Despite what Max Baucus said, Obamacare is not a 'train wreck' rolling toward a head-on collision. But Republicans are trying and will continue to try to make it as hard as possible to implement. This is not unlike what they did with Medicare back in the 60s when it was implemented. In fact, I expect them to take some pages right out of that playbook despite Medicare's obvious success.
Jonathan Cohn has an excellent article in The New Republic this morning outlining the potential pitfalls in implementation. There will be pitfalls. Make no mistake. There is no way to open up this system to everyone without glitches. Remember, there are balky insurers still trying to undermine it behind the scenes, and opportunistic politicians waiting to pounce on any failure, no matter how small, to capitalize in the 2014 midterms.
As even Obamacare’s most ardent defenders have said from the start, the law is far from ideal. The architects of reform had to make all sorts of compromises, just to get the law past lobbyists and obstructionist Republicans. And then, after finally enacting the historic legislation in early 2010, they had to spend most of the next three years fighting repeal. In Washington, Republican congressional leadership has repeatedly blocked funding for implementing the law. At the state level, conservative officials are at best indifferent to its success and at worse outright hostile to it. This last part is no small thing, given the leeway state officials have over the law's implementation. In states like Florida and Texas, officials have already indicated they won't be expanding eligibility for their Medicaid programs—depriving millions of health insurance.
Would you believe that Steven Seagal is actually not the worst choice Arpaio made?
Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that Seagal's heart is in the right place, although I question whether D-List action stars from the '80s are really the right tactic. But nevertheless, with all the news of shootings, all parents worry about the safety of their children.
But I'm not sure that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is really thinking about the safety of children as much as he should. After the massacre at Sandy Hook, Arpaio's response aligned with the NRA, vowing to place his personally selected 'posse' of armed guards in Maricopa County schools. But did anyone question where he would get the candidates for this posse?
(T)he posse reportedly included at least one man convicted of sex crimes against children. And even worse, and what no one has apparently yet realized: The convicted child sex criminal posse member worked for Arpaio for years in the Sheriff’s office until he was arrested in 2009.
Are we to believe that Arpaio had no idea who this guy was?
Yeah, thanks, but no thanks, Sheriff Joe. I'd much rather have my children take the relatively rare chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with a school shooting than have them be face to face daily with a known and convicted offender of child sex crimes. Americablog has the whole sordid story.
I tell you, Arpaio's recall would do more to restore justice to Arizona than any other thing.
David Brooks is everything that's wrong inside the Beltway. And yet, he is reliably on one or the other of the Sunday shows every damn week. In just one minute of soundbyte, Brooks was so full of wrong and stupidity that it's hard not to pick it apart and just respond:
First, let’s just say, what’s happening in Washington right now is pathetic. When you think about what the Revolutionary generation did, what the Civil War generation did, what the WWII generation did, we’re asking not to bankrupt our children and we’ve got a shambolic, dysfunctional process.I think most of the blame still has to go to the Republicans.
How very generous of you, David. Let's be honest, ALL of the blame belongs to the Republicans. The fiscal "cliff" was created because the Republicans refused to vote on deficit reduction earlier and the "crisis" was created by bozos like David Brooks in the media. In a fragile economic recovery, we don't need to focus on the damn deficit. We can't cut spending. That will contract the economy and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THESE. CONSERVATIVES. KNOWS. THAT. and want the economy to struggle more so that they can say, "See, those leftist liberal policies hurt America!"
They’ve had a brain freeze since the election.
Since the election? Be honest. They haven't employed their brains since the Eisenhower era.
They have no strategy. They don’t know what they want and they haven’t decided what they want.
C'mon, Bobo. You know what they want. They haven't hidden it. They want Obama to fail as a president. EVERYTHING they do is for that end. Not for the American people. Not for the good of the country. Everything is a political calculus to hurt the Democratic Party and President.
But if I had to fault President Obama...
Do you have to? Why?
... I would say sometimes he governs like a visitor from a morally superior civilization.
They're called the Democratic Party. You can call them by their correct name.
He comes in here and he will not….he’ll talk to a Boehner, but he won’t with the other Republicans.
Besides being factually incorrect--not that that has ever stopped David Brooks--John Boehner is the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader. Nothing gets voted on that he doesn't sanction. Doesn't it make sense to talk to head guy? Or is Obama expected to show his good faith (and Brooks-like misunderstanding of how government runs) by talking to every single Republican in Congress? How is that effective?
