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Friday Talking Points [282] -- A "Regular Disorder" Rant

[ Posted Friday, November 15th, 2013 – 19:21 PST ]

Let's see, what happened last week?

Well, of course, there was lots of Obamacare news, but since most Democrats are pretty sick of hearing about it at this point, we're going to once again largely ignore it today. After pointing out one story which was strangely ignored in the pile-on in the media this week. It seems the profits for the company contracted to build the Obamacare site are way up. How nice for them, eh? Sigh.

Seriously, though, if you want to read my thoughts on Obama's presser yesterday, or my warning of a possible upcoming disaster on the website, please feel free to do so. But two columns (in what was essentially a four-day week) is enough on the subject for now, I think. Also, we've devoted a whole lot of talking points to the issue for the past two months, so we're going to instead offer up a rant this week on a different subject.

While it's hard to see, if all your news sources are of the mainstream variety, there were indeed other political stories happening this week.

The most amusing story was a retraction a newspaper printed. A full 150 years after the original editorial ran. The original article contained a paragraph of sneering contempt, not surprising since the paper was a partisan Democratic news outlet (which was more common back then, of course, than it is today), and the speech they snarkily dismissed was from a Republican president. From the original editorial:

We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them, and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.

The speech the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Patriot & Union wrote about was the Gettysburg Address, given by President Abraham Lincoln, not too far away from where the paper was located. The Patriot-News (their modern successor) printed an eloquent retraction, full of homage, which began:

Seven score and ten years ago, the forefathers of this media institution brought forth to its audience a judgment so flawed, so tainted by hubris, so lacking in the perspective history would bring, that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives.

They continue by trashing their own former editors: "Our predecessors, perhaps under the influence of partisanship, or of strong drink, as was common in the profession at the time..." and they finish with rousing praise for the speech:

By today's words alone, we cannot exalt, we cannot hallow, we cannot venerate this sacred text, for a grateful nation long ago came to view those words with reverence, without guidance from this chagrined member of the mainstream media.

The world will little note nor long remember our emendation of this institution's record -- but we must do as conscience demands.

Which is followed by their official retraction:

In the editorial about President Abraham Lincoln's speech delivered Nov. 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, the Patriot & Union failed to recognize its momentous importance, timeless eloquence, and lasting significance. The Patriot-News regrets the error.

OK, so it was a century and a half late, but that's the most rousing retraction I think I've ever read, so you've got to give them points for that, at least.

What else? There's a Secret Service scandal that seems almost irresistible (as media "catnip" stories go), but which has only really been followed in any meaningful way by the Washington Post. The story involves sex in other countries, sexually-suggestive emails sent to female agents, banging on a hotel door, and an agent who seems to have left a bullet cartridge behind in a lady's room. You'd think that with all those enticing details this story would have been given more attention, but so far most are ignoring it (for some inexplicable reason or another).

I guess the heart-warming Batkid story took up too much time, or something.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Nominee to chair the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen gave some stellar testimony this week in her confirmation hearing, but we're really not sure if she's an actual Democrat or not (they're supposed to be sort of non-partisan folks, in theory), so we just mention it briefly in passing.

Also deserving of brief mention, as well as an Honorable Mention is Vice President Joe Biden, but we'll get to the reason why in the rant at the end, so you'll have to wait.

This week, however, we've got six -- count them, six! -- Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards to hand out. Here's why:

Following an unprecedented three-year wave of state legislative attacks on abortion and family planning services, a group of Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate plan to go on the offensive Wednesday with a historic bill that would make it illegal for states to chip away at women's reproductive rights.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will introduce the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013, joined by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.). The bill would prohibit states from passing so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which impose strict and cost-prohibitive building standards on abortion clinics, require women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds, and create other barriers to abortion access.

Blumenthal, speaking in support of his legislation:

In states like Texas and Wisconsin, legislatures are passing bills with the false pretext of protecting health when their only objective is to obstruct and curtail access to safe and legal abortions and reproductive services. These laws are largely unconstitutional, and some measure of certainty and clarity is required to preempt these regulations and laws so women are not deterred in their very personal decisions based on their own values on how they want to use their constitutional rights. The Women's Health Protection Act will provide a clear and certain response to these regulations and laws that impose unnecessary tests, procedures and restrictions -- including requirements for physical layout in clinics -- on reproductive services.

Now that is standing up for what you believe in, and showing other Democrats how to fight back! In fact, no other explanation is really even necessary. For going on the offensive, we hereby award Senators Blumenthal, Boxer, and Baldwin, as well as Representatives Fudge, Chu, and Frankel this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. And we sincerely hope that all other Democrats are standing in line, waiting to sign up to cosponsor this bill.

[Congratulate Senator Tammy Baldwin on her Senate contact page, Senator Richard Blumenthal on his Senate contact page, Senator Barbara Boxer on her Senate contact page, Representative Judy Chu on her House contact page, Representative Lois Frankel on her House contact page, and Representative Marcia Fudge on her House contact page, to let them all know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

President Obama gave a rather subdued press conference this week, but we don't feel it merits an award here. A vote in the House on an Obamacare fix proposed by Republicans garnered 39 Democratic votes, but that was less than expected (a full list of Democrats who crossed the aisle is available, if you're interested).

