Washington’s shutdown drama is showing signs of easing after weeks of partisan nastiness. It’s far from over, and the White House may not take House Republican’s latest overture—a six-week increase in the debt limit with no end to the government shutdown. That said, something changed this week within the Republican caucus. We can’t pretend to know what’s in the mind of House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), but here are some of the tectonic shifts that likely underlie this new direction. Public Opinion There’s no ducking the no good, very bad polling for the GOP. An Associated Press poll published Wednesday had
If the media anchors and "journalists" didn´t have these manufactured polls, they couldn´t frame their arguments against all things anti-Democrat party so easily. The WSJ takes an AP poll as gospel - really?
Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it´s worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law. I spent a good part of my summer traveling around the country with the Heritage Foundation´s sister organization, Heritage Action, and I heard firsthand from many Americans being harmed by ObamaCare. More and more people have had
As part of the deal to end the government shutdown and extend the debt limit, the House and Senate have agreed to begin long-stalled budget negotiations. The conferees planned to meet Thursday morning for breakfast -- to "break the ice," the Associated Press reported. Once the actual talks get underway, President Obama will insist that tax hikes be part of the solution. "The president has insisted that in the budget negotiations that he´s been calling for all year, everything has to be on the table. And that will be his position going forward," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters
On his radio show recently, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to “defund the GOP.” Sarah Palin has threatened to leave the Republican Party; Rush Limbaugh calls it “irrelevant.” The Senate Conservatives Fund has targeted mainly incumbent Republican senators for defeat. Erick Erickson, one of the right’s most prominent commentators, wonders if what´s coming is “a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.” Conservatives have declared war on the GOP. Tired of feeling taken for granted by a party that alternately panders to them and sells them down the river, in their view, Tea Partiers and others on the
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Thursday that Republicans need to craft a positive agenda and can’t just rail against Washington, D.C. “We have to have an agenda, we just can’t be against what’s in front of Washington, D.C.,” Bush said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday. “Much of what goes on in Washington is completely irrelevant to the lives of everyday people. I mean it’s just amazing.” Bush, a possible 2016 candidate, talked up the “huge bench” of Republicans at the state level and said they should be driving the conservative conversation, not the Washington branch, which Bush criticized. “There’re 30 Republican
Following yesterday’s deal to reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit, Chuck Schumer had praise for Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and expected to see more of the same from McConnell’s caucus moving forward. “I’ve talked to Mitch about this — I think the whole Republican Senate is different now,” Schumer said on Morning Joe on Thursday. “I don’t think Ted Cruz will recover so quickly. . . . I think the Tea Party and Ted Cruz have peaked.” The New York Democrat said the tea-party members have now alienated their Republican colleagues as well as the general public after
It was the law. And liberals were determined to sabotage that law. To hold America hostage — in the middle of a war no less — until the law was repealed. Until the war was stopped. To do it, they used the Three C’s. Civil Disobedience. The Culture. The Congress. Let’s start with the law the Left was determined to overturn. That would be the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, passed by Congress on August 10,1964 at the request of a popular president, Lyndon B. Johnson. The resolution authorized the president “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state
Corruption: The crash-prone government health-care site asks applicants if they want to register to vote as they try to sign up for ObamaCare. By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters. Call it Motor Voter on steroids — the piggybacking of voter registration to an otherwise unrelated government function. Those trying to navigate Healthcare.gov, a website that looks and functions as if designed by the department of motor vehicles, are being asked if they want to register to vote just in time for crucial 2014 midterm elections that are likely to be a referendum on ObamaCare. Indeed, Centers for
Government As Usual: The budget deal failed to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare, ignored the nation´s entitlement crisis and kicked the debt can down the road. But lawmakers did manage to take care of their own. President Obama insisted throughout the budget showdown that he wouldn´t negotiate over reopening the government or the debt ceiling. He said he´d accept nothing more than a "clean bill." Clean, apparently, is in the eye of the beholder in Washington. The debt deal Obama signed did reopen the government and suspend the debt ceiling entirely until early February. But the bill included several sweetheart deals.
Politics: With the budget deal done, President Obama is pivoting to immigration in a gambit to distract from his economic failures and divide the GOP. But is it good for the country? For a leader who´s dispensed so much bad medicine to his country — from the botched rollout of health reform to the endless debt debacle over government spending — it´s almost surreal to see him make his next priority amnesty for illegal immigrants, an idea about as popular with the public as ObamaCare. But that´s Obama´s agenda, and the only thing we can conclude is that immigration reform is something
Buck-Passing: The president claims that "nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than" what he calls Republicans´ "manufactured crises." How about your policies, Mr. President? President Obama on Thursday claimed "we don´t know yet the full scope of the damage" of the shutdown. Even beyond the economy, he said, "probably nothing has done more damage to America´s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we´ve seen these past several weeks. It´s encouraged our enemies. It´s emboldened our competitors." Did we get the timeline mixed up? Did the Syria debacle, which made
Chris Matthews cheered President Obama’s “perfect” remarks following the reopening of the federal government and charged that his GOP opposition is motivated by racism. Matthews estimated that 30 percent of the Republican party, including GOP senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, “don’t want to admit [the president] is legal.” “You look at Cruz’s face, he doesn’t respect the election of President Obama, the reelection of President Obama . . . you look at Mike Lee, they all run around as if, ‘We got all these white people out here — this little minority of the country — they’re better than the
RUSH: We now go to Jerry. We have a trucker here on the way to Oakland. Jerry, I´m glad you called. How are you, sir? CALLER: (road noise) I´m doing great. My point was that the sequester put a spotlight on how incompetent back home is, and this last thing put a spotlight on how absolutely mean-spirited he is, that he would literally let people die to get his own way -- and the people could see it, because we know who shut down government and who shut down the mall. RUSH: Jerry, thanks for the call. I appreciate it. A little
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday admitted defeat in the fiscal debate that resulted in the government shutdown and pushed the nation toward a default, saying it was a "good fight." (Snip) But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," he added. "In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts."