He hasn’t built the trust.
On the contrary, I think that the Republicans trust that if they stall and posture for as long as possible, President Obama will concede just about everything to get a deal done. That's the only way they have any negotiating ground or leverage and four years of dealmaking precedent to rely on.
Boehner actually made a pretty serious concession, $800 billion in tax revenues, probably willing to go up on rates, but the trust wasn’t there to get that done.
Boehner's own party didn't trust him to get that deal done. That didn't get scuttled by Obama, that was scuttled by the extreme fringe of the ....wait for it....REPUBLICANS. Nice revisionism, Bobo.
If the President wants to get stuff done in the next four years, it’s gotta be a lot more than making the intellectual concessions. It’s got to get to the place where Republicans say, ‘okay, we’ll take a risk, this guy won’t screw us.’
Holy FSM, the Republicans are all about screwing. It's just that they want to be the ones clearly screwing the President, not vice versa. There's been no reason for the President to trust the Republicans, but this intellectual heavyweight of conservative thought can't or won't admit it.
Again, Brooks is everything wrong inside the Beltway.
I'm sure that many of you are like me and would like to see The Donald would fade back into his reality show world and work on raising whatever those animals are that live on his head. But this story is just too shadenfreude-licious to ignore.
Donald Trump's anti-Obama campaign has apparently reached "embarrassing dad" status, because his three eldest kids recently staged an intervention of sorts advising him to tone it down, reports the New York Daily News. Eric, Donald Jr., and Ivanka "showed a lot of respect" during the mid-October meeting, a source tells the paper, "but told him he’s worked too long and too hard to build up the reputation he has. They understand completely he’s always been outspoken and that he likes attention, but this is too much."
Gee, you think? Just because the man has become a national joke...
If you were like me last night, you went to Twitter to see live, up to moment reporting of damage on the East Coast due to Hurricane Sandy. I have family in New York and New Jersey and the power of the storm made me very scared for their safety. So far, the only report from them I've heard is a tree branch hitting a car. Others have not been so lucky.
But in between some eerie and just plain horrifying pictures, there was one tweeter who seemed to be tweeting out a lot of information that others needed to then correct, thereby sending the twitterverse into a lot of confusion at a time when the chaos was already overwhelming. That tweeter? @Comfortablysmug
What leads a person to do such a thing, which his critics have likened to shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater? It’s unclear. But perhaps it has something to do with the nature of anonymity. If there are no consequences for posting false “BREAKING” news, there’s an incentive to do it to an accumulate a large audience.
What @comfortablysmug didn’t count on, apparently, was losing that anonymity. Based on photos he censored and posted to the account but I found unedited elsewhere, @comfortablysmug is Shashank Tripathi, a hedge-fund analyst and the campaign manager of Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the U.S. House from New York’s 12th congressional district.FEC documents show Wight has paid Tripathi thousands of dollars this election cycle as a “consultant.” @comfortablysmug has been a vocal supporter of Mitt Romney and posted tweets suggesting he attended this year's Republican convention.
Yeah, it's petty. But for millions of New Yorkers and others along the Eastern seaboard, this was quite literally a life and death situation. And to purposefully send out false information that could lead to slower response times for actual emergencies is just unconscionable.
But then again, when do Republicans show concern for actual lives in the balance?
FSM, grant me the strength not to strangle this idiot.
After a bizarre, rambling speech of how great America is because we value life (citing the examples of firefighters running into the World Trade Center and Marines protecting Iraqis), Republican Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin tells local Missouri Fox News host Charles Jaco that "real" rape victims can "shut down" a pregnancy.
This morning, Akin told the anchor of the Jaco Report that, from what he "understands from doctors" (which doctors, he does not say), that assuming we are talking about "cases of legitimate rape" the "female body has a way of shutting that down" (i.e. preventing pregnancy).
So ladies, according to Mr. Akin, if you are raped, you not only have to prove to Mr. Akin that your rape was "legitimate," you also are at fault for allowing yourself to become pregnant.
WTF???? I really am beginning to feel strongly that men who have not a single clue on the reproductive system of women have absolutely no right to opine on it, much less legislate. However, this is par for course for Akin:
Nor is this Akin’s first time suggesting some types of rape are more worthy of protections than others. As a state legislator, Akin voted in 1991 for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it might be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,” according to a May 1 article that year in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The PollTracker Average shows Akin leading McCaskill by a margin of 49.7 percent to 41.3 percent.