But we've got to go local this week -- extremely local -- for our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Because Lafourche Parish (Louisiana) Councilman Lindel Toups won the award hands-down this week. But the astounding thing was that in virtually all the media coverage, his party affiliation wasn't even mentioned. Even searching local news items failed to prove what party Toups hails from (try a web search of his name yourself, if you don't believe this). We had to go back and find an election result story, in fact, to see a party appended to his name ("Democratic incumbent Lindel Toups won"), which pretty much every news outlet ignored (even such stalwarts as the Los Angeles Times, mind you).

Shameful as it is to admit, though, Toups is indeed a Democrat. Which makes him eligible for the MDDOTW award. What won it for him hands-down, though, was the statement he made in support of a measure which would take money from the local libraries and instead use it to build a jail. You just can't make this stuff up, folks. Here's what Toups had to say which got him into so much trouble, after stating that the library fund has "too much money," from the original article which broke the story:

"They're teaching Mexicans how to speak English," the council chairman said in reference to Biblioteca Hispana, a Hispanic-language segment of the Golden Meadow library branch. "Let that son of a bitch go back to Mexico. There's just so many things they're doing that I don't agree with. Them junkies and hippies and food stamps [recipients] and all, they use the library to look at drugs and food stamps [on the Internet]. I see them do it."

What's truly ironic is that both the son and grandson of Toups have gotten into trouble with drugs and the law previously.

For his stunning display of ignorance and bigotry, for making the selection of the award inevitable this week, and for shamefully keeping the "Yellow Dog, Democrats-used-to-be-the-racist-ones" tradition alive in the Deep South, we hereby award Lindel Toups this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. For shame, Mister Toups, for shame.

[Contact Lafourche Parish Councilman Lindel Toups via his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 282 (11/15/13)

We're pre-empting the talking points this week to go off on a rant. The subjects which inspired this rant? Immigration reform, the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner, and an oldie-but-a-goodie: the breathtaking and stunning depths of Republican hypocrisy.

I created a timeline earlier this year, which lays out in excruciating detail (it took two full columns) how Republicans have flipped and flopped on the issue all year long, on the budget negotiations. There is also a comprehensive list of quotes in an exhaustive Senate press release, if that isn't enough fodder for you. I'm putting these links up front, so I won't have to cite every quote used below.

OK, enough attribution, let's get on with it.

 

A Rant On "Regular Disorder"

I just heard that Speaker of the House John Boehner has now announced he will not move to a conference committee on the subject of immigration, if those uppity senators think they're going to have any sort of say in the matter. I have to say, this is just the last in a series of jaw-dropping insanity from Boehner on the subject of "how a bill becomes law in the United States Congress." Maybe he needs to go back and watch the "I'm Just A Bill" video from Schoolhouse Rock or something. At this point, it certainly couldn't hurt.

A quick review of how we got here is necessary to understand the depths of Boehner's delusional behavior. At the beginning of this calendar year, Boehner actually got a few things done, with bipartisan votes. This absolutely enraged the Tea Party faction of Boehner's own Republicans, and so Boehner started swearing he was going to henceforth start using "regular order" to pass laws.

What this meant (to the Tea Party) was that no more deals would be cut between Boehner, the Senate, or President Obama. Instead, the House would "work its will" in the way it is supposed to do. What this means, for anyone who has forgotten their high school civics lessons, is that bills have a clear path for passage. House committees debate and vote on bills, then they move to the House floor for the final debate and vote. Senate committees do the same thing, and a Senate vote is held. This virtually always results in two different bills, and so the next step in "regular order" is to form a "conference committee" with members from both parties, and members of both houses of Congress. They hash out a compromise bill, and then it returns to both the House and Senate for a final vote. When the same bill is passed by both houses, it goes to the president's desk and awaits his signature or veto. That is "regular order." That is how the process is supposed to work.

This is what Speaker Boehner called for at the beginning of this year. Over and over again. It became a talking point parroted by so many Republicans it's impossible to list them all. Here's just one example, from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

A second term presents the opportunity to do things differently, and in the Senate that means a return to regular order. Later this week, the House plans to send the Senate a bill to address the debt limit in a timely manner. Once we get it, the Senate should quickly respond. If the Senate version is different than the one the House sends over, send it off to conference. That's how things are supposed to work around here. We used to call it legislating.

But a funny thing then happened. The House and the Senate actually passed budget bills. And the Republicans then fell all over themselves to torpedo any such conference committee before it even happened. After begging for "regular order" for months, when faced with the possibility that regular order could actually work, they erupted in sheer panic. What, after all, would such a conference committee come up with? An actual compromise?!? Since that struck such fear into the Tea Partiers, Republicans on both sides of the Capitol used every excuse possible to block the formation of such a conference committee.

On the Senate side, individual senators had the power to stop the creation of a conference committee -- which they did nineteen times in the coming months, to block Democrats from even naming a committee. Senator Mike Lee, who personally blocked four of these efforts, summed up his reasoning: "What I strongly object to is any procedural trick that could be used to negotiate behind closed doors, in a back-room deal, an agreement to raise the debt limit or to raise taxes." Got that? The "regular order" Republicans had been noisily begging for all year long had now morphed into a "procedural trick" used to "negotiate behind closed doors, in a back-room deal." How the talking point turns, eh?

