A small group of House Republicans, but one sufficiently large to deny the party a voting majority in the House, believed that the budget brinksmanship of the past few weeks would allow them to keep the government open but prevent Obamacare’s exchanges from starting up. Now that the opposite has happened, it would be worth their time to reconsider their options. (Snip)Republicans won control of the House largely because they made their opposition to Obamacare clear to the public, and they stand a decent chance of winning control of the Senate next year if they continue to do so. Their
“There is nothing left to cut,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last week when referring to the federal budget. Again, she displayed a complete disconnect with reality — a disconnect reinforced by all those other fantasyland souls who make her their leader. As we listen to the budget battles among the political class over the next few weeks, it is important to keep in mind that federal spending is at record levels in nominal terms and near the all-time high as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), except during World War II. During the second Clinton administration, federal spending
The Obama administration broke the law when officials decided to delay a crucial provision of the president’s signature healthcare law, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. The lawsuit, filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of an orthodontist from Florida, seeks to block a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate. The provision requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their workers or pay penalties. The mandate, a major pillar of the ACA, was to take effect in January 2014, under language in the law.
Our upcoming WEEKLY STANDARD cruise had me thinking (only a bit!) about blackjack, since the ship´s casino is occasionally (rarely!) frequented after dinner by TWS editors and guests. I remember being told on a previous cruise by a real gambler that the characteristic error of occasional blackjack players is to take another card when they should stand pat. They do this when they have a mediocre hand and over-estimate the odds of improving it rather than busting, while under-estimating the odds of winning by just standing pat; and they do it when they think the dealer must have a winning
Adopting a strategy first suggested by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), House Republicans are pushing a new approach that would break up the federal spending bills into small pieces and move them separately over to the Senate. According to a senior GOP aide in a closed-door huddle in the Capitol basement, Republicans hope to approve three bills Tuesday that would fund the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and the District of Columbia. This is an attempt to move the appropriations process through regular order, but Senate Democrats have rejected such a move as too late.
For a fleeting moment Monday evening, it seemed that Rep. Peter King, the gruff, tough-talking, blue-collar Long Islander was poised to emerge as the GOP’s anti-Cruz, a moderate who would lead a rebellion against the House GOP effort to tie defunding Obamacare to funding the government. It was, as mentioned, a fleeting moment. “I was the only one who spoke strongly in opposition. Silence,” King said in an interview a few minutes before it became clear that his rebellion would fail and the government would shut down. He said that he told his colleagues in a private caucus meeting that
By common reckoning, there have been 266 popes in the 2,000-year history of the church. We’ve had some giants, and some lemons. Come to think of it, the first one, Peter, had a mixed record, one day bravely professing Jesus as the “Son of God,” but then cowardly denying Him thrice on the day Jesus needed him most. No wonder one of the best histories of the papacy is entitled “Saints and Sinners.” Each pope has particular talents and some obvious flaws. That shouldn’t surprise us, since that is also true of each of us. The three most recent ones,
Markets tend to anticipate, rather than react to events, so it shouldn´t have come as any surprise that the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually rose a smidgeon in response to news that nobody blinked and the US has therefore moved into government shut-down mode. [Snip] Moody´s, the credit rating agency, estimates that a three to four week shutdown would cut fourth quarter growth by around 1.4 per cent. This is quite a knock for a recovering world economy still struggling to achieve escape velocity, but it is not of itself terminal. Much more worrying is the separate debt ceiling. Congress
"One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that´s the case." So marvelously stated Brit Hume on Fox News´s Special Report Monday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary): BRIT HUME: One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that´s the case. CNN says that House Bill, for example, to keep the government open while delaying ObamaCare was quote “a move that makes a shutdown more likely.” Later
During his Monday briefing with reporters in the White House, press secretary Jay Carney was asked several times how president Barack Obama would respond to a partial government shutdown. The most interesting query came from Cable News Network´s senior White House correspondent Jim Costa, who asked if the Democrats have been using heightened rhetoric to attack Republicans and “trying to taunt” the GOP into doing a shutdown. “In the last couple of weeks, Democrats including the president have -- and he has not used all these words but I’ll throw out some of them -- have referred to Republicans as
JOLIET TOWNSHIP — Hours after trying out for a spot on the “Family Feud” game show, a Joliet Central High School security guard shot his new wife to death early Monday and then turned the gun on himself, sources said. Marcus T. Crosby and family members tried out for the popular game show on Sunday, but his wife, Kearra Hosey did not, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. A person at the couple’s home, who did not want to be identified, confirmed the tryout. A spokeswoman for “Family Feud” said production staffers were in transit Monday and
Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z, tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Lisa Robinson in the November issue that although his wife, Beyoncé, says that their 18-month-old daughter, Blue Ivy, prefers Jay’s music to hers, he’s not so sure. (Snip) Jay’s checkered past taught him a few things that he says will come in handy in his new role as a sports agent: “I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he tells Robinson. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then.
