginning Jan 1, in order to meet new Obamacare add-ons, to keep the same policy, it will go from $500+ to $1100+ dollars a month, with deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses going up 2X. Everyone I have talked to who has individual coverage has gotten the same notice!
    The so-called Affordable Care Act, which gives insurance to people with pre-existing conditions sounds golden! They will get cheap insurance with some surprises.
    Those who have pre-existing individuals policies may find them to expensive to afford, thus! forcing all of them onto Obamacare or in the near future socialized healthcare!
    Think I am crazy, maybe so! just wait and see!
    Obama stated, if you like your existing insurance you will be able to keep it and the cost will not go up a dime. He is alot like that nut Pelosi who stated, we must first pass it to know what is in it.
    Well, I have been notified by my company that my BCBS may be history starting sometime in 2014!
    Thanks folks!!

    • tbphkm33

      Sure… if true, you should not at all be bashful about presenting us with a scanned copy of said letter.

      … if not, more Tea Bagger propaganda and lies.

      • fun bobby

        have you signed up on the exchange yet?

        • jefe68

          Oh boy. You know what Ted Cruz should have just sat back kept his arms crossed.
          And just waited until the 2014 midterm elections. Further proof he’s not very good at politics.
          Because the exchanges are not working very well, and this problem might not be fixed in time for the midterm elections.
          If they had not done that pointless shut down the GOP could have had plenty of fodder to gain seats in both houses.

          • fun bobby

            well said. I like how you make sense sometimes now. I think its easy to overestimate the impact of anything political in a year from now with the 24 hour news cycles someone may have gotten a bj or yelled funny between then and now and no one will care about the shutdown.
            what did you expect from a bunch of nihilistic frat boys?

          • jefe68

            Drink! I don’t expect much from the right.
            They are more interested in party gains then in what’s best for the nation. As we just witnessed.

          • fun bobby

            the store was closed when I was headed home tonight or i would.
            of course frat boys are interested in party gains. probably as much as they hate party fouls. i really don’t care for either party and have seen plenty of equally disgusting behavior from democrats. take for example the MA democrats constantly trying to beat down gun owners in MA when we already have some of the strictest, most absurd and unconstitutional laws in the nation.

        • StilllHere

          I would like to exchange him for a vowel and a player in next year’s 6th round draft.

    • Coastghost

      The Affordable Care Tax Act. The Affordable Care Tax Act. The Affordable Care Tax Act.

      • lobstahbisque

        “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home”

    • TFRX

      You mean my insurance company will lie to me and blame it on something else?

      Cos we all know that.

    • jefe68

      What state are you in? If you’re in a state that’s opting out that could the reason.

  • MrStang

    Rand Paul (TeaPublican Zombie Wormtongue) tells students lying is good:

    “Louisville-Rand Paul was talking with University of Louisville medical students when one of them tossed him a softball. “The majority of med students here today have a comprehensive exam tomorrow. I’m just wondering if you have any last-minute advice.”(Steve Brodner)

    “Actually, I do,” said the ophthalmologist-turned-senator, who stays sharp (and keeps his license) by doing pro bono eye surgeries during congressional breaks. “I never, ever cheated. I don’t condone cheating.

    But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-truthiness-of-rand-paul-20131017

    The Koch/Petersen TeaPublican Zombie Virus is sometimes transmitted by TeaPublican Zombie Politicians deploying this Misinformation method.

    OUT OUT OUT with the Koch/Petersen TeaPublican Zombies in 2014!

    • fun bobby

      drink!

      • MrStang

        THINK!

        • jefe68

          You’re asking way to much.

          • fun bobby

            hey jefe what’s some one who rejects all of the institutions laws and conventions of society called?

          • lobstahbisque

            Ted.

          • jefe68

            Bottom feeding as well.

          • jefe68

            Childish.

          • fun bobby

            yeah but what it their philosophy called?

          • StilllHere

            Good try, and on a day like today, we all need a drink; even those who believe in nothing, except the destruction of society’s political and social institutions.

          • lobstahbisque

            THNIK!

  • tbphkm33

    Here’s another measure of the negative effects the Tea Baggers are having on the United States…

    …”A useful starting point for assessing the damage done is a widely cited report by the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, which estimated that “crisis driven” fiscal policy — which has been the norm since 2010 — has subtracted about 1 percent off the U.S. growth rate for the past three years. This implies cumulative economic losses — the value of goods and services that America could and should have produced, but didn’t — of around $700 billion. The firm also estimated that unemployment is 1.4 percentage points higher than it would have been in the absence of political confrontation, enough to imply that the unemployment rate right now would be below 6 percent instead of above 7….”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/opinion/krugman-the-damage-done.html?_r=0

    • fun bobby

      1% don’t really profit from steady growth, they profit more from swings in the market

    • JGC

      I think the aftereffects of the shutdown will be felt very quickly. We are close into the holiday shopping season now (whether you want to believe that or not). I can’t imagine all the people affected, whether they were furloughed workers or small businesses on their periphery, will feel much like spending as normal at Christmas this year. They will all be wanting to replenish their savings accounts for the recommended three-month emergency period…just in time for the next possible shutdown around Groundhog Day. (very appropriate timing)

      • HonestDebate1

        They are getting back pay.

        • JGC

          They will get their back pay, pay off the bills they should have paid earlier in the month, and then put the rest into their savings accounts. With another Congressional deadline coming up in February, no one is going to feel like they have the freedom to spend this Christmas.

          • hennorama

            JGC — the private employees and businesses impacted by the shutdown aren’t getting anything back in “the deal,” leaving them SOL.

            And the reimbursed back pay doesn’t account for any other expenses incurred, such as late fees, credit card and other interest, lost opportunities, etc., etc.

          • JGC

            But at least we still all have each other…right, Hennorama, tbphkm33, Steve_T, HonestDebate1, fun bobby, OPC, StillHere and the rest. Come on, now, Group Hug, everyone!

          • hennorama

            JGC — indeed, we are all in this together.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s sweet.

          • fun bobby

            now does that mean we will actually save money from having the shut down. if it were completely closed for 2 weeks that would save 4%. perhaps we should get pro rated taxes

          • hennorama

            fun bobby – thanks for your reply.

            Your question depends on what you mean by “will [we] actually save money?“

            Other than a temporary delay in pay for the furloughed workers, and a reduction in related expenses that did not occur due to the employees being furloughed (various consumables were not expended – fuel, for example), Federal spending was largely unaffected. In other words, it was deferred rather than eliminated.

            On the other hand, if the estimates in the decline in overall economic activity are correct, then there will be lower Federal Revenues as a result. Let’s use the S&P estimate of a loss of $24 Billion in 4th quarter activity.

