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Friday Talking Points [363] -- New Job Vacancy: Chief GOP Cat-Herder

[ Posted Friday, September 25th, 2015 – 15:03 PDT ]

Every so often, when preparing to write these weekly wrap-up columns, I wake up Friday morning and a political bombshell has happened which pretty much wipes out all the political news from the entire rest of the week. Obviously, today was one of those days, as we all learned this morning that Speaker of the House John Boehner will be a private citizen again by Hallowe'en. He'll step down not only from his speakership, but also from his House seat itself, more than a year before the end of his current term. So it looks like the Republicans are going to need a new cat-herder to (attempt to) lead them in the House.

The impact of this news is stunning, all along the political spectrum. The far-right folks are overjoyed, as they've never liked or trusted Boehner much at all. The not-quite-as-far-righties (we simply can't call them "moderates" anymore) are a bit anxious and confused. Democrats are experiencing a burst of smirking schadenfreude (which is entirely to be expected, really, but so far they've been doing it fairly quietly and in private). Late-night comedians are -- quite sadly -- filing away all the "Boehner/boner" jokes they've relied upon for the past few years (especially that one priceless clip where Boehner himself makes the joke to a reporter).

Kidding aside, though, Boehner certainly picked an interesting time to step down. Before his announcement, we were facing the possibility of a government shutdown as early as next week. However, the Senate doesn't seem to be backing the "shut it down" caucus on this particular fracas (over defunding Planned Parenthood). A budget bill which would have done precisely that just failed in a cloture vote with the rather surprising margin of 47 to 52. In other words, the Republicans needed 60 votes. They only got 47. That's not even a majority, folks. This shows the deep division within the Republican Party over such "my way or the highway" tactics. But if the Senate is moving more towards "Hey, let's not shut the government down, because we're not going to win this battle," the House is obviously moving in the opposite direction. Boehner traded his speakership for one last vote to keep the government open. By doing so, he will be able to say he made good on his promise not to shut the government down again, while simultaneously leaving a ticking time bomb for his successor -- and one with a very short fuse.

Even the Tea Partiers will go along with the vote for a short-term "continuing resolution" which does fund Planned Parenthood, because they won't have to stage a vote of confidence to get rid of Boehner. That was the deal that was struck, which means no government shutdown will happen next week. But it might also mean a government shutdown in early December -- since the continuing resolution under discussion will only extend the budget until then. The next speaker is going to have to hit the ground running, that much is for sure. The Tea Partiers have agreed to postpone the big fight for a few months. But they certainly aren't agreeing to be any more reasonable than they ever have been, when we get to that new deadline.

The math, of course, won't change. The Senate Republicans still won't have a filibuster-proof majority (far from it), much less a veto-proof majority. In order to avoid a shutdown, some deal must be struck between the new speaker and the Democrats in the Senate. That dynamic won't change no matter who takes Boehner's place. The question is whether Boehner's replacement will strike such a deal, or whether we're heading for another shutdown. Unless the federal government shuts down permanently, at some point a deal must be reached -- the big questions are when that deal will happen (before, at, or long after the new deadline), and how much intransigence the new speaker will have to deal with before it happens.

The man Boehner has obviously chosen for his replacement is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California. When McCarthy moved into his current leadership position in the House Republican caucus he was seen as someone who could hopefully bridge the gap between the Establishment Republican and Tea Party wings of the Republican Party. That assumption will be almost immediately put to the test, assuming McCarthy is successful in his bid to become the next speaker (he might not be the shoo-in some pundits are proclaiming him to be... we'll see).

John Boehner always seemed (to us, at least) to be someone who had dreamed of leading the House for years, and truly did want the House he led to operate in a traditional fashion. This would have meant allowing for a certain amount of ultra-partisan shenanigans on the floor every once in a while, but when the crunch time came, it also would have meant striking deals with the opposition party to secure the votes necessary in the House and Senate to put legislation on the desk of the president. Boehner, at times, seemed even more frustrated with his obstructionist members than the Democrats were. This plainly wasn't the way he wanted his speakership to go, but he proved powerless -- over and over again -- in avoiding the "take no prisoners" attitude of his own caucus. Then when Boehner did strike the necessary deals, he was immediately labeled a traitor by his own members. The mystery isn't why he's stepping down now, really, it's how Boehner put up with his ungovernable caucus for so long.

Boehner was fighting an impossible battle with his own party -- and not just the Tea Partiers in the House but also with the rank-and-file voters, most of whom simply don't understand the realities of congressional math. Republican voters wonder: "We hold both houses of Congress, so why can't Republicans force President Obama to bend to their will?" This has bred such resentment towards the Establishment Republicans that the current top three GOP presidential candidates have, between them, absolutely zero experience in any elected office, anywhere.

That's a tough climate for House leadership. But it is the hard cold reality. The House can vote 50 times, or 100 times, or 500 times to repeal Obamacare, but they don't have the power to end it. They just don't. To actually get anything done means a long, boring process that (currently) requires some degree of compromise with Democrats. That is the reality, but many Republican voters absolutely refuse to accept it. Donald Trump and many other Republican presidential candidates have been gleefully tapping into this free-floating anger within the GOP base.

This is one reason why Democrats -- at least up until this writing (this political bombshell is pretty fresh, admittedly) -- are not exactly joyfully celebrating Boehner's exit. There is instead a certain amount of apprehension across the aisle. Boehner had his faults (plenty of them) but who knows if the next speaker will be worse? This might not even be a matter of personality, but rather the entire tail-wagging-the-dog nature of the stranglehold the House Tea Partiers have over their caucus.

There are three basic strategies the next speaker could use. The first would be to follow Boehner's example of giving the Tea Partiers full voice, but also to make the necessary deals in the end. But that's precisely what earned Boehner so much ire, so that's a risky strategy for a new leader to follow, to say the least.

The second path would be to give the Tea Partiers full control over the caucus -- to just surrender fully to the extremists. The Tea Partiers would love this, of course, but the entire rest of the country would become increasingly horrified by it. Especially if government shutdowns start to be measured in months, not weeks.

The third strategy is the least likely, but would represent the best outcome for the country politically. The new speaker could be a much stronger leader than Boehner, and choose to largely ignore the Tea Party faction. This would return Congress to an earlier style of deal-making. Republicans would offer a list of agenda items, and Democrats would do likewise. The new speaker and Mitch McConnell would lay out their priorities, and demand 90 percent of them be in the budget agreement. Democrats would talk them down to maybe 75 percent, and also get something like 25 percent of their own priorities into the bill. People on both sides of the aisle would hold their nose and vote for the compromise. The Republican Party would advance their agenda enormously -- much farther than they have under Boehner, it's worth pointing out -- but the most extreme parts of their agenda would be blocked by Democrats. Democrats would get a say in the legislation much earlier on in the process (instead of after the shutdown starts), and they would also be able to get some baby-step agenda items passed. That's the way the process is really supposed to work, even if it hasn't since the rise of the Tea Party.