To be blunt, the Tea Party senators were terrified that some sort of reasonable deal would be struck which could pass both the House and Senate. Mitch McConnell, who sadly opined "we used to call it legislating" earlier in the year, also personally blocked the formation of the conference committee -- more times (5) than any other senator, in fact. Naked, ugly, blatant hypocrisy is the nicest thing I can think to call this.

Over in the House, John Boehner and his Tea Party brigades decided to rewrite congressional history to suit their views of how the process should now work. No conference committee would be agreed to until the Senate -- in advance, mind you -- agreed not to even talk about the Senate's bill. Boehner seems to have a delusional view of the power of one house of Congress to dictate terms to the other. In an astonishing bit of chutzpah, Boehner even insisted that this was the way it was supposed to work. The Hill reported: "Boehner said he was following 'regular order' by allowing chairmen to hash out an informal framework first. 'The chairmen of the two committees are talking, and as you all know, it's customary that there's no appointment of a formal conference until such time as there's some basic framework worked out from which they can proceed,' Boehner said."

What Boehner meant was that when the Senate agreed to bargain away everything and only consider what the House wanted to talk about, then and only then would he name members to such a committee. This is insane, to be blunt. Republicans blocked the conference committee in both houses because they were terrified an agreement could be reached.

It is worth mentioning that, outside of the Tea Party, even other Republicans were saying how insane this behavior was. From the headlines, Susan Collins: "'Regular Order Is Going To Conference' And The Republican Party's Stance On Conference Is 'Ironic In the Least.'" Senator John McCain: "It's Not The Regular Order For A Number Senators, A Small Number, A Minority Within A Minority Here, To Say They Will Not Agree To Go To Conference." Bob Corker: "For Four Years, We've Been Waiting For A Budget. To Now Keep From Appointing Conferees Is Not Consistent." Jeff Sessions: "I Think The Right Thing To Do Is Get Ourselves To Conference." Lamar Alexander: "I Think It Would Be Better If We Went To Conference On The Budget, And We Have Been Saying For Four Years That That's What We Want To Do, And I Think We Should Do It." This is just a representative sample, there are other such headlines from Tom Coburn, John Boozman, Thad Cochran, Jeff Flake, Rob Portman, John Cornyn, Johnny Isakson, among others.

But they were crying in the wilderness. John Boehner refused to budge, and the Tea Party senators refused to budge.

This led to yet another stunning display of hypocrisy, during the government shutdown. The Republicans -- all of a sudden, mind you, when they figured out they were going to lose the political battle -- decided that the face-saving measure they would emerge with was the very conference committee they had been blocking all year long. The media, who seems to have the long-term memory of a hyperactive kitten, went along for the ride and declared the creation of the conference committee some sort of victory for Republicans. Insanity!

But now it seems Republicans' love of regular order (including conference committees) has died on the vine once again. They have flipped, and they have flopped. And then they flipped right back again.

Here is the story, as the Washington Post reported it:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that the House will not enter negotiations with the Senate to hash out differences between its immigration plans and the Senate immigration bill -- dealing a significant blow to the prospects of comprehensive immigration reform this Congress.

"The idea that we're going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House," Boehner said. "And frankly, I'll make clear that we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill."

Conservatives have worried for weeks that passing smaller pieces of immigration reform legislation out of the House -- as Republicans have moved to do -- would lead to a House-Senate conference committee in which the larger Senate immigration bill might win out.

The Senate bill, no matter what its length, passed in June. In June. Boehner is admitting that the House simply has not done its job since then, since Republicans haven't even bothered to read the wildly bipartisan Senate bill. So much for revering "regular order," eh? Boehner is once again trying to dictate terms to the Senate: we will go to conference committee on House bills only, while ignoring the Senate bill.

Who does he think he is? King John Boehner of Capitol Hill?

Once, again, conservatives are quaking in their boots that something might actually be agreed upon -- you know, by the regular order of things. They are afraid they are going to lose the argument, and so they are taking their bat and ball and going home, thank you very much.

What truly makes this laughable is that the House has done nothing at all on immigration all year long, while making a lot of smoke and noise about "how hard they're working on it." While the Senate put together a comprehensive bill, the House was going to break it up into easily-digestible chunks of legislation which could pass the House. They have not managed to pass even one of these. Not one has even made it to the House floor, in fact. Even though they've had roughly twice the time the Senate took. They are sitting on their collective thumbs and hoping the rest of us won't notice. Now they say "there's not enough time," which is just a disgraceful attempt at excusing the fact that they haven't done their jobs all year long.

The really riotously funny (in a gallows humor sort of way) actor in this Kabuki drama is Senator Marco Rubio, who was one of the authors of the Senate bill and who has paid a political price for his reasonableness and his naive belief that Congress is supposed to actually get things done (the Tea Party folks vehemently disagree with this premise, of course). Here is the next paragraph of that story:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who led the comprehensive effort in the Senate, has said any conference committee must promise not to consider the Senate's bill and only consider the House's legislation.