            Currently, Federal Revenue (FR) for FY 2013 is estimated to be 16.7% (almost exactly one-sixth) of GDP. So this implies a decrease in FR of $4 Billion for that calendar quarter, (Due to the use of a Fiscal Year, the 4th calendar quarter of 2013 is the first quarter of Federal FY 2014).

            Hope that answers your question.

          • fun bobby

            not really. it answers the question you attributed to me after editing and putting quotes around a sentence fragment.

            “if it were completely closed”
            you saw the word “if” there right?

            my reply was to your assertion that
            “JGC — the private employees and businesses impacted by the shutdown aren’t getting anything back in “the deal,” leaving them SOL.”
            if there are in fact people who are not getting paid then we should have made fewer payments and that ought to saved money. clearly almost everyone will get paid sooner or later and the charade that we can endlessly borrow and spend more and more will go on, for at least another 3 months or so.

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — thanks again for your response.

            I was answering the question mark-free question you asked – “now does that mean we will actually save money from having the shut down.” If you intended to ask a different question, you should pose it.

            You may have misunderstood what I wrote. By “the private employees and businesses impacted by the shutdown,” I meant, for example, the hotels near closed National Parks and their employees, the gas station/convenience store owners who saw lower fuel and other sales due to furloughed employees not commuting, restaurants that saw fewer customers, etc., etc., and NOT Federal contractors and their employees.

            Federal employees will be made whole as far as their wages and salaries are concerned, and Federal contractors will be paid for the work they perform, and the services and products they provide.

            However, the private businesses that were both directly and indirectly impacted, and their employees, will not be compensated for their losses, and that was my point.

          • fun bobby

            meh, I bet more people will go to the parks after the shut down because of the publicity. your examples just show the folly of having such a large public sector

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — Thank you for expressing your fact-free opinionated bet.

          • fun bobby

            we will see

          • HonestDebate1

            I look at it completely differently. This will come off wrong (I’m so misunderstood) but I swear I’m not being snarky or contentious. I have no animus to people with public sector jobs. Having said that…

            I have a little more confidence in my fellow man than to believe someone with a kush government job is so desperate with his ample paycheck as to be spiraled into a financial vortex because of a two week paid vacation. They’ll get their money well before Christmas and they just had a couple of weeks to catch up on the chores at home. The more industrious did side work and made out like bandits. What’s not to like?

          • JGC

            Well, when you put it that way…But we see federal employees through a different prism. The ones I know are the ones at the National Institutes of Health. Some of their experiments were definitely compromised, and therefore wasted as regards the U.S. taxpayer – wasted in both the immediate sense of lost information (because the handling of the experiment changed in the middle of the study) , and in the future sense of disruption of the knowledge chain (for example, the process by which the NIH gives grants to green-lighted studies, is held several times in a year, but the October grant process was missed because of the shutdown, so now the grant review will be postponed until February.)

            There are a lot of science oriented projects in the federal government (through NIH, CDC, USUHS, FDA and yes EPA, and more). These are not folks who look at the government shutdown as a chance to finish a basement reno project, or to look for “side work” to boost their income. They just want to do their real jobs the best they can, and stay focused on the science, which is what really helps their career potential.

            Uncertainty and crisis in any business, even the business of government, is bad for almost everyone.

          • fun bobby

            in Canada we say reno eh?

          • fun bobby

            I don’t like paying for their vacation. instead of paying them taxpayers should have got a refund.

          • JGC

            That was not a vacation. It was a work stoppage forced by the Tea Party and their supporters. The federal work ban reminded me of when my father would try to go to work during labor unrest, but would be met at the gates by fanatics with baseball bats. He wasn’t going in to work after that, but for sure that was no vacation. Any refunds to the taxpayers should come from organizations that provide support to Tea Party candidates, like Heritage Action, and their 501(c)3 tax-exempt twins such as the Heritage Foundation, since they forced the government shutdown.

          • fun bobby

            so your father was a scab? I would love an impromptu paid vacation

          • JGC

            No. He was management.

            Weren’t you a teacher at some point? How did you look on people who complained about teachers getting paid for full time when they only worked for 9 months out of the year?

          • fun bobby

            that’s worse.
            i thought they were suckers to work so much. i also thought they did not understand that if teachers had to work without all the vacations most people would quit or go nuts. i also thought that if i worked in the private sector i would be paid more but have to work more and a lot of teachers make that trade off

          • fun bobby

            in Canada maybe they will put it towards savings and eschew consumer goods

          • JGC

            Maybe. Or maybe they will buy a cheap package tour from Transat Holidays, and spend a week at a Cuban beach all-inclusive this January. Canadians don’t seem to be so much about the stuff; they seem to be more about the experience. Especially if it is a bargain experience that can be had in a climate that is 30 C in January.

          • fun bobby

            the all inclusives are lousy with canucks these days. they are going wild on that oil timber hemp and gold money. its sad they are richer than us at the moment

  • William

    Does individual freedom matter?

  • TFRX

    Joe The Plumber, you’re yesterday’s loser poster child. You should have been out in front of this bitching about Obamacare without trying to apply for it, like all of Sean Hannity’s guests.

    Hannity is fluffing a bunch of folks fighting to be today’s successor. Let’s just take one. Actually interviewed and asked real questions about their actual situation, Paul The Builder, HannityHero from Leicester, NC starts with

    [B]ecause of Obamacare, [we] can’t grow their construction business and [we] have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers.

    Then is informed their four employees are not anywhere near the 50 minimum of the ACA, and shifts to

    “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/10/18/inside_the_fox_news_lie_machine_i_fact_checked_sean_hannity_on_obamacare/

    The rest of TV, take notes. This is how journalism is done.

  • Potter

    “Americans for Prosperity”/ Koch brothers keep trying to destroy or rollback the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medicaid. Their relentless efforts seem so counter the title of their group. There is LESS prosperity if all of us are not helped to prosper and the country is so torn apart. Or are they duping people with lies ( Michelle Bachmann can’t stop the preposterous from rolling out of her mouth)- so that the few can prosper. And thus we can have even MORE inequality if that is possible. Even the prosperous prosper more when everyone is included. This includes the insurance companies. But these people who spend so much energy going against ACA prey on the gullible.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/us/politics/states-are-focus-of-effort-to-foil-health-care-law.html?hp&_r=0

    • JONBOSTON

      Very thoughtful comments. Why stop at the ACA , expanding welfare and medicaid? Why not declare a minimum annual income for everyone at $75,000/yr ; a new car for everyone every other year ; and a 3-4 bedroom home in the burbs? Easy enough to do –just print more money and pass it out. After all -it’s just paper and “it’s the government’s money “. Who cares about $17 trillion national debt? Just print more franklins and let somebody else pay! Spreading misery ( aka income redistribution) should be our national goal. Damn those successful people who succeeded in school, worked hard and pay all the federal income taxes ! They spoil things by creating all this inequality and income disparity. Hey , it didn’t work in the Soviet Union but then again the ruble was not the world’s currency reserve. Utopia is here!