However, at this point this last option seems pretty farfetched. It would require a very strong new Republican speaker -- one who wasn't afraid to keep his own party in line. The split between the Establishment Republicans and the Tea Party would grow a lot wider, if you can even imagine that. In order to pull off this feat of leadership, the new speaker would have to essentially jettison the (non-existent) "Hastert Rule." Instead of just relying on support from his or her own party, the new speaker would have to woo Democrats to pass reasonable bills from the start (and not as an afterthought). Which, again, seems pretty farfetched right now, but it could happen (anything's possible, right?).

One last thing worth mentioning before we get on with the rest of the column is that John Boehner is currently second in the line of presidential succession. If Barack Obama and Joe Biden suddenly died, Boehner would immediately be sworn in as president (at least, until October 30, when he's said he'll be stepping down). So Boehner's replacement is important, in a constitutional sense.

Speaker of the House John Boehner reportedly walked into his press conference after his bombshell announcement singing: "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay / My, oh my, what a wonderful day!" After the battles he's had to fight during his speakership -- most of them within his own party -- it's pretty easy to see why today would be seen as a "wonderful day" by John Boehner. Whether him stepping down turns out to be wonderful for the House Republicans, the Tea Party, the Democrats, or the country at large still remains to be seen. Things could get better, but then again they could also get a whole lot worse. Changing who is the head cat-herder probably won't change the nature of the cats to be herded, to put this another way.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We're not going to hand out a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week, because one man was so impressive during the week that he absolutely eclipsed everyone else. I speak of Pope Francis I, who gave the first papal address to the United States Congress this week, among his other stops on his first American visit.

In the world of political punditry, the Pope's words were immediately claimed by both sides of our partisan divide. Fine distinctions (akin to angels dancing on a pin, perhaps?) were drawn between "conservative" and "progressive" positions the Pope took. But this is pretty crass, when you get right down to it.

The Pope -- this Pope, at least -- shouldn't be measured on a "left/right" spectrum. He's more about "up/down" instead (if I might rotate the metaphor 90 degrees). He's concerned with a different agenda than most politicians. Which means it's really a fool's errand to try to pigeonhole him by limiting the scale to mere politics.

Francis is remarkable, because he is attempting to change an institution even more moribund than our own government. The Catholic Church has roughly eight times the history the United States of America has, to put it another way. So far, for all the "new tone" the Pope is setting, he hasn't actually changed any Catholic doctrine at all. He speaks much more compassionately and openly, but nothing about the Church's position has actually changed -- on the role of women, on contraception, on gay marriage, on priests getting married, or any of the rest of it.

He may be "softening the ground" for such changes, though. It's impossible to tell at this point, but he has put into motion a two-year process which may actually modernize some Catholic doctrine. We're only halfway through this process, so nobody knows what -- if any -- major changes Francis will make. It'll be interesting to hear what he has to say to the world families conference he'll be attending in Philadelphia, to see if any hint of future shifts will emerge.

But agree with Francis or not, agree with the Catholic Church or not, you've got to admit Francis was pretty impressive this week. He came to the United States after he visited Cuba, doing a sort of "victory lap" after being so instrumental in bringing the two countries to speaking terms again. Like his namesake, Francis seems to take very seriously the concept of humility. That alone, along with even making the attempt at reforming a 2000-year-old bureaucracy, is so impressive that we can't even focus on crass politics this week. And no, we're not going to create a special award for the Pope instead of handing out the MIDOTW award. We say with all seriousness and with no attempt at humor whatsoever: We are not worthy of creating such an award.

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Likewise, in the spirit of forgiveness, we are not going to issue a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award this week, either.

Pax vobiscum.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 363 (9/25/15)

Papal visit aside, there was some other political news this week. Scott Walker shockingly dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race. Hillary Clinton finally came out against the Keystone XL pipeline. But we're going to ignore all of that, because like our introduction this week, our talking points all deal with John Boehner's stunning announcement.

We did briefly consider creating a talking point out of the fact that Scott Walker said God had called him to run for president and the fact that John Boehner made his decision the day after he met with the Pope (Boehner: "This morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today's the day I'm going to do this"). This talking point would have been titled something like "God calling on Republicans to quit," but we decided that'd be too snarky to include in the same column that praised Pope Francis, so we righteously decided to leave it out. What would that be, expressed in Latin? De mortuis nil snarkum, maybe? Well, Latin's never been our strong suit, we fully admit. Heh.

Instead, this week our talking points are mostly informative ones. They're really tailored to talk across the aisle, to any Republicans who might now be doing celebratory dances at the prospect of John Boehner stepping down. Because, as they all point out one way or another, the Congressional math isn't going to change at all.

 

1
   McCarthy will have the same problem

The leader's name will change, but the structural problem will not.

"There's a familiar saying about 'rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,' but the problem the Republicans now find themselves facing might instead be called 'changing cruise directors on the Titanic.' No matter who is in charge of the Lido Deck, unless you change course that ship's still going to hit that iceberg, folks. The Tea Partiers are still there, and now they've got a fresh scalp nailed to their wall, so I can't see them suddenly becoming more reasonable. I feel somewhat sorry for Boehner, because he genuinely seemed to want to get things done at times, which is largely the reason he's being forced out now. So any new speaker -- Kevin McCarthy or anyone else -- is going to have the same exact problem. The House can pass Tea Party bills until it is blue in the face (or maybe red in the face?), but when it comes to actually passing bills to put on Obama's desk, I think the next speaker will have just as large a problem as Boehner has been having, no matter who gets the job of herding the Republican cats in the House."

 

2
   It's the math, stupid

This is the big disconnect that people like Donald Trump exploit with glee.

"The big problem the Republican Party has right now is that their base voters simply don't understand the math of basic American civics. When you don't hold the presidency, it takes a whopping two-thirds of both houses of Congress to impose your absolute will in legislation. The Republicans currently hold both the House and the Senate, but their majority is nowhere near two-thirds in either house. They do not have the votes to overturn a veto -- they don't even have the votes to defeat a filibuster in the Senate. Those are hard, cold facts that Republican base voters are mostly unaware of. Republicans cheering Boehner's exit seem to think changing speakers will change this situation in some way. It will not. The math is the math. Changing speakers doesn't change it one iota, no matter what the Tea Partiers think."

 

3
   The House passing poison pills is meaningless

Yet another thing some rank-and-file voters need to be educated about.