Got that? Rubio led the Republican effort in the Senate to pass the bill. In normal (or, "not through the looking glass") times, this would be a feather in his cap and he'd be bragging about his own bill. However, in this topsy-turvy, loop-the-loop reality Republicans must now inhabit to appease the Tea Party, Rubio is agreeing with Boehner that any conference committee must absolutely ignore the bill which he helped write.

Republicans, in 2013 alone, demanded the pie-in-the-sky of "regular order." Then they fought as hard as they could to block "regular order." Then they claimed that the regular order of setting up a conference committee -- what they had, indeed, been blocking all year long -- was now a Republican victory somehow. Now, on immigration, they are back to denouncing "regular order" as some sort of legislative trickery to be avoided at all costs. The flip-floppery is downright astounding.

Vice President Joe Biden, appropriately speaking at a naturalization ceremony, was one of the few to boldly point out what Boehner was attempting to do:

He will not allow the House to play by fair play -- the American way -- to let the Congress actually vote their conscience to fix a broken system. This is a step backward in the history of the country.

Well, bully for Biden for not mincing words!

If such naked, raw, unconscionable Republican hypocrisy didn't have such far-reaching effects to the country at large, it would be downright laughable and pathetic. That is, if anyone in the media bothered to put these puzzle pieces together. Republicans are not in favor of regular order, in fact they repeatedly demand the continuation of the regular disorder in the halls of Congress.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

32 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [282] -- A "Regular Disorder" Rant”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    It seems the profits for the company contracted to build the Obamacare site are way up. How nice for them, eh? Sigh.

    Of course, the person who owns the company is a personal friend of and donor to the Obamas..

    But I am sure that THAT had nothing to do with the no-bid awarding of the project, eh??

    Can you say "Haliburton"???

    A vote in the House on an Obamacare fix proposed by Republicans garnered 39 Democratic votes,

    Why should this garner a comment in the Most Disappointing section??

    I mean, isn't bi-partisanship in the pursuit of doing something GOOD for middle class Americans the goal??

    Shouldn't that cause for placing this in the Most Impressive section??

    People here are on record as saying they would gladly join the GOP if they GOP had any good ideas..

    Well, obviously, making sure people can keep their insurance plans, AS OBAMA PROMISED, is a good idea...

    So, why aren't ya'all joining up??

    Because it comes from the GOP and gods know ya'all just can't admit that the GOP has a good plan. A good idea..

    But, I bet ya'all jump on the Senate's plan, right?? :D

    I hate being right... er... correct all the time... :D

    As for your Regular Order rant...

    Where was the Democrats desire for "regular order" when obamacare was being crushed thru by hook or by crook...

    Yes, Boehner and the Republicans are being hypocrites for demanding regular order and then abandoning it.

    They are politicians after all, so calling them hypocrites is somewhat redundant..

    But what is good for the goose is good for the gander..

    If ya'all want Republicans to play by the rules even if it messes up their agenda, then you shouldn't cheer on Democrats when they DON'T play by the rules in pursuit of THEIR agenda..

    Am I right?? Er.... correct??? :D

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    A vote in the House on an Obamacare fix proposed by Republicans garnered 39 Democratic votes,

    I am also constrained to point out that, unlike obamacare, this bill passed by the House is BI-PARTISAN legislation..

    I don't understand why ya'all don't get behind it??

    This actually HELPS middle class Americans.

    Granted, it puts obamacare, Obama's signature legislation in it's place.. The gutter..

    But who cares!?

    It HELPS middle class Americans...

    That should be the ONLY consideration..

    No??

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    cbuslib wrote:

    Thank you for not posting on the Affordable Care Act- I am tired of all the rehashing. And I appreciate the clarity with which you explain the procedural circus in the House. It would be truly laughable, if it were not holding up the progress of our country.

  4. [4] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    H.R. 3590 (ACA) passed in the House 416-0, September 8, 2009. You can't get any more bipartisan than that! I know that Republicans have been pushing the talking-point that "no Republican voted for ACA," but the truth is that EVERY Republican voted for ACA. (They were ALL for it before they were against it.) It is a flat-out lie that no Republican voted for ACA. In actuality every one of them voted for it.
    Now, for the reality-challenged, such as yourself (and every other "Conservative,") EVERY Democrat AND Republican voting for something is "bi-partisan."

  5. [5] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Oh, and since I'm wasting my time refuting obvious Republican lies (that the media can't seem to grasp) I might as well address the so-called "Obamacare fix" Michale is touting. First there's nothing to "fix." No ones plans are being cancelled. Insurance policies are contracts. Contracts exist for the sole purpose of ensuring all parties adhere to the agreed upon terms. Not only does ACA NOT "cause" anyone to lose their current coverage, it is ILLEGAL for them to do so. Always has been. Insurers no longer offering the same plans and rates for renewals is not a "cancellation" of anything. Renewals are, and always have been, NEW policies. They are almost universally NOT the same as was previously offered which is why almost ALL policies are for one year only. So that they may be changed (usually with increased premiums) frequently. Government CAN NOT require insurers to continue offering the same policies as were previously available UNLESS government is taking over the insurance industry. Republicans criticizing ACA for "taking over the insurance industry" while simultaneously complaining that it doesn't stop insurers refusing to renew existing policies (because it DOESN'T take over the insurance industry) is the usual untrue, hypocritical, illogical, and irrational double-talk we've come to expect of the GOP.--And, Michale, since NO current policies have been cancelled Obama did NOT lie.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    My gods, LD..

