It’s a colossal, expensive failure that projects a 1970s-era DMV experience into cyberspace. Welcome to Healthcare.gov, the botched website of Obama’s botched health-care reform, writes Nick Gillespie.
The best jokes about the absolutely abysmal rollout of Obamacare have come not from the program’s critics but from the Affordable Care Act’s two biggest champions. And the biggest tears? Well, those will come from the rest of us over the coming years, in the form of declining levels of choice in health care and rising prices.Faced with the manifest—and ongoing—failure of the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov to allow people to shop, compare, and enroll in great new insurance at low, low prices, Barack Obama huffed, “Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it.
The government shutdown has reached such absurd levels that a whole new vocabulary is needed to talk about it. Liesl Schillinger to the rescue with a bevy of words that might help you make sense of it all.
What do you call a long-winded member of Congress whose opinions infuriate you? Ambrose Bierce, a century ago, in his Devil’s Dictionary called such a blowhard a “harangue-outang.” If Congress is controlled by harangue-outangs, can the country prosper? Bierce would have called such a prospect “incompossible.” Given the intractable problems between today’s Republicans and Democrats in Congress, it’s a pity there isn’t a fresher lexicon than Bierce’s to describe the ills of contemporary politics.
Today’s deal does nothing to address the deep military cuts enacted earlier this year. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rails against the ‘self-inflicted wound.’
The deal struck by Senate leaders is just one more example of America being governed by crisis, not leadership, and fails to address the serious negative impacts of the sequestration policy, according to former Defense secretary and Congressional budget committee chairman Leon Panetta.The deal, which could end the government shutdown but also cements the cuts to the Defense Department under the sequestration policy, is a positive but incomplete step toward ending a “shameful and tragic period in our American history,” Panetta said Wednesday at a press conference organized by the nonpartisan advocacy group Fix the Debt.
Today’s deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is a complete and utter loss for Republicans. Has the far right finally learned its lesson?
There’s a scene in The Dark Knight Rises—the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy—in which the villain, Bane, taunts the Caped Crusader before crippling him. “I was wondering what would break first,” he says, “your spirit, or your body!”If you replaced “body” with “caucus,” you could ask the same question of House Speaker John Boehner. It was clear, from the start, that Boehner’s heart wasn’t in the shutdown or the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans have let their Tea Party minority take over, and now they’re suffering the consequences—ugly racism and confederate flag-waving that may damage the party further after the shutdown and debt debacle is over, says Eleanor Clift.
You reap what you sow, and Republicans are paying the price for elevating a minority within their party. It is democracy run amok when the country teeters on the edge of default because of a small number of Tea Party anti-government absolutists, some 30 to 40 by most counts, plus another 70 sympathizers, and most of the remaining half of the House Republican caucus too scared to speak out. The standoff coming to a head feels like an existential struggle, and that’s an invitation to the most aggrieved fringe of the GOP to come out in full force.
Joe Lhota said Bill de Blasio would raise taxes on the middle class. De Blasio lumped Lhota in with the House Republicans. But neither man scored a decisive blow Tuesday night—an outcome that favors de Blasio, reports David Freedlander.
It was Bill Clinton against Rudy Giuliani, a successful businessman versus a lifelong pol, a Tea Party true believer versus a left-wing softie.At least that was how Democratic New York City mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio and his Republican counterpart Joe Lhota painted each other in a tense hour-long debate, the first of the general election season.Repeatedly, de Blasio said Lhota was borrowing a page “from the Republican playbook” and favoring “trickle-down economics.
Tuesday might have ended with the Senate on the cusp of a deal to avert a default, but it also featured Boehner bowing and scraping to his House crazies to come up with a competing plan that failed. Michael Tomasky on the horror.
This is a sad and sickening spectacle, like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. Not as bad as Watergate, you say? I beg to differ. However this turns out—and there were reports as I was writing Tuesday night that the House might finally run up the white flag here—this has been in its way worse than Watergate. Watergate ultimately vindicated our system against the machinations of one sociopath. It took time, because he was a president. But even he ultimately observed democratic norms and, when cornered, did the honorable thing.
Business leaders warned about the dire consequences of default, but in some ways they got what they paid for—they overwhelmingly backed GOP congressional candidates in 2012, including Ted Cruz.