      • Potter

        Not very thoughtful response. Enabling medical care for those who are struggling is not only a moral issue for us all, but will cut costs.It is the goal of the ACA to save us all money,keep people out of the emergency rooms where the costs are astronomical, A larger pool of insured keeps costs low. This keeps people healthier and makes for more productivity, more income. To take your argument over the cliff as you do arguing against this shows how you have been listening to propaganda and swallow it whole and operate on fears. Look around at what other more advanced countries do. What we do is helping to bankrupt us all collectively and individually. Why do we pay so much more for medical care, medicines, devices etc than any other country without getting better outcomes? Educate yourself by turning off Fox news and right wing radio for starters.Do yourself a favor and don’t be prey to hate and fear-mongers.

        • fun bobby

          if everyone files for an exemption it wont expand the pool much at least not with the kind of people who would have low costs.
          so have you signed up at an exchange yet?

        • JONBOSTON

          You’re false sense of moral superiority is nothing but crap. The ACA is universal health care –it does nothing to contain health care costs which have been high and rising long before ACA. Yes they’ve slowed in recent years but much of that was due to the steep recession and the loss of jobs. The ACA will accelerate medical costs. One reason will be the new taxes on insurers, drug companies and device makers that will be passed on to consumers. Another is the wave of medical industry consolidation as a defense against political and regulatory risk. Hospitals are merging and physicians have sold their practices in exchange for salaries. Net result from these quasi-monopolies will be higher prices due to increased market power to offset a fall in government reimbursements.

          Despite all the perjoratives the left likes to throw at ACA critics, the fact is most reasonable caring people favor decent affordable health care for all. My issue with the ACA is that it is built on economic disincentives that will doom its failure. You’re seeing it play out today with employers dropping medical coverage, reducing full time employees to part-time, and small businesses keeping employment below 50 employees. Moreover , you don’t add ACA’s cost burden on employers when we’re experiencing such high unemployment and putrid economic growth. Congress should have created reforms that dealt only with the 40-50m uninsured and not upset the entire system.

          And who are the uninsured? They are young and in good health.According to the Census Bureau, roughly 25% are presently eligible for Medicaid and S-Chip, representing 64% of all uninsured children. Another 10m are illegal immigrants and not eligible under ACA.
          Nor are the uninsured necessarily poor. One study found that 43% of the uninsured have incomes higher than 250% of the poverty level ( $55K for family of four) and slightly more than 33% have incomes in excess of $66K. Another study found that nearly 75% of the uninsured could afford coverage but chose not to purchase it.

          Despite all your moralizing, for every person that will gain coverage , there may well be that many and more who will lose coverage from their employer or fail to find employment that included medical coverage. All that ACA does is transfer wealth from the young to those who will receive subsidized premiums.

          And just so you know, I listen to NPR every day for my news in addition to other outlets. That’s why I blog here. But you should take your advice and listen to other non-traditional outlets. And I would definitely recommend your avoiding Daily Kos and MSNBC which are nothing more than left wing kook entertainment outlets for the no-information types.

          • Potter

            Universal health care, which we were not allowed to have, would be even better at cost effectiveness, helping the economy, helping everyone. You have nothing but propaganda to back up your views. The Aca has not been put into operation even as you denigrate it. It has not been given a chance. But we do know this- that many want it, many are interested, and many, like yourself, are afraid of it. Why you are so against it without even giving it a chance I do not know except that you have been brainwashed shamefully. I take your listening to NPR as mere “opposition research” and nothing more as nothing sinks in.

          • JONBOSTON

            complete incomprehensible left wing craptrap. It’s scary that you actually believe the BS that you write about. Spend a day in the private sector for a needed reality check.

          • Potter

            your short answer says it all ( you cannot respond to or comprehend the points)- not very bright or MORAL to think that your “private sector” – business- takes care of everything and will with the trends going the way they have been.

          • Potter

            “Hospitals are merging and physicians have sold their practices in exchange for salaries. Net result from these quasi-monopolies will be higher prices due to increased market power to offset a fall in government reimbursements.”

            Talk about BS! As I said, long before the ACA hospitals have been consolidating, some with disasterous effect to augment the bottom line and deliver poorer care, others for the better, to deliver better care. That Dr.s have been going for salaries is a GOOD thing-they are now, spending more time with patients and not worrying about their bottom line, making ends meet.

            Health care should not be based on profit making.

          • JONBOSTON

            Talk about “nothing sinks in”. You apparently either never read or didn’t understand what I’ve written. I happen to support decent affordable healthcare for everyone. And I think the overwhelming number of ACA critics do as well so don’t give me your cheap moralizing. It makes you sound like a fool. My issue with the ACA is that it is built on faulty economic disincentives that will doom its failure. It also discourages hiring in the private sector. And what’s moral about creating policies that discourage hiring , or converts a full-time job into a part-time jobs , or cause salaries to stagnate because employers need to pay higher insurance premiums?There are other alternatives to the ACA that will reduce the number of uninsured. DO you even realize that the CBO projects that ACA will only reduce the number of uninsured from 45-50m to about 30m ? If the CBO is correct, why upset our entire medical system to reduce the uninsured by 15m? One way to reduce the number of uninsured is through pro-growth policies that encourage more hiring since most people get their insurance through their job. Also many people go uninsured because insurance is expensive , so increasing the public’s wealth makes insurance more affordable.
            Finally, you confuse universal health insurance (which is what we have with ACA), with a single payer system.

          • Potter

            You criticize ad hominem when you engage in it. YOu did not read mine either. We were not given a chance to have single payer health care for all. This should not be driven by profit making. Nor should employers be the gatekeepers for healthcare in this country such that the poor and unemployed to underemployed have none. Employers should not be saddled with providing or facilitating healthcare.

            The shortcomings of the ACA is that it is a HYBRID system in which businesses have to make a profit. I do not confuse universal health care ( which the ACA will have a hard time providing but may come close at best) with a plan such as real universal health care provided by a single payer (for everyone).

            “Pro-growth” policies bring more of what we have- inequality, higher costs, fewer jobs. My problem with your views is that you think more business is going to solve these problems.