    The blatant misrepresentations..

    H.R. 3590 (ACA) passed in the House 416-0, September 8, 2009.

    HR 3590
    VOTES
    YES 219 ALL Democrats (216 needed to pass)
    NO 34 Democrats 178 Republicans
    http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/house/2/165

    So, the ONLY bi-partisan of the vote was AGAINST obamacare..

    No ones plans are being cancelled. Insurance policies are contracts. Contracts exist for the sole purpose of ensuring all parties adhere to the agreed upon terms.

    And obamcare forced the insurance companies to cancel the contracts because they didn't adhere to an arbitrary checklist. Forcing people to be insured for things that they don't need.

    obamacare is one huge ponzi scheme.. It forces young healthy people to pay artificially high premiums to foot the bill for the old and infirm..

    That's all obamacare does..

    And it's going to fail. The American people simply won't stand for it.

    As is evidenced by the panic amongst Democrats..

    The upcoming mid-terms is going to make the Great Democrat Shellacking of 2010 look like a picnic by comparison..

    Obama did NOT lie.

    Sorry, LD.. But Obama already apologized for lying..

    So, he seems to disagree with you...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, LD.. But Obama already apologized for lying..

    Actually, to be more accurate, Obama apologized for people getting hurt by his lying.

    Obama didn't actually apologize for lying.

    Why would he?

    He and all the other Democrats KNEW that if they told the facts about obamacare it NEVER would have seen the light of day..

    That's the problem with your Democrat leaders. They don't give a damn about the American people.. Ya know.. The ones that they are PAID to represent??

    They only care about their own personal wealth and power..

    No where is this more evident than with the train wreck that is obamacare.

    Say what you want about Republicans. But in THIS particular issue, the Republicans and the "vast majority" of the American people are firmly, utterly and unequivocally on the same page...

    obamacare must die...

    It's that simple..

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

    The "vast majority" of Americans have NEVER been supportive of obamacare.

    NEVER.

    Not ONCE in it's sordid 3+ year history has it enjoyed support of the "vast majority" of Americans..

    And now the support it DID have is fading faster than (insert favorite humorous analogy here)...

    The GOP and the "vast majority" of Americans are of a single mind regarding obamacare..

    It stinks... Pure and simple..

    "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just so you know what people are saying OUTSIDE of the "obamacare is good, obamacare is great" HuffPo/DailyKOS bubble..

    Obama’s political malpractice
    washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-political-malpractice-of-the-highest-order/2013/11/14/e6b95abe-4d69-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

    Does the health-care fumble mean game over for Obama?
    washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-does-health-care-fumble-mean-game-over-for-obama/2013/11/15/77dc0b0a-4dfa-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

    The sinking ship of Obamacare
    washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-the-sinking-ship-of-obamacare/2013/11/15/9ee0eaaa-4e3a-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html

    The President Is Losing His Plan
    nationalreview.com/corner/364038/president-losing-his-plan-yuval-levin

    The writing is on the wall, people.. Democrats are panicking and actually supporting GOP legislation..

    This time next month, we will all be discussing the passing of obamacare...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michael, What blatant misrepresentations? H.R. 3590 is the ACS. Every Republican and every Democrat voted for H.R. 3590. Not one vote against it. Those are all facts. You think that you get to claim that Democrats own the proposals Republicans created and proposed because no Republican voted yes on two particular votes? You think context, and reality, are irrelevant where Obama's statements about current polices are concerned. (And even a literal parsing doesn't support the "he lied" meme.) Now, all of sudden there can be "blatant misrepresentation" even though every single statement is 100% accurate?! Would that be misrepresentations like claiming the health car p
    lab Republicans created, enacted in Massachusetts, promoted as the alternative to Clinton's, bragged about for a decade as the future of healthcare, and proudly referred to as "Romneycare" suddenly has nothing to do with Republicans because they carefully "rebranded" "Romneycare" "Obamacare", and no Republican voted for their own proposals in a naked partisan bid to sabotage the Obama Presidency? Would that be the kind of "blatant misrepresentation" you suddenly so object to?!

  11. [11] 
    LewDan wrote:

    And Obama is the President. He did not apologize for lying. He apologized, and took responsibility for the problem's people are experiencing and resolved to fix them. That's his job. But the facts are that he did not lie. No ones current coverage is being cancelled because of ACA. That's a Republican talking point which just happens to be 100% false. (But for some reason you don't find false statements to be "blatant misrepresentations?" Some are unable to obtain new coverage identical to their previous plans. Nothing new there. Its the reason policies are typically for only one year, so that they may be changed, frequently, at the discretion of either party. The only way to lock in a plan is, and always has been, to sign a long-term contract. And contracts remain in force, and unchanged, until they expire. Nothing in ACA changes that basic legal precept. And nothing Obama said promised government control of private contracts or private insurers. He certainly never promised that current contracts would be good indefinitely and not subject to their stated expiration dates. Those would be "blatant misrepresentations."

