Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Will Speak Until I Am No Longer Able To Stand Grandstand...

...until noon, Eastern Standard Time.

Going down into history like Senator Joe McCarthy.


American Activities Committee said...

McCarthy? That's a stretch, particularly compared to Obama's massive surveillance of speech and associations, particularly targeting the left and Muslims. McCarthy would envy Obama's list...

Cruz is more of a blowhard Gingrich character, and will probably self-destruct as quickly.

Democrats love a distracting villain.

Anonymous said...

Cruz's opposition to Obamacare on principle is undermined by the cumulative release of premium numbers. The debate now shifts to affordability in the micro sense.

We are also at an interesting crossroads for conservative alternatives, such as church based voluntary risk pools "health sharing." It would be cheaper and more viable for such pools to pay Obamacare premiums for the needy.

For that matter, will Catholic social services overlook contraception/abortion and help pay for coverage for families who come up short? Will they (continue to) help individuals thread the maze to Medicaid or subsidies? The Pope would seem to say yes.

Regardless of affordability to households, ACA would seem to offer a better basis for private charities.

ACA moves the conversation from whether the federal government should provide access and funding,, but how it should fund and provide access. The Republicans are right that the mandate is unconstitutional, but Robert's sidestep is all Obama needs for now. The President is right that Republicans have not offered a Federal alternative and they are no longer really part of the national conversation on the numbers.

But, Progressives continue to offer an alternative: Medicare for all, but funded through general tax revenue. The conversation, then, is between the inefficient Democratic plan, and the most popular government program.

Blue Cross Dress said...

The numbers will shift the debate, but I'm not sure we're getting the numbers yet. We still aren't getting premium cost, post subsidy, plus copays, on all plans at all levels in all locales. With less than a week to go, there is still relatively little data for households, just lots of Bill Clinton and his thumb.

Also, I'm not so sure we won't default this time. Most likely not, elite Republicans don't want to, but, maybe we already have. I was wrong in thinking the sequester would have repercussions for the GOP, a default may not either.

Default would defund the subsidies.

Obama Legacy Project said...

*Ignored the memo about an impending bin Laden attack

Turned the NSA against law abiding Americans, violated the Constitutional rights of Americans.

* The attack takes place

Illegally used the FBI against the Occupy movement

* The Iraq war

The illegal Libyan war

* Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Sandy, 2012 climate change denial.

* No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind

* Tax cuts for the rich for 1.3 trillion dollars

Secret deal with PHARMA for trillions.

* Massacred the English language in public too many times to count

Sweetly delivered Fascist speeches too many times to count.

* Authorized illegal electronic surveillance of Americans

Authorized far more more illegal surveillance of Americans. Mocked the Constitution.

* Spent nearly one-third of his presidency at Crawford ranch, Camp David, or family compound in Kennebunkport

Spent 100% of his presidency at war against the Bill of Rights.

* Increased Americans living in poverty by 4.4 million

"The poverty rate in 2012 was 15 percent, with 46.5 million living below the official poverty line. That’s 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007 and close to a post-War on Poverty record. Of this, 43 percent were in “deep poverty,” with half below the poverty line. In 2000, the rate of poverty was 11.3 percent. "

* Housing and financial market collapses

Prevented prosecution, took campaign bribes from Goldman Sachs and other players, prevented regulatory reform.

* Denied climate change

Did nothing on climate change, approved fracking and Keystone, illegally detained Green Party candidate to avoid discussing climate change in 2012 debates.

* Authorized the use of torture

Used medical personnel to commit torture. Refused to close Gitmo. Kangaroo courts. No prosecution of Bush/Romney torturers. Collaborated with sicko Hollywood movie glorifying torture while jailing whistleblowers who exposed it.

* Hundreds of signing statements stating he would determine the law

Hundreds of signing statements stating he would determine the law. Unilateral executive decisions on enforcing the law.

* Politicized the Department of Justice

Politicized the Department of Justice.

Anonymous said...

We find unhelpful the Democratic trope that rank and file Congressmen are insane to flirt with default. Default would slash federal spending, and possibly end subsidies to Obamacare. That's what they want. That's relatively rational politics.