          • JONBOSTON

            Sorry but it’s hard not to either laugh or pity someone with ideas like yours. Just think about what you’re advocating–”no growth” economic policies ; converting 1/6th of our economy into the non-profit sector. It sounds like your main issue is with capitalism — Do you seriously believe that our country would be better off with programs and policies that did not encourage economic growth? How do you think wealth is created? Frankly — you must be very young or very stupid ( or both). Read up on the Soviet Union .

          • Potter

            Hey dummy- why do you bother? You have nerve to complain about ad hominem attack when you engage in it. You are so high and mighty with your own views that there is no conversation here. As well you bring in straw man arguments to feel good. I will say this finally if you did not get it the first time- 1. healthcare should not be a for-profit business. 2. We can have more economic growth with a healthier well educated work force. 3. Policies that encourage economic growth ( especially in so many needed areas) are not a bad thing as long as they do not serve only the well to do. I never said no growth– that is your straw man. I am done with you- don’t care for your own know it all attitude- at least I have morals.

          • JONBOSTON

            I happen to be 62, senior counsel at a major international company with two grown successful children, one of whom just finished med school . I’m not involved in healthcare but my wife is a prominent figure in the healthcare field. I’m sorry if you don’t like my calling your ideas stupid but they are. You demonstrate a level of ignorance, illogic and naivete that is startling. You apparently know absolutely nothing about economics and what drives private enterprise, economic growth , and creation of wealth. Government does not create wealth , the private sector does.

          • Potter

            well then I am totally unimpressed with your juvenile style: having to impress everyone with how right you are. You still have time to grow up- which means I wish you long life!… and some wisdom.

            I am older than that– but years don’t mean a thing if you are not growing. I may not know or believe what you believe about economics- but life is not only about economics and not worth living if it is ( in my opinion) and it certainly is not worth spending more time arguing with you about it- as I said I am done. But I will wonder why the likes of you argue with me other than to try to impress yourself if not me, which you have not. You are especially ignorant ( if I may return the complement) when you say that government does not create wealth.

          • Potter
    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Do any of the litany of broken promises used by President Obama to garner support to pass the ACA bother you? Should he have to explain what went wrong and how and if he will correct them? Should there be no accountability?

      Let’s start with these 4:
      - The typical American family will save $2,500 per year on health care
      - No one will lose their current insurance
      - No one will be forced to give up their current Dr.
      - The program will cost $900B over 10 years

  • JGC

    Someone said recently we need more prizes. So here is a matching game I call “Who said dat?!” Attribute the quote with the author, and I will make a small (tax-deductible, of course) donation to the winner’s favorite NPR station. Remember to mention the station call letters at the end of your entry. First correct entry submitted gets the prize. Let’s go!

    1.”We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    2.”Our long national nightmare is over. The PandaCam is back.”

    3. “I hate to see you have cancer, but that is your problem, not mine.”

    4.”With malice toward none, with charity for all…let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

    5.”I just don’t see what they get out of screwing over their employees so much.”

    6. “The future belongs to the Tea Party.”

    7.”Get one thing straight. You’re staying? This isn’t a democracy anymore.”

    A. President Abraham Lincoln
    B, Steve Lonegan, NJ Republican nominee for U.S. Senate seat
    C. RWB
    D. Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, on “Walking Dead”
    E. Antonella Inserra
    F. U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
    G. Anonymous Republican member of U.S. Congress commenting on background about the “Full Vitter” amendment, introduced during the recent shutdown by fellow Republican David Vitter (R-LA)

    • hennorama

      JGC — I didn’t even need my second cuppa Kona to solve this one.

      1. F
      2. E
      3. B
      4. A
      5. G
      6. C
      7. D

      WBUR.

      • JGC

        Step right up, Hennorama, because YOU are the Grand Prize Winner of today’s game! WBUR is the lucky recipient of a gift in your name. You get the glory, WBUR gets the bucks, and I get the tax deduction! Everybody a winner!

        • fun bobby

          kudos

        • hennorama

          JGC — YAY! Just don’t try to slip any loonies in with the bucks, OK? ;-)

          • JGC

            Have no fear. Just U.S. dollars in “the full fatith and credit of the U.S. Government.” Ha! They better cash it in before the next default threat.

          • hennorama

            JGC — Thank you for contributing to my ongoing series “Typos as Freudian slips that make me chuckle, Part 8″:

            “fatith” vs. “faith”

            Somehow, one doubts this was your intent, and points out how misspellings can persist:

            “Fatith Mosque Holiday pictures” (it’s actually the FATIH Mosque):

            http://www.holidaycheck.com/things_to_do-holiday-pictures_Fatith+Mosque-ch_ub-zid_124281.html?action=detail&mediaId=1165784621&mediaOrder=4

          • JGC

            Correction made!

          • hennorama

            JGC — no worries, of course. The thing that cracked me up about that particular photo was that the name of the mosque was right there, in the image.

            Enjoy your day.

  • William

    Well, the USA is the exception to many of what the rest of the world does or has in their country. We still cherish individual freedom which ACA limits and forces people to buy a product from a private company. Many countries around the world don’t think individual freedom is important which is often indicated by the millions of people from around the world that want to move here to enjoy.

  • hennorama

    At the risk of being labeled the “resident Fed watcher,” one recommends keeping an eye on the next Federal Reserve Beige Book release scheduled for Wed. December 4, 2013, especially the Richmond (#5), Atlanta (#6), Kansas City (#10), Dallas (#11), and San Francisco (#12) Districts, as they have the greatest numbers of Federal employees.

    That will give a good clue as to the actual economic impacts of the recent shutdown.

    S&P recently estimated the 16 day shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy and cut 0.6% off of yearly fourth quarter GDP growth. If that impact is annualized, we’re talking about nearly $550 billion ($547.5), which is greater than the entire estimated U.S. GDP growth for ALL OF 2013.

    We really need to stop this nonsense.

    For a map of federal employment numbers and concentrations, see:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/02/its-not-just-d-c-heres-where-the-shutdown-will-hit-across-the-country/

    And this is a map of the Federal Reserve Districts:

    • JONBOSTON

      I’m having a hard time understanding how in a $16trillion economy a $20b impact ( or roughly .00000001%) can have any detrimental effect on the US economy. Since furloughed employees will get retroactive back pay ( and in some states that get to keep whatever unemployment benefits they may have received) and federal payments were not eliminated but deferred, please help me understand how there can be any negative economic impact?

      • StilllHere

        Much ado about nothing. It all comes back.

        The shutdown showed government is too big. It should be closed three days a week to start.

        • hennorama

          StilllHere — Your claim that ” It all comes back” is false.