  12. [12] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Finally,
    Let me just add for future reference that I'm unimpressed with opinion pieces that opine on politics presented as factual evidence. I'm not a Republican. I think for myself, and I'm not suffering under the delusion that if lots of people are saying the same thing I am then it must be true. Unlike you, I make decisions based on facts, not right-wing, or left-wing talking-points. Its true Republicans and the media have backed Obama into a corner forcing him to appear to validate the latest smear and deal with the political damage. That does not, however, make the smear true.

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    You KNOW I respect your intellect.. That is on and for the record..

    But are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell people here that obamacare passed with COMPLETE and UNEQUIVOCAL Republican support?

    That EVERY REPUBLICAN voted FOR obamacare??

    Is THAT what you are really trying to say??

    Because, if that is what you are saying, then we are either on different planets or in different dimensions or planes of existence..

    I doubt you can convince ANYONE here that Republicans voted FOR obamacare in totality.

    It just did NOT happen.

    obamacare was passed STRICTLY along partisan lines. It was passed solely and completely with Democrat votes...

    The ONLY bi-partisan part of the obamacare vote was the vote AGAINST obamacare..

    And Obama is the President. He did not apologize for lying. He apologized, and took responsibility for the problem's people are experiencing and resolved to fix them.

    Let us say, for the sake of the argument, that the following conversation between you and I transpires...

    "LD, you are an insufferable and totally arrogant prick!!!"

    then... later...

    "LD, I apologize that you felt offended when I called you an insufferable and totally arrogant prick"

    You see the point??

    Obama lied. This is fact..

    Obama said, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance"...

    This was not factual.

    Obama KNEW it was not factual, the 30-40+ times he said it..

    THAT makes it a lie..

    Obama lied..

    This is documented as fact. I don't think you will find ANY Weigantian who is not a total partisan (ya'all know who you are) who will NOT concede that Obama lied...

    Obama's "apology" for his lie was complete and utter bunk.. It's the kind of "apology" that I made above...

    Obama didn't apologize for the lie. He acknowledged that he did lie, but his only "apology" was for and to the people who believed his lie and got scrooed over because of believing the lie...

    You see the difference??

    Obama lied. This is documented fact and not really up for any kind of debate...

    The point here is whether his "apology" for lying was sincere and contrite.. It was not.. It was a blatant manipulation and was simply two-faced and bogus..

    Pretty much what has come to be expected from Obama...

    obamacare is going down. It simply cannot be salvaged.. It will die a withering and whimpering death..

    Obama's approval rating is heading for the toilet.. He is going to look at Bush's approval rating at the end of THAT administration and WISH for such high numbers...

    Remember.. You read it here first...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, LD, I would NEVER make such statements about you...

    Well, maybe the arrogant and insufferable, but NEVER the other one.. :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me just add for future reference that I'm unimpressed with opinion pieces that opine on politics presented as factual evidence.

    It's not really relevant as to whether you are impressed or not..

    The relavance is that THAT is how the "vast majority" of Americans are viewing things..

    Especially a LOT of Democrat congresscritters...

    Hence the panic amongst Democrats in Congress..

    Ya'all ignore this at your own peril...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am going to try something. Apologies if it doesn't work..

    The Obama presidency is not over, but it is failing

    With the exception of the debt ceiling debacle, he has fallen at almost every hurdle
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/736ec94a-4df5-11e3-8fa5-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2kzRzNMx0

    This explains quite adequately the problem faced by Obama and the Democrats..

    The "vast majority" of the American people simply don't trust Obama anymore..

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    And here's what happens when someone points out that the Emperor's fine livery just might be illusionary...

    D.C. insurance commissioner fired a day after questioning Obamacare fix
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-insurance-commissioner-fired-a-day-after-questioning-obamacare-fix/2013/11/16/b88eaea0-4f17-11e3-9890-a1e0997fb0c0_story.html

    Apparently, the rule of thumb around the Obama Administration is that the nail that stands tallest is the first one to get clobbered with the hammer..

    Helluva way to run a railroad.... No wonder the tracks lead nowhere...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    My point was that cherry-picked true facts don't automatically prove the veracity of a statement. A fuller examination of relevant facts may prove just the opposite. ACA is a bipartisan plan despite no Republican having voted for it. And no Republican voting for it certainly doesn't mean Democrats created it. Its creation is due to Republicans. Its enactment is due to Democrats. That's what makes it bipartisan. The votes being partisan doesn't make ACA partisan. The votes were a political strategy. They lack the power to alter reality, whatever Republicans may profess.

    And the facts prove Obama did not lie. The Republicans and media are misleading and misinforming, as usual. Nothing in ACA allows insurers to cancel policies, much less requires them to. If it happens, it isn't because of ACA. Insurers are cancelling substandard policy lines due to ACA, not individual policies. Individual policies remain in effect under whatever terms were originally contracted. ACA does nothing to prevent their renewal. Insurers choosing not to renew are doing so at their own discretion, not because ACA requires it. Policy lines cancelled "because of ACA" are not being cancelled because ACA requires cancellations, but because insurers believe ACA will allow them to make higher profits by cancelling them. I am also unimpressed by the cries of woe from people who suddenly profess not to understand the contracts they entered into. The only way to lock in a plan is, and always has been, to sign a long-term contract. If you don't have one you've never had a right to "keep your current coverage," and nothing Obama said ever promised one.

