Speaker of the House John Boehner has apparently just let the House of Representatives go home for the night, even though there's an hour left before the federal 2013 fiscal year ends (as of this writing). This guarantees at least a short-term partial shutdown of the federal government. Irony of ironies, however: the shutdown will not actually affect the Obamacare insurance exchanges, which will open on time tomorrow as planned. Meaning the whole "defund Obamacare" point of principle the shutdown supposedly hinges on won't actually be achieved by the shutdown. This basic truth was, as usual, completely ignored by most of the mainstream media who have spent the last week, instead, salivating over the prospect of a knock-down political fight.
Archive of Articles for September, 2013
I'm holding off (for now) on writing today, so I can instead post a snap reaction after the final part of this Kabuki theater we're witnessing. Yes, I said Kabuki. My bet, at the current moment, is what I've believed all along: Boehner will pass a "clean" continuing resolution at the very last [...]
No, the big point missed in the midst of Senator Ted Cruz's talkfest was the moral of the story he read. By now, most people have heard that Cruz read, in its entirety, the classic Dr. Seuss children's book Green Eggs And Ham -- tucking his own kids into bed, long-distance, via C-SPAN. Cruz then doubled down on his point-missing by comparing Obamacare to the story's green eggs and ham. Cruz really has no excuse for this monumentally idiotic mistake, since (as mentioned) he read the whole story from the Senate floor.
If it wasn't already obvious, Senator Ted Cruz's recent talk-a-thon should prove to Majority Leader Harry Reid that the time is now to bring back the old-fashioned "talking" filibuster. The American people would love it. It's entertaining, and we all have fond memories of that Jimmy Stewart movie, right? So come on, Harry, unleash the "real" filibusters!
A fully-bipartisanship consensus was reached today in the United States Senate, which just unanimously condemned Ted Cruz as nothing more than a self-aggrandizing and self-promoting buffoon. Well, that wasn't exactly the title of the bill which came up for a vote, but it amounted to the same thing when every senator voted to ignore Cruz's "fauxlibuster" and move forward on the budget bill. The truly astounding thing in this unanimously bipartisan vote? Even Ted Cruz voted against Ted Cruz. If that isn't a bipartisan consensus, then I don't know what is.
A paean, my dictionary informs me, is "an exultant song of praise or thanksgiving." The reason I'm offering up such praise today is that it is officially National Punctuation Day. [Who knew punctuation had its own day? Andy Warhol would likely have been amused, one suspects.] But just to warn everyone up front, we're veering off from political discussions today in order to have a punctuation discussion instead. I almost titled this article "A Pedantic Punctuation Paean," but you're going to have to look that word up yourself to see why I thought it was a bit too much. But if an article on punctuation sounds unbelievably boring to you... well, there's always kitten videos a-plenty out there to watch on the internet, right?
In all the intense focus on the Obamacare fight now playing out in the halls of Congress, very few are pointing out a rather depressing fact: this is only "Round 1." Out of three of these bouts on the schedule before 2014 dawns. It's important to keep the big picture in perspective, in other words. We're going to have this week's big showdown before the first of October, then we're going to fight all during October over the debt ceiling, and then we're going to have the very same fight we're having right now all over again in December, just in time for holiday shopping.
It's all becoming clear now. House Republicans are just really big fans of Douglas Adams -- that's been their plan all along. Adams, in his brilliantly funny Hitchhiker's Guide series, told the story of the megacomputer "Deep Thought" who spent seven-and-a-half million years working on "the answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe, and everything." Deep Thought famously came up with the answer to this weighty query: 42.
Ted Cruz is finding out what it's like being on the receiving end of Tea Party anger. This is unusual, since he's normally dishing Tea Party abuse out, not taking it. The reason for all this anger? Cruz committed what is known as a "Washington gaffe," defined as "accidentally speaking the truth when politics dictate you espouse a lie." That's what Cruz just did, and that's why the Tea Partiers in the House are coming down on him like a ton of bricks.
The politico-media empire which writes the rules of the Washington "What Serious People Are Saying" game have apparently decided that the government shutdown is now melodramatically going to happen. Cue ominous organ music blast (dum Dum DUM!). The key word in that opening sentence is "melodramatically," because our government can now be seen as nothing more than a continuing soap opera. Call it "As The Boehner Turns," or perhaps more appropriately "The Boehner And The Restless."