          While it’s true that SOME economic activity was deferred/delayed, some cannot be made up and is irretrievably lost.

          Think of the simple things, like reductions in fuel purchases, restaurant meals and takeout, lottery ticket purchases, etc., that furloughed workers didn’t make. Then you can add in similar items that were not consumed by Federal workers in the course of performing their jobs, and the ripple effects on the private sector. This merely skims the surface.

          Perhaps you might consider taking up your own suggestion, and will in the future skip Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in this forum. That might give you some time to pursue a better understanding of the economy, if you so desire.

          • HonestDebate1

            The public sector does not create economic activity.

          • jefe68

            I guess all those roads, bridges, railroads,
            research and development (think internet)
            does nothing in your view to help our economy. NASA develops all kinds of things we now use in everyday life.
            Artificial limbs, new metals, MRI, CAT scans, cordless tools, to name few.

            Not to mention the NIH is one of the world’s foremost medical research centers. Which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health.

            You can look up the stats yourself, but the combined percentage of state, local and federal to the nations GDP was 14% in 2011. More than agriculture, mining, and construction combined.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am not saying those things aren’t good or necessary but money must first be taken out of the private sector to pay for them.

          • jefe68

            And your point is what, exactly?

          • HonestDebate1

            That pulling out money from the private sector only to redistribute it is not economic growth.

          • jefe68

            Then you are saying those are not good and necessary. You can not have it both ways. Taxes as well as government backed bonds, pay for infrastructure.

            Taxes also pay all the other things that governments do, such as police, fire, and health departments, food inspection, workers safety, decent wages and rights, you know the some of the things that make a society worth living in. You can’t get a product to market with out good safe roads can you now.

            How is that having decent infrastructure bad for economic growth?

            Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. If you don’t want to pay taxes and are not interested in maintaining the infrastructure of the nation you might want to see how this would look. Russia is how we could end up if we stop investing in our infrastructure.

            http://www.usfunds.com/investor-resources/frank-talk/poor-infrastructure-a-pothole-for-russian-economy/#.UmUtGZTk-CQ

          • HonestDebate1

            You are confusing good and necessary with economic activity. I didn’t say taxes were bad but nothing gets done without private sector money. There is no such thing as public sector money. It does not exist. Can’t we at least agree on that?

          • jefe68

            And you’re confusing what’s good for society as a whole with some absurd ideal that the private sector does everything.
            It does not, and will not.

          • StilllHere

            Wrong, it’s all deferred. The work comes back including all the ancillary expenditures. There are no butterfly wings. Moreover, Fed employees and contractors were free during those 16 days to spend in ways they couldn’t have had they been chained to their desk; including all the ancillary items and the ripple effects. This merely skims the surface.

          • hennorama

            StilllHere – thank you for your response. One notices that you haven’t yet decided to skip Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in this forum.

            Your opinion is disputed by the fact that several states rushed to pay for the National Park Service to reopen locations in their particular states.

            Quoting from a recent npr.org article:

            “This is a godsend!” exclaimed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert late Thursday night, as he signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior to use state funds to reopen eight national park areas in his state for at least 10 days.

            “The Republican governor wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the areas can open as early as today. Rangers and other National Park Service employees will staff the parks as usual.

            “Utah’s national parks are the backbone of many rural economies, and hardworking Utahns are paying a heavy price for this shutdown,” Herbert said.

            “State officials say Utah tourism generates $100 million in revenue in October, which is a busy period, given foreign visitors, the Columbus Day holiday weekend and fall break next week for many public schools and universities.

            “The key is you can’t make up what you lose in October,” Herbert said Friday morning on Salt Lake City television station KUTV.”

            Sorry for your obvious misunderstanding of the facts.

            See:
            http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/11/232090272/utah-allowed-to-re-open-national-parks-and-foot-the-bill

          • StilllHere

            There will always be another October and under utilized state parks saw a huge jump in visitors. Put that in your calculator.
            You’re going to have a tough time getting to any meaningful amount at $2 million per odd occurrence.

          • hennorama

            StilllHere — Thank you for your response.

            It’s not my calculator. As stated multiple times, I am not an economist. If you wish to argue with the S&P analyst, contact info can be obtained here:

            http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?assetID=1245358642459

      • hennorama

        JONBOSTON – thank you for your response and your question.

        First, let’s correct your errors.

        Your arithmetic is off by a small factor, a mere 12,500,000. That’s 12 and one half MILLION. This as know as an epic fail.

        Let’s break this down to make it easier to understand, and use your figures in the example.

        To find a percentage, we divide $20 Billion by $16 Trillion. It’s helpful to remember that a trillion is one thousand billion. So we are going to divide 20 billion by 16 thousand billion, which simplifies to 20/16,000. This equals 0.00125, which we next multiply by 100 to convert to a percentage, with the final result being 0.125%. Now we’ll compare:

        Correct result 0.12500000 %
        Your figure 0.00000001 %

        As stated, you were off by a factor of 12.5 million. That’s not even “close enough for government work,” now is it?

        Now let’s look at the S&P estimate, and the most recent quarterly annual GDP rate from the Federal reserve, and then compare them.

        $24 Billion over 16 days is $1.5 B/day. Annualized, this is $547.5 B (1.5 X 365). Dividing this figure by the GDP estimate gives us $547.5/$16,661 (remember, a trillion is one thousand billion), which equals (rounded to 6 decimal places) 0.032861. Converting to a percentage, we multiply by 100, to give us a final result of 3.2861%

        GDP growth estimates for all of 2013 are well below 3.3 percent.

        Now, please don’t misunderstand. S&P did not say that the impact was on a per day basis, but rather that “We believe that to date, the shutdown has shaved at least 0.6% off of annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth, or taken $24 billion out of the economy.” This was as of October 16, 2013.

        Here are the quick calculations to come up with the $24 B:

        If 2013 GDP was $16.661 T, then multiplying by 25.2%* and then by 0.6% = $0.025191 T = $25.191 Billion. (They may have been using Real GDP, which is slightly lower, but you get the idea.)

        *Number of days in 4th Quarter = 92 = 25.2% of the year.

        Quoting S&P, from the same article containing their estimate of the shutdown’s impact:

        “The bottom line is the government shutdown has hurt the U.S. economy. In September, we expected 3% annualized growth in the fourth quarter because we thought politicians would have learned from 2011 and taken steps to avoid things like a government shutdown and the possibility of a sovereign default. Since our forecast didn’t hold, we now have to lower our fourth-quarter growth estimate to closer to 2%.”

        See:
        http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?assetID=1245358642459

        ===============
        Now, so that you “understand how there can be any negative economic impact” from the shutdown, let’s put things into a perspective you can more easily understand, OK?