In a bookend of sorts to his 21-hour “filibuster” against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for just under 10 minutes Wednesday evening in opposition to an imminent Senate vote that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. Cruz denounced the Senate deal as “terrible,” saying it will do nothing to help the “millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Speaking for the “American people,” Cruz said the Senate deal “embodies everything that frustrates” them about the “Washington establishment.” The majority of the speech centered around Cruz’s opposition to the health
On CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday, Robert Redford said congressional criticism of President Barack Obama is racially motivated. “Don’t get me started on that,” the left-leaning actor said when asked about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. “What I wanted to see [in Obama´s second term] is turning out to be a bit of a dream that never came true. I don’t envy [Obama´s] position. I think he is a good man. I think he is an intelligent man, a compassionate man who can’t function in that environment. That environment — it is so decrepit. It is so paralyzed. And the worst
Rep. Peter King thinks Republicans in the House could have bargained for much more than they´re getting in a pending Senate deal, if only the House had kept the government open in September and focused on negotiations over the federal debt limit. "Instead we look like the crazies," King, a Republican from Long Island, told me this afternoon from Washington. "Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd. Except that it´s serious."
The US was scrambling to avert a potentially disastrous breach of its debt ceiling on Wednesday morning, after Republican attempts to table a deal collapsed in disarray overnight, leaving the prospects for a last-minute deal on a knife-edge. America´s divided political system now has just 24 hours to find a compromise to the budget stand-off between the White House and hardline Republicans, with the deadline to extend America´s borrowing limit falling due on Thursday. In a sign of plunging confidence in Washington on Wall Street, Fitch, a leading credit ratings agency announced that the US was now on a "negative watch"
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says he hopes the House “will get some adult supervision from the Senate” to achieve a debt ceiling deal. (Snip)King said he would vote for that deal, and blames Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for this fiscal mess. “Ted Cruz has been a total fraud from the start,” King said. “It never could have succeeded. I can’t imagine going into battle knowing you can’t win and continue telling your people you are winning. It’s Never Never Land, parallel universes, whatever you want to call it.” Congress, King added, will be back in the same boat in three to four
The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act´s October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable. This isn´t some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department´s usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling. *** The health industry and low-level Administration
It was bad enough when those teabagging Republican terrorists killed the First Lady’s Twitter account. Now they’ve taken her lovely garden hostage! Reuters: In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food. It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love… “Due to the shutdown, garden maintenance has been reduced considerably and only being watered as needed,” a White House official confirmed, speaking
The deal reached by Congress on Wednesday to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling averts a financial catastrophe but leaves the weakened U.S. economy facing new threats. The agreement will send about 450,000 federal employees back to work and restart paychecks for the 1.3 million employees who stayed on the job during the shutdown. Getting those salaries back in circulation will help economic growth, particularly in the Washington area. More important, the threat of a default on the national debt has been avoided, along with the recession and financial crisis that may have accompanied a failure to
Grover Norquist isn’t happy with the Defunders. The Americans for Tax Reform president told reporters today that they have a lot of apologies to make and bridges to re-build. “It’d be a good idea if they stopped referring to other Republicans as Hitler appeasers because they opposed the strategy they put forward which failed,” Norquist says. “I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology — and your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.” Norquist refrained from naming the
Psst. Anic-Pay! Bloomberg‘s Megan McArdle (who has been on an incredible roll lately**) takes issue with the idea that the Obama administration needn’t panic about Obamacare, as long as it can get its glitch-plagued health care exchanges up and running by the end of the year. Wrong, she suggests. It’s time to panic. Now. Why? Because the exchanges are the way to sign up young, healthy people and prevent the fabled “death spiral,” in which only older, sicker people sign up for insurance, causing rates to rise and healthier people to drop out, causing rates to rise even more, etc.
The bipartisan deal to reopen the government and temporarily lift the debt ceiling includes one small Obamacare element -- a provision that says people´s incomes must be verified before they can get Obamacare subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums. But this was not a concession to Republicans, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN´s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. "It´s, you know, it is, frankly, a bit of a fig leaf, which we were happy to give, but that was not a negotiation. That was not what Ted Cruz and the others started to demand that we give them." [Video] Schumer noted