At the very moment that congressional negotiations over the debt ceiling broke down Tuesday, a group of business and economic experts were issuing a dire warning to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and nine other Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee about what will happen if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling this week.“It would be a recovery killer,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of public policy at the Financial Services Roundtable.
The right-wing gadfly is on the attack again—but this time she's going after her fellow nutjobs. Michelle Cottle on what the freak-out reveals about the GOP's splintered base.
Forget the shopworn Yeats’s lament about how the center cannot hold; in the current GOP internecine cage match, even the fringe is starting to come apart.On Monday, conservative provocateur Ann Coulter visited Sean Hannity for a plug-her-latest-book sitdown, during which her host tossed out what he no doubt assumed would a typical conservative-colleagues-in-arms softball: “Establishment Republicans are at war with the Tea Party base, and I’m angry about it!” But Coulter slammed it, so to speak, to the opposite field, going on a tear against Newt Gingrich, Todd Akin, Mark Sanford, and Liz Cheney, whom she declared to be “hucksters, shysters, and people ripping off the Republican Party for their own self-aggrandizement, for their own egos, to make money.
What the Senate is working on is not what I'd exactly call a deal. It's more like a temporary cessation of hostilities. Really: What good is a deal to keep the government open until mid-January, and to approve borrowing authority until February 7? In between now and then, we're supposed to believe that Congress and the administration are going to come to terms on all the big budget questions that we know they can't possibly come to terms on?But before we get to all that, we have to consider two questions.
A group called the Oath Keepers wants Americans to form armed “citizen preservation” teams before the coming societal breakdown. Caitlin Dickson talks to the movement's leader.
“We are flat running out of time and we need to get as prepared as possible as fast as possible.”That’s the explanation Oath Keepers founder and president Stewart Rhodes offers at the end of a lengthy email to members of his patriot movement on why they’ve decided to “go operational.” Since its inception in 2009, the Oath Keepers have advocated arming and training civilians in order to protect themselves in times of crisis and fight back against unconstitutional acts by the government.
Congress is heaving a sigh of relief over a reported deal to avert a default—but the crisis is nowhere near ended. David Frum on why the ruthless politics won’t stop until the larger crisis in American life finds some resolution.
Like the atomic bomb in a James Bond movie, the debt ceiling crisis seems to have been averted with only minutes remaining on the countdown clock. A lot could still go wrong. But sighs of relief are being heard from Congress and from Wall Street. The S&P 500 has gained more than 2 percent over the past week.We can all welcome the last-minute decision by Republicans in Congress to halt a confrontation that threatened to blow up the world financial system.
The Tea Party senator’s attack on Muslims was nothing short of ‘hate speech,’ says Dean Obeidallah, who compares Rand Paul’s words to the bad arguments and vitriol used by al Qaeda recruiters.
Was Rand Paul’s most recent, big set-piece speech about A. The government shutdown; B. The debt limit; or C. The dreaded Obamacare? Nope, it was none of them. Instead, Paul spent his 19-minute speech at the Value Voters summit on Friday talking about Muslims.Now, I’m Muslim and I love attention - so on some level I’m happy when people talk about Muslims. But despite what some may tell you, not all press is good press. And in the case of Rand Paul’s speech – it was awful press for Muslims.
Forty years ago, business interests banded together to push back against the left—and succeeded brilliantly. But now the monster they created has turned on them, says Michael Tomasky.
Back in the early 1970s, corporate America got together and developed a plan of action to combat the takeover of America by what they saw as an unremittingly radical left. If we don’t act and get politically engaged, these corporate titans said, this country is going down the chute.Forty years later, corporate America beholds the monster it created. And now, these same institutions need to step up and rein in an unremittingly radical right. Only they can stop this nonsense, and it will take an effort as concerted and well-organized as the one they undertook in the 70s.
Republicans have lost at the ballot box and the Supreme Court, so they’ve decided to nullify President Obama another way: keep his government from working, period.
The dance over the debt ceiling and the fight over the government shutdown are nothing less than impeachment on the cheap: a chance to negate the will of the majority by ostensibly placating the letter of the law. Unable to win the last two presidential elections or to persuade a Supreme Court majority that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional, House Republicans have arrived at a point where default and closure are the next best things.
The Sunday talk shows focused their attention on the early morning deal brokered to stop Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Is it a good deal or a historic mistake?
Here’s a nightmare for John Boehner: Eight or 10 months from now, Republicans’ obsession with getting rid of the health-care law is going to look awfully stupid to a majority of voters.