        The issue is not simply the reimbursement of back pay for furloughed Federal workers, but the overall reduction in economic activity.

        Initially, there were about 800,000 furloughed Federal workers. This was reduced to somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 after less than a week, when the Defense Department recalled most of their civilian workers. For simplicity, let’s call it 500 K. This gives us a blended average of 612,500 workers over the entire 16 day period.

        That’s roughly equal to the population of Boston. Remember the lockdown during the search for the Marathon Bomber suspects? That gives you an idea of the impact, except that you’d need to multiply it by 16, and understand that the impact increased as the length of the shutdown increased.

        Some economic activity will be made up or pushed in Q1 of 2014, but a significant amount is irretrievably lost.

        Here’s an explanation from an article on blogs.wsj.com (from a Wall Street Journal reporter)

        “There are two main ways that the standoff could hurt the economy. The first is the direct impact of the shutdown itself—money not spent by furloughed workers, souvenirs not bought by National park visitors, products not exported and real estate deals that didn’t close due to backlogs at government agencies.

        “In the early days of the shutdown, it looked like the direct effects could be significant. Initially, some 800,000 federal workers were sent home, and it wasn’t clear whether they’d ever be paid for the lost time. Within a few days, however, the Defense Department recalled essentially all its furloughed workers, and Congress promised back pay to everyone who remained out of work. Some workers likely delayed big purchases until their paychecks resumed, but it’s unlikely the shutdown will have much permanent effect on their spending.

        “Not everyone will be made whole after the shutdown. Congress agreed to back pay for federal employees, but not for contractors like the Smithsonian Museum line cook interviewed by the Washington Post’s Jim Tankersley. Many businesses suffered similar losses: No one is offering to pay damages to the sandwich shops next to empty federal buildings or the T-shirt vendors near shuttered national monuments.

        “That leads to the second potential impact from the DC fracas: confidence. Perhaps even more than the direct impacts, many economists feared the indirect effects of the shutdown: companies that held off on hiring or investing, consumers that held off on spending and investors that fled stocks to the safety of… well, whatever seems safe at a time when the American government is poised to default on its debt.”

        The same article notes that estimates of the economic impact of the shutdown vary, but all agree that it “would trim fourth-quarter growth” anywhere from 0.2 percentage points to “a whopping 0.8 percentage points.”

        See:
        http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?assetID=1245358642459
        http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/16/news/economy/shutdown-economic-impact/
        http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/10/19/number-of-the-week-economic-impact-of-shutdown-was-likely-small/

        Hope that helps, and that you get a refresher in arithmetic. Alternatively, you can do your part to add to economic activity by buying a calculator.

        Of course, we may be doing this all over again in less than three months.

        • HonestDebate1

          “This as know as an epic fail.”

        • JONBOSTON

          Just so you know, I threw out the figure (.0000000001%) w/o doing any calculation, believing correctly, that you would do my homework ( you’re one of the very few posters on the left that avoids ad hominem attacks and actually has anything meaningful to say). I was just trying to make several points: (1) how in an economy as big as ours can you even measure a $24billion impact (2) that the shutdown was a snoozer for the vast majority of the country if you didn’t happen to be a non-essential federal employee or plan a trip to national park or monument (3) the shutdown deferred federal activity , not eliminate it and (4) my strong belief that the Obama administration is laying the seed to shift blame for the expected slowing down of our economy later this year. If anything, the next quarter may show a pick-up in activity as federal employees get their retroactive pay , pay deferred bills, etc.

          • hennorama

            JONBOSTON – Thank you for your response and your kind words.

            Let me preface this discussion by indicating that I am not an economist and am merely a casual, if highly interested, observer.

            In general, your points are well-taken. Responding in order:

            (1) The S&P figure of $24 Billion was an estimate and not a measurement. The irony of course is that the Federal workers who compile and publish economic data were largely on furlough, so there has been a bit of a dearth of available information for economists. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book was released the same day as the S&P estimate, October 16, 2013, and one would expect that the S&P analyst was privy to much of the information contained in it.

            You can access the Beige Book here:
            http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/

            (2) It’s true that the vast majority of Americans were not DIRECTLY impacted by the Federal shutdown, but consumer confidence was greatly impacted, and that significantly impacts both current and future economic decision-making. For example, according to bloomberg.com,

            “The U.S. government shutdown prompted two out of five Americans to curb spending, according to a survey commissioned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”

            See:
            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-15/two-out-of-five-americans-cut-spending-amid-government-shutdown.html

            (3) Indeed, much of the Federal activity was deferred, and some will be pushed into early calendar year 2014, but some cannot be made up, and there are costs to delays as well. For example, lost productivity in terms of the procedures to shut down and to restart various activities. Not to mention the ripple effects in the private sector.

            (4) The economic impacts of the sequester were already factored into economic forecasting, and they definitely have been a drag on the economy. Overall, the US economy has been held back by uncertainty for an extended period of time, and this uncertainty has also been deferred and extended.

            We really need to stop this nonsense.

      • HonestDebate1

        These same liberals would rather see no debt limit which translates directly to no spending limit. They are the same ones accepting trillion dollar deficits and a plummeting Labor Force Participation Rate as the new normal. The notion they are suddenly concerned for fiscal constraint is not credible. The premise is whacked.

        • Mike_Card

          C’mon Gregg! The same “conservatives” who now want to reduce the national debt didn’t even whimper when Bush committed 2 unprovoked wars, with no plan to fund them. Not to mention that Bush’s antics caused a global economy melt-down, plus the explosion in VA costs for the future!
          You can blame liberals, but the real blame goes to the neo-coms–and you know that! (Let’s go fishin’)

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree with the fishing part, the rest, not so much,

          • Mike_Card

            Ha! Didn’t think you would; but I bet we could spend a good day talking about stuff that’s important (i.e., not politics–for us, that’s just recreation anyway).

      • John Cedar

        Regardless of whether you understand it or believe it, you have to admit it was a pretty reckless thing for Harry Reid to do.

    • William

      Is the burden of Obama-care going online factored into this 24 billion dollar loss? Certainly, the business community, individuals, local, state, federal government agencies will have to devote more time and money to meet the requirements of Obama-care and that is not a plus but a negative to their bottom line right?

      Also, does the failure of the Obma-care web site add or subtract or is that part of the 24 billion dollar loss?

      • hennorama

        William — thank you for your response, and your questions.

        Let me preface this discussion by indicating that I am not an economist and am merely a casual observer.

        First, we need to understand your definition of “the burden of Obama-care going online.”