"For all the complaints from the Tea Partiers, John Boehner actually let them do pretty much whatever they wanted. The anger at Boehner was really that he had no magic wand to make a House-passed bill the law of the land. The House has voted over 50 times to repeal Obamacare, and yet the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remains completely unscathed. The House can pass all the bills it wants; defunding Planned Parenthood, making abortions illegal for rape victims, abolishing the I.R.S., slashing Social Security... whatever. But extreme bills that no Democrat can vote for will still get filibustered in the Senate, no matter who leads the House. The only thing the House can achieve on its own is to shut down the government, over and over again. That's it. They can gum up the works, but with the numbers they have, they are incapable of setting national policy on their own. Again -- no matter who sits in the big chair."

 

4
   The same as no bill at all

This one is truly puzzling, but Republicans seem to be shaky on the concept.

"All of the fights in Congress over these poison-pill bills that demand 100 percent of what the Republicans want and nothing Democrats want are kind of ridiculous. Let's just say for the sake of argument that somehow one of these House bills was agreed to by the Senate. It would then go to the president's desk, where it would be vetoed. This is seen as some sort of victory by the Republicans -- just listen to them talk about the budget and 'reconciliation,' for instance -- but what they're ignoring is that a vetoed bill is exactly the same thing, functionally, as no bill at all. Even if John Boehner did have a magic wand to get House bills through the Senate, they would still not become law and we'd all be back at square one. The only difference is the perceived political hay the Republicans could make over the issue on the campaign trail, but nothing else would change in the slightest."

 

5
   The "C-word"

There's only one way to get bills signed into law.

"John Boehner did a pretty good job of letting the Tea Partiers stamp their feet and have their tantrums, but at the end of the day (or, sometimes, a few weeks after the end of the day), Boehner would forge some sort of compromise legislation with Democrats because he knew it was the only way to get both the Senate votes necessary and the president's signature. None of that will change with a new speaker, except maybe the timeline of the Tea Party tantrum period (which might get shorter or longer, depending on the new speaker's leadership style). But the math is the math -- to get anything at all done in Congress, some degree of compromise is absolutely required right now. I know the 'C-word' is considered obscene (or maybe blasphemous) by the Tea Party, but compromise is the only way anything at all is going to get done until the next election. What worries me is that the compromises Boehner struck are precisely the reason he was eventually forced to resign. This doesn't exactly bode well for the next speaker."

 

6
   Not the same as governing

The game is not reality. Sometimes it's worth pointing that out.

"If all goes as planned, Boehner's resignation will buy a vote to keep the federal government running until mid-December. This means that the new speaker will have a little over a month to solve the budget impasse. That's a pretty tall order for someone new to the job, to put it mildly. Unfortunately, Boehner's resignation is only going to empower the obstructionists. Say the Tea Partiers pass their dream budget in the House, and get it through with reconciliation in the Senate. Then what? Obama vetoes it and the government shuts down -- right before the holidays. The radical Republicans seem to think that 'Boy, we sure showed Obama!' is the same thing as getting something done. It isn't. Forcing a veto is not the same thing as governing. In fact, it is nothing more than scoring a cheap point in a political game that most Americans are downright disgusted with in the first place. But this game isn't reality. Reality is no budget, no bill, and no compromise. We'll see how long that lasts, as everyone's busy getting ready for the holiday season."

 

7
   Social Security checks will stop

This is the hardest and coldest reality, and this is also what always ends these silly shutdowns.

"With Boehner stepping down, we will gain a few months before a government shutdown looms. But when we get to that point again, will the Tea Partiers demand no compromise and no surrender? Boehner is loathed for (among other things) eventually bowing to reality the last time the House Republicans shut down the government. Will a new speaker refuse to take this route, and just leave the government shut down, in an effort to force Obama's hand? Well, folks, while Republicans love to make light of 'So the National Parks are closed, big deal!' and belittle the impact of shutting down the federal government, there is always another deadline built in. At some point, the Social Security Administration will find it has no fiscal authority to send out checks. If the Republicans truly take the route urged upon them by Tea Partiers, then we will reach that point and all Social Security checks will stop. I wonder how popular that'll be with Republican congressional constituents. My guess is: 'not very' -- what do you think?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

72 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [363] -- New Job Vacancy: Chief GOP Cat-Herder”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Personal Note:

    I realize I haven't been doing a great job of answering comments this week, but we're in the middle of some family sorrow. Before anyone asks, no, it's not the cat -- she's doing as good as can be expected. It's in our extended family, which has taken up a lot of time in the previous week and will take up all of this weekend as well.

    Just didn't want anyone to think I'm ignoring them. Also, as for today's comments, I am asking everyone to please be as polite as you can, because I won't have much time to monitor things.

    As I mentioned in the article, pax vobiscum.

    Thanks.

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Really sorry to hear about that. I've been dealing with some issues, too.

    This may be a good weekend for all of us to take a break from commenting and just tend to things that matter the most to us and take a little time to reflect on things.

  3. [3] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Dear Chris,

    I am very sorry to hear about your family sorrow.

    pacem et consolationem vobiscum

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    Thanks for the kind words, and I hope you're holding up, too. I do apologize for not being more specific, but I've never been one of those people who easily shares personal details online in a public forum. Anyone who wishes to join me can raise a glass of Sir Arthur Guinness' fine product (or perhaps a shot of Jameson's) some time tomorrow, and offer up "to absent friends." Slánte!

    Mopshell -

    Thank you too for the kind words and sentiments (although I have to admit I had to look up the Latin... the only one I know by heart is "Illigitimi non carborundum." Words to live by...).

    To all: rarely do I get a confirmation so quickly, but this was from a Washington Post article on Boehner:

    “I don’t know how anybody’s going to do anything different; it’s just going to be a new person,” said Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (Fla.), a deputy whip. “In a few months, we’re all going to look back and think: ‘Hey, you know what? Maybe it wasn’t so easy just saying that we’ll replace Boehner.’ .?.?. We’re a divided government and we’re extremely polarized, and trying to herd all those cats is not an easy thing to do.”

    Heh. [in a cowboy accent, of course]: "HYAHHH! Get along li'l kitties..."

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Condolences, CW....

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies if humor is wholly inappropriate here...

    http://tse1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=JN.gAx23n5utcxdNnrho8Hysg&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0

    I can't help but think of the Ray Orbison song...

    "It's crying time again..."

    :D

    Again, apologies if this is completely out of line..

    When my mom passed away, I opened my eulogy for her with a joke. I know she loved it...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    John M wrote:

    My condolences too CW.

    Also I could not agree more.

    The 50 extreme right wing, Tea Party House Republicans are like children who throw tantrums when they don't get their way. They don't care or can't seem to grasp that there are two Houses of Congress, and three branches of government, and that they don't have the votes to simply have the House dictate to everyone else what will or won't happen, that they need to compromise and work out deals.