Nobody knows what default would mean, but even Krugman's description of market "carnage" and dollar drop, and perhaps counter-intuitive interest decrease, are not necessarily offputting to main streeting, exporting hopeful, etc Reps.

If you see the House Tea Partiers as acting rationally according to their beliefs, it's pointless to shame them by saying they have a responsibility to pass a budget. They feel they have a responsibility not to, to honor the debt ceiling.

We're not suggesting sympathy for their position, just saying it's no more insane to cause Wall Street "carnage" than to put Geithner and Summers in charge and not regulate Wall Street post 2008. That pretty much the defintion of insanity--doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The US would be in much better position to handle a default if we had capitalized lower level economic actors and established a realistic Wall Street regulatory effort. Instead we did much the opposite because of both Democrats and Republicans.

If the House drives the US to default, we predict the President will threaten and eventually order the continued sale of govt bonds (at a premium, and a bit of a Ponzi). A constitutional crisis, but possibly one SCOTUS would take in this circumstance and decide in the President's favor, on the grounds that Constitution only requires Congress to approve spending any taxation once, and they did so when passing the programs. As long as the bonds minimally paid for Congressionally approved programs, there is clearly an argument that the President is just taking reasonable, if unprecedented steps to enforce the laws. It would be absurd to argue that Congress can simply refuse to ever approve spending for programs it has required the President to implement.

Even if no court action, the effects of default would exceed the impact of sequester, and THIS TIME Republicans (might) get the blame. Also, the wealthy backers of the tea party reps would eventually bail.

Rather than the "insanity" defense, Democrats and the Republican leadership would do better to make House Republicans see that it's not a sure bet that the debt ceiling itself can survive default. The power of the purse may become less absolute if Congress doesn't compromise.

Obama should start dicussing post default strategies now to back up his no negotiation stance and move the needle in his favor.

We Minus One said...

Progressives shouldn't choose sides in this one.

Unless the House Republicans demand NSA defunding.

Then, we side with them.

John-Luc Petard said...

Minus another.

The real villain here is John Roberts, who we now shares unConstitutional powers through FISC/NSA and the other illegal and quasi-legal agencies. Roberts is not the impartial head of an independent judiciary. His court is not a check or balance. The courts are part of the governing executive, headed by the permanent agencies.

The Obamacare decision was farcical, but even worse if it provides Roberts an excuse to further empower Clapper with de facto taxing power through the President.

We shouldn't be a dog in this fight, neither for Kochs nor Clapper.

Bring on the default.

Don Peyote said...

Consensus 1.5: Default lies in our stars, not in ourselves.

As we step aside to allow the plutocrat factions fight, we worry about the impact on Americans and erosion of remaining constitutional constraints.

We are small d type progressives who would like a return to the rule of law.

But, we recognize the political potential for reallignment if default draws clearer disteinction between plutocrats and Americans as distinct classes. A pox perhaps on elite Republicans and Democrats alike.

Rhetoric in both plutocrat factions has grown more absolute. We watch and wait.

Boss Weed said...

Progressives and our libertarian allies saved Obama from Kerry in Syria, and from Summers on Wall Street, though our intent was simply to protect the American people from the plutocrats.

The dynamic is definitely different this time.

The president definitely signaled a state of emergency:

I don’t know how I can be more clear about this: Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions. No one gets to hurt our economy and millions of innocent people just because there are a couple of laws that you do not like. It has not been done in the past. We’re not going to start doing it now

He could be "more clear" by explicitly threatening to raise funds without Congressional authorization. Will he threaten such? Lew answers to Obama.

This standoff could break the back of both parties.

Obama should offer an olive branch by offering to sign the Wyden-Rand NSA bill. We're better allies than Clapper.

NSA vs Ali said...

Obama would need to scuttle the Frankenfeinstein-Ninny fake reform and order Wyden-Rand out of committee at least.

Obama should know he is the epitomy of Sonny Liston. Look at the poster.

Mr. President Chump. Sir.