    Finally, the D.C. Commissioner had nothing to do with Obama. He was fired by the mayor for making statements as the city representative that were not the actual position of the mayor and city. Something which invariable would get anyone fired.

    As for your claim the majority of Americans are against Obamacare, you've been beating that drum for years. Your polls may support you but we just had an election that said otherwise, and elections trump polls. Personally, I find the relative success of the five-year Republican effort to mislead and scare the public regarding Obamacare to be irrelevant to any discussion on the merits and liabilities of Obamacare.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    ACA is a bipartisan plan despite no Republican having voted for it.

    You'll have to clarify that...

    Ooops, you did. :D

    ACA is a bipartisan plan despite no Republican having voted for it. And no Republican voting for it certainly doesn't mean Democrats created it. Its creation is due to Republicans. Its enactment is due to Democrats. That's what makes it bipartisan.

    Sure... If you change the definition of "bi-partisan" to mean you follow a piece of legislation all the way back to the first person that had a brain fart..

    If we go by THAT definition, I am sure I can pin Bush's economic missteps on Democrats without breaking a sweat..

    But, to date, the term 'bi-partisan' means the voting process..

    You can dance around definitions and try to change what 'is' means, but the simple fact is, it is universally accepted as fact that obamacare is solely, completely and unequivocally owned by the Democrats...

    As to Obama didn't lie? Your explanation ignores the facts.

    First, obamacare defines what is and is not a 'good' policy based solely and completely on an arbitrary set of parameters whose ONLY goal is revenue stimulation, NOT the needs of the insuree...

    So, when obamcare became effective, almost 15 million Americans had policies that obamacare deemed unsat...

    Therefore, BY LAW (ya know, the pesky law that was enacted 1 Oct) those policies had to be cancelled by the insurance issuers..

    They were... Millions of Americans have received cancellation notices despite Obama's promise that, "if you have insurance and you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

    Obama KNEW that up to 60% of those insured would lose those insurance plans when he made the 30-40+ statements...

    That is the textbook definition of a lie...

    Finally, the D.C. Commissioner had nothing to do with Obama. He was fired by the mayor for making statements as the city representative that were not the actual position of the mayor and city. Something which invariable would get anyone fired.

    Not according to the article. The Commissioner made clear he was speaking for himself as the head of the Insurance Commission..

    Even if what you say is true (of which you offer no evidence) is FIRING the guy the right thing to do??

    Is the Mayor's head so far up Obama's ass that, if one of his underlings says something against The One, that he must be (career-wise) executed???

    As for your claim the majority of Americans are against Obamacare, you've been beating that drum for years. Your polls may support you but we just had an election that said otherwise, and elections trump polls.

    CURRENT polls trump old elections. Just like a Smith & Wesson trumps 5 Aces.. :D

    Personally, I find the relative success of the five-year Republican effort to mislead and scare the public regarding Obamacare to be irrelevant to any discussion on the merits and liabilities of Obamacare.

    I would agree... The gasbag eminations from the GOP for the past years ARE completely irrelevant to obamacare...

    But the facts and the evidence of the here and now provide everything we need to know to PROVE beyond any doubt that obamacare is a train wreck..

    From start to finish...

    This is a loss, a huge loss, for Obama and the Democrats..

    They sooner ya'all (and they) concede that and move on, the sooner that the Democratic Party agenda can get started rebuilding itself.

    And the sooner I will shut up about how bad obamacare is.. :D

    Admitting the problem is the first step..

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, of course, there was lots of Obamacare news, but since most Democrats are pretty sick of hearing about it at this point,

    There's a reason for that.. :D

    See my last few hundred comments.. :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    If ya'all are tired of getting beat up over obamacare, we can discuss the shrinking middle class...

    In many states, the recovery is making the income gap worse
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/11/18/in-many-states-the-recovery-is-worsening-the-income-gap/

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Policies that are substandard may no longer be offered to new policyholders. The law specifically states that existing policies may be renewed. It dies not require any policies be cancelled. Any cancellations are solely at the discretion of insurers, not because of ACA.

    The D.C. Commissioner said he hadn't decided whether to allow substandard policies through 2014 as Obama authorized in his "fix." That's a statement on the official government position. He was "speaking for himself" as the D.C Commissioner of Insurance not as a private citizen. Since he was "unsure" what policy he would follow the mayor replaced him with someone who knew his policies would reflect those of the mayor and the city.

    And polls also show the majority of Americans are in favor of what ACA does. Its ACA they're against, though less so than Obamacare. Which only proves that the anti-ACA polls are meaningless with regard to assessing popularity of healthcare reform, as the public is massively misinformed and confused. Due, in no small part, to the relentless efforts of Republicans to accomplish just that.

    And ACA is bipartisan because it was crafted from the Republican proposals instead of the Democratic ones. Democrats wanted single-payer, and many are still upset with Obama for "selling-out" to the Republicans. It isn't going back in history to the beginning if time. Its looking at the entire legislative effort that generated ACA instead of dishonestly pretending the process began and ended with the final votes.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Any cancellations are solely at the discretion of insurers, not because of ACA.

    Ahhhh.. It's all the greedy insurance companies fault...