    Also, it won't be just social security checks that will stop if the government shuts down this time. WIC and Food Stamps will stop also. In 2013 when the government shut down, the USDA had some contingency funds available to continue the program. Those funds are apparently gone now. So what happens now when my disabled friend in a wheel chair doesn't get his food stamps for the month? There are millions of people like that in the same boat.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    that they need to compromise and work out deals.

    In the interests of playing nice, I won't bother bringing up that the Democrats REFUSED to compromise and work out deals when they had the majority...

    Why should ya'all expect the GOP to??

    Also, it won't be just social security checks that will stop if the government shuts down this time. WIC and Food Stamps will stop also. In 2013 when the government shut down, the USDA had some contingency funds available to continue the program. Those funds are apparently gone now. So what happens now when my disabled friend in a wheel chair doesn't get his food stamps for the month? There are millions of people like that in the same boat.

    Then maybe Democrats should compromise on Planned Parenthood funding so as to prevent the government from shutting down, eh??

    Oh, I forgot.. Democrat's idea of "compromise" is "my way or the highway"....

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Party in the minority *ALWAYS* whines and cries and bitches and moans about "up or down votes" and "compromise".....

    ALWAYS......

    Hoo hum..... Move along.. Nothing to see here....

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Then maybe Democrats should compromise on Planned Parenthood funding so as to prevent the government from shutting down, eh??"

    How is agreeing to the Republican position a compromise? How is holding hostage all the rest of government spending instead of voting on two separate clean bills a compromise, one for funding the government, one for Planned Parenthood? Maybe because they know they don't have the votes to defund Planned Parenthood and never will? Wasn't not using federal funds for abortion THE compromise in the first place???

    "In the interests of playing nice, I won't bother bringing up that the Democrats REFUSED to compromise and work out deals when they had the majority..."

    I notice the Democrats NEVER shut down the government even ONCE. And you want to talk about my way or the highway??? Really? What alternate universe do you live in with the Republicans???

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    How is agreeing to the Republican position a compromise?

    The same reason agreeing to a Democrat position is a compromise in so many recent pieces of legislation..

    I notice the Democrats NEVER shut down the government even ONCE.

    That's because the GOP always capitulated and compromised..

    The Democrats never do..

    Hence, the government shut downs..

    These are your Democrats..

    MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY...

    Granted, I have some responsibility as I have voted Democrat in the past...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I said, EVERY minority Party ALWAYS whines and complains about 'up or down votes' and 'compromise'...

    EVERY time...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    The TrainWreckCare legislation is a perfect example..

    The vast majority of Americans were against it...

    NO ONE wanted it.. Americans are STILL against it to this day...

    Yet Democrats forced it thru, by hook and by crook, using parliamentary tricks, completely without compromising with the GOP side of the aisle... Hollow useless promises were made that were never fulfilled...

    You know what the basis of "compromise" is???

    TRUST

    And the American people can't TRUST Democrats...

    Whether it is President Obama or President Wanna-bee Hillary Clinton..

    Democrats have totally depleted the trust well...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Rumor has it that Michael Bloomberg is considering an INDEPENDENT run for POTUS..

    You know who THAT is going to draw votes from.. :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The TrainWreckCare legislation is a perfect example..

    The vast majority of Americans were against it...

    NO ONE wanted it.. Americans are STILL against it to this day..."

    Actually NOT true. Simply remove the name "Obamacare" from it, and a majority of Americans are actually in FAVOR of every single one of the provisions that it contains. And you keep failing to mention that a lot of the opposition comes from people who don't think that Obamacare goes FAR ENOUGH. 40 percent of all people polled are in favor of a SINGLE PAYER PLAN, otherwise know as MEDICARE FOR ALL. That is the largest single alternative to Obamacare, including the percentage favoring outright repeal and replacing it with nothing.

    You also might want to keep in mind that the Democrats had a majority of both Houses of Congress at the time, as well as the Presidency, something the Republicans do not have. They also offered Republican input on Obamacare, and Republicans refused to even negotiate.

    You also have to remember, that way back in the day, what we call Obamacare now, with the individual mandate, WAS the REPUBLICAN plan out forth by the Heritage Foundation and NEWT Gingrich, as the alternative to the Clinton plan at the time. Another case of Republicans being for it before they were against it, because Obama became for it.

  16. [16] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Regarding Talking Point #1: Boehner was not "forced out". As the rest of the article states, he stepped down and he did so of his own free will.

    He announced last year and reiterated in his recent press conference that his decision to step down before the completion of his 13th term was a decision he'd made at least 15 months ago.

    Originally he'd intended not to stand for re-election in the midterms. He says he changed his mind when Cantor was ousted in his primary race. I think the more compelling reason was that the Pope had consented to visit Congress in 2015 and Boehner wanted to meet him in person. The only way he could guarantee that was to be Speaker of the House during the Pope's visit.

    The day after that visit, Boehner announced his resignation. Hardly surprising when the Pope's visit was the highest of highlights for him and everything else could only be the lowest of lowlights by comparison.

    Boehner was clearly well and truly fed up with the batshit crazy tea partiers last year. He made jokes about them, called them "knuckleheads", and that was in public! I'm sure he said much worse in private. I sympathized with his exasperation too.

    I'm glad for his sake that he's leaving on his own terms and at a time when at least one thing went his way. I think he did a very commendable job in extremely adverse circumstances. I doubt there is any Republican who will do better in the position of Speaker... certainly no-one comes to mind.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    Regarding Talking Point #1: Boehner was not "forced out". As the rest of the article states, he stepped down and he did so of his own free will.

    Now, that's the kind of unrestrained spin that gives 'talking points' a bad name. :)

  18. [18] 
    altohone wrote:

    John M

    We should never forget the important points you've raised.

    The right wing corporatist plan that was renamed Obamacare was compromised from the start.
    Obama used wingnuts like Lieberman to justify the Heritage plan as a foundation, and with the participation of Wall Street Dems stabbed the left in the back repeatedly all throughout the process... making sure few of the core problems in Americas health care system were addressed.

    Republican opposition was and remains the honey that got Democratic voters to swallow the bitter pill of that right wing legislation.

    Republicans won.
    Democrats lost.
    And Obama should be fully credited for the "success".

    The establishment has been laughing all the way to the bank while Obama gets praise from "liberals" every time new figures are released showing how well Obamacare is working. Turns out that misallocation of our citizens money into the pockets of middlemen who provide no health care or added benefit is the true measure of that "success"...

    ... the ever growing costs, the unmeasured results in improvement of actual health and the continuing bankruptcies never get much attention.

    No, how many Americans are being forced to buy a product that they can't afford to use is how they are choosing to measure the "success".