        If you’re referring to the healthcare.gov website, as well as the various individual state healthcare exchange websites, that’s one thing. Certainly there is time and effort involved in the enrollment, as there is with any enrollment process. On the other hand, there has been a significant amount of time and effort wasted due to the various problems with the healthcare.gov site.

        If you’re referring to the PRIVATE insurance premiums that individuals will be paying, some of which will be subsidized by the Federal government, that’s something else entirely. Since these premiums will largely be going to pay for various PRIVATE elements of healthcare, as well as to the administrative costs and profits of the PRIVATE insurers, this adds to economic activity. There is of course some “crowding out” of other economic activities if individuals have to choose between paying these premiums and other spending options. However, this is not a unidirectional effect, as some individuals will actually be spending LESS on their health insurance.

        And since Medicaid eligibility is being expanded in about half of all states, there will be added private economic activity to service these patients as well. Of course, this largely involves PUBLIC payment, from the Federal government.

        As to the impacts on private businesses – certainly there have been cost impacts, some of which have been shifted to employees, some which will be shifted to customers through higher prices, and some of which will be absorbed by business. Indeed, as insurers adapt their plan offerings to comply with the requirements of the PPACA, there have been some resultant premium increases above and beyond what would have been expected had the PPACA not be in place. In addition, enforcement of the so-called “employer mandate” has been delayed for one year, which will save employers about $11 Billion, according to a recent Rand Corporation microsimulation.

        See:
        http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR411.html

        Businesses have been and will continue to adapt.

        BTW, the same Rand report found that:

        “The Employer Mandate Will Affect Relatively Few Firms and Employees

        “We estimate that only about 0.4% of firms, employing approximately 1.6% of workers, will pay a penalty for not offering health insurance at all.

        “Based on current employer health plan contribution rates, we estimate that 1.1% of firms will pay some penalty for offering unaffordable coverage to a total of less than 1% of the workforce.”

        If you have other specific questions about the S&P findings, the Analyst’s contact information is available through the link in the post to which your replied.

        Hope that answers your questions.

  • davecm

    Great news on the job front!!!!!
    77% of all jobs created in 2013 were part time jobs!!
    Great job Mr President and all you faithful Democrats!
    I predict the national debt will hit 20T before Obama leaves office.

    • hennorama

      davecm – thank you as always for your enthusiastic punctuation.

      Did you know, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, published August 26, 2013,

      “…recent movements and current levels of part-time work are largely within historical norms, despite increases for selected demographic groups, such as prime-age workers with a high-school degree or less. In that respect, the continued high incidence of part-time work likely reflects a slow labor market recovery and does not portend permanent changes in the proportion of part-time jobs.”

      See:
      http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2013/august/part-time-work-employment-increase-recession/

      Did you know, according to calculatedriskblog.com (as of Sunday, April 28, 2013):

      “The employment recovery during Mr. Bush’s first term was very sluggish, and private employment was down 946,000 jobs at the end of his first term. At the end of Mr. Bush’s second term, private employment was collapsing, and there were net 665,000 jobs lost during Mr. Bush’s two terms.

      “The recovery has been sluggish under Mr. Obama’s presidency too, and there were only 1,933,000 more private sector jobs at the end of Mr. Obama’s first term. A couple of months into Mr. Obama’s second term, there are now 2,282,000 more private sector jobs than when he took office.

      “A big difference between Mr. Bush’s tenure in office and Mr. Obama’s presidency has been public sector employment. The public sector grew during Mr. Bush’s term (up 1,748,000 jobs), but the public sector has declined since Obama took office (down 718,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but they are still a significant drag on overall employment.”

      See (there are some excellent charts here as well):
      http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/04/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#BoR3uQrY5ddH8x0S.99

      For the record:

      Change in Total nonfarm employment while President Bush II was in office (Jan. 2001 to Jan. 2009):

      +1.083 million (an increase of 0.82 percent)

      Change in Total nonfarm employment thus far under President Obama (Jan. 2009 to Aug. 2013*):
      *preliminary figure

      +2.502 million (an increase of 1.87 percent)

      Source:
      http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

      • HonestDebate1

        That sure is a tortured defense of this disgraceful economy.

        • John Cedar

          And a tortured defense of the abysmal statistics pertaining to Obama’s tenure.

          Not only is it axiomatic that full time jobs have been converted to part time jobs specifically in response to Obamacare, but for those observers slow on the uptake…the people who made the decisions to respond in such a manner, such as me, have made no secret of the reason for the conversions.

          • hennorama

            John Cedar – A few days ago you wrote “My business will save about a million dollars this year thanks to Obama…giving a one year delay of the employer mandate.”

            Please explain the details. For example, is this claimed figure the estimated cost of providing health insurance to your employees, the estimated fee associated with NOT providing health insurance to your employees, or something else?

            Please also explain your remark above, that “…the people who made the decisions to respond in such a manner, such as me, have made no secret of the reason for the conversions.”

            Please include the number of employees you have, and the number of “full time jobs [in your business] that have been converted to part time jobs specifically in response to Obamacare…”

            I look forward to your detailed response.

        • lobstahbisque

          A graceful defense of a tortured, (by the Repubilcan house), economy.

      • brettearle

        Henn–

        I haven’t looked at the references….

        But Technology and fear of ACA are not actually driving up part-time numbers?

        Hmmm….

        I would have thought, increases: Especially with regard to technology, always subsuming jobs that are now obviated by yet more applications.

        Clue, the second:

        Fool me….

        • hennorama

          brettearle – as always, technology will be deployed to reduce business costs whenever it makes sense to do so.

          The implications of the original post by [davecm], who wrote “Great job Mr President and all you faithful Democrats!,” as well as subsequent responses, such as from [John Cedar], who wrote “…it [is] axiomatic that full time jobs have been converted to part time jobs specifically in response to Obamacare…” is that the incidence of part-time jobs is somehow an unusual phenomenon, and/or that it has been greatly affected by the PPACA.

          Neither of these implications appear to be true.

          As my post indicated, private sector employment recovered faster after President Obama took office than after President Bush II took office. During Bush II’s first term, private sector employment FELL, from 111.713 M in Jan. 2001, to 110.767 M in Jan. 2005,

          During Obama’s first term, private sector employment ROSE, from 111.048 M in Jan. 2009 (notice this was still LOWER than when Bush II first came into office), to 112.981 M in Jan. 2013.

          The only reason there was net employment growth under Bush II’s two terms was due to a large expansion in public-sector employment, which grew from 20.835 M to 22.583 M under Bush II, and has thus far DECLINED from 22.583 M to 21.831(P) M under Obama.
          (P): preliminary (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

          So there’s that. As [davecm] wrote “Great job Mr President and all you faithful Democrats!”