What was meant to be a final gathering of heroes Tuesday instead became a final victory for dozens of World War II combat vets who refused to let the government´s budget battle block a visit to their memorial in the nation´s capital. With bagpipers playing "Amazing Grace," nearly 200 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa swept past barricades and security guards at the World War II Memorial in Washington in order to keep a commitment to visit the site, which was closed today due to the partial government shutdown. The veterans, in their 80s and 90s, were accompanied by
The Daily Caller has confirmed that Fox News will announce later this afternoon that they have hired long-time Washington Post columnist George Will. Will had been regular on ABC’s “This Week” going back to the early 1980s, but had been conspicuously absent from the program as of late. According to a source close to the situation, Will’s role at Fox News will be to provide commentary and analysis during its daily programming. Update: In a statement announcing the hire, FNC Executive Vice President of News Michael Clemente praised Will. “We are delighted to have someone
WASHINGTON - Congress hung "Closed" signs on a big swath of the government Tuesday and sent home 800,000 workers in what President Barack Obama labeled an "ideological crusade" by the GOP. On Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans traded blame for the first partial government shutdown in nearly two decades. Barricades sprang up early Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments, and the National Park Service was turning off 45 fountains around the capital city. National parks from Acadia in Maine to Denali in Alaska followed suit, as did many federal
RENO— Ex-Nevada power broker Harvey Whittemore admitted he was "arrogant and naive" but insisted "I´m not greedy" before a judge sentenced him Monday to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid´s re-election committee in 2007. U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks also ordered Whittemore to pay $100,000 in fines for his three felony convictions and serve 100 hours community service upon his release from a yet-to-be determined prison that houses white-collar criminals. The 61-year-old former lobbyist and wealthy developer is
An Internet site that reports on issues that emanate from within America’s news rooms said CNN’s Piers Morgan is on the out. It is not clear whether he will sever ties with CNN completely or simply with his coveted prime time slot. But it’s not clear whether he will sever ties with CNN completely — or simply with his coveted prime time slot. FTVLive reported that sources say CNN head Jeff Zucker is “actively looking for a replacement for Piers Morgan.” Mr. Morgan in 2012 signed only a one-year contract extension, and that’s about to wrap, the site reported. Mr. Zucker would
A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
This amazing CNN news story by reporter Zain Asher should be required viewing for the GOP House caucus. It’s about efforts to educated uninsured families in New Jersey about Obamacare, and it illustrates how little the Affordable Care Act’s biggest beneficiaries know about the new program. To put it another way, folks aren’t exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of access to health care. Watch Jose Menendez, as he asks, ”I have a question. Who created this affordable health care plan that you’re speaking about?” Asher tells him Congress passed the measure. Menendez says,
The White House never though the government would actually shut down and as a result West Wing officials hardly spent any time over the past week planning for it, an administration aide said. It was only at the weekend after House Republicans decided to prolong their fight on health care and send a budget bill back to the Senate with a one-year delay in Obamacare, that the reality of the situation became apparent. [Snip] The Democratic Senate on Monday twice rejected GOP demands to delay key portions of what has become to known as Obamacare as a condition for keeping
Many Democrats are genuinely puzzled about Republicans’ continuing opposition to Obamacare. It is the law of the land, these Democrats say. Critics should accept it, as critics accepted Medicare. They should work constructively and across the aisle with Democrats to repair any flaws and make the law work to help people. Historical analogies are often useful, but they can be misleading. The Medicare analogy is certainly misleading: Republicans, like it or not, are behaving differently from the way they behaved after the passage of Medicare in 1965.
With the government having lurched into its first shutdown since the 1990s, many commentators are focusing on the potential ill effects that it might have for Republicans. Almost all of these analyses use the shutdowns of 1995-1996 as their starting point. While I don´t think this development will be great for Republicans, many of the concerns are likely overwrought. Here are four points to ponder: 1. While the GOP’s tactics are similar to those employed in the mid-’90s, the goals are different. The earlier budget debates were broad in nature and dealt with the scope of government. The 104th Congress,
Despite the Government shutdown, one of Obamacare´s most important functions has gone live today, but the launch has been far from smooth. While the shutdown could dampen the rollout as insurance markets open around the country, it has not stopped the healthcare scheme´s online marketplace from opening as scheduled. [Snip] Federal officials are aware of the website problems and say they are working to address it as quickly as possible. U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters says officials "have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience."
The contrast between the two headlines couldn’t have been more stark. [Snip] Royal Mail turned a $650 million profit last year while the Postal Service was racking up a $15.9 billion loss. [Snip] British governments [Snip] ended the agency’s monopoly on first-class mail in 2006 and passed a privatization law in 2011. [Snip] Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 nations have repealed their postal monopolies and set up corporate entities to deliver the mail. Private investors own 100 percent of the Netherlands’ post office, and substantial stakes in its German, Belgian and Austrian counterparts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the world community not to be fooled by the new Iranian president´s conciliatory words, using a U.N. address to decry him as a "wolf in sheep´s clothing." Netanyahu, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly session on Tuesday in New York, sought to counter the positive reviews Iranian President Hassan Rouhani got over his debut at the international gathering. (Snip) "Rouhani didn´t sound like Ahmadinejad, but when it comes to Iran´s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was the wolf in wolf´s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep´s