    And, by all means, don't let anyone talk about the opportunity costs. That extra trillion dollars or so going into the offshore tax havens of the insurers and drug companies could have been used for roads and bridges and schools and all sorts of things that would actually benefit Americans... up to and including actual health care of course.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually NOT true. Simply remove the name "Obamacare" from it, and a majority of Americans are actually in FAVOR of every single one of the provisions that it contains.

    "Not true. Just change the facts and viola'..."

    The vast majority of Americans were against the Affordable Care act at the time of it's passing..

    To this day, the majority of Americans are *STILL* against it..

    You can rewrite history all you want.

    But that doesn't change the FACTS...

    replacing it with nothing.

    You also might want to keep in mind that the Democrats had a majority of both Houses of Congress at the time, as well as the Presidency, something the Republicans do not have. They also offered Republican input on Obamacare, and Republicans refused to even negotiate.

    And the rewrite of history continues..

    Republicans DID offer input on TrainWreckCare..

    Remember tort reform??

    The Democrat's response??

    We'll think about it after we pass it...

    Again, these are the facts...

    You also have to remember, that way back in the day, what we call Obamacare now, with the individual mandate, WAS the REPUBLICAN plan out forth by the Heritage Foundation and NEWT Gingrich, as the alternative to the Clinton plan at the time. Another case of Republicans being for it before they were against it, because Obama became for it.

    Yea???

    And way back in the day, the Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK...

    Do you want to own that in the here and now??? :D

    No????

    Didn't think so.. :D

    It has a ' :D ' so that means I am playing nice.. :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @CW,

    My condolences for your loss, and all my best wishes for a brighter future - even for the cat.

    @alto,

    that's an awfully glass-half-empty view of obamacare, just as JM's is glass-half-full. yes, the PPACA is flawed and full of compromises, but compared to the situation prior to its passage, the country is still marginally better off than we were. should we expect more and better? absolutely. but i'd sooner not fall into the trap of treating a half-measure as if it were no measure at all.

    @mopshell,

    boehner may have made a herculean effort, but ultimately he couldn't pick a side. he would have been regarded as more successful if he'd tilted at windmills with the TP'ers OR if he'd gone full-on pragmatic and passed something the president might actually consider signing. but as Mayagi says, he walked in the middle of the road and got "squish - just like grape."

    @michale,

    Yes, trust is a big issue, but it's not just the dems that the public doesn't trust - it's the democrats, the republicans, the courts, the bureaucracy, pretty much the entire political and economic system. that's not a problem that's easy to address by getting rid of any particular part of the system - it's something that requires a real systemic change... election reform, campaign finance reform, lobbying reform, corporate reform, all the things that are not even being addressed tangentially.

    @liz,

    the more i see of the upcoming campaign, the more i'm brought in line with your thinking on vp biden being the best and least likely choice for the next POTUS. the US as a country in general just doesn't seem ready to accept what's best for us, in any sense.

    JL

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And way back in the day, the Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK...

    Do you want to own that in the here and now??? :D

    No????

    Didn't think so.. :D

    In other words, if you honestly and truly believe that the GOP owns TrainWreckCare, then you HAVE to believe that ya'all own the KKK...

    Anything less is hypocrisy.... :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    The third strategy is the least likely, but would represent the best outcome for the country politically. The new speaker could be a much stronger leader than Boehner, and choose to largely ignore the Tea Party faction. This would return Congress to an earlier style of deal-making. Republicans would offer a list of agenda items, and Democrats would do likewise. The new speaker and Mitch McConnell would lay out their priorities, and demand 90 percent of them be in the budget agreement. Democrats would talk them down to maybe 75 percent, and also get something like 25 percent of their own priorities into the bill. People on both sides of the aisle would hold their nose and vote for the compromise. The Republican Party would advance their agenda enormously -- much farther than they have under Boehner, it's worth pointing out -- but the most extreme parts of their agenda would be blocked by Democrats. Democrats would get a say in the legislation much earlier on in the process (instead of after the shutdown starts), and they would also be able to get some baby-step agenda items passed. That's the way the process is really supposed to work, even if it hasn't since the rise of the Tea Party.

    If only Democrats had adopted this strategy when they had the majority..

    They might not be in the mess they are now...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In other words, if you honestly and truly believe that the GOP owns TrainWreckCare, then you HAVE to believe that ya'all own the KKK...

    apples and battleships, as you are wont to say. the dems disavowed the klan as part of a party-wide shift against platforms based on racism and segregation.

    the republicans disavowed romney-care as a tactical maneuver to hamstring a president they found arrogant. republicans didn't stop being pro-corporate on healthcare any more than the dems did.

    JL

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes, trust is a big issue, but it's not just the dems that the public doesn't trust -

    That's true..

    But I am constrained to point out that it's the Democrats who have told blatant, unequivocal and demonstrably provable lies in the last few years...

    I am not talking about being wrong, ala Bush's "lies"...

    I am talking about blatant, knowing, in your face lies like "If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance" and " I used a private insecure bathroom closet email server for convenience" and "I welcome the debate on domestic surveillance" and "I did not send classified information thru my private insecure bathroom closet email server." and "I did not have sexual relations with that woman.."

    Need I go on???

    That's the trust-deficit issue I am referring to...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    apples and battleships, as you are wont to say. the dems disavowed the klan as part of a party-wide shift against platforms based on racism and segregation.

    the republicans disavowed romney-care as a tactical maneuver to hamstring a president they found arrogant. republicans didn't stop being pro-corporate on healthcare any more than the dems did.

    Even if what you say is true (and I have no knowledge to dispute it) the WHY is not relevant to my point..

    The simple fact is that, "in the day" as JohnM put it, the Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK...

    Just as "in the day", TrainWreckCare was a GOP idea...

    Why is not relevant..

    WHAT is...

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even if what you say is true (and I have no knowledge to dispute it) the WHY is not relevant to my point..

    That point being is that, if ya'all want to, in the here and now, tie Political Partys to issues and positions long past, then I will be more than happy to play by those rules...

    But the Democrat Party has too many skeletons in their closets to make that a viable debate option..

    Don'tcha think???

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don'tcha think???

    :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    They also offered Republican input on Obamacare, and Republicans refused to even negotiate.

    Democrats refused to negotiate.. Tort reform proved that..

    Democrats wanted to dictate...

    These are the facts...

    Why do you think TrainWreckCare was passed by parliamentary tricks, replete with backroom deals and bribes and kickbacks totally and completely partisan??

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    altohone wrote:

    nypoet22

    "i'd sooner not fall into the trap of treating a half-measure as if it were no measure at all"

    I wish Obamacare even qualified as a half measure.

    One thirtieth... maybe.

    The minor accomplishments are offset by the entrenching of the status quo core problems.

    The glass isn't near half empty... it was knocked over, fell to the floor, and shattered into sharp pieces that will cut us for years to come.

    A

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    BigA,

    The glass isn't near half empty... it was knocked over, fell to the floor, and shattered into sharp pieces that will cut us for years to come.