    Obama and obamacare are completely blameless??

    Hmmmmm That seems to be at odds with Obama's latest presser... His very own words, saying that his administration is to blame for the mess..

    That's a statement on the official government position. He was "speaking for himself" as the D.C Commissioner of Insurance not as a private citizen.

    Exactly. He was speaking for his department. That's his JOB... But because he spoke up against The One, he was executed..

    And polls also show the majority of Americans are in favor of what ACA does.

    No... Americans are in favor of what obamacare was SUPPOSED to do..

    Bring insurance to the masses...

    Lower the costs of insurance...

    obamacare is an epic fail, by ANY measure you want to put forth..

    obamacare has NEVER enjoyed support from the vast majority of Americans...

    Not ONCE in it's entire history...

    THAT alone should tell you something..

    And ACA is bipartisan because it was crafted from the Republican proposals instead of the Democratic ones. Democrats wanted single-payer, and many are still upset with Obama for "selling-out" to the Republicans. It isn't going back in history to the beginning if time. Its looking at the entire legislative effort that generated ACA instead of dishonestly pretending the process began and ended with the final votes.

    Regardless, the accepted definition of "bi partisan" has always had to do with the voting process...

    You can't change the definition now, just because the accepted definition doesn't fit your agenda..

    It's against the rules.. :D

    But, if you must..

    Yes. By your verbally twisted and archaic definition of "bi partisan", then obamacare was bi partisan..

    But ONLY by your at-the-moment definition of bi partisan..

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Exclusive: John Kerry Defies the White House on Egypt Policy
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/18/exclusive-john-kerry-defies-the-white-house-on-egypt-policy.html

    Another example of the Keystone Kops atmosphere that permeates the White House and it's governing process..

    One really has to wonder what kind of country Obama is going to leave his successor...

    If past is prologue, it ain't gonna be pretty...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/16/obama-rallies-supporters-monday-evening-to-save-obamacare/

    As I said, Obama is admitting everything you are denying...

    And he is coming across as desperate as well..

    Bad thing to see in a leader...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Paula wrote:

    LewDan:

    Obama took responsibility for the Healthcare.gov website problems -- this is something so utterly alien to republicanism that Michale cannot properly process it.

    Michale refers to the ACA as as ponzi scheme and completely misses or dismisses the facts and history that you brought to your arguments. He doesn't actually have a clue about what the law does and is meant to do -- he's just a right-wing-talking-point delivery machine. These weaselly repubs are capable of changing their minds in seconds because they live in response-mode-only and reflexively oppose anything Obama or Dems support. There's nothing underneath their opposition -- no underlying principles or beliefs.

    Context is way too complicated for them and Michale has demonstrated repeatedly his inability to accurately assess context. He basically has one response: "both sides do it" which he feels exonerates repubs for all their actions. That's where he always lands when beaten down by facts.

    I think he ends up there because underneath it all he knows that today's repubs are swine, but he can't admit it. So he engages in elaborate rationalizations.

    As long as he can insist that all politicians are bad, he can stand above or beside and criticize while, in his mind, keeping his hands clean.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    Long on histronics, low-to-non-existent on facts..

    The long and short of it is simple..

    obamacare has failed.

    obamacare has EPICALY failed..

    Now, LD can argue what the definition of "is" is until the cows come home..

    You can throw out ad-hominem attacks left and right..

    But NONE of that can change one simple fact.

    obamacare has failed...

    I think he ends up there because underneath it all he knows that today's repubs are swine, but he can't admit it.

    I have had absolutely NO TROUBLE admitting that. I say it everyday.

    What YOU don't get is that your Democrats are EQUALLY swine-ish...

    THAT's the point you miss..

    As long as he can insist that all politicians are bad,

    AND has the facts to back it up....

    he can stand above or beside and criticize while, in his mind, keeping his hands clean.

    Damn skippy I can..

    Ya'all can't say the same... :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I honestly cannot say which bugs ya'all more..

    The fact that Obama has been exposed for the complete and utter incompetent he is..

    Or that I have been so dead on ballz accurate about obamacare...

    It's a question for the ages to ponder.. :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, we know why one Democrat voted with Republicans on the KEEP YOUR PLAN legislation.

    Democrat CongressCritter Nick Rahall felt that Obama's proclamation lacked legal standing...

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/dem-rep-obama-lacks-legal-underpinning-obamacare-fix_767311.html

    This is from a Democrat, mind you...

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    It is to laugh.....

    http://sjfm.us/temp/mfccobama.jpg

    :D

  31. [31] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    cbuslib -

    My apologies for not approving your first comment before now (it's number [3], above, meaning it's been waiting for awhile now...)

    First off, welcome to the site!

    Your first comment was held for moderation, but from now on you should be able to post instantly. As long as you only post one link per comment, your comments will appear immediately after you post them. If you post multiple links per comment, then it will automatically be held for moderation (to cut down on comment spam).

    Anyway, welcome to the site, and sorry again for the massive delay in seeing your first comment!

    -CW

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/19/florida-republican-rep-radel-charged-with-cocaine-possession-in-dc/?intcmp=latestnews

    Another useless CongressCritter thinking that the law doesn't apply to them...

    We reap what we sow, people...

    It's that simple...

    Michale

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