For the love of everything holy, I have issues with Claire McCaskill, but she is light years more evolved than this troglodyte. We cannot allow Todd Akin a seat in the Senate.
Updated with facts: (h/t Matt Yglesias) Akin wonders dismissively how prevalent rape-related pregnancy occurs. Turns out, pretty often:
Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.
I'm sure Akin will say those women are just not trying hard enough to shut down the pregnancy.
UPDATED: Ruh-roh. Someone figured out that this might not have been the right thing to say. After fellow Republicans (!!!) called for him to step down from the Senate race, Akin released a statement saying he "misspoke" about the notion of "legitimate" rape. Oddly enough, he hasn't walked back the shutting down pregnancy part. I'd like to see him name the medical "professionals" who gave him that information.
Well, Shea’s still in office, and these days he’s gunning for a third term in Washington’s legislature.
That’s not all he’s gunning for. According to documents recently unearthed by the Spokesman-Review, the bellicose Tea Party darling last November pulled a gun on another motorist during a “road rage” confrontation in Spokane.
Apparently, Shea was among several drivers to call 911 to report “erratic” and aggressive driving by a Chevy Lumina in Spokane on Nov. 23. Meanwhile,
Leroy Norris, the driver of the Lumina, called police to report he had been driving on Monroe when a pickup truck cut him off and he had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. He honked his horn, made some “aggressive lane changes” with the pickup, and the driver of that vehicle “flipped him off.” The driver of the pickup pulled a handgun from the passenger side of the car and pointed it at him, he said. He “freaked out” and drove away “crazy” because he thought his life was in danger, he added.
Norris called the police at Monroe and Fourth Avenue and said he lost the pickup at about 14th Avenue.
Shea also called police to report the driver of the Lumina, and the investigating officer contacted him several hours later. Shea said he “may or may not have cut someone off” but said the driver of the Lumina at one point made a beeline for the front of his vehicle. He gave the officer the same license plate number for the Lumina as Jasper did.
Shea “thought he was being targeted due to his work,” the officer wrote in his report, and admitted pulling a handgun out of the glove box, which the other driver could have seen.
The officer asked to see the gun. “During our conversation, the defendant admitted to letting his concealed weapons permit expire several years ago,” the officer wrote. Shea asked about the law on carrying concealed weapons and the officer produced a copy for him to read, then told him it was illegal to have a loaded gun in his vehicle with no permit.
“His mouth became very dry (Cotton Mouth) as we continued to discuss the violation,” the officer wrote. “It was obvious to me he was extremely nervous …”.
The gun was seized, the article says, and at the time Shea was cited for two violations: “having a loaded gun in his vehicle without a valid permit and drawing a firearm ‘under circumstances and at a time and place that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons,’” both misdemeanors in Washington.
In anticipation of the vote, GOP aides noted that the House has voted to end three programs created by the law and to halt or rescind funding for seven of the law’s provisions. And even if today’s vote never gets signed into law by President Obama, Republicans vow to keep trying.
This is a productive use of the House's time, innit? It will NEVER get signed into law. Never. Yet instead of arguing infrastructure investments or jobs program or...be still my heart...the things Congress can do right now21st century version of the WPA to help average Americans (and take credit for in the upcoming elections, you idiot strategists), but no, they're going to make this empty gesture over and over and over and....
What this Congress is doing about jobs, via The Nation:
Update from Karoli: The House just defeated Democrats' motion to amend the repeal bill to require anyone voting for repeal to give up their own taxpayer-subsidized health care plan. They were joined by 8 BlueDogs who can't seem to understand that there are such things as core values. Then the House voted, for the 33rd time, to repeal the bill entirely with the help of 5 BlueDogs.
The next item of business on the House calendar was a round of self-congratulations on their Saturday golf tournament results. What a bunch of useless people they are.
"Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be 'constitutional' does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right," Sen. Paul said.
"Obamacare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare," he continued.
No, actually, you bloody idjit, if the majority of the Supreme Court has ruled it's constitutional, by definition, IT'S CONSTITUTIONAL.
Because if you really want to go down this path, you America-hating, traitorous punk, then we can decide right now that Citizens Unitedis unconstitutional and we can ignore it.
We can declare President Al Gore can and should arrest George W. Bush for breaking and entering into the White House.
Seriously, Senator Paul, if you can't understand this basic tenet of how government works, then you are advocating for anarchy. Just accept gracefully that you were on the wrong side of this one, and move on.