    Credit where credit is due....

    That's some pretty powerful imagery....

    Kudos....

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Al,

    Re. The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

    The glass isn't near half empty... it was knocked over, fell to the floor, and shattered into sharp pieces that will cut us for years to come.

    That is some powerful imagery, alright. I'm just not sure it applies.

    That description of the ACA makes it sound as though the ACA is the endpoint of healthcare reform as opposed to just the beginning. Isn't it better to think of Obamacare as a good start that will require monitoring and improvement?

    I mean, given the political landscape in your country, I seriously doubt anything much better could have been achieved at this time. Healthcare is an important issue and a complex one that is hard to get right in one shot.

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The glass isn't near half empty... it was knocked over, fell to the floor, and shattered into sharp pieces that will cut us for years to come.

    evocative imagery, but not accurate in terms of obamacare's benefits. substantively speaking, exchanges have dropped the average costs, more government assistance is available, more people are eligible for medicaid, large employers are required by law to cover full-time workers, denial of coverage is not allowed, lifetime coverage limits are not allowed, pre-existing condition restrictions are not allowed, young adults can stay on their parents' plans, preventative care is fully covered, windfall profits must be redistributed as lower rates, and many more positives are points of fact.

    does this mean there aren't negatives? of course not. but the glass, if not half-full, is pretty damn far from shattered.

    JL

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    That description of the ACA makes it sound as though the ACA is the endpoint of healthcare reform as opposed to just the beginning. Isn't it better to think of Obamacare as a good start that will require monitoring and improvement?

    It IS the endpoint of quality and affordable healthcare.....

    As facts and reality clearly show...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    It IS the endpoint of quality and affordable healthcare.....

    Or have ya'all missed the fact that insurance premiums have risen higher than 400% in some places??

    Where is the AFFORDABLE part of TrainWreckCare???

    The only people who are happy about TrainWreckCare are the insurance companies, the drug companies and Obama Bots..

    On that basis alone, TrainWreckCare is an epic fail..

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    evocative imagery, but not accurate in terms of obamacare's benefits. substantively speaking, exchanges have dropped the average costs, more government assistance is available, more people are eligible for medicaid, large employers are required by law to cover full-time workers, denial of coverage is not allowed, lifetime coverage limits are not allowed, pre-existing condition restrictions are not allowed, young adults can stay on their parents' plans, preventative care is fully covered, windfall profits must be redistributed as lower rates, and many more positives are points of fact.

    And yet......

    With all these "benefits" the American people are STILL against it....

    Funny how that is, eh??

    "You can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time..."

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    With all these "benefits" the American people are STILL against it....

    that would be argumentum ad populum. even if true, an established logical fallacy.

    JL

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Healthcare is an important issue and a complex one that is hard to get right in one shot.

    At the time, healthcare was NOT so important an issue...

    There were MANY issues that were more bi-partisan, more acheivable and a LOT more pressing...

    Healthcare was a Democrat Party agenda item..

    NOTHING more...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    that would be argumentum ad populum. even if true, an established logical fallacy.

    It may not be "true" as "truth" is very subjective..

    It is, however, completely factual...

    And, completely relevant to my central point..

    See #37..

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    At the time.... And to this day...

    Americans wanted JOBS...

    NOT healthcare disruption....

    It's THAT simple...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Healthcare was a Democrat Party agenda item..

    Just as abortion (or more accurately, ANTI-abortion) is a Republican Party agenda...

    No difference whatsoever...

    Except to the ideologues...

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is so dead on ballz accurate, it's scary..

    Liberals Are Done Debating
    When a group confuses its politics with moral doctrine, it may have trouble comprehending how a decent human could disagree with its positions.

    https://reason.com/archives/2015/09/25/liberals-are-done-debating

    For the record, most Weigantians do not suffer from this malady or fit into that category...

    But run-o-the-mill liberals??

    That article describes them perfectly...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    the republicans disavowed romney-care as a tactical maneuver to hamstring a president they found arrogant. republicans didn't stop being pro-corporate on healthcare any more than the dems did.

    That's what I like about you, Joshua...

    You see clearly that, with most things that the Left rail's against Republicans for, Democrats are (more often than not) part of the problem rather than part of the solution.. :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news...

    It looks like the refugee situation in Europe has taken a decidedly different turn..

    I have to admit, the situation has caused me to rethink things....

    Has anyone seen Wreck It Ralph?? After watching it for the 20th time (grand-baby loves it.. :D) it occurred to me how the situation at the end of WIR is eerily apropos to the situation in Europe....

    It's a fascinating example of life imitating art.....

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    For the record, most Weigantians do not suffer from this malady or fit into that category...

    I appreciate that!

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, and, Happy Birthday, Michale!!! You have a lot to celebrate on this day ... ENJOY!

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank you, Liz! :D

    I do indeed.. :D

    For the record, most Weigantians do not suffer from this malady or fit into that category...

    I appreciate that!

    Just stating the facts... :D

    Simply by virtue of being here, it indicates a level of open mindedness that is abnormal in your run-o-the-mill liberal.. :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell wrote the following, earlier on in this thread ...

    I think he did a very commendable job in extremely adverse circumstances. I doubt there is any Republican who will do better in the position of Speaker... certainly no-one comes to mind.

    Commendable? Hardly.

    I suspect that history will look upon Speaker Boehner as one of the most dangerously destructive speakers in recent US history. Of course, this historical perspective on Boehner will most assuredly be moderated as a result of the actions of his successor.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    I suspect that history will look upon Speaker Boehner as one of the most dangerously destructive speakers in recent US history. Of course, this historical perspective on Boehner will most assuredly be moderated as a result of the actions of his successor.

    I would have to agree with Mopshell here...

    Boehner managed to royally piss off both Democrats and Republicans..

    Obviously, he was doing SOMETHING right! :D heh

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Not true. Just change the facts and viola'...
    The vast majority of Americans were against the Affordable Care act at the time of it's passing..
    To this day, the majority of Americans are *STILL* against it..
    You can rewrite history all you want.
    But that doesn't change the FACTS..."

    Actually it DOES change the facts. A poll was conducted in Kentucky in 2014. 57 percent had an unfavorable opinion about Obamacare. But only 22 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Kynect. But Kynect and Obamacare are exactly the SAME thing! Kynect is simply the state run exchange that Obamacare set up. Only the name is different!

    "Remember tort reform??
    The Democrat's response??
    We'll think about it after we pass it..."

    And yet, what is preventing individual states from passing their own tort and malpractice reforms? Especially Republican controlled states? The answer is, big drum roll please... NOTHING!