          Quoting the Federal Reserve research referenced in my OP, regarding the level of part-time work:

          “…part-time work typically increases in recessions, which reflects the cyclical reduction in labor demand that reduces hours worked along with increasing the unemployment rate. The increase in part-time work during the most recent recession was especially large, which is not surprising given the size of the cyclical downturn. However, the current level of part-time work is not high by historical standards based on comparison with the adjusted series for the pre-1994 period displayed in the figure. In particular, on a consistent basis, the part-time employment share peaked at 20.3% in 1983, slightly above the recent peak of 19.7% in 2010. By this standard, the level of part-time work in recent years is not unprecedented, although its persistence during the ongoing recovery is unusual.”

          And further, regarding the idea that this is “the new normal” and the impact of the PPACA:

          “…involuntary part-time work, that is, part-time work for economic reasons, remains high. These factors have fueled speculation that elevated rates of part-time work may be here to stay. However, it is more probable that the continued high incidence of individuals working part time for economic reasons reflects a slow recovery of the jobs lost during the recession rather than permanent changes in the proportion of part-time jobs.

          “An alternative interpretation of the persistent high level of involuntary part-time work due to an inability to find full-time work is that it reflects employer anticipation of the 30-hour cutoff for mandatory employee health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Media stories have suggested that some employers are only hiring part-time workers to minimize the cost of expanded health coverage. This phenomenon will probably continue, although perhaps at a slower pace due to the recently announced delay in implementation of the employer mandate to 2015.

          “In any event, both the impact of the law so far and the ultimate effect are likely to be small. Before the law was passed, most large employers already faced IRS rules that prevented them from denying available health benefits to full-time workers. These rules gave employers an incentive to create part-time jobs to avoid rising health benefit costs. Moreover, recent research suggests that the ultimate increase in the incidence of part-time work when the ACA provisions are fully implemented is likely to be small, on the order of a 1 to 2 percentage point increase or less (Graham-Squire and Jacobs 2013). This is consistent with the example of Hawaii, where part-time work increased only slightly in the two decades following enforcement of the state’s employer health-care mandate (Buchmueller, DiNardo, and Valletta 2011).”

          What we have seen is greatly publicized stories of small numbers of companies who say they are changing their employment policies due to the PPACA. However, little actual data is given to back this up as some sort of overall trend. If there was a big trend, it would show up in the data, which thus far has not been the case.

          Here are some data points from just after passage of the PPACA on March 23, 2010, and the most recent data. All data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

          AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS OF ALL EMPLOYEES (Total private, Seasonally Adjusted, Series Id: CES0500000002)

          March 2010: 34.0
          August 2013: 34.5 (Preliminary)

          Employment Level – Part-Time for Economic Reasons, All Industries (Series Id: LNS12032194)

          March 2010: 9.122 Million
          August 2013: 7.911 Million

          Employment Level – Part-Time for Non-economic Reasons (Series Id: LNS12005977)

          March 2010: 18.279 Million
          August 2013: 19.339 Million

          The data immediately above shows that there has been an increase in part-time workers who were voluntarily working part-time for non-economic reasons. In other words, they only wanted to be working part-time. That’s an important point to remember any time someone talks about part-time workers – the VAST MAJORITY DO SO VOLUNTARILY.

          As another forum member wrote recently, “Rule of thumb: when they give you percentages, ask for the number count; when they give you the number count, ask for the percentages.”

          See also:
          http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/09/part-time-jobs-for-economic-reasons-as-a-share-of-full-time-employment-and-total-part-time-jobs-has-been-declining/ (Title: “Part-time jobs for economic reasons as a share of full-time employment and total part-time jobs have been declining,” posted September 8, 2013)

  • lobstahbisque

    Thanks hennorama for your always spot on and comprehensive posts. There’s nothing like the strong light of truth for liberation from the darkness of truthiness.

    • hennorama

      lobstahbisque – thank you for your very kind words, although I must say that it’s a bit odd to now have been named in two original posts within a span of three days.

      As Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

      This of course is commonly shortened to “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

      Thanks again for your very kind words.

      • fun bobby

        a recent study has shown that street lights do not prevent crime

        • hennorama

          fun bobby — Thank you for your response.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Continued broken promises…

    “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” -President Obama

    “Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/thousands-get-health-insurance-cancellation-notices-8C11417913

    #aca_trainwreck
    #unintentionalconsequences

  • lobstahbisque

    Perfect stocking stuffer!

    • fun bobby

      i thought no one was getting nuttin for Christmas because the tea party shout down part of the govt for 2 weeks?

      • StilllHere

        In fact, Christmas is cancelled.

        • fun bobby

          must be another volley in the war on christmas

    • Ray in VT

      What has two thumbs and cost us $24 billion. That guy.

  • JGC

    ruhroh astro….William Hilton Paul, son of Rand Paul, has been cited with underage drinking.

    Some questions:

    1) Why is his middle name “Hilton”? Is it some sort of product placement kickback? Like, I will name my kid “Hilton” or “Kraft Dinner” or “McNuggets” in exchange for campaign donations to my 501(c)3?

    2) Was the mug shot taken from this particular infraction at the race track, or was it from that unruly business on the airline back at the beginning of the year?

    3) What exactly is “Roto’s Pleasure Palace” that may soon be scrubbed from William’s Facebook page?

  • OnPointComments

    Your tin foil hat is not keeping out the microwaves. Your conspiracy theory is bunk.

    Amazon flawlessly handles hundreds of millions of account transactions each month. President Obama said today that there have only been 20 million visits to the Obamacare website, yet the website has failed miserably, and at an astronomical cost in excess of $600 million dollars. Why would anyone trust the government to facilitate their healthcare when it can’t even set up a website that functions correctly within three years?

  • HonestDebate1

    IMO Mary Katherine Ham really nails it, especially with the points she made in the followup tweets.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/21/obama-has-declared-healthcare-gov-problems-unacceptable-problem-solved/

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama has you right where he wants you.

  • HonestDebate1

    When you see a fat man standing next to a skinny one do you assume the fat guy stole the skinny one’s food.

  • jefe68

    Let me get this straight. You think a web site which was supposedly designed to take on large volumes of traffic was taken down by large volumes of traffic?
    Most likely the code is bad and it’s bad in a lot of places.
    I’m not sure about the ACA, I want a single payer system.
    But this launch was not good. Neither was Medicare Plan D also had a rough start. As did Medicare and Medicaid.
    Now they work fine. But in the age of constant internet chatter it’s going to be a rough few months for the Obama administration.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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