    "And way back in the day, the Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK...
    Do you want to own that in the here and now??? :D"

    YES. ACTUALLY I DO. It is after all, historical fact, that the Democratic party in history was the party of segregationists. No dispute. Now Michale, do YOU want to own the fact that is was the Republican Party that originally came up with the idea of the majority of what we now call Obamacare in the first place????

    A poll from 2012 found the following on Obamacare:

    44% of Americans supported the law, with 56% against.

    However, regarding the individual provisions of Obamacare:

    82% favored banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

    61% favored allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

    And 72% supported requiring companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their employees.

    Find me a poll Michale, that says that a majority of Americans WANT to give up the ban on pre-existing conditions or are in favor of taking their children off their healthcare policies. YET those ARE the provisions of Obamacare. Just ask about the provisions without using the name "Obamacare" and that majority against it turns into a majority for it.

    Those ARE the FACTS.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually it DOES change the facts. A poll was conducted in Kentucky in 2014. 57 percent had an unfavorable opinion about Obamacare. But only 22 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Kynect. But Kynect and Obamacare are exactly the SAME thing! Kynect is simply the state run exchange that Obamacare set up. Only the name is different!

    WOW.. Talk about cherry picking facts.. :D

    I mean, come on.. One obscure poll for a STATE Run version of Obamacare and THAT is your proof that the majority of Americans are NOT against TrainWreckCare?? :D

    Com'on, JM.. Would YOU accept such felgercarb from me??

    :D

    And yet, what is preventing individual states from passing their own tort and malpractice reforms? Especially Republican controlled states? The answer is, big drum roll please... NOTHING!

    Democrat obstructionism.. And Democrats obstruct it due to the lawyer special interest groups..

    True or false??

    YES. ACTUALLY I DO. It is after all, historical fact, that the Democratic party in history was the party of segregationists. No dispute. Now Michale, do YOU want to own the fact that is was the Republican Party that originally came up with the idea of the majority of what we now call Obamacare in the first place????

    Yes.. If you want state unequivocally and for the record that the Democrat Party gave us the KKK, then I will agree that the GOP, "back in the day" was for something similar to TrainWreckCare...

    Yes, if you want to cherry pick options, then you would find that people support individual options..

    Yet that doesn't change the FACT that Americans never wanted Obamacare, and STILL don't want Obamacare...

    Leave it to the Democrats to package individual aspects that Americans *WANT* into a dismal, disgusting and perverse package that NO ONE wants...

    It takes a special level of incompetence to do something so utterly moronic.. :D

    Regardless of all your SPIN (and that is ALL it is) the majority of Americans never wanted Obamacare..

    The majority of Americans STILL don't want Obamacare..

    These are the facts... And they are indisputable...

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    TrainWreckCare is a dunsel, JM....

    Even DEMOCRATS say that...

    Americans wanted JOBS... We got TrainWreckCare..

    We got a partisan Democrat agenda...

    Nothing more...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya gotta ask yerselves one question...

    If the Democrat Party is so great, why is Clinton the presumptive Dem Candidate??

    Clinton is the Party champion...

    That says a LOT about the Democrat Party...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/hillary-supporters-all-have-suspiciously-identical-feelings-about-meet-the-press-interview/

    Looks like ALL of Hillary supporters are on the same page..

    LITERALLY... :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    altohone wrote:

    As usual Micha, you are wrong.

    Healthcare reform was absolutely a necessity as our system was failing miserably.

    What we got however nypoet22 and Liz, was a right wing, corporatist "fix" that cemented into place a system where Americans are paying two or three times more than we should be.

    Price gouging was legalized.

    Our government subsidizing the gouging makes it appear more affordable for some, but that is their tax money paying for the subsidies on top of the premiums, when it should be going towards productive endeavors.

    The "starting point" argument only makes sense if further reforms are likely or even possible in the future, and so far, the only "reform" being considered is repealing the tax on medical device manufacturers... in other words reducing one of the sources of revenue that was meant to help cover some of the costs of the price gouging.
    This gradual shifting of more of the burden away from those who are profiting off our system will continue.

    35,000,000 or so Americans remain without coverage.
    Huge numbers of people with insurance are still avoiding getting care due to costs.
    Insurance premiums continue to unsustainably increase at more than double the rate of inflation.

    Our system is still failing miserably.

    I am firmly in the healthcare is a right not a luxury camp.
    Throwing our (own and our government) money at the middlemen who provide no care squandered the sole opportunity at actual reform we have had and that we are likely to have for a long time.

    Instead of slaying the dragon, we offered to deliver its meals.

    And, if we want another chance to reform the system, we can't spend our time defending Obamacare, we have to admit it didn't go nearly far enough. That means focusing on the major negatives instead of the minor positives.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In other words, Mopshell and Michale, the actions of the Republican leadership in the Congress, combined with their reaction to the first black president, enabled and sustained the very forces that have now coerced Boehner out of his speakership and prolonged the negative impacts of the financial crisis of 2008/09.

    The leadership of Speaker Boehner has consistently meant that the interests of a relatively few but increasingly vociferous group of GOP extremists are elevated at the expense of the interests and well-being of the nation.

    If the GOP falls into the realm of oblivion, then it will be Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell who must shoulder the bulk of responsibility for that demise, make no mistake about it.

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hi Al,

    And, if we want another chance to reform the system, we can't spend our time defending Obamacare, we have to admit it didn't go nearly far enough. That means focusing on the major negatives instead of the minor positives.

    That makes a certain amount of sense, I must admit.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    Healthcare reform was absolutely a necessity as our system was failing miserably.

    That's your opinion, unsupported by any facts...

    The majority of Americans AND many MANY Democrats don't share that opinion...

    What we got however nypoet22 and Liz, was a right wing, corporatist "fix" that cemented into place a system where Americans are paying two or three times more than we should be.

    So, you are saying that Obama's signature healthcare is actually Right Wing and Corporatist... :D

    OK...

    I am firmly in the healthcare is a right not a luxury camp.

    Colour me shocked!! :D

    That means focusing on the major negatives instead of the minor positives.

    Complete agreement...

    Obamacare = TrainWreckCare

    We are in completely agreement... :D

    "Detente is a wonderful thing."
    -Maureen Robinson, LOST IN SPACE

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, Mopshell and Michale, the actions of the Republican leadership in the Congress, combined with their reaction to the first black president, enabled and sustained the very forces that have now coerced Boehner out of his speakership and prolonged the negative impacts of the financial crisis of 2008/09.

    Race had nothing to do with anything... I thought we had put that ridiculous argument to bed a long LONG time ago...

    The mere fact that we elected a black man as POTUS proves beyond any doubt that institutionalized racism against black people is a thing of the past..

    If you can find me ONE single instance, supported by unequivocal facts, of institutionalized racism against black people since 2008, I will concede the point.

    But I know I won't have to because there hasn't been any...

    The leadership of Speaker Boehner has consistently meant that the interests of a relatively few but increasingly vociferous group of GOP extremists are elevated at the expense of the interests and well-being of the nation.

    Despite all the facts to the contrary... :D

    If the GOP falls into the realm of oblivion, then it will be Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell who must shoulder the bulk of responsibility for that demise, make no mistake about it.

    This makes a certain amount of sense, I agree...

    But if the GOP falls into the realm of oblivion, it will be in SPITE of the efforts of Boehner and McConnell...

    You see, B and Mac failed to learn a very VERY important lesson from the Democrat Party..

    If you put personal ambition first, Party second and the safety and security of the country a very distant third, then you will always advance the agenda of the Party...

    At least, in the short term...

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    As usual Micha, you are wrong.

    Yea, you keep saying that..

    And, as per the norm, you don't provide ANY facts to back it up... :D

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/11895857/Vladimir-Putin-and-Barack-Obama-speak-at-UN-General-Assembly-live.html

    Russia supplants the US as the world's Superpower when it comes to Middle East affairs..

    That will be Obama's true legacy..

    He will be forever known as the POTUS to conceded the US's superpower status to Russia...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    No answer to #52??

    Once again, colour me shocked! :D

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in still other news...

    A new low in science: Criminalizing climate change skeptics
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/28/new-low-in-science-criminalizing-climate-change-skeptics.html?intcmp=hphz03

    This op-ed was written by a REAL scientist...

    You see, that is the problem with the Left Wing's concept of "science"...

    It's nothing but a barely disguised political agenda...

    Seriously, there is absolutely no difference between the Left Wing today and the "scientists" of years past who persecuted the real scientists who proved that the earth was round and that the planets revolved around the sun...

    Absolutely.... NO... Difference.....

    Criminalizing science..

    THAT is the contribution of the Left Wing... :^/

    Anyone who doesn't condemn such actions is complicit in such actions...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Race had nothing to do with anything... I thought we had put that ridiculous argument to bed a long LONG time ago...If you can find me ONE single instance, supported by unequivocal facts, of institutionalized racism against black people since 2008, I will concede the point.

    On day one of President Obama's administration, in the midst of the most destructive global financial crisis since the Great Depression, with the US economy virtually circling the drain, the Republican leadership in Congress vowed - as their top priority, no less - to take whatever action was necessary to ensure that Obama would be a one-term president. That's one promise they lived up to.

    Given the dire circumstances that engulfed the country when these intentions were made clear, tell me, what else would you call that kind of dangerously destructive behavior?

    I'm all ears.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    For the sake of clarity, let me slightly re-phrase that ...

    Race had nothing to do with anything... I thought we had put that ridiculous argument to bed a long LONG time ago...If you can find me ONE single instance, supported by unequivocal facts, of institutionalized racism against black people since 2008, I will concede the point.

    On day one of President Obama's administration, in the midst of the most destructive global financial crisis since the Great Depression, with the US economy virtually circling the drain, the Republican leadership in Congress vowed - as their top priority, no less - to take whatever action was necessary to ensure that Obama would be a one-term president. That's one promise they tried desperately to live up to.

    Given the dire circumstances that engulfed the country when these intentions were made clear, tell me, what else would you call that kind of dangerously destructive behavior?

    I'm all ears.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Given the dire circumstances that engulfed the country when these intentions were made clear, tell me, what else would you call that kind of dangerously destructive behavior?

    Politics.... :D

    I'll grant you that racism *COULD* explain it..

    But so could a host of other possibilities....

    And, funny thing.. There are NO RELEVANT FACTS to support a claim of racism..

    To support a claim of racism, one must rely on mystical "code words" and magical innuendo..

    Not a fact to be found...

    "We can discount a possibility just because we don't happen to like it."
    -Martin Sheen, FINAL COUNTDOWN

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, just to make your day, Liz.. :D

    Biden Would Enter 2016 Race As Most Popular Candidate: Poll
    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/biden-would-enter-2016-race-most-popular-candidate-poll-n435076

    Seriously, though.. With poll numbers like this, how can Biden NOT enter the race??

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader
    http://nypost.com/2015/09/29/obama-has-turned-putin-into-the-worlds-most-powerful-leader/

    Obama got played..

    And Putin is pulling the strings....

    That is Obama's legacy...

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    What part of entrenching for profit corporate middlemen in our healthcare system is leftist?

    You types who insist that something right of center that is slightly left of the extreme right actually qualifies as leftist are just delusional. Completely out of touch with reality.

    I'm sorry you are blind to the suffering and economic hardship caused by our profit driven, price gouging healthcare system.
    I'm glad that neither you nor anyone you know has been victimized by it, but if you choose to look at the facts, they are readily available.

    But given how many people I know... family, friends, neighbors... who have faced the nightmares of our system, it seems you are likely willfully blind to the problems... just like the ongoing institutionalized racism and all the other things that cause dissonance to your ideological fantasy world.

    As for Clinton, she's not leading in Iowa or New Hampshire and her lead is dwindling nationally... so your presumed nomination claim is as sketchy as the inevitable claims her supporters make.

    A

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    What part of entrenching for profit corporate middlemen in our healthcare system is leftist?

    What part of "leftist" did I mention??

    You types who insist that something right of center that is slightly left of the extreme right actually qualifies as leftist are just delusional. Completely out of touch with reality.

    That's your opinion and I respect that...

    But it is an opinion without any supporting facts...

    I'm sorry you are blind to the suffering and economic hardship caused by our profit driven, price gouging healthcare system.
    I'm glad that neither you nor anyone you know has been victimized by it, but if you choose to look at the facts, they are readily available.

    And, by "facts" you mean spin...

    Oh I am sure you can find a sob story here and there... That would likely be easy to do..

    Doesn't change the fact that the majority of Americans wanted JOBS..

    Not frak'ed up health care...

    But given how many people I know... family, friends, neighbors... who have faced the nightmares of our system, it seems you are likely willfully blind to the problems... just like the ongoing institutionalized racism and all the other things that cause dissonance to your ideological fantasy world.

    You mean, the institutionalized racism that you can't provide ANY facts to support???

    As for Clinton, she's not leading in Iowa or New Hampshire and her lead is dwindling nationally... so your presumed nomination claim is as sketchy as the inevitable claims her supporters make.

    Yer preaching to the choir here, sonny jim...

    I am already on record as stating that Clinton is going to implode..

    Talk to those who claim she is going to be POTUS... :D

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    altohone wrote:

    Micha

    The laziness and dishonesty in your comments is truly amazing.

    A

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biga,

    The laziness and dishonesty in your comments is truly amazing.

    The fact that you offer NOTHING in the way of substantiation is not amazing..

    It's what we have come to expect... :D

    It's part of your charm... :